Tag Archives: Scottish Premier League

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Lennon Moving Too Fast

Neil Lennon wore the Celtic jersey with pride, but since becoming the club's manager he's had some major hiccups that could cost him a long-term job. (Coutesy Wikicommons)

By Ryan Fleming

Before Celtic and Neil Lennon were both duly embarrassed in the team’s 2-0 loss to Hearts, where the former Hoops midfielder was ejected, Lennon couldn’t have picked a better time to speak out about the possibility of a contract extension. But now, amid the fans, the poor result and the “poppy controversy,” the possibility of Lennon becoming extended seems more laughable than probable.

“Obviously it was a bit of a gamble for the club to put me in charge with relatively little managerial experience so I am grateful to them for that,” he said to Soccernet.com. “But, as long as we keep making progress, I know when the time will come and, hopefully, they will come to me instead of me going to them.”

Lennon’s inexperience has started to show.

In the team’s 2-0 loss to Hearts, the club played the majority of the second half with only one central midfielder – basically fielding a 4-1-5, if you can believe that. After Joe Ledley’s straight red, Lennon then substituted the in-form Anthony Stokes for Niall McGinn, rather than taking off the out-of-form and out-of-place Georgios Samaras. Surely, it’s been only two minor flaws in what has to be said is a sterling league record – only losing two league games since he handled the helm of the club in a temporary position in March.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Celtic F.C. and Politics Colide Again; Should Fans Have the Right to Protest

Dr. John Reid, chairman for Celtic F.C., has been adamant he does not support but condones the protests of the Remembrance Day poppies by some Celtic fans. The Chairman told the Glasgow Evening Times, "These actions have no place at Celtic Park.” (Courtesy Steve Punter/Wikicommons)

By Ryan Fleming

It has long been established that soccer is not merely a game. It is indeed much more. Beyond the ball, the formations and tactics, there is something infinitely important that plays out over 90 minutes on the field. To some people, countries, soccer is a way to express oneself, to show to everyone that even through a sport, they can succeed.

For a little over an hour and a half, a battle – not just a game is being played. To many people, a club can represent a lifestyle – a place where hope can be instilled, where religious beliefs lie and where political allegiances can be seen throughout stadiums.

This weekend through the UK and other commonwealth countries, is known as Remembrance Day; a day to reflect on veterans of all wars, particularly since World War I.

For many they are giving their thanks for their countrymen that fought against other countries for an array of reasons. If you have watched any matches as of late, you will notice that managers have worn a poppy on the outside of their clothing, a symbol of remembrance. For those in politically charged areas, it is acts like this that can cause controversy.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Celtic's Old Firm Loss Raises Questions

Ibrox wasn't a welcoming site for Neil Lennon and Celtic last weekend for the Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers. Celtic lost 3-1 thanks to Kenny Miller's second half brace. (Courtesy Thomas Nugent )

By Ryan Fleming

It’s not the end of the world. Hope still remains that the top of the table can become Celtic’s come the end of the year. But Sunday morning’s 3-1 loss to their cross-town rival, Glasgow Rangers, once again raises questions for those who support Celtic.

Coming into this year the Hoops hired Neil Lennon, a former defensive midfielder and fan favorite, to take the post previously vacated by the sacking of Tony Mowbray. The Northern Irishman held the post for the back end of last season’s campaign, posting a spotless record in league competition.

Until now, Lennon completed little of what has been asked of him. SC Braga knocked the Hoops out of the Champions League and FC Utrecht humiliated the club out of the Europa League.

The loss to Gers at Celtic Park on Saturday capitalized all the questions surrounding the young, inexperienced manager. While those questions fade when the team is doing well, they are more apparent than ever when the Hoops fumble.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,