Today, Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic Will Wipe The Smirk Off The Mooch’s Face.

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On the morning of the Battle at Pharsalus, Caesar gave a speech to his men in which he reminded them of his efforts to secure peace with Pompey The Great, and how the Senate had rebuffed him.

The objective was to instil anger in his forces and it worked. He then talked about how outnumbered they were and how Pompey was a great general. Having reminded them of how peace had been ruled out, and that they could not now go home short of victory, he was letting them know what that victory would take. And that too had the desired effect.

We are not outnumbered or outgunned here, and there will be no big speech before battle. All the talking, all the working, all the preparation for this game has already been done. Ange doesn’t set foot in the dressing room before a game, believing it to be the province of his players. But they know what this great leader expects of them and they know that to get through this battle will require focus, determination and team-work.

Ibrox will be a lion’s den today. But as with Caesar’s mighty legions, who had already triumphed in Gaul and in Hispania and elsewhere before they even got to Greece for that epic showdown, these men have been through the wars already.

They are blooded. They are battle hardened. They are our version of elite soldiers, those who have been tested and come through the fire. These are not, as they were when we last went to Ibrox, a team which was only still challenging for a title … they are champions now, and that’s different. That matters, just as Caesar’s troops were already conquerors.

Where can this side of ours go from here? A debate for tomorrow, but also a debate for later on today. If we win and we go twelve points clear, we can start thinking – and building – again for the Group Stages of the Champions League.

Whilst we’re not playing, today, for certainty we’re playing for the security that such a large gap gives you for the rest of the campaign. It allows for breathing space, for a lessening of pressure … and for some cautious forward planning.

The manager has a wide range of options available to him which most other bosses would kill for. He can select any number of different attacking combinations, and the Ibrox club cannot prepare for one without sweating over the possibility of facing another. He can go with several different versions of the midfield; Ibrox will not know what he’s doing until the team-sheets are public. They have to be afraid either way, because any combination can hurt them.

Do not underestimate the power of tactics in battle. And game strategy. If he goes with Maeda from the start they have to adapt to his dynamic presence on the left. If he goes with Jota they have to counter his trickery. In the case of Maeda starting you’ll be bringing on Jota later in the game to go up against a poleaxed, exhausted Tavernier. If Maeda comes off the bench that might be even more horrendous for their right back to deal with.

Either way, the fitness of their players will tell and so will ours.

It’s going to be interesting, just as Pharsalus was. It’s going to be decisive too. And when the dust settles only Ange Postecoglou will be left standing, overlooking the battle field, as the winner.

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  • peter cassidy says:

    as we all know these matches form matters for nothing plus bent ref beaton in charge if celtic play as they can only one winner lets see how it goes happy new year everyone.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Just saw the teams and the huns have quite a strong line up. Our own team? no Jota, no Abada and Johnson at right back, I hope it works. Get at them early, put pressure on them and they will surely wilt. COYBIG!

  • Martin says:

    Surprised at Abada on bench and new lad at RB. I’m not one who believes “form goes out the window” in these games because the statistics do not at all bear that out. However I am of the view anyone can win a single game of football. For us this is one more game in a season, for them this is THE game. That can have an effect. We are the better side and should win, but I never go into these games as confident as James writes.

  • Katana67 says:

    So….Turnbull is suspended,after receiving a red card for ‘dangerous play’…..

    Meanwhile, in the’Wee Cup Final in Seville last summer, LungeSrum got away with a diabolical tackle on the Eintracht Captain in the first five minutes of the match….

    His raised studs inflicted a serious laceration on the scalp of the injured player, as he jumped to head the ball….

    Could quite easily have taken out an eye, or even worse…

    There was certainly intent,as LungeStrum had full view of his opponent, whereas Turnbull did not have the goalkeeper in his line-of-sight as he challenged for the ball..

    Turnbull got a Red!Red! Card, whereas LungeStrum got a ‘wagging fingers from the bent official..

    Given the ‘miraculous progress’ of The Snake Mountain Misfits,through the earlier rounds….dodgy penalties and offsides going for them, and the reverse for their opponents,and the disparity in cards, it seemed that Agent Bonkle in Nyon,may have been calling in all his favours from his erstwhile chums…

    Anyway,pretty disappointed by the under-par performance by Eintracht that night, given their previous 5-2 and 7-2 trouncing of the Liquidated Entity….!!


  • Neil Smith says:

    Ach… It’s bad. Forrest dire O’Reilly off it Juranovic is bad and we paying for not changing … Needs changing to have any hope

  • Mark B says:

    They were better than us today and they can take a lot of positives away from that performance. Those who are complacent or claim our rivals to be poor should re watch today’s game. They are mistaken. This new manager of theirs knows how set up a team to beat us or give us a good game. Calling him “The Mooch” and titles like “wipe the floor ” etc fuels this complacency because it’s childish and not recognising we need to fight to win every game. That was a great result for us today but a poor performance. We emerge 9 points ahead and that is a great outcome from that today.

  • Effarr says:

    At the end Ange looked more like Captain Mainwaring making excuses for Dad’s Army.

    Joe Hart changed the game completely with all the ffaarrting about in front of goals and it gave them confidence they didn’t know they had.

    Better to wait until after a game before you start all this mad talk about Julius Caesar.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I wasn’t happy with our performance, it was far from “mesmerising”, but we maintained the 9 point gap.

  • Ryan Ellis says:

    Sometimes James, I wish you would just give the whole Roman analogies a rest and say, ‘C’mon the tic!’

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Think the team was wrang from the start. Shouldve been Mooy and Abada. Forrest very rarely effective in these games and o’reilly has been well below par recently. Continued that today, tho he wisnae they only one. Playin these 2 suited rangers better imo. And how many times is Hart gonnae get away wi this over casual shit ? Ange should be gettin him told. Juranovic, he shouldnae pull a Celtic jersey on again. Wisnae interested. Happy (glad) we got the draw, tho no wi the performance.

  • Roonsa says:

    Hahaha. They’re taking it on a blogger because we got away with one today. Aye James. It’s all your fault for making up anlalogies and saying Ange would wipe the smirk off the face of ‘The Mooch”. That is still a pure shanner of a name for him BTW.

  • Frank Kelly says:

    I quite like analogy. Makes me think and appeals to my (distant) classical education.
    Thanks James.

  • woodyiom says:

    Like I said two says ago I would always be happy with a point at Ibrox and I am. Definitely not our best performance but we had complete control of the ball for half an hour, the hoardes were howling at their players and we were strolling it AND THEN for reasons best known to himself Joe Hart took complete leave of his senses and handed them the momentum on a plate and the game completely turned. Deffo wrong line up – Forrest should NEVER start against Rangers and Mooy should be in ahead of O’Riley at the moment. As for the decision to bring JJ on instead of an actual LB who cost us £3.75m – words fail me!! But despite all that we showed real character to come back and get a draw – a sign of Champions 🙂

  • S Thomas says:

    James this wiping the smile off opposition managers faces, is pure arrogance on your part. I would have rather had the 3 points, but I’m happy enough with the 1 point, as we maintain our 9 point lead. Mark Wilson made a decent point, he said “Celtic weren’t at their best today, but still came away from ibrox, with a point”. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I can’t see us playing as bad as that again, I’m hoping that’s our only blip going forward. We never know when we are beating. These last minute type goals, are showing our fitness levels, are the best in the country, and also our never say die attitude, is top class.

    • Johnny Green says:

      A Happy New Year Sean, have you finally jumped the dyke or are you still just pretending to be a Tim? It must have been baltic at Ibrox today, -9, I heard.

      • S Thomas says:

        That you a meteorologist as well, James talks like a hun in the 90’s, with his superiority complex. A little bit of humility wouldn’t go a miss at times. Wiping smiles off people’s faces, sounds smug, and arrogant to me.

        • Johnny Green says:

          Sean…..a miss is a young woman…..once again, I blame the schools.

          • S Thomas says:

            Was at not yourself that was at ibrox yesterday.. singing during the minute silence. The davie cooper song, well it’s actually the abba song, but the green brigade have made it one of their own. If you’re not sure I’ll tell you, it goes like this Super Cooper, no more Davie Cooper , Walter smiths in hell, and so is Jimmy Bell and Gorams there as well. The green brigade are entering the charts with that masterpiece.

  • Jim says:

    Well we learned from today that we have now have 3 good right backs and one good left back who went off injured. This must be addressed.
    Juranovic’s mistakes contributed to both their goals today.
    Somebody please tell Joe Hart it is OK to lump it when you have a player a yard away from you.
    The way Maeda rode the challenges when he burst through for the goal was brilliant.
    I thought Hatate had his best all-round game against them today. Kyogo needs to start improving in the same way, but a cool finish for the equaliser.
    Sevco were nothing much to talk about, we let them back into it today.
    The Juranovic substitution totally deranged us defensively. Sakala is decent, he needs a firm hand and JJ wasn’t up to it. Ralston would have handled him better.
    JJ is a fighter, has world class pace, and has been great for us most of the time, but positionally he is very weak. If we can get the millions for him that are being talked about, we will have done well.
    A draw was about right, and a much better result for us than for them.

  • Darren Kerr says:

    Bernarbei should have come on for the brilliant Taylor as he played well at Hibs when coming on. don’t sign the guy if you don’t trust him. O’Reilly all over the joint. Mooy to start or on earlier. Don’t get me started on Forrest. Hart far too casual. Johnson looked strong, Hatate superb. Kyogo sheer enigma but saved us regardless.

    • Dan Dwan says:

      Spot on Darren. Good debut for Johnson looks strong and should be a good acquisition going forward. Surprised to say the least that Jamesie started today especially with Abada & Jota’ form in this fixture recently. Didn’t happen for Jamesie today he’s passing and positioning were way off. Time to give Bernabei a few games perhaps and it looks like Josip’ mind is elsewhere. Sign of a decent team if you play poorly and still come away with something.

  • Jackson says:

    Celtic passing today went AWOL especially from OReilly, JJ i don’t think we will see him again in a Celtic shirt, Starfelt not great either BUT all that aside when will anyone at Celtic
    ask for an explanation on the penalty that should have been given against Goldhun.
    Give us an explanation on the decision…….they wont i know but its time someone asked from our club,,,why not a penalty.
    Mooy great when he came on……why he didn’t start only Ange will know.

  • Jackson says:

    When Bawwy Fergushun says it was a defo Penalty then that says it all….

  • Johnny Green says:

    Well done Sean, you just confirmed to everyone what a scummy hun you are.

    • S Thomas says:

      Certainly not.. just not a hypocrite like you. I see things from both sides, but people like you don’t. The davie cooper song, like the Tam burns song is disgraceful, absolute scum that sing these songs. But we know you think the green brigade are brilliant.. they are clowns like the onion bears. They bring shame to our club, that minute silence had to get abandoned after 36 seconds because of the cunts. They not real Celtic supporters, a bunch of arsehiles full of cocaine and buckfast. Brain dead neandarfals.

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