Ajax force Celtic to ask some hard questions


Like you, I was delighted at Ajax performance and 1-4 win in the Bernabeu last night.  It was a victory for clubs in small nations everywhere, who have been disenfranchised by leagues with more valuable television contracts.  This was not a backs against the wall performance, like our win over Barcelona in 2012, Ajax attacked relentlessly, they could have scored more.

When Dutch fans left the Johan Cruyff Arena last month, having watched Real Madrid secure a 1-2 victory, they must have assumed their European adventure was over for this season, but they would have consoled themselves with the knowledge that at least they did better than last season.  Then, they were beaten home and away in the Europa League qualifiers by Rosenborg, just two weeks after Celtic dumped Rosenborg out of the Champions League qualifiers.

A glass ceiling exists for clubs from the smaller leagues, and when Brendan Rodgers left the building last week, the point was made to me that perhaps group stage fodder in the Champions League is the new limit for a club with Celtic’s resources.

What Ajax have established is that it is very difficult for clubs like them and Celtic to perform consistently well in Europe.  Good players will leave quickly, replacing with players of a similar standard is haphazard, but while an occasional defeat to the likes of Rosenborg (or AEK) will happen, the ceiling is significantly higher than one win and five defeats in the Champions League group stage.  We should not be cannon fodder.

All efforts at Celtic right now are focussed on winning the league and Scottish Cup, but by the summer, the club will have set their ambitions for the medium-term.  By any reasonable measure, Brendan was a roaring success, but for the money (football budget, not just his wage), we could do much better in the Champions League.  Ajax will force us to ask some harder questions.  Winning 10-in-a-row will be an historic high, but it is not the only yardstick in town.

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  1. FRIESDORFER on 6TH MARCH 2019 12:02 PM



    Mad Mitch






    Despite your continuous use of obscure abbreviations, I actually understood and agreed with one of your posts yesterday – this is unusual.






    Gonnae no dae that, please. It detracts from whatever point(s) you are making, and thus loses impact.







  2. mike in toronto on

    I see BR’s house was broken into this week.



    I hope some on here have their alibis ready




  3. Thoroughly enjoyed the Ajax game and result last night. So refreshing to see a young dynamic team going for broke with no fear. Mind you, Real Madrid were absolute mince on the night. HH

  4. FD @ 12.03



    Thanks for the feedback.


    Fair point — I will try and make my posts more readable.



    The Ajax stuff is starting to get a good discussion going.

  5. MIT


    Did you escape safely from bandit territory yesterday after your nugatory journey? HH

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    So the same Klub,who were blamed in court for the deaths of 66 people in 1971,are operating a stadium, without the legal compliance? They know that if anything happens, theycan blame Glasgow City Council, who are not doing their job,and being bullied by Der Hun.A Klub that has been run by conmen and shisters for decades, Arthur Daley FC

  7. mike in toronto on




    Survived! Snowstorm in Belleville, so couldn’t even flag a cab. But a nice old couple took pity on me, and gave me a lift to the train station. Would not happen in TO. Something to be said for small-town life, for sure.



    but not a single flake of snow in TO (no comment from the Trumpians)…. I’m taking that as definite proof that God is not a Loyalist?

  8. Our football budget is all wrong.



    Too much money is spent on wages and not enough is spent on player investment.


    Plus we spend too much money on the CEO and his various bonuses.



    Just a case that we need to get the mix right.


    Giving SB another 2 years is sending out the wrong message.

  9. GU @ 12.10



    Hopefully the youth squad is making progress.


    Last year’s crop seem to have gone backwards in their last 2 years.



    Not sure what the root cause was but being only good enough for the SCh is not where we need to be.

  10. MIT@12-06


    Watertight alibis for most.


    They were all in Peter;s office being briefed.

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I dread to think where we would be right now without Scott Brown, given the last 10 days,a Celtic Great,and a true leader of men.

  12. Bada Bing



    Is it out in the open the Huns are the ones without the stadium compliance?



    That’s absolutely criminal.

  13. mike in toronto on




    A Glaswegian cover of Shaggy’s ‘Wasn’t me’… love it!,,,,



    you will be the next reggae/dancehall superstar …I’m seeing you and Arianna Grande … you’ll next year’s Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga!



    You’ll need an agent, of course ….




  14. Well done to Ajax. Much to learn from them, no doubt Two things s out the game . Ajax passed the ball with confidence and accurately and R Madrid did not press very hard which was surprising but perhaps indicative of the state of the club since the departure of its superstar player.

  15. Hi Paul67,



    Very good points. We really should be doing much better in Europe.



    Maybe Ramos cheating helped Ajax cause but they certainly took advantage of it.



    In recent years, Ajax have made great profits from player sales – their sale of Frankie de jong to Barcelona next summer €75M will be a record.



    Yet they have reinvested it in the team, like Celtic they rely on their Academy for players and are always on the look out for a good Bosman.



    Schone, who scored was a Bosman yet the other three goal scores cost around €40M.



    So, Ajax work a similar model to us (should that be the other way round:) but when they sell a player they manage to sell to top Clubs, cutting out the middle man (or Southampton as we call him:).



    Then they reinvest that money in the squad. The money their UCL run will generate, the value add to the squad and the kudos that investment brings is way beyond the €s invested.



    So I’m with you, while 10iar is a stick on… UCL cannon fodder should not be our yardstick



    Hail Hail

  16. !!Bada Bing!! on

    BIG WAVY on 6TH MARCH 2019 12:29 PM


    Bada Bing







    Is it out in the open the Huns are the ones without the stadium compliance?







    That’s absolutely criminal.



    It was a BBC report,and they didnt name the club,i joined the dots mate……..

  17. A big big part of Ajax success this season and especially last night is the form of Dusan Tadic.



    Seemly his former club Southhampton and other EPL clubs didn’t rate him too highly .


    He was in and out of the Southampton first-team and then sold to Ajax for quite a low fee (I think).



    He was a stand-out above all the the other players in the Real Madrid game.


    He will be much more tightly marked in the CL quarter-final then we will see just how great Ajax are.

  18. Bada


    Am I not reading it right when it says that Glasgow Council carry out inspections annually, I assumed that would have included Ibrox. No?




  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Winning 10-in-a-row will be an historic high, but it is not the only yardstick in town.”




    If we win it then it will be historic, but it shouldn’t be any kind of yardstick.


    If we measure ourselves within Scottish football and against “Rangers” (they did actually die, didn’t they?) then we will get nowhere.


    Europe is the yardstick. If we are consistently a Champions League group stage team then we will be easily good enough to be winning league titles in any case.


    Get a proper structure in place. Doesn’t have to be the same as Ajax’s, but there will be things they are doing that we can mimic.


    Brendan Rodgers improved standards in a lot of areas. Build on that. Get more young players coming through to the first team. Enhance the playing style for Europe. And appoint coaches/managers who fit the identity.



    That’s two games in a row McInroy has shown wonderful skill.Would love to see him added to first team squad.


    Oko-Flex,Atchison and Bayo all seem ready to be given a chance.

  21. Bada Bing,



    Quite a big leap to assume it is Ibrox that is unsafe on the basis of that report.


    BBC mention Celtic Park 3 times and also two other occasions, v Hibs and at Rugby Park, where we are involved.


    I’ve also noticed tweets this morning naming us.


    All without corroborating evidence.



    Much as I suspect that there is serious wrongdoing at Ibrox, I would wish for some more substantial evidence to base my accusations on.




  22. If we secure the treble treble, does the quadruple treble become a huge focus ?



    I agree that after we achieve 8 ( surely ! ) , then 9 , and then 10 become the big target.


    My point is , at what stage do we focus more on young players and giving them much needed game time ?


    I suggest that domestic cups should take less of a priority, while we focus more on the league & Europe.


    If our youngsters gain good results along with the experience in domestic cups , then the satisfaction will probably be greater.


    Give our strongest team more rest time , less game time and play the young yins in domestic cups. HH

  23. Delaneys Dunky on



    I Luuuvvv Lady Gaga. She has a better voice than Barbera Streisand in A Star is Born.


    Hope you are well neebor. ??

  24. !!Bada Bing!! on

    HOT SMOKED- it would include Poundland, but they do whatever suits them,as per….maybe FOI request from the cooncil would shine a light

  25. ernie


    Could a Safety Certificate have been issued without an inspection having taken place? I think the report said that one club had not been INSPECTED for nineteen years.




  26. !!Bada Bing!! on 6th March 2019 1:00 pm




    ‘maybe FOI request from the cooncil would shine a light’







    And maybe someone has already done that.

  27. Anyone else think that report smells a little off ?


    4 incidents highlighted, each time Celtic are involved.


    Would it surprise anyone if the incident at the game where the crush took place led to a reduction in capacity at ‘high risk’games at Celtic Park ?


    Naw. Me neither.

  28. Police held to account , they retaliate and blame others, and, are allowed to do so, what is this better fan engagement actually mean and how are they going to achieve it?

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