Cynical look at coupon busters


Astra started their season on a historical high, eliminating Lyon from European competition, but their 8 games since August have brought five defeats, two draws and a solitary win against opponents currently 14th place in the Romanian league.

On paper this sounds as straightforward as previous European ties did against teams from Karagandy or Maribor but as we found out on those occasions, European ties are seldom straightforward.

The cynic in me suggests there is more going on at Astra than meets the eye.  Any team who can win in Lyon would be heavy odds against shipping three goals in the cup to lower league opponents a few weeks later, which Astra did.  They then turned up away to league leaders Steaua Bucharest to keep their only clean sheet since August.  Another coupon buster.

Astra, it would seem, are a gift to those who bet outsiders.  They are long odds tomorrow, so I’d caution against backing Celtic for a comfortable win.  The visitors will apply themselves, just as they did earlier this month against Salzburg, who won by a single goal.

The Celtic books we have published in recent years have been a real labour of love.  After a biography of Willie Wallace and a football journey from Tommy Gemmell, we published your story of Seville, a record of its impact on the Celtic Movement.

Today we launch Caesar & the Assassin, the accounts of Billy McNeill and Davie Hay as Celtic managers, told in their own words.  It documents the period of our history from when Billy took over from Jock Stein in 1978, through to the end of his era 13 years later, including Davie Hay’s four years in charge.

Most of us lived experienced that period first-hand but it has been an absolute education to read about the games and events which we watched as spectators from the managers in charge.  It’s the best CQN book yet.

The first batch of orders will receive a copy signed by Billy and Davie, more here.

If you fancy watching Sunday’s game against Kilmarnock in comfort…….. We have secured another pair of Premium Seat tickets for the Jock Stein Stand from Celtic sponsor Magners. To win the tickets answer the following question:

Which country do Thursday’s opponents FC Astra come from?

Optionally, if you have £1 available, please donate it to Mary’s Meals at this MyDonate page, which will send your £1 straight to Mary’s Meals, then send me your contact details (with or without donation confirmation) to celticquicknews@gmail.com

Competition closes tonight (Wednesday) at 10pm, so get your entries in now and watch your inbox Thursday morning. You can donate more than £1 if you like, of course. Terms and conditions are available here.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet 09:58 on 22 October, 2014






    Does SuperSally no live in EK? he may be available soon.

  2. Astra had the greatest asset in football against Lyon.



    The element of surprise.



    Celtic will deal with them early on Thursday. 3-0 win.







    Let’s get quizzical with the eagerly awaited return of the Lunchtime Quiz.



    Celtic have won nine Champions League away games since its inception between qualifiers and group stage.



    How many of the nine defeated teams can you name?



    ***The rules of the game are always the same. No search engines please, you’re just cheating yourself.***



    So far you have five:




    Spartak Moscow


    Dinamo Moscow




    KR Reykjavík



    Afraid the Malmo game only occurred on your xbox Livibhoy

  4. 12:47 on 22 October, 2014





    I have had a higher regard for JMac than you, I felt the club treated him shabbily in as much as they gave him their best offer when he was in his car on his way to signing for Wolves. A captain deserves the clubs best offer first time.



    However his little intervention yesterday sickens me and I am now less inclined than I previously was to consider him a future manager of our club. A very poor show from him.

  5. Oleg Protasov



    “If we don’t win the Europa League is finished for us.”





  6. jamesgang



    12:47 on 22 October, 2014





    Good positing mhate.



    Well done also with your 5-0 Ross County prediction though to be fair you’re a complete stuck record on that one…..



    Celtic away to the Camp Nou.


    0-5 says Livibhoy and Griffiths DEFFO to start this time!!!









    Have to say that if (when?) the CQN lunchtime quiz was ‘guess who’s got an allotment?’ Then you would have been the CQNer I’d have thought of!!!



    HH jamesgang

  7. LiviBhoy


    12:46 on


    22 October, 2014


    Astra had the greatest asset in football against Lyon.



    The element of surprise.



    Celtic will deal with them early on Thursday. 3-0 win.






    I hope your prediction is correct, the earlier the better 3-0 by half time and i might even be able to watch the second half C.O.Y.B.I.G.








    I’ll bet yer Dad will be out tonight.



    Either with your good self,Paul,or his mates.



    He probably looks a damned sight younger now too. Them’s the rules up there.

  9. jamesgang



    Hahahahaha. If you continually say the same thing you will be right one day.




  10. Livibhoy



    You are usually so good at these quizzes.


    Alas, you self-correcting has still led to a Family Fortunes Ah-Ahhhhh



    Celtic won the home leg 1-0 with a goalless draw in the away leg

  11. LB






    You get a lot right. Esp on the bigger picture stuff. And that’s the trickiest of all.



    HH jamesgang

  12. ***Today’s shared prize goes to Livibhoy, Philbhoy and the Googler Gordon***



    Gie they guys a coconut

  13. cliftonville celt from belfast on

    From the BBC website :



    King, with like-minded fans, has provided a potential solution to the club’s problems. If the shareholders were to vote against it, there would need to be an alternative or RIFC would face potential administration.



    RIFC ???????



    Policy change from the BBC ?

  14. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma



    I appreciate your point of view, mate.



    ‘A win is a must – even at 1-0 – however nervousness and lack of confidence can be seen and smelt — by the crowd and the opposition.



    We have to go out with an attitude that we are going to boss this team from the outset.’



    I am confident Ronny will send the boys out confident and with a view to press Astra when they have the ball and get forward in numbers when we win it. The concern is that our fans see this as a gimme so if the Romanians prove stubborn then frustrattion will kick in and that will add more pressure onto the team.



    I actually saw the Maribor game very differently from you:



    ‘Against Maribor Ronny made the fatal mistake of giving them the ball and prissying about without the ball as if Maribor were Barcelona or Real Madrid.



    We had no outball up the park and they had nothing to worry about and so came forward at will and with no hesitation.’



    In the away tie, from what i recall, you could hardly tempt Maribor out of their half…. They gave us the ball.



    At Celtic Park we had a dilemma, we didn’t need to score unless they did so we chose a very cagey approach. I can see why. It didn’t work out on the night but I certainly don’t think we gave them too much respect.



    For me, I have been a really big supporter of the new regime and a big question will be whether KC is back in or not. If he is, i’ll be disappointed.

  15. LiviBhoy (12:10 on 22 October, 2014), I agree with the principle of your argument.



    In my opinion the CL group stage (32 teams) should involve the Champions of the top 24 European nations plus eight additional teams who have successfully navigated the qualifying rounds.



    There are numerous ways in which UEFA could configure the qualifiers, and these would include (at some stage) teams from the major nations which did not win their domestic leagues.



    The financial power of the competition would be maintained, as it would still be Europe’s premier club competition, and the elite clubs should generally still manage to qualify, and the qualifying stages would be far more interesting (and commercially rewarding) as a result of the involvement of many of the bigger clubs. Also, smaller clubs such as Ludogorets Razgrad, Strømsgodset and HJK Helsinki would have the chance of a bumper game against the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund or AC Milan.



    What’s not to like… unless Scotland falls to 25th ranked country (from its current position of 24th!)?




  16. Guys just sent the details to buy a book for my Faither, it took my card details but little else except:



    Order Status


    ORDER NUMBER: CQN279 Payment has been made for this order but it has not successfully recorded onto our system. Stock levels will need to be adjusted manually and payment manually checked with Stripe.





    You nailed that one,mate.



    We can all turn up to their funeral wi our dancing shoes on.

  18. guernica 13:04 was with you right up to the last sentence but thats the beauty of this blog we can agree on some or all things but one thing never changes Our love of Celtic Baaaaaa




  19. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Jamesgang, you never struck me as being the type to get bevvied oot yer nut on a school day on an early session:-).



    Burghbhoy, I’m going to the bookies with your prediction after your sensational crystal ball job at the weekend.



    27 hours to go then it’s off to paradise.

  20. Ol’tim,



    Smashin Milk Bottles is doing that Celtic Slide and is looking for Sponsors, thought you’d like to know.

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