Brendan’s Great ‘Idah Idea’ Turns Anxiety To Elation At Fir Park

Brendan Rodgers told the world that we would “write our own story” after a dramatic, last-gasp 3-1 victory at Fir Park…

Having made a half-time substitution, an ‘Idah idea’ which saved, not only the game, but possibly our season, that story may well turn out to be our finest in years. After weeks of toil and no little frustration, the second half of this Motherwell tussle re-wrote the script-Celtic are far from out of the Title race!

Having endured 45 minutes of pure torture, a couple of changes on the field changed everything, and who would have conceived that the removal of Kyogo would be the catalyst for an unlikely victory dance at the Celtic End? Not that the talismanic Japanese was poor, it was simply a need for a directional alteration in tactical terms. Furuhashi was isolated and frustrated-he was also injured!

That change in momentum came in the form of Irishman, Adam Idah, and Korean, Yang. Both substitutes brought both hope, and goals to a feverish Hoops support. The all-change, first half formation was clearly not working, and Motherwell, despite needing snookers in terms of possession, had all the chances bar one.

The retiring Joe Hart kept us in it, and our defence looked as solid as ice-cream and jelly as the nerves crept in time and again. We were lucky to survive an early goal when the rampaging, Bair made a foraging run behind Scales and deceived Hart.

Fortunately the big striker was half a yard offside, and we breathed again. Just. Kyogo had one strike on goal which the ‘keeper saved, and that was that for the Celtic attack in this innings.

When Blair Spittal curled in, finishing a brilliant team effort on the stroke of half-time, Deja-vu set in and I’m sure we all sensed imminent disaster for our Title hopes. Rodgers changed the tone with Idah replacing Kyogo who had seemingly injured his shoulder in a box tussle. The lone Samurai was getting bullied by big defenders and we needed something different. We got Idah.

A brilliant towering header into the corner from a pinpoint cross brought the Celtic fans to their feet and a renewed sense of ‘What if?’ ‘What if’ Brendan saw what we were seeing and dragged the serially-awful Kuhn from the pitch to be replaced by someone who could actually find a hooped shirt for once?

He did, and the much-maligned, Yang arrived to prove his worth, re-creating the mass hysteria of our last outing in Steelmen country. Celtic now began to play with fluency and confidence. O’Riley and McGregor were prompting and probing, unlocking doors which were previously closed, and the wingers looked lively and productive.

It all looked a little forlorn though as the minutes ticked down and the claret and amber wall appeared impenetrable. However, with 94 minutes on the clock, a brilliant move saw the rejuvenated Alistair Johnston slide-rule a pass across goal. The crowd held their collective breath before hero-of-the-hour Adam Idah picked the pockets of the home support and cooly slotted home to provoke unbridled delirium behind Kelly’s goal.

Yes, Celtic looked to have done it again with a last-gasp clincher and, as the seconds ticked down, the clever Idah toyed with the defence out near the corner flag to kill the game. When the ball broke forward, the ever-improving Yang went wide and his low cross found fellow-sub, Luis Palma with a delicious delivery, and the Honduran kept himself onside as he killed the game and won the points with a calm slot.

The celebrations were of the kind we have been pining for recently, and now, with only two points in it, the League Flag is still up for grabs. I’ve a feeling this resolve and show of character will kick into our final eleven matches, with two against our Glasgow rivals, and anything can happen.

The return of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Al Johnston could not have come at a better time and the squad now looks so much stronger.

Post-match, Brendan was at pains to keep the feel-good factor alive whilst Jane Lewis did her level best to dampen the celebrations with some typically negative vibes. Brendan sorted her out thankfully and walked out leaving the ‘reporter’ with a substantial amount of egg on her smug face.

I remember her from the day we put Ronaldinho’s Barcelona out of Europe in the Camp Nou. I was among the throngs of Celtic supporters heading to the iconic stadium when I spotted Lewis with her STV crew. I spoke to her briefly and wished her well, only to be rudely snubbed as she looked down her nose and sarcastically dismissed me with a ‘did you, aye?’ type response.

You can tell a tree by her roots indeed! Brendan has her number though, and, without wishing to be petty, I was perhaps the smug one tonight as the manager cuttingly turned the ‘did you, aye?’ back onto the woman who attempted to turn a well-won victory into a feeling of defeat.

The Title charge is back on track folks, and although these people will do all they can to derail Celtic’s joy, hopes and dreams, we won’t let them, instead, we will back the team and the manager until the final hour. Come what may.

Eddie Murray

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About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.

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