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Today’s Scottish Cup Draw Is Celtic’s Moment Of Maximum Vulnerability.

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Later on today, after the Ibrox club has played in Aberdeen, a match that will give us something to think about regardless of the result, another important matter will be put on the table, when the Scottish Cup Fourth Round draw is made.

The games will be played over the weekend of 20 January.

It is, for Celtic, the moment of maximum vulnerability.

If the SFA heated balls are going to attempt a death blow this is where it will fall. The danger is obvious when you’ve spent as long as I have staring at the makeup of our squad, and at the calendar. I have had recurring nightmares about this for many, many months.

For ages, I’ve worried more about the fifth round more than this one, although this one has also played on my mind quite a bit.

I’ve come to believe that this is the one where the threat is most acute.

The Fifth Round is the one where you could potentially get a much tougher draw, and with those games being played on the day of the Asian Cup Final you can see why I’m worried if South Korea and Japan get that far.

Even if both sides are in the semi’s – not a mad suggestion by any manner of means – I’d say the chances are good that both sets of players will be at best only half fit for Fifth Round games.

That’s a bad situation for us to be in, especially as Japan are amongst the favourites to win the competition. The Fifth Round dangers are pretty obvious.

But actually, the risk in the Fourth Round is potentially just as great, and it might be even more so when you consider that if we’re signing a new striker – and we need to, there’s no choice there at all – he would need to be in place for that game. It would be his debut, and so without a proper introduction to the rest of the team he’d have to be damned good.

It also comes whilst every issue in the Asian Cup is still pretty much up in the air; it guarantees that every single one of the players we’re worried about losing will be away playing at that competition.

It is the Fourth Round, not the Fifth, where we are at our weakest, and whilst we could as easily draw a Division Two team as get, for example, St Mirren away, the greater risk exists.

So be warned in advance of today’s draw. Don’t be in the least bit surprised if it’s tougher than you would usually get at this stage in the competition.

Celtic officials can say all they want about how we’ve planned for this, but if we had we would not be betting the house on a favourable cup draw.

If it was any other club in Scotland facing this sort of shambles, I would say they deserve everything they get, and I’d be half hoping to see them pay for such shit-show planning and strategic failure.

Everything that is wrong with the way our club does things is exemplified right here. And don’t forget, we’ve all known this was coming, we’ve all knew the time to guard against it and put the guardrails in place was during the summer.

The summer in which we chose, instead, not to buy the backup striker but instead to buy – and you could not make this up – three more players we knew we could lose for that critical four-week spell, which even includes the first post-Xmas European fixture.

We’re already now locked in a league race.

The chances of us going into that spell with a comfortable cushion receded massively yesterday afternoon. If we scrape through in Europe, that’s at risk by this utter stupidity, easily foreseeable, about which nothing concrete has been done up until now. It’s now clear that the Scottish Cup is at threat because of this.

So, when I say the whole season might hinge on a month where we’ve already, to some extent, shot ourselves in the foot, I am not kidding.

Those at Celtic, including the manager, who claim that we’ve “planned for this” are fooling nobody. You can see a mile away that this hasn’t been planned for because the perfect moment for executing those plans would have been during the summer months when we added to our problems instead of combating them.

This is what happens you put the bean-counters in charge of the transfer policy, when the adult who is supposed to be in the room and supervising every detail of that policy steps back from that process and lets the kids run the candy store.

The egos of these people, to think that they know this stuff so much better than the rest of us … and then to turn in a performance like this, which leaves our whole season on a knife edge … it really pisses me off.

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  • Stewart says:

    A lot of anger of yesterday’s performance from a lot of folk, understandable but we’ve had games like this in the past and no doubt in run in we’ll see others, but as it stands we are 9pts ahead,I have the same hunch myself about the cup draw, deff away from home and usual sit in hammer throwers, it seems in Cup competitions this is norm for us with organisers, and the usual suspects will be putting it out there nothing to see here,,,

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    If yesterday’s performance is anythin tae go by, ah think ‘heated balls’ are our least worry. If they get a result today, the pressure switches from them tae us. Nae doubt about that and my concern is that in January, we’re goin tae be strugglin again at the last minute and end up wi loan or ‘prospect’ players. This board need tae get this window right and strengthen with experienced players. If they don’t our season could be in big trouble imo.

  • Eldraco says:

    Everything is now on the table up for grabs the league, the Scottish cup, even failing to drop into Europa it’s looking that bad and it’s always that bad when we have or should have our foot on that clubs throat to ensure the air is choked off forever but no what we get is a complete fuck you from laural and Hardy while the Desmond gangsters stick the finger up and tell us to suck on it .

    Tell you one thing though laugh all you want would that other clubs lot abide with the fucking board we have ? The money in the bank ? No way,

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    This comment might not be everyone’s cup of tea – but I always speak my mind…

    If The Sevco Huns sign Shankland I think they could sadly win The League –

    If they do – They will spend EVERY SINGLE POUND of cash they’d get from The Champions League on their team and try to keep their jackboots on our throats for years…

    Yesterday was utterly gutting indeed –

    Their custodians far prefer their club to how much our old grey men prefer our one for sure !

  • Magdalena’s Chestnut Gelding says:

    Imagine for a moment that every single player we have signed from the Asian continent were a success and were fit. They would make up the majority of the starting eleven and would all be away leaving us with a second string for January.

    Far fetched? Well what’s the point in signing these guys in the first place if you don’t want them to be a success?

    A dreadful signing policy.

    We struck gold with Kyogo, Hatate and Maeda. I think Iwata could be a “rerr plerr” too. I suppose the powers that be thought they had hit a rich seam of talent and kept mining it.

    Yang, Kwon, Idegushi, Kobayashi. If they were as good as their contemporaries we could have been down eight important team members. There was no planning whatsoever put in place for this.

    As it stands, with the team still trying to find its best self, we are going to lose the most important elements of it at a time we can least afford to.

    On yesterday’s showing December is going to be a very tough slog.

    We will get Kilmarnock away!

  • William Melvin says:

    James,
    I am beyond angry !
    Yesterday l sat at Celtic Park and the rage built inside me as l witnessed another rendition of the the big bad wolf attempting to blow the Murderwell house down………To no avail.
    I am by no means a Nostradamus but when we got the first penalty award l said we should have brought Turnbull on to take it.
    Risky ???? You bet !!!
    But even then,less perilous than leaving it to a guy who wasn’t having the best of afternoons.
    The one thing DT has is an accurate shot and l know he has missed from the spot by hitting the post but l would take my chances with him rather than ANY of the other hotshots we have.
    Even when we scored from the second award everyone in my vicinity knew the game was not over even though the opposition had shown little effort in crossing the halfway line, preferring to conserve their energies to defending their final 30 yards.
    A collective groan went up when Calmac needlessly put the ball out for a corner as we all kinda knew it was written in the stars what was coming next.
    Sure enough,our lightweight defence were collectively ragdolled in the box while our 6′-4″ keeper selt the jerseys by his inability to command his six yard box yet again.
    The Scottish Cup is a prize we can afford to lose but shouldn’t even be contemplating the prospect,of doing so at the present time.
    What we CANNOT afford to lose is this league title but as someone a lot more erudite than me once said,Manged Decline FC is all about shaving the margins tighter than two coats of paint.
    If we do,and let’s be under no illusion,it is a real possibility as it stands,l hope and pray that the rage l am still feeling will be felt by the entire Celtic family and finally we get off our collective arses and orchestrate the removal of these parasitic dinosaurs infesting our club.
    Our whole season, not just our Scottish Cup hopes are in mortal danger of collapse !
    Forget any thoughts about post Christmas European dates because that’s for the birds and fantasists and all because of a shower of of arseholes who believe a good balance sheet should be enough to keep the plebs happy as they are already on record as saying we are “entitled.”
    We have to starve these bastards of any additional cash and we have to start now,it’s the ONLY language they understand !!

  • Gary Cheshire says:

    Totally agreed, and I don’t think anything will ever change while we have the present board, no fan representation at board level, and a system in place where the board put themselves forward and are elected in by every shareholder having one vote each which could happen every four years giving the opportunity to get rid of any dead wood or under achievers, which won’t come about until this lot die.

  • BAM says:

    Jesus!! The negativity coming from some of our support is utterly ridiculous!! How dare we drop some points at home eh? Fk sake, people like to go on about how we need the league to be stronger, sides have to be able to take points off of us and Rangers yet when it happens they call for everyone’s heads and its a disaster and the seasons gone.

    As for this Asian cup you all seem to assume our players are all first picks. Christ only Maeda is first SQUAD pick for Japan and even he will be lucky to see the first team. Have a look. Japan has only bothered to include Kyogo or Hatate when it’s a friendly. Oh hasn’t had an international call up this year yet you all assume he is off to the Asia Cup, Yang at least has had a call up but its been his only call up!!!!

    I suggest everyone calms down a wee touch

  • SSMPM says:

    There is a plan that could have been executed ie having games cancelled due to too many players being away on international duty. Not sure if this applies in Scottish Cup games though. Why we haven’t or won’t is beyond reason.
    Personally I think the huns and their powers that be would rub their hands with glee at drawing us at the midden during this time. With top players absent, it’s the optimum time.
    Tbh and I hope I’m very wrong here but we’re unlikely to be in Europe after the up and coming midweek CL games so it would be easy enough to schedule in cancelled games post January.
    I’ve a feeling when they say we’ve planned for the event ie the Asia Cup, that it’s a Baldrick type plan.
    It’s still entirely possible if our squad actually turn up and play that we can get through it comfortably. HH

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Well said William but will anyone on our board or our managerial staff listen and take action ,I very much doubt it ,we are a shit show at the minute but fortunately sevco are just as bad but yes forget about Europe we’re fucked.

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