‘Hardest Bastards in Football.’ Neil Lennon

March 12, 2014

“Born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland in 1971, Neil Lennon is a true Celtic fan. From his youth he set his heart on one leading his beloved Glasgow club to the top spot in Scotland. Well, it now seems certain that Lennon will be doing that again this season, seemingly for the umpteenth time and after years of turning out solid performances as a player and then subsequently as manager. It has though, not been the safest of jobs over recent years and it is for this reason that Neil Lennon is being inducted.” The Illustrated Game

The art of the goalkeeper well and truly mastered in Scotland

February 27, 2014

Craig Gordon
“The keeper: the last line of defence. With a hapless player between the sticks conceding goals comes easily, winning games does not. In Scotland something seems to be working its magic on the training pitch, with a succession of keepers receiving great plaudits and having much success. Jim Leighton; Andy Goram; Craig Gordon. All names which send the Tartan Army dizzy with delight. But why, with the recent failings of the national side as a whole, can the goalkeeper always be relied on with a sense of pride? It is a fact that has been overlooked by the big national media corporations; when the English bemoan the errors from Joe Hart, Scotland’s keepers continue to provide standout performances.” Backpage Football

Football Manager meets Moneyball – season 1 with Rangers

February 25, 2014

“The new release of the latest installment of the Football Manager franchise has seen a commensurate flurry of pieces about this, to me, hugely gripping and enjoyable game. Now I am not going to turn this blog into one devoted to the game: for one, I think it’s quite dull to blog purely on one aspect of football culture, and I wouldn’t want to risk alienating people who do not enjoy playing it. The pleasure of Football Manager is, for me, largely private, especially given how little interest my girlfriend has in football full stop, let alone a simulation of it, but it did occur to me that it might be interesting to merge an idea that I have enjoyed thinking about with a game I love playing.” Put Niels In Goal – Season 1, season 2 (1st half), season 2 (2nd half), Season 3 (first half)

The Far Post: In Glasgow, a Rival’s Lament

December 12, 2013

“Last year the sad, mad, brutal and beautiful series known as Celtic versus Rangers came to an end after an unbroken 125-year run. Proud Rangers—one of the oldest, grandest, richest clubs in world football—simply ran out of money. The reasons why this happened would not be unfamiliar to sports-watchers anywhere on earth: greed, envy, and overspending all played a role. There were unique local wrinkles—the Scottish media all but ignored the calamity at the same time as it was being masterfully reported and dissected by anonymous bloggers, especially the unnamed author of a suspiciously well-informed blog called Rangers Tax Case. But the demise of the august club, which was sent to the lowest league in Scotland last year, raises more universal questions for those of us who, like the RTC blogger and me, wear Celtic’s green colours. Should we gloat? Should we grieve? What does it mean to support a team whose greatest and only rival is gone?” ROADS & KINGDOMS

Tommy Burns: the man who bridged the Old Firm divide

November 17, 2013

“The more-than-a-century old rivalry between Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers is well established in the minds of football fans the world over. The colourful, boisterous, sometimes violent, scenes when the two sides meet are Scottish footballs biggest export, beamed to millions of people in hundreds of places from New York to New Caledonia and beyond.” World Soccer

Tommy Burns: Bigger Than the Old Firm

November 13, 2013

“The more-than-a-century old rivalry between Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers is well established in the minds of football fans the world over. The colourful, boisterous, sometimes violent, scenes when the two sides meet are Scottish footballs biggest export, beamed to millions of people in hundreds of places from New York to New Caledonia and beyond. The social, cultural and religious backdrop, the almost monopoly-like vice on Scottish silverware and the close proximity of the two clubs to one another does nothing to alleviate the ferocity of the Old Firm Derby, rightly considered among the top three derbies in world football by Sky Sports, World Soccer, Fox Soccer and several other well-respected media outlets. Yet despite the omnipresent hostility and well pronounced divide one man was so well-regarded that he could command respect in both camps, a rare feat, which arguably made him bigger than the ‘Old Firm’ label given to the two clubs. His name was Tommy Burns.” In Bed With Maradona

Anthony Stokes inspires a fine 3-1 away victory for Celtic at Hearts

September 14, 2013

“Even with Hearts in their current, diminished state, Celtic would never hand-pick a trip to Tynecastle immediately before a Champions League tie. What that in mind, Neil Lennon can consider this as a job well done in Edinburgh. The Celtic manager watched his players claim a victory they deserved over a Hearts side who, in fairness, offered more resistance than could have been expected. Gary Locke, the Hearts manager, is worthy of continued credit for his guidance of the administration-hit club as those off the field edge towards a deal which should return local ownership to these parts by Christmas.” Guardian

The new Scottish Premiership season – the fans’ view

August 2, 2013

Virgil van Dijk
“At the start of the new season, the first of the Scottish Professional Football League, how are the fans viewing their teams’ chances? We spoke to supporters of all 12 clubs in the top flight – rebranded as the Scottish Premiership – to find out how they thought the season would go.” BBC

Celtic’s Saturday Afternoon At Brentford

July 29, 2013

“Apparently, last Saturday, I and hundreds of others went on a hooligan rampage and “destroyed” the West London suburb of Brentford, while attending a pre-season ‘friendly’ between weakened sides from Brentford’s League One club and current Scottish champions, Celtic. That last event was actually how I spent my Saturday afternoon; which I why I was very surprised to discover my role in the first. Let’s get some things straight straightaway. The behaviour of the 6,000+ Celtic fans at Brentford was raucous and loud both outside and inside their Griffin Park ground. Some of it was, frankly, wrong; fireworks and drunks on the pitch during the game, for example. However, I would be hard pushed to describe it as worse than the behaviour of many of the football crowds I have observed in, ulp, 40 years watching the game at various levels. In fact, in some aspects it was fabulous. And I would certainly not describe it in the emotive terms used by others of a, shall we say, non-Celtic persuasion – many of whom were nowhere near London, let alone Brentford, last Saturday.” twohundredpercent

Top 10 Young Football Managers

July 22, 2013

“Football, over the last couple of seasons, has been witnessing a ‘change of guard’. Players who we adored in their prime have retired, managers that headed some of the greatest sides in history have resigned. All this has given rise to the next generation of football personnel ranging from talented young footballers to talented young tacticians. In this piece we will be focusing on the Top 10 Young Football Managers, that could be at the helm of some of the biggest clubs in World Football, in the not-so-distant future.” Outside of the Boot – Part 1, Outside of the Boot – Part 2

The Second Coming Of Third Lanark

February 10, 2013

“Heard the story about the Glasgow based football club who ran into financial calamity and went bust? Of course you have, but this tale of woe isn’t about the collapse of Rangers, but a club whose name is woven into the fabric of Scottish football’s early days – Third Lanark. The club who were based in the city’s south side were founded in 1872 by the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers after the soldiers were inspired to create their own team by the first ever international match between Scotland and England at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow.” In Bed With Maradona

Could the Old Firm ever compete across the border?

January 19, 2013

“The way forward for Scottish football is still somewhat blurred. League reconstruction talks have stalled while the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League tear themselves apart from the inside. All parties agree change is needed, but that remains the only thing they can agree on. So considering the state of the Scottish game, is it time that Scotland’s two biggest and most supported clubs, Celtic and Rangers (known as the Old Firm), took care of themselves? Could a move to the Premier League finally come to pass? Ultimately, the chasm between the Old Firm and the rest of Scottish football is now unbridgeable.” ESPN

A good blend of youth and experience is the key to success

January 17, 2013

“The Frank Lampard affair which seems all too likely to spill over into the John Terry and Ashley Cole contretemps brings into focus again the whole complex matter of age. Who is too old and who too young for success in a football team? It is that once elegant centre back for Scotland and Liverpool Alan Hansen who has told us on television ‘You’ll win nothing with kids’.” World Soccer – Brian Glanville

St Pat’s ’98 and the False Dawn Of Irish Football

January 9, 2013

“Paul Lambert and Henrik Larsson were in no mood to hang around. After Celtic’s 73rd home game in Europe, they shook a few hands and immediately hurried off the pitch. It was a result that verged on the humiliating: a 0-0 stalemate, just the 12th draw in those 73 games that included 53 wins, against a team they hadn’t given a second thought to swatting aside. The 56,000 home crowd had mostly dispersed as a group of players — most of whom they’d never heard of — sprinted to salute the pocket of 1,500 delirious away fans tucked into a corner of Celtic Park. It was just the second time their team had avoided defeat in an 11-game European history.” In Bed With Maradona

For the Sake Of Playing

December 29, 2012

“On Saturday, December 29th 2012, two football clubs from Glasgow will take to the pitch at Hampden Park to play the unlikeliest of matches. Glasgow derbies attended by tens, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of spectators around the time of New Year have been a tradition in Scottish football for well over a century, and yet this fixture will not feature a certain world-famous team in green and white hoops. It will be an older, more historic fixture, all but forgotten prior to the extraordinary 2012-13 Division Three season, and shall provide a strange and fascinating insight into how Scottish football might have developed in a parallel universe, where Queen’s Park FC had not held on in the face of changing times and priorities to its cherished amateur status, and had cleaved to its place as the country’s pre-eminent and most innovative football club.” In Bed With Maradona

2012-13 Scottish Premier League

December 21, 2012

“This post is a continuation of my recent new category, ‘Eng-Map/Attendance/Kit Badges’, which is now called ‘Engl. & Scot. – Map/Attendance/Kit Badges’. I decided to open up the category to include Scottish clubs because in my first post in this category, {which was on the 2012-13 Premier League here}, I mentioned Celtic and Rangers right off the bat (in the third paragraph in the above link). And I don’t have any other category which includes both English and Scottish clubs, so I thought I should have at least one. The essence of this style of map is the depiction of facsimiles of each club’s current home jersey badges, and those badge-facsimiles can be seen at the top of the map page (with the clubs placed in alphabetical order). From Historical Football Kits, ‘Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League 2012 – 2013 [the kits of all 12 Scottish Premier League clubs]‘. billsportsmaps

Barcelona’s bogey team?

December 10, 2012

“Celtic made waves across Europe with their Champions League group stage win over Barcelona. While the result was a notable upset, it was in keeping with the Catalan side’s decidedly average record against teams from Scotland. Curiously, in 18 contests Barca have won six, drawn five and now lost seven against Scottish opposition. The Bhoys’ recent triumph was their second against the side from the Nou Camp, following on from a first-leg win in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup which helped them progress to the last eight of the competition. Back in season 1960/61 meanwhile, Hibernian’s 3-2 victory at Easter Road clinched a 7-6 aggregate win in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. However, when it comes to taming Barcelona, one Scottish team have a record that many bigger clubs can only dream of.” World Soccer

Hamilton Academicals: a template for the future of Scottish football?

December 3, 2012

“Craig Levein. Judging by how the post-game talk was dominated by whether the Scottish FA should replace him or not when Scotland lost to Belgium in the World Cup qualifying stage, a defeat that left them bottom of their group with just two points, you would think that pointing at the manager was all that was needed to identify the reasons behind this dire situation.” World Soccer

Hamilton Academical: The Future Of Scottish Football Is Here

November 16, 2012

“Craig Levein. Judging by how the post-game talk was dominated by whether the Scottish FA should replace him or not when Scotland lost to Belgium in the World Cup qualifying stage, a defeat that left them bottom of their group with just two points, you would think that pointing at the manager was all that was needed to identify the reasons behind this dire situation. Yet, for all Levein’s defects and mistakes, the fault lines of Scottish football lie much deeper than the manager’s role. For a nation that once produced world class players like Kenny Dalglish and Dennis Law, Scotland now struggles to produce players who are even remotely close to that level. There are many reasons for that, yet one of them has to be the lack of vision shown by clubs. Few have dared to be innovative; fewer still have been brave enough to build their teams around the players coming through their system.” In Bed With Maradona

Rangers: A Warning From History

October 18, 2012

“The contrast between the current public profiles of the Rangers FC’s Chief Executive and Chairman could not be greater. While the former, Charles Green, has a love of his own voice only matched by his disregard for telling the truth with it, the latter, Malcolm Murray, has largely – and wisely, to judge by his few public utterances – kept his own counsel. With Green taking time out to re-charge his bullshit batteries before the media onslaught in support of the new club’s Alternative Investment Market flotation, Murray last week became the defender of the Rangers faith, deploying what you might describe as a far subtler form of Green’s modus operandi for dealing with criticisms of the Rangers – blame everything on the ‘enemy’; if, that is, you thought Murray intellectually capable of subtlety.” twohundredpercent

Six Managers Better For Scotland Than Craig Levein

October 16, 2012

Gordon Strachan
“At the time of writing, Scotland prepare to face Belgium as part of a World Cup qualifying campaign already in tatters after dire draws with Serbia and Macedonia and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Wales. Craig Levein’s coat hangs on the shakiest peg at Hampden Park, and only a remarkable result in Belgium could possibly save him – even that may not be enough. Scotland’s plight is deep-rooted: not so long ago they became the first ever nation to qualify for five consecutive World Cups but with the exception of the odd respectable if ultimately futile campaign, they’ve since slid ever backwards.” Sabotage Times

To Boo Or Not To Boo? Why There Is A Time & Place For Dissent

September 6, 2012

“Three games into the Premier League season, the distinctive sound of burning pitchforks is in the air. Without a win from the six matches that they have played between them, both Andre Villa Boas and Brendan Rodgers are already being cast into a familiar mould – that of the hapless managerial failure. Both are managers whose appointments carried an element of risk about them. Villa Boas excelled at Porto in a way that few other managers have in recent years in coaching this team to the Europa League and the Portuguese championship, but his stock fell with his turbulent spell at Stamford Bridge, while Rodgers arrival at Liverpool came off the back of success at Swansea City but a nagging concern that his name might not be of the pedigree that supporters of that particular club might have expected.” twohundredpercent

The Scottish Premier League, A Brief Preview

August 6, 2012

“The Scottish Premier League kicks off its fifteenth – and conceivably its last – season this weekend, after a summer when off-field issues have dominated, and the repercussions of which may yet have major consequences on the season ahead. It makes it similtaneously the most predictable, and in other respects the most unpredictable, season in the SPL’s history.” twohundredpercent

Raith Rovers: Kings Of Europe 1922

July 30, 2012

“When the dust settled on a difficult season last term for Scottish First Division side Raith Rovers it seemed that most fans were accentuating the positives. The final quarter of the season saw the team second only to champions Ross County in terms of consistency and points won, survival was finally guaranteed with a game remaining and a final day flourish in Greenock against Morton saw the team finish in a respectable seventh position.” In Bed With Maradona

Holy War

July 24, 2012

“The Miseducation of Claudio Reyna ended abruptly in late April. Reyna, the U.S. soccer team captain, had just joined the Scottish powerhouse Glasgow Rangers, and one chilly afternoon he wore a green sweatshirt to practice. That’s all it was, a simple green sweatshirt. To Glaswegians, though, the sport they call fitba is never simple, and if you’re on Rangers turf, donning green—the color of hated rival Glasgow Celtic—is like wearing a yarmulke in Gaza or a Bulls jersey in a Crips hood. ‘What are you doing, Claudio?’ said teammate Ian Ferguson. ‘Get that off you!’” SI: Holy War

Rangers make history out of chaos
“Rangers created history by winning the title at Celtic Park in a stormy Old Firm game which saw referee Hugh Dallas injured by a missile thrown from the pitch. One of the game’s few homegrown stars, Neil McCann scored two of the goals to give Rangers a first championship win in their rivals’ ground. But his contribution is probably the only consolation to the country’s football authorities after disgraceful scenes inside the ground. Television pictures beamed around the world showed referee Hugh Dallas with blood seeping down his forehead after being struck by a missile thrown from the crowd.” BBC

YouTube: Video Highlights Old Firm May 1999, Celtic Rangers May 1999

Soccer’s Most Dangerous Rivalry, Celtic v Rangers

July 7, 2012

“Vice.com produce fantastic, well-made documentaries, and their latest product has been to shine a light on the bitter rivalry between Celtic and Rangers. With all the commotion engulfing the blue half of Glasgow at present, the documentary enables viewers to peek through the looking-glass at one of the oldest hatreds in world football: a hatred that could well be a thing of the past should Rangers collapse amidst their current turmoil.” 101 Great Goals – Football’s Most Dangerous Rivalry (Video)

Old Firm
“The Old Firm was the collective name for the Glasgow football clubs Celtic and Rangers. The origin of the term is unclear but may derive from the commercial benefits of the two clubs’ rivalry. The two clubs are the most successful in Scotland, between them having won 97 Scottish League championships, 68 Scottish Cups and 41 Scottish League Cups. Interruptions to their ascendancy have occurred infrequently, most recently with the challenge of the New Firm of Aberdeen and Dundee United in the first half of the 1980s. Since the 1985–86 season one half of the Old Firm has won the Scottish League and since the 2005–06 season the Old Firm have finished in the top two places.” W – Old Firm

Rangers: The Good, The Bad & The Loopy

April 13, 2012

“You can say what you like about Scottish media coverage of Rangers’ financial crisis but you’re certainly spoilt for choice. Unfortunately, that choice is all-too-often between parallel universes, with a tangential universe thrown in every time club owner Craig Whyte is within range of a microphone (Whyte’s common criticism of HMRC as “living on a different planet to the rest of us” is top-of-the-range irony, I’m sure you’ll agree. The announcement of the shortlist of Rangers’ bidders and the administrators’ report to creditors on consecutive days last week provided plenty of scope for media sources to reveal their contrasting takes on affairs, and their common ignorance.” twohundredpercent

Sone Aluko inspires Rangers to victory over nine-man Celtic

March 25, 2012

“There will surely never be another Old Firm occasion as curious as this. Five goals and three sendings-off almost seemed like minor details. Celtic crossed Glasgow looking to take the victory which would confirm their status as the champions of Scotland. By full-time, the Rangers support celebrated as if they had secured the league flag and the visiting contingent bounced around while pointing out the wider reality. In this city, one-upmanship takes on an altogether new meaning. Supporters of the two city rivals simply love any opportunity to hurl abuse at each other, and most certainly to gloat.” Guardian

The Joy of Six: the Old Firm
“Six classic Glasgow derbies, including a title decider, two cup finals, 31 goals, a riot – and four players being charged by the police” Guardian

Green shoots of recovery for Scotland?
“Spanish-born Jack Harper, a midfield star in Real Madrid’s illustrious academy, and Chelsea Under-18 forward Islam Feruz, are two players at the forefront of a new wave of gifted Scottish youngsters that also includes West Bromwich Albion’s Scott Allan, Falkirk’s Craig Sibbald and Celtic’s James Keatings.” World Soccer

Going South? Celtic & The English League System

March 19, 2012

“It is one of the most commonly recurring stories of modern football. Should Celtic and Rangers be allowed to leave the Scottish league system and join the English football league system instead? It’s an emotive subject, for sure, and it’s one that seems to divide both supporters and administrators, with the only people that are certain of which way they would like to go being those that run Glasgow’s two giant clubs, who would like to utilise the vaster resources that would be open to them as a result of being in the more lucrative English system than they would get from remaining in England.” twohundredpercent

Rangers’ Nightmare Week

February 18, 2012

“This week, Alex Salmond held discussions with David Cameron about the terms of a referendum on independence, and Cameron launched his own pleas in defence of the Union. It’s a story that has been dominating the headlines for weeks in Scotland – not unreasonably – but this week, Cameron was unlucky with his timing. His speech got some cursory coverage, and the rest of the news, as it has been since Monday afternoon, has been wall-to-wall Rangers.” twohundredpercent

Ten questions for 2012

January 11, 2012

Borussia Dortmund celebrate
“As the major continental leagues resume following the winter break – Serie A and La Liga returned to action over the weekend, with Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga set to follow suit in the next fortnight – Pitchside Europe looks at ten issues that will help determine the balance of power across Europe in the 12 months ahead.” Eurosport

Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in the second El Glasico of the season

December 30, 2011

“The second Glasgow derby of the season saw Neil Lennon’s Celtic side take all three points as they beat Rangers 1-0 to leapfrog them into top spot, after turning around a 15 point deficit from the 5th November to go two points clear. Welshman Joe Ledley scored the only goal of the game in what was a deserved win for the Parkhead side.” Scotzine

Bhoys are back in town

November 30, 2011

“This week, Celtic start to show their credentials and there is a further recurrence of the depressing violence directed at Old Firm personnel.” ESPN

‘Slim’ Jim Baxter and a Game Of Three Card Brag

November 12, 2011

“Vienna, 1964. It is a bitingly cold December evening. Snow has cascaded down upon the Austrian capital over the past week or so. Just to the west of the very heart of the city, groundsmen at the Praterstadion have been working feverishly, fighting against the chill, to clear the pitch of its newly acquired white blanket. Their efforts are successful but, in its wake, the snow leaves behind a meddlesome, sticky field. The upcoming second leg of the European Cup second round between Austrian champions Rapid Vienna and Scottish champions Rangers looks set to be an ugly affair.” In Bed With Maradoma

Woe Flowers of Scotland

September 16, 2011

“Scottish football is in crisis. With Scottish clubs exiting European competition even earlier than usual, fans and the media are mourning the latest ‘death’ of the national sport. Newspapers and radio phone-ins are leading the now annual debate asking ‘where do we go from here?’ There’s no disputing that change is required. League reconstruction (discussed here previously) and a massive shift in attitudes and approach are long overdue, but that’s a conversation for another time.” Just Football

Without Question – Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool, Celtic and Scotland

September 12, 2011

“It’s entirely conceivable that you are from a generation that never witnessed Kenny Dalglish’s first stint as manager at Liverpool in the 1980’s, not to mention his heyday as a player at Anfield and Parkhead. But the Scotsman oversaw a fine team and the 1988 vintage featuring Beardsley, Barnes and Aldridge was tremendous fun to watch. A hugely underrated side in our opinion, which was sadly denied the opportunity to challenge the AC Milan of Marco Van Basten due to a ban on English clubs in Europe at the time.” In Bed With Maradona

World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, August 26th

August 28, 2011

“Champions League draw. All eyes were on Monaco yesterday as the draw for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League took place. The annual ritual whereby Europe’s elite discover the identity of the fodder they will consume throughout the autumn months, has long since lost its lustre. However, big spending Manchester City ‘s entry into the competition for the first time, did at least offer the unusual prospect of one or two interesting group matches.” World Soccer (Video)

North of the Border

August 24, 2011

“Until his death in 2008 after a long illness, Eddie Thompson ensured Dundee United were competitive at the top of the group of teams below the Old Firm in the SPL. A supporter of the club, financially as well as in the stands of Tannadice even before he took control, he used his personal fortune to stretch the budget of United. It is a model of ownership and investment that relates to dozens of club in UK football and hundreds around the world.” ESPN

Romanov’s Battle For Hearts And Minds

August 18, 2011

“Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish playwright, was not known for his love of sport, but his warning “to expect the unexpected” could certainly apply to the world of football, not least at Heart of Midlothian, where the colourful owner Vladimir Romanov continues to resist the path of predictability. Just two games into the Scottish Premier League (SPL), the volatile Lithuanian decided to sack the club’s manager Jim Jefferies, replacing him with the former Sporting Lisbon manager Paulo Sérgio. The popular Jefferies was in his second spell as Hearts manager after a ten-year absence, retaining much goodwill for delivering the Scottish Cup in 1998, ending 36 years without a trophy.” Swiss Ramble

The Wasps Searching For Their Sting

August 15, 2011

“It was November 21st, 1999. The setting for The Bell’s Scottish Challenge Cup Final was Airdrie United’s Excelsior Stadium, which was only opened a year before. The freezing cold North Lanarkshire air was spiced with anticipation. There was a slaughtering wind and a furious rain accompanying the night but Terry Christie’s Alloa Athletic and Steve Paterson’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle were in no mood to let the ghastly weather conditions ruin the momentous occasion.” In Bed With Maradona

Scottish Premier League 2011-12: Season Preview

July 29, 2011

“The whole of Europe is eagerly awaiting the new Scottish Premier League season which kicks-off on 23rd July. Well – no, actually they’re not. Not surprising really, given that the last campaign turned out to be a truly horrible affair for so many reasons. Hopefully this year will be more about players, teams and results, rather than referees, politics and death threats. Here’s a look ahead to 2011/12…” Just Football

Motherwell 0 – 3 Celtic

May 23, 2011

“Neil Lennon picked up his first trophy as Celtic manager with a comfortable Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell at Hampden Park. Ki Sung-yueng opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a wonderful drive and Mark Wilson’s shot in the 75th minute, which deflected off Well skipper Stephen Craigan, put the Parkhead men into an unassailable lead. Charlie Mulgrew’s wonderful free-kick with two minutes remaining brought an even more positive end to the Irishman’s first season as permanent boss – which, to say the least, has been troubled.” ESPN

Scottish football reaches a new low

May 15, 2011

“For the second time in a month, Scottish football is making headlines around the world. Unfortunately, the first time was because ‘viable’ explosive devices were posted to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and high-profile Celtic fans. The second occurred when Lennon was assaulted by a Hearts fan on the Tynecastle pitch on Wednesday night, as if in a deliberate attempt to prove that this level of football hatred is not unique to the west coast, and that, in terms of football, Scotland is not a civilised country.” WSC

Rangers 0-0 Celtic: It’s in Celtic’s hands now despite stalemate

April 25, 2011

“The Seventh and final Glasgow Derby of the season ended in a stalemate. Chances were few and far between, but Celtic had a glorious opportunity to secure all three points late on as they awarded a penalty. However Greek International Georgios Samaras was denied by a great save from Rangers keeper Allan McGregor. Despite the game ending all square, the league title is Celtic’s to lose. Rangers may be a point ahead, but Celtic have a game in hand against Terry Butcher’s Inverness Caley and even if they take a draw from that game, the Parkhead side would go top on goal difference. If a win was secured then Celtic would lead by two points with four games left remaining of the season.” Scotzine

Celtic 1-2 Rangers

March 21, 2011

“The Celtic fans showed their support to the team by a Green and White display before kick off, that spanned the whole East Stand of Hampden. There was banter aplenty also as legends from both sides took to the touchline with each group of fans booing the other side and vice versa.” Scotzine

Celtic 1-2 Rangers – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Scottish League Cup
The 90th Minute

When Mingorance Was Bliss

March 4, 2011

“Llanelli have enjoyed success from being one of the most consistent teams in the Principality Welsh Premier League over the last few seasons. The West Wales side have not finished outside of the top three in the last five seasons and in 2008 they were crowned Welsh Premier League champions. In each of the last four campaigns they have boasted the Welsh Premier’s leading goalscorer in Rhys Griffiths and the striker is currently challenging for an unprecedented sixth consecutive golden boot award despite the side occupying an unfamiliar fourth place as they head into the business end of the season.” In Bed With Maradona

Paranormal Activity: SPL-Style

February 21, 2011

“You’ve probably heard of the Bermuda Triangle. It’s a patch of water in the North Atlantic Ocean where scores of ships and planes have mysteriously vanished. Some put it down to the area’s unpredictable weather. Others say that it’s magnetic variations meddling with navigation equipment. While some, the genuine believers, say that it’s a supernatural phenomenon. But what’s this got to do with football? Well, Scottish football has its own Bermuda Triangle, a sequence of mysterious events that are hard to explain.” In Bed With Maradona

Celtic 3-0 Rangers: Celtic better all over the pitch

February 20, 2011

Gary Hooper
“Celtic extended their advantage at the top of the SPL with a dominant performance. Neil Lennon left out Anthony Stokes, and brought in Georgios Samaras to play upfront. Walter Smith again used Kyle Bartley ahead of the back four, and played El-Hadji Diouf and Steven Naismith either side of the midfield (whereas in last weekend’s 6-0 over Motherwell, Diouf played just off the striker in a 4-2-3-1).” Zonal Marking

Celtic 3 – 0 Rangers
“Gary Hooper grabbed a double as Celtic strengthened their grasp on top spot in the SPL with a 3-0 win over Rangers. Kris Commons was also on target once again in the Old Firm derby as the Hoops moved eight points clear at the summit. The victory puts them beyond the reach of Rangers for now, regardless of the outcome of their rivals’ two games in hand.” ESPN

Celtic 3-0 Rangers (Old Firm derby) – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – SPL
The 90th Minute

Rangers 2 – 2 Celtic

February 7, 2011

“Rangers and Celtic will replay their Scottish Cup fifth-round tie after a pulsating encounter at Ibrox ended with both sides down to 10 men after sharing four goals. It was the first time in 47 years that the home side had hosted Celtic in a Scottish Cup tie but seldom in the intervening time could this famous fixture have produced such an afternoon of drama.” ESPN

Celtic dominate Rangers Cup clash but replay beckons
“Celtic twice came back from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Rangers in their Fifth Round Scottish Cup clash at Ibrox, with both sides ending the game with 10 men. Walter Smith’s side took the lead three minutes into the game with a 20 yard strike from Jamie Ness, and a minute later Steven Davis hit the bar. However soon after Kris Commons equalised for Celtic. But Rangers were back in front just before half time when Steven Naismith was brought down in the box by Celtic keeper Fraser Forster, who was sent off by referee Calum Murray. Steven Whittaker despatched the resultant penalty to send the locals into ecstasy.” Scotzine

1930s Month: Scottish football in review

January 26, 2011

“It would be wonderful to look back at Scottish football in the 1930’s and tell tales of Hearts and Hibs domination or Aberdeen and Motherwell winning the treble, but that’s just not the case. The final table from 1931 looks very much like the table today, Rangers winning the league by two points over their Glasgow rivals. It’s interesting to note, however, that the third team in Scotland’s second city, Partick Thistle, came fourth that year.” The Equaliser


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