I AM composing this blog post on Sunday morning, prior to the lunch time kick-off at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen entertain Celtic.
Received wisdom has it that Celtic only really need to turn-up against Aberdeen, and they will win. I would say, today represents Aberdeen's best chance all season of lowering their visitors' colours. If they cannot win, on home soil, against a Celtic team in crisis – they might just as well pack it in and hand Celtic all 12 available points from this, or any season.
Kieran Tierney, here playing for Scotland, is the only current Celt who could have got a game in the first Celtic team I ever saw
As I have long said – for all the money Brendan Rodgers has spent on players, this is not a good Celtic team – from memory, the first Celtic team I ever saw began Haffey; McKay, Mochan; Crerand, McNeill, Peacock. The rest would be a guess, but, apart from Kieran Tierney being a better left-back than dear old Neil Mochan – who had stepped back from being a forward at the tail-end of his career, not a single Celtic player today would get picked ahead of that late 1950s Celtic side.
Mind you, I don't think many of Derek McInnes's current side would have got on the bench in an Eddie Turnbull or Alex Ferguson Aberdeen team either.
Celtic were woeful in St Petersburg. They had the trip out there, into difficult conditions, they then had a disappointing match, a tiring trip home, and now they have to travel to Aberdeen. Celtic should be beatable today, and, if Aberdeen can pull that off, they just might revive a season which was drifting into insignificance.
Beating Celtic and keeping their lead at the top of the table to six points, just might galvanise the Dons and Rangers to have a right go at Celtic over the final weeks of the season, and God knows, we need a competitive season, following recent processions for the Champions.
MY OLD Buddie, Charles Young Esq., made a cameo appearance on my favourite radio football programme: “Off the Ball” yesterday.
Chick Young - He's a St Mirren fan - honest
Dukla Pumpherston's Director of Football used his appearance to flag-up a Renfrewshire Council initiative, to allow the general public to select the names of the various streets in the new residential development on the old Love Street Stadium site.
Apparently, the short list of names which a panel of Buddies fans, chaired by Chic, has chosen for the proposed streets will go up on the Cooncil website tomorrow, and the final vote will be down to the public.
Chic hinted, Torfassen Terrace might be on that list, as a tribute to the great Guni, but, the question is, which other Saints legends will be name-checked? I quite fancy voting for a “Bash or Basher Street”, in honour of “Basher” Lavety – my all-time favourite Saints'player. And, if “Basher” is to be immortalised, well, we could not possibly leave out his partner in crime – Big Mark Yardley.
Bash or Basher Street has a certain rign to it, in honour of Barry Lavety
Surely Davie Lapsley, immortal skipper of the 1959 Scottish Cup winners has to be in there, while not having Tony Fitzpatrick name-checked on the short leet would be impossible.
Given the years I spent, happily following the Buddies home and away for the Paisley Daily Express, I await the announcement of the potential street names with interest.
OH DEAR! Scotland's greatest current dummp-spitter and toys oot the pram thrower, wee Neil Lennon, was at it again yesterday.
The wee Ginger Whinger was not best pleased when his side failed to properly defend the two-goal lead they built-up in a flying start at Rugby Park, and - when referee Kevin Clancy awarded the controversial penalty which, although saved, allowed Kris Boyd to score from the rebound an clinch a come-back point for Killie – Lenny lost the plot.
Lenny in full spitting the dummy mode at Rugby Park on Saturday
I fear he will require to schedule a meeting with the SFA's Compliance Officer and can look forward to a lengthy spell watching from the stand, his comments re Clancy were bang out of order.
Hand ball in the bois, I often think, just about the hardest call for a referee to get correct. When the ball hits an arm, it isn't always a penalty, but, I always feel, apart from the Old Firm (where as I have often said, SFA special rules 16/90 and 18/88 come into play), these contentious penalty calls tend to even themselves out.
Lenny would do well to heed the wise words of a far-better Celtic manager than he ever was, Jock Stein, who always instructed his men to, as far as they could, take the referee out of the equation, by not giving him the chance to make wrong calls.
I HONESTLY forgot to mention how pleased I was to see Dumbarton qualify for the final of the Irn-Bru Cup, where they will meet Inverness Caledonian Thistle, at McDiarmid Park, on 24 March.
The Sons haven't been in a national cup final, since 1897, when they lost to Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final at the 2nd Hampden Park – now Cathkin. They haven't actually won national silverware since they beat local rivals Vale of Leven, to win the Scottish Cup at the original Hampden Park in 1883.
One hundred and thirty-five years since they last lifted a national trophy is one Hell of a long wait – in fact, my old mate Brian Henson, who was the “house freelance” at Boghead and the Rock Stadium for so many years was maybe still a ball boy when the Sons won that Scottish Cup.
I don't think even the most-biased ICT fan would begrudge Stevie Aitken and his men victory next month, they have, after all, had a long wait for the chance to win one.