For Celtic Tomorrow, The Danger Is Two-Fold; The Officials And That Plastic Pitch.

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Back again then folks. Back at Kilmarnock, on that appalling surface which does nothing for good football and which any other league would have outlawed. I have never liked watching us on these horrendous surfaces. Now the league has two of them again.

What a horror show they are for teams like us, teams accustomed to playing the ball on the deck. Injuries on them are far more common than on grass. When Hamilton dropped out of the league, taking not just a plastic pitch but a vote with them, we had a chance at voting for a change that phased them over a couple of years.

Of course, we didn’t because Scottish football is a place where a lot of people will bitch and moan but won’t actually stick their necks above the parapet and actually do something. So we’re stuck with this issue, and with these horrendous surfaces.

So tomorrow we ride to Rugby Park, where we’ve got a patchy record. Much of that, I’m moved to say, was about Steve Clarke and the way he used to line teams up against us. I’m really not all that concerned about a Derek McInnes team, although I expect he’ll put as many people behind the ball as possible. We should still have enough.

The other worry, that plastic pitch aside, is the officials.

Especially on a surface like that, you need the ref to be harsh on any over-physical challenges and we know we’ll get that from a McInnes team alright.

The officials have to be willing to flash cards for the more egregious challenges, and make that clearly early in the game … Kilmarnock will set out their stall in aggressive fashion from the start, so the ref has to show what he will and won’t allow.

I still say we’ve allowed too much over the last year or so, because Ange doesn’t want to go off on one about officials. He’s a good man, is Ange, and it was only towards the end of the last campaign, after some high profile incidents, that he finally did remind refs that it is their job to protect players from unsavoury tackles.

A wee reminder yesterday would have been good. I hope this won’t be one of those scenarios where the lament comes after the game, when someone is facing a long lay-off.

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  • Saulgoodman says:

    Convert the chances we make, there will be no problem , if we pass pass pass in the box there will be a problem , play the best finisher at the club from the start giokamakis !

  • Roonsa says:

    When Hamilton and Killie went down I was delighted. I hoped that the following season Livingston would be joining them but unfortunately Killie bounced back. The plastic pitch games are always tense for me. I think I was more nervous before the away game to Livi last season (the one we won 3-1) than I was before the Ibrox 2-1 game. I hope (and am sure afternthe Livi match) that Ange knows how we should play these games. But ye cannae account for hammer throwers and dodgy hun cunt refs. So it will be another nervy one for me the morra.

    Mon the Hoops xxx

  • Johnny Green says:

    The plastic pitch is an obvious negative that we need to handle tomorrow. The other negative, referees turning a blind eye to nasty tackles, is one that we have to face every time that we play and we certainly should be highlighting that on a continuous basis.

    For bye all that, I am anticipating a solid victory for the Bhoys by a two or three goal margin that will maintain our place at the top of the league.

  • John Copeland says:

    I strongly suspect after tomorrow’s game on the false plastic pitch, there will be a number of new casualties on the Lennoxtown treatment table come Monday , and depending on the result ,the SMSM shall defend McInnes’s tactics to the hilt! When Del boy mentions planting seeds of doubt, what he really means is maim , mutilate and badly injure Celtic enemies.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    This game tomorrow is in Scotland the best wee bigoted country in the world ,what more is there to say Celtic have to be at their very best tomorrow and put this shitty team to bed ,but yes like the author I do fear about the masonic officials and this terrible playing surface that wouldn’t be allowed in the top 4 tiers of English football but hey,jockland what do we expect.

  • john clarke says:

    How far Joe Hart plays down the field, depends on the dryness/wetness/plastic state of the artificial turf. When dry; fast scudding footballs kicked back to Joe, if off-target, can run away from Joe. DANGER. When wet, the ball moves slower, but sometimes not by a great deal. Hockey players calibrate themselves to the speed (sand depth, wetness) before a game. It’s the best field hockey surface to play on. Worst for football. Celtic players must be allowed enough time on the pitch to calibrate themselves to ball speed before the game.
    40 years old plastic? Disgraceful. Be ready Joe. Good Luck Celtic.

  • john clarke says:

    The Rugby Park pitch February 3, 2021 was on the slower side. Doesn’t mean much.

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