Date: 19th January 2012 at 11:45pm
Written by:

The Good

It’s always good going into a game on an unbeaten run, getting important players back from injury and with confidence seeping out of every living, man, women, child, dog, cat and goldfish that has a Celtic bone in it’s body.

Usually, this would see me as pessimistic as a Lib Dem MP at re-election time (which I will be later on but this the time a look at the GOOD) as all runs come to an end but can I see this one coming to an end on Saturday lunchtime?

Naw. There is the hex. Right there. Three little letters.

We have players in form. A manager who is approaching 100 games in charge – with a win rate of 73% – saw us blow a lead last season- in typical circumstances and in typical surroundings – and saw his Mowbray Moment stare and laugh in his face already this season.

We are now top of the league. 33 out of 33 points. We are smoking, Joe.

We have an aggregate score of 8-0 against St Midden this season with Gary Hooper scoring 5 of these goals. He also scored a last minute winner at New St Midden Park last season (after a bit of Paddy magic). Hoops looked sharp last week and as long as his head hasn’t been turned then my lunch money is going on him scoring again. Lennon is also unbeaten against St Midden and they haven’t scored a goal against us with him in charge.

Though it hasn’t always been pretty – see the aforementioned 1-0 slogfest – we have always taken 3 points. What can possibly go wrong?

The Bad

The above is all too good? Where is that train? Is it running a bit late or is that light we are really seeing at the end of a 3 season long tunnel?

St Mirren are a strange lot. In that pack who are looking at the top 6 but are doing their level best not to get into it. Last week’s trip to Swinecastle saw them get royally Skaceled  despite playing against 10 men for 3 quarters of the game. They – like The Marnocks – are condescendingly treated by the press for attempting to play football, trying to be the Blugrana Buddies if you wish.

This still comes at a shock to the wider Scottish populace  brought up on a diet of shin worriers and licensed thugs.

In Paul McGowan, Steven Thompson, Nigel Hasselbaink and Gary Teale they have household names – at least to those that read the Metro – who on paper should trouble all SPHell defences. Their biggest result this season was beating them 2-1 at the Fergielee Camp. Despite their recent woes the chance to beat us – getting another DVD release opportunity – ending our run and getting a massive Celtic sized monkey of their back is, really, enough reason for them to be fired up.

The Ugly  

Ok, are you buckled in? Here is my rant.

This has really nothing to do with the game but it has everything to do with the game or more the OUTCOME of this game and the others we have coming up, which will see us go to our two hardest away grounds – do I really need to say what they are? alright then: Inversenkie and Swinecastle – in quick succession and by the end of it we could be behind in the league, out the Community Crime Cup – is that a long shot? remember Ross County (Sky will remind us often enough) – and out the Scottish Cup.

From the treble to Armageddon in 3 weeks. Haven’t we had enough of that woe this season already, can we not be spared?

With us willing to be spared we get desperate. The news that Baba Diawarra had signed for Seville – something that HASN’T happened (though we won’t be signing him) – cause more than a few cases of Roberto Mancini vigorous card waving in the direction of our CEO.

Yes, we had the chance to sign the player and YES the visa excuse has been proved to be rubbish but I can’t help feel the outrage about not signing a player that 99% of us haven’t got a clue what he is about is over the top. This reaction is borne from The Fletcher Farce Of 2009.

We all know how that one ended. He’s scored 9 goals in 17 games (in the greatest league in the world(sic)) and we haven’t won the league since.

While galling and annoying it’s not the only reason we have failed. I’m over not getting Fletcher. That’s finished it’s dead to me. I’m not going to lose sleep on not getting a player ever again. It’s just a stupid notion when the global world of football is now so small and players nomadic.

I’m not bothered we didn’t get Diawarra I’m more bothered about that we seem to have been shoddy- again – in taking care of business. For every good thing we do, we seem to balance it up by seemingly coming over all bumbling, thrifty and amateur.

In the summer we had the choice. Whoever made that choice went for  Bang Bang who has only started 1 game and not scored yet. The coaching staff seem as enthused as a wean who asked for a puppy but got a kitten about him. I’m not writing the player off. He has been disappointing and that is me being generous. Rome wasn’t built in a day though (they say).

The whole Diawarra situation has made it as predictable as a Mrs Brown Boys gag to write Bang Bang off as another Sebo. It’s easy to dismiss but not as easy to give people time.

And that is what I’m calling for. TIME.

We need a 3rd striker (I have been saying that for months) . We have Hooper with 16 goals. We have Stokes with 15 goals and then Samaras with 3. Forrest has chipped in with 7 and we have Commons returning. That is not enough though but those riches mean that we are not desperate and shouldn’t be panicking.

We need a different option but maybe not THE final option, maybe NOT the answer and maybe JUST someone to do a short term job.

I’m thinking a Dion Dublin type.

This whole situation is like that time I wanted a top of the range BMX bike. I got up on Christmas morning knowing full well that I wasn’t getting that bike. I got a BMX bike and it was a bike I knew was the best we could afford. Did I enjoy that bike any less because it wasn’t that fancy one with the shiny wheels, front and back jump pegs and top of the range brakes?

No I didn’t. I loved that bike and was even more thankful a year later when I got the mountain bike I wanted.

The next 2 weeks are as important off the park as they are on.