Tag Archives: Gary Hooper

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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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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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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Celtic Deserved Win Over Dundee United Despite Referee's Decision

Dundee United were unable to hold onto a 1-1 draw with Celtic at Tannadice Stadium this past weekend despite a controversial decision by the referee. Courtesy Benson85

By Ryan Fleming

It wouldn’t have been right. An injustice would have been done. But before Gary Hooper scored his second goal of a 2-1 win over Dundee United on Sunday at Tannadice, it seemed as if the Hoops were headed back to Celtic Park feeling gutted, cheated.

“It was one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been in charge of the team in terms of attacking, quality football,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon told soccernet.com. “I’m very proud of the team, and despite a very controversial decision going against us, they never let their heads go down, we kept creating chances and we got what we deserved.”

Referee Dougie McDonald’s controversial call saw Hooper denied a penalty with his team even to United, 1-1, in the 69th minute. The former Scunthrope striker clashed with Dundee keeper, Dusan Pernis. McDonald awarded the penalty immediately, but to overturn his own decision minutes after conferring with assistant Steven Craven.

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