Peak Fitba Watch | A Cynical Celtic View

To be honest, I wasn’t sure there was going to be enough comedy gold to mine in Scottish football media on a weekly basis. But when Michael, a Rangers fan from Aviemore, called Clyde SSB a couple of nights ago and addressed the panel of Jim Duffy and Mark Guidi as ‘Michael’, I thought to myself: ‘ah, Scottish fitba…’

But that is jumping too far ahead of this week in review, a week that gave us such delights as:

  • Stevie G not blaming his players at all
  • Barry Ferguson taking over Kelty Hearts
  • Stevie G absolutely not blaming all those bad results on the players he bought
  • ‘Balls-gate’
  • Stevie G protecting his players from all-comers. He’s taking responsibility for all his shite players, OK?
  • Neil Lennon being attacked at Tynecastle in a way Stevie G never would come at his players.


Aberdeen tragically stop Rangers doing the treble

On Sunday, Aberdeen had the sheer gall to get in Steven Gerrard’s way of world domination. He was not a happy chappy, but the one thing he definitely refused to do, was blaming his players:

‘I don’t think anyone has played bad [sic] today, but as a team, as a group, we had a serious lack of quality, and we’ve played two 90 mins and we haven’t created a single chance, so we’ve got ourselves to blame.’

If you didn’t catch that: No one played badly. Except the team, as a group.  They only have themselves to blame. For not playing bad…ly. But the players were fine. But not as a group. OK?

Joe Worral was equally as coherent with his aftermath pontification:

‘It was a massive opportunity to get to his first cup final as a boss, and he is not in it and neither are we. Collectively as a team, and individually, it would have been my first cup final too so I am a little bit miffed that we aren’t in this one.’

In summary, Rangers are not in the final, neither is the Rangers manager nor the Rangers centre-back. Don’t worry Joe, as a 21-year-old playing on loan to Rangers from Nottingham Forest, I am sure you will have plenty of big cup finals in your future.

The Scottish media also wanted to have their say on the tragic events at Hampden (and so close to Remembrance Day as well!) and the Daily Record used the modern technology of a video camera and a sofa to platform the radical thinker, Keith Jackson:

‘The essence of management: if you think you have a lesser hand than your opponent, you’ve got to come up with it,’ remarked Keith, as he slurped on his mug of coffee. Or perhaps cider.

Opposite Keith sat ‘the presenter’, Fraser Wilson, a chookter with the kinda voice that makes Limmy do that face he does. Fraser has a biro and a piece of scrap paper in his hands, perhaps with his notes on, perhaps with various doodles of penises:

‘It was going to be a tight tactical battle, Keith, and you think that’s where it was won…?’

@tedermeatballs, Keith’s Twitter handle, is on the screen in massive letters. No fucking about. This is football journalism.

(video still: Daily Record)


On the wireless, Alex Rae tells us about physical anatomy:

‘To get outjumped by someone smaller than you is desire.’

Science. Hard… science. Must be why the high jump gold medal at the Olympics is just given to the tallest person that applies. Alex will surely be this column’s most reliable fuel source with his soaring hot takes throughout the season.


Haven’t Kelty Hearts suffered enough?

In the kind of news reserved for the fluff piece section at the end of a TV news report, Barry Ferguson was appointed manager of Lowland League team, Kelty Hearts:

‘He was our number 1 choice,’ Kelty chairman Ian Thomson, ‘’explained’’:

‘Look at me. I wear jeans and trainers, not a flash suit. We don’t talk pish in these parts. We talk how we talk’.

That’s straight talk right there. Jeans and trainers talk, nae flashy suit patter.

Ian Thomson’s jeans and trainers not pictured. Photo: Dunfermline Press

Barry Ferguson will be joined at Kelty by taxi driver, Bob ‘FTP’ Malcolm, who will take on the position of assistant manager:

‘Ferguson is a brilliant [well…] appointment and it’s a pound a windae,’ local window cleaner, Stuart Lowe tells the Daily Record. ‘But tell yir readers to give me a bell and I’ll cut them a deal for 80p.’

It’s not apparent why the journalist chose to write the article in Scots dialect, but it certainly did make me feel that Kelty was a warm and fuzzy place.

This warm and fuzzy image is quickly destroyed by supporter Barry Gibson who contends that: ‘if Barry Ferguson wins us the Lowland League this season, I’ll bend down and kiss his ass.’

I dunno what it is, but the ‘I’ll bend down’ bit is wonderfully/dreadfully visual.


Eboue’s junk

Ballsgate is the most recent in the ‘gate’ series and was always going to cause some scenes in Scottish fitba. For those of you that missed it, Hearts ‘’striker’’ Steven Maclean cupped Celtic’s Eboue’s cock and balls with his hand. Maclean was quick to laugh it off:

‘Jeez, if I went down every time a centre-half did that to me I’d be on my backside all day.’

Again… the visual.

But the rest of Scottish football was not taking the situation so lightly, and that hotbed of rational discourse and enlightened debating practices that is the Record Hotlline reacting in a familiar restrained tone:

‘What Maclean did was disgusting,’ a James Campbell stated calmly.

‘The lad is either out of control or has a problem,’ concluded one of the Fraser Davidsons with sincere concern.

Dunky (Yes, the one and only Dunky) Robertson offered a measured solution:

‘He should be done for sexual assault and should be on the sex offenders register.’

‘Let’s hope the lad doesn’t need medical attention in the future for any damage done as it can take a while to show up,’ voiced a weirdly concerned Brian Mitchell.

At least someone is thinking of the children (Eboue’s future ones, that is ).

(Photo: SNS Group)


Sportsound take on depression

BBC Scotland’s flagship football show decided to take on the serious topic of depression following the horrible news of Christian Nade’s suicidal episode. And to take on such a serious issue, they brought in some serious people, namely Kris Commons and John Hughes.

‘You wouldn’t want to bump into him on a dark night, it just shows you with the mental health issues,’ said Hughes, possibly trying to convey how it doesn’t matter how big and strong you are when depression hits, but doing so in a ham-fisted way.

‘Mental health is deep in the head, deep in the brain,’ concluded Kris Commons.

Leanna Crichton, the third guest on the show, to her credit, didn’t laugh in either of their faces.


Gerrard’s Helm’s Deep solid defence of his players  

After failing to win for the third time in three games by drawing 1-1 at home to Kilmarnock, Steven Gerrard was quick to protect his embattled players, like he always does.

‘I can sit here and protect them all night and take the blame. If that’s what they want then I will.’

Oh awesome, Stevie. That’s really nice of you.

‘It was a six or seven out of ten.’

Hmm.. okay, yeah 6 or 7 is better than 4 or 5. Thanks, gaffer.

‘They are the ones who have to go out and deliver and they didn’t.’

God, I’m feeling so protected right now. Hold me closer, tiny man.

‘The performance wasn’t good enough.’

Christ, it’s like I have double-bagged it.

‘We were soft.’

Triple. Can’t even feel my penis anymore, that’s how protected I feel.

‘There are other people [than Wes] to point fingers at for the goal.’

We are the people!!!

Stevie G taking responsibility and defending his players.


It’s all your fault, Lennon

Gary Caldwell is back in our lives and don’t we all feel better for it. This week he eased himself back into the Scottish football landscape by victim blaming Neil Lennon for being hit by a coin:

‘He brings it on himself,’ the big man told the BBC.

Now I can’t help thinking about his attitude and wondering where else this should apply. Are Celtic to blame for the amount of games where Gary Caldwell single-handedly went through our chances of winning like a wrecking ball? Maybe that’s where his mind-set is coming from: he remembers how he shat the bed for us in Lisbon and wants to shift the blame on to the victims: all the rest of us. I see what you are doing, Gary. We will always have Lisbon, ya big gobshite.


Misc Madness

This section is reserved for the small nuggets of nonsense from the last week.

Kris Boyd texted(!) the BBC Sportsound show on Monday:

‘Tell the sheep fans I’d have no problem coming on but I’m not allowed. I’m the man to solve their goalscoring problems.’ Fuck up, Kris.

‘I think we can go for the double. We’ve been the best team in the league so far and Celtic and Rangers can’t keep up with us. Yesterday was a minor setback,’ Hearts fan Finlay told the panel on Clyde SSB. Bless you, Fin.

‘Rangers should have kept hold of Kenny Miller. He would have put in 110 per cent and given the side an option upfront on Sunday.’ Jock Gray on the Record Hotline, who always gives a 120% yer da take when he phones in.

And finally, on the Clyde SSB Pundit Quiz the panellists Alex Rae and Hugh Keevins were asked to name 10 British clubs with body parts in their names.

Body parts.

In the names.

The name of a body part.

In the name of the football club.

Mastermind Rae stepped up: ‘Cowdenbeath’

His reasoning? Rhymes with teeth. Stick to the science, Alex…


Graeme is a Celtic fan living in Bayern. He was the original bum on seat 1, row S, section 113 and stayed there for 11 seasons. He now contents himself with Celtic TV. He was one half of History Bhoys Abroad and has a background in journalism. Tom Rogic completes him. He can be found on twitter under @PodestrianG

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