1000 actions in League Winning Machine


The most difficult period of the league campaign came in February.  We came from behind to secure a draw at Aberdeen.  That was followed by a bizarre game at Easter Road.  An early Adam Idah penalty put Celtic in control before we conceded an equaliser on the hour and were then shredded by Hibernian until a second Idah penalty kick in added time secured the win.

Next league game was home to Kilmarnock, when the visitors left with a point after a 92nd minute equaliser.  For me, that was the darkest moment.  The seven-point cushion we had built up earlier in the season was gone, replaced by what would be a two-point deficit when Newco played their game in hand.

You want to believe Celtic will win the league, but I left Celtic Park that day with a feeling of dread.  This was not ‘the 10’, defined by history, but it was a league title which would have significant impact on the future, and our trajectory was dreadful. I prepared myself for what felt like the inevitable.

That was 14 games ago.  A defeat at Tynecastle under controversial circumstances, a penalty kick progression in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and a drew at Ibrox were the only blemishes on an impeccable record since.

If Kilmarnock at home was the nadir, the draw at Ibrox was the pivotal determinant in the outcome of the title.  Newco went into the game with the hopes of winning and moving five points ahead.

Celtic dominated the first half but were ahead courtesy of two bizarre goals.  Daizen Maeda blocked a clearance 25 yards from goal which whizzed in the net, then Connor Goldson conceded a penalty for hitting the ball with his arm – bizarre, as Connor is never penalised for that!

We were ahead, but not through methods which we could replicate.  10 minutes into the second half Newco briefly thought they had drawn level, before VAR intervened for a foul on Tomoki Iwata 70 yards from goal.  Celtic were rattled and had that goal stood, the outcome of the season may have been different.  VAR, for all its problems, is necessary for these moments.

Celtic left Ibrox with the draw they needed to keep the title in their own hands.  Newco celebrated a late equaliser as though it was a winner, seemingly not understanding their best chance to take the title had just slipped through their fingers.

The remainder of our league campaign was more comfortable than you are likely to remember.  Dundee gave us a challenging 15 minutes.  Newco did the same for a similar period, but neither was able to test Joe Hart, never mind beat him during these periods, as Celtic defended a narrow lead.  Those games aside, we scored 11 goals without conceding before the title was secured at Rugby Park on Wednesday.

Looking back, this title was closer than it could or should have been.  Newco were so poor at one stage, they sacked their manager, yet we were drawn back into a battle after it appeared to be won.

There was a really telling point about where we are as a club after fulltime on Saturday.  Historically, the presentation stage was setup facing the South Stand.  This time, we had two stages and a second trophy lift for those in the North Stand.

When you win so often, you get to fine-tune everything about the process.  You know what winning looks like, you prepare for it confidently and you look for marginal improvements.  Celtic is a league winning machine, from going to Ibrox and getting the result, to giving all fans a chance to see the trophy being lifted and a thousand actions in between.

That is why we are champions today; that is what the challengers are up against.  They spent more on player wages than us to compensate for the deficit in professionalism in all areas.  Their plans for the season could have worked out, but it fell short, which will have harsh consequences.  More on that another time.

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  1. Superbru Round 38 Update




    Our final week produced a 3:2 match, a 3:3 and three drawn matches plus an unlikely away win for St. Johnstone so Hutchbhoy’s individual weekly best total of 17 points was never under serious threat.



    Managing to select a couple right this week we had:-



    1= Billy Bhoy & Hamiltontm- 7pts


    3= Big Jimmy, Borgo67, Hopeful Hoops, Big Archie & Batten Bhoy- 5.5 pts.



    The scores were so unlikely this week that Friesdorfer managed to miss out one a top 3 podium by half a point. We could be questioning a lot of cherished long-held truths if that had happened.



    Managing to replace Friesdorfer in his natural position, we have:-



    Last equal- Chalmersbhoy, BMCUWP, mckenna_88, Garry Postecoglou, 18 yard man, SFTB, maccargo, Nawlite, Gutenberg, ACGR, OneMalloy, Call me Gerry, & BC Milan- all on 1 pt, courtesy of forecasting a Celtic home win, I’d assume- the only result that mattered.



    So our final positions are :-



    Top 10, with Top 3 prize winners:-



    One Malloy- 247 pts


    Billy Bhoy- 234 pts


    Leggy- -223 pts



    Hopeful Hoops & BC Milan- 219.5 pts


    roy croppie – 217 pts


    Bognorbhoy- 212 pts


    Nawlite- 210 pts


    SFTB- 209.5 pts


    James Cant – 206.5



    A few participants dropped out of regular participation but we are still grateful for your charity donations but the regularly ill informed battle between the denizens of the deep was won by:-



    Friesdorfer- 133.5 pts- the cookie cutter shark amongst the lanternfish and bristlemouths


    Chalmersbhoy- 143 pts- 2nd in command of the Pelagic kingdom


    Gutenberg- 143.5 pts- who won a duel of massive ineptitude to oust BelmontBrian63 from his regular spot.



    So, our 5 prizewinners are:-



    One Malloy- £95


    Billy Bhoy- £55


    Leggy- £35



    Best weekly total- Hutchybhoy’s 17 pts- £75



    & receiving a genuine wooden spoon next time I see him will be Friesdorfer who is well worthy of this tribute.



    I will send a private Brumail to all the cash winners to arrange the recipients of their prizes. I have already received instruction from OneMalloy and will act on this soon with my moneyman CRC.



    As well as a final word of appreciation from the money you have donated so far to our nominated charities, I will be publishing soon a fun Superbru competition for the Euros if you want to keep your prediction eye in. I will send out information on this over the next week or two.



    You lot are all Champions.

  2. SAINT STIVS on 20TH MAY 2024 7:02 PM


    we will be drawn agaist 2 teams each from the four pots.



    one will be a home fixture, the other away.



    8 fixtures in total sept to jan.



    we will be in europe after christmas, thanks santa.




    Thanks for the update. However, that means the other teams would only have one other team from their same pot. If there’s nine teams, then only one pot will be represented by three teams. The groups of nine must have different permutations where each will have three teams from one pot and the rest will be two. To me that means we could have three pot 1 teams. We’ll find our soon enough.

  3. Melvin Udall on

    ZIGGYDOC1 on 20TH MAY 2024 10:00 PM




    I think you’ve read it wrong bud. The groups of nine teams, are the Pots 1-4. 9 teams in Pot 1, teams in Pot 2, 9 teams in Pot 3 teams, and 9 teams in Pot 4. Every team will play 2 teams from each pot. One at home and one away. It is one massive league of 36 teams, who all only play 8 games each.



    Saint Stivs posted a cracking piece from ESPN with the breakdown, which is brilliant at explaining the basics, then gets a bit completes it goes into co efficient qualifiers etc. The first bit on the structure of the competition is brilliant though.



    Here is the link to the ESPN article: https://www.espn.co.uk/football/story/_/id/37628341/champions-league-revamp-how-competition-work


    Hope this has helped. 👍

  4. Melvin Udall on



    After the league rounds of 8 games each, the knockout rounds start. Teams 1st to 8th go straight through to the round of 16, whereas teams finishing 9th to 24th (16 teams) play in a 2 legged play-off to see who gets to the round of 16 to meet the 8 seeded teams.



    It goes league of 36 teams


    Then into the knockout round, all over 2 legs until the final.


    – play-off round for those that finished 9th to 24th


    – round of 16 for those that finished 1st to 8th vs the winners of the Play-off round


    – Quarter Finals


    – Semifinals


    – Final

  5. Melvin Udall on

    AIPPLE on 20TH MAY 2024 10:24 PM




    No problem Aipple.


    Glad it’s helped and it’s hope it’s right! 😳🤷🏼‍♂️😂👍

  6. MELVIN UDALL on 20TH MAY 2024 10:24 PM




    Thanks. I was thinking it was 9 teams in a group who would all play one another. Got it now. Not good to read this when retiring for the evening:)

  7. Melvin Udall on

    It is definitely confusing. So don’t worry about getting it wrong. I’m only clued up because I play Football Manager and it’s all in there. 😂😂😂👍

  8. Not sure if it was Tontine Tim who drew attention to the fact that the Huns were singing something kinda based on Dougie MacLean’s ‘Caledonia’ (originally for a tv beer commercial) quite recently, a travesty by any standards, it really is about a Scot in London, a long way from from ol’ Caledonia, the name the Romans bestowed on our land, and it has to be said Latin though it is, one of my favourites. Gordon Smart on Radio 5 now doing a Scottish music show with the great musicoligist, Prof Joe Bennett now at the Berkely School of Music in Boston. No doubt the Huns will be singing their version on Saturday, as stated a travesty by any other name. But we’ve got our own Celtic Connections, Jim Kerr, Bobbie Gillespie, Richard Jobson, Paulo, Lewis and many many more.


    And here’s the thing, we’ll be doing the singing at 5 O Clock Saturday afternoon

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