WELL, I’m guilty of saying it myself but certainly not this season.
This week saw two notable occurrences in Scottish football and I don’t know which one I’m least surprised at. Stuart McCall appointed interim manager over at Ibrox or the SFA mishandling a post match enquiry.
For McCall I will say this. In his four years at Motherwell he did a good job, finishing 3rd in his first full season and 2nd in his final two full seasons.
As well as Celtic’s closest rivals for two seasons McCall also managed positive cup runs for Motherwell as well as entry into Europe. So it was a no brainer that he would end up at Ibrox, particulary after leaving Motherwell earlier this season.
He may improve the current form at Ibrox but Scotland’s newest club have much to resolve off the park before anyone takes them seriously. They remain an embarassment to the Scottish game not just because they failed to learn from the omnishambles of the 1872 club but because they are in eternal denial about the facts that led them to their even eventual predicament.
What was left after liquidation resembles nothing other than a festering carcass. The hyenas that have fed off that have varied whilst the SFA have stood back and allowed this to ramble on like it isn’t damaging the credibility of the game in Scotland.
Which brings me to my next point. The Scottish Football Association.
When I think of the SFA, the words “trust” or “faith” do not come to mind. I would say “inflexible” or “unyielding” are more apt.
This week saw the farcical events of the Scottish Cup quarter final between Dundee United and Celtic dissected. Not only was it poorly refereed by SFA officials, the enquiry has failed to address all the issues that came from that post match enquiry.
Celtic made a statement to this effect:
“CELTIC Football Club notes that no action appears to have been taken in relation to Calum Butcher of Dundee United.
It seems completely illogical and fundamentally unfair that, in an incident where mistaken identity has been claimed, the Dundee United player now identified clearly as being involved in the incident appears to have no case to answer – and would be available to play in the League Cup final and the Scottish Cup replay between the two teams – while Celtic’s player may potentially miss both of those matches.
Celtic Football Club and Virgil van Dijk maintain their position that no red card offence was committed by Virgil.
Virgil will appear at Hampden to put his case on Thursday and we will fully support him in this appeal.”
There were many cases to answer in this match. That includes the refereeing itself.
On a more positive note, Stefan Johansen won the Player of the Month award for February. His form this season has been outstanding and has shown the passion and ability to make him a first pick for Ronny Deila.
His influence has grown since he arrived a little over a year ago. So much so, he ousted Kris Commons for the same berth this season under Deila.
He is but one example of players showing true commitment to the personal adjustments required to advance in this metamorphic season. Ronny Deila continues to shape Celtic in his own way, a new way.
Some players took up his challenge immediately whilst others took time to decide and realise what was required and what they had to do. Commons, Griffiths and Bitton are examples of those frozen out but eventually stepped up to the plate.
On Sunday, Celtic will meet Dundee United at Hampden to contest the first of this season domestic trophies. The League Cup will be decided in the aftermath of the two teams previous meeting a week earlier and its hard to imagine that it will be without incident.
This is possibly one of the best domestic Celtic matches I’ve been looking forward to in a long time. Lets hope it lives up to it.