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FEEDBACK FRIDAY: ALARMING TREND AT CELTIC, DON’T GLOAT, HOOPS FANS, LAY OFF STEVIE G, FORTY QUID MORELOS

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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.

Old friend Paddy the Maddy is first up with an interesting observation. “I’ve watched Celtic’s last three midweek games – FC Copenhagen (twice) and Livingston – and I have spotted an alarming trend in Neil Lennon’s team. By my reckoning, there have been eight shots on target against them in these outings. Remarkably, that has resulted in the loss of six goals.

“The Danes scored four with five attempts at Fraser Forster’s goal – the other was the penalty-kick saved by the Hoops keeper – and Livi had three shots in midweek with the goalie saving one, a low shot from Scott Robinson at his right-hand post.

“That’s not a great success rate from Forster, is it?”

Ed answers: You can’t point the finger at the giant shotstopper, Paddy. Okay, he didn’t look too clever at Livi’s first goal when he would have been better advised to put his fist through the ball when it dropped into the box from the throw-in. That apart, he has done well all season and he made a couple of timely interventions, too, in the 1-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final win at St Johnstone on Sunday.

SAVING GRACE…Fraser Forster warms up for the Livingston game.

David Martin has a warning shot for Celtic with these words of wisdom: “Don’t gloat, Hoops fans, You have been celebrating since midweek and going 13 points ahead in the Premiership, but don’t forget Hamilton Accies also beat Ronny Deila’s team by the same 1-0 scoreline and Celtic went on to win the league that season.

“So, I believe lightning can strike twice. Rangers have 10 games to play and if they win them all they will have picked up 30 points. Okay, it may be a tough ask, but it can be done.

“They played Celtic off the park twice in December, so I don’t think it is unreasonable for them to do the same again when they meet a week on Sunday and the other fixture at Parkhead. There’s six points right there and, naturally, we will win our game in hand against St Johnstone.

“So, don’t write off Steven Gerrard’s boys from getting back on track. Strange things happen in this wonderful game.”

Ed answers: Hmmm, David. I note that even True Blue Ally McCoist is admitting doubts this Rangers team can go on a winning run.

DEJECTED…Steven Gerrard can’t hide his emotion after the Scottish Cup exit.

Fiona Wilson is next up with a stinging retort. “I read the tale in Scotzine with Sam Allardyce criticising Steven Gerrard. Sam who? Is that the bloke who got fired after only one game in charge of England?

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt if he has ever won anything as a manager. And it didn’t take long for Newcastle, among others, to give him the boot.

“Lay off, Stevie G, and let him get on with his job. And, please remember, he is a rookie manager and is learning all the time. He’ll turn things around at Ibrox, just wait and see,”

Ed answers: Patience is a virtue, Fiona. And it is not rife in football. The expectations at Ibrox were high this season, especially with an excellent first half to the campaign. Questions are now being asked.

“What on earth has happened to Alfredo Morelos?” asks James Wheaton. “The guy was on fire in the first half of the season and couldn’t stop scoring goals. He was heading for 30 before the break.

“Now he has scored one measly goal in 2020. Did he leave his shooting boots in Dubai? Something is not right.

“We all cheered when Steven Gerrard announced he wouldn’t accept £40million for him. Now Rangers would be lucky to get forty quid.”

Ed answers: Interesting, James. Keep the day job, I doubt if you would ever make it as an agent. Ten per cent of forty quid won’t go too far.

SEEING RED…Alfredo Morelos is sent off by referee Don Robertson in the game against Motherwell at Fir Park in December.

Still on the Colombian’s case, another old friend, Philip Drysdale, says: “Morelos obviously thinks he is more important than the club and everyone else in it, so he makes his own rules like a spoiled kid. Come selling-time, his value as a team player will determine his true worth.”

Ed answers: One thing that is absolutely certain, Philip, is that it will not be dull around Govan way in the summer.:

“I watched Hamilton Accies win at Ibrox and I was eager to read the match reports in the papers the following day,” says Sandra Thomson. “I didn’t see a word of praise for the visitors. It was all about how bad Rangers were.

“Surely, Wee Accies and their manager, Brian Rice, deserved a lot of praise for the win? Credit where credit is due, please.”

Ed answers: Hard to disagree, Sandra. Accies have only won twice at Ibrox in 94 years, so it does seem fair that they were given a round of applause for their mighty efforts.

And James Tavernier and Connor Goldson have not escaped criticism, either, from irate Gers fans. Willie McTavish says: “Is Tavernier the worst captain in the team’s history?

“The guy is an absolute liability. I always thought it was a good idea for defenders to be able to defend. The art of tackling and covering back is lost on this guy. Get rid!”

Ed answers: A tad harsh, Willie. Admittedly, his form has not been great in 2020 – something you could say about more than a few of his team-mates – but he has been a solid performer over the past three or four years.

Andy Morris turns his ire of centre-back Goldson. ‘This guy thinks he’s Franz Beckenbauer. I reckon he’s more like Frank Spencer.”

Ed answers: Ah, good old Frank Spencer, Andy. Who could forget the accident-prone character from ‘Some Mothers Do Have Them’? Not sure if the Gers centre-half is in that category, but I take your point.

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!
Contact us at: scotzine1@gmail.com
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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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