A WARM welcome once again to FEEDBACK FRIDAY, our new column that welcomes the fans’ views, frank or frivolous, candid or controversial, blunt or brutal, as you let off steam with your observations, comments and opinions.
The weekend starts here, so let’s see what has been interesting, intriguing or even irking Scotzine readers.
Strap yourself in, please, we’re in for a bumpy ride.
Okay, first up is David Donaldson who states: “I keep reading stories about ‘Sinclair Mystery’ at Celtic when it’s clear he is not playing because Neil Lennon doesn’t fancy him. End of story. No mystery.”
Ed answers: It’s a mystery, David, that you don’t think it’s a mystery that a player who scored 61 goals and was involved in nine trophy successes in his first three years at the club has not been been involved in a starting line-up this season. And I think it is a bit puzzling he gets a place on the subs’ bench and is very rarely given game-time. He’ll walk away for free in the summer.
Claire Wilson got in touch to say: “Did John Beaton really apologise to Steven Gerrard for not awarding them a penalty-kick against Aberdeen at Pittodrie in midweek? I find that quite astounding.
“It was hardly a stick-on spot-kick and, remember, it was Alfredo Morelos who went down. The Rangers striker seems to fall over at the merest hint off a gust of wind.
“Gerrard reckoned it was a ‘blatant’ penalty-kick. Did he think the four his team were gifted against St Mirren last season by Andrew Dallas were all ‘blatant’ penalty-kicks, too? One, as I seem to recall, wasn’t even inside the box when the so-called infringement took place. It can’t be all one way traffic in this game, Mr G. Get used to it or get out of the dug-out.”
Ed answers: Do you see Gerrard cosying up to Chris Sutton on the BT Sports sofa in the future, Claire? Football’s version of The Odd Couple?
Willie McArthur makes a tongue-in-cheek comment with: “I was utterly distraught James Tavernier was not allowed to take a penalty-kick against Aberdeen. What on earth was the referee thinking about?
“The Rangers skipper has only been handed a mere eight awards in the recent past. Playing against the Dons saves Tavernier getting involved in penalty practice at training.”
Ed answers: Possibly one over the eight wasn’t on in this occasion, Willie.
Still on the penalty-kick incident, Alfie Thomas says: “If all the referees who didn’t award spot-kicks to Celtic lined up to apologise to Neil Lennon there would be a queue all the way down Kerrydale Street.
“We could start with Kevin Clancy and his ludicrous decisions to overlook two stonewallers in the draw at Hibs.
“Ryan Christie being hacked from behind was bad enough, but the assault on Moritz Bauer was something you would expect to see in WWF Wrestiling.”
Ed answers: It would appear the poor old match officials are always on the spot.
SPOT OFF…referee Kevin Clancy tells Ryan Christie he is not getting a penalty-kick against Hibs.
Alana Simpson asks us: “What on earth is Chris Sutton playing at? He calls James Tavernier a ‘serial loser’. Okay, the Rangers captain hasn’t actually won any worthwhile silverware, but he’s not alone in that fact.
“Celtic have dominated over the past three years, so does that make all the other players outside Parkhead serial losers, too?
“If Tavernier needed fired up before Sunday’s Cup Final, Sutton, in his infinite wisdom, has just handed him the motivation on a plate.”
Ed answers: It’s not like Big Chris to say something controversial, is it, Alana? The guy does seem to enjoy a headline or two.
Charlie Berlow is not a happy man. “I read two or three match reports from the Aberdeen v Rangers game on Wednesday and they were about Steven Gerrard’s men throwing away a two goal lead and having to be satisfied with a 2-2 draw.
“Where was the praise for Derek McInnes’ team? They got up off the floor after being outplayed for 30 minutes and put in a good shift that would have earned them three points if Sam Cosgrove hadn’t missed with a header from practically under the crossbar.
“A lot had been made of the fact the Dons had been walloped by Celtic, 4-0 up here, and 5-0 by Gers in Glasgow. Fair enough, the team was brutal on these two occasions and deserved all they got.
“But credit where credit is due – the Dons deserve praise for their fighting qualities on this occasion.”
Ed answers: Yes, I agree. Aberdeen took a pummelling inside that opening half-hour, but found it within themselves to answer their critics. Let’s see them build on this performance for the good of Scottish football.
“Anybody got a clue what’s happening at Hearts?” enquires Jimmy Smith. “They fired Craig Levein – deservedly, in my opinion – before the League Cup semi-final against Rangers last month and we’re still waiting for a replacement.
“I remember when being manager at Tynecastle was a prestigious position.”
Ed answers: You’ve got a good memory, Jimmy.
Also on the Jambos hot-seat theme, Mary Milne says: “The sooner the new manager is in place, the better for everyone at Hearts and Austin MacPhee can get back to the serious business of playing lead guitar with Deep Purple.”
Ed answers: Hair-raising stuff, Mary.
* Well, folks, time has beaten us for another week. Thank you once again for your shrewd observations. Please ktc and ktc – keep them coming and keep them clean – and we’ll use the best of them in FEEDBACK FRIDAY. As ever, enjoyable spending time in your company. Thanks for your support and have a wonderful weekend wherever the action may take you. See you the same place next week!
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