Ajer and Simunovic should start in Valencia


With Scott Brown suspended for Sunday’s game against Motherwell, I would play Olivier Ntcham in Valencia on Thursday.  Olivier was due to return to the substitute’s bench last week, but succumbed to illness shortly before kick-off.  He has not played since December, so will be short of match fitness, but an hour in the Mestalla will prep him for Motherwell.

With Filip Benkovic injured, Dedryck Boyata is our best central defender, but neither of them will be at the club when the Champions League qualifiers take place in July.  Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic will both be here.  For that reason, they should start against Valencia.

You, me, Brendan and Peter all know we need central defensive reinforcements for the qualifiers, but knowing that and meeting the challenge are two different things.  Ajer and Simunovic should be given every opportunity to develop their game at this level, as well as their mutual understanding.  We have nothing to gain from developing Dedryck’s understanding of European football.

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  1. Always first in my eyes OT!!



    Given your larger than life persona, did you really think your heart would just tick along with metronomic boredom???



    Neh, not you.



    These are great readings.


    Take care my Fhriend.



    Like Izzie, Celtic loves you more than you will know….



    HH jg

  2. glendalystonsils on

    Paul 67


    Expectation management ?


    I read reports this morning linking us with a CB ‘project’ from Sligo Rovers…….Hmmmm.

  3. Disagree with the main thrust of the article.



    Our best available eleven should start against Valencia imo.



    Boyata and Broony are essential to our team on occasions like this, without them our chances of a positive result would diminish greatly.



    It’s halftime and we’ve got a mountain to climb but I genuinely believe it can be done.




  4. From the latest sfsa newsletter:


    Hate crime at football – have your say


    This is a general reminder to notify you that the Scottish Governemnt Hate Crime Bill Consultation is open for responses until 24th February and can be accessed via this link.






    This may be of interest to some as it deals with the definition of sectarianism in Scots Law



    Cqn too.






  5. Great podium….



    Yer ticker might be erratic .but you’ve got some heart …



    Keep on keeping on




    Given your larger than life persona, did you really think your heart would just tick along with metronomic boredom???




    It has for 79 years, First time I have been told I had a dodgy Ticker,every part of my Body has given me problems over the years,but my heart kept beating away.



    Hope to catch up with you in the B/V some day.

  7. OT



    Like even the best of ships, the auld pump and electrics need some tlc as time goes on! Look forward to that BV pint (of gin!!!)



    HH jg

  8. Valencia tickets – couple of pals went up there from Paddy’s Point in La Zenia yesterday, bought two tickets, just said they were tourists, NB they will NOT be in the Celtic section. They took passports but were not asked for them, they did get their names written on the tickets. I think they paid €40 ish per ticket. Another guy flying out today and doing the same, I’ll post again if he’s successful.

  9. Isn’t Ntcham injured again ?



    Thought I read a recurrence of his hammy and he’s out for that reason and not the sniffles.



    Thursday could be embarassing. Play our best team and avoid the regulation 3+ humpings we tend to get these days with the better teams. Sadly.

  10. Haven’t posted for ages but if Jozo and Kris line up together at the Mestalla I will need to move from my usual position on Euro away games, behind the couch , to under the bed.

  11. Overturning 2 goal defeats from the first leg.



    Only two spring to mind. Cologne around 91’- 92’ and Karagandy more recently under Lenny. Both second legs won 3-0 at paradise.



    Don’t think we’ve ever overcame a two goal defeat from a home leg, what a great opportunity to make history bhoys.




  12. No chance on your defensive line-up P67.


    Far from flying a white hankie on a twig, I reckon we go with our strongest line-up at the back.


    If we treat this like a practice run, we will get wur erchies seriously felt.


    If Olli is fit, he should get a run in place of Ryan who seems to need a spell on pine.


    It’s only half-time. Play Broon; he’s oor late goal specialist!


    ermm… NoSurrenderCSC




    Look forward to meeting up with you again.



    2017 in Lisbon was one of the best times of my life,and there was no football to watch, just a large bunch of tims ejoying each others company, I haven’t met anyone that didn’t enjoy themselves that week.I don’t think I’ll manage to get to the next one,unless someone above see’s fit to get me there.

  14. Pogama AKA Laird of Smiles :-) :-)


    Broony will be back soon & anyway the ball gets moved quicker from back to front


    a lot quicker when Broony is not playing however he does offer true grit &


    determination & the odd either peach or hilarious goals for the bhoys he certainly


    is a true character & a gold nugget that’s for sure.


    In my opinion I think we should forget Europe for a while & concentrate on doing


    ten in a row & make ten in a row our top priority after all we are not going to win


    any European trophy for the foreseeable future & in Europe we always get drawn


    against teams with bigger financial clout than our own so sod Europe & let’s


    concentrate on our domestic League for the next twenty seven months it’s a no


    brainer folks. COYBIG

  15. I doubt Brendan will agree with your thinking Paul, get the best team on the park and give it our best shot, we wouldn’t be pulling our best players off if we were 2-0 down in any other game.



    It’s concerning that people are suggesting chucking it at half time in a major European game, we’re all disappointed after last weeks result but we are Celtic and the idea of chucking it at half time does not sit well with this Tim:))



    Live in the current game not in the summer CSC

  16. No chance Boyata will not play on Thursday. Probably also no chance Ntcham will play.


    Head says we have no chance. Heart says, score within the hour without reply and it’s game on. Realistically, the score might be Valencia 2-1. Let’s just give a good account of ourselves. Get the ball upfield quicker. Should have made the first leg, a frantic affair to have any chance.

  17. CB — Play only the players who will be here next season …


    Will that viewpoint be applied to RB / CF / RW?



    Need to put out our best team possible for Thursday — we need to try and claw back some pride after last week’s debacle.



    They are a limited team but well coached and growing in confidence.


    We were honking and then some and things need to move forward.



    Couple of reputations are on the line.

  18. We’ve got an 8pt cushion in the league, no concerns for me regards having that overturned.



    Get our best eleven on and give the big bad bat a battering ;)))




  19. AK … @ 12.48



    I wonder what we are going to pay the players with is we are going to abandon any desires of EU football — sounds too much like Brexit to be credible. Europe has to be our main focus.



    All this talk about 10 when we do not even have 8 is low rent Green Hun nonsense — pot hunting for the Hame ‘il dae me Bronski’s in the support. Oh how we laughed when the TFOD2.1 U17’s won a desert jamboree and got a cup that was bigger than their captain.



    At least in 1975 we were singing about a real event — going for 10 in a row.



    Now we are singing about something a long way in the future.


    No wonder we are having issues dealing with the present.

  20. Field our strongest team on Thursday, don’t want to be sitting here on Friday listening to “they were there for the taking” We have been saying the next game is our priority let’s continue with that and Que Sera Sera! Boyata has not let us down since the break and should along side either Jozo or Kris although Jozo had a rest at the weekend.


    I see the dark side have “statements” about referees and the BBC do you think there could be a call for help to the gullibles coming soon

  21. In my opinion I don’t see us getting any positive result over in Valencia & anyway


    it’s not the end of the world if we get gubbed sometimes we have to take our


    hat off & say well we were beaten by a richer & well organised outfit end of &


    we move on to the next match I see that the weather over there is nearly


    twenty degrees during the day & then drops down to less than ten degrees during


    the night however I bid the fellow tims who are going there a pleasant & safe


    time Valencia truly is a unique City it’s basically a mixed structurel City of say


    some of the buildings are typical old Spanish style mixed with more modern


    European arcutexter it’s really a unique City in certain ways & a fair size City


    as well with all these one way road systems & loads of traffic I have personally


    got lost there a few times trying to make my way around Valencia in a hired


    Car (LOL) anyway whoever is going I bid you a good day there :-) :-)

  22. I see Phil has again made reference to a vomiting bug before the 1-0 defeat at Sevco in late December.



    The team did look very lacklustre but Phil seems to the only source I’ve seen for this so I have my doubts.

  23. A refreshingly different take on the events from the aptly named ‘ rugby park ‘ …



    But Kilmarnock midfielder McKenzie says the supporters were only interested in getting pictures with their heroes – not causing trouble.



    He said: “Obviously conceding a goal that late wasn’t nice and then to have Celtic fans on in your face wasn’t nice as well.



    “The few that come in, there was no malice in it at all, most of them that I saw were young kids.



    “To be fair they had their phones out. I think they were just trying to get pictures, there was no badness.




  24. Yeah Madmitch who is going to stop us from reaching ten in a row.


    & don’t mentioned the Sevco International who are getting along


    via dodgy Dave & money laundering what a joke yeah & we don’t


    settle for second best as the say on New Co’s website well young


    dodgy baby Club you will have too for the next few years they are


    shite & they know they are they are shite & they know they are


    they are shite & they know they are they are shite & they know


    they are & on & on

  25. not trying against Valencia.



    Get a goal and you never know. Also feel the same about people saying league is won.. Draw against well lose at Tynecastle and its shit city..One game at a time!

  26. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on




    The area they are selling to “Tourists” is right next to the Celtic section. Make of that what you will.

  27. Baby Club is looking for a new baby driver after it all went pear shape


    recently with no mention of bananas

  28. Paul67,



    On this point:



    You, me, Brendan and Peter all know we need central defensive reinforcements for the qualifiers, but knowing that and meeting the challenge are two different things.






    Meeting the challenge may not be as easy as it used to be but this was known about in August at the time of the Boyata fiasco. We had a decent time to prepare for this for the January window with the CL Qualifiers in mind.



    It’s been hugely negligent not to have at least one (permanent not loanee) central defender added.



    I cannot believe that there was not one Central/East European or Scandinavian centre back out there costing circa £4m/£5m that we could have got for around £25k per week wages.



    Cast your mind back to Ajer’s defending against AEK.

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