In the aftermath of the astonishing game at Ibrox on Saturday, where Willie Collum bewildered the away management team – more on that later, I assure you – the record of the Ibrox club when it comes to the decisions they get was once again put under the spotlight in The Scotsman by Andrew Smith, who a few weeks ago put up some shocking stats.
On the weekend where Ange Postecoglou wins his 50th league game as Celtic boss, Smith pointed out that the Ibrox club’s captain, James Tavernier, scored his 49th penalty kick as a player there.
That’s out of 59 that he’s taken for them. Read that again. He has forty-nine goals from the penalty spot for them since he signed in 2015, which was the year before they returned to the top flight.
Tavernier, on his own, has taken one shy of 60 penalty kicks in that space of time.
To put it in the proper context, his club has its own magic number to get. If they go to Tynecastle and don’t concede a penalty that will be their 50th domestic game without having one given against them. That has to be a record. In league terms they are closing in on their own previous record of 44 games … at Tynecastle they will make it 41.
So nearly 50 domestic matches without a penalty being awarded against them, 40 of those games in the league. And in the meantime, Tavernier is one penalty kick away from reaching his half century of goals from the spot.
As remarkable as Ange’s 50 wins record is, if you could have bet a quid on Ibrox going that long without conceding a spot kick the bookies would have given you very generous odds. Or maybe not since this is actually their second extended run like this, with the last one seeing them not concede in 44 league games.
Here’s the thing; we all know that in the midst of that run are any number of absolutely mind-bending decisions, so it’s not even the number that stands out but what lies behind that number, games like the weekend, Goldson playing volleyball and on and on.
Here’s another stat, and try and wrap your brain around this; this isn’t from the recent Smith article but the one at the star of the month.
The Ibrox club has not conceded a penalty at home in the league since September 2019.
You read that correctly. September 2019.
A statistic so astonishing it blows your mind. And the numbers keep on piling up and up and up.
You could not invent this.
This is what the other clubs tolerate.