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Champions comparable only to team of 2004, bury bad news

745

History will record that season 2012-13 was more successful for Celtic than season 2013-14 but the champions’ league performances this season have been comparable only to those of season 2003-04, when the club completed a 25 game winning streak.

With seven games to go we have already collected five points more than the team which reached the knock out stages of the Champions League last season, and this season we have had a worthy competitor for second place, who are favourites to complete the domestic treble of League Cup, Scottish Cup and Best of the Rest titles.

Kris Commons, Virgil van Dijk and Fraser Forster have correctly gained enormous plaudits throughout the season but the story of Celtic’s success is more nuanced.  We don’t just have a great keeper and a great central defender, we have a central defensive partnership which is better than either of the two partnerships I watched in the Manchester derby on Tuesday night.

In other times the story of our season would be the injuries at right back, but the standard of cover there, with Lustig, Matthews and Fisher, is such that no one really noticed.

The strikers didn’t really get going until Leigh Griffiths arrived in January, and much of our player investment over the summer missed the target.  This had consequences on the autumn, when we came up short of last season’s (over) achievements in the Champions League, but we have a plentiful squad of players, including Forster, Lustig, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, van Dijk, Brown, Johansen and Commons who are more than capable at Champions League level, with others knocking at the door.

Congratulations to Neil, his technical team, the many who work to keep the ship pointing in the right direction, some behind the scenes and some front of house, and to each of the players who left their mark in the history books.

On the equivalent day six years ago, we recorded that Gordon Strachan had joined Willie Maley and Jock Stein as the only Celtic managers to have won three consecutive titles.  Neil Lennon’s name is now added to that list.

With all this championship coverage, did the phrase ‘Good day to bury bad news’ slip into anyone’s mind?  “There is a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence”.

You know when your chairman tells you he has a reasonable expectation the company will continue in existence that there’s nothing to worry about.  All the doubters have been put in their place.

Seville – The Celtic Movement, is out now:


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745 Comments

  1. setting free the bears

     

     

    Thoughtful posts, but can we really use CL as a reliable indicator of progress/success? Imo, over the piece, this Celtic are a superior side to the one that triumphed over Barca (achieved with more than a sprinkling of fairy dust if we’re honest). It must be tremendously difficult to achieve consistent progress when lack of access (and at the same time proximity) to the big leagues makes you so vulnerable to key player departures, but somehow Celtic are managing it.

     

     

    Of course, I don’t see us lifting the CL any time soon. The ‘next-levellers’ won’t like me for saying this, but we have to see those campaigns as a bit of an adventure rather than using them as some kind of greatness-gauge (didn’t Tommy Burns say words to that effect?).

     

     

    The 1967 side belongs to its era, but I would see what someone was getting at if they believed Lenny & co are developing a team aiming for pure, beautiful, inventive football. And we’re getting closer year on year.

     

     

    HH

  2. bournesouprecipe on

    TopTip

     

     

    Infuriate Fartick Pistle fans by using online technology to gain entry to their stadium.

  3. Gérald766

     

     

    I beg your pardon?!

     

     

    No idea what you are talking about. You seem rather confused.

     

     

    Our manager is called NEIL FRANCIS LENNON.

     

     

    HH!!

  4. djynwa67

     

     

     

    I have the exact same problem with that Geordie fud. He constantly berates Celtic and the spfl. In fact he spends more time belittling us than commenting in his own team. For some reason toon fans think they follow a big team and not bottom to mid table mediocrity.

     

    I can’t stand toon fans.

  5. Mrs Bhoys3 and young Bhoys3 were sitting in with the Jags fans last night.She says that the home fans were quite vile shouting at our players but while waiting to join up with me after the game that the young police woman who was keeping the supporters back until our fans had dispersed was very courteous unlike some of our fans who were giving her dogs abuse.

  6. Tallybhoy, are you the hunfiltrator some seem to be referring to on here?

     

     

    If that’s true then i’m the Shah of Iran!

     

     

    Hail hail Tallybhun!

  7. hendrix67

     

    18:06 on

     

    27 March, 2014

     

    djynwa67

     

     

    I have the exact same problem with that Geordie fud. He constantly berates Celtic and the spfl. In fact he spends more time belittling us than commenting in his own team. For some reason toon fans think they follow a big team and not bottom to mid table mediocrity.

     

    I can’t stand toon fans.

     

     

    They seem to think a large stadium constitutes a big football club. Unfortunately for them they’re nothing more than a bunch of lawn bowlers.

     

     

    HH

  8. HT

     

     

    I don’t think my happyclapping has changed. It’s just that some of us seem to be over-estimating our team through euphoria.

     

     

     

    up_over_goal

     

     

    Fair points but we cannot escape using Europe as a measure too. We just need a longer sampling period. We are likely to be regular Group stage participants for a few years yet. I would not like to have to continue to occupy the 4th seed punch-bag role year on year. I’d like to have a tilt now and again, which we are still managing to do in recent years.

     

     

     

     

    TSD

     

     

    Only the 5th circle of hell? I guess you must have a view from below. It cannot be the 7th circle because you’ld run a mile away if it was offered. So are you speaking from a position of Heresy, Fraud or Treachery? Maybe you have a face and sign-in name, in all those camps.

     

     

    BTW £100,000 for Tony Watt from Airdrie. Research is not your strong suit.

  9. South Of Tunis on

    A League Title deemed worthy of 5 lines in the bottom right hand corner of page 23 in today s Fitba Pink ( Italy s biggest selling / most widely read newspaper .)

     

     

    ” perhaps the most predictable title in Europe “.

     

     

    Debatable —- Rube are 14 points clear at the top of Serie A . Easily the most consistent team in Italy. They broke a record last night ,. 15 Serie A home wins on the trot . Aided and abetted by the Ref denying Parma a stonewall penalty in the 89 th minute ..

     

     

    Cold and wet ,big hailstones -way down south

  10. Billy Bhoy 05 on

    Must admit getting p**sed about all the crap about NFL going to the EPL, even on STV a wee while ago.

     

    I would doubt if he would be in the running for any vacancies particularly when one considers the number of big name managers out of work down there.

     

     

    De Matteo won the Big Cup and he’s actively looking for something in England.

     

     

    Let’s enjoy the moment and look forward to taking Europe by storm next season. I reckon if we hold on to what we have, stay clear of injuries and get a couple of quality signings in we can really go for it.

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    UNREAL! Roddy just said Rangers were a perfectly viable club when Craig Whyte took over and the problems came from him not paying the tax!

     

     

    The reason he didn’t pay the tax was BECAUSE they weren’t viable! They had only survived the previous two years with CL money. Without that they were toast!

     

     

    Oh, and how did they plan paying back the debt to Lloyds…..?

  12. Firstly well done Neil Lennon, the players, his back room staff and the board, always great to win the league.

     

     

     

     

    Due to the Thistle statement and faux outrage by jags fans, I have decided to hit them where it hurts. I intend to boycott Aladin this year.

  13. Still waiting on a response from the following:

     

     

    Billy bhoy05;

     

    Clinko;

     

    Gerald766.

     

     

    Is there anybody out there?!

     

     

    If not, hope to meet you on the day oot on the 10th May.

     

     

    HH!!

  14. Stokesy was our best player earlier in the season – form which had been a continuation of the excellent he showed towards the end of last season…..then he signed his new contract before he seemed to dropped of the radar – some even thought he fell off the face of the Universe he was so pedestrian.

     

    Then he was introduced to his new strike partner & slowly but surely he has began to rediscover that excellent form (which he showed last year) over the past few games which culminated in lastnight’s sensational display. What we need from him now, is for the lad to find an acceptable level of consistancy (& maturity) so the fans begin to appreciate skills on the football field & not his Elvis impersonations away from the field.

     

     

    LongMayItContinueCSC

  15. kikinthenakas on

    Re our CL participation. I would like to see us do something similar to Benfica…finish 3rd in the group stages and go on a good run in the EL…they should have won it last year….destroyed spurs earlier this season and all the while gaining points for the coefficient. Who wouldn’t want another Seville…I think with a bit of luck and another couple of signings we could manage this.

     

    Thoughts?

     

     

    Kikinthenakas

  16. was Stoked not the first Elvis Impersonator Impressionist.

     

     

    ie a toe print up his bahookey

  17. Billy Bhoy 05 on

    Not about Independence but how the Labour Party that at on time supported and nurtured the working class and the less fortunate.

     

     

    They are now outdoing the Tories in Tory policies!

     

     

    They voted alongside the Evil Lot to cap the Welfare Benefits. Of course they also invented the Bedroom Tax

     

     

    As Iain Macwhirter writes in the Herald: “Labour has, through its actions in Westminster yesterday, legitimised the Conservative welfare agenda. The party that created the welfare state has lost the ability to defend its fundamental principles…Last week Ed Miliband accused Alex Salmond of mimicking Tory policies and abandoning social justice; this week the Labour leader stands accused of gross hypocrisy”.

  18. My friends in Celtic,

     

     

    Maybe Alan Shearer didn’t like the words to the Henrik Larsson song ???

     

     

    HH.

  19. captain clap

     

     

    18:31 on 27 March, 2014

     

    Firstly well done Neil Lennon, the players, his back room staff and the board, always great to win the league.

     

     

    Due to the Thistle statement and faux outrage by jags fans, I have decided to hit them where it hurts. I intend to boycott Aladin this year.

     

     

    BrilliantCSC

  20. Chris Bryant ‏@ChrisBryantMP 1h

     

    Big story breaking tomorrow about bedroom tax.

  21. kikinthenakas

     

     

    I think an exciting Europa run would be possible but winning it is a tall order. After all, we did not manage that in 2003. There were a couple of close run things on the way to the final. Vigo was a qualification on away goals, Stuttgart was 5:4 on aggregate and we were one goal away from going out. Against Liverpool and Boavista we had to overcome poor 1:1 results in the home tie. All of those were close run things.

     

     

    I have been watching RB Salzburg this year and was impressed by their offensive style of play. Having topped their group with 6 wins out of 6, a feat that proved beyond Fiorentina, Frankfurt, Sevilla, Lyon and AZ, who all won their groups, it was matched only by Spurs.

     

     

    In the last 32, Salzburg beat Ajax 6:1 on aggregate and they played great high tempo football in doing so. However, in the next round versus Basle, they drew 0:0 in Switzerland, giving the home team a battering, only to run out of steam in the 2nd leg. One bad game in 10 and they were out of the competition.

     

     

    This year, at the quarter final stage, we have Benfica, AZ, Basle, Valencia, Porto, Sevilla, Juventus and Lyon. I’d say that’s 8 CL level teams and we would be long odds in that company, if not the longest odds.

     

     

    So, in conclusion, Europe is hard at both CL and Europa level but being in one or other post-Christmas would be great.

  22. Newradbhoy 17:46

     

     

    I saw the ac/dc thunderstruck cover

     

     

    Was very impressed!!

     

     

    B-)

  23. Clyde spend almost first hour talking about Celtic. Is this a world record? How long can they keep it up? Depending, of course, on various uncle Tims.

     

     

    Over to Huns finances at 7.55?

     

     

    Now claim no phone calls about Hun finances. Do they have really smart switchboards that can detect negative Hun calls and ignore them?

  24. Still waiting.

     

     

    Will check back after I’ve had my dinner.

     

     

    Buon appetito.

     

     

    HH!!

  25. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS .........Praying for our WEE HERO! on

    Evening,all.

     

     

    I can exclusively reveal that TALLYBHOY’s Celtic credentials are beyond reproach.

     

     

    And that he is first on the bell in Troon when we get the gither again to drink his local dry.

     

     

    We’ve got it sussed,btw. He only drinks spirits,I only drink beer. We stop as soon as I’ve missed my last train.

  26. Kickinthe….

     

     

    If you could guarantee winning it I’m with you.

     

     

    Otherwise…I’ll just content myself with getting to the last 8 and taking our chances!!!!

  27. Now a numpty on Clyde saying what he ‘hinks’ about youth development. Desperate stuff. Going on for ages.

     

     

    No comments yet from panel about hun’s figures.

     

     

    Clyde, a Hun-free zone for an hour – who’d a thunk it.

     

     

    Next up – why the Highland League is vital to Scottish football.

  28. Why have the MSM got to print that McGregors bint is using Lennys lawyers?What has she got to do with our Manager?

  29. thebhoyfromoz on

    There was a bir of a discussion about a week or so on the blog, can’t remember the participants, about a brand of tonic water that made a good G&T great

     

    Anyone happen to recall the tonic water in Question?

  30. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    “We’ve got it sussed,btw. He only drinks spirits,I only drink beer. We stop as soon as I’ve missed my last train”.

     

     

    AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))

     

    till later all

     

    Championeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

  31. kikinthenakas on

    SFTB

     

     

    I agree it would be difficult in that company this year but as you say being in Europe after Christmas would be a bonus for the supporters and the players. Like you I have enjoyed Salzburg’s run in the competition but always thought they’d run out of steam but they played scintillating football during their participation. I don’t think a run is beyond us providing we finish 3rd. I also think some of the bigger teams do not value the competition as highly as we do and therefore tend to play slightly weakened sides, something that may be to our benefit.

     

    As a wee aside I am responsible for our run to Seville, a few of us decided we would go to every home and away game til we were knocked out….you know the rest.

     

     

    Kikinthenakas