Celtic should get serious about winning


Earlier in the week I wrote about how to win against more resourceful rivals, using the success Croatia and Morocco had against the likes of Brazil, Spain and Portugal as examples.  In short: never break your organisational discipline, make opponents work very hard for their chances and don’t ever get caught on the counterattack.

Last night was the classic rope-a-dope by Argentina.  They conceded the majority of possession, luring Croatia forward.  This created space for counterattacks which led to the opening two goals.  The third goal was one of the World Cup all time greats, but by then Croatia were on the deck.

Having eliminated Brazil, perhaps Croatia believed they could take the game to Argentina.  Had they stuck to the gameplan which served them so well, they may be in Sunday’s final.  Unfortunately, the World Cup comes only every four years and key players in the Croatia side will not be as effective next time around (or even there, in the case of Modric).  Their chance, this time and forever, is gone.

As I watched the game and listened to Ally McCoist last night, I thought back almost 30 years to him being interviewed after Rangers failed to beat CSKA Moscow.  Rangers and Marseille were level on points going into the final Champions League group stage game, Rangers were at home, Marseille were away to Brugge.  The tournament format was very different, winners of the two group qualified for the final.  Kids, you have no idea what living in Scotland was like for a few months back then.

With home advantage, they were actual favourites to reach the final, but they failed to score while Marseille won.  McCoist was distraught and I remember my Dad saying “He knows, this was his only chance”.  You can wait a lifetime for a single opportunity to over-achieve in the game.

Football is harsh.  It produces many more losers than winners.  To become the latter, there can be no compromise.  When we have an elite coach, and outstanding scouting system and several elite players, a window might briefly open.  Play like we are serious about winning.  Marseille won that final, not that we cared by then.

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  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    Talk is cheap. All about the outcome.



    To your recollection of 92-93 Paul,



    Oldco won 2 and drew 4 of their group games.



    2 wins each by a single goal.



    Winning goals in both games were the most wicked deflections which looped over the keeper.



    In case of Bruges, the idiot goalie actually ran under the bouncing ball.

  2. Good to see weefra on these pages.


    Hope your keeping healthy and happy and warm in these cold times.





  3. All very well talking about tactics, players, competition and ambition but if your analysis leaves out who was wearing suits and who wasn’t then I’m afraid it gets immediately consigned to the bin.

  4. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Since the arrival of Bealin’.. Sevco tactics transparent as hell.



    – Go staunch


    – Go PR offensive


    – Go asthmatic



    In an attempt to create a critical mass of momentum.



    On the face of it ?



    Feels Wizard of Oz to me.



    But no time for complacency.



    Come out of the break fast and get performances and points in the bag.



    If we do, bubble bursts end of January.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Play like we are serious about winning.”




    You have highlighted how we might draw the odd game if we are lucky enough to come up against a team who play as bluntly as Spain did against Morocco (good luck with that!).


    If we are serious about achieving something in Europe we are going to have to dump the old firmery that has been holding us back for far too long.




    Thank you big chap, yes I’m keeping healthy and would be happier if the mrs was still with me, it’s a wrench after 52 years. As for keeping warm, never seen a warm farm and this is no different. Lol. I hope you are really well and hopefully, meet up again at CP. Been about 5 years since I was last there. HH

  7. You’re a bit all over the place there Paul. Your formula for winning against “big” teams could have been solely directed at Celtic as the failure to adhere to your three items was exactly our failing in the CL. You seem to have moved onto to something else completely at the end of your piece.

  8. Those were the days my friend, that Bernard Tapie and David Murray thought would never end.


    Days I remember of opponents being drugged and referees being bribed. Domestic and in Europe. Not the Rangers FC I hastened to add, moreso the CSKA players bribed to lose 6-0 to Marseille. The Dunfermline of their day. More gardens being dug than at any time up until the Northern Bank heist. Marseille were relegated to the French second division the following season but are still recognised as European Cup winners 1992-3. For Murray lessons learned, no need to bribe Scottish referees they were already onside, opposition managers on the the last day of the season? No problem, Jimmy was onside too. Happy Days.

  9. bournesouprecipe on

    That awkward moment when Celtic get mentioned along with the Fat Gardener from the succulent lamb days.

  10. An eligible Broto and a fit Hartson in Seville 2003 and we would have won that damn thing too.



    We have many ‘what might have beens’ too Paul67…




  11. prestonpans bhoys on

    BACK TO BASICS@12:12



    Your memory is bang on, two of the most ridiculous goals I’ve ever seen😱

  12. I remember the huns versus Marseille a Ipox where


    Marseille were winning 2-0 and coasting and should really


    have been 5-0 up and the huns then scored 1 and Marseille


    were panicked to losing another and it finished 2-2



    Wasnt that the year Scott Nisbett scored a crazy goal past


    a blundering keeper cant remember if it was Brugge or Moscow

  13. Talking about sticking to a game plan, it would be hard to better the record of the Italians in the 1970s to 1990s. Often had massive talents but always prioritized defence. We called them boring while never getting out of a group.



    Their overall stats are so impressive:



    World Cup:


    Winners (4): 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006


    Runners-up (2): 1970, 1994


    Third place (1): 1990


    Fourth place (1): 1978



    UEFA European Championship


    Winners (2): 1968, 2020


    Runners-up (2): 2000, 2012


    Fourth place (1): 1980


    Semi-finals (1): 1988

  14. The Suit Collar Tie and Brogues more than compensate for being serial cheats and losers.



    The silk tie that the players and officials wore and then the polyester version worn by the hangers on and wannabes in the hospitality and club deck Al seats made me smile.



    They do love a hierarchy don’t they.

  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Back to Basics 12:12


    That only tells half the story. They were extremely lucky to even be in the group stage. For the final qualifying round there were 16 teams – 8 seeded and 8 unseeded. Rangers were unseeded and were drawn against Stuttgart. The Stuttgart-Leeds game had to be replayed and Leeds won, giving a Rangers-Leeds tie instead. But Leeds were also unseeded. There should have been a re-draw to meke it seeds v non-seeds.


    Anyway, I’m sure everybody is bored with that having read about it in the MSM so often…..

  16. Deniabhoy



    Engerland and Spain are massive underachievers in World Cup terms.



    Each only 1 win and no runners up. A miserable return for the resources they have.



    Spain is a bit better in the Euros but Engerland have just 1 final appearance and no wins.



    The English national team showing is a disgrace given playing resources and funding.

  17. Brazil 5


    Italy 4


    Germany 4


    France 2


    Uruguay 2


    Argentina 2


    Spain 1


    Engerland 1



    Last win by Engerland 56 years ago.

  18. Engerlund,s little ditty will soon be very


    hard to sing in the not to distant future.


    For instance, imagine sometime soon having


    to sing this mouthful-


    128 years of hurt.

  19. BURNLEY78



    This was as good a chance as they’ll get to win it until they host it again. Brazil, Germany, Spain Portugal were all crap, Italy wasn’t there, France had loads of injuries, Argentina are a limited side with an average coach and all time great who turns it on in very short spells. They could have won it without playing against a great team.



    The great debate in the aftermath is about whether Southgate will stay (majority say he should) and if he doesn’t should it be only English candidates considered. The concensus is that the team is full of exciting young players who’ll develop into a winning team. I only see a team of young players who keep on losing to good teams but I’m biased.

  20. Paul67


    Ange has told you many times he will not change the way he plays, so you’re barking at the moon expecting him to play like Morocco or similar defensive teams, he will play his way with the players he has at the time to attack press and hopefully be successful, if you don’t like it then you need to lump it.

  21. More of a concern for me is taking chances which are going a begging and not finishing teams off when we’re on top, and still the news is Giakoumakis wants out according to a sidebar article on this site, that being the case get the best price and replace with someone who wants to play for Celtic.

  22. BURNLEY78 on 14TH DECEMBER 2022 1:14 PM







    ‘They do love a hierarchy don’t they.’










    And deference.



    Not unlike a few on here.

  23. Andrew- Ernie- Matthew today your vermin is?



    How does someone as hidden as you get to comment on what is deference?



    All said from the hidden comfort of anonymity.


    The people you have met you deny.



    Keep pretending,keep hidden.

  24. AN TEARMANN on 14TH DECEMBER 2022 2:51 PM






    Of all the identities you could have ascribed to me, why did you chose Andrew Smith?



    Do you harbour a particular grievance against him?



    Is there something you’re not telling us?



    Should he be concerned?

  25. Let’s meet have a pint,I will attend with those who have met you and you deny.



    It is fun to read someone prided on anonymity asking what is hidden.your persona is built of your hidden duality..


    The concern is why a Sotsman reporter is on a Celtic site under a false name.Thats the concern

  26. Paul,



    “never break your organisational discipline, make opponents work very hard for their chances and don’t ever get caught on the counterattack”



    Try Ibrox if that is your game.



    Another man said “pure beautiful football”. That’s my preference.

  27. Ernie



    Can you explain your last comment to me.



    I don’t quite understand it. Apologies.

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