Three to One

When I came out of Mass this morning, the usual crowd of Celtic fans came over and gave me their views on Saturday’s performance. What they said rather surprised me. Oh! there were a few who thought the team had played quite well against Caley; the majority, though, were not convinced by the showing and were of the opinion that the ordering-off had played a major part in the outcome of the match.

Now, I happen to agree with the latter view. In situations like that, I always try to put myself into the shoes of the offending player and try to assess just what I would have felt at the time. Frankly, at the weekend, I would have been raging if I had been ordered off for something as negligible as that touch on our player’s face. It might have merited a yellow (I would still have been complaining about that) but a red card was a very harsh decision…..and it did make a considerable difference to the outcome of the match.

However, there are times to be pragmatic about a situation. There have been times in the past when we have all felt that decisions have gone against us and I have no doubt that before the end of the season, we will be hit by what we all call the adverse moments, times when the officials seem to be totally biased towards the other side. So, if a decision seems to go our way in a match – and I think that definitely happened in Inverness – then we should just accept it and carry on.
It is also important to look at the bigger picture. Few of us would have been excited by the quality of Celtic’s play but the important matter was that we picked up three points while our chief rivals only collected one. Sometimes results are more important than the performance. And we were not the only club to demonstrate that on Saturday. Most analysts assumed that, even at home, Swansea would struggle to contain Manchester United in a Premiership league match. In the end, Man U did pick up all three points but only after a pretty dire performance. In the race for the league title, though, the three points gained by Man U was, for them, the most important aspect of the game.

As for Celtic, they now lie ten points behind Rangers, with the chance on Wednesday to pull that back to seven when the Hoops meet Dunfermline at Parkhead. The Pars are struggling financially – they have just closed one of their stands as a cost-cutting exercise – and on the field of play, have only won three matches out of fourteen in the league campaign. It looks as though they are there for the taking; surely Celtic will take advantage of that.

Jim Craig

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2 thoughts on “Three to One

  1. Agree with Jim

    red card decision definitely helped us break Caley down second half,
    but the first goal may well have happened anyway, it was a slick move
    that ripped them apart.

    Samaras did make a meal of the elbow to a certain degree, but finger
    in eye would be sore I’m sure. Like eye gouging in rugby!
    But its still another example showing the ineptitude of scottish
    refereeing standards, but no doubt it will be highlighted as Celtic
    bias, and be everymore an example of ‘balance’ of decisions over a
    season.  What won’t be mentioned is his failure to get another few
    decisions right, such as the booking for taking out Forrest second
    half, and a red for Shinnie’s lunge on McCourt that was a leg
    breaker.

    Wanyama was immense centre half, played it out of defence well too.
    Stokes missed a few before he scored, but what a finish for the
    second.
    Ki was a better impact sub than McCourt?!
    Ledley solid as ever, and played 3 positions in all.
    Keeper did well under the high ball, and great save first half from
    Foran.
    Hooper and Forrest showed great link up play.
    El Kaddouri cannot play again please, he is so badly exposed it is
    unreal. Hope Mulgrew back, if not has to be Ledley, as Matthews has to
    play right back as no other cover!

    Roll on 3 pts wed night

    @JoeRotherham

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