Will Celtic Win The League — Wanna Bet?

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Last week, after 2 games played I caught up with my yearly assessment of whether Celtic would win the league or not.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/will-celtic-win-the-league/

My opinion at that time was that it is ours to lose, based on the signings we had made, current performance and backed that up with the odds available at the various bookmakers.

Has that opinion changed after 4 games played including the weekends game against our closest rivals Rangers and the transfer window closing last night?

Undoubtedly, Celtic have spent significant sums and strengthened, the 2 new players that I had question marks over namely Julien and Bolingoli played well at the weekend removing any serious doubts on their abilities over the season, although Bolingoli looks better going forward than in defence. The other new replacement Taylor signed just before the window closed last night will more than likely make this position his own pushing Bolingoli forward.

The new signing and debutante in the Glasgow Derby, Hatem Abd Elhamed, looks like a quality player at either right back or centre-back, fast, strong and aggressive.

Then there was the return of Fraser Forster in goal who had very little to do as the back 4 in front of him and Brown in centre midfield swept up the Rangers attack before it became a credible threat.

Additionally , the other new signings of note include Mohamed Elyounoussi, who looks like a good addition of an attacking winger.

Too many to name really, but the team played well despite being written ff in some quarters of the media and Edouard let the line with strength and guile as usual.

As the transfer window slammed shut, Rangers finalized a deal to bring back Ryan Kent who was a decent player for them last season, good going forward, scored a handful of goals, but is most celebrated by the rangers support for striking Celtics captain Scott Brown .. a fee of £7m for a player who hasn’t even had a first team game with his parent club?

Serious, are you mad, or just feeding the bears a squirrel to give them hope and distract them with the fact that Celtic are going to win this league comfortably now.

Yes it’s only 4 games in, but Celtic have set down a marker both on and off the field.

The league is a marathon and not a sprint, things happen over the season, players get injured or suspended, but Celtic have superior quality and strength in depth and I’m confident that we will win this league.

To back that opinion up, have a look at the bookmakers sites, pre-season Celtic had a win ratio of 5 times more likely to win the league than Rangers, this dropped to 3.5 prior to the Glasgow Derby game.

After Sundays win with 4 games played,  it’s is now 7.5 times more likely that Celtic will win the league.

A £100 bet on Celtic returns £33.33 where as the same bet on Rangers returns £250.

Games Played Celtc Odds £100 Return Rangers Odds £100 Return Win Ratio
0 4/9 £44.44 9/4 £225.00 5.06
2 11/20 £55.00 21/10 £210.00 3.82
3 4/7 £57.14 2/1 £200.00 3.50
4 1/3 £33.33 5/2 £250.00 7.50

Now that we’ve got that game out the way and the transfer window is firmly shut, my money is on the Celtic to win this league comfortably.

A bet of 10 grand returns £3,333,  tax-free,   better than money in the bank with low risk.

Are you uncertain or uncomfortable about that?   Then give it a little time for the odds to go more in Celtics favour,  your returns will be reduced but your risk will be lowered.

I’m not really a gambling man,  I don’t bet money every week hoping it wins,  not even just for fun,  a few quid here and there doesn’t matter to me.

But I do like to assess risk and reward and a one-off £10k bet paying £3.33k return is a completely different matter.


As a final note,  credit where credit is due to the board for splashing the cash on some decent signings.    My remaining criticism is that we should have did that sooner,  had the team gelled and we would now be in the Champions League group statges rather than the lesser Europa League.

This failure to invest in a timely manner happens most seasons and far too frequently for my liking,  indicating an underlying issue which needs rectified,  whether that be in the identification and recruitment of candidates,  negotiating deals or deciding that the team needs support and investing the money sitting in the bank to improve the team.

 

 

 

 

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You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened ..

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Check that pic of my 3 kids taken on the morning of the Millennium,   Laura is now 28,  Claire 22 and Steven 30.   All summer babies.

Happy days.

Things have changed in the past almost 20 years.  I was divorced a few years later and they’ve grown up,  All young graduates and my elder two are established in their careers and living with their partners.

A couple of weeks ago,  I mentioned on here how pleased I was for my munchkin, Claire 22,  to graduate and get a new job.

The only problem is that the new job is down south at one of the major banks.  Thankfully its not London based,  but it is a fantastic opportunity and carries an amazing starting salary.

I’m absolutely delighted for her.

But here’s the thing ..  I’m somehow sad,  not for her or them .. I’m delighted ..  that doesn’t change.    But its as if somehow its an end of an era and my purpose and usefulness has come to an end.

That’s rubbish really .. I know it .. You know it.

But its overwhelming.

I find myself making tea in the morning,  knowing that she’s still asleep in bed,  knowing that she’s safe and thinking next week,  I’m on my own.

We had dinner last week and her brother and sister wrote beautiful messages on the good-luck cards they have her ..  Their as proud as I am ,, but without the angst.

Tomorrow I drive her down south,  she’s going to be living with her boyfriends parents.

I’m looking forward to meeting them and I’m pleased that she’s not going to a flat. Moving house and starting a new job in a new city is stressful enough never mind living in another unknown place.

A 6 hour drive from Glasgow and it will be like driving her down the aisle.   Giving her away to a new life.

Yeah pathetic I know.

She says she’ll be back every few weeks and she’s already planned to be back on the 14th.

But how long will that last?

Indefinitely she says,  her life is up her,  she says.

And I want to believe her,  even although she’s starting a new life down there.

I hear my inner voice saying,  part of being a parent is you need to let them fly,   you’ve done a good job,  provided for them and gave them the tools to fly and now they are living their own lives.

It’s my proudest achievement seeing them get on in life.

But despite my brain over-ruling my heart, knowing it makes sense,  it still hurts.

Jeez,  I’ve had my moments of heartache or even heartbreak before.

But nothing,  no nothing, compares to this.

Tomorrow her boyfriends parents kindly offered if i’d like to stay at theirs.  But I booked a hotel to save any inconvenience.  I’m genuinely looking forward to meeting them and going for dinner on Saturday night.

No doubt that there will be sad good-byes on Sunday before the drive back north to Glasgow.

No doubt that I’ll be choked but will try and keep a smile on my face.

On the positive site,  next week,  an empty nest ..  I can sit about in my pants ..  play my music or piano as loud as a like at any time of day or night.

It’s time to take the parental gloves off and get back to living a single life.

Give it a couple of years,  the grand-kids will be here and I’m quitting this working for a living malarkey.

Bring it on!!   🙂


 

Sunday at 12pm,   Celtic are playing Rangers at Ibrox,   I may be driving up the road or might watch it down south then head for home.

I hope there aren’t any more tears on that long drive up the road.

Have a good weekend whatever you do.

Will Celtic Win The League?

Will Celtic Win The League?

Celtic have won 8 domestic championships in a row,   a fantastic achievement,  but we’ve been here before many years ago when we won 9 championships back  from the season beginning in 1965 and that ending in 1974.

Our greatest historic rival Rangers were close in some of those years, closest in season 1972-3 where they lost the league by a single point.

But of course,   that was then when the league had teams like East Fife who have faded or even Rangers who went into administration in 2012 and are currently in the liquidation process.

New Rangers .. Yes the company is the club ..  started in the 4th division of Scottish football and have made their way slowly back to the top division,  stumbling to gain access to the premier league after being humbled 6-1 by Motherwell in the play-offs over 2 games.

How we laughed .. at their pain .. of course we did .. that’s what rivals do in any context.

It’s their superiority complex,  their hubris and expectation that they will succeed that makes them vulnerable .. then seeing them fail.

Beating the part-timers of the lower leagues was easy with their superior resources and full-time professional players against guys who were working part-time in other jobs to earn a living.

Rangers reached the premiership in season 2016-7 were they finished 3rd  behind second place Aberdeen by 9 points and huge 39 points being champions Celtic who finished with a massive 106 points and not losing a game in their incredible “invincibles” season.

Before that season started,   I blogged about it,   their expectation was high but there was no contest.    The bookies knew it.  I knew it.  Anyone with half a brain and not wearing blue-tinted  spectacles knew it.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

However .. and I hate to say it .. I hate to have any association with that “Rangers Are Coming” strap-line that their poisonous club are using to get their fans on side and sell season tickets.

But the reality is Rangers have spent massively over the past few seasons and have improved winning 67,70 and 78 in the past 3 seasons.

In that same time,   Celtic have lost momentum and dropped from their highest point of 106 points to a meagre 82 and a slight improvement to 87.   But don’t let that fool you,   many of last seasons performances were dire lack-lustre games both with Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon as a manager including getting beat at Ibrox by Rangers on 2 occasions.

Season Winner Points Second Points Third Points
2016-7 Celtic 106 Aberdeen 76 Rangers 67
2017-8 Celtic 82 Aberdeen 73 Rangers 70
2018-9 Celtic 87 Rangers 78 Kilmarnock 67

Anyone who thinks that Rangers are not  making a serious attempt to provide a challenge and win the league is deluding themselves.    In my opinion Rangers are spending money they don’t have and will throw all resources they have at stopping Celtic winning the league 9 times in a row this season.

But are they good enough?      Continue reading “Will Celtic Win The League?”

Flying The Nest?

2 down, 1 to go!

Well it’s finally happened, My kids are all growing up and leaving me to start life’s of their own.

Laura 28 left first, just over a year ago, buying a house with her partner. She called me last night to tell me they are getting married next year. I’m delighted for them both.

Steven 30 leaves this weekend, moving into rented accommodation with his partner. They’ll be buying soon but giving it a try first

Both of these were expected.

What wasn’t expected is that my munchkin Claire 21 would be moving out so soon.

She recently graduated from Strathclyde with a first class honours degree. I’m very proud of her. Even more so that she has her first job working for a major bank on an amazing starting salary.

A salary that many of my own extended family couldn’t hope to earn despite working for many years.

There’s the proof that education and guidance makes the difference to people’s starts in life.

What wasn’t expected is that she’d be leaving home so soon and moving south to their headquarters.

Coincidentally her boyfriend lives in the same city.

What’s the chances eh??!!

I’m pleased for her but can’t help feeling a bit sad.

This place we live isn’t just a house, it’s home.

Soon I’ll be rattling around in it on my own.

The thought of downsizing crossed my mind, maybe renting it out and using the money to see the world.

But truth be told I’ve seen as much as I want to see with the exception of New York, Vegas, Washington DC and the California coast

I’ve no desire to backpack across Vietnam or experience food poisoning or malaria in less civilised parts of the world.

So what next?

I’ve no idea really, keep working, no mortgage to pay so just enjoy life.

Truth be told, I think it’s time I found a new partner and settled down.

Life’s too short and too precious to live it on your own.

2am on Monday morning. This new job comes with bank holidays.

But if truth be told I’m not convinced if being staff rather than self employed is for me.

Especially with a daughter getting married next year!

It’s going to be costly. 🙂

Back on the Train Gang!

A new day, a new chapter. No more working in Livingston with a 3 hour daily commute.

I’m back working in central Glasgow … Yay!!

Back to that horrible ugly city I love so well.

Horrible? Ugly?

Well by comparison with Rome, Florence, Barcelona etc.

But I guess even those cities have their dark seedy sides.

That’s not to say that Glasgow doesn’t have its beauty, of course it does.

The Kelvingrove art galleries, Peoples Palace, Gallery of Modern Art, Burrell Collection, House for an Art Lover, Science Museum, Transport Museum.

But enough of the culture!

Glasgow is a people city, great shopping streets full of bars and restaurants. Many many music venues including 3 large arenas, the Hydro, Exhibition Centre and Clyde Auditorium within stepping distance of each other.

Then there’s the football. Celtic Park, Ibrox and Hampden.

Glasgow is also the gateway to the beautiful Loch Lomond and the highlands.

So it might not be the prettiest city .. but what’s not to love?

It’s like going out with a fat girl she might not be the best looking but she has inner beauty and nice tits! 🙂

Anyway, I’m back on the train, a 10 minutes train ride to the city centre and back writing again.

ForgetMeNot

With friends like that?

Friends like what?

Well it’s kinda hard to explain.

Have you ever had or do you currently have a friend that you love dearly,  that you’ve went through lots together,  marriage,  divorce,  in his case re-marriage ..  long term friends who have went through the good and bad together.

I was best man at his wedding,  the second one that is,   been there when the twins came along,  advised him to play more of an active part and stop using work as an excuse to avoid dealing with the kids as his wife needs the help.

Not that I’ve ever been a fan of his missus,   I never thought they were right for each other,   particularly as during the pre-marriage days he had a few misdemeanours,    one in particular where his future wife turned up at my door asking me if he’d stayed at mine the previous night.

Now what can you say in that situation?

Tell the truth and stick your bestie deep in the doo-do?

Or lie your ass off and swear to the big guy in the sky that you’d been out for curry and beers,  came back to mine for some more drinks and he’d fell asleep.

Nobody sticks their mate in the shit,  it just isn’t done.

The missus couldn’t prove I was lying and although I was deeply uncomfortable with it,  what else could I say?

He’d texted me that morning in a panic,   he’d met a girl a few weeks ago and unbeknown to me,  was out with her on the Friday night, telling his girlfriend that he was out with me for the night.

Boys will be boys and all that.

They go out for dinner and drinks,  he goes back to hers,   nature takes it’s due course and the fud then falls asleep, waking up at 7 in the morning in a panic and calling a cab.

He then texts me from the cab to ask me to cover for him if his missus gets in touch.

What can you say?

Errr .. Nah mate,  your on your own?

So he gets home,  the missus suspects he’s been up to no good and rightfully gives him the third degree.

He feigns innocence and has deleted the text to me from his mobile.

I wake up at 8am .. well it is a Saturday .. and see his text, I  can tell he’s panicking and on the way home and know that he’s in it deep as he has a bit of previous.

I swither on sending him a text,  but don’t want to say anything that drops him in it and don’t’ really want involved either.

Nothing happens the rest of the day,  she’s obviously watching him like a hawk and he’s on best behaviour.   But later that evening,  while eating a take-away with the kids, the doorbell rings.  It’s his girlfriend asking if she can come in for a chat.

“Of course you can,    I’m surprised to see you,  hope everything is okay?” .. and I was surprised to see her .. hoping that my genuine surprise is masking my discomfort.

So she comes into the kitchen and I put the kettle on,  any excuse to buy a bit of thinking time.

I turn to face her and although her blue eyes are red as she’s clearly been crying,   they’re intensely staring at mine and she wants a straight answer.

“Did Robert stay here last night?”

Short, sweet and straight to the point.

It’s the moment of truth .. or lie.   It’s the moment of choice.

To choose the path of the hard and hurtful truth or to tell a horrible but gentle lie?

What would you do?

Back your best mate up or tell the truth and drop him right in it?

Call me weak,  I chose the easier path and lied .. yep,  as brazen-faced as I could manage,  I put surprise on my face as if the question had came out of the blue and lied through my teeth.

“Yes,  he was here”  .. and I’m doing my best to look as if the question itself was a surprise  ..  “We went for a curry and a few beers,  then he came here and we put on a Bowie concert and that Depeche Mode one that we had been to,  he fell asleep on the sofa,  so I went to my bed and when I woke up this morning he was gone”

Bowie and Depeche mode an easy and convincing add-on .. my bad …  but she knows we are both fans and have been to see them and watched these concerts at his house after nights out when she’d been there and went up to her bed.

“Is that what really happened?”

“Not sure what you mean?   Yes that’s what happened,  did he say that we did something else?  Is everything okay?”

“He says that he stayed here last night,   but I don’t believe him.   He’s been too secretive lately and disappeared a few times without saying where he’s going or where he’s been,  making excuse to go shopping on his own,  anything to get out the house for a while”

And she stares at me,  almost pleading to hear the truth  “Are you sure that’s what happened?”

And she knows,  of course she knows,  she just can’t prove it.

And I lie again, shamefully,   brazenly,  I’m even embarrassed about it now 15 years later.

A lot has changed in that time,    their married,  got the twins,  I’ve never had to lie for him again.

Back then,  after the dust settled and we met for another beer and curry night .. I ripped him up for putting me in such a horrible position.

If his missus was to read this now,  how would she feel,  knowing that despite him being a good dad and husband,  he had lied to her back then,  would it change anything .. or does time heal and we move along and close off the past,  preferring not to look at its dark secrets?

Let me give you a wee bit of advice … if you’re ever in that situation where you know your partner has cheated but can’t prove it and he has his best friend backing him up.

Trust your instincts.

 

Work, Rain, Home, Again?

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Work, work, work …
Rain, rain, rain  ….
Home, home, home …
Again, again, again …
I’ve not been doing much writing recently … kinda missing it.

Working too hard, long hours, long commute, tired all the time and too many other things to do.

This job .. which I quite enjoy at a technical level.. is sucking the life out of me.

I’ve always been a bit healthily disdainful towards my work,    I work for a living, not the other way around.

But that no longer seems to be possible in the world we live in. Where we used to have a knowledge gap and those with that knowledge were in demand and could command the bigger bucks, has been replaced by a culture where businesses can pull in that knowledge from other parts of the world on demand without considering the longer term consequences.

If younger generations don’t get the opportunity or the infrastructure or health system can’t support the influx then it’s not their problem.

That’s a general trend, but it’s this place, the Dickensian working practices, 8 hour days not including the mandatory hour for lunch, the 2-3 hour commute.

The day just seems so long .. Every day seems so long .. Tired .. Driving in rain and dark skies and not seeing the sunshine.

I need a holiday.

I need a change.

Like an alcoholic or some other behaviour addict .. the first step to making that change is to realise that you have a change to make.

It’s important to remember that even when it doesn’t seem possible, we always have a choice.

Now if I can only be arsed updating that CV and getting it out there.

The lyrics above are from Town to Be Blamed by Deacon Blue from their Raintown album, a personal favourite album and legendary around these parts with its image of Glasgow on the cover just at a time when dark, grey, stormy Glasgow put on some new clothes to become the European City Of Culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raintown_(album)