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AIK, Malmo, Elfsborg, Dunfermline Backlash

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AIK came through a tense final few moments in a 1-1 draw with Moldovans Sheriff in Stockholm last night to face Celtic in the Europa League playoff round, the first leg is in Glasgow on Thursday.

AIK were bottom seed in the Champions League first qualifying round, where they overcame Ararat-Armenia 4-3 on aggregate, but were bottom of the unseeded pack for the second round, which they lost 4-3 to Maribor.  Maribor were beaten home and away by Rosenborg in the last round.

Last season AIK eliminated Shamrock Rovers from the Europa League qualifiers before losing home and away to Danes, Nordsjaelland.

Neil Lennon twice faced Swedish opposition in Champions League qualifiers in his first term at Celtic.  Two comfortable 2-0 wins over Helsingborg in 2012 were followed by a more testing examination by Mo Bangura-inspired Elfsborg a year later, which resulted in a 1-0 aggregate win for Celtic.

Ronny Deila needed to overcome Malmo to reach the Champions League group stage in 2015 but despite racing into an early 2-0 lead, the first leg at Celtic Park was turned on its head when Malmo scored an added-time goal to make it 3-2. Jo Inge Berget, who Ronny had on loan months earlier, scored both Malmo goals. The Swedes won 2-0 a week later to knock Celtic out.

Although AIK are 19 games into their domestic league campaign, there should be a negligible gap in fitness by the time we face them on Thursday.  There can be no excuses.

You and I were there in the dark summer of 2010, when Utrecht and Braga were the last teams to deny Celtic group stage football, and a year later, when Sion came within a CAS ruling of doing the same.  It took Neil time to get it right, but a year later he earned 10 points in a tough Champions League group.

Before AIK, we have the small matter of a League Cup to defend against Dunfermline at Celtic Park tomorrow.  Celtic have won a record 27 consecutive domestic cup games.  Avoid defeat tomorrow and we set an unbeaten record.  Let’s hope Dunfermline feel a backlash.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    I’m not getting overly vexed by Lenny’s presser. He could have shown a little more humility in terms of his decisions, but he seems pretty clear in his own mind that the players didn’t deliver the plan in the first half, nailed it in the second, then threw it away.

     

     

    The worry is that Daniel Majstorovic is available on a free.

  2. 3 or 4 times this season Lenny said we were ‘in a good place’. Was there anyone who disagreed at the time of those comments? No there damn wasn’t. If i was Lenny i would be absolutely ripping it with Brown and one or two others for letting me down so badly on Tuesday night with such utter stupidity. Brown gifted them a route back into the tie and pretty much walks away scot free as Lenny takes a hammering.

  3. He said we had the game won twice, it was 3 times,at 1-1 we were through ,but played a totally alien to everyone, back 3,couldn’t put a sub on at 3-2,actually getting angrier than i was on Wednesday morning.

  4. Mike in Toronto on

    D17 ..

     

     

    obviously you are one of those I was referring to earlier … who scroll by my long boring posts…. otherwise you would know that SB does not get away scot free on here ….

     

     

    :)

  5. The Battered Bunnet on

    ???Bada???

     

     

    We had a back 4 at the beginning of the match, and well into the second. We lost the first goal because Broonie let the cross come in and CalMac (the left back on the night) can’t defend the back post.

     

     

    You’re right at 3-2, though. 10 minutes to play, close the game down, take the win.

  6. It’s plain to see.

     

     

    We have absolutely no player recruitment infrastructure to speak of.

     

     

    Amateur hour.

     

     

    Spead the feckin money.

  7. MIKE IN TORONTO

     

     

    Whilst we can hardly expect him to have come out and said, ‘we were sh9te and so were my tactics’ some contrition would have been nice, given he’s very much on trial.

     

     

    The entire interview almost verbatim was available on the net before it took place.

  8. Bada, Being pedantic but we were not through at 1-1, we were looking at etra time and penalties on that scoreline,

  9. cigalasporfavor on

    The players we already have at the club are capable of qualifying for the UCL group stages.Its the manager and coaching staff that proved to be sub standard.So,here,s the plan.We allow the manager one more chance,with the benefit of hindsight,to chose his best starting eleven playing in their best positions for next Thursdays home tie.We then give these eleven players this weekend off and put out a completely different eleven including our club captain against Dunfermline tomorrow.A run out for our fringe players and a day off for our first picks will Help to boost players morale and gel the dressing room after Tuesdays sickening fiasco!

  10. Mike in Toronto on

    BSR … now, this is getting weird…. you criticising, and me defending, them…. it is a sign of the apocolypse, I tell you!

     

     

    :)

  11. MIKE IN TORONTO on 16TH AUGUST 2019 5:18 PM

     

     

    We get the crucial away goal over there, bring it back to CP. You have to be so professional and disciplined not to give away crucial away goals. Then our 34 y/o Captain practically catches the ball from their corner. Genuinely mind blowing. Perhaps the Legal equivalent of throwing your client under the bus in the Courtroom.

  12. What I take from that press conference is, the board are backing me for now, and I’m backing them by saying the right things about whats going on behind the scenes.

     

    Still not displaying any insight into moving Mcgregor or the defending, saying its freaky or gives them oxygen wont do, another reference to being unable to deal with a pressing team as they are still used to playing the way Rodgers wanted.

     

    I sincerely hope he is better on the training ground with his instruction than he comes across in pressers.

  13. Corky- if the game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes on Tuesday, we would have been through on away goals

  14. TBB- I read it that McGregor was trying to get into a wing back type position, specially in 1st half,Broonie was wrong side of guy for the first goal, agree.

  15. Mike in Toronto on

    D17

     

     

    you know who I represent … my clients dont get thrown under a bus…. now, if other people happen to end up under a bus, they must have slipped …. but I can assure you that my clients have an alibii…

     

     

    oh, you meant ‘figuratively ….

     

     

    :)

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    Bada, from my seat, McGregor was mirroring Elhamed,

     

     

    Curious that no one has asked Lenny why he preferred two kids over Sinclair.

  17. Sadly nfl’s Presser was just about as far off the mark as his tactics were the other night.

     

     

    HH jg

  18. David17,

     

     

    Plenty of Celtic fans already had doubts about the three defensive signings. There was noise and concern about the lack of quality signings with cash in bank and KT deal expected to go thru. However we had a reasonable base and Cluj was the first real test. The first leg result meant we did not need to be gung ho. We sent out an attacking team as if we were chasing the game and took players out of position. It was criminally naive and Dan Petrescu could not believe his luck.

     

     

    Regarding spending the money I would not trust Lawwell or Lennon full stop. Lawwell may think they have made a good ( cheap ) signing on the RB but he has still to be tested and I believe he may come up short when he is up against his first decent winger. Lawwell will be on the blower to his mate, Israeli agent Dudu Dayan who deals in the Israeli and lower end Belgium market asking for more of the same. A recipe for disaster.

     

     

    There is no infrastructure present. Rodgers tapped into Liverpool network ( 6 county guy who was their talent chief ) as he ignored John Park and waited for Congerton. Anything we do outside Scotland will not be properly researched and is hearsay/recommendation. The temptation will be to go for loans and avoid fees. It’s the Lawwell way.

     

     

    I believe we have no choice but to bring in Moyes and his back room team —-back them because they know the English market and some other euro countries.

     

     

    Lawwell knows that by flinging Lennon under the bus now he creates a huge risk for himself. He has done it once too often. He will support Lennon under pain of death.

     

     

    If Lennon was a Celtic man he would walk voluntarily with an agreement.

     

     

    Lawwell has been found out and is trapped whichever way he moves. Lennon is our McCoist —- failure is written all over him.

     

     

    Only Dermot can help —- as he nears his 70th year he doesn’t need the grief. I wouldn’t be surprised if potential investors are being sounded out. So he may pass.

     

     

    Lawwell is on his own here ( apart from Paul67 who is under the remaining wagon with him ) sending smoke signals that all is fine !

  19. MIT

     

     

    Blaming Neil Lennon is futile, ‘they’ put him in situ, and they have sold the family jewels,

     

    on an annual basis.

     

     

    His reply about the transfer window, tips the balance of any remaining debate heavily in

     

    favour of the mine shafter, as did his team selection lack of formation or tactics.

     

     

    To miss-out all three of Cluj’s second half goals in your summation was bizarre.

     

     

    Get the ChequeBook Out CSC

  20. MIT

     

     

    About that second statement “What our country really needs is a strong, determined leader who will crush evil and take us back to our true path.”

     

     

    My response would be, what is this “true path” and who determines what it is?

     

     

    H.H.

  21. Yep Bada, nil all we were through but if you check your post you said at 1-1 we were through,

     

    So just coz I had nothing sensible to say, I decided to be pedantic and refer to it. Don’t take any notice of me I think I’m still in shock after last Tuesday.

  22. Getting rid of Lenny now would be lunacy. Lawwell is going nowhere in the short term either. The best way out of this in the short term is through recruitment.

     

     

    Beyond that I can see Lenny walking away at the end of the season if things progress as we hope. The level of pressure and scrutiny on him is shocking and brutal considering his previous contribution and track record.

  23. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    David17

     

     

    your emotive attempt to muddy the waters is noted.

     

     

    Still, Tuesday was not ok.

  24. DAVID17 on 16TH AUGUST 2019 5:15 PM

     

    3 or 4 times this season Lenny said we were ‘in a good place’. Was there anyone who disagreed at the time of those comments? No there damn wasn’t. If i was Lenny i would be absolutely ripping it with Brown and one or two others for letting me down so badly on Tuesday night with such utter stupidity. Brown gifted them a route back into the tie and pretty much walks away scot free as Lenny takes a hammering.

     

     

    ……………………………

     

     

    Broony was awful but he didn’t play Callum MCGregor nor was it Broony who failed to make the changes at 2-1 or 3-2 to close the game down and see out the 90 mins.

  25. For the avoidance of doubt Auldheid without the definite article is the original.

     

     

    The Auldheid with the definite article is an accidental tribute act as a consequence of some mysterious algorithms that issues user names to the careless, previously known as BRTH.

     

     

    Further both have been seen in the same place at the same time before any conspiracy merchant doubts the veracity of the foregoing.

     

     

    However what The Auldheid said re internal governance structures could have been penned by my good self but arguably, and I appreciate an argument could be made, shorter.

  26. CIGALASPORFAVOR on 16TH AUGUST 2019 5:26 PM

     

    The players we already have at the club are capable of qualifying for the UCL group stages.Its the manager and coaching staff that proved to be sub standard.So,here,s the plan.We allow the manager one more chance,with the benefit of hindsight,to chose his best starting eleven playing in their best positions for next Thursdays home tie.We then give these eleven players this weekend off and put out a completely different eleven including our club captain against Dunfermline tomorrow.A run out for our fringe players and a day off for our first picks will Help to boost players morale and gel the dressing room after Tuesdays sickening fiasco!

     

     

    ………………….

     

    oh aye and jeopardise the first part of the quadruple treble. I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Neil as our manager but I’m sure he isn’t stupid and certainly wouldn’t risk us going out of the LC so soon after going out of the CL. Sounds like a suggestion that a Rangers supporter might dream up in his wee bedroom.

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