All in the Game: Celtic best warm up the singing voices

Too much information from Gio; Neil Warnock gets in touch with his emotional side


“If they get knocked out does that put them into the Eurovision song contest?”

Having already dropped from the Champions League to the Europa League to the Europa Conference League, Ally McCoist is wondering what’s next for Celtic after their 3-1 home defeat by Bodo/Glimt.

Number: 15

The number of years between Shane Long’s first Premier League goal (for Reading in January 2007) and his latest, for Southampton on Saturday. Longevity, that.


Thursday’s Europa League game between Borussia Dortmund and Rangers threw up a quirky enough meeting between Dortmund teenager Giovanni Reyna and the man he was named after, Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.


Reyna’s father Claudio, who won over 100 caps for the United States, was a team-mate and good pal of van Bronckhorst at Rangers between 1999 and 2001, so when his second son was born in 2002, he named him after the Dutch international.

Young Giovanni also plays for the United States, although when he first emerged as a gifted young fella there was a lot of talk about him also being eligible for England (where he was born) and Portugal and Argentina, from where his paternal grandparents hailed. What wasn’t mentioned as much is that his mother Danielle Egan, a former US international herself, is of Irish-American stock - so he may well have been lost to us too.

Any way, Rangers’ 4-2 win made it a decidedly happier night for van Bronckhorst than Reyna, who came on for the second half, his manager, Marco Rose, having hailed their meeting ahead of the game.

“It’s really cool that things like this can happen in football, being the godfather and meeting at this level now. I think Van Bronckhorst has know Gio since he sh*t in his pants.” Marco? Way too much information.

Word of Mouth

“I saw that game, he was nothing special. Lampard was lyrical, he put a few feathers up Donny’s ass, but that’s only because Lampard brought him to Everton.”

Dutch pundit Valentijn Driessen somewhat dismissive of Frank Lampard raving about Donny van de Beek for his performance against Leeds a week ago.

“I retired at 35, dipped my toe in the coaching. I was sh*t at it. Decided to try and work hard and get better. That’s how I’ve ended up here, I guess.”

Damien Duff on his bumpy path to Shelbourne supremo.

“Not many people on the outside will think it and some will think I’m stupid for saying it, but we have that belief and confidence that we can win the Champions League.”

Luke Shaw, the Peter Kay of Manchester United.

Wholesome Warnock

Most romantic Valentine’s Day poem written by a former manager and read out by him on talkSPORT last week: It’s a tough choice this, but we’ll go with Neil Warnock’s offering which was a tribute to his wife Sharon. Edited highlights:

“It’s been a while since I wrote a rhyme, I’m not sure this one will stand the test of time….. You’re always there in my time of need, since the first day, when you planted the seed … I’m so in love with you, at times I could cry, I find myself looking at you, and boy, do I sigh …. I never want you to be bored when I say: ‘I love you’, The simple fact is, I just do!”

Never again will any of us look at Warnock in the same way, bless his romantic socks.

More Word of Mouth

“Payney has got a mark on his leg like Jack the Ripper has got hold of him. But you can’t say nothing to these clowns because they won’t do nothing. And I mean clowns.”

Crawley Town boss John Yems after a Hartlepool player wasn't sent off for a, well, robust challenge on Jack 'Payney' Payne. Needless to say, Yems now faces an FA charge for his comments.

“He just said, you know, we’re in a ****ed up situation.”

Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis a touch too fortnight for the BBC’s liking when he revealed what Roy Hodgson had told the players when he took over as manager.

“I’m not so sure I have a good answer to your question.”

Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel close enough to speechless on being asked about Romelu Lukaku touching the ball just seven times against Crystal Palace on Saturday - the lowest number since records of this class of thing started being collected in 2003. PS: One of Lukaku’s touches was the kick-off.