The All Black lock Brodie Relallick makes a comeback into the Number 4 Jersey post being in an injured state for 6 weeks.
Colin Cooper, the Exeter Chiefs head coach made quite a few modifications to the starting line-up for Super Rugby clash on Friday with the Hurricanes in Hamilton. Continue reading All Blacks Lock Helps Build Momentum
The pressure surrounding Celtic manager Ronny Deila eased for the moment after his team managed a stunning 6-0 victory over Partick Thistle in the League Cup. This thrashing has put Celtic in the League Cup semi-final draw. Speaking about the eventuality of playing against one of the top teams from the country, Deila said that he and his Celtic team are ready for any opponent. The win over Partick Thistle was the fourth consecutive in all competitions. It has finally put Deila on the path of winning over the Celtic fans, who have been losing their patience in the last few weeks.
Celtic were expected to comfortably win the league title without much trouble especially in the absence of Rangers, but they are fourth in the table with just 20 points on board. Hamilton’s lead has been cut to 3 points in the last few matches. This has given Celtic real belief that they can go on and play in the Scottish Premier League once again. For the moment, attention turned towards the draw for the League Cup semifinals. After his failure to get the club into the Champions League group stages, Deila’s season will be judged upon the number of trophies that he lifts.
“For me it is about winning trophies and we are now two wins away from getting the first one. So I am looking forward to the semi-final, who we meet doesn’t bother me. We just have to win. What you remember when your career is finished is titles and that’s why I’m here – to win trophies and make sure Celtic is successful. To do that we have to meet whatever team is in front of us,” said Deila. Celtic could meet the likes of Aberdeen and Dundee United. Rangers are also in the draw for the semifinals.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is of the opinion that Celtic will be a major absentee from the Champions League this campaign. The Scottish club were knocked out of the competition in the final qualification round after losing to Danish club Maribor. There were looking to reach the group stages for the second consecutive season after having given a huge lifeline from the previous round. Despite being defeated by Polish club Warsaw, Celtic were reinstated back into the competition after their opponents were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.
Ferdinand, who has come up against Celtic on a couple of occasions in the Champions League when playing for Manchester United, says that the British club represents a lot of history and it will be sad to see them not in the elite European competition for the coming campaign. Celtic manager Ronny Deila gave a damning assessment of the club’s position in the European elite table. He said that Celtic are no longer the top club that they once were and that they should get used to playing in the Europa league more often than not.
Celtic have won the league without much opposition in the last few years due to the absence of Rangers, who are slowly making their way up the Scottish football league.
“I think for other teams Celtic will be a big miss, especially from the sense of occasion they bring. In the Champions League with teams like Barcelona, I speak to Gerard Pique and others and they say ‘The atmosphere against Celtic away is just unbelievable’. Some of them just don’t know about it. No disrespect to Scottish football but sometimes people in other countries don’t know the history of Celtic. But when they come here they leave aware of what is going on and the importance of the club,” said Ferdinand.
Celtic have been put on the brink of exit from the Champions League qualifying rounds after they lost 4-1 at the hands of Legia Warsaw in the first leg. This was the second round of the qualifying. Celtic came into the encounter with aspirations of reaching the group stages. Prior to the match, manager Ronny Deila has been speaking about giving Celtic an automatic group stages spot given the history of the club. He also says that Celtic are being devoid of this opportunity simply because they are playing in the Scottish Premier League – not recognised as one of the top in Europe.
Deila successfully managed to get Celtic as to the third round of qualifying, but he was to get a major shock in his early days as Celtic manager following this defeat. After the match, he heavily criticised the players for failing to adhere to the tactics. Celtic have a mountain to climb in the second leg. He says that it will be very important that Celtic start the match well. The Norwegian reckons that failure to do so will not only give the opposition enough belief that they can go one step closer to Champions League group stages, but also deflate his own team.
“It was not the plan to go forward at 2-1. We had a spell when we had good control but started making stupid mistakes and they got space behind us. That is my responsibility. I have to be much clearer as to what I expect and how we perform as a team, defensively and offensively and we lost our heads and that is not good enough. It was a very poor performance and worst of all was the commitment, the energy, I need much more energy in the game,” said Deila, who was appointed as the replacement for Neil Lennon.
The former coach of Celtic FC, Neil Lennon never really had big plans for the 20 year old striker Tony Watt who recently returned from Belgium after going through a loan deal with Lierse SK where he managed to score 8 goals in 17 appearances but it seems like his future will be in Belgium as a deal is expected to be completed within the next few days with Celtic FC allowing the young attacker to be sold to the Belgium side Standard Liege with a price tag of €1.2 million.
If all the reports and rumors are actually true and a transfer does happen then Tony Watt will be making his move to Standard Liege in a contract that lasts 5 years. Tony Watt was at the center of the spotlight in newspaper and websites all over the world back in November of 2012 when he scored a goal during Celtic’s Champions League victory against Barcelona but after that, Watt started to fade away as he could not score a goal for the remainder of the season. Continue reading WATT STAYING IN BELGIUM
So that’s definitely it then – England are out. The Italians refused to do us a small favour in despatching those giants of World Cup football Costa Rica – and our boys are on the first available flight home after they’ve had a consolatory crack at Costa Rica themselves.
And what happened in the Italy-Costa Rica game by the way? The Italian side that so cynically put away England with a professionalism that typified the way they have always played the beautiful game looked like they’d all taken a couple of tablets of Nytol before they walked on the pitch.
It seemed like they just weren’t interested – or was it the Costa Ricans’ determination to close everything down so quickly that made the Italians look like they’d been drugged? Continue reading Now what do we do?
Rangers are going through a spectacular season as they still remain undefeated in the Scottish League One but everything has not been perfect for the team of Ally McCoist after being knocked out from the Scottish Cup when losing against Dundee United.
Despite losing 3-1 against Dundee United, McCoist refuses to put the blame on the goalkeeper of the club, Steve Simonsen who was recently been heavily critiqued in Twitter by fans. Continue reading SPECTACULAR SEASON
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has come out in support of his countryman David Moyes after the Scot has faced a lot of pressure since taking over at Manchester United. Ahead of the club’s meeting with Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday, fans have revealed about a protest by flying a banner on a plane. Even though only a small group of supporters have turned against their manager following a run of poor results against rivals, a majority of the United supporters appeared to be behind David Moyes. The club has been going through one of the worst seasons in recent history.
Aside from losses against the likes of West Brom at home, United have also suffered very poor results at the hands of their arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester City. Even though they have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals, many reckon that it is an astonishing achievement that the club has come this far under Moyes. So far, the signings that he has made have also not worked out with Marouane Fellaini especially coming in for heavy criticism. Neil Lennon, who is about to win the Scottish league title with a record amount of points, says that a manager should be given time to implement his ideas.
“I have a little understanding of what David Moyes is going through but I can’t second guess how he’s feeling. With all managerial jobs, when you go through a rough period, it’s a lonely place. What I’m not happy about is the way people are rounding on him. You don’t mind constructive criticism but when it gets to the point they’re trying to humiliate him that leaves a sour taste in the mouth. He deserves a lot more than that and should be treated with more respect,” said Lennon, who has been linked with a Premier league job.
Leigh Griffiths has been in great form for Celtic since moving to the club from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Neil Lennon has revealed that he is extremely happy with the form shown by the 23-year-old, who was signed as the replacement for Gary Hooper. Hooper was sold to Norwich city in the summer. Griffiths had signed for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract. He was on loan at Hibernian last season and impressed heavily by scoring 28 goals last season. However, there was scepticism prior to his arrival at Celtic Park, but Lennon has stated that he is delighted with the performances from the 23-year-old.
Griffiths scored his first Celtic hat-trick in the 5-0 victory against Inverness Caley, while he also created one of the goals as well. Celtic are on course to winning the title this season, as they lead the table by a massive 19 points already. However, the season has been considered as a disappointment by many after they were knocked out of the Scottish cup. The European campaign has also not been great as well. Last season, they made it to the last 16 stage of the Champions League, but this time it has not been as successful.
Lennon says that Griffiths has provided an example of his quality and he is confident that the young striker will show more of the same next season.
“I am delighted for him and he could have had a lot more over the course of the game. His first goal pleased me the most. We have been crying out for a penalty-box striker and that was a great ball and a great finish. He doesn’t get disappointed (when he misses), he’s hungry for more chances and he took his second and third goals brilliantly. His work-rate has always been good and his goal record is great,” said Lennon.
The goalkeeping area has been problematic position for Argentina in recent years. As a result, the national team coach Alejandro Sabella has been looking at various options in order to call up for the upcoming friendly against Romania.
This will be the final friendly match for Argentina before they enter into the World Cup 2014. They go into the tournament as one of the favourites to win the competition due to the deadly partnership of Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi.
However, Sabella will have reasons to be concerned about the backline – especially the goalkeeper, in spite of a Sky bet bookmaker review that states that Argentina will be nailed on favourites. Continue reading SABELLA STILL LOOKING