Cautious optimism with one weak spot


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!

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. greenjedi on 2 August, 2012 at 16:28 said:




    I agree. but we can compete with clubs such as FC Copenhagen, APOEL, Rosenborg, BATE, Pilzen, Zagreb etc.



    We dwarf those clubs in terms of income, and they have all figured in recent Champions league competitions.



    Additionally, we should be hammering sides like Helsinki – we are not even at the final qualifying stage, and are already struggling. TV money is a huge issue, but even without it, we should be ahead of these Clubs, and comfortably ahead of helsik^nki, who regularly face part-time opposition in their league.

  2. The Moon Bhoys on

    One Maggie Thatcher, there’s only one Maggie Thatcher, one Mag………..ooops sorry, wrong blog.

  3. Paul67



    Are you trying to get NL the sack?


    Play CM at LB – you have to be joking.



    He has been a revelation at CB but when he plays at LB against any pace or quality he Has struggled big time with his positioning being a Malory part of the issue.



    We need to be on the lookout for a LB, EI is struggling after his injury and his nugget / project of a deputy is energetic, talented but needs aa awful lot of work.



    Also VW at CB is not the way to go.


    ML would have been a much better bet plus the MF would have been improved as a consequence.



    Finally we should have let JF go to the Olympics.


    He is still a bit undercooked on the consistency front.


    His lack of recent progress is a worry, it suggests that we are a bit raw in the coaching / development stakes.



    We were a bit lightweight with AT onboard.


    Without him we appear to be floating in the breeze.


    Consequently PL get it sorted, asking JP for advice is not enough.

  4. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    bloke 109


    wgs spent more in 4 years at CP than mon spent in 5 years


    wgs signed 40 players mon signed 15


    wages bill when wgs left was in line with wages bill when mon left

  5. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on 2 August, 2012 at 16:13 said:




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



    SO it’s got nothing to do with the booing then, you just want rid of a section of the ground.


    Still not very sound business sense. There’s a place for everyone at Celtic Park .


    Simply cannot see what that would achieve. If people want to pay more to get more then that’s up to them.

  6. tamrabam



    Thanks for that. I didn’t mention MON so not sure where he fits in, but as you seem to know your stuff, can you let me know how much WGS spent in total compared to NL and how this breaks down in wages exactly?

  7. Paulsatim……..aaaaaaaaaaaargh…………ya bam…………..thats 6 quid I owe now!







    I live in the Republic, perhaps that has something to do with it?



    I’m not going to try again, thanks for the help tho’.

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    We could have done worse than take Paul Dixon from Dundee Utd on a Bosman,very good left foot and an understudy to Izzy,who hopefully will be a bit sharper after a couple more games.

  9. I’m Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on 2 August, 2012 at 16:49 said:



    Would £6M and eg £25k/week got WGS the same quality that it got MON?

  10. LuxC @ 4.22



    PL is trying his hardest to turn us into a £40mill football club.


    He cannot cope without the TFOD rivalry to generate easy money.



    We are struggling.


    He started with the wrong business model.


    Paying over the odds in wages to bring in low capital cost players AKA Bosmans. We have moved on from there but he still cannot work the squad without de-motivating half the team. When it comes to asset management he is the Grand Old DoY – he works the squad into a lather with hints / threats / leaks to the press then he doesn’t sell anyone until six months later and another Transfer Window.



    Without the Sion debacle our accounts for last season would have been a train wreck, not sure how the figures will turn out soon but the debt will still be significant. I fear we will have a £30mill football wage bill moving into a season where £40mill T/O looms if we have CL / EuL failure.



    No wonder we are not in the market for new players.


    Ki will probably sold to balance the books / reduce the debt and it will take CL qualification to get some new blood in. The CB farce continues and all PL is worried about is his bonus.



    Where is the growth strategy?


    Celtic Triangle development plan?


    U23 team in Div3 / Link up with a team in the US?


    Reserve team stadium just off London Road.


    Membership scheme / elected Fans Director


    Sporting club involving other sports – our youth system is even now producing Olympic medallists at granny stroke swimming.


    Is he the missing CB we are now calling out for?


    Could DO’D have made it at boxing?



    PL has to go and the Irish Raj needs to get a grip.

  11. Awe_Naw @15.21



    There is no debate.



    Sadly the events in Govan influenced a sudden requirement to unspend either a fee or a salary for a position which was filled then unfilled, due to Fojut’s injury, and contract withdrawal.



    CL qualifier or not, the board (Not NL) decided to brass it, with what we have.



    For all those that say a new dominant CB wouldn’t have made a difference last night


    – it would have to me.

  12. tomtheleedstim on

    wonkyradar on 2 August, 2012 at 16:14 said:



    Brilliant. hehehe – stupid huns.

  13. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    MadMitch on 2 August, 2012 at 16:59 said:


    Did you just copy and paste BRTH’s post from earlier on?

  14. MoonBhoy


    Excellent. I think we should now refer to them as The TB`s. People (peepil) will think wq mean Teddy Bears but we will know better. A tad masonic, I know but then again, whenever meeting with CQN ers for the first time, that, too, sounds a bit Secret Society-ish. ” Hello, I am Colin…….eh, AuldBada MoonHeid!

  15. Bada


    Although I might be the only one on here who does not think we need to sign anyone, I agree that Paul Dixon is a player I would have been happy to see join.

  16. theglasgowcelticway on

    Thought we should have won last night by a least one more.I would like Lennon to play Lustig as a centre half against Aberdeen on Saturday,see how he copes.Can anyone tell me if we go out of Europe if we lose next week or do we go to a Europa qualifier?

  17. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Glen-wouldn’t rule it out mate,MON seems to be looking at other strikers inc Fletcher.£10 mil for him from Ipswich last year was ridiculous money.

  18. Canamalar et al


    Re the corporate section booing???


    I thought that was a joke when I read it last night, if it did happen does anyone know the reason?



  19. Bada Bing-can remember a few presenters on Talksport raving about him when he signed for sunderland,might be worth a shout.


    GLEN 1718



    IIRC,Conor Wickham was retained by Ipswich at the expense of another youngster,as they could not afford to keep them both.



    The other kid was allowed to leave for peanuts,while Ipswich eventually got £10m for Wickham.



    The other kid was………




  21. theglasgowcelticway on

    Jungle Jim


    Cheers for that!I think we’ll get a positive result next week so I’m not worried.When I seen the away support last night I thought to myself,”We’ll have more fans at a Helsinki burger van than they brought to Parkhead.”Still confident.

  22. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Thank you kind sir



    I cannot get my head around it.



    Especially as the business conducted in getting players of contracts has been so well done.






    Have you read my stream of conciousness post from this morning.



    Am I going crazy ?




  23. Online auction raffle tickets now bought. Better take a big bag with me tomorrow to Aberdour.

  24. Sorry if already posted






    rangerstaxcase says:



    03/08/2012 at 12:01 am


    For the avoidance of doubt, I would encourage you all to move over to the new site: http://scottishfootballcorruption.wordpress.com/ to continue posting your comments and to carry on the work of this project.



    To help move this along, I will close comment posting on here later tonight.



    To help with the debate, of course there are many aspects to this story that are incomplete. However, the goal of this blog was to shine a light on the dark corruption that is at the core of Scottish football and the media figures who both sustained it and were themselves fed by it. Most of the key facts are in the public domain now- thanks mainly to BBC Scotland’s documentary team. This means that my personal goals for this blog have been fulfilled.



    As I say in the post above- please continue this work. The Scottish media still lives on cheap churnalism and needs to be countered at every turn when it repeats transparent lies fed to it by PR firms. It is a project that will never end, but my own personal involvement will wind down significantly. Best of luck to you all and once again, many thanks.



    P.S. there are a couple of things I still want to do. Especially building a monument to succulent lamb journalism.



    If you could email images or examples of stories where the Scottish media embarrassed themselves spectacularly- especially in connection with the Rangers story (but other examples of PR-driven hype) will be welcome- please email me at: rangerstaxcase@yahoo.com