Willie Colum 1 v 0 Hearts (oh and Hamilton 3 v 2 Hearts) - 29/08/15

May 24, 2017

Every now and then various sections of our press and tv ask the question “what is wrong with our game?” On some occassions it is asked as a knee jerk reaction to Celtic missing out on playing the european elite after another summer of keeping the biscuit tin shut. More often and not though the question is raised and various answers are offered. “It’s the prices”, “it’s poor youth development” the list of variables is endless. Todays match brought to light another issue which seems to be play a huge part in the lack of a feelgood factor surrounding the game. How can a game with five goals and entertaining if keystone cop defending be overshadowed by one man who seems to able to attract criticism and controversy across a whole continent in spades yet still find himself the go to guy? Let me make this clear I do not believe in a witch hunt against my side nor do I know Willie Colum personally so cannot subscribe to claiming foul play due to any football or religious tendancies he may or may not have but there is clearly a case to at least question a subconscious bias on his part whenever the men in maroon play. I am sure a few other clubs could very well feel entitled to ask the same question and to me the only concrete judgement I can offer is that Mr Collum displays an egotistical desire to be the centre of attention in almost every match I have watched him referee with his fussy error strewn performances fueling derision from various clubs down the years. His lack of football knowledge shines through – take today for example. Like most referees he basis most of his decisions on contact made rather than have an understanding of the game and how it is played. Anyone who plays and understands the game can clearly identify these fouls but for a referee to pick up on it there needs to be contact it seems.

The biggest talking point of today will be the paterson dismissal which looked very harsh at first viewing and the reaction of the accies players certainly did not help the matter and helped sway a game that at this stage was looking like being a smash and grab victory for the league leaders. Credit where its due to Hamilton. They played a smart game which involved sharing fouls amongst the team (a tactic we used to good effect during a 2-1 win at Ibrox last season) and when the time was right they had the guile of Motm Crawford to rely on. There are certainly question marks over the two centre halves who both looked to be towing caravans everytime they were turned but in general Hamilton showed enough to suggest they should pick up enough points at home this season. But there were certainly a lot of poor choices taken by the Edinburgh side both in the dugout and on the park which brought about our own downfall. All three goals and the red card could have been avoided with better concentration from those involved. Our captains flaw aerially brought about two goals which sandwhiched poor ball control from Paterson and Buaben which led to the red card and second goal. In defence of Buaben he is clearly a player still looking to gain peak fitness and he along with Jamie Walker it be could be argued should have been replaced earlier in the match.

Now lets focus on the positives – 5 wins out of 6 and a point shy of the league leaders with a 5 point gap over 4th place and achieved with a squad struggling with fitness issues and the usual early season bedding in period for the new aquisitions. I still believe that this squad are top 3 material with room to grow under this current management team and will more often than not continue to entertain us with our mixture of players who bring an element of chaos to their game.

I would like to finish this little recap with a plea to the blazers sitting in the hampden offices. As we all know Hearts Celtic matches have developed a nasty and toxic atmosphere during the last few years and we need to ensure the man responsible for keeping a lid on things needs a level head. Can I please ask you take those comments on board before deciding on the officials for these matches.