Celtic.....an apology?

Written by Jim Thornton.

Celtic … An Apology?

A Celtic fan called the Daily Record the other day to say the players should have stayed on the park after the defeat against Kilmarnock to apologise to supporters.  What would have been the point?  The home punters had long since disappeared by then.
Bargains for the Bhoys

Staying with Celtic and their support, Parkhead chief executive Peter Lawwell has admitted that crowds are down in the east end this season.  He believes this is due to the economic recession rather than to the absence of Rangers from the top league.  I agree with him – especially with expensive Champions League group ties to be taken into account, games the Celtic fans wouldn’t have budgeted for.

The 14,400 or so who turned up to watch the League Cup tie against St Johnstone was the Bhoy’s lowest competitive attendance at Parkhead for eighteen years, which reinforces Lawwell’s argument.  So, having recognised that their fans don’t have bottomless biscuit tins, are the club doing enough to help them?

Not being a Celtic fan, I don’t know if they have been offering special deals for the less attractive fixtures – fair do’s if they have, although perhaps they might have been unable to do anything about Tuesday’s game given that the away side have to agree to reduce prices for cup ties.  (Did they ask St Johnstone?)  Maybe some Bhoys out there can shed some light.  Or even start a campaign.
Rangers’ Report Card – Can They Do Better?

Rangers have now completed their first round of fixtures in the Third Division.  If you were naive enough to believe some Bluenose punters/pundits (they’re sometimes not one and the same) before the season started, the Gers would have lapped everyone by now instead of having taken until late October to manage to get to the top of the league.  And don’t even mention the Ramsdens and League Cups.

Last week’s scrappy and unconvincing win against The Clyde seems to have been typical of their overall league campaign to date.  Winning ugly is all well and good, but last Sunday’s performance was like watching someone winch Ann Widdecombe.  The smell of fear (well, I think it was fear) against The Bully Wee, both from the Rangers’ team and their fans, was overpowering; and remember, The Clyde aren’t exactly the most intimidating of opposition these days – although they did beat Stirling Albion away from home.

Ally’s Army will inevitably march to the Third Division title; but what about next season … and the one after that?  Maybe Rangers’ stroll through the divisions won’t be the walk in the park everyone in Govan has been anticipating.

Come Again?

So, is Charles Green’s attempt to persuade Walter Smith back to Ibrox a masterstroke or a panic attack?  Certainly it caught Chic Young on the hop the other night.  Normally Chico would be strewing rose petals along Copland Road at the thought of the Blessed One’s Third Coming.  However, when asked for his comments on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportscene programme, he came out with more waffles than Birds Eye, given that he has also been ‘discreetly’ touting Walter for the Scotland job if Craig Levein gets the push.  Even Walter can’t be in two places at once.

And while I may be in a minority of one in wanting the SFA to stick with Levein, a part of me would like to see Walter get the Scotland job just to see how many Rangers’ players he would pick.

The Prodigal Son?

Neil Lennon must be concerned about Scott Brown’s troublesome hip injury.  Fortunately, the Parkhead boss can rest his captain for some games, although he must wish he had an experienced replacement he could call on as cover in the short term until Brown regains full fitness.  A leader on the park, who’s been over the course before, and who has European as well as domestic experience.

Should have maybe nipped in ahead of Fleetwood and got Barry Ferguson.  Just a thought.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Kris Boyd has explained away his poor form with Portland Timbers by complaining about the long distances involved in travelling to away games, and the different time zones in the US.  Ah , diddums.

Although, to be fair, this may also account for his lacklustre performances for Rangers in Europe over the years.

Egg on his Face

Did you see Brighton’s goal against Blackpool last weekend?  Kirk Broadfoot, making his debut for the Tangerines, was miles short with a weak header back to his goalie, Matt Gilks, leaving the incoming Brighton forward with a simple tap-in.  The keeper, it has to be said, didn’t exactly cover himself in glory either, so heaven help Scotland if Allan McGregor and Alan Hutton are both injured at the same time.

Broadfoot was duly substituted before the end, and I wonder what the Bloomfield Road faithful thought of him after his first game.  Probably the same as they did at Ibrox.

The Hells of St Mary’s

I see Artur Boruc is facing the sack at Southampton after allegedly swearing at his own fans.  So, has the Holy Goalie become the Beeper Keeper?

Good Morning, Sunshine

Delia Smith looked chuffed to bits when the TV cameras panned in on her as her Norwich side gubbed Spurs in the League Cup down south this week.  Old Delia looks as if she knows how to celebrate a win, and seems ‘a sort’, as Del Boy would say.  And you’d get a cracking breakfast the next morning.

Eyes Down, Look In

All you old fogies who spend your time in WH Smith looking for glossy magazines on the top shelf should set your sights a bit lower.  Backpass magazine describes itself on the cover as ‘the retro football magazine’, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Harking back to a time when Jimmy Greaves was first getting a taste for shandy, it’s a Terry- and Suarez-free read.  It’s English orientated, as you would expect, but on the other hand this means there’s nary a mention of the Old Firm.  Worth the £3.95 for that alone.
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