It’s been a while since an article was so honking that I was forced to do the old paragraph by paragraph review of it, but Jackson today sealed it with what he produced this morning.
If it were possible for an actual physical odour to come off a written piece of work this one would stink. It uses the word paranoia to describe us, but the madness that wafts from it goes far beyond anything that may or may not be wrong with us.
This is the headline.
“Celtic VAR paranoia can be put to bed after Hampden howlers force Ange to eat his words – Keith Jackson”
I swear to God, that’s it. I did not make that up. That is not a Keith Jackass Exclusive, his headline writers – or the man himself – have actually suggested that Ange was eating his words about VAR and refs on Saturday. Funny, then, that Ange never retracted as much a syllable. I’ve said it for a long time; these people are so used to living in their own wee world that if they were forced to write fact and truth they’d have very little to say as they wouldn’t know where to start.
Keith knows the Hoops have been hard done by this season but conspricay chat was shown up for what it was against Kilmarnock.
You know it’s my policy generally to leave this stuff exactly as I find it right? That’s not my spelling mistake. A national newspaper sub-editor really did spell that “conspricay” and no-one caught it and no-one corrected it, not even when the piece – which was originally published at 6:00am – was re-edited two hours after it went up. You wonder how someone like Jackson, someone like Keevins, can keep at a gig at that rag? No standards at all, that’s how. That’s a national title; this is the point where many readers would just chuck it and go and read a blog.
And they like to say our game is predictable. Yes, alright, Celtic and Rangers will return to Hampden next month looking to settle the first silverware of the season.
Ho-ho-ho. Keith did a funny. Or tried to. If you shuddered involuntarily I don’t blame you a bit. That was as gruesome as watching someone burst a boil with a scalpel.
And we all knew that one was on the cards before a ball had been kicked over the weekend. But even when the final destination is already pre-determined, sometimes all the fun and drama is in the getting there. So four teams arrived at Hampden over two days and between them they delivered two matches which managed to take the breath away for a whole variety of reasons – and all on a pitch which would be better suited to tattie howking than trophy lifting.
There are two things about Jackson’s work that make it a hard slog. When he tries to dip into street lingo or the local vernacular or persists in his painful analogies … I just want to hit something really hard. It clunks. It clunks like a car engine where something has come loose. His prose is painful. The other thing is that he, in common with so many other “Scottish football writers” plainly hates our game. No-one who loved it would have described either semi-final as “pre-determined”. It is so stinking of contempt for two out of four of the teams. As the rest of this piece is going to aptly demonstrate, he’s not really a big fan of one of the remaining two either. But then we know that.
On Saturday holders Celtic ploughed through the rain and the mud to make it past Kilmarnock but only after torpedoing their own cross-eyed narrative of the world being out to get them. Then, yesterday, not content with dropping his team-mates in it during the build-up by chucking insults at Alfredo Morelos, Aberdeen skipper Anthony Stewart then abandoned ship by getting himself sent off in injury time when there was still half an hour of extra time to be played out.
First up, he makes it sound like we slogged our way through the match and were lucky to make it. We had the ball in the net four times over the course of the early evening match. Four times. I’ll get back to his “cross eyed narrative” point and how we “torpedoed” it in a moment. I agree with him on Stewart’s preposterous tackle being idiotic but I’m not sure how he “dropped his team mates in it” by before the game, answering a simple question about Freddy Five Bellies, who was rank, who did nothing but petulantly whinge and moan and wander the pitch like someone whose principle concern was waiting for the chip shop to open.
Meanwhile, over at Clydesdale House someone forgot to put another 10 pence in the meter to cover the cost of 120 minutes in a moment of high farce which will have had the conspiracy theorists reaching for the tinfoil helmets all over again.
Why Keith? Did something happen whilst the cameras were off? Or whilst they were on, in fact, which ought to have been looked at properly? I wonder if you’re going to share with us your thoughts on what that might have been?
Honestly, no other place writes scripts quite like this and that’s before taking Kemar Roofe’s match-winning cameo into account. Having finally climbed off the treatment table after almost nine months, the lesser spotted Englishman popped up with the goal which sealed his side’s victory.
No, because only in Scotland could a crock come back from a long spell out and score a crucial goal in a cup tie at the national stadium. Our game is so unique and special, and this moment was unique and special expect … oh wait … no, because last season, in the final, Kyogo Furuhashi did exactly that and scored the double which won the game.
And then quickly departed the scene again clutching on to his latest injury with no indication of when he’s likely to be seen in a blue shirt again. Predictable? This is Scottish football at its bonkers best and now there is one more instalment to come when
Then he did that as well, the following week at home against St Johnstone. Lesson? Don’t throw half fit players into major games. Get them back up to speed otherwise you risk long-term injury issues exacerbating themselves. We did learn that one. The Ibrox club is throwing half-fit players into games every week right now, and they got what they deserved. Besides, anyone shocked that Roofe is back on the treatment table hasn’t been paying attention. He’s got a special one with this squad number on it. They bought an injury prone player … no surprise he’s always injured. They are about to buy another one, and Jackson is one of many applauding it. You’ll notice that the paragraph breaks off mid-sentence? Like I said, I don’t get paid to clean up their mess.
Glasgow’s nearest and dearest get back together on February 26 when the first medals of the season will be handed out. For poor old Killie, semi-final weekend was a case of so near and yet so VAR.
So it begins. Jackson finally gets to the point. Killie were beaten by a bad VAR decision. Except that they weren’t. And everyone knows that they weren’t. How nice that McInnes was provided with a ready-made excuse for failure when actually he should have got some stick for putting into a semi final, as a starter, a guy who hadn’t played in three months. I’ll be writing more on that later on today, but “poor old Killie” got what they deserved for throwing a stone bigot into their starting eleven based on the fact that he’s a stone bigot who would give everything against us. Worked out well that one, didn’t it?
No wonder boss Derek McInnes couldn’t hide his frustration afterwards even though deep down he knew his side –despite performing stoically over 90 minutes – had ultimately been seen off by superior quality opposition.
Astonishing that Jackson appears to realise that. Except … wasn’t he just suggesting that VAR was the deciding element of the game a moment ago? This is why when I do the Jackass pieces I always paint him as a boozed up wreck forever calling Ange at 4am from some dive bar. Because that’s how he writes; like someone who does it pissed, late at night, and then is too lazy to clean it up in the cold light of day with the bugs creeping across the walls.
McInnes could not question the commitment nor the application of his own players who emptied their collective tank in a superhuman effort to take Celtic all the way. But he did make a point of blaming Willie Collum and his helpers for falling to spot a blatant penalty when Giorgos Giakoumakis bear hugged Joe Wright in the dying seconds of injury time. And he was correct. It was a spot-kick all day long.
And. Here. We. Go. If you were waiting for the full-on meltdown to start, ladies and gentlemen, take your seats, the show is about to begin. All I’m going to say before we get to the next bit is that if that was a penalty then so was the one yesterday involving Ben Davies and our own Liam Scales, but that never comes up in the course of this article. Of course it doesn’t. And in case you were getting ants in your pants wondering about it, the Kent punch isn’t in this article either, so if you were waiting with baited breath for his take on that then you can rest assured that you missed nothing in not scooping up his paper this morning.
This, indeed, is where the roll out of the latest technology has done little more for our game than shine a light on the deficiencies of those entrusted with making the big decisions.
What have I been saying for weeks? Nee, months? No, in fact years? Officiating in Scotland is awful, its dreadful, things have to change, things have to improve, the whole system needs to reform, the refs are terrible and the standards are abysmal. You know the only time you ever hear that sort of thing from the likes of this joker? Times like this, times when decisions appear to have gone our way, and then the chest thumping, shirt rending, hair-pulling and teeth gnashing starts at full volume and lasts for a week or more. No solutions ever get offered, of course, because if these people actually wanted them they’d have been done and dusted years ago.
Collum ought not to have needed a replay or a word in his shell like from the man holding the remote control. That he failed to see what was happening in front of his very own nose is staggering enough.
I have never heard the expression “shell like” to describe someone’s ear used in an actual conversation, do you know that? Think it’s in common usage in the smart press? Other than coming out of the mouths of bad actors in shit British crime movies and in the written words of hacks like Jackson it’s just never done. I wish, dearly, that it wasn’t done anywhere. I do love this attack on Collum; I wouldn’t let Collum near a football field in any top flight game anywhere, but the difference between Jackson and me is that I’m consistent in saying so. Everyone in the media has enjoyed the last few months of telling us that these things are a matter of interpretation, and I’ve been dying for my shot at it. So here goes; maybe he just didn’t think it was a penalty? Aren’t refs allowed to interpret these things as they like anymore? Nick Walsh had a similar interpretation of an identical incident yesterday. Odd that it never comes up here.
But when such inexplicable errors of judgement are then reviewed by another set of eyes in slow motion and from various different angles, only for the same unfathomable blunder to be made for a second time? That sort of slapstick stuff merely confirms what many of us have suspected all along. Not that Scottish football harbours some deep rooted, sinister conspiracy plot.
Wait, wait, wait … isn’t this a subtly different tune from the one that’s being getting sung at us for all those months? Weren’t we told that, in fact, when so many people look at a decision and conclude the same thing that they have to be right and we, the plebs who don’t know anything about the game, automatically have to be wrong? And Jackson can “suspect” what he wants about refs not being up to snuff. Some of us consistently say it.
But, rather that our referees are so accident prone that often they border upon being completely inept. So, yes, it’s perfectly understandable that McInnes was still fuming long after the final whistle had been blown on his hopes of leading Kilmarnock back to Hampden for next month’s final.
You say “accident prone”, I say either utterly incompetent or bent. You don’t even want to consider that option, eah, Keithy? That they are either biased or bought? That some of the decisions we’ve watched over the last few years are so obviously not legit, not mistakes, not honest errors but something much deeper? I also find it funny that he’s banging on about how it ended Kilmarnock’s hopes of reaching the final. Because didn’t this clown say in the intro to this piece that there never was hope? That these games were pre-determined? Idiot.
But what was a bit surprising was that he chose to bite his lip when it came to Celtic’s opening goal which was given the all clear almost immediately at Clydesdale House even though Daizen Maeda appeared to use at least one arm to bundle the ball into the back of the net from close range. As a matter of fact McInnes did raise this matter with the fourth official immediately after Maeda had deflected Kyle Lafferty’s clearance into the back of Sam Walker’s net.
What did I tell you we were off to the races, eah? I had to read that several times to make sure I was fully understanding it. I love the vision of Maeda using “at least one arm” – so what? Are you suggesting he one-two punched it into the net? – to get the ball over the line yesterday … an assertion so bizarre that not one other person has made it. As he says, even McInnes, who is ever looking for an excuse when we beat him, didn’t even bother to highlight this in the after-match presser. This is not desperate as much as it’s painful, this is a man hurting, this is a man who had invested so much hope in VAR that it might close the points gap and snatch something away from us, seeing it do us in what in his estimation is a massive favour. You know, I don’t mind certain people in journalism accusing us of paranoia and conspiracy theories; I do mind it from clowns like this, who have lived in their own reality for years telling themselves that the club at Ibrox is the same one that died in 2012 and that it was made to suffer because of the hatred of the rest of our game. Anyone who believes that is capable of believing anything … including that our opener yesterday should not have counted.
McInnes was reassured that replays were being examined and pored over back in the bunker and the Kilmarnock manager naturally assumed that the pictures proved the goal should have stood. It was only after he left the National Stadium later on Saturday night that McInnes was able to study the footage for himself.
Oh dear God. So he was lied to by the officials? Is that the line, is it? Why is this starting to read an awful lot like exactly what Jackson is accusing us of? A ranting, loony, mouth-foaming piece of paranoia? Does he even realise that? Or is this the ultimate Keith Jackass article, only with his own name over it? Is he trying to spoof my spoof?
And it’s reasonable to assume that the inner rage he felt over the decision not to award his team with a late penalty was compounded by what he saw. There is a still photograph taken as the ball ricocheted into Maeda off Lafferty’s boot which appears to add even more weight to Kilmarnock’s argument.
Isn’t this incredible? “The refs screwed Killie yesterday and this is the photo that proves it …” We can all produce photos, of course, to prove our points. The one of a Grade One ref in an Ibrox fan bar is a beauty. Amazing that Jackson never wrote about that, eah?
In fact, it looks like a physical impossibility for Maeda not to handle the ball as it cannons towards goal and yet, somehow, VAR had it all cleared up within a few split seconds. Still, at least these anomalies might help to put the paranoia narrative to bed where Celtic and their deeply suspicious supporters are concerned.
The opening line of this is patently ridiculous and if I were in his vicinity I’d be checking him hourly to make sure that he’s alright. I might even confiscate his belt and his shoelaces just in case because he sounds, by now, like a guy who has lost the plot.
Manager Ange Postecoglou poured fuel on that particularly toxic fire the other week when he asserted that the breaks could not possibly even themselves out over the remainder of the season, given some of the ludicrously wonky decisions which have gone against them already.
No, actually, he didn’t pour any fuel on any fire and that’s just a ridiculous assertion to have made. But as I said, this was always going to happen. The sheer weight of the decisions against us was always going to be dismissed when a single one went our way. Doesn’t matter that our own case rests on a pile of evidence a foot thick; one single incident and all of it is rendered without meaning. That’s not just intellectually lazy, it is scandalously biased.
And yet, over the course of 90 minutes on Saturday, the big Aussie was eating his own words. Which just goes to prove that the propensity for Scotland’s officials to dumbfound ought never to be underestimated. If anything, the introduction of VAR has doubled the amount of their decision making and made things twice as farcical as before.
Another Keith Jackson special, ladies and gents, a paragraph structured so badly and written in such ponderous, horrible prose that you wonder how he ever got a gig using words for a living. The lack of a formal education screams at you through that entire segment, above and beyond the idea of Ange “eating his words” being plainly ridiculous. The misuse of the word “propensity” … ugh. No writer has ever been more in need of a good editor … or somebody confiscating his access to Microsoft Word.
A word of credit here to yesterday’s ref Nick Walsh who got through his shift unscathed, calling all the big decisions correctly including Stewart’s straight red card for a tackle on Fashion Sakala which was the absolute height of stupidity.
The brazenness of it is incredible, right? An entire article of wailing and whinging about refereeing in Scotland not being up to standard, and the highlighting of a “penalty claim” which has him scratching deep furrows into his desk with his nails ends with him praising the ref in the Ibrox club’s game with Aberdeen, where he gave an identical decision the same way as Collum did … and where he and his VAR officials missed at least one incredible incidence of violence. But you know, maybe the cameras just weren’t on at that point …
Walsh even kept his cool in extra time when the wifi dropped out and the voices in his head suddenly stopped talking. This is Scottish football. And it’s a special kind of madness.
According to the managers, the system wasn’t working right for the full game. Which, if you were paranoid, might lead you to conclude that officials were offering themselves one Hell of an alibi for missing what they wanted and highlighting what they chose.
On another note, I wish the voices in Jackson’s head would suddenly stop talking.
His isn’t a special kind of madness, it’s the sort we’re all painfully familiar with, the kind you find in the darker swamps of Sevco social media, swept off the Follow Follow basement floor … reproduced in a national title, moonhowling and all.