The 39 Steps – That’s 13 x 3 points and Celtic are the Champions Again

A cold night in Paradise but a good performance from the team, and another step towards the Scottish Premiership title. A long way to go, but another 13 wins (possibly fewer) out of 16 will see us home, and if we keep playing like we did last night, it is difficult to see us dropping many points – but no complacency!

 Jota of Celtic is challenged by Alex Gogic of St Mirren during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at Celtic Park on January 18, 2023 i. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

St Mirren were not the worst side we have seen at Parkhead this year, and they did at least make an attempt to play. For a while in the first half at least, it looked as if we might get a good game on our hands, but Celtic scored at key points, and we were never really in any danger, although Joe Hart did have a very fine save near the end after a very good move from the Buddies.

The goals were all good. Kyogu’s first game was a very delicate lob which I was absolutely convinced was going way over the bar, and it would have been an absolute travesty if his other goal had been disallowed. But full marks to VAR – and I never thought I would ever be likely to say that! And David Turnbull! On the bus going to the game, I said to my friend “You always get a good quarter of an hour from David Turnbull and usually a goal as well”. Oh, my prophetic soul! And what a lovely, casual goal from a man who just turned away as if to say “That’s the sort of thing I do!”

The new central defender Yuki Kobayashi gave a good first impression. His partner Carl Starfelt made one bad mistake with a pass but recovered well, and the two full backs were impressive. Little wrong with the midfield, and little wrong with the team in general. Keep doing this, boys!

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 18: Liel Abada of Celtic scores the team’s first goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at Celtic Park on January 18, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

I sometimes wonder what referees themselves think of VAR. For a change, VAR last night tended to favour Celtic, but what a time it takes! Steven McLean himself had not a bad game, although he missed one push on a Celtic player, one foul throw by a St Mirren player, and although I do not really know the Law, he might have allowed Johnston’s hilarious throw in when lying down. It showed a commendable urgency to get on with things!

No League games for 10 days now when we go to Tannadice Park, but Saturday sees an early kick off in the Scottish Cup game against Morton. I suspect there might be a small turnout, but I urge everyone to go and see a great wee (or possibly medium sized) club who not all that long ago in 2013 put Celtic out of the League Cup. Celtic will underestimate them at their peril.

David Potter

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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