If this keeps up, ‘The Carnival Will Be Over’ before Saint Nick arrives

Well, well. You can hardly say you were surprised at that, can you? I mean, we knew the pitch being from the dark ages would slow our play up – just as it always does – but the rough-house tactics used by Martindale and his gang of outlaws was quite awful. Three cards in the first-half alone tells the story of a team who weren’t interested in playing their own game, but rely so heavily on putting the other team off you wonder why their manager is in a job.

Livingston manager David Martindale centre celebrates with players after the final whistle. Photo Andrew Milligan

The challenge on Rogic from behind was particularly poor in my opinion. Clearly no attempt was made to go for that ball by the Livingston player. The referee was also pretty neglectful in his duties to protect the players from Martindale’s hammer throwers; several fouls on Celtic players subsequently waived away for play-on.

But to be honest, the most pathetic thing was the time-wasting performance from Livingston when we hadn’t even reached the second-half of the game. Take nothing away from Shinnie’s finish however, expertly executed to put the hosts ahead at the break.

 David Martindale centre celebrates with players after the final whistle. Photo Andrew Milligan

Celtic really need to get a grip when they come to this place though – how many times are we going to go side-to-side, back to the defence, then someone puts a long, high, hopeful ball into a box of ironmongers’. Yes, we’re all totally aggravated at the state of this pitch and the questionable tactics used by the opposition, but is that a good enough excuse for manifesting the exact definition of insanity?

This is the first time I’ve called into question Ange’s tactics myself. You would have to be honest though and say it’s not without merit. The bizzare decision to throw Bitton on for Welsh was dumbfounding – not to mention his reticence to switch Jota to the right where he was so effective against Betis.

Stephen Welsh right heads towards goal. Photo Andrew Milligan

We knew this rebuild was significant and would take time, but sweet Jesus that was distinctively poor from Ange and the team today. I felt as if it was going to be an episode of Scooby-Doo, with Ange getting his mask pulled of at the end to reveal a Neil Lennon interior. Our recurring nightmare has not ceased to exist, leaving us in a less than fanciful position in the league.

If we have aspirations of challenging for this league, we need to have a serious rethink over our approach to these games. More steel required for a start. The attackers were akin to a football version of ‘The Seekers’. Soft. Soft. Soft.

I’ll tell you what though, if this keeps up, ‘The Carnival Will Be Over’ before Saint Nick arrives!

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.


  1. I think you’re spot on with your summary Paul. The worrying thing for me is the lack of serious options on the bench. I agree, the subs were baffling, albeit McCarthy was totally ineffective and deserved hooked and Turnbull had his “derby” hat on again I see but there was no point in taking Rogic off now we know he can play 90 minutes – not to mention if MJ is fit to play then surely big Gia the Greek should be on the bench.
    Only positive is “they” drew and it’s an unexpected life line. Next 4 games are 3 away and 10/12 pts is a minimum requirement and that’s being generous. HH KTF

  2. It’s the pitch, it’s the referee, it’s the opposition….really, so Celtic players, coaches and manger are exempt from being blamed for the result. What age are you ? 5 ?

    • Everybody new what to expect, no excuses, the wrong team and tactics was picked to play against livi, I’ve said numerous times we need a plan B, these tactics will only work against certain teams as has been shown in our defeats.

  3. We were pish today…that’s undeniable. I’m bothered why we were so bad. I don’t blame Ange, he deserves time to get his shit together, especially away to those surfaces after Europe and the unfortunate scenarios of half his starting 11 been injured so early on. No excuses though, he’s running out time quicker than any one hoped for but probably expected. Hunz drawing has gave us an unexpected life line today. We need 10/12 pts minimum from next 4 league games. Good luck Ange, I believe in you big man – A few big hitters returning which will get is back on track HH KTF.

  4. The board will decide when the party is over and as we found out last season they will be in no hurry to end it. The fans have no say in this matter at all. Did we expect to win the league at the start of the season despite struggling at the end of last season against SPL cannon fodder ? The “rebuild “ isn’t a kid on. Despite saying yeah,we understand it’ll take time how many really meant that? Everybody talks about Giakoumakis,saying he’s ready to play,really? How exactly do you all know that? Do you want Kennedy or Postacoglou ? That’s the choice you’ll be left with ….probably to the end of the season. Who is going to want to take on this poison chalice of a job?