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Penalty controversy fails to mask Rangers' superiority

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Jim Spence | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 25 October 2010

What Neil Lennon really needed in Sunday's Old Firm game was his assistants - Alan Thompson, Johan Mjallby - and himself in the team.

What Celtic missed was exactly the kind of mentality those three brought to the Hoops jersey in spades when they were playing.

Rangers had mental toughness by the bucketful and that did for Celtic, who could not match their desire and will to win.

Lennon can feel justifiably aggrieved over a poor and wrong penalty decision, but overall Rangers had the better players.

Kenny Miller (centre) is congratulated by Lee McCulloch and Kyle Lafferty after scoring for Rangers

Kenny Miller (centre) is congratulated by Lee McCulloch and Kyle Lafferty after scoring for Rangers. Photo: SNS

Indeed, Anthony Stokes was lucky he wasn't plying his trade in England's Premier League, because his lunging tackle in the opening minutes would probably have seen him red-carded in that league.

The Old Firm's mission is not to beat the rest.

With the vastly mismatched resources in Scottish football, they should do that as a matter of course.

No, their mission is to beat each other and it is Rangers who have emerged with the psychological upper hand until the next clash.

Walter Smith's side are a much better team than critics have given them credit for.

Their Champions League results and Scottish Premier League form cannot be argued with.

In Allan McGregor, they now have a keeper as good as anything in the English top flight and, in Kenny Miller, a front man with a level of confidence unmatched by any Celtic player.

Their strength of belief and teamwork was superior to that of a Celtic side with seven derby-day debutants.

Their central-defensive pairing of David Weir and Madjid Bougherra was firm in its resolve and the midfield, once into its second-half stride, had too much strength and organisation for Celtic.

However, Lennon, who is just in the management door compared to Smith, a vastly experienced campaigner, can take some heart.

Lennon looks to have a winner in forward Gary Hooper, who received little service throughout but who took his goal with a speed of reaction that promised much for the future.

The Celtic manager also lost talisman Shaun Maloney just into the restart and who knows what difference his pace and trickery might have made to the second half.

In Emilio Izaguirre and Ki Sung-Yueng, he had two players of genuine flair and talent who were unflustered by the day's events and look to have the credentials for a successful stay at Parkhead.

There is a school of thought that, with a starting line up of six Scots and two Northern Irishmen, Rangers had players who understood what was required in such a hothouse occasion. Celtic kicked off with just two Scots in their line up.

I'm not convinced of the argument. Professional football has been a global game for a long time.

What surely counts is the quality of player and the hunger, desire and commitment they show. This time round, Rangers players had more of all of those things.

Lennon is articulate, smart and intelligent. He'll need all of those qualities now to quickly build a side that can match the qualities of Celtic's great rivals if the SPL flag is to fly at Celtic Park at the end of this season.


  • Comment number 1.

    While it was never a penalty, I'd feel more aggrieved about it if we hadn't already handed Rangers two cheap goals in ten minutes. While I have no doubt Lennon will be a good Celtic manager the fact remains that any time we come up against opposition better than Caley Thistle we struggle for a result. First embarrassment in Europe and now we come up woefully short in the first Old Firm clash.

  • Comment number 2.

    I was disappointed in Kirk B and the penalty as it is not what you want to see at this level. Also, Lafferty's little theatricals (the spin and slamming in to the deck after minimal contact) are embarrassing and I thought he had (self confessed) moved on from that stuff! I do think we were the better team in the second half and deserved the win. Celtic had spells where they looked very tidy and put us under pressure but it was good to see that we generally handled it well. Also disappointed that G.Samaras felt the need for the silly "knee incident" but Al Mc is no stranger to the odd "silly action" so, I think we can move on from that. I have no doubt that this is going to be very close over the course of the season and it would not surprise me if it goes down to the wire. I also think that it is hugely important that W.Smith gets some younger squad members playing more as we will be looking to them later in the season as we tire and injuries kick in. So far, so good but, a long way to go yet.

  • Comment number 3.

    On TV evidence McGregor got suspended for a fresh air kick at an opponent. Samaras gets off scot free for a deliberate knee to McGregors head. If we want to clean up our game then Stokes,McCulloch and Samaras should all receive belated automatic suspensions by the SFA.

  • Comment number 4.

    "Walter Smith's side are a much better team than critics have given them credit for"
    Which critics are you refering to Jim? Celtic fans aside, I think only the blind and the ignorant would suggest this is not a very good Rangers side. They have a good standard of player technically - Bougherra & Davis would not look out of place in the EPL - and have developed a real strength through familiarity. Add to that the much improved form of Miller, and in particular Naismith, and you have a very capable side.
    As a non old-firm fan, I find laughable the constant complaining of Lennon and the Celtic faithful in regards to decisions going against them. Fair enough, the penalty was soft, but given the fowls commited by Stokes, and in particular, Samaras - three yellow card offences at least? - I find it astonishing that Celtic can suggest they were hard done by.

  • Comment number 5.

    # 2

    As a Celtic fan i applaud your honest and agree with pretty much all you had to say. I feel there were a lot of Stange decision's on Sunday and i do appreciate Mr Collum is a young ref and will get better with age, but he had a Shocker! Anthony Stokes should have walked for that tackle on Papac, it shouldnt matter whether its the 1st min or the last min it was reckless and dangerous. I also believe that Samaras and McCulloch should have been sent off, McCulloch always walks a tightrope when he's cautioned i admire his no nonsence approach but against better opponents he'll get himself sent off. I think the main problem at parkhead is leadership or lack of it! Shaun maloney is a great player but as a captain i have my doubts, i can bearly hear him during an interview what chance does he have on influencing a game on a pitch with 60,000 screaming fans chanting throughout. Neil Lennon has proved he's a good young manager but you can argue with the facts that in the matches that have mattered we've lost them all without so much as a whimper. People will argue that he won 8 in a row this season but ask yourself this, have we travelled to any difficult away venue in the SPL and got a result? NO! We are expected to beat every other team in the SPL so whilst winning 8 in a row its good its the minimum we expected!

  • Comment number 6.

    I think this game told Celtic fans what they knew already:

    That Izaguirre and Ki will be decent players for the club but that worries persist about Juarez (who is so rarely played just now and doesn't look like a £4m player at this point even in the SPL).

    All those new signings are fine for every SPL team bar Rangers: but too lightwieght in general for anything else. Astonished that Lennon does not build a team from the back because if you did no one in their right mind would play (Glenda) Loovens who is an accident that happens most weeks. He has no pace, no positional sense (scoring the first for Rangers and ball watching yet again on the second), can't tackle and is so generally poor that he can rightly be labelled their 'achilles heel'.

    Established players like Samaras just cannot step up to the bigger game and we watch it time after time after time. He is just pitiful at times to watch and Whittaker must have got tired of him being in his back pocket. You cannot play Samaras against quick defenders.

    In every game that has mattered under Lennon Celtic have lost. Utrecht beat them by 4 (going on 7) and it could have went that way again on Sunday. Rangers were much the better team in the second half.

    Lennon does however, need to stop talking utter nonsense about the need to have mental strength as this is passing on the buck to his players. There were 8 internationals in the Celtic team on Sunday, most his new signings. Why sign players who are mentally 'weak'?

    I am yet to be convinced that Lennon has any tactical nous whatsoever.

    Refs make mistakes all the time but most people don't want to see players sent off so I'm less bothered about that than the blatant simulation by KB. Given the noises the SFA have made over recent years the player has to be questioned about his dive. It wouldn't have changed the game because the same old frailties (defensive, leadership and spirit) that have been lacking in Celtic since WGS are still there today, but the SFA/SPL have to back up their statements with some action.

    Lennon however, so obviously buys into the ref conspiracy theory which is both lame and irresponsible. Its also one of the most obvious marks of a 'failing' manager at Celtic and the point where being 'celtic-minded' drifts into daftness and stupidity. Lennon mentioned the psychological effect of being two goals behind rather than one and the seemingly unassailable burden this placed on his players as if this deficit was insurmountable and no team ever comes back from being 2 goals behind? A pathetic excuse if ever I've heard it. Does Lennon not realise that he signed many of the players, that he picked them for this game, that he set the tactics and that he is ultimately responsible for this performance as he was for Ross C, Braga and Utrecht? Seems to me he is too keen to blame players and refs but should look closer to home.

  • Comment number 7.

    Am aiting to see refs report re Rangers and the Dundee United game.Word is we could have another farrygate. McDonald to resign and dallas to follow

  • Comment number 8.

    just to attempt to clarify the debate about whether it was a penalty and also did the ref see anything check this link and see what he saw
    when you see this he had no choice other than to give the penalty

  • Comment number 9.

    Dont agree and it's not from Ref's angle.You can make of it what you will but it was no pen

    Will wait till see outcome of current investigation to see whether we have another farrygate

  • Comment number 10.

    Lennon looked depressed on Sunday.

  • Comment number 11.

    Jim, we seem to to have 2 sets of players, whom are intent in different degrees to ensure their opponents are booked or sent off. Lafferty, again, very theatrical. No one covered themselves in glory in this matter really.

    Quite honestly, the nudge to Macgregors head by Samaras, was nothing more than a nudge and is completely blown out of all proportion, again mostly due to the hysteria after the game.

    Stokes - booking
    Samaras -booking
    McCulloch - booking ( should been 2, then red)

    I don't believe for minute, Howard Webb, for instance , would have produced reds for these.

    Either way you look at it, the ref made 2 major judgement errors, they happen to have both been advantageous to Rangers. Celtic (Neil Lennon) has the right to ask the question surely, as does Walter Smith or any other manager. If Willie Collum had come out on Monday and said " I made a mistake", I am pretty sure this would have taken the pressure of him and maybe then some of the furore around this would have dissapated.

    Would Rangers have won the game anyway, not if McCulloch had been sent off, as he should have been.

  • Comment number 12.

    sunday old fim game was absolutly reckless the ref should not have gone to work that day... 1st point stokes challenge on papac was a stone wall red card as he took his ankle not even a mile close to the ball.. mculloch was a yellow as he got the ball in the challenge but should have been givin red at his second challenge, samuras should be infront of the sfa for the knee in the head nut also the cupple of challanges he had with naismith, i think neil lennon 1st problem is he took the managers job at celtic he was a great player but hes just no managment material, still kirck broadfoot be ashamed i never liked you from the first day you were sign'd no pace, no skills what so ever the penalty should never have stood but if you stick out a knee or put you hands on another player in the box you are gonna get penalised for it, it was just unlucky it happen'd better luck next time i spose.

  • Comment number 13.

    Jim Spence has made some valid and honestly arrived at points. Celtic fans worldwide know where the weak links lie in the spine of the Celtic side, and they know that the careless backpassing has been responsible for handing this game to Rangers. Celtic fans are always extra critical of perceived weaknesses, but they are also able to see where the same shocking errors are occuring and the adminstrative division of the game is found wanting. They are frequently injured by bullets to the metatarsals.

    Michel Platini was present at Celtic Park and he mentioned the Respect Campaign which is alive worldwide, but not implememted in Scotland and completely ignored by common decency, football officials and the law of the land. There are no sanctions which even come close to halting the shameful choir which arrives at all of Scotland's grounds awaiting the first Rangers goal before reminding us of why they hold Orange Day Parades and why they are so well attended.

    Monsiuer Platini also correctly states that one must be a masochist to be a referee, but the masochist brings the pain upon himself by willingly participating in behaviour that will get his pretty little bottom whipped. It seems clear that one of the tactics employed by the stronmg minded Rangers sides is to talk to the referee and try to get the opposition into trouble at every opportunity. Kenny Miller constanly attempted to rile players and sadly he succeeded. Kyle Lafferty has done that effectively for some time. Rangers will continue to employ the tactic as a master plan and Celtic players will continually take the bait. While players allow themselves to be tgoaded, they will see yellow and red often. While smart mouths are allowed to get fellow pros in trouble, the sickness will terminally injure the game.

    I knew Willie Collum's profession. He taught my nephew. I mentioned that this man was being given the onerus task for a reason and that prediction has come to fruition. The margin of victory is set in stone. The points and goals are in the bag and once the score is recorded there is no going back, but oh how the system militates against transparecy in seeing that justice is done. The first minute challenge was bad, it did not merit a red card. The nudge on McGregor was no worse that Kyle Lafferty's two handed grasping of Scott Brown, which left Lafferty without any concern. The professional foul by McCulloch was expected and should have been rewarded by a second yellow and Kirk Broadfoot's first foul was also a card. Some things are fouls, some accidental and some deliberate. The deliberate fould should be carded every time, for me. Regardless of who makes the deliberate lunge. The innocuous should be kicked to the kerb and the overdramatic should be sensured severley.

    But more important than all this, is that every major football match should be covered by cameras from all angles at all times to let the players, officials and fans know that the opaque has been dismantled, the transparent furnishings have been delivered and there is a new sherrif in town. Future offenders, divers and foulers will be penalised and their crimes will be shown to the public, to shame them and help them desist from future idiotic behaviour in what should be a sport.

  • Comment number 14.

    Jim The biggest problem we face here in Scotland is that there are none so blind as those who will not see to many contributers are too ready to agree with everything which strengthens their case but will not see anything that weakens it thats why so many celtic fans can see the wrong in McCulloch and Broadfoot but cannot see it in Stokes and Samaras,
    and every Rangers fan thinks it was a penalty and McCulloch was harshly treated in the 1st instance. As for this wanting an explanation from the ref this just stokes the fires and indirectly leads to the kind of insident we saw on monday, There are morons on both sides who need no encouragement to act in a unacceptable way ( death threats this week riots in Manchester last year) surely it is time the clubs took a more responsible attitude it is very easy to say we don't condone ( and i do not think for a minute anyone at celtic park or indeed the vast majority of decent celtic fans would condone the actions of the morons) but we should think before we fan the flames?

  • Comment number 15.

    Well said John58. I agree that some of these posts lack any real integrity. The honest truth is that there has always been disreputable behaviour in football and the higher the stakes the greater the pressure is to seek any advantage. Both these sides have a string of players who, on there day, are as guilty as each other. Its also interesting to note the managerial outrage and complete lack of balance in attitude. I long await the first instance where either Lennon or Smith complain about some outrageous decision which has gone in there favour - especially at some away ground, midweek in December.
    These teams have good players, who make more chances etc and on balance get free kicks and penalties when others don't. However, in doing so I have personally witnessed some miscarriages that these clubs might acknowledge as being "a bit soft" but produce no rush for a sheet of A4 and a first class stamp.

    So long as we pay guys who are not, in the main, the brightest crayons in the box the ludicrous sums of cash they get then I for one will never be surprised at their win at all costs mentality.

  • Comment number 16.


    You need to watch the game again without the green specs on, and I'm afraid you aren't remotely qualified to speculate on what Howard Webb would or would not have done.

    Stokes was a red card, pure and simple. It was late, high and nowhere near the ball. The only people not in agreement are a few diehard hoops fans. When critising Broadfoot remember that he would not have been on the pitch had Stokes not crocked Papac.

    Samaras - While the knee to the head is nothing like as serious as some people have made out it's still a premeditated vindictive act and was worthy of a caution. He also deserved a yellow for the late tackle on bougherra shortly after the McCulloch booking and his hack at Naismith was possibly deserving of a straight red, it was from behind, late, high and there was no intention of playing the ball.
    Safe to say over the course of the game Samaras should have walked.

    Now onto the 2 wrong decisions you mention:

    McCulloch - At the time I thought he was harshly booked but on seeing it again although he took the ball cleanly and his foot was on the ground his studs were raised and it was reckless, booking. The 2nd one gets a booking regularly, although harsh IMO he should have walked.

    Broadfoot - It's clear he played for the penalty and went down far too easily with minimal contact, however there was contact so I can see why it was given. I'll admit that I'd have been annoyed to have it given against me, but I wouldn't want a full scale enquiry over it and Broadfoot should not be punished. Players have been playing for penalties in this manner for a long time and you only need to look at some of the penalties that your hero Mr Larsson won to verify that.
    On the same theme if you want Broadfoot punished then Hooper should also be pulled up as he dived into the box without ANY contact in this game and went unpunished.

    Mr Collum had a stinker, but it was a lot more than 2 decisions he got wrong. There are other incidents on both sides where he was lenient but the players have to also take some responsibility as had he been less lenient there would have been more cards than christmas.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thanks for focusing on the football Jim. It's terrible for our country that we have supposedly responsible adults who think there is a conspiracy by the authorities against a football club. It's pathetic.

    I agree that Rangers have that something at the moment. As a Rangers fan I remember early in the decade that Celtic had that unbeatable quality - in fact I remember a few concurrent games where Celtic won in the last minute - and it is a definite psychological boost. The club feel they cannot lose and others believe it and make mistakes.

  • Comment number 18.

    Post 13 shows what is wrong with football in Scotland.

    All one-sided with the obligatory dig at the "shameful choir" by Rangers fans. Fine, I believe in zero tolerance. I condemn Rangers fans for any bigoted songs they may sing.

    Will "5753bhoy" now condemn Celtic's "shameful choir" or will his zero tolerance suddenly vanish? There are no excuses friend - the floor is yours...

  • Comment number 19.

    Uriah - It's not just Smith and Lennon (or any old firm manager) that only raises the decisions against them while conveniently forgetting those in their favour.
    For years pretty much every other manager has brought up decisions that the old firm get against them, while conveniently forgetting the errors that go in their favour.
    It's human nature, the decision you think turned the match against your team will always be the one that sticks in your mind. A decision to give a free kick that should never have been resulting in a goal is remembered but the same decision that results in nothing is forgotten.

  • Comment number 20.

    Sorry to see that you have gone over to the dark side this week Jim. Never mind the infirm, what your public want to know is when are the funny team fae Dundee getting booted oot the league for cheating?

  • Comment number 21.

    to markreilly886,
    A few sensible comments from hoops fan's on this blog but Mark, how can you say the Stokes tackle was only a booking???????
    Green glasses on my friend, take them off and be sensible then a few of us will maybe think you have a genuine opinion.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Indeed, Anthony Stokes was lucky he wasn't plying his trade in England's Premier League, because his lunging tackle in the opening minutes would probably have seen him red-carded in that league."

    As we are constantly reminded, the basic laws of football are the same no matter what level the game is being played at. The laws say that "A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play".

    I strongly believe that the flow and quality of the game would improve in this country if that sort of challenge was punished with a red card. Strong challenges are fine, and to be expected in a game such as the Old Firm derby, but some restraint and control should be exercised.

  • Comment number 23.

    Calm down Celtic have only lost one match.They have 3 more games versus Rangers this season in the SPL.That is why the SPL is ranked 16th in Europe(next season it is ranked 24th)teams play each other 4 times per season.

  • Comment number 24.

    Jim - 'Celtic and Rangers are interesting, so was what I had for breakfast this morning'
    So please don't give us more guff about the 2 of them.
    Talk about football that the real supporters are interested in - there's enough rubbish about the OF without adding to it!
    You are so much more interesting than them usually!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    5753 Bhoy is one of an old breed Celtic supporters, who is actually quite bigotted without even realising it.

    For the lesser educated among us, I'm not talking about sectarian bigotry, but a complete inability to think of the situation from anything other than his twisted perspective.

    You bring up Celtic's shameful choir to draw a parallel among the teams, he'll refer to Manchester. It's a continual one-upmanship from a chap who comes across as relatively intelligent but is absolutely blinkered.

    He's best ignored.

  • Comment number 26.

    PS - Good blog Jim

  • Comment number 27.

    to 5753bhoy

    "Future offenders, divers and foulers will be penalised and their crimes will be shown to the public, to shame them and help them desist from future idiotic behaviour in what should be a sport."

    Did you see Hooper's "slip" last night against St Johnstone, looked to me as if he wanted a penalty after it. wooooops

  • Comment number 28.

    Carno, taking the Stokes challenge in context. Do you really believe, that Stokes went to "do" his opponent. It reckless, absolutely. Did it warrant a straight red..... lets everyone take the blinkers off and look at it from an outsiders point of view. I firmly believe, in any other match that was a booking.
    If we are talking about challenges based on what we see in the EPL or Europe, not picking on McCulloch but..........his feet were off the ground and studs showing. Seen folk have been sent off for awful lot worse, but it was probably worth a yellow, in fact, he probably got that because the ref had booked Stokes so early in the game, he had no choice.

    If he had sent off Stokes, a Rangers player would have seen red at some point for sure.
    Plain crazy and not right but thats what would have happened.

    Carno, we all have blinkers to varying degrees, hopefully mine is just a slight tint. Rangers have had a streak of luck, call it what you want in the recent Old Firm games, which to the deluded is a conspiracy against Celtic, you and I know this is bonkers.
    Whether it is right or not to scruitinise the refs, putting them under massive pressure, the fact remains, Willie Collum made some very poor decisions, with the start both teams have made, these decisions have a direct bearing on the likely destination of the championship.

    I will add, Celtic are by no means the finished article, whilst without doubt, Walter has asssembled a team which anyone would find hard to breakdown, thoroughly professional.
    I hope the next game is just a game of football and not as I previously posted, 2 teams attempting to get the others sent off. Getting sick of bile that comes with it!

    This is Fun!....great blog Jim

  • Comment number 29.

    Hello Jim

    Why Can't we post comments on Chic Young's blog? Please explain.

    Also, forgot to say, great "exclusive" on James Grady going to Dundee the other week.

  • Comment number 30.

    Mark, I think it's you who need to take the blinkers off. All the neutrals and many celtic fans are in agreement that stokes should have seen red.
    Mccullochs feet were off the ground? Look at it again his feet were on the ground as he slid in - the problem is his studs were raised and this is why it was a booking.

    "If he had sent off Stokes, a Rangers player would have seen red at some point for sure.
    Plain crazy and not right but thats what would have happened."

    Absolutely, this is a recurring feature, if there had been one red card there would have been 3 or 4 IMO (perhaps there should have been) and then everyone would be moaning about all the cards, this is where the ref really can't win and it's the players fault.

    Collum had a poor game but you cannot say that Rangers won due to this as there were poor decisions for both teams.
    At least you are looking at it sensibly (with a slight green tint) and not from the conspiracy side - oh wait it's not a conspiracy, it's institutional favouritism, whatever that is.

  • Comment number 31.

    hi again Markreilly,
    stokes off (still cannot change on that one, ask Ben above. lol)
    mcculloch off
    samaras off (twice)
    broadfoot off

    The players are not helping one bit. ALL PLAYERS, ALL OF THE TEAMS. But this garbage of clarification on games is a joke. I would not have given a penalty to Broadfoot in a million years which you and I agree on but Hooper didn't help the " Celtic cause" when he slipped last night and wanted one for himself. That what makes it a joke.
    Dundee Utd game: It was proved by TV that it was not a penalty!
    Only interested on the conversation as to how the Ref came to that conclusion but nevertheless, it wasn't one. Why argue over a correct decision?????????
    Bad decisions have been part of our and every other country's game for years, TV has seen to that. Who would be a REF?????
    Will say one more thing though, if Celtic think they have the right to complain about "dodgy" decisions how come the admin dept at Celtic were very quiet when were winning titles under WGS???
    If it were me, my concern would be the fact that my team never had a shot on target in the 2nd half of the OF game, all this guff conveniently disguises this fact.
    Perhaps a handy tool for the manager and board to use when it suits, certainly it's deflected a lot of the blame on what was at best described as a bad Celtic performance.

  • Comment number 32.

    Agree with much of what you say #31 but not complete fabrication: Hooper made no claim for any penalty at all last night. In contrast, Broadfoot made that penalty for himself on Sunday and it was clear simulation.

    Mistakes by officials are part of the game and I just don't want to see clubs up the ante because presumably they can ask for every decision to be explained and at that stage we might as well all walk away. Celtic are too SUCCESSFUL a club to be enaging in this behaviour to the extent that they are by trying to influence referees. Managers should be banned from making any statements about officials certainly before a game. Afterwards then fine but I feel that it doesn't help anyone by trying to promote a view that somehow a team would have won if only the ref behaved fairly. Celtic were not poor last year because of refs and they are not poor in one OF game this season because of them either: to suggest otherwise is just covering up their own failings on the park, which are and were plain for all to see.

    In the same way that Lafferty should have been red-carded for the challenge on Hinkel last season, Stokes should have been dismissed on Sunday. Maybe for some this will even it up but if NL really wanted a 'strong referee' Stokes, McCulloch and Samaras might all have been in the dressing room early. If anything the ref was too lenient and ironically it benefited Celtic that this was the case. NL really should be careful about what he is arguing about and what he wishes for. I don't want to see a football match spolied because of a fussy ref but really certain players from both teams on Sunday have to take more responsibility for their actions.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hello to you all...

    Living in England I do not understand the rubbish that the the OF match generates. As a Celtic fan I just wish to see my side beat Rangers convincingly. We should allow the ref to concentrate on the game and not to be worried about every decision he makes and how it will be viewed by all.
    Having watched the game from the comfort of my arm chair I was saddened to see the Rangers players approaching the ref and telling him exactly how many fouls that particular Celtic player had made. I do not see Rangers players doing it against other SPL teams. Until we prevent players from over reacting and trying to get a fellow professional booked or sent off, we can hardly criticise refs for split second decisions. As for Lafferty, he is a disgrace. Put him in tights and get him to audition for Swan Lake.

  • Comment number 34.

    ill take back my quote on the Hooper incident from last night stew10. looking at it again, he makes no claim.

  • Comment number 35.

    to k finlay,
    Nothing to say about your own team or were they totally innocent during the entire 90mins???????
    You think that not 1 celtic player or staff wanted McCulloch sent off??
    Every team has them mate, it's part of the game to try and influence the ref, Rangers didn't invent the concept.
    Ref's get the rough end of the stick but be honest, they know what the job entails and how they will get no help from players or staff alike.

    Big question is, why would any club want to then haul these guy's up for an explanation when the real culprits are the players.

  • Comment number 36.

    carno 1.

    I would agree that the ref has received uneccesary criticism. We lost,we just were not good enough. That said, I think the Rangers players, particularly Weir and Miller were plying pressure upon the ref.

    Stokes should have been shown a straight red and McCulloch shown a second yellow. Samaras behaved stupidly and should have gone and Broadfoot yellowed for simulation.
    I am a fan of Lennon, although I believe he does himself nofavour with his comments about officials. But I belive McCoist will show as much passion when he eventually takes over from the master.

    Miller kissing the badge is a great sight for Rangers fans, but I recall him doing the same in the hoops shirt.

  • Comment number 37.

    Fair comment carno1


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