A Week of Controversy Nears An End
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first in what I hope to be a weekly series, never surpassing one thousand words in length, with the express aim of covering a few important topics concisely. If any matter warrants a more detailed piece, I shall write one separately. Regardless, I hope you enjoy and if anyone has any feedback, please contact us on Twitter (@MaleysBhoys) or by leaving a comment below.
Dundee 1 Celtic 2
Last night’s scoreline may give the impression that the match was a closely fought affair, but this was far from the reality. The visitors to Dens Park enjoyed almost sixty percent of the possession, as well as registering a dozen more shots than their opponents. A fine strike from Gary Mackay-Steven and a stunning free-kick from Virgil van Dijk (which may add a little to his eventual transfer fee if and when he does leave Glasgow) gave the Celts a comfortable lead, and it was only Jim McAlister’s late consolation goal which narrowed the winning margin.
Notably, Virgil van Dijk (ten) and Jason Denayer (six) have now scored a total of sixteen goals between them this season, accounting for approximately one in every seven of Celtic’s goals – an admirable total for any central defensive pairing. This is also one more than the attacking trio of Anthony Stokes, Stefan Scepovic and James Forrest have netted this season.
Congratulations must go to seventeen year old Kieran Tierney for making his debut as a substitute also.
Inevitably, thoughts have now turned to when the league can be won, and should Celtic defeat Dundee United at Tannadice this weekend and Aberdeen drop points aganist Inverness Caledonian Thistle, it could be four in a row come next Friday night as Dundee travel to Celtic Park. Despite the fact we will not see a domestic treble this season, I believe Ronny Deila and everyone associated with the team deserve great credit. We have come a long way since our hammering in Warsaw and we should all remember that.
Much has been written about the incident involving Josh Meekings on Sunday, with a lot of it in the mainstream media proving to be – in my opinion at least – varying levels of nonsense. Alongside many thousands of others inside Hampden Park, I saw the player make his goalmouth save and leapt to my feet screaming for a penalty accordingly. As we all know, this was not given, because the officials didn’t see it – not one of them. Of course, how this could possibly be the case remains a mystery.
This evening, Meekings has been cleared to play in the Scottish Cup Final. Personally, I hold no great ill feeling towards him. After all, had I been in his shoes I would have done exactly the same thing, although I would have thought I’d be walking down the tunnel around a minute later. I have no doubts Meekings expected to do so himself, as his immediate reaction following the handball is one of a man who knows he is almost certainly about to see a red card – but to everyone’s amazement, referee Steven McLean did not oblige.
However, what I do find frustrating about Meekings’ appeal being granted is this – it gives credence to the view that the handball was not a foul and therefore not a penalty, as the governing body appears to believe. So does this mean Steven McLean and the other officials made the correct call? Absolutely not, it was a clear penalty, but this decision does hint of a governing body attempting to cover-up its officials’ errors, albeit rather poorly.
Not only does this leave future appeals arguing whether handballs were deliberate or not open to huge interpretation, it again misses the main point of this whole sordid affair. Put simply, had the match officials done their job, it is almost certain that neither Meekings nor Inverness Caledonian Thistle would be appearing in the Scottish Cup Final and any arguments thereafter would be irrelevant – they are to blame above all others, but perhaps this is an inconvenient truth for many.
Work continues slowly but surely on my second book, “Uniquely Celtic”, which I hope to release this autumn. More updates shall emerge in the future as matters progress, although I must admit I am rather looking forward to finishing it and being able to devote more time to the website again.
On the charitable front, my aim is to have our annual raffle – in aid of Alzheimer Scotland this year – drawn on the evening of Friday 15th May (the night we face St Johnstone away), with ticket sales closing at midnight on the Thursday. All of this depends on whether or not the individual whom I wish to draw the tickets will be available to do so, and I hope confirmation in this regard will be forthcoming in the next week . As yet, we have raised an excellent £1,260.66. Last season, our total was £1,530, but it remains to be seen whether this record will be threatened this year. Regardless, we have already raised a fantastic sum. I am very aware that we could not do this each season without your continuing support and generosity, for which you all have my eternal thanks.
Should anyone wish to browse through our prizes or purchase raffle tickets, MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE HERE.
Another noteworthy charitable campaign which is currently underway is the “Spirit of Walfrid” CD, being sold by the good folks over at “The Celtic Network”. Bringing together the likes of Charlie and the Bhoys, the Wakes and many others, it is already proving popular. More details with regards the track-list, as well as options for buying a physical copy or a downloadable version, CAN BE FOUND HERE.
With that, I will bring the first of “Maley’s Musings” to a close and wish you and your families all the very best until next time. Let the good times roll.