Cluj on the break, Forrest, players come and go


The margin between great success and disastrous failure at this level can be paper thin.  Celtic failed to make the most of a 28th minute corner kick and within 30 seconds, Cluj opened the scoring.  Lewis Morgan missed a challenge in the 70 yards from goal and the inch-perfect through ball got beyond Boli Bolingoli for Mario Rondon to score.

We have seen many Celtic teams wilt after losing a goal away in Europe, but James Forrest made sure the same would not happen on this occasion.

Within nine minutes of the opener, Forrest played a give-and-go with the impressive Hatem Abd Elhamed, collected the return pass and shot, the ball clipping the inside of the post on its way into the net.  This passage of play turned the tie in Celtic’s direction.

While there is a high expectation Celtic will progress to the playoff round, our chances are no more than they were when we secured the same result away to Maribor in 2014.  There is work to do on Tuesday.  In particular, the nature of the Cluj goal is of concern.

Apart from one dreadfully defended corner, Celtic restricted Cluj to few genuine chances, but they were able to punish us on the break.  This will be the basis of their game plan next week.  Soak up as much pressure as possible and overload on our flanks when we are forward.  It does teams no harm to have a simple game plan.  We will need to be at our best.

More on Kieran Tierney later.  There will be chat like: “This is how football works and has done so for decades.  It’s why many players come to Celtic.  They come and go, our job is to understand how the sport works and to be good at it….”


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  1. There is VAT on transfers is there not?


    So £25m is £20.8m to spend?


    If we have spent 33% of transfer totals that is actually 50% of transfer cash received after deduction of VAT. Then add wages which can be as much as the transfer fee.


    Based on the above we should see £10 – £11m spent on the back of Tierney’s transfer with maybe a couple of contracts improved to keep others in the squad happy. Then it will all be gone!



  2. traditionalist88 on

    TIMBHOY2 on 8TH AUGUST 2019 10:56 AM


    Barker a decent player when playing for Hibs,On to the Motherwell game on Saturday,Neil Lennon,should rest a few players





    Its August, we need continuity and less chopping and changing. For now, pick the best available 11 and do what we can to set the bar high.




  3. Good luck to KT, got the move He wanted. He has decided to take more money over becoming a Celtic legend, like Broony and James Forrest have become. 2 guys who were brought up Celtic supporters, but hey there you go. We move on

  4. Ger 57


    At their goal Boli was covering a player that fell. The scorer ran off one of our midfield players who did not track the run which was the reason Boli was exposed. I notice that in real time but have not been able to find a highlight showing it.



  5. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    If Sinclair also leaves, potentially along with Jozo and N’tcham in this window, our wage bill will have plummeted in the past year. So many high earners away, replaced by cheaper alternatives – not least the manager. What are we doing with the money to ensure the team is stronger, or at the very least not weaker?



    Good luck to KT.



    Great result last night.

  6. Boli needs to be careful. Everybody here loves a scapegoat and a few more bad performances and he’ll be beyond the point of no return in many people’s eyes.



    I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Early signs aren’t great but notice how Jullien has been given time to settle and build fitness while Boli has been thrown straight in. Football is also about partnerships all over the field. Centre-backs have been chopped and changed (due to circumstances although I expect Jullien and Ajer to cement those spots) and he hardly had a world-beater playing in front of him in Morgan.



    Lennon himself said that the defence is a work in progress so unlike BR, at least he’s acknowledged that after years of neglect, work needs to be done – and it is.



    He performed well in a stronger league than ours so let’s give him time. I think he can also give us tactical flexibility too as he’d be good as a wing-back if we went to a three at the back and could also be used further up the field – especially if Lennon still wants another LB.




    “If Sinclair also leaves, potentially along with Jozo and N’tcham in this window”



    There are three “ifs” there. If Jozo was sold earlier in the window and a replacement found, I wouldn’t have been against selling him – or Ntcham but this late in the window, I’ll be surprised if either of them go. Sinclair looks like he could be off but he hasn’t performed well for a while now and with the emergence of Johnson, I’d happily take him off the wage-bill.



    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ntcham went in January with us going back in for Turnbull.

  8. I thought cluj were over physical last night.


    The ref was a bit lenient towards them.


    I also think the long DRY grass didn’t help our style of play.


    Hopefully it all comes together for us at paradise.

  9. Go tell the Spartim on

    Why would you listen to someone who writes someone off after a handful of games, i wouldnt but their opinion wont change regardless of how they perform.



    AJax, usually have a replacement lined up before they sell their stars, whether thats from their academy or another youth player or player from elsewhere, regardless of their being more competition in the Eredivisie this seems to be a good model to follow, we do not and never have, we sell first then try and fill the gap, thats the responsibility of one person and one person only and undoubtedly our strategy.



    PL does his masters bidding, and he’s good at certain aspects of his role, maybe our strategy needs to change/has changed/is going to change, who knows but he’s fair game after his “everything we earn goes back into the club” statement. Most Celtic fans are not obsessed with Balance sheets and Profit and Loss, unlike the majority on here, and they see money sitting in the bank, players sold for decent money (sometimes), projects bought, key positions not replaced at the most important, in european terms, time of the year, therefore its not difficult to come to the conclusion that we’re being shafted/gambling that we’ll have enough/or furiously working behind the scenes.



    Closingthegateoncethehorsesbolted CSC

  10. BHOYLO83 on 8TH AUGUST 2019 10:50 AM






    Forgot about Bayo.



    HH. 🍀

  11. BHOYLO83 on 8TH AUGUST 2019 10:52 AM


    As the Tierney saga has been going on all summer i would be amazed if Celtic haven’t got players lined up




    With the EPL window closing today, now is when we will make our move





    Well I was disappointed we didn’t follow up our interest in Perraud. Now he’s moved on. I’m hoping we don’t do something stupid and throw a bunch of money at Kilmarnock for Taylor. Like you say, we’ve known for a while so we should have a list of LB’s.



    I’d also like to see a RB.

  12. Ajax being put up as the example.


    Go back a few years and look at their results. Ajax tend to build a team then sell it. Then start over again. In the in between years they can be pants.



  13. Some of the Celtic Twitterati are at their petulant worst today.



    App uninstalled.



    Only good for draining the phone battery anyway.



    HH. 🍀

  14. glendalystonsils on

    Greg Taylor being lined up to replace Keiran Teirney?………….errrrr…………..NAW.

  15. QF



    Agreed on what you say about Ajax but would you accept us being pants occasionally if it meant the odd European final or semi-final?



    Not saying I would but just putting it out there.

  16. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 8TH AUGUST 2019 11:22 AM



    AJax, usually have a replacement lined up before they sell their stars,



    Haven’t we done that with Boli and KT?



    Ajax have the advantage of knowing when they’ll sell their their valuable stars and for roughly how much. None of our high value players have been the subject of significant interest from a lot of big clubs, even KT only had one club interested and there was no guarantee that arsenal were going to pay the asking price



    We’re different from Ajax.

  17. traditionalist88 on

    Multiply Scotlands population by 3


    Multiply Celtics TV income by 5


    Increase SPFL UEFA coefficient by 10


    Cancel Brexit



    Then we can make a serious case that we can achieve what Ajax occasionally do by going deep into the CL, selling their top assests for north of £60m-£70m, and convincing players in the £10-15m price range that coming to their league is a good career move.




  18. Just reading back from last night… 1st of all on Tierney. I wonder if those who are shouting the loudest about his departure are the same people who were convinced he was going to stay? If so don’t blame the player for your naivety. If you didn’t take the hint when we signed Bolingoli then the constant Arsenal haven’t met our valuation statements should have triggered the alarm bells. With Tierney injured Arsenal had no incentive to rush. I only hope we didn’t budge one iota from our valuation. PL could have said he’s not for sale and had an unhappy player, KT could say he doesn’t want to leave. The players wants to go, and while I am absolutely devastated, that’s completely understandable. Comparing it to Rodgers is ridiculous. Rodgers abandoned us mid season, this KT move has been on the cards all summer. The EPL is the place to play, Arsenal are one of the much hyped top 6. He’s just set up his family, friends and future generations for life. People saying he could have gone somewhere better, where exactly? VVD is considered a Ballon D’or winner and he had to go to Southampton. Only Larsson has left us recently for a club bigger than Arsenal and that was on a free. This idea that players should value winning trophies in a footballing backwater rather than playing for one of Europe’s top clubs is again steeped in naivety. If a player in the Scottish Championship turned down a move to Aberdeen for treble his wages because he wanted to win the Petrol Tank Cup then he would be a laughing stock on here. Ajax reached the CL semi finals and could well have won it and they have been decimated. Yes for bigger funds but then they were outstanding in that run to the CL semi finals and play in a better league. That’s just the food chain in European football and it’s about time some people reigned in their interpretation of where a team in Scotland can exist on it. I wish KT all the best, I’ll watch his career and root for him, at the same I’ll be delighted if he fails his medical and stays a few more years…

  19. Onto the game. Slight reality check from the weekend. Good result but a shaky performance at times. Look really vulnerable at set plays. Not just theirs but the amount of times we get countered from our own bad deliveries beggars belief. Bolingoli has been hammered, he needs time but you just can’t give the ball away as cheaply as he did in dangerous areas. We must be looking at someone to compete with him. Once again we created very little in the way of chances. But we did get into some good positions and our composure not for the 1st time away in Europe was poor. Simple passes that we do routinely in the SPL suddenly become 10x more difficult. I think at home with a quality pitch we should get the job done, but we will need to up the level again for Slavia Prague.



    Finally I’m not against selling Sinclair, if anyone watches the NFL, Patriots HC Bill Belichick is renowned for letting players go a year too early rather than a year too late, which we have done countless times over the last 20 years. Lambert, Sutton, Balde, Commons etc all did next to nothing in their last year except pick up a huge wage while sitting in the stands or doing their coaching badges. That said Sinclair, despite playing poorly of late, is still good for 15 goals a season. Johnston may be able to fill some of that gap but it’s whether those behind him (Morgan / Arzani) can replace him adequately as it’s unfair for Johnston to carry the burden alone. Can Shved play there or will Forrest have to switch to accommodate him? Still as many questions as answers from this team. RB continues to impress. Still a lot of players to come back from injury, and hopefully 1 or 2 quality 1st 11 additions to come in

  20. Go tell the Spartim on

    People forget Ajax have competition, effectively we dont, so whilst its a different animal altogether there are lessons we can learn, notably have replacement in situ before you sell.

  21. Can I just shout from the loudest rooftop



    Celtic40me thinks boli( the Belgium


    Anton Rogan) is KT replacement



    Ha ha ha ha ha Very funny mate

  22. And now onto CQN’s performance . . . .



    Anyone else having a problem of pages not loading or loading with only 1-2 comments on it during games? Last night page 3, 4 & 5 had one comment each during the game when I was clicking to go through the pages. This has happened a few times recently. Then, after the game, when I go back to look the pages are all there.

  23. !!BADA BING!! on 8TH AUGUST 2019 11:48 AM


    Rico Henry only played 40 games in 3 years





    NL said that was a non-story

  24. If you think about it, and be really honest with yourself, Sinclair has been pretty terrible the last two seasons



    Morgan, Arzani, Shved, Forrest, Hayes, Johnston, Karamoko, Oko-Flex all have something more to offer



    Anything over 2 mill i would bite your hand off




    I’m not sure Boli will be good enough to lace KT’s boots but surely the idea behind signing him was as a replacement. Don’t think we’d spend £3m on a back-up.

  26. Go tell the Spartim on




    No sh*t are we, i think i alluded to that all thru my posts and ive also stated there are lessons we can learn. Ajax set a price and have been negotiated downwards on all their sales, perhaps this is another example we should follow.



    In fact didnt the Celtic Legend Tommy Burns not go there to see what they did as part of his management development. Why cant our finance people do that too? or are they, like the accountants on here, all knowing.

  27. Sinclair we can afford to lose but apparently, there are no takers from England. Can’t see him moving abroad so he will be here for another year.



    The Ntcham stuff has gone quiet. Marseille were expecting to sell Sanson to an English team and sign Olly to replace him. Reports are that Crystal Palace had a bid rejected and Everton are sniffing about. Unless you see Sanson leave Marseille at the last minute, Olly will be here til Jan at least.



    The story about Jozo cannot be believed. Football Insider literally just make stories up with no quote and present it as an exclusive. No bid has been made and Jozo hasn’t agreed terms with anybody.

  28. SYDNEYTIM on 8TH AUGUST 2019 11:47 AM



    Whether he’s good enough or not it’s extremely unlikely we’re spending £3m on a back up left back. He looks like KT’s replacement at the moment



    Any more on Ajax’s business model or spending all their transfer income on replacements?

  29. Paul67 et al



    Great result last night no question. Showed a lot of character after they scored and especially in the latter stages of the game when we simply did not allow Cluj to play a settled game. Losing the goal in the manner we did was predictable, get a lot of players forward to the latter third, lose possession, and you will find that…….you’ve got a lot of players in forward positions. Maybe need a better balance there. That said our tactics did yield a goal, an equaliser no less and puts us in a good position for next week. Not sure why teams continue to play in Hearts colours against us, hope they do so again at Celtic Park, gives us a psychological advantage!




  30. Bada,


    very good ;-)))


    Re KT,if there was a sell on clause,and I dont know the answer to that,then there is nothing PL could do if Arsenal met the valuation.

  31. Go tell the Spartim on




    now im confused (not difficult i know) but Lennybhoy alluded to Rico last night and now it seems it was a non story, so a)who’s picking our signings (that old CQN perennial classic) or b) that was then and now its a goer.



    i think if Boli was as good as KT, he wouldnt have been £3m and KT £25m, so obviously NFL likes the raw materials he can develop. Im not one for pillaring a player after a few games, god, Petrov wouldve been driven to the airport several thousand times in his first year. I generally have no issues with the overriding strategy of buy develop sell, its just the manner of it. Its the football world we live in, just think we could be better at it.

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