This week saw Virgil van Dijk and Paul Paton’s red cards rescinded allowing both players to take part in today’s League Cup Final at Hampden, as will the unpunished Calum Butcher. However, it was Scott Brown who grabbed the media spot light for this one.
You may have noticed one or two articles being run about the Celtic skipper enjoying himself the night before his day off? Oooh the scandal!
For me this was a non-story to begin with. With pictures and quotes being printed and uploaded in abundance, I could just sense that people were hoping more was going to come from “Broony’s big night out”
And thats just it, there was nothing worth discussing except of course does he have garlic mayo and chilli sauce like me? With a day off to wake up to, a bit of a splurge is nothing when you’ve been working your nuts off all season.
Celtic made no comment about the matter and quite rightly so. The only thing that does matter is that Scott Brown turns up today with his game face on as he has done all season.
His presence in the team is important and blowing off some steam midweek will probably have done him some good. Even the currrent in-form-as-kisser Chris Sutton weighed in with some support to play matters down, but we don’t need your opinion Chris so thanks but no thanks.
Today’s match is huge and you can be sure Broony will be right in amongst it. I wonder what the bookies odds are for him scoring and celebrating with a reinactment of Wednesday night?
In all seriousness, this is built up to be a great game today. Dundee United have been in good form this season and always a great team to play against.
The downside for United is the missing Nadir Ciftci. He was rightly suspended after last weeks post match inquiry for his deliberate kick at Scott Brown.
Ciftci is a key danger man for United but I don’t expect his absence to hamper their chances in this match. Jackie McNamara, one of my favourite all time Celtic players, will have his players fired up for this.
I was always under the impression McNamara was a quiet, calm guy who focused on his game at Celtic. In truth, he did as much challenging behind the scenes as he did on the park.
He also walked away from Celtic when they were slow to offer him a new deal. It wasn’t the ideal way to leave after being such a great servant but he is his own man.
That is why its no surprise he is in management and making a good go of it. He’s the longest serving head coach in the Scottish Premiership at present and hopefully will continue that if Scottish football ever hopes to gain some momentum again.
Scottish football needs coaches like McNamara to reignite the game once more. Usually once a coach gets a better offer from down south they’re gone and yet the grass isn’t always greener so hopefully Jackie will stick around for a while.
This has been one of the best Scottish football seasons in the top flight for as far back as I can remember. Where it wasn’t just about Celtic and Rangers, as it was before the demise of the latter.
Since then its just been about Celtic but this season its been about Dundee United, Aberdeen, Inverness and even Hamilton’s early season form. Sure, Celtic may still be on for the treble but they are being challenged at long last.
So today will be no pushover for Ronny Deila, not after last weeks encounter at Tannadice. Finals can produce anything and will provide enough entertainment to keep us all perched on the edge of our seats.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the refereeing today as well. With Bobby Madden in charge you can only wonder how he’ll perform.
Is it nearly kick off yet? Make mine a Hampden kebab with everything on it.