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Cautious optimism with one weak spot

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In days of yore Celtic would rattle nine goals past the Finnish champions on European Cup duty.  That was never going to be on the cards last night but there remains a clear gap in quality between the teams.  HJK Helsinki are no better than Hearts, but were clearly sharper.

The tie remains very much in the balance, a ‘Big Dan moment’, similar to what happened away to Sion last season, and the odds would stack heavily against Celtic progressing, and although HJK didn’t impress much, neither did Utrecht, who lost 2-0 at Celtic Park two years ago before wiping the floor with a disorganised Celtic a week later.

I have a few concerns.

Last season it worried me how dependent we had become on Charlie Mulgrew to create goals.  His delivery from the left back position, not to mention his runs to the back post, were significant in Celtic overcoming the early season deficit.

Today we are a few central defenders lighter, if not any worse off in that department, but without Charlie galloping down the wing we are immeasurably less potent.  Emilio is an able left back, but his performances are several degrees below his Player of the Year form and he is categorically not a goal creator.  A double jeopardy is that when Emilio is behind Georgios Samaras on the left, instead of the more defensively minded Joe Ledley, we seem to have a real weak point.

If we are to start with a lone striker and five in the middle next week we’ll need Charlie on the left.  This will stiffen up our weak spot and give HJK more to worry about.

The video moment for the players to study must surely be Georgios Samaras cross for the first Celtic goal.  In case you missed it, the cross evaded the first defender.  In this respect it was quite stunning and contrasted markedly to what was going on across on the right wing for most of the evening.

Early Player of the Year tip: Adam Matthews.  Usain Bolt must be relieved our man is not a sprinter almost as much as Victor Wanyama is relieved he’s a footballer.

Our three raffles end at 19:10 TONIGHT!  For the sum of only £1 you stand a chance of winning a painting of Henrik Larsson mid goal celebration, Scott Brown inventing the Broony or a print of our manager in his playing days.

It has never been easier or cheaper to contribute to the concept of what our club is all about, go buy a ticket.

Martin Chambers of the Ecuador Trust was in touch this morning.  He said, “If you are able to help, the money will be used to fund the Soup Kitchen that we run each day feeding 150 of the poorest children in the shanty town – kids who would otherwise go hungry.  Hope to hear from you soon” (he means you).

Feeding kids who would otherwise go hungry.  Where have you heard that idea before?

The four beneficiaries are; The Haven, Cancer Respite Centre, Blantyre, Oscar Knox Neuroblastoma Appeal, Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust and Aberdour Primary School Parents Association.

For £1 you can win:

A celebrating Henrik Larsson painting.
A painting of Scott Brown in classic pose.
A Neil Lennon print.

What are you waiting on, do it now, there are only a few hours left! And after you have clicked on ‘buy a ticket’, DON’T FORGET TO PAY, as some people have. Just like social taxes, paying for your raffle ticket is NOT optional!

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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    mncelt-You say we don’t need to invest in new players,do you think if PL had come out and said that pre-season,we would have sold so many season tickets? .Agreed the league is won before we kick a ball,but a reasonable attempt to make progress in Europe should be the goal,from where i’m standing,I don’t see it mate.HH.

  2. mickbhoy1888 on 2 August, 2012 at 15:50 said

     

     

    You understand that the club makes a loss when were not in Europe and struggles to break even from the Europa League, don’t you?

  3. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    mickbhoy1888 on 2 August, 2012 at 15:50:

     

     

    Some times the black and white picture tells you a lot more rather than viewing everything through green tinted spectacles

     

     

    I’m happy with the picture I get in technicolour with vibrant green and white. Fantastic reception in the East End of the City.

  4. mickbhoy1888

     

     

    So watching unknowns like Kayal, Hooper, Matthews, Wanyama, etc come in develop and thrive is a waste of money?

     

     

    If we wished to do so we could sell Ki and Wanyama this week and generate about £15 Million, we turned down £6 Million for Hooper.

     

     

    I reckon Celtic are doing rather well…

  5. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on 2 August, 2012 at 15:52 said:

     

     

    Although it’s worth stating that without the shareholders, and by that I mean the ordinary ones not DD et al, the club could quite easily have folded by now.

  6. Standing Up for “Big Peter The Great”…………….

     

     

    He may not get everything right ( who does?) but at least he is not like any of that other shower in Govan………

     

     

    and while we are at it……………

     

     

    Standing Up for Brian “The Mighty” Quinn……..and Fergus “Strongman” McCann….

     

     

     

    Can’t wait for Saturday.

     

     

    HH

  7. Bada Bing – I think we should invest in players, but the club don’t because they feel there is no need. PL made a plea to the fans to buy season books and did not mention anything about what we would get in return. If he had said we are looking at signing targets and your cash is important then I think he would have got a great reaction. I thought his plea was insulting to the fans in the way it was made, taking a swipe at our rivals plight and reminding us of the glory days. No mention of how we were going to get back to them.

  8. Son of Gabriel

     

     

    I have the final on, it’s just started. I know the other side of nothing about the sport, but can update you. The USA woman is winning 1-0 with 3.30 to go.

  9. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on 2 August, 2012 at 14:35

     

     

    So you want to get rid of the whole corporate section because some booing came from some people in there . By the same reckoning then when some booing comes from the standard seats then get rid of all the standard seats ! ! !

     

     

    Not exactly sound business sense.

     

    A lot of people in those seats save up the whole year to buy a seat in there because they’re really good seats. About 5% of them actually wear suits, most wear jeans.

  10. Hearts manager John McGlynn has targeted a win over St Johnstone to start the SPL season and Champions League qualification to finish it.

     

     

    With Rangers having dropped out of the top flight, many believe Celtic’s name is already practically on the league trophy.

     

     

    But McGlynn, who takes charge of his first Hearts game as permanent manager, believes the Jambos are one of the teams who could upset the odds, despite losing several players over the summer.

     

     

    He said: “Our expectation level is to be as high as possible.

     

     

    “We have lost some key players and are bringing in some younger players. That is the route the club is going to go down, so it is up to us to produce these young players and get them in the team – the signs so far have been encouraging.

     

     

    “The expectation levels are obviously high, Hearts are the third biggest club in Scotland and we want to be challenging at the top of the table and do well in the cup.

     

     

    “It is up to other clubs in the league to make it as difficult as possible.

     

     

    “Maybe Celtic will be going to games thinking it doesn’t matter because everyone has told them they are going to win the league.

     

     

    “I’m sure Neil Lennon will be trying to make sure that is not the case – but with Rangers out of the equation, will Celtic take their foot off the gas?

     

     

    “That is what I’m hoping for, I’m hoping there is complacency and teams can go and cash in on that complacency.”

  11. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on 2 August, 2012 at 15:59 said:

     

     

    Nothing really, just that people that bought into the great masonic rite (not me btw) saved our club.

  12. mncelt on 2 August, 2012 at 16:03 said:

     

     

    Perhaps he should have said “Please by your season tickets because if you don’t we’ll make a walloping loss without CL football and that’s without any player investment added to our outgoings”

  13. 4 4 1 1

     

     

    Forster

     

    Mathhews

     

    Lustig

     

    Mulgrew

     

    Izzaguirre

     

     

    Brown

     

    Wanyama

     

    Kayal

     

    Ledley

     

     

    Commons

     

     

    Samaras

  14. The Moon Bhoys on

    Thems claiming they are still the same team reminds me of Trigger claiming he still had the same sweeping brush after 25 years of service, 15 new heads and 16 new handles, but still the same brush.

  15. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    celtic_cross,

     

    I think you’ll find I have been advocating getting rid of the corporate section a bit before last nights game.

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    I see Facebook has admitted that it has more than 83 million fake users.

     

     

    That’s got nothing on Gold Coast Tom :¬)

  17. Auld Neil Lennon heid on

    mickbhoy1888 on 2 August, 2012 at 15:41 said:

     

    Sorry but the hard earned money some of us invest in Celtic at the moment is like a having a Colour telly Licence and your only getting black and white pictures

     

    =========================

     

     

    When we buy a cinema ticket do we invest in UCI or the Odeon chain?. This idea of supporters investing in their chosen football club financially is a myth. There is an emotional investment but not a financial one.

     

     

    In effect we are paying a player (or 11 of them) to entertain us and in doing so meet the emotional investment we (not they) have chosen to make in our club.

     

     

    We cannot afford to pay a team of players ourselves so we get a team of supporters around us to up what we can pay players to satisfy the emotional needs that we are investing to satisfy ourselves.

     

     

    But we all have day jobs to pay for the ticket so we hire someone to do the job of finding and hiring players that hopefully will meet our emotional needs. Now we might not be happy with the job they are doing and we have a right right to complain if we think they could get better players that we can pay for and they do not do so. But if they are getting the standard of players our payment can afford, do we up what we pay or accept what we want is beyond our capacity to provide for and adjust our emotional investement accordingly?

     

     

    Players play on that emotional investment n order to get paid more, the people we ask to hire them know that and try to balance what we give them to pay against what we ask them to pay in order to keep the whole emotional circus on the road.

     

     

    There is an investment for sure, buts its not financial and its not for the club, its for our own emotional needs.

  18. Down with the corporate whores!

     

     

    Up with the proletariat!

     

     

    Workers of the world unite!

     

     

    Viva la Celtic!

  19. traditionalist88 on

    The Moon Bhoys on 2 August, 2012 at 16:10 said

     

     

    Belter!

     

     

    Clearly still the same brush:)

     

     

    HH

  20. Son of Gabriel on

    Thanks guys.

     

     

    Ended up I got it in canteen after a lot of kicking and screaming.

     

     

    Good fight but she just didnt get the run.

     

    Shouldnt have let the yank get in with the koshi-waza as often.

     

    Could have got the win if Harrison’s leg-grab had been deemed illegal.

     

    Or at the death I thought the left sided o-soto had her but just too far off.

     

     

    Still, thats the 16th olympic medal in British Judo history, only 8th Silver.

     

    Still waiting on that elusive Gold though.

     

     

    SonOfDan: Nice try.

     

     

    Now back to Celtic.

  21. •-:¦:-•** -:¦:- sparkleghirl :¦:-.•**• -:¦:-• on

    The Battered Bunnet on 2 August, 2012 at 16:15 said:

     

    I see Facebook has admitted that it has more than 83 million fake users.

     

     

     

     

    83 million fakes. I know some of them personally :/

  22. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    off out to start a revolution in Partick

     

    got me old mans hoop n stick

     

    vive le revolution

     

    sannabhoy I liked that :o)

     

    the wheels on the bus go round and round, all over the road :o)

  23. greenjedi on 2 August, 2012 at 14:56 said:

     

     

    Hi – am not berating the club for spending money it doesn’t have – I am berating it for a failure to invest in order to maximise revenue. I am a fan, TV subscriber, merchandise buyer, etc but am reluctant to continue to pay money towards the Club when there is zero transparency – the fans are lied to (Neil Lennon: may 2012 3 or 4 new signings… where??) and we are once again making no real statement of our intentions to return to being a force in Europe.

     

     

    If a business such as Stena Line was running old rust-bucket ferries and charging ever increasing prices, whereas rival Condor ferries was investing in new super-comfort high speed ferries and charging the same fare…. who would you cross the channel with? The analogy isn’t perfect, but Celtic are repeatedly doing things ‘on the cheap’ and preying on the fact that as customers, we also love the Club. We have had cheap managerial appointments, cheap signings, late signings (who couldn’t help in europe) and a failure to strengthen the squad year on year. (look at CQN last august and the august before… the phrase ‘Need a centre-half’ comes up repeatedly.)

     

     

    There has to be a stopping point, and whether i live in a prosperous country or not – has nothing at all to do with it. i know I will probably renew my TV subs anyway, but at the moment i want to see what strategy the board adopts re the Fans’ money. It is clear that the team are not all Champions League standard – so do we want to play in that competition – or are the board content to offer the Fans (customers) SPL fare only?? 2 key signings would be a statement that says: We gave the manager the tools necessary to get the Club into the CL. As it stands – we have an inexperienced manager, and he does not have the tools required to get the Club where it should be. Utrecht, Braga, sickened me, and were unacceptable for a Club of our size. I don’t want a repeat.

  24. Luxcelt

     

     

    We are a huge club in a tiny country with TV revenues so low they might as well not exist.

     

     

    We CANNOT compete with other big clubs who also have far bigger wallets than we do. To try and do so would be suicidal.

  25. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    Lets say Celtic never spent any cash on new players for the next 5 years because signing new players is no guarantee of winning anything. Lets even say that for the next 5 years we won 5 trebles without signing or spending a dime. Lets say in that same period we did not qualify for the CL one single time.

     

    Would it have been worth the gamble to spend some money to help us qualify and subsequently reap CL dividends of 15 million quid a year. The huns are no longer around and a potential 75 million quid is on offer over the next 5 years.

     

    The clappers answer of course is

     

    “aye but what if we still didn’t qualify and spent 10 million quid we couldn’t afford on this new guy”

     

    The shafters answer to that might be

     

    “aye but what if we didn’t spend at all and never ever took that gamble and never ever qualified for CL again or took a single penny out of the 75 million quid”

     

    I know what the clappers are saying, I get their point. But they must understand this

     

    There are no guarantees whatsoever in life, but that fear shouldn’t always stop us getting out of bed in the morning in case we fall down the stairs.

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