Tag Archives: Celtic

Rangers downfall hurts Celtic and SPL

 Ryan Fleming

Glasgow, well at least, part of it was in party mode earlier this weekend when Glasgow Rangers announced the club was going into administration, thereby essentially handing Celtic the title. Yes, without thinking, I would have been partying too. But the struggle of Rangers to keep money in their pockets does more harm than good to Celtic and the Scottish Premier League as a whole.

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Celtic making offseason moves to overtake Rangers

By Ryan Fleming

With a fresh, new outlook coming into the 2011-2012 season, Celtic, and newly extended manager Neil Lennon, are looking for new talent to boost them on top of the Scottish Premier League.

Finishing a mere one point behind crosstown rival Rangers was certainly a disheartening way to close out the previous season. But after Lennon signed an extension just weeks ago, and Celtic threatening to make their first signing of the transfer window, the Hoops are showing signs of finally having their pieces in the right places.

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SPL Focus in wrong place

By Ryan Fleming

When does enough become enough?

That is the definite question that Celtic manager Neil Lennon, assistant coach Johan Mjallby and chairman John Reid need to answer. After numerous bomb threats, arrests made outside Celtic Park and now physically assaulted at Tynecastle in his team’s 3-0 win over Hearts Wednesday, Neil Lennon might finally say he has had enough. And no one could blame him.

The saddest and most pathetic part about the saga is the fact that none of this should have happened. The status of the game in the Scottish Premier League is certainly the lowest it has ever been. The casual fan, even the most avid fan wouldn’t be blamed if they wanted to state that what’s going on in Scotland isn’t even soccer at all. Truth is, they’re right.

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Emptying out the top-drawer; thoughts on soccer world March 2011

By Kevin Koczwara

This will be a monthly column, I hope, where I dump out the random thoughts I have accrued over the last month. These thoughts are the ones I’ve tried to write columns about and have failed to materialize into anything tangible or readable.

Let’s begin with Arsenal.

Arsenal boggle the mind. The Gunners lose to Birmingham City in the League Cup final on one of the year’s most laughable goals. Then they go on and smash Leyton Orient in what should have been an unneeded FA Cup replay, 5-0, and Nicklas Bendtner scores a hat-trick. Why is the thrashing of Orient a surprise? Well, Bendtner scored a hat-trick. That’s why. It’s an absolute shock he can put together three goals in one game at times. He fumbles over his feet, misplaces passes more often Jake Delhomme, and he isn’t very good int he air despite his height.

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Quick thoughts on Scottish Cup melee

By Ryan Fleming

There are times when derbies become dull, rather apathetic — never living up to their expectations. Then, there are others that absolutely rejuvenate a rivalry. In yesterday’s Old Firm derby, the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, Celtic came out on top again, 1-0, but not before both teams showed that their dislike for each other is stronger than ever.

This game highlighted a few things.

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Lennon must hold on to budding stars for Celtic to succeed in future

Scott Brown has really begun to establish himself as a true leader of Celtic since Neil Lennon's appointment at the end of last season. (Courtesy M. Jeremy Goldman)

By Ryan Fleming

It was almost with unconcerned ease. Neil Lennon’s Celtic, in one game, the 3-0 win over Rangers, almost forced out the miserable memories of the last couple years. In his time at Celtic Park, he brought out the trash and brought in some talent. With the club’s success comes recognition from other team’s and their managers. There are some members on Celtic — like Gary Hooper, Biram Kayal and Emilio Izaguirre — that now find themselves on the radars of top teams.

This is my message to you Lennon: you must not sell.

After the 3-0 emphatic thrashing of Rangers early Sunday morning, Celtic now has its destiny in its hands, with an eight-point lead in the league and two games in hand. The future of the Glasgow club looks big and bright with the new acquisitions. Lennon has also gotten the very best out of Scott Brown, a player that could easily, and almost certainly could be hailed as a bust or overrated. Brown is finally looking like a captain and is acting like one. Brown actually has the players around him playing better and bossing around the midfield with Kayal and Joe Ledley, who joined on a free transfer from Cardiff City as his usual partners.

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Old Firm clash to decide Scottish Premier League

By Ryan Fleming

It made me laugh. It really did.

About a month ago there claimed to be a three-team race for the SPL title. That dream or apparition was immediately squashed the next weekend when Neil Lennon’s Celtic quickly silenced Hearts, 4-0, and seemingly laughed at the prospect of another title challenger. It was the now injured James Forrest strike within three minutes, followed by a double by Anthony Stokes and another thank-you-very-much by Patrick McCourt.

Since then, the Hoops have been nearly invincible, playing to a 3-0-1 record, including a 2-2 tie to Rangers two weeks ago. This weekend the two teams meet again in what will be the season for either team.

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Neil Lennon leading Celtic to the top of the SPL despite doubters

By Ryan Fleming

There were times in the last several months where the appointment of Neil Lennon as the manager of Celtic FC were questioned, even debated. From getting embarrassed out of the European play to making some curious transfer choices, the Northern Irishman’s time at Celtic Park has been questioned. Now, five points ahead of Rangers, with two games in hand, Lennon is coming into the three most important weeks of his reign as the manager of Celtic while finally having approval of club’s faithful.

This Saturday in a special third out of five Old Firm derbies, Celtic take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final. Not only is winning the final obviously important to Lennon’s popularity amongst the Celtic faithful, but it will also prove that the club’s former midfielder is up to monumental games – situations where Lennon has limped out of in the past. Lest not forget crashing out of not only the Champions League, but the Europa League in equally astonishing fashion.

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Georgios Samaras breaks out against Rangers, but Celtic needs more from the Greek

Georgios Samaras scored Celtic's two goals on Sunday in the club's important win over cross-town rivals Rangers. Samaras has disappointed for much of his time in Glassgow, but at times he breaks out and shows just what he is capable of. (Courtesy Football-Wallpapers.org)

By Ryan Fleming

In every sport there are players that seem to turn on the charm, or play to their ability whenever they feel like it. In Celtic’s 2-0 win over cross-town rival Rangers Sunday afternoon, Georgios Samaras proved once again that he continues to fall under that list.

Nothing frustrates supporters, managers and board members more than players like the lanky Greek international. When Samaras takes the field, no one knows what to expect. This offseason, Samaras played arguably better than any player to don the Hoops. Celtic manager Neil Lennon praised his long-haired forward, giving him his utmost confidence in continuing his impressive run.

In typical fashion, the fun ended as quickly as it started. Samaras quickly morphed into his lethargic self, seldom making runs, making atrocious first touches and failing to find the back of the net so often it was as if opponent’s asked him to do so before the game.

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Ljundberg signing exemplifies Celtic's recent struggles

Freddie Ljundberg could find his way out of the MLS after two forgettable seasons with a move to Scottish Premier League team Celtic. (Courtesy John Goodwin)

By Ryan Fleming

For the last two years things around Parkhead, in Glasgow, Scotland, have been a period to forget for the Celtic faithful – save for the loan spell of Robbie Keane.

An utterly dismal time during the reign of Tony Mowbray, capitalized by a boatload of useless signings that his successor, Neil Lennon, shipped out were of the lowest points.

Lennon followed up by picking up some “talent” whose purpose was to ascertain the team’s place in the Champions League or Europa League. Well, guess not. Celtic crashed, fumbled, or however you want to describe it, out of all European play.

Now with less than a week before the opening of the January transfer window, and Celtic are on the path again for more pointless signings. Signs, at least to the fans stand points are all pointing down.

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