Sometimes you can tell what someone else is thinking so easily, and clearly, that it’s as if you had climbed into their head. When David Martindale said the other day that Celtic are the benchmark, the team to beat, that could have been an acknowledgment that we’re the best team in this country. But coming from him, I know what it really was.
Martindale’s side, regrettably, has a decent record against us. We sometimes seem to get his team at the worst possible time for ourselves, and they are very adept at turning the matches into clashes of footballing philosophies. If our goal is to play the trailblazing game, all front line stuff, all attack, then theirs is to play anti-football.
Their performance at Celtic Park last season, where they put every man behind the ball, snatched a draw and he crowed about it from the rooftops, and which the press gave him credit for, was, to me, quite simply the worst game I have ever had the misfortune to attend. It was a classic case of one team trying to win and the other trying to stop them, by whatever means necessary.
At the end, I wrote an excoriating piece in which I used Alan Durban’s infamous quote; “If you want entertainment, go and watch clowns”, which he offered as mitigation when his own team had once attempted the same brand of toxic stuff against Arsenal. The records show that Durban’s team lost that game regardless. Martindale’s got a point.
But I didn’t think he deserved a shred of credit for it and said so. Scottish football has this peculiar love for spoiler football, and mark my words that’s what we’ll be up against when we take the pitch for our game on Sunday. The worst brand of it imaginable.
And you know what? Having gotten something at Ibrox last week, Martindale thinks that he’s about to do the same against us. He will send his players out to play exactly the same way. To sit deep. To come forward only on the counter. To hack and kick and play for every decision with one eye on VAR, which I think he believes might swing it.
Martindale’s praise for us is loaded with self-interest. He holds us up as the benchmark so that he can stand there at the end of the game with his chest out and boast about how he’s now gotten a result against both clubs. It’s all about him.
Perhaps he thinks a big job is opening up soon, and is making his play for it? There are actually fans over on their forums who think that would be a good idea.
The thing of it is, of course, that we are the benchmark. We are the best team in the country. And as we roll into Livingston we’ll have that fact firmly in mind. I expect us to go out there and stamp that superiority all over his team. I expect us to win comfortably.
Then at the end see what praise we get. You already know the answer, as I do.
October 27, 2022 at 12:43 pm
Tony B says:
October 27, 2022 at 1:34 pm
Dominic Hannah says:
October 27, 2022 at 1:36 pm
John Copeland says:
October 27, 2022 at 1:38 pm
October 27, 2022 at 2:00 pm
October 27, 2022 at 2:18 pm
John S says:
October 27, 2022 at 2:21 pm
October 27, 2022 at 3:04 pm
Denis Burns says:
October 27, 2022 at 3:33 pm
October 27, 2022 at 3:58 pm
Aside from high expectations of victory for us (I still urge caution on the spaghettimat) I agree. Martindale is actually not a bad choice for their next banter coordinator. He epitomises the anti football they love over there. And he’s cheap. And staunch. Watch this space.
Martinjail is a win at any cost manager, so he’d fit right in at sevco.
MMA rather than football is his teams’ forte, and he gets away with it in Scotland, except of course against the huns.
We have to be ready for anything that is thrown at us.
Let’s hope Ange has got a plan to deal with it.
He’s always been a bitter wee guy, ever gives credit to opposition,doubt anyone would take him livvy is his limit, maybe Dundee St Johnstone bit nothing above them,,,
According to the BBC Sportsound ,the Rangers panel covering the Napoli humiliation (8)of them in the studio and out in Italy , regard wee Wink Martindale as a ‘brilliant manager .’ I wonder how they come to that conclusion ?
Livingston are a bunch of big bus parking, hammer throwing journeymen who play on a crap plastic pitch. Their manager will tell them to play for fouls and long throws near our box. Set pieces are their best chance of scoring against us. There will be plenty of dives (especially in our penalty area). The Celtic players will need to be at their best and make sure they are clinical in finishing the chances that will surely come their way. Lets hope that VAR takes a lower profile that it did at Tynecastle and there are no “honest mistakes”. A comfortable Celtic win will demoralise the huns big time.
Really don’t think that cheap, nasty injury inducing pitch should be allowed. That has to be a primary consideration before we even begin with the game. We probably won’t start a couple of players because of that pitch alone, particularly the ones coming back from injury that could do with a game. If you can’t start players because of the standard of a pitch, every time not occasionally, then it speaks volumes for the SFA’s ambitions for our league and more importantly players’ safety.
We should win still. I’m sure we have the winning ticket for Livi’s parked bus, their pitch, the ref and VAR. That’s all before we’ve even kicked a baw.
It’s, of course, perfectly legitimate to have 11 behind the ball. Ugly, fearful but legitimate. Fouls are not, that’s why they’re supposed to be punished. VAR has highlighted the incompetence (a polite term) of Scotland’s match officials. Time for restructuring match official/VAR appointments and selections.
It looks as though NONE of the bhoys in the comments above have been fooled by Martindale’s comments. He is definitely at it and trying to catch us off guard by smooth talk. The serpent trying to fool us into eating the apple.
At least we have VAR and a change from McClean and Walsh being in charge. They’re giving us Muir. Oh, wait a minute, that’s no change. It’s like a reunion of all the non- partisan people who cheated to stop Ronny getting a treble. Getting these plum positions must be a reward for that. Celtic just have to be a lot better than the opposition to nullify the cheats. Hail Hail
In fairness, we have Collum on the pitch who- for all his flaws- has a great deal of VAR experience and may be inclined to push for review of incidents if he has doubts. I think he’s actually a good enough ref to make the right call with the benefit of replays and slow mos. It’s just whether he gets to see them…
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