Peak Fitba Watch | Celtic Eyes on the Scottish Football Media

Eck The Magnificent

Celtic have beaten Barcelona a few times in recent history. Leicester City won the English Premier League. And in scenes just as astonishing Scotland beat Albania and Israel. Yes, it was hard to escape news of our boys’ famous and legendary victories this week.

Let’s commemorate these epic feats: Scotland scraped (utterly scraped) past Israel, the 91st nation in FIFA rankings and a team that had only avoided away defeat once in the last two years. Against Liechtenstein…

They also managed to pump ten man Albania, the 60th best nation and a team that had only won twice at home in the last two years, once against Israel and once against… go on, guess… yeah… Liechtenstein. In that period Albania had also lost 3-0 at home to Kosovo and drew 0-0 with Jordan.

It was a time to regroup: admit that we have a long way to go and be thankful that we managed to get out of a group where we definitely should have got full points.

It was a time to be humble, hopeful for the future, but reticent of the fact that we were still not very good at football and that we had to change things going forward.

With this in mind, ex-players (so often the standard bearers of common sense and measured takes on social media) were first to offer their constructive feedback: ‘Square pegs in round holes. Players couldn’t be bothered to turn up. McLeish not the man for the job. Opposition aren’t great. 9 points from 12 isn’t a bad return in the face of adversity. Well done Scotland and well done big Eck,” tweeted Stephen Craigan.

Wait, what? Isn’t the reason we started playing at least mildly better down to the fact that Eck was forced to put players in their true positions? He got rid of the square pegs in round holes because he had no other choice. Years of being owned by Chris Sutton on BT Sports has messed with Craigan’s head it seems.

I assumed this would be an anomaly of a terrible take and moved on with my life.

(True, Alex Rae decided criticism of the appointment of a manager whose only coaching experience in four years had been two full months in the Egyptian league was ‘fake new’ but then that was Alex Rae. It doesn’t count.)

Until, of course, Tam McManus got in on the act. Eck’s lap dog was quick to say: ‘I told ye so’ to any and all comers when responding to Craigan’s tweets:

‘He’s a dinosaur though Crags. Yesterday’s man. Washed up. Players don’t want to play for him. Two more games and he his (sic) perfectly entitled to give the critics who slaughtered him before a competitive ball was kicked a massive middle finger. Thankfully he actually knows what he’s doing.’

‘Thankfully’? No, no, no Tam, you meant ‘hopefully.’ You get the impression that Tam and Stephen would be exactly the type of soldier to stick their heads above the trench because there had not been a shot fired in two seconds. Perhaps hold off a bit, lads, eh?

But Tam wasn’t done there. Blood was in the water and McManus loves bloody water. So much so that he even retweeted Oor Christian, adding only an ‘L’ to the tweet, which could mean only one thing: he was calling Oor Christian a lesbian. A pretty bizarre accusation, but it’s a free country.

This prompted Neil Cameron to wade into the Scottish football media swamp. Not one to miss the opportunity to cosy up to possible football friends, Neil was out again to take the side of whoever had the more footballing legitimacy in the argument. McManus versus Wulff was only going to go one way as far as Cameron was concerned and it was not going to fall in Oor Lesbian’s favour. Therefore, he went all in on McManus bum kissing:

‘He’s a troll. Saying contrary stuff because he doesn’t have a personality,’ he tweeted. And that crosses a line, Mr Cameron. True, Christian may not have a personality, but he is no troll. He may be a Norwegian dullard, but he’s Oor Lesbian.


Kriss Kross Korner

If the fat mess (oh sorry, to clarify: Kris Commons) was feeling any criticism aimed at him over the reaction to SKY TV besting BT for the SPFL rights, he wasn’t showing it. He wasn’t toning down his nonsense; he wasn’t making himself more likeable or interesting. He was just continuing on as the moronic no mark we all know and… know.  This culminated in his bizarre (and bitter-sounding) comments regarding James Forrest:

‘We’re still in November but it’s his consistency that stops James Forrest going into that next level, in the brackets of a Premier League club in England, because of the lack of goals that he scores.

‘I don’t think you can play in that sort of position, just in behind or just wide when you are meant to be that creative midfielder, the goalscorer.

‘I don’t think you can go and get a multi-million pound move down south if you don’t get double figures.’

He got 17 goals in all competitions last season, ya spluttering, incoherent, bell-end.

The BBC Sportsound podcast wrapped up this section by Kenny Miller inexplicably suggesting a recall for Alan Hutton and then Kris Commons showing an astonishing lack of self-awareness. Even more astonishing than usual:

‘One thing that’s very important: you know when you are leaving players out of a squad, you need to have a good reaction from them cos they’re some people that would be a bad egg, not quite training correctly, not applying themselves properly.’

I bet Kris Commons smells like bad eggs. Molde: never forget.


A few of Steven Gerrard’s favourite things

‘France are the world champions. There’s physical power, but the game is also fast and technical. I watch a lot of French games,’ Gerrard told a French publication while promoting his documentary. ‘I like PSG. Paris is my team in France and the owner is also my friend.’

You like PSG, do you Stevie?

Citizen Kane your favourite film, followed closely by Titanic?

Flora your favourite margarine?

Kleenex your favourite aid for ‘preparing’?

McVities your favourite biscuit?

A sly declaration of new classic status slipped into a list of old safe ones. Couldn´t you be any more obvious than that, Stevie? How about, uh , l don´t know, the Beatles? How about fucking… fucking Beethoven? Track one, side one of the Fifth Symphony. How can someone who has no interest in music own a record store?!?!?!

Wait, what?

Ibrox Vinyl, Monday morning.


Celtic AGM fun

A selection of moments from our recent meeting:

Question: can Rod Stewart pay for the hotel and museum?

Comment: Not putting all blame on GB but drums and megaphones bring the beat for these unsavoury songs (Gloria Estefan was right: the rhythm IS going to get you signing rebs)

Comment: No player since Roy Aitken has been able to take a shy (but here, have you seen our recent corners?)


Fuck Kinnell

Usually hotline comments find their way to the ‘misc madness’ section, but this is a long one and I really wanted to use the above headline.

‘I wonder how many of the Premiership teams will be thanking Rangers for their survival, how much of the money created by the new Sky deal will help a number of teams make ends meet for the foreseeable future?

‘Rangers may have the biggest debt and have suffered the largest losses in Scottish football in recent times but the acquisition of Stevie Gerrard has not only put Rangers and Scottish football back on the map, it’s ensured the survival of several clubs for years to come. Who’d have thought Glasgow Rangers would still be giving a helping hand to so many for so long?’

Neil Kinnell, Keltybridge.


Misc madness

The intellect of Joe Worral has been widely discussed in this here website and he managed to get more column inches this week when discussing Stevie G: ‘He is firm but gets his arm around you when you need a cuddle.’

Bless. A wee cuddle.

‘For a manager to play for he’s the complete package – someone English who is a good communicator.’

Joe Worral’s Complete Package:

  • English: Tick
  • Can communicate: Tick
  • Can communicate in English: Tick

Remember, that’s THE COMPLETE PACKAGE. No wonder Brexit happened.

‘But this is a massive club, a world famous club. It’s the most successful club, so I couldn’t think of anywhere better to play football. It can be hard to explain to people,’ said Gareth McAuley. I imagine explaining how Rangers are the most successful club would be really fucking difficult, Gareth.

When you think you’ve spotted the complete package, but he is Welsh.

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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