Two narratives will dominate what passes for journalism in the SMSM today. One of these which I will deal with later in this piece will yield the most column inches. Celtic progressed to the last 32 of the Europa tournament and will be unseeded in Monday’s draw. Celtic supporters can look forward to at least one more European night this season. One can but hope that Celtic will play with more passion and precision in this game. One can but wonder why Rodgers chose this starting eleven as he evidently got it wrong and was forced to make three changes. Sinclair was off the boil again. Dembele looked leggy. Forrest had an off night. Armstrong was poor and eventually replaced by Rogic.
Edouard who replaced Dembele should have started. With Roberts injured Rodgers had no other option than to keep Forrest on the park. His performance merited the hook. Hayes who was bought to compete for this spot was not even in the squad. Is he Rodgers’ worst signing? Ntcham came on for Sinclair but did not pose any questions of the Anderlecht defence.
Celtic looked jaded. They can have off nights against domestic rivals yet still prevail, but not at this level. Rodgers needs to rethink his starting eleven and what to do when both Sinclair and Forrest don’t ignite. Looking at the bigger picture they are through but some of the hidings will leave scars.
In Glasgow’s rust belt of Govan, Rangers Lite can only dream of Champions League nights and continue to be thwarted in their attempts to secure a manager. Jim Traynor – who has the gait of a man who has stolen a pumpkin and has secreted it down the back of his trousers to avoid the attention of the store detective – has been engaging in a dirty war to unsettle Derek McInnes. As I exclusively revealed yesterday he even used the Ladbrokes Twitter account to add fuel to the fire just before the game at Pittodrie.
Every Level 5 Lickspittle worth his salt has frothed at the mouth and keyboard to his master’s voice. Every Hun and EBT recipient at BBC Scotland EBT have joined the chorus. The West Coast media juggernaut wants McInnes to ‘do the right thing‘ and take the reins at Murray Park.
However it is my contention that Traynor’s Phony War had only one objective which was to unsettle McInnes prior to the two back-to-back games with Aberdeen. If Murty had lost four games on the bounce the clamour to replace him would be deafening as would be the clamour to replace Stewart Robertson for his part in hiring the imposter.
Yesterday’s approach was a squirrel. A sop to the Gullibillies that Lite are a big club despite the prosaic fact that they don’t have a pot to piss in. If Lite genuinely wanted to secure the services of McInnes they could deposit one million pounds in an escrow account at which point Milne’s hands would be tied.
Lite don’t have a million. The approach was as phony as Traynor’s Blythswood Square address.
The release quantum will not be negotiated. Milne should call their bluff and ask to see the colour of their money. He is not prepared to sell McInnes cheaply on the never-never.