The Trouble with Effe


I was in two minds whether to go out and have a couple of pints and watch Celtic. Well, I’ll keep you guessing what I did next. We all know the score. I had Celtic to win on my coupon. One to three, PaddyPower, but easy money.  Usually, when the diddy team beats Celtic, their goalkeeper has a blinder. Here Scott Fox didn’t play particularly well. He was workman like.  Leigh Griffiths helped hitting him with a penalty.  Ironically, since the media have been telling us how good a player he is, and how important he is, he’s been rotten. Here he should have bagged three, perhaps four and maybe even five goals overall (and a hat- trick in in the first ten minutes). This was his worst game since Molde when he was equally as profligate. But you’ve got to persevere because there are no other strikers on the bench.

Then another pattern emerges. A nothing ball through the middle of the defence. School-boy defending.  Effe Ambrose gets himself sent off. It’s not his fault because he’s Effe. We don’t need people like Chris Sutton telling us, if there’s a big game, (and this wasn’t particularly big) Effe is the one likely to turn Laurel into Hardy, because we’re watching it. Celtic fans through and through.  Here he did what Effe does. Decent enough start.  He was very unlucky not to score with a header from a corner, cleared off the line by a Ross County player. Then he missed a sitter. The type of chance that Quinn gobbled up to score County’s second. And  yes, I know Craig Gordon was being held at that goal, but deal with it. Celtic defenders can’t. Ross County showed that with Schalk and their third. And Craig Gordon didn’t cover himself in glory here.

But back to Effe. If the bookies were giving odds on Celtic player most likely to cock-up over ninety minutes only a fool wouldn’t pick out and put his money of Ambrose.  Isaac Newton gets hit by an apple and intuitively knows the laws of gravity. We get hit with Effe.  We intuitively know he’s not good enough for Celtic, shouldn’t be at Celtic and shouldn’t be first pick or even last pick.

Pattern recognition. Don’t pick him. Ronny Deila has come out and said he was responsible for Celtic’s defeat. He picks the team. Nobody is arguing with him. We go to Aberdeen on Wednesday. I’ll need a drink for that one. But win, draw or defeat, we’ll still win the league.

Pattern recognition. We’ve got the best players in Scottish football. Erik Schivatchenko looks like a good addition to the team. Certainly he should start on Wednesday night. But whether the current Celtic manager should have another pop at the Champions League qualifiers, the biggest and most lucrative games of the season—before the season has begun properly—well, I think there’s something of the Effe about Deila, it’s time to move on. The worry isn’t that Ross County beat us, and they’re not a good team, the worry is that Rangers will beat us. They’re shite, but so are we. Pattern recognition.

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