Aberdeen 3—3 Celtic.

I know we’ll get that old line, for the neutral this was a cracking game. A great advertisement for Scottish football. I’d have taken a bog-standard Celtic victory. I know 27 league games to go. We’ll get the standard fare of no need to panic. I’m not panicking. Listen, I was at Love Street that day when Celtic needed to score four or five and we needed Albert Kidd to dig us out of a hole of Heart’s own making. Even early in the ten-in-a-row season, we’re looking at dog’s chances.

Rangers, from what I’ve seen, aren’t going to roll over this year. We need to be better and we need to be better fast.

Be careful what you wish for. Scott Bain in goal was a good start, but like Barkas, he didn’t make a significant save. Two of them were penalties, just before half time, and the extra-time of full-time. You don’t expect keepers to make saves then, but you kinda hope. The other goal, the second for Aberdeen was another Shane Duffy moment. You know the script and we’re getting the jokes, Shane Duffy is an Effie Ambrose waiting to happen. But we’re not laughing. Bring back Effie.

McGregor was in for Scott Brown. And McGregor gave us hope, when we were one down, with one of those dancing feet goals that dragged us back into the game. Good to see Rogic involved. Good to see the Australian back in the team.

Elyounoussi, after his cameo, against Milan, started here. He’d a poor game. But let’s look at the positives, he did get on the end of a cross and got us a penalty. A winning penalty- I’d hoped.

Come back Johnny Hayes (I’d have kept him and played him). He’d Frimpong in his pocket until the ninetieth-third minute when the Celtic youngster finally ran past him.

In a four-four-two and with Frimpong playing full back, we hoped he’d be able to run into space. But although he got lots of the ball, again and again he came inside. Leaving us no width.

Just when we seem to have the left-back position sorted with Laxalt, the right-back position is our weakest point in attack and defence.

McGregor might have dug us out of a half-time hole, but it was the return of the Griff that fired us ahead –and had us thinking we’d win.

Ajeti is a goal scorer, but he needs to hold the ball. He didn’t. He mumped and moaned, looking for fouls.

Griffiths, came on, as he did in the game against St Johnstone, before the international break, and turned the game. He made space for himself in the box. And his strike into the top corner was a thing of beauty.

Game over—I wish. You’ve got to allow for Duffy, wandering out to the left, like a cow returning to pasture. Still in control of the ball. Then that flick. We all make mistakes. But what was it we kept saying about Effie, in the big games, then the Irish Ambrose came to the fore. Ryan Hedges, who was Aberdeen’s best player, scored from a rebound. An almost save, we seem to plagued with almost saves.

Aberdeen’s first penalty—which was a penalty—was a clumsy tackle, that wasn’t even a tackle by Ntcham on Ferguson. Ironically, Ntcham was having one of his better games before that incident.

There was talk, after the international break of the games against Rangers, AC Milan, Aberdeen, Lille, Aberdeen and Motherwell defining our season.

We all know what happened against Rangers. AC Milan was a defeat, but it wasn’t total capitulation. Aberdeen today.

We’re 3—2 up, going into added on time. We’ve dropped back, but we’re patting ourselves on the back, thinking we’ve been lucky here. All teams need a bit of luck.

The game against Lille doesn’t matter than much. I think we’ll beat Aberdeen, comfortably, at Hampden. I’m not sure about Motherwell away. I’m pretty sure Rangers will keep on winning and winning.

I hate saying it, but we look far more less likely to win than them. Here’s hoping, we take any dog chances we get between now and the end of the season. Shane Duffy has been a nightmare. The Greek keeper, an empty jersey, but here’s hoping he turns it around. Frimpong is only eighteen and showing signs of insecurity, taking the easy pass, going backwards in so many ways.

The return of the Griff has been great (anonymous against Milan, but I don’t mind that). Rogic has class. We need more of class. We have the best players in the league—by far—but we make so many amateur mistakes.

In the games that define our season, we’ve lost two and drawn one. Commentators were already adopting that gloomy voice and telling us the last time Celtic lost three games in a row was under Neil Lennon. Ten-in-a-row? I’ll use another cliché. A big ask.     

The Effing trouble with Efe. (Celtic 2—Fenerbahce 2)

I’ve a lot of sympathy for Efe Ambrose. After all somebody’s got to be Efe. We had the same trouble. When I used to play for Dalmuir there always came that time when you realised you were a man down and would need to drag somebody, anybody, off the street. Once it was a three-legged dog that we put the Dalmuir hoops on and tied it to the goalpost. The referee said we couldn’t do that kind of thing, but we slipped him a can of beer and even though Down Shep was a dog and not Billy the Fish, he won man of the match. If we were really stuck we used to go up and ask Wilma Biggins to play for us. But there came a time when she got too grown up for that kind of thing and we ended up with Brian Biggins. So I know exactly how it feels to play beside an Efe. In fact there were a number of Efes in the Dalmuir teams over the years. Wee Johnny was a great wee player, but some of the guys he brought along were more Efe than Efe.  The test was whether they had their own shin guards. Guys with their own shin guards usually knew how to tie their laces. One of the guys Johnny brought completely turned a cup tie. We were not like Celtic 2-0 up and cruising, but 3-0 and this guy scored a quick one-two, for you know who. Sometimes a team can be stronger that is a man short. Sometimes Efe is not required. Like Gary McClaren with the great Dalmuir teams of yester-yore , I’m not blaming our Ronny Deila. Obviously with so many injuries and call offs he was out scouting the streets before kick-off. He must have picked up Kieran Tierney from a local primary school, but like Down Shep before him, he showed a lot of bite and was outstanding. When he begins to shave he’ll be a great prospect. Dedryck Boyata for once didn’t put a foot wrong and even had a great sliding challenge on van Persie that reminded me of gravel rash and ouch, ouch. Scott Brown for once did more than run about and growl. James Forest ran past players. Leigh Griffiths scored a great poacher’s goal.  Kris Commons now there’s a fitba player. As commentator Chris Sutton said after a blistering shot near the end, ‘that’s why he needs to be in the team every week.’ He also told us why Efe shouldn’t be in the team every week or any week. The bigger the game the more likely he is to make an error. Stefan Johnsen and Nir Bitton were missing in action, but at least they brought their own shin guards. Efe obviously didn’t. It would be funny. It should be funny, but you know what…?