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After a defeat – and particularly a loss to one of the major rivals, like Rangers – players are always a bit apprehensive and concerned when reporting for training the first day after the match. The same thoughts are going through everyone’s mind. The younger ones are worrying that the manager will point the finger of blame at them? The ones who have been there for a time wonder if they could lose their place in the side? While the older ones are thinking – have I got a future at the club? And, of course, all three age bands contain reluctant trainers who are sick at the thought of the really hard session managers sometimes insist on at a time like that.
A Look Back at the Match
After the weekend, when there was time for reflection, one newspaper gave what I thought was a pretty accurate assessment of the Rangers/ Celtic encounter;-
‘Saturday’s win gave Rangers their 60th league win over Celtic at Ibrox since the competition started – Celtic have not won a league game at Ibrox for 8 years.
The Ibrox faithful can have no grouses about their side’s performance on Saturday. Indeed, Rangers were a revelation.
Their ‘suspect’ defence, so often criticised in recent months, not only subdued the Celtic attack but took time off to urge on their own front rank. Ritchie, in particular, was immaculate and pulled off one of the finest saves ever seen at Ibrox for many a long day from a Hughes blockbuster. Up front, they didn’t have a failure with Henderson and Johnston easily the better pair of wingers.
Celtic were a disappointing lot. Up till his injury, Billy McNeill was outstanding, sallying back and forth ‘twixt defence and attack. In fact, his flying headers constituted the main danger to Rangers defence.
Unfortunately, off the pitch, the match had not turned out to be without incident and the authorities took action, as the press pointed out ;-
‘Admission to all future Rangers v Celtic games is to be by ticket only. This was decided by Glasgow magistrates yesterday when they held an inquiry into the scenes at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday, when the gates were closed although there was room for thousands more.
More than 50 people were arrested and about 30 were injured during and after the game. A gate was damaged as fans tried to force their way in.
Saturday’s match had been one of the first Rangers – Celtic contests in recent years for which no tickets were required’.
The Boss Decides
At Celtic Park, manager Jock Stein had made some decisions and announced them to the press. Neither Billy McNeill not Joe McBride would be risked by Celtic in their return quarter-final tie with Raith Rovers at Parkhead. McNeill had a strained tendon in his ankle and McBride strained a thigh muscle in the first game in Kirkcaldy. Stein refused to name a side but one of the papers was apparently so sure of his thoughts that they put a headline over the above details;
CHALMERS LEADS CELTIC
The Brazilians – In or Out?
There was another announcement put out by the club, one about a decision that many Celtic fans would be disappointed with yet once they heard the reasons for the choice, they might understand. It involved the talking point of the past two months – the Brazilians;
‘There will be no Brazilians signed by Celtic in the meantime but there might be a good chance of more Brazilians coming to Parkhead later.
Jock Stein said
We could not agree with Senor Ramos over fees for Fara and Inacio but have asked him to send us some younger players on trial.
Fara and Inacio were, at 27 and 28 years of age, too much of a gamble to pay big money for and we thought that Senor Ramos wanted too much money for them.
The correspondent who put this story out thought a fee of £15,000 each was talked about for the players but at prices like that, Celtic rapidly lost interest.
A Different Tale at Night?
All the above stories were in the morning papers. However, on the day of the match, the evening papers had a slightly different story to tell;
Jock Stein named 12 players for the return match against Raith Rovers at Parkhead tonight. His final choice has included goalkeeper John Kennedy, brought in from Distillery earlier this year.
John Cushley, who turned down a move Middlesbrough a few months ago, comes in at centre-half in place of Billy McNeill. 6 forwards are listed. John Divers is left out and his place will be taken by Charlie Gallagher. Either Hughes or Auld will be at outside-left’.
Are You Serious?
Although I was not involved in this particular match, I remember thinking at the time when reading the papers that there was an awful lot of talk going on about a two-legged contest in which Celtic were already 8-1 up from the first leg. What was the problem? We could play the reserve side and still go through. However, while I can guarantee that those thoughts were definitely running through my head at the time, I had enough common sense to keep them to myself. It was difficult, though!
Top of the Pops
In the pop charts in the UK, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Walker Brothers were in the top three positions. Over in the USA, while the Beatles dominated, some other names made the top five places;
1 Beatles Help!
2 The McCoys Hang on Sloopy
3 Barry McGuire Eve of Destruction
4 Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone
5 We Five You Were on my Mind
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