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. Have to laugh at the claims that the Ajax model allows them to spend big and have high levels of domestic success.



    When Ajax won their championship last season it was the first in 4 years. Prior to that they won 3 or 4 on the bounce which was after a 7 year drought….



    I’m not saying the Ajax system is not good merely pointing out they have peaks and troughs which all youth development policies have….


    Can you imagine the turmoil if we loose even I championship!




  2. playfusbal4dguilders on

    For what its worth, Talksport report KT transfer held up due to Celtic insisting on a sell on clause.



    Would have thought theta would have been agreed before he travelled.







    True but Ajax do play in a much more competitive league than ours.



    That said, there are dozens of clubs all over Europe who play in stronger leagues and have more resources than us who would love to have been in Ajax’s shoes last season and have the European history they have.



    It would appear that the “Ajax model” is fairly unique and easier said than done.

  4. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 8TH AUGUST 2019 11:56 AM



    No sh*t are we, i think i alludedIn 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.



    Their coaching and academy set ups are the best in the world, the gold standard that everyone has looked at at some point. They’ve obviously got an excellent scouting network in north Europe and South America. Also something to be looked at but it probably costs them a lot more than our scoring does.



    In terms of their financial management and their business model, from what little I know they don’t seem to be doing that much different to us, just on different scales



    It would be interesting to hear from someone who does actually know

  5. Go Tell- Boli’s first touch last night put himself and the team under pressure, he struggled after that, he’s too anxious and is nervous to me. Replacing a fans hero, and moving to a new country will make it all the more difficult. I have no doubt he will come good, he needs to relax, and play himself in to games.

  6. Go tell the Spartim on




    Like most things on Celtic blogs, its the view from the outside we have and we make our decisions on.



    They probably have different rules on work permits too, which also helps plus their reputation and proximity, better league etc so they’ll always have the advantage, our apparent advantage is the gateway to England, personally i think if we invested a bit more in our “projects” ie maybe a slightly better standard, our team would be better (tenuous i know as you dont know how they’ll perform until in the jersey) and maybe a better european footing which then gets us more exposure.

  7. Go tell the Spartim on




    i just think its madness to write him off, its been mentioned before he’s trying to hard, maybe now with KT gone (despite Talksh*T) he can relax knowing the position is his, the trick is of course that he doesnt then become complacent.

  8. Garngad to Croy on

    With three weeks left to go in the transfer window we have so far reduced the quality of our squad , let better players go and brought in inferior players. The biggest threat to Celtic is Celtic ,hopefully we get it sorted by the time we go to Ibrox .

  9. While Bolingoli did have a poor game he was not solely responsible for the goal.


    Morgan bottles out of a tackle on the edge of their box,allowing them to break,and the scorer runs away from Forrest who was picking him up at the half way line.

  10. traditionalist88 on

    NEVERALONE on 8TH AUGUST 2019 12:01 PM


    Have to laugh at the claims that the Ajax model allows them to spend big and have high levels of domestic success.





    Not sure anyone said that specifically, but the Ajax comparison rears its head increasingly on here, and its not really a fair comparison given the difference in the numbers involved.



    Celtic were also slated for only spending 33% of our income so far this window by a poster lamenting that we are not more like Ajax…before it was pointed out that Ajax have spent 31% of their income and that will decrease again when they sell Van De Beek and replace him with a player costing anything from £7.5m-£15m.



    Also very true that youth systems go through peaks and troughs. Man Utd will struggle to ever produce a crop like they did in the early 90s.



    And their own struggles in the transfer market should be an eye opener to us all. Knockbacks from De Ligt, Eriksen, Fernandes, Dybala no real interest in going there..




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


    Rico Henry won’t be happening.


    Rico was lined up, yes I know NL saying it was a non story, not totally accurate, we were interested, reason it will not happen is money, whether that is we were not offering enough to Brentford or the player is unclear.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  12. Go tell the Spartim on

    Ive a nervous feeling that we’ll purchase the two kilmarnock full backs and Scott McKenna,



    What a time to be alive

  13. Lennybhoy- Brentford have spent a fortune last couple of weeks, will be looking to bring some back in,they got Arsenals reserve LB for £3 m…..

  14. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    I see that Lennybhoy mentioned Rico Henry last night.



    Despite only playing 40+ games in 3 years, you would need to take into account that Brentford bring them in young and give them a season or two to make it to first team – plus Rico Henry has been playing fairly regularly recently since Brentford started to favour a back 3 with two wingbacks.



    That said, I reckon he is a bit short and lightweight to be an effective defender in this day and age – always looks happier in the opposition half in my opinion. Not crap – but I would be surprised if he was the answer to Celtic’s left back search.

  15. Ajax in the four years from the 2014/2015 season,



    Season. Cash surplus (€) League position. European performance



    14/15. 80m. 2nd. Group stages CL


    15/16. 70m. 2nd. DNQ CL, 3rd in EL group


    16/17. 65m. 2nd. DNQ CL, finalist EL


    17/18. 12m. 2nd. DNQ CL DNQ EL



    That’s a lot of money in the bank during a period of failure

  16. I thought last night was a very BR European performance, particularly in the first half. Very open, and suspect on the break from our corners/free kicks,where we lost another cheap goal.

  17. SSN look like they are using the casting couch from The Savoy (Glasgow) for new burds……

  18. Farewell KT, you served us well in your short but memorable time with us, and your love and commitment for Celtic should never be questioned. You can leave as a Treble Treble winner and part of a legendary period in our club’s history.



    Spare me the claims that Kieran is not a ‘real Celtic man’ or a ‘real Celtic legend’ like Broony and wee Jamesy. His situation is completely different to Broony’s and Jamesy’s were. Neither of those players were offered a move to a Premier League ‘top six’ side at this time in their career for the money that is being touted, and neither had achieved all they possibly could in their Celtic careers at that time. With the exception of 10, Kieran has done all he can for us – and it’s unrealistic to expect him to hang around and put his career on hold for that.



    KT will also know that his transfer fee can help us bury our rivals for the years and help us towards 10, he just has to hope it’s reinvested properly on the park and in developing youth in the right ways. But that’s not up to him to decide that.



    Loyalty is more or less dead in football – players have to think of themselves and take the emotion out of it more than they used to have to due to the money on offer. Just as much as we could have sold Kieran because he might have been too slight (see under Robertson, Andy), he could have left us earlier than he has, I imagine.



    Away from the money side of things, KT also owes it to himself to go as far as he can in the game and if he feels that means going to the Premier League and taking an incredible opportunity with Arsenal, who are we to judge how much he cares for Celtic.



    Best of luck wee man, you’ll always be a Celt in my eyes. And I expect you to be there for the celebrations when we reach 10IAR.




  19. We’ve all known and accepted for may years that we could not buy a team to compete at European level.



    The likely imminent loss of Kieran Tierney shows that now we cannot build a team by following our successful model of the late sixties/early seventies where we produced and retained top quality players who got us to European Cup semi-finals before they moved on in the mid-twenties.



    Not even Kieran can resist the lure of the massive contract. Professionally and personally, I don’t blame him in the slightest and wish him every success in the future but we face this depressing reality that players will go round the roundabout with us for a year or so and then jump off.



    Even re-investing the money from sales will leave us in a constant rebuilding phase with a likely pattern of Champions League one year/Europa the next as the vital early-season qualifiers become a lottery highly dependent on how new players settle in.



    The factor which will dictate our chances will be how successful we will be at developing our own players, either from the academy or purchased young from other clubs, and what value we get for them. Compared with most clubs outside the top leagues, we have done well with this but the evidence last night was that not being able to hold onto players like Wanyama, Dembele, Van Dijk and add KT to the list of losses shows that we will not have many players having the peak of their careers at Celtic.



    Scott Brown and James Forrest, and Callum McGregor so far, are exceptions in that they could certainly have gone to the EPL but what is the reality of keeping a full team of players who will devote their career to us?



    Pretty poor chance I think.





    OK – depressive rant over. Come on the Bhoys – onwards to Saturday

  20. LennyBhoy, I hope they were told forcefully and given no reason to come back with improved offers.



    As for Kieran, good luck young mhan, a star who shone for us for a time, but we are lucky to have had him, and how bright he shone!


    As for some questioning his loyalty, ffs, his first loyalty is to himself and his family.


    Good luck Kieran. Best fullback at CP since Danny.

  21. The very best of luck to young KT, you deserve it and thanks for all you did for Celtic.


    Can the board not get young Karamoko tied down on a longer deal with all the money coming in, and does anyone think we should try and get Victor back from Spurs????





  22. !!Bada Bing!! on

    BHOYLO83 on 8TH AUGUST 2019 12:59 PM


    My main regret with Tierney leaving is we never got to see him score against the Huns



    Give it time…..

  23. CENTENARYBHOY on 8TH AUGUST 2019 12:41 PM



    Excellent post. A reality check and an insight into basic football economics .




  24. NEVERALONE on 8TH AUGUST 2019 12:01 PM



    Great point. Some people can’t remember anything beyond last season.

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