Time for Celtic to bin the Livi plastic pitch excuse and just get the job done

By David Walton

September 19, 2021

So much focus heading into the Livingston vs Celtic fixture tends to be on the Tony Macaroni Arena’s plastic surface.

Indeed, we all know there’s no room for them in the professional game. It’s ridiculous that we label ourselves a top league yet have grounds without proper grass on them.

Even the most advanced 4G pitches on the market can’t replicate the experience of playing on real grass. Not that they don’t have their own benefits of course. The all-weather nature of them is a big plus. But they have their place in football and that isn’t in the top leagues.

Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images

As such, it’s a narrative we have to go over again and again every time we visit the Tony Macaroni Arena. Yet Celtic winger Jota, who hasn’t played on a plastic pitch in his competitive career, put it perfectly yesterday.

He stated that, at the end of the day, we’re Celtic. We can have no excuses for beating Livingston, and that if we have to play on astro then we have to play on astro [Daily Record]. We can’t use it as a pre-prepared excuse in case things go wrong.

At the end of the day, Rangers keep winning there too. We can moan and complain all we like about the surface, but our rivals keep turning up and finding a way to win. That’s something Celtic need to learn to accomplish too regardless of the surface.

Celtic can take a big step under Ange tomorrow

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Celtic can take a big step under Ange tomorrow
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Celtic have golden chance to end their plastic surface hoodoo at Livingston

Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon both failed to secure wins in West Lothian. What a feather it would be for Postecoglou then to go there and assert Celtic’s game on David Martindale’s side then.

It’s not even just that we haven’t managed to bag a result at Livingston – we’ve yet to put in a good display either. There’s no denying the pitch doesn’t help, but Celtic are supposed to have the quality within the squad to be able to deal with things like this.

Not to mention we also have a plastic pitch at Lennoxtown that can be used to help acclimatise. Celtic have the tools at their disposal to rock up at Livingston today and blow them away. But it does nothing for us if we fixate on the turf we’re playing on.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

By doing that, you go into the game with a mental block. There’s no pro in building the pitch up to be a bigger issue than it is. If Celtic can’t find a way to win this afternoon, we have bigger problems to worry about than artificial pitches.

So let’s bin the excuse for now and finally get the job done in Livingston. We’ve been there four times since their promotion in 2018 and failed to win one of them.

Today must be a different story.

In other news, Charlie Christie wanted Ryan to stay at Celtic this summer