Malky Mackay has talked about being “shocked” that James Sands wasn’t sent off against his team today, shortly before his side conceded the opening goal in a 4-0 defeat in which his side did not register a single shot on goal.
That, obviously, is part of why he’s making a song and dance out of this, because if he’d been paying attention to the drum-beat in the media this whole week the idea that his team would get nothing from the officials at all wouldn’t have surprised him in the least.
Mackay’s side were going to have to show up and make a game of it to get anything other than a hiding. To cry the blues over Sands not walking is legitimate, but it’s also bullshit.
I wrote about it at half-time when they were already 2-0 down today. From almost the first minute they sat back with every man behind the ball. It got what it deserved.
I have no sympathy for teams who do this against us and get what’s coming to them. I have even less for teams who do it at Ibrox (or away against this lot) and get a pasting.
Mackay can squeal all he wants. His own set-up today was utterly inept and it is convenient that he has something to blame the referee for after such a shocking performance.
Mackay says the game hinged on that decision. Such garbage. It was 0-0 at the time, so the only thing that changed is he was able to make Don Robertson a scapegoat for his own lack of ideas. That doesn’t change that the decision is plainly scandalous.
But that was telegraphed all week long.
It was a certainty that there would be a big call to make like this today and that it would go the way of the Ibrox club.
Mackay should have gotten his comments in before the game kicked off, and warned that referees would be getting scrutinised for the decisions they gave in light of the last week …
It’s a mistake we can’t afford to make. Ange doesn’t like to do this, but this is a week where he really should be getting it out there that the officials are being watched just as closely as the managers, because they are more than capable of throwing us off our game, especially if Ibrox’s players think they have a license to maim our footballers.
We will seek no alibis for failure, of course, and I don’t expect we’ll need them … but I don’t think we should be leaving any hostages to fortune either. Ange has to let them know that we’re watching everything, and that Celtic will not hesitate to cause a stink if we think that one is justified. It has worked for Ibrox this week.
Make it work for us, Ange.