Belief the key for Celtic


I sat beside Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox on Friday night at the excellent Irvine Celtic Supporters’ Club.  The conversation eventually got around to Inter Milan.  It’s hard to over-estimate the Inter team they faced in Lisbon.  Going for their third European Cup in four years, and their fourth Italian title in five, they were the most imperious team Europe had ever seen, and arguably remain so.  Real Madrid won five successive European Cups, but that consistency was not repeated domestically.

Despite this, Bobby and Stevie made it clear: Inter didn’t stand a chance.  They were going to win that game, no matter what, there was not a single shred of doubt in their minds.  It was a confidence which belied external reasoning and could only have existed within the team structure.

Talking about it 48 years later, the sense of purpose remains just as strong.  That team believed they could do anything. I’ve heard contrasts. Gordon Strachan’s Celtic never came close to winning the Champions League, but I once heard him break off from a press conference to ask the room, “Who seriously thinks we have a chance of winning this?” Gordon’s lack of confidence was well grounded, but it didn’t feel right hearing him declare in this way. I prefer Ronny’s “We can win everything’ approach.

The Inter of 2015 are not in the same class as the Inter of ’67 but they remain formidable.  Like Celtic, they are a team who appear to be progressing after a period of decline, but like La Grande Inter of Sarti, Facchetti and Mazzola, they don’t have a clue what to expect from Celtic.

Thanks for all the ticket requests for CQN11 St Pat’s Dinner over the last few days. It’s at the Kerrydale Suite on Friday 13 March, Cup Final weekend. Email me if you would like a ticket,

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  1. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Just seen the pictures of CP, and remembering the farcical set up at that mobs agm, there are a lot of jealous hurting huns out there just now.Its (as always) a great time to be a Celtic supporter. Lets enjoy it tonight, this is what its all about. Mon the Hoops




  2. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    12:29 on


    19 February, 2015


    Confidence bourne from substance is laudable, however, confidence bourne of empty rhetoric is laughable.



    Tonight’s game should go a long way to prove which Ronny has.”



    Do you really need `proof` that Ronny is a confident man?


    Your post reads, to me, as though you have already made your mind up and need no more `proof`.


    To manage an amateur football club requires confidence; to reach the level Ronny Deila has reached requires a very substantial confidence.


    Besides the above, it is not certain whether good performance leads to confidence or confidence leads to good perfromance.







    I don’t need Cowiebhoy’s spare now if you want to try and contact him.



    He said he would be on around lunchtime.

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    The CL could have been brutal to us this year. Tonight will give us an idea of whether we are ready for it next season. I’m optimistic!

  5. Tallybhoy



    It was you who was looking for Weedgie Weather Inc?



    Now p1sh1n d00n.


    Or ‘urinare giu’ courtesy of Google translate!



    HH jamesgang

  6. Will be happy with a draw tonight. When draw was made I had no expectations however the signings of Armstrong & GMS, the return to the team of Denayer and form of Bitton has me feeling a lot more optimistic.

  7. You know it’s a Big Game when 10 folk are meeting up pre-match from far and wide.



    So, in the ole Fiveways Inn from the back of 6 will be me and my 3 (grown up) weans, my sister and her grandson, my boys girlfriend and her mother, my nephew and my other sister’s man! And guess who’s 1 of the 2 designated drivers ;-)



    An hour or so in the pub and then I’ll drag them all round to CQN Corner. Or more likely I’ll be on ma tod!



    Will post a weather report as I leave EK…. But could be a night for the ole full flowin’ Big Coat.



    Nae mair sleeps!

  8. Hrvatski Jim


    great pics of the stadium



    (The DR will say something like -cant help but think its lacking a Gazebo somewhere!)

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I find it amazing that there are still Rony doubters out there for me it doesnt matter how we do in this tie against Inter. yes it would be nice to win but we are still a work in progress.I have witnessed with my own eyes our improvement.Some of our play recently has been a treat to watch the only small concern I have is that we have not been scoring the amount of goals that our good play deserve.We have to take into account the fact that Rony has not been with us all that long I think that we will not see the best from his team until he has been with us at least 18 months I have only one concern and that is a big club may come and take him away to the EPL. H.H.

  10. Careful With That Tax, Moonbeams on

    Mcdowelly says it’s ”nice to be nice”. In justification of Inter training at Moonbeam Meadows.



    For those who still hold him in high regard.

  11. BigChipsUK – Honesty, integrity and fair play since 1887



    12:51 on 19 February, 2015



    The BB, ironically I think our best chance of beating them will be in the Stadio Guiseppe al Meazza.






    Bummer for the new bhoys the game’s not in the San Siro…









    ‘Gordon Strachan’s Celtic never came close to winning the Champions League, but I once heard him break off from a press conference to ask the room, “Who seriously thinks we have a chance of winning this?” Gordon’s lack of confidence was well grounded, but it didn’t feel right hearing him declare in this way. I prefer Ronny’s “We can win everything’ approach. ‘






    WGS’s pragmatism is exactly what enabled a squad of journeymen to progress to the last 16 by taking out Milan, etc.



    He was a realist, and his methods and focus energised our players to perform as one formidable unit, knowing hteir limitations but confident in their approach.



    Ronny, to me, has always hoped more than strategised. All very well throwing everything at SPL teams and praying for a breakthrough but in Europe – Serie A teams especially – you’ll be a hapless rope-a-dope victim, as we’ve seen in recent seasons versus Juventus and AC.



    If we start off in a flurry tonight, doing the headless chicken routines all over the pitch, I’ll watch from behind my fingers for the rest of the game. If we start with a disciplined, efficient pressing game, conceding space along their back line and forcing their midfield into speedy decisions, then it might appear we have a strategy and tactics in place.



    Others have said they don’t have a clue what to expect from Celtic tonight and this is the problem – under MON, WGS and Lenny in Europe there was a solid tactical foundation there to frustrate the big boys and pick them off.



    That will be the measure of progress tonight – that we at least look capable of going the distance with top quality and not doing the 20-minute plucky-underdog battle before collapse.



    At least give them a contest, look as though we know what we’re doing at last.



    C’mon the Hoops.



    And for you lurking Hun Monkeys – enjoy looking in from the cold wasteland of lost hope and shattered dreams to see two big clubs play in European competition. Once you’ve finished catching the live Eastenders show, that is…

  12. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Cant believe anyone on here would hold him in high regard (though I’m sure there are). Also can’t believe we employed him at all




  13. Joe Filippis Haircut



    13:07 on 19 February, 2015



    I find it amazing that there are still Rony doubters out there






    Be amazed, Joe. We aim to dazzle… ;))

  14. The Battered Bunnet on




    I think you can relax a while.



    Lenny won 3 titles on the bounce, beat Barca, qualified for the last 16, and ended up at the bottom of the Championship with Bolton after a 9 month job hunt (and considerably longer if you count the period prior to his leaving the club).



    Ronny could win the Europa League, beat Chelski home and away in the Champions League next season, and transform Stefan Scepovic into Sergio Aguero, and there won’t be a queue of anxious EPL Chairmen banging on his door.

  15. glasgowdave @ 11 52.



    Mrs S of T has no interest in football.-



    ” Men and their balls “

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    Commons fishally out.



    Reckon that lets Stuart Armstrong start behind the striker, Bitton sitting behind Brown and Johansen.



    Forwards-wise? Griffiths has been effective lately, so I’d give him the shout, but dunno who’ll get the wide positions.



    GMS? Wakaso? Henderson? McGregor? Forrest? Stokes?

  17. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Battered Bunnet



    I’d narrow it down to 2, GMS and Stokes, cant see any of the others starting




  18. Quick lunchtime story.



    My gran worked for House of Fraser in the Muirheads store – she was the cleaner supervisor. She had an eye for a bargain and was always picking up teashirts etc. for me when they went into the clearance bin. I had a range of colours and they became “football” tops to me. Red was Man U (wouldn’t be now but never mind), White was Leeds, Blue was Everton, Yellow was Norwich etc.



    I went to the Semi-final against Inter 1972 and came back home to my mum telling me that all these tops had been in the washing and every one of them had been stolen from the washing line that night.



    Maybe Dixie needed a range of disguises.



    Thankfully, my only real top was a Celtic one and it was safe.

  19. delaneys dunky



    13:05 on 19 February, 2015





    Where are you?


    Clydebank is dry and sunny!


    Will bring it with me. :)






    You always do.


    Sunshine fizzog!



    HH jamesgang

  20. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    The Battered Bunnet. I am not to unhappy that we are not risking Commons we have many big games ahead so not risking him makes sense.I just have a feeling that we may play both Forrest and GMS on either wing and if that is the case wee Jamsie must work harder than he usually does. H.H.

  21. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Re `bourne` . I was going to mention it in a similar fashion .Decided against it 0:-)




  22. ” There will be a special atmosphere , we have lost that in Italy ”



    Roberto Mancini

  23. The Battered Bunnet



    13:23 on 19 February, 2015



    Commons fishally out.






    TBB, you’ve just made Kojo’s day. Congratulations…

  24. prestonpans bhoys on

    So the Huns say they are just being “nice” to Inter when giving them Murray Park tp train however if I was a hun I would be raging at the consequence i.e.



    “Rangers face Raith at Stark’s Park tomorrow night but will have to use their youth pitches to train on ahead of their Championship clash.”