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Aspirations low for Paris but not meaningless

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We’ve seen dead rubbers away to tier one Champions League teams before and they’ve not been pretty. Celtic still have Europa Cup football to target, but it is unlikely Brendan Rodgers will put too much hope into collecting the necessary points in Paris tomorrow evening.

It is more important that we mature our ability to perform at this level. We need to return to a similar environment next season packing more of a punch that we do right now. This is not the most aspirational aim a Celtic team has had in Europe, but I would settle for it.

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  1. Liverpool leading 1-0 in Seville but I have just watched two minutes of the game and it could easily be 2-2 !

     

     

    JJ

  2. Monaco 0-3 at Home to Leipzig. Have they got their minds on PSG at the weekend? Will PSG do likewise tomorrow night?

     

     

    JJ

  3. THE MOST DANGEROUS FANTASY CELTIC’S RIVALS CLING TO IS THE ONE ABOUT TIME.Featured Image

     

    Date: 21st November 2017 at 6:44pm

     

    Written by: James Forrest

     

    One of the most pervasive, and stupid, beliefs that people cling to is the idea that all things are cyclic in nature. It is especially prevalent in sport, and in particular amongst those who followed successful teams and who are going through a bad spell.

     

     

    I’ve heard it said any number of times, even, once by the otherwise razor sharp Bertie Auld.

     

     

    I wasn’t even a teenager, but I still remember it. He was at the Lisbon Lions 20-year dinner, which had been filmed by the BBC, and Celtic appeared miles off the pace.

     

     

    “Football goes in cycles,” he said, “and it will come again.”

     

     

    At the time it was music to my ears. You want to believe that stuff if you’re in the doldrums. A year later we had won the centenary double and his comments appeared fully vindicated. But it was a false dawn. I was eleven at the time; I wasn’t to see us win another league title until I was 20.

     

     

    Had I been more astute I would never have fallen into that trap. We were only two years on from Love Street when Bertie made those remarks; he appreciated better than I did, better than most people did, that something had gone far wrong at Celtic Park.

     

     

    On the point itself, Bertie Auld was wrong. There was nothing inevitable about Celtic’s revival. It wasn’t written in the stars, wasn’t pre-ordained, it wasn’t something about which you could have no doubts. Our comeback took years, and in the end we were rescued from a grisly fate by a no-nonsense man from Canada who’d had more than two years to consider what he would do if he ever got his hands on the prize.

     

     

    Some people think we were lucky, but I’ve never agreed with that any more than I think that what happened was somehow meant to be. Fergus McCann knew we what we could become, but right from the minute he walked through the doors of Celtic Park there were people trying to steer him off course. Brian Dempsey didn’t believe we should spend the money on the stadium; he thought it should have gone out on the park. Others thought much the same, and many in the press boxes thought Celtic Park would be the ultimate white elephant.

     

     

    It could have gone wrong in a hundred different ways, a hundred different times.

     

     

    In fact, I consider the darkest period to have been the one that Paul Cassidy wrote about in his last article, and the second part of which is coming tomorrow; the period when we did abandon restraint and reason and for a year chased a dream by spending money.

     

     

    Dick Advocaat collected his manager of the year award for that campaign by telling the assorted hacks “I’ll see you again next year.”

     

     

    12 months later, a far humbler, but more accomplished, Martin O’Neill stood in front of them, with our club on the cusp of a treble. Yet that was no mere accident either. What Fergus had built was capable of a little flex. Those 10,000 seats more than Ibrox have always given us a decisive, and permanent, structural advantage.

     

     

    None of what happened was luck.

     

     

    Celtic was building something even as Rangers were being reduced. To finance his crazy ambitions, Murray was auctioning off everything that wasn’t nailed down, everything from multimedia rights to the Rangers Shops. He was cutting back on every major part of the club except football operations even as Celtic was building up its own infrastructure on an even greater scale.

     

     

    It was not the “cyclic nature of football” which put us on the cusp of our second great era, and another nine in a row; it was cold blooded, rational, forward thinking decision makers inside Celtic Park who did that. Nothing has been left to chance.

     

     

    Empires fall. It is a fact of history. But they never fall as a result of steady, natural, erosion. They rot from the inside long before they are overthrown from without. They take success for granted. They stop looking at the bigger picture, although always there are warning signs. Always there are Cassandras urging caution or restraint or vigilance.

     

     

    Dynasties fall in sport as anywhere else. Often they fall because those in charge of them run out of fresh ideas. More often they fall because forces outside their control sweep away everything that had stood before. But there is nothing inevitable about this either, and an event of such awesome proportions could just as easily sweep Sevco away with the tide as elevate them to the position some of their fans believe is theirs by destiny.

     

     

    A club that remains engaged with the outside world, which keeps costs under control, which doesn’t overextend, which makes good choices, would be able to see such a moment coming and take remedial action. Not only would such a profound change in our football environment present no threat to us, but it could be harnessed to even greater advantage.

     

     

    There is no earthly reason at all why a club which is well run and which has all the advantages we do should ever have to concern itself with some theoretical monumental shift in power which obliterates it all at a stroke. It is a fanciful idea and yet, more and more, it is the one to which some of our rivals cling desperately.

     

     

    “It will all come good again,” they believe as if this is a natural, universal, law and not an example of logical fallacy. Even Alex Ferguson is not immune to this nonsense; he has predicted that the Spanish club’s stranglehold on European football, and in particular the Champions League, will end because it will be the end of a current cycle. It will end because another association, another country, probably France or Germany, has the fundamentals spot on.

     

     

    Ferguson is falling into a common trap here; football fortunes do change, and often rapidly, but it has nothing to do with inevitability. Of course Spain’s time as the dominant football force in Europe was going to end. But there was nothing pre-ordained about which teams or nations would rise to take their place, and that’s where our rivals have it all wrong.

     

     

    When they talk about the cyclical nature of football they assume that if Celtic falls that it will be Sevco who catch us; that is nonsense. There’s certainly nothing inevitable about that, and indeed there’s much evidence which suggests that Sevco itself might not be around long enough to prove or disprove the theory.

     

     

    For them to catch us, two things need to happen. One of them we can do something about. The other we can’t. That we can largely prevent the first of them ourselves gives us an awesome advantage that they don’t have.

     

     

    In the first instance, Celtic has to stumble. There’s an assumption that if we missed the Champions League, or even European group stage football itself. two or three times in a row that this would lead to our collapse or something close to it.

     

     

    The trouble is, even if such a scenario were even remotely likely to happen the idea that our club would come apart as a result of it just isn’t true.

     

     

    Celtic does not budget for qualification for the groups and never have and whilst it’s true that three years without European football of any kind would be serious it would not necessarily be fatal in terms of our position in Scotland.

     

     

    Besides, it takes no account of how easily we could replace one or two years’ losses from that source; sell Moussa Dembele and you’re covered for at least one of them. Sell Kieran Tierney on top of that and you can easily see your way through all three.

     

     

    Yet even if such a thing were to come to pass and Celtic had to make the kind of drastic cuts which some envision, that does not, in and of itself, mean that we would be caught far less brought down. In order for that to happen another element has to come together; a serious contender, with the right structure and the right plan and the right people in charge has to be there, on hand, to take advantage of any mistakes that we make.

     

     

    Aberdeen and Hearts are clearly building for the future. Hibs too have ideas beyond the current horizon. These clubs would be in the best position to catch us. That cannot be said for the one at Ibrox. They are an ever evolving shambles and I do believe that in the event we lost out on serious money for two or more years that their response to that would be to go on a major “speculative to accumulate” splurge which could imperil their very existence.

     

     

    I do not believe they would approach such a moment rationally or with a scintilla of strategic thought. They would see headlines and glory and chase them.

     

     

    Celtic’s structural advantages over Sevco put us in a position from which we could easily remain unchallenged for a generation. Football does not follow a pattern or progression based on things that are meant to be. Ask Dundee Utd fans if they can ever foresee another period like that which they enjoyed in the 80’s. Ask Aberdeen fans if they believe their club will ever again win a European trophy. They know better than to believe in fate.

     

     

    This generation of Sevco fans will never see a championship flag fly over Ibrox again. Too much would have to happen, too much would have to change, not only in their club but in ours for that day to ever come. This is what makes their situation different from the one we’re in; Fergus knew that Celtic could be modernised. Sevco is already at or close to its earnings ceiling, and two more years of aiming only to be second will inevitably have an impact on their season ticket sales and that will entail further cutting of costs and the gap will not shrink, it’ll grow.

     

     

    If they are looking for destiny to save them then, as usual, they are looking in the wrong place.

  4. We can’t play Celtic at own game and critics should go to basketball if they don’t like our style says Peter Hartley

     

    The Fir Park stopper was in no mood to entertain notions that the Steelmen should tone down their physical approach against the Hoops.

     

     

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    ByGavin McCafferty

     

    17:20, 21 NOV 2017UPDATED18:37, 21 NOV 2017

     

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    We are part of the Trust Project

     

     

    Motherwell’s Peter Hartley has defended his side’s battling style

     

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    Motherwell defender Peter Hartley has told their critics to switch to basketball if they do not like the team’s physical approach.

     

     

    Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers recently revealed he spoke to the Scottish Referees’ Association about his concerns over the way Motherwell’s Betfred Cup semi-final victory over Rangers was officiated.

     

     

    Both Motherwell striker Louis Moult and Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso suffered injuries from flailing elbows and the latter has not played a first-team game since.

     

     

    Hartley was booked for an uncompromising challenge on Alfredo Morelos and he is not about to tone down his approach ahead of Sunday’s final against Celtic.

     

     

     

    (Image: Getty Images Europe)

     

    Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso picked up a broken nose following a challenge with Motherwell’s Ryan Bowman

     

    Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso picked up a broken nose following a challenge with Well’s Ryan Bowman (Image: SNS Group)

     

    The on-loan Blackpool player said: “It’s a contact sport, isn’t it, football? Go and play basketball if you want to play a non-contact sport.

     

     

    “Listen, we are a physical team. If we try and play Celtic at their game, they are going to beat us. We have got to play our game. Being physical, and getting on to second balls, being well organised, being well -drilled, it’s what we’re about and what the gaffer takes pride in. So we’re not going to change the way we are.”

     

     

    Hartley sensed Motherwell could achieve something special as soon as he signed for Stephen Robinson’s team at the end of August.

     

     

    “From day one, the first training session,” the 29-year-old said. “I saw the standard the gaffer set in training, the standard of the boys here, and the will to win and the will to learn.

     

     

    “We’ve got no – I know it’s an easy thing to say in football – bad eggs. But we are a hard-working, honest group of lads, very grounded, take every day as it comes, go into every game with no fear. And we just go out there and give everything we’ve got and what happens, happens.

     

    …………………….

     

     

    And Celtic don’t have that ” Will to Win”…and will sit back and allow your mob to kick us aff the park ?

     

    Don’t think so mate !

  5. Results not really going our way tonight sadly.

     

     

    Napoli and Leipzig wins will almost certainly mean we won’t be seeded in draw for last 32….

     

     

    We need 4 of the 8 third placed teams to finish below us to ensure we are seeded.

     

     

    A draw at least will be needed tomorrow night and then a win v Anderlecht.

  6. Dortmund defending is shocking

     

     

    whats going on.

     

     

    Seville peg Liverpool back three – two now

     

     

    HH

  7. I just watched about twenty minutes of the Sevilla/Liverpool game. Very good. Sevilla play a bit like Celtic.

     

     

    JJ

  8. just watched a movie ive seen about 30 times and never get tired watching. 12 angry men with henry fonda. superb acting.dont make them like that anymore.

  9. Big Packy

     

    Judging by some comments I have read, I think we might be playing 12 Angry men on Sunday !

     

    Good night all.

     

     

    JJ

  10. Theresa May needs a reminder of the power of the people. The DUP are the tale waging the dog.

     

    You’re on thin ice May, very thin ice.

  11. 67 European Cup Winners on

    SIXTAESEVEN – 67 TROPHIES IN MY LIFETIME on 21ST NOVEMBER 2017 8:01 PM

     

     

    I agree the bit 9 mins in when Waddle explains what happens to the wife’s when Rangers get beat !!!!!!

     

    Nothing has changed for them in over 40 years

     

     

    67ECW

  12. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Predicted all five results tonight on a 10p Super Yankee.

     

    £2.60 stake for a £56.07 return. No often you get a birthday present frae the Crookies

     

    58 today, so nearly won my age :-)

  13. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Highlight was taking Seville and Liverpool for a draw.

     

    Liverpool led 3-0 at half time. Watched the second half on tv, and was running round the house like a crazee guy when Sevilla equalised in the 89th minute.

  14. Hunderbirds

     

     

    Nice wee midweek lift.

     

    Got a feeling we will get a result in Paris.

     

    Just watched some video of bhoys in Paris tonight. Looks like Paris is Green and White. Magic

  15. Hunderbirds

     

     

    A video that my son’s mate Kieran took on his phone. I was in Munich. Paris centre looks as good tonight.

     

    HH

  16. Hunderbirds- looks like we share a birthday. Hope you had a good day bud!

     

     

    Had a great wee night out and had foresight to be off work tomorrow.

     

     

    Slainte

  17. Hope Moussa performs as well in his home city Paris tonight, similar performance as Dedryck did in his home city Brussels.

     

    COYBIG

  18. Hello again all you young rebels.

     

     

    Not had much chance to get on the blog as i’m touring the

     

    Bass coast in my wee caravan and finding wifi is like finding

     

    a handsome hun, never mind a handsome one you can’t

     

    even meet an ugly one, i reckon they’re all hiding in the bush

     

    and kicking feck out of all the wee Joey’s.

     

    Usual great Celtic Sunday last week at our CSC, the Jock Stein

     

    St Kilda bhoys joined us for the hoot and what a fearsome

     

    looking bunch they are, all with big bushy beards, think Grizzly

     

    Adams in the hoops, i reckon if Prince Charlie had that lot at

     

    Culloden Scotland would be a far better place now :-))

     

    Eddieinkirmichael and his family were in attendance and i think

     

    he would stay here if allowed as he was enjoying himself that

     

    much, he spoke very highly of all you Cqn bhoys he met at the

     

    hootenanny’s with special mention to BMCUW, DOC, and

     

    COWIEBHOY ( congrats Papa ) and our club presented to him

     

    one of our new Social Celts tops, he’s now off touring and a visit

     

    to Adelaide but he will be back for our BBQ in the beach park on

     

    the 3rd Dec, that will be a belter.

     

    H.H MICK

  19. AOW

     

     

    Ma sis just hit 50. Since you were in her year at Saint Tam’s I guessed. :)

     

    Just a number. 52 is mine now. Celtic breaking records is gonnae keep me happy in my auld age. That is the numbers I like. 64 and counting. I was born 1965. So 65 against Motherwell would delight me.

     

    HH

  20. Mick

     

     

    Ask Eddie about the flare incident in Helensburgh.

     

    EddieinKirkmichael Fenian Legend! ;)

  21. D D

     

    Yes, got the story, very funny, think he’s hoping he gets sent

     

    back over here as punishment like they used to do back in the day :-))

     

    H.H Mick

  22. 50 shades of green on

    So strongest team possible for me tonight, Sunday can take care of itself when it arrives.

     

     

    Cragie G

     

     

    Mick

     

    Dedryck

     

    Nir

     

    KT

     

     

    Broonie n Streach

     

     

    Jamsie

     

    Cal Mac

     

    Sinky

     

     

    Moussa.

     

     

    Going for a Desmond tonight, Moussa in each half. :-) :-) :-)

     

     

    H.H Paris is calling .

  23. Taken from Daily Rectum,

     

    “Neymar denies Celtic vendetta but calls for special protection from referee ahead of Champions League crunch

     

    The Paris Saint Germain superstar has been involved in a number of flashpoints in previous clashes with the Hoops.”

     

     

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    ByKeith Jackson

     

    06:00, 22 NOV 2017UPDATED06:24, 22 NOV 2017

     

    …………..

     

     

    Now…how is it that I fully expected this crap from JacksHun and Naymair ?

     

    I think we all did.

     

     

    HH

  24. Good morning CQN from a dull, dry and breezy East Devon.

     

    Don’t expect a win tonight, just a good performance please Celtic.

     

    YNWA

  25. Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic’s history is the one thing PSG’s megabucks could never buy

     

     

    The Hoops gaffer knows his side can’t compete financially with the French giants but reckons there are some things you can’t put a price on.

     

     

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    ByMichael Gannon

     

    06:00, 22 NOV 2017UPDATED06:31, 22 NOV 2017

     

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    Celtic will be on a ‘damage-limitation exercise’ when they face Bayern Munich says Charlie Nicholas

     

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    PSG must feel Celtic players breathing down their necks – Brendan Rodgers tells players to turn up pressure on French megastars

     

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    Brendan Rodgers insists PSG might be the world’s richest club but Celtic have something money can’t buy.

     

     

    The Hoops boss knows the Parkhead side can’t compete with the Paris powerhouses when it comes to finances – with the French big guns coughing up more than £900million in just six years since the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments.

     

     

    PSG spent an eye-watering £200m on Neymar in the summer to form a £400m frontline with Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe – with their Brazilian star on a staggering £700,000 a week.

     

     

    But Rodgers insisted the French club will take decades to create the kind of history Celtic have built – and no amount of cash can create a club’s soul.

     

     

     

    Brendan Rodgers believes money can’t buy what Celtic have (Image: AFP/Getty)

     

     

    The Hoops gaffer singled out the club’s vast support and rich history

     

    READ MORE

     

    Neymar denies Celtic vendetta but calls for special protection from referee ahead of Champions League crunch

     

    He said: “Absolutely. You can’t buy that. We have to do what we do in our world. We will never be able to do this here.

     

     

    “That is why people will think it is wrong in football. It is modern football in every format.

     

     

    “But Celtic have something a lot of clubs don’t have – a rich history, a support and a fanbase a lot of clubs don’t have”.

     

    ……………………

     

     

    You tell ’em Brendan…..can we no get Kolo to tackle Naymair in the feckin tunnel ?

     

    HH

  26. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Can we do it?

     

     

    Bloody hope so,HUNDERBIRDSAREGONE is putting his ill-gotten gains on it!

     

     

    Nice one…

     

     

    Happy belated birthday,mate. And also to ARTOFWAR.

     

     

    So,can we do it? Of course we can. Will we do it,different question entirely.

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