Following Celtic’s Scottish Cup semi final defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday, Scotzine asked Celtic fan Kevin Tait for his verdict of the game.
The scene was set from a Celtic fan’s point of view with a sunny day and Hampden go hand in hand – stories have been told and songs have been sung about such days.
Sadly it didn’t go to plan.
We would have won the game at half time if the officials had done their job. Celtic could have been out of sight before this, as Forrest and Johansen were getting plenty of space with Forrest finding himself many a time one on one with their full back’s poor use of the ball, his final pass and wrong decision making.
Johansen seemed to delay when in good clear shooting positions with that extra touch to steady himself costly. Commons had little or no room which looked like a master stroke from Yogi.
How many Celtic players lost their footing yesterday? How was this never remedied at half time?
On to Ronny and his system – we all know it that means the opposition teams know it too. With the two new bhoys cup ties and Stokes suspended, 4-4-2 would have given us a stronger starting line-up and give the Caley back four some trouble – rather than just the one striker as Deila played. With two strikers, it would have seen the Caley full backs possibly stopped from driving forward at every opportunity.
We have played Caley twice in a week with no victory, a game at Hampden should be like a home tie for Celtic but we never took advantage of this. Maybe the players thought a goal or two was enough to win a game?
The referee had a poor game missing two penalties, a red card and then booked the wrong player with help from the Caley players – who did more to help the referee than the AAR.
On that penalty decision, as the ball breaks wide to Griffiths to head the ball towards goal it definitely struck Meekings’ hand. The AAR had a foot on the pitch to get a better view and with the referee having a great view also – despite a clear and unobstructed view of the incident – neither the AAR nor the referee awarded a penalty and no red card either. No hand signals from the referee either to motion that it struck the players head either despite some coming to the conclusion that he may have thought the ball struck the Caley player’s head.
The Celtic players claimed for a penalty while the ball was still in play, the closest player to the incident was Commons who chased after the ref faster than he has chased an opposing player all season. He continued his protests after the half time whistle as the officials left the field at the break.
The man closest to the incident Alan Muir, the AAR, was walking behind or hiding behind the rest of the officials and who can blame him after that gaffe.
So the two outcomes we can come up with are:
1) The referee never seen the incident – sorry but that is not acceptable
2) He chose not to give a penalty? Why not? Well that is one question you will need to ask the referee or wait for a statement from the Scottish FA if one is ever made.
Celtic had very few players worthy of a pass mark, in my opinion, Brown was the best of the bunch. Now that doesn’t mean we weren’t good enough to win, we were not at our best yesterday but we should be allowed to win a tight game fairly and expect the referee to do his job – that is all we want. Fair and consistent refereeing, but until we get that it is up to the Celtic board, to stand up for its fans, the club and their players.