A WARM welcome to FEEDBACK FRIDAY, our column that invites 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.
Paddy the Maddy is first up to inform us he is a trifle baffled by Celtic this season. “I thought I had detected a flaw in Neil Lennon’s line-up in recent games,” he says. “I watched them against St Johnstone and they were unstoppable in the first-half as they raced to a three-goal interval lead.
“The second-half? Nothing. A big zilch. They rarely threatened to add to the scoreline and were obviously satisfied to hold what they already had. I wondered why. Maybe they were not 100 per cent fit?
“But then I watched them against Hamilton Accies and they were fairly awful in the opening 45 minutes and went in at half-time level at 1-1. In the second-half they went out and scored three times to win 4-1. I reckoned their late goal burst – with three strikes in the last 12 minutes – was due to Accies being a man down for that entire 45 minutes.
MAC THE KNIFE…Callum McGregor smiles after ripping Motherwell to shreds with the third goal in midweek.
“So, the jury was still out on the fitness levels of Lennon’s men. However, I am now totally bewildered after watching them in midweek against Motherwell. They went in at half-time a goal to the good and came out for the second period and ran amok. I have to say that was some of the most scintillating stuff I have seen from any team in this campaign.
“Not only did they score three goals, but they hit the woodwork once and Leigh Griffiths and Olivier Ntcham missed sitters.
“Possibly I might have got it wrong with my belief they weren’t a second-half team”
Ed answers: Looks like you might need a rethink, Paddy. Remember, too, that was Celtic 44th game of the season and they looked like they were motoring all the way through that second 45 minutes.
Still on the Fir Park encounter, Well boss Stephen Robinson was quoted in Scotzine saying Odsonne Edouard was “arguably the best player in the league”.
Philip Drysdale got in touch and, like the elegant Frenchman, went straight for the bull’s-eye: “Let’s be honest, there is no argument.”
Ed answers: I have the sneaky feeling you might be right, Philip. There could be a few Player of the Year awards heading for Edouard’s personal trophy cabinet in May.
HAMILTON HANDBAGS…Leigh Griffiths and Alex Gogic in a swift skirmish.
Tommy Wilson takes the forum to ask: “What are the SFA all about? Celtic and Hamilton in the dock for that handbags episode last weekend? Alex Gogic pushes Leigh Griffiths and he shoves him back. That’s how I recall it. Nothing to see here, move along, please.
“I wouldn’t even call it a stooshie. I’ve been knocked about more when I try to get a pint in at my local boozer when the barman is just about to call for last orders.”
Ed answers: Got to agree, Tommy. Aye, many’s a time I’ve been involved in that last-call jostle. Happy days.
According to Andy Jamieson Celtic’s egos could face a bruising at Broadwood on Sunday. “History is about to repeat itself,” he informs us. “Wee Gordon Strachan came a cropper at Cumbernauld in 2006 Celtic were the Scottish Cup holders, too, as I recall.
“However, that didn’t stop Clyde running amok and winning 2-1. Celtic were trailing 2-0 at half-time and Artur Boruc had bailed them out with a penalty-kick save, as well.
“Roy Keane will never forget his debut for his boyhood idols in Cumbernauld, that’s for sure. Lightning will strike twice, mark my words.”
Ed answers: Everyone remembers the day the Bully Wee became the Wee Bullies, Andy.
SHEER HAGIC…Rangers new boy Ianus Hagi celebrates with Connor Goldson and James Tavernier after the winner against Hibs.
Okay, what’s happening across Glasgow at Ibrox? Well, quite a lot, as a matter of fact.
First up is Gerry Ashwood who says: “Ianus Hagi is the man who will win the title for Rangers. I watched him against Hibs and I thought he was phenomenal.
“Considering he has just arrived from Genk and is playing in a new environment in different surroundings, I thought he was a stand-out.
“He took his goal so well and, of course, that prevented Celtic from going nine points in front. Now Rangers, with Hagi in the team, will win their game in hand and bring it back to four points. And with two derbies still to play, that’s six points in the bag for Stevie G’s boys.
“I would say Ianus Hago is a better player than his dad, the great Romanian Gheorghe.”
Ed answers: Be fair, Gerry, Georghe has just celebrated his 55th birthday.
SPEECHLESS…Alfredo Morelos after a miss.
Graham Armstrong may just have his tongue in his cheek when he delivers this: “What’s the big deal about this Alfredo Morelos interview?
“Okay, something just lost in the translation, but that happens all the time, doesn’t it? To err his human, after all.”
Ed answers: Hmmm, not too sure how to reply to this one, Graham. Something got lost in the translation? Like an entire interview?
James Rankin is still on the Rangers theme and says: “I see Alex McLeish has made it clear that Steven Gerrard needs a trophy to get the Rangers fans onside.
“Now he tells us. Mind you, Big Eck should know. He delivered silverware when he took over from Dick Advocaat, but it still didn’t end well, did it?”
Ed answers: Precarious business, football management. Zero to hero and back again in the blink of an eye. Team bosses know what they are getting into when they take the job.
SHOTSTOPPER SHOCKER…Joel Pereira is Hearts No.1 fall guy.
Sandra McDonald looks to Edinburgh now and tells us: “I’m delighted to read in Scotzine that Hearts keeper Joel Pereira has held up his hands to take the blame for Kilmarnock’s third goal on Wednesday night.
“If he had held up his hands that fast during the game he would have saved the shot. Get him binned and get Craig Gordon in.”
Ed answers: Capital punishment for the keeper, Sandra? Maybe a bit harsh. And you will have to wait for the return of the Celtic stand-by shotstopper. He’s going nowhere until the end of the season.
Last, but certainly not least, Ian Patience takes a pop at Derek McInnes. “I couldn’t believe it when I read it in Scotzine that the Aberdeen manager thought about booing his own players after the 1-0 loss to St Johnstone.
MANAGER MAKES A BOO-BOO…outspoken Derek McInnes.
“If he is going to barrack the Dons players for poor performances then we are going to be listening a lot to ‘Jeer we go…jeer we go‘ from the Pittodrie dug-out for the remainder of the campaign.”
Ed answers: Nice to see you haven’t lost your sense of humour, Ian. A valuable commodity when your team is struggling a tad.
On that cheerful note, folks, I have to admit 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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