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. My two bobs worth on the 2-legs v Inter, FWIW!



    I will take any result where we keep a clean sheet tonight. I think we can score over there, so, my prediction is:



    Celtic 1 Inter 0


    Inter 2 Celtic 1 Celtic through on away goals.




  2. In response to the Huns, we should offer Alloa the use of Lennoxtown the next time they’re due to fight at Mordor (I emphasise ‘fight’ over ‘play’ as it’s not really football on show there with big village brick-chewer Elbows on the park).

  3. kdc - Tully's corner on

    Hoping for a good result tonight,



    But please no Ronnie roar if it is as its only half time in the tie to trot out an old truism



    Good result then over to milan for a stoater of a roar hopefully!

  4. bournesouprecipe on

    News from the Gazebo…………..wee Jamesie unbridled.



    * If you don’t know any rumours start one *

  5. for me it has to be Griffiths up front


    and the rest of the team behind the ball!



    I have seen us losing enough cavalry charge type BIG european games when we attacked from the off, conceded a breakaway goal in 20 minutes and fell away to nothing



    i think over the last 15 years we have grown up a little and played to our strengths and tried to nullify the opponents

  6. Pundits on the radio discussing possible Inter line ups.One pundit is adamant that Kovacic will play – ” their style of play leaves a huge space between the full backs and the 2 centre halves.He is the man to profit from that.”

  7. kdc - Tully's corner on



    adam vvd denayer izzy




    gms…jo hansen…armstrong


    ………….the griff



    Thatll be the team lhads




  8. bognorbhoy


    13:05 on


    19 February, 2015


    Gatwick Guinness and met the bhoy


    Could be a good day


    Inter fans are happy too



    How r u pal enjoy the game



    sorry i cant meet up with you tonight .




  9. kdc - Tully's corner on

    south of tunis



    13:44 on 19 February, 2015


    Pundits on the radio discussing possible Inter line ups.One pundit is adamant that Kovacic will play – ” their style of play leaves a huge space between the full backs and the 2 centre halves.He is the man to profit from that.”






    Hes right yon pundit, fancy that, a pundit talking sense. Never catch on here…

  10. bournesouprecipe


    13:43 on


    19 February, 2015


    News from the Gazebo…………..wee Jamesie unbridled.



    * If you don’t know any rumours start one *





    *He will be kept on bench for at least an hour and if he remains uninjured may get on after that.*

  11. Jobo Baldie,



    The Straw Hoose (which is what the Fiveways will always be to me) is where I had to wait for my Dad before the games when I was a wee bhoy. My uncle Eddie, God rest him, used to work in there and he and the other men, including Charlie the charge hand, would gather at the undead end during matches and leave about 15 minutes to go to get ready for the supporters streaming out after the game. I think I have only once had a pint in the place.

  12. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    “if I was a hun I would be raging at the consequence i.e.”



    Any particular reason for adding ` at the consequence i.e.`?







    Even so, you will have noticed I had a wee sneaky kick at your failure to so do 0:-)


    I am not all sainted in my ways.

  13. prestonpans bhoys on

    One more meeting for the day then off to get ready for the match.



    Going for a 1-1 prediction……….

  14. ” The atmosphere can work both ways – I loved scoring in big away games.The sound of disappointment was music to my ears ”



    Hernan Crespo.

  15. Safe journey to the hoops all heading towards paradise from all directions.



    Few mates from back home heading over to it.. jealous as hell.



    Up at 3.45am here and i cant wait.. couple of the bhoys coming over to watch it. Think i’ll do a couple of ronnie roars to wake meself up before the game.



    Sing loud everyone and back the bhoys to the hilt.. ronnie and the players have worked their socks off to improve. No matter what they deserve positive backing.

  16. JJ



    I’m glad you’re completely sainted. Cos It makes you more fun.


    And cos it means you’re no deid!






    HH jamesgang

  17. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    burgas hoops



    12:26 on 19 February, 2015


    thomthethim for Oscar OK


    10:31 on


    19 February, 2015








    Think it’s called Deen’s/Dean’s (spelling) it’s situated on the Strada Republici which is simple to find.





    Thank you. Just read back and saw your reply.


    Have passed on the info.

  18. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Right. That`s me finished on the Blog for the day. I hope the next time I am on we are talking of an excellent performance and a result reflecting that.






    PS If there is a funny smell near your seat tonight, you will know which scarf West End has decided on 0:-))

  19. The Battered Bunnet on




    Surprised and pleased that the Italian pundits have taken the time to look at Celtic sufficiently to understand the style and weaknesses of our team.



    Over here in Old Firmland, our pundits use an entirely improvised approach to opinion-making, aspiring to the apogee of the trade: entirely made up guff, which is considered a local specialty.



    No Scots pundit worth his opinion would stoop to actually researching the topic at hand.



    Good lord no.

  20. mighty tim supporting wee Oscar on

    Afternoon bhoys and ghirls. Won’t be at the game tonight working till 10.30 pm so looking for updates on CQN for me. Hope and pray everyone going enjoys a good Celtic performance and a clean sheet. Keep the tie alive for 2nd leg.



    1-0 the hoops.










  21. Team and subs (assuming no injuries)





    Mathews (Ambrose)














    GMS (Stokes)




    Guidetti (Griffiths)



    Inter will score – Celtic MUST score.



    Unlike matches in Scotland, an early goal for us will have no effect on the Inter set up, or, indeed, how they play. An early goal for them probably will have an effect on how we play.



    We must not ‘chase the game’ – 0-0 at half-time may be the right platform for us – it looks so tight.



    Whatever the outcome of the tie, barring a ‘good hiding’, a game of this stature, with a full house at CP, is bound to help the development of this squad and help us to ‘kick-on’ for the treble this season – it will also be a ‘taster’ of what we may be having more of, if we really ‘gear-up’ and get through the CL qualifiers.



    I don’t really regret the losing out of CL games this season – we were not ready and a few bad defeats would have done great damage to confidence, and Ronny’s prospects.



    He has needed the time, however this could be a wonderful first season for him.

  22. Macnabh & beatbhoy



    Great you are both sorted, I have other interest in the ticket, so no worries? The other will confirm at 3 ishave



    Kick off in 6 hrs :-) you all ready for this



    Co mom you Bhoys in Green