Celtic And The Fouls Per Cards Debate Is Another One Ibrox’s Fans Have Backwards.

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Yesterday, a clownish Ibrox fan who has clearly spent too much time mushing his brains on their forums, went on to Radio Clyde and laid out his theory about refs being in the pockets of Celtic.

We get so many fouls given against us during games but hardly any result in bookings. This, in his view, proves that we get some kind of free ride from officials.

This joker has actually stumbled onto an actual issue for our club and our fans, but without even realising that he’s done it, because of course this fool has it all back to front.

The reason that we don’t get yellow cards and that very little that our players do actually merits being booked. The issue for our fans is that little we do merits giving fouls either.

Celtic plays a high-intensity press. That means that we try to win the ball back when the opposition has it. But it is a nonsense to suggest that this makes us a dirty team. Yet almost every game now, a side with an average between 70-80% of the possession in its games winds up with the highest foul count. That’s worthy of a close examination from someone.

The fact is, officials are doing their damned level best to break up our style of play. We are awarded fouls against for everything and sometimes nothing.

The most innocuous incident leads to refs stopping our games regularly to give free kicks the other way. Sides playing against Celtic are offered an almost absurd level of protection from referees, including an apparent unwillingness to book their own players until they commit multiple offences.

Yesterday was yet another case in point.

We had 78% of the possession, so the bulk of the ball during the game.

Yet we committed 13 fouls to Aberdeen’s 6? I was astonished at the game how many nips and niggles Aberdeen got away with. It’s when I came home and found that double the number of free kicks were given to them as to us that I realised just how outrageous what I had watched actually was.

How can a side with a mere 22% of possession wind up with more free kicks than the team that has been in total command of the game? And this happens to us week in, week out, without fail, and almost always without comment in the media .. .except when some idiot like this pops up to propose this bizarre theory, which took root on Ibrox fan forums.

Yesterday some fool took it onto national radio.

I have no idea what they made of it, but in some ways it’s a discussion we should be pushing. Because there is something going on here, just not what the semi-literate eejits on those forums think it is.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    I suppose there are two ways you can look at those stats. For when we have, say 78% of the play, we are passing the ball about in a way that the opposition cannot get near enough us to commit fouls for the majority of the time. Yet when they are in possession, our players are immediately challenging them aggressively to win the ball back and it is our own intensity that sometimes leads to our foul count. I’m not too concerned about it to be truthful as it seems to be working in our favour, apart from the forced stoppages that is.

  • Martin says:

    It got so bad at one point they were asking what an Aberdeen free kick was for on Celtic TV and the answer given “red shirt fell down” was given. Then came the replay…. And that’s literally all that happened. No celtic player even nearby. But ref sees not celtic player on ground and whistle blows. Meanwhile Aberdeen captain commits 5 fouls, including 2 SPAs in about 12 minutes, not even a public warning. Shameful.

    • JimBhoy says:

      True Martin, it is becoming embarrassing the number of fouls at Celtic for a little contact and a player falls.

      Jota was booked for a 4th foul a few weeks back where 2 were falling shirts and the other 2 light at best.

      It is a total embarrassment. I only watch Celtic so not sure if it is the same in other games. It is becoming a no touch sport.

      Falling to the ground in my day was you giving up possession and a lazy tactic.

  • Bhoy4life says:

    Exact opposite stat in Sevco’s game yesterday, they had 65% of the ball, committed 8 fouls with 15 against….as u wud expect if u hv possession of the ball.
    The MiB are indeed involved in a discreet method of breaking up out attacking play.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Because of the way we play, always on the front foot, and defenders possibly caught too far forward, a naughty little foul is sometimes the best way to stop a quick counter attack and that then gives us time to get organised.

  • Effarr says:

    In a backhanded way he was proving with his “statistics” that teams playing against Celtic get more than their share of free kicks for minor offences.

    I thought Keevins would have been smart enough to point this out to him. At least he told him to calm down.

  • Tam says:

    Bobby Madden was the first referee to suss out give innocuous free kicks to break-up play. How many times have CELTIC been given a free kick and the referee stands in front of the ball to stop it being taken quickly. But if it’s an opposition team they can take it as quick or as slow as they like or from anywhere that they like. Aided and abbeted by the referees……is this discussed by referees I don’t know….in my opinion “yes” they do

    • Martin says:

      I’ve long said that this is the easiest and least likely to be noticed way of stopping us. People look at big decisions, but few think about the 30 small things that broke up our every flowing attack. Madden was an absolute virtuoso at it. But the rest are catching up

      • JimBhoy says:

        It’s also where the fouls are given. Couple of seasons back a high ball into our box from a freekick 40-45 yards out would be a good chance of a goal. We saw loads of those given in those areas.

        Defence good enough to deal with thoe high balls now. Teams wont defeat us, refs wont defeat us, VAR wont defeat us. We never stop.!

      • Kevan McKeown says:

        @ Martin. Yep, used every opportunity tae break up our momentum and frustrate us. Fly as fk tactic and as you say, the rest are catchin on.

  • John Kelly says:

    Noticed that when Aberdeen commited a foul on Celtic ref almost always said play on. But when Celtic player committed the foul play was always stopped. We ended up with a stat that showed Celtic committed more fouls than Aberdeen.

  • Voice of Reason says:

    The Hun Bastard that foned in ACTUALLY went thru EVERY game since Bealing has arrived tae state we’d had 9 bookings tae their 30! Whit he conveniently NEVER mentioned wiz they’d had a pen or a sending aff or both in EVERY FUKIN GAME!! GOLLUM y/day wiz in our players line of sight fur EVERY passage of play hoping he could break our movement! A SLEEKIT WEE CUNT that does NOTHING but HINDER US!!

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