30 Day Challenges… Day 9
“A Player Who Made The Biggest Ever Howler”.
I’m struggling with this one. I could mention Peter Van Vossen’s miss for Rangers against Celtic, but then Rangers still won that game. So while it’s an absolutely shocking miss, it’s hardly one for this category. To be honest, I try and block howlers out of my head. Unless they are refereeing howlers, in which case my head is full of them. But I’ll go for this one from Artur Boruc.
Artur was a fantastic goalkeeper for Celtic. The best we’ve had in a generation. When he left at the start of this season I was disappointed to lose him. I’d still have him back in a second. But he seemed to have a blind spot when it came to Hibernian. In one game in December 2008, a speculative shot from almost the half way line that swerved all over the place went straight through him. Hibs won that game and eventually Celtic lost the league that year. But to be honest, Celtic were rubbish in that game and had other issues that season, so I find it hard to blame Artur for that one. Besides, Hibs won that game 2-0, so really the first goal was bad but didn’t change the result.
There was a bigger howler against Hibs though. It came a year earlier in September 2007. Having already been at fault for the first goal of the game, Artur wasn’t having a good day. But the rest of the Celtic team had helped claw the game back to 2-2 and we were heading for a draw. Then a Hibs player took a shot. This shot was going wide but Artur didn’t know this. He tried to save it and all he managed to was let it squirm away from him, straight into the path of another Hibs striker. The Hibs player couldn’t believe his luck. Just a few minutes left and here he had a tap in. Which he duly did and Hibs won the game 3-2.
That result, coupled with a Rangers win the same weekend, meant we dropped from the top of the table. For the rest of that season we were playing catch up and I think we got lucky. Rangers got distracted with a run in Europe and a tricky fixture pile up that eventually saw the end of the season extended to a Thursday night. We looked dead and buried by April, but a brilliant run of wins from April to May saw us catch up with and overtake Rangers. While Rangers could still win the title on that final day, they needed us to slip up. In the end, they themselves slipped up by losing to Aberdeen on that final day while Celtic didn’t, and we won the league away to Dundee United.
So for all Artur’s howler, it did set up a glorious final night of the season title win. And I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of the fans surrounding me at Tannadice as I cheered for no apparent reason. I had my radio on and I heard Aberdeen score. So when I cheered, they all looked at me, thought about it, and smiled and cheered themselves. They knew it meant the title was ours. Great memories.
Sorry, this one’s a bit rubbish. Hopefully the topics will pick up again next week.