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Madden Was A Disgrace Today And It’s What Celtic Deserve For Their Passivity.

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There are two great myths about refereeing this season which need knocked on the head.

The first is that Celtic have somehow put on pressure and that this has gotten results and the second is that only those games with big standout moments of controversy show our officials at their worst.

That, in fact, is one of the most dangerous, and pervasive, myths of all.

Officials influence games in any number of ways, and Madden certainly had an impact on that one today.

Please note, he did not decide the outcome.

Our players failed to show up for business and that is what decided the outcome. They lacked guts and guile and the officials played no part in that whatsoever, but still, his performance today was not without effect.

Madden stopped the game (usually in their favour) every chance he got. He gave decisions that were frankly embarrassing. He allowed certain players to throw their weight around.

I agree with those who say our players need to be physically stronger and stand up for themselves a bit more, but when they are offered no protection at all it’s a pretty hard sell.

Officials do not have to give penalties or send people off to change the outcome of games. They can penalise one team for everything it does whilst letting the other side away with murder.

They can interpret the rules in a way that suits their own biases.

What we saw today was nothing less than the man in the middle taking it upon himself to prevent one team from playing its natural game, and our team was already badly off form.

When you combine the two, that definitely makes a difference.

We are the only country in Europe which allows the kind of closed-shop system where officials don’t have to declare allegiances, and where the governing body allows a small group of individuals from one particular postcode to basically run the whole show.

We haven’t done enough – not nearly enough – to get reform and seem to consider it an afterthought.

We have five games left in this campaign, and the whole playbook will be utilised to make them as hard as possible for us, and we’re mugs if we remain passive in the face of that. We have been passive for far too long.

Our board stands accused, in certain quarters, of having put pressure on the SFA this season but this blog and others have been consistent in the view that in point of fact we haven’t done enough. A one sentence throwaway from the club chairman in no way constitutes a robust effort to get equal treatment for our football club.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the idea that referees in this country are biased – and most people still don’t, and we have to remember that – there is certainly nobody who would dare mount any argument that they are even semi-competent and yet our club and others continue to let the same officials get the same big matches over and over again.

That joker who wore the black and officiated today wouldn’t be regarded even in the second tier of officials in any other country and he’s not even the worst. Every club in Scotland knows that we have a refereeing “fraternity” which does not come up to snuff. Every club in the country allows this farce to go on.

VAR will make the big decisions less difficult to defend, but he didn’t need to send off a Celtic player or award Tavernier his usual penalty today to impact on our game plan … and that, VAR is not going to make the slightest bit of difference to.

We got what we deserved today in terms of our performance and in terms of the show Madden put on, and Sutton can shout from the rooftops that the display from the ref was as bad as he’s seen, and we can all agree with him, but there’s nothing any of us can do to change things. That is what our board is supposed to be for.

When our club offers such a hostage to fortune in the first place there are going to be days like these.

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26 comments

  • harold shand says:

    We were garbage today , no excuses on that

    This bald headed cheating b*stard will get another game in our next 5 games

    and an opportunity to do us out of massive points .

    They done an essay about Clancy and they never got him again for the rest of the season

    Our board stay silent on this blatant cheat and it is scandalous

  • Hans says:

    This is beyond pathetic. We didn’t show up. We got beat. End of.

  • John says:

    Understand your frustration at the result today but this sounds quite pathetic. Had we turned up today and played as we can then Madden could have done nothing about it. The reason we didn’t win today was quite simply we weren’t good enough

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Van Bronckhorst has realised that Scottish referees are incompetent and you can get away with dangerous and persistent fouling. That is why he is relying on Lundstrum and Jack putting themselves about. Ange has got to realise the players need to be more streetwise and writhe around more to highlight the strong arm tactics.
    I’ve followed Celtic since my 1st game in 1950. In all that time I’ve never known a Celtic board to take on the SFA on the appointing and promotion of referees. The process of referees coming through the grades is a mystery, although I would guess that a handshake helps most of them along the way. More openness in this is needed in this modern age and the Celtic Board should be pushing for this.
    We were pretty poor today, win our next two games and the League is more or less ours.

  • Daviejohnstone@hotmail.com says:

    Why blame the board? Six foot plus Kennedy McManus ODea sit mute in the dugout. They should be towering over the 4th official screaming at him. They are cowards

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    If we start standing up for ourselves more, we just get sent off, so that’s no gonna work either – Celtic need to address this – if they do, at least they shine some light on it.
    Did yi see basset on rogic, he has both arms around his waist pilling him back, and when rogic managed to break free, he gave the foul to sevco – for breaking free of a rugby tackle, 10 yards from where he was standing, so its no like he could claim he missed it….

    HH

  • Jack says:

    Lungstram should have been booked at least twice and as such sent off. Instead he wins man of the match. Can’t understand that? Also, Carter Vickers scores instead of hitting bar and we win with ease. Fine margins today, Sevco were not great.

  • Christopher Parkes says:

    I think those having a go at the articles today are missing the point. Celtic were a disgrace today. James isn’t saying its been a disgrace all season. For from it. But today, absolutely it was.
    Nor is he saying Madden robbed us.

    I completely agree if we turned up today and were even halfway decent we still win that game regardless of the ref. I also agree if you’re exclusively moaning about the ref and how he robbed us then your missing something about our performance. It can’t be repeated enough we were disgraceful today. Regardless of trophies and how for we’ve come in a year, we still need to turn up and perform against them. And we didn’t today, at all.

    But something has to be done about both the ineptitude and, I’m sorry but its true, the naked bias of officiating in this country. As the article says VAR will fix a lot but it won’t fix that.
    I said in the previous article that I hate talking about refs after a defeat/poor performance, it smacks of sour grapes. Thats not what this is. I’d still be saying this if we’d somehow won this game though. Win or lose maddens performance was beyond parody

  • Mark Elliott says:

    Madden doesn’t even try hide his bias, yet keeps getting awarded ranger2 games to officiate!

    A month ago, when his side were trailing 1-0 away to Dundee, and having gone about 40 minutes without so much as a shot on target, he completely lost the plot and started booking Dundee players for nothing challenges, then awarded ranger2 a nonsense penalty, which they missed…they did eventually win that game 1-2!

    His display today wasn’t even shocking, despite his blatant favouritism towards ranger2, we’re that used to it; there can’t be another professional football, or even sporting league in world competition that contunually employs an official so obviously biased towards one team, to officiate their games!

    Celtic were far from at their best today either; Abada i feel was the teams weak link, boy needs to compose himself professionally, and someone needs to tell Jota to pass instead of shoot as his shooting accuracy is woeful; Hatate offered little too!

  • Mark B says:

    We were well beaten today. I said earlier in the week it would be a battle. It will be for the rest of the season as the league is not closed out either. We are against a last four Europa League team they are a good side. For them to win in extra time after Thursday proved they were hungrier and better today.

  • John S says:

    I can put up with bad officiating but not bent officiating.

  • Pan says:

    The Celtic Board have been compromised by the 5 way agreement. That’s why they meekly roll over no matter what’s thrown at us. No one should be surprised.

    As I have said before, honesty left when Fergus left the building.

  • MArk b says:

    Well beaten. Ive said all season we need a CH, A LB and a DM. Today proved why. They smothered us in midfield. We had to replace both full backs and young Welsh just isn’t up to the level of the first team I’m afraid. We didnt turn up today , they are a Europa Semi final team and we need to be at our best to beat them. We badly missed Giakoumakis. They missed Morelos less. They battled in midfield we were strolling around. Hunger. They simply needed and wanted it more.

  • Hugh Gerard says:

    Sevco won a game but what at this point have they won, absolutely nothing. Ange needs a rethink, relies too much on wingers crossing in to wee Japanese lads when pace through the channels might work better. Have they not watched the past few sevco games, they get a lot of joy with the ball inside the fullback, first goal at Ibrox last goal today amongst several other chances. They did the same v Braga. When things are not going well it is of little good changing players yet continue in the same vein.

  • Kevin says:

    The celtic support was very quite today after they levied
    Did not back the team today glory hunters spoilt brats keep singing and push your team on

  • Rodders says:

    Whilst the result hurt, it could be a blessing in disguise. Some respondants to the pre game bragging posts quite rightly posited that the tie was not won beforehand, and their considered and realistic comments have borne fruit, something that this blogger might well consider for the future.

    Whilst these types of games often hinge on key moments and slim margins, I don’t think we can deny that our opponents deserved their victory, hurtful as that may feel to many.

    However what we can control is our own application, desire, will to win and, in my opinion, today’s game highlighted, not for the first time, that we have a number of players who cannot/will not stick their head above the parapet to influence the game when the going is tough, happy to drift along, whether early or later on in games.

    So I’m hoping that Ange also noted those posted missing today and that future signings possess not only the skills but the mental attributes to sideline these failures.

    If the team wants to progress further after such an impressive turnaround this season, which of course we all want, then some more changes are required and this will highlight both our club and manager’s desire and ambitions for success.

    • Martin says:

      You learn far more from a defeat, Rodders. For me, I learned that our team can’t quickly switch system from GG to Kyogo (much like we struggled for a couple of games switching from Kyogo to GG). That needs sorted. Not just for injuries, but for when games require a different approach.

      We need more height, generally, in the team. Corners for us are a waste.

      Jota has checked out. He is a shadow of his 2021 self. Not sure what happened in Portugal but he isn’t the same player for us.

      Our midfield was bullied into quiescence. O’Riley helped when he came on, but not enough.

      We’re very one dimensional. We play the same way. Which can be really exciting and effective, or can be found out and neutralised.

      But it was a cup game, and anyone can win cup games (hence why I don’t share James’ confidence that sevco can’t win the Europa cup) so we need to adjust for that.

      Overall I think the summer transfer window needs to be busier than we thought it needed to be. The rebuild is still on.

    • Smokey says:

      Good post Rodders
      What players yesterday did not stick their had above parapet? in your opinion
      For me a total rethink on Hatate is needed…lost the ball in first few mins and did nothing afterwards…. Jota imho will not sign for us and tbh I am happy with that….Abada not any better
      We are in need of some real steel in our team
      HH

  • Peterbrady says:

    James you slag Jota magic Tom and others but can you blame them when they know bigot maddhun has given carte blanche for sevco thugs to do them maybe even permanently then lose there career too lightweight win the battle then win the war in Ange we trust

  • Peterbrady says:

    The next five games will be all-in no holds barred war pick warriers no more lightweights got to play bitton McCarthy and even soro get the dig in first deny the LRA to influence the outcome

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