Beram Kayal and the malice of Lee McCulloch

Beram Kayal, a fantastic player who perhaps could have been so much better, had it not been for the malice of Lee McCulloch.

Beram Kayal was signed by Neil Lennon in 2010 from Maccabi Haifa for a fee of around £1.2 million. Kayal was a tough tacking midfielder, a Neil Lennon type of player. But despite his ability to put himself about, he could also play a bit.

Kayal started his Celtic career superbly with a man of the match performance in a 2-0 win over FC Utrecht in the Europa League only for us to lose the return leg in the Netherlands. A few months later he had a fine game in the 2-0 win over Rangers at Ibrox, upstaged only by two goal hero Georgios Samaras in a game still recalled as ‘Samaras Sunday’.

Kayal was highly rated by Lennon and even skippered the side in the absence of Scott Brown. Beram signed a new improved contract in October 2011 to fend off any potential suiters down south, and it seemed to give him a new lease of life as he turned in an array of impressive performances as the club clawed back Rangers lead at the top of the table, a lead that one time stood at a massive 15 points.

Celtic of course beat the Ibrox side in late December 2011 to go top, but it was a night of mixed fortunes as Beram himself suffered a bad Injury after a rather nasty ‘challenge’ by Lee McCulloch. Ironically Lee McCulloch only played that night because Rangers had appealed the red card he had picked up at St Mirren.

McCulloch himself unsurprisingly said no malice was intended, but he knew what he was doing, something that Kayal later stated. The Israeli was forthright in his assessment of the situation and clearly blamed the Rangers man for his injury woes.

It proved to be a bad one as it kept Beram out until the very last game of the season. Beram typically worked hard to get back to his best form, but despite scoring against Ajax in the Champions lLague amongst a few other decent performances, he never did get his previous impressive form back on a consistent basis.

Beram left the club in 2015 after making 132 appearances scoring 3 goals and winning six honours when he joined Brighton whom he had a decent spell with, winning promotion to the EPL a particular highlight.

Beram had a decent career at Celtic and is fondly remembered by the supporters, but it will always be a case of what might have been. All due to one thuggish rival.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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