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Celtic’s headwinds

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Let’s be honest, you and I were never completely comfortable facing Newco, or even old Rangers, with the wind at our backs and all indicators pointing green.  Celtic are at their best when they have the odds to fight against.  It has always been the case: Inter, not so much Feyenoord, Barca but not Molde.

When Neil Lennon eventually addresses his depleted squad after the Covid diagnoses of Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed, the enforced absence of Ryan Christie, the injury to James Forrest and who knows what after the remaining international fixtures and travel, he will not have a moment’s doubt.

Celtic are the champions because they flourish in headwinds.  Neil Lennon has now run out of fingers to count his league title wins, whereas others have no idea what it is like to win a league.  Despite being affected by Covid like no other club, there will not be a moment’ self-pity as the players prepare for Saturday.

There is frustration at the club that their safety protocols have not been matched by travel arrangements of various international teams, but that is a matter for official channels.  This is a confident squad of players who have what it takes to build league-winning campaigns.  I’m feeling OK about Saturday.

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  1. Good morning CQN from a dry but chilly Garngad

     

     

    Good luck tonight for Scotland but the real football will be this weekend when the Glasgow Celtic don those famous hoops.

     

     

    A day went by without a possitive test or Self isolation to our players. I hope we can get to Saturday lunchtime without anymore of this BS.

     

     

    COYBIG

     

     

    D :)

  2. Work beckons my Celtic friends, have nice day and remember whatever you are doing, wherever you are on Gods green earth stay safe.💚🍀💚

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Asta la vista

     

     

    D :)

  3. Do we play 433 with a RB on Saturday? With Frimpong playing more as JF’s replacement and with Bitton and El Hamed out, options are scarce – is Tony Ralston fit and ready? Frimpong is too good and too willing to drive forward to be forced to stay back, he needs cover behind him. If he is driving from midfield it will take of theirs to cover him

  4. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good morning all.

     

     

    Deniabhoy’s Frimpong comment got me thinking.

     

     

    Even in the highly structured modern game that first 1-on-1 duel between the wide attacker and full back is crucial.

     

     

    It sets the tone for the match.

     

     

    From memory – Barasic won a collision with Frimpong early in December’s game.

     

     

    Matched the run, his slide tackle scooped the ball and he then started an attack.

     

     

    Barasic’s confidence swelled and he went on to have a very good game.

     

     

    First chance Jeremie gets to isolate him – skin him!

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

  5. If the plan is to go with three at the back on Saturday and given that messrs Ajer and Duffy are currently on International duty I wonder whether the defensive time at training this week is being focused on moving Christopher to the left of the back three and building a relationship with our new bhoy Diego?

  6. BANKIEBHOY1, just the usual stuff. Someone’s money handed over, always OPM (Other Peoples Money).

     

     

    A wee aside: my neighbour is a bluenose (never a Hun), but still does not get my wee humorous dig relating to his wife’s car regi which ends in OPM. “What’s funny about that? I don’t get it?” says he.

  7. Any word on how the huns are not getting any positive related tests, anyone from authorities checking?

     

     

    nah didnae think so.

     

     

    D :)

  8. Play a 352 on Saturday, with Frimpong and Laxalt as wing backs, and we will destroy the tribute act, and put their hun monkey support, back in their box.

     

    Easy the leather belts!

  9. Yep.

     

     

    It would be nice to hear some interrogative questioning from the usual talking heads on a subject central to the elephant in the Bloo Room…………of scoddish fitba’.

     

     

    Aye.

     

     

    Jus’BeatThumCSC

  10. There’s little chance of us going to a back 4 – that would mean probably Ajer at RB and Frimpong on the right wing all game. Neither are suited to the roles.

     

     

    The one decision Lenny has regards the defence is who to play at LWB, the rest picks itself given our absentees.

  11. BLUEGRASS CELT on 13TH OCTOBER 2020 10:31 PM

     

    A sad state of affairs that we should put ourselves in a position of worrying about beating the new huns. Oh how our standards have regressed. How did we manage to get from being the gravedigger to handing them our shovels? Dearie me 😔

     

    ____

     

     

    They have got a hell of a lot better. That’s something that’s out of our control.

     

     

    They have gone from losing to teams from Luxembourg to making the last 16 of the Europa League and getting dumped out by a good Bundesliga side.

     

     

    Regardless of that, we have still dominated domestically. We’ve won the last 11 domestic trophies on the spin. The only thing preventing the 4th treble was a global pandemic.

     

     

    Maybe, just maybe, you should try and enjoy this unprecedented dominance.

  12. It’s my younger brother’s birthday today which every year sets me off thinking about those remarkable events about to occur on the 19th October 1957.

     

    I was living in the Gorbals back then.Dad was a fireman who worked shifts and had announced that he could not take me or my older brother to the upcoming League Cup Final on the 19th. I had just turned 10 years old and my older brother was 14. It was agreed he would take me to Hampden and look after me and for the occasion my Mum knitted a block green and white scarf.

     

    It’s amazing how down through the years the memory can be squeezed to catch flashes of that so very special day.

     

    Usual nerves on the morning of a cup final. Rangers are favourites and we have a gifted but inconsistent squad of players.

     

    It was a lovely autumn day and we set off from Crown Street up by Dixon’s Blazes and along Aitkenhead Road to the Celtic end of Hampden.

     

    I was placed strategically at the very front immediately behind the goal. Then the singing of the National Anthem which in those days was obligatory and met with a lusty rendition of the Soldiers Song from the. Elric end. I cannot really recall the first goal but do remember Celtic going 2-0 up and thinking we might win this cup. The previous year I had been at Celtic’s first ever appearance in a League Cup Final against Patrick Thistle drawing 0-0. Celtic won the replay but it was played on a Wednesday afternoon so as a 9 year old lad I had to attend St Luke’s school in the Gorbals. I remember very clearly our teacher putting a class radio on for us to listen to part of the commentary from Hampden. The radio itself was a great big box fitted to the wall so it boomed across the classroom. Celtic won the cup- and I wasn’t there. I had also been at the 1955 Scottish Cup Final when we lost an equaliser to Clyde in the dying moments and then lost the replay on the Wednesday afternoon. I was at that replay and recall walking back from Hampden in the drizzle with my Dad. If you attended the Raith Rovers Final at I Rox then you will recall the feeling of hopelessness. The following year 1956 it was Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final . I was in the north enclosure with my Mum and Dad. My Dad became involved with a Hearts supporter who called him a denial so and so. Bad move on his part. I recall leaving Hampden beaten 3-1 and the ground shaking with the roars as Hearts went up for the cup. Another cup final and beaten again.

     

    Back at Hampden in 1957 and we are 2-0 up and it’s half time. Dare to dream. Celtic scored a third up at the Rangers end but then this very clear image emerges of centre forward Billy Simpson heading home a cross to make it 3-1. Surely not. Half the stadium was a sea of blue . It was a feature of those games back then. Literally looked as though someone had coloured the terraces blue. In the end there was nothing to fear. 3-1 became 4-1 then 5-1 . At this point the bottles flew at the Rangers end. I could see they were fighting amongst themselves and the terracing was thinning. Celtic made it 6-1 and my brother ( Jim ) decided Wednesday should move to the back of the Celtic end. Older readers will recall the passageway which ran across the Celtic end . We took up position high up there just as Willie Fernie readied to take a penalty. It was now very gloomy but my clear recollection is the man beside me on the rail. He was apoplectic and pleading in equal measure for Willie not to miss that penalty. We were 6-1 up and beyond our wildest fantasy yet he knew the significance of getting that extra goal. Willie did not disappoint.

     

    Bright lights came on and lit up the presentation area and the Celts went up for the cup. Wonderful.

     

    Very clear images of the Celtic support heading back along Aitkenhead Road. A huge tricolour stretched across the road led the procession and another guy had a school janitors bell as the crowd sang “ the bells of hell”.

     

    We reached the top of Crown Street where the Greek Thompson church stands today beside The Brazen Head. The police laid into the crowd a bit more enthusiastically than mere crowd control required but that was how it was.

     

    Fist fights sporadically broke out the length of. Down Street but I hurried home with my lucky green and white scarf ready to talk my Dad through a day he would regret missing for the rest of his life.

     

    I guess he compensated for that miss by taking us all ( wee brother included ) to Lisbon. That’s another story.

     

    Good luck to the Celts on Saturday. I will be in London but my heart will be in Glasgow and I will remember that day all those years ago when Celtic absolutely thumped Rangers 7-1.🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

  13. Timaloy29,

     

     

    I’m sure bright bloggers here and supporters generally can both enjoy the moment and question whether complacency is evident. Huns have got better. Have we?

     

     

    Forster better than Barkas?

     

    Julien better than Duffy?

     

    Frimpong better than Lustig vintage?

     

    Laxalt better than Boli?

     

    Midfield still too reliant on an aging Brown?

     

    Ajeti better than the Griff?

     

     

    I think we have a terrific squad but has the first 11 upgraded or are we too reliant on those with the winning gene as the strategy ?

     

     

    They have a disciplined team with an understood system. Clarke showed at Killie you can go far on that even with inferior players. They have less reliance on Morelos for goals.

     

     

    I hope 10 months of Neil mulling that defeat will provide us with the win but our play this season has felt all a bit pre-season still, getting by on last ditch hail marys or moments of superior skill.

     

     

    I hope we hammer they bassas but very close to call. Worth asking : how did that happen?

     

     

    HH

  14. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Garcia Lorca on 14th October 2020 10:55 AM

     

     

    Great memories to hold. Happy Birthday to your brother who like most of us here didn’t attend the famous game. Keep flying the flag.

     

     

    Is it correct to think The Bells of Hell was the New York pub from where Black 47 emerged?

     

    —————————————————————————————————————————

     

     

    On the look out!

     

     

    This is a general request to anyone who holds a black belt, or the gumtree equivalent, in online retail activity.

     

     

    With the authorities increasingly requiring me to be muzzled as I carry out ordinary life, in turn I find myself requiring a silent statement rejecting their society in its entirety.

     

     

    A word to the wise here about a reliable source for a starry plough patterned face-mask would be very much appreciated.

     

     

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s printed, stitched, embroidered or ironed on. Any colour is suitable. Not Castore though, I have some standards.

  15. How did it happen?

     

     

    It was inevitable. All Empires fall and, one day, don’t know when, we will lose a league.

     

     

    No team wins for ever. These days you have to rebuild the team every year with half a dozen squad departures and a half dozen arrivals. When those who depart leave for big money, they are rarely replaced by better as we have to recruit from a less rich market than that to which we sell.

     

     

    We landed lucky when we replaced Moussa with Edouard. Eddy was not in Moussa’s class but, after 2 years here he was reaching those standards but, when he goes, we will have to repeat the trick againand might not be so lucky.

     

     

    We were not so lucky when we replaced Virgil, eventually, with a big punt on Jullien. I can confidently state that, at no time in the future will big Chris reach Virgil’s standards but he has proven to be a reasonable asset nonetheless.

     

     

    In our project buys, we have landed lucky with Ajer and Frimpong, both derided as “projects” when we acquired them but both quickly made the first team. There is bound to be a lot of wastage, however, in the prospects market, whether bought or loaned in with a view to buying, and Arzani, Musonda, Weah etc; were not successes.

     

     

    I remember, back in the 90s feeling that Pat McGinlay or Mike Galloway might be the final pieces in the jigsaw to get us back competitive with their financially bloated 9iar team but I was deceiving myself. It took the arrival of players like Van Hoojdonk, Di Canio and Thom to make us competitive but they were not the ones that eventually beat the old Rangers.

     

     

    Whne we won in 1997/98, we did not have a sperior squad to them, but we had one devloping genius in Henrik Larrson, we bought a backbone of dependable pros who were not intimidated by previous defeats to Rangers ( Reiper, Lambert, Burley, Boyd, Stubbs, McKinlay and O’Donnell) and we developed a couple of youngsters who had not been damaged too much by previous lost campaigns (McNamara and Donnelly). We still had severe weaknesses in the goalkeeping and subs bench realtive to them but, we had, at long last, got a squad together that proved capable of beating their battle -hardened superstars.

     

     

    They helped us a bit with this by announcing that so many were leaving at the end of their 10iar effort, that a bit of complacency crept in until it was too late to stop the slide. Still it was a damn close run and we almost threw it away ourselves ahving earned the lead with a few games to go.

     

     

    Sevco fans believe they have met their 1997/98 moment. They believe that Kent, Kamara, Morelos, Jack, Hagi and Barisic have got them to that level and they have surrrounded these with hard working cynical journeymen like Tavernier, Goldson, Davis, Roofe and Balogun. Personally, I think they are a bit short on the flair front and, certainly on the bench. Only Kent and Barisic have consistent excellence. Hagi and Tavernier can turn it on occasionally but have more off days than good and I cannot see Goldson & Helander as anywhere near the level of Stubbs & Reiper or Kamara & Jack being able to match Lambert & Burley.

     

     

    But, I might be wrong. All it takes to put us in peril , is a bad batch of injuries and suspensions, relative to them, or a Covid size hole in our team. We all fully expect a lot of departures once or if 10 iar ha been achieved but , so far, no-one has made the mistake of announcing they are going in January or June, so we learned one thing of value from their lost 10 campaign.

     

     

    I genuinely believe that we will prevail this season, Covid allowing, but, with a massive re-build ahead of us as we see retirals and transfers being sought by players who have “done it all” up here, I would not be laying odds on us making it 11.

     

     

    But, it was always going to be closer. We play each other in a competitive league, 4 times each season. Teams that beat us in one out of 4 of those games are heartened that they can do it again, Before you know ith they are winning half of these games or more. That’s how a title gets lost.

     

     

    We might lose out on 11iar, 12iar or Xiar, who knows, but we will oneday lose it, that is a safe guarantee

     

     

    On the bright side, competition, believe it or not, is good for us. We become a better team when challenged. Constant winnig with ease might be good for spectators hearts but it is not good for the developmet of a team.

     

     

    I want a challeng but I want us to triumph in that challenge. It is an age old sporting dilemma. If you wnat o better yourself, you had better experience defeat occasionally and take lessons from it.

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