Posted on Saturday, 17th March 2012 by lordofthewing
It’s a cup final. That’s always a great start. In reality this is only one of 3 trophies that we can win when this whole ruse kicks off in July/August. I understood the disdain that some have for it when we were treated to the notion of being a credible European team after Xmas but, hey, that’s just a target written on the white board of our CEO’s office.
We learned to enjoy cup finals last season again. Anyone can have a member number but enjoying the perks of that number is something that some thought came as a given in the welcome pack and not an added extra dependant on factors that you have no control over.
This is a competition that has more name changes than a deed poll sees on a daily basis. From Bells to Skol to Coca Cola to CIS to Co-Op to the now Communities Cup (SFL were bailed out by the SNP in a populist vote winning decision after any credible sponsor wasn’t found) it’s the rogue of Scottish football unloved by the masses and kicked by the press.
Yes, if we win it we will hear the allegations that it’s only the Diddy Cup (allegations made on this very vital organ). But………it will see us reach 27 games domestically unbeaten and win the first trophy of the season, Neil Lennon’s first League Cup (in a very difficult week for him) and with our opponents being the mob that nearly delivered a fatal blow then there is a feeling of full circle about this and that it’s so much more than just a cup final.
Plus, the last time we faced Killie in a League Cup final was on 18th March 2001. Both teams wore their change kit (I would rather we were in yellow tomorrow), Chris Sutton got sent off and we won 3-0 with a hat-trick from a certain H Larsson.
We have a troubled relationship with the League Cup. 14 losing finals with the record for 4 straight final defeats. We also hold the most consecutive wins with 5 and did reach 14 finals in a row losing 8 winning 6. It’s a like going the supermarket and lifting someone else’s shopping.
Plus greats such as Partick Thistle, Dundee & Raith Rovers have defeated us in past sure things.
The Marnocks have appeared in 5 finals and have lost them all. They will be waking up tomorrow opening cans thinking that today is there day.
And it could be….really could be as our manager worried me last week with a team selection that unbalance and lended to the lack of rhythm. It was a selection that I thought was consigned to the confidential waste.
Our manager should only HAVE two big decisions to make which effect 6 players. He must return Wilson to CB (Mulgrew to LB) and who out of Hooper, Stokes, Sammy & Forrest get the three attacking spots available. Off course that’s if and this shouldn’t be if his midfield 3 are Broonie, Victor and Ledders.
Between them this season Forrest, Hooper and Stokes have scored 7 out of our 9 goals in this cup (the others were scored by Broonie and a Og).
They deserve to start. Here’s my team.
The Marnocks are worthy finalists who haven’t lost a goal on the way to the final and they are managed by a new breed of manager who tries to play the game the RIGHT way. As he has admitted they won’t try to kick us off the park.
He is a strange one Kenny Sheils. Blunt and honest, which is refreshing but his interviews sound like an alcoholic at an AA meeting meets a Rev I Am Jolly New Year address. He admits that Celtic should win the game and the treble. Hardly a rousing battle cry.
Since they beat Ayr United in the semi the usual job done approach to work that seems to engulf after such a momentous achievement (first cup final in 5 years) as they have struggled to find goals and victories. There only victory came at the strickened ship that is Ibroke.
That’s a warning enough that they can lift their game.