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Alarm bells ringing as qualifiers kick in

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The most striking aspect of yesterday’s games came from Pittodrie and Tynecastle.  Aberdeen scored twice in second half stoppage time to secure a home win over Fola Esch from Luxembourg (good grief).  Hearts came from behind with the assistance of a penalty and an own goal to secure a narrow win over Estonians, Infonet.

Infonet finished fourth in the Estonian league last season, well below possible Celtic Champions League qualifier opponents, Flora, and will fancy their chances of knocking Hearts out.

None of this means that Aberdeen, Hearts of Celtic have an equal in Estonia or Luxembourg, but it’s a testament to how bizarre playing football before you have completed preseason is.  Even very well-run clubs like Southampton, who were humbled a year ago by Erik Sviatchenko and his Midtjylland pals, can find themselves out of Europe before they realise they are in a competition.

Celtic are likely to be playing the Estonian champions in 11 or 12 days.  If they overcome that they will face a vastly stiffer test in three weeks time.

Yesterday’s exercise in Slovenia will hopefully blow some cobwebs away but FC Flora are 17 games into their league season, that fact alone should give Brendan Rodgers plenty to consider.  Aberdeen’s toils in particular disturbed me.

Many thanks to all who contributed to the fantastic raffle competition yesterday, you’ve raised £375 already.  A reminder……

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We have a £5-a-ticket raffle to win the chance to appear in your very own team photo, alongside the Celtic players and management at the preseason photocall for 2016-17.

You will then meet treble winning captain, Tom Boyd, who will give you a personal tour of Celtic Park.

Celtic will provide you with a strip, which you will retain, and you will receive your team photograph, framed and signed by the team, on a specially prepared mount.

Your donations go to Celtic FC Foundation, to support their work in Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty. The Foundation deliver often life-changing support and opportunities to children and adults in Scotland, Ireland, the rest of the UK and in many needy areas of the globe.

Buy your ticket at MyDonate here. You can enter as many times as you like, but only donations of £5 or higher will be entered into the raffle.

You.  The team.  The management.  Getting your squad photo taken.  And getting a strip!

You’ll have had worse days.

CmRadJqXYAAOR0k

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  1. MACJAY1 FOR NEIL LENNON on 30TH JUNE 2016 10:13 AM

     

    BOGNORBHOY on 30TH JUNE 2016 10:03 AM

     

     

     

    Excellent stuff.

     

     

     

    I presume you are suggesting it should be brought to the attention of :

     

     

     

    Maria Elena Boschi – Minister -Constitutional Affairs . 29 6 16.

     

     

     

    ” I hate you . I want a divorce . I will begin divorce proceedings when I know how to.. In the meantime we need to negotiate me being able to access your house , use your cooker and your fridge . I would also like to continue to take advantage of your Gym membership .— It’s good to see the Brits haven’t lost their sense of humour ”

     

     

    Sorry for late reply ….. but naw

     

     

    Leftclicktic / fourgreenfields

     

    It is a great video …was thinking I might get it done ,but would hate to find connection s to the kingdom of govania :-))

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    I knew what I meant when I posted that.

     

     

    Wasn’t so sure once I’d read it!!!

  3. BMCUW –

     

     

    On the last page of the previous thread, your Brendan Rodgers quote seems to be missing a word and makes no sense, to me at least.

     

     

    I’m interested, so would you mind confirming what it was he said to the players?

     

     

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Afternoon Timland from a very hot hun free mountain valley.

     

    Evey year the same thing happens, excuses are being made for players not being fit, rusty etc.

     

    It’s bollix IMO, they have had a few weeks off, a few weeks off, nothing drastic, no operations, just a few weeks off, and they should have been keeping their fitness up.

     

    They are professional athletes, very highly paid as well, the minimum we should expect is that they are fit after a few weeks off.

     

    I accept match sharpness, but that should come pdq.

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    AULD TAM on 1ST JULY 2016 12:23 PM

     

     

    Early Guinness syndrome ,mate.

  6. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Talking to masel on the last thread again, so repost:

     

     

     

    Joe Hanson. What happened there?

     

     

     

    First season, unlimited energy, fierce successful tackling, some good passing, great running nig with the ball and goals. Effervescent displays with an obvious passion for the team.

     

     

     

    Last season, total inability to find any Celtic Player with any pass. Poor tackling, giving away dangerous free kicks, no goals, stupid yellow and red cards, and flouncing around wi’ a face like a bulldog licking pash off of a nettle.

     

     

     

    His facial expressions and body language last night tell me he doesn’t want to be here anymore.

     

     

     

    If we can actually get money for him, we should take it.

     

     

     

    HH

  7. TET –

     

     

    To be fair, it is more about match sharpness than fitness, as you have acknowledged.

     

     

    Celtic’s series of friendlies will stand them in good stead for their visit to Estonia, but Hearts and Aberdeen didn’t even have the luxury of friendlies before their serious business kicked-off.

     

     

    It’s an annual problem that needs to be addressed.

  8. FourGreenFields on

    BOGNORBHOY

     

     

    Thanks again for posting the link , well worth posting again if you can .

  9. Hi Paul et al,

     

     

    Can you post a link to the raffle, the link on the main page doesn’t seem to be working,

     

     

    Dare I ask what’s the laltest on #Res12?

     

     

    DB

  10. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    AULD TAM

     

     

    Bloody careless,that. In my defence,I’d just got up.

     

     

    Unusual,MACJAY,but true. Hard paper round this week!

     

     

    The missing word is “know” (though it could have been “care”)

     

     

    Hope that helps,bud.

  11. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    BAWSMAN

     

     

    GOOD POST

     

    Great article that, it actually mentions liquidation, and starting again.

  12. Auld Tam

     

    I sort of agree, but again I don’t.

     

    What about a player who for much of the season doesn’t get a look in, injuries then give him his chance and he is expected to take it.

     

    As I said it’s only a few weeks.

     

    I honestly think it’s more of a mental thing than anything else.

     

    HH

  13. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Poor game last night,but over here in the Algarve it didn’t matter to the locals,the place was mental.

  14. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    THELURKINTIM

     

     

    I can’t make sense of your last two posts that mention me.

     

     

    Not being funny, can you illuminate please?

     

     

    HH

  15. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    HUNDERBIRDSAREGONE

     

     

    I’ve saved it for later but the first few paragraphs question the good intentions of Brother Walfrid.

     

     

    I presume from your post it improved from there?

  16. As one of our better footballers I hope Stefan Johansen stays and rediscovers the form that made him player of the year just two short seasons ago. I think he is Brendan’s kind of player on his game energetic and with an eye for a midfield goal.

     

     

    Mon The SJ..

  17. JonnyRambo67 on

    There are no secrets to the struggles of Scottish teams at this time. At the very latest we should be starting our league season this weekend. The SPFL(the 12 clubs) have done nothing, not a damn thing, to assist our team in Europe. The diddy teams playing the League Cup before the season doesn’t help our European teams in any way.

     

     

    The only way to get more money into Scotland is through European competition. The biggest gates and the most excitement for every club is big European glamour ties. Celtic v Barca / Man United, Aberdeen v Bayern / Sociedad, Hearts v Liverpool / Spurs, Motherwell v Panathaniakos, St Johnstone v Rosenborg. We need these games to avoid the tedium of the domestic season. We need the money they generate. Yet every summer we watch our teams pumped out in the 1st few qualifying rounds and we do nothing. Madness.

  18. TET –

     

     

    Fair point. Except that when one player returns from a spell on the sidelines, he invariably does sruggle for a game or three until back uo to speed, and that is to be expected.

     

     

    However, in the case of Hearts and Aberdeen, we’re talking about the entire team requiring game time, rather than one player.

     

     

    HH

  19. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Bobby

     

     

    Aye, on the whole it’s a good article.

     

     

    VERY good, if you use previous SMSM efforts as a measure.

  20. JOHNNYRAMBO67 –

     

     

    Spot on. I’m all for summer football, but accept that there are pitfalls. As a compromise, we should be starting our season at the beginning of July. We can then finish at end of April, as we did in the 60s.

  21. Paul67

     

     

    Can you put up a live link to the My Donate page on your headline article?

     

     

    As you did yesterday.

     

     

    TT

  22. Blantyretim: Los Boliches is a lovely area to eat and drink in with plenty of choices from the sea front to the back streets. It is beside Fuengirola, your parents can walk, get a bus for€1.15 each or train €1.30 each. I watch football matches in Tom’s Irish bar there. El Rio is a nice Spanish restaurant beside that bar.

     

     

    They can get a train to all the resorts back towards Malaga and there are buses that will take them further down the coast to places like Marbella and Puerto Banus. The tourist office is on the main street near the train station.

     

     

    A visit to Mijas is well worth doing and a visit to the port area of Malaga is really nice too.

     

     

    Hope that helps.

  23. JonnyRambo67 on

    AULD TAM on 1ST JULY 2016 12:58 PM

     

     

    I would finish the season at the end of May, and take all of January off after the New Year fixtures.

  24. The Scottish Cup Final should bring the curtain down on the Scottish football season by no later than the last week in April.

     

     

    Close-season should be all of May and half of June.

     

     

    New season should start first weekend in July.

     

     

    January shutdown utterly pointless as the weather varies so much, and there’s no end-game benefit to players.

     

     

    Recharging through May and tuning up through June would have our players match-ready for euro qualifiers in july.

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