Debuts aplenty but expectations tempered


The return of cherished players from injury is often anticlimactic as match sharpness takes time to achieve.  Not so with Reo Hatate on Saturday.  Apart from brief cameos against Ross County and Aberdeen, Reo had not seen competitive action since last season’s Scottish Cup Final.

We have to temper expectations for tomorrow in Rotterdam, our midfield fulcrum will not be fit for 90 minutes, but he surely showed Brendan Rodgers enough of what he was missing to play an important role for Celtic.  Without him, we look like a tribute act.

There was palpable concern at halftime against Dundee that we were watching a rerun of our previous home game, a no-scoring stalemate against St Johnstone.  Celtic were blunt and an ineffective Dundee managed to create the best chance of the opening period.  Taking an early lead allowed Brendan space to give debuts to Luis Palma and Paulo Bernardo.  Neither had enough time to shake the rafters of Celtic Park, but it was great to see the squad grow after so many injuries.

The first debutant of the day was Nat Phillips, who partnered Liam Scales for the first half, before being replaced by Gustaf Lagerbielke at the break.  It was Nat’s first topflight appearance of 2023.  Despite being the oldest of our fit central defenders, it would be asking a lot to throw him into the Champions League so soon.

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  1. Rodgers ever play a 442? Play Holm, Calmac, Reo and MoR tomorrow in midfield


    AJ. Lager, Scales, GT in defence.


    Kyogo and Maeda up front.



    Try to keep it tight and hit on the break.



    Yeah, I know, won’t happen .



    443 and a 4 goal trouncing more likely.

  2. Deniabhoy



    Taking some heart from your negative post.



    I recall you saying similar before our last big away match at ibrox a couple of weeks ago.



    Love the positive vibe.

  3. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    We’re not a Champions League level team and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we finish anywhere other than 4th even though we’ll never get a more favourable draw.



    Our model precludes us from being competitive at that level. We buy young and sell on after 18-24 months. You need to a build a team over a longer period to compete there. We are there for the themes tune, the increasingly condescending celebration of our atmosphere and the income.



    I don’t blame the club for this. The Champions League has become a soulless capitalist cabal and big teams from small countries are just there are group stage cannon fodder now. They’ve killed it with their avarice.



    I’d be ecstatic if we somehow managed to qualify for the EL because there’s no excuse for not competing there. Our euro record since MO’N left is not defensible. Europe is a bonus, the big prize in the next couple of years is catching and overtaking the (collective) huns on league titles and domestic trophies. We’re in good shape for that even if this team is discernibly weaker than Ange’s.

  4. glendalystonsils on



    ‘ Without him, we look like a tribute act.’



    As long as we don’t look like THE tribute act .

  5. The one thing Ange did (even on dips of form), was play Hatate; invariably.



    Thoughts on the strength and efficacy of our team compared to last season are premature until we see him in the team for a run of games, IMO.

  6. Paul: ‘Without him, we look like a tribute act.’


    Your imputation suggests that the new Celtic jerseys do, indeed, shrink for inferior players then ?



    Start with both Nat partnering Scalesy and Reo directing midfield [hoping Champs Lig is where he doesn’t hide].



    If we’re looking good after 60 – or if he and Nat are gassed – bring on fresh legs whose jerseys haven’t shrunk.







    Totally agree. this year’s league is vitally important and will be very difficult to win. The combined Establishment forces will add their weight to the Govan Brigade. The prolonged aftermath caused by a ref applying the rules will make other refs wary of falling foul of the hoards.


    Any sign of a disrepute charge for the Govan Guru?

  8. Capacity – 60,355.



    Celtic 3–0 Dundee Glasgow



    Reported Attendance: 58,928 (best of the season hurrah)



    Unoccupied seats – 1,427.



    Ergo –


    we gave Dundee to many seats that they did not sell



    we had too big a “segregation wedge”.



    Celtic season ticket holders in the “sold out for season books sections” couldnt be bothered to attend and for whatever reason dont pass on their tickets.



    1,427 – an under occupancy of -2.36%.



    Sold out indeed.

  9. PeterLatchfordsBelly on




    Because Sevco are rotten and we remain the best team in the country by a distance. We’ll also get better.

  10. Nat looked ring rusty on Saturday, we notably improved our distribution when Lagerbielke came on for him.



    However, tomorrow night will be all about pen box defending. Nat with his experience should be starting for me.



    Tomorrow night will represent a significant jump in quality from anything we’ve faced this season. I hope we compete and make them work for their goals should they score.

  11. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the Imperial Bar. With Leggy for a few beers. Let the good times roll 👍

  12. Saint Stivs – is there any official reason from Celtic as to why they won’t introduce a ticket exchange scheme? The investment to do so would surely be recuperated quickly? Especially when the club can take a cut from the additional sale.

  13. DENIABHOY on 18TH SEPTEMBER 2023 2:04 PM



    Saint Stivs – is there any official reason from Celtic as to why they won’t introduce a ticket exchange scheme?



    No official reasoning, when last raised it was a “wait and see” by mr nicholson.



    It is a poor show when badly run clubs such as 2nd rangers and hertz have these capabilities and celtic plc do not.

  14. Nat Philips needs game time or he will leave here in January with us wondering why he signed. He’s only good as cover if he is 90 minute match fit and sharp.



    So if he doesn’t play tomorrow night he must play on Saturday. Two tough gigs for a centre half.



    A needed signing but strange to bring someone in half fit as emergency cover.

  15. I expect Celtic to win every game they play in domestic competition. That’s actually not an ideal situation. In European competitions when Celtic score the joy I get is so much more than a domestic goal. Expectations are much lower but much more intense, a strange dichotomy. The Champions league is about turgid teams with more money than skill, Europa League is the real completion in Europe and the conference is for teams not quite there yet. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow night and the chance for ecstatic outbursts and wide eyed optimism. I’ll have more enjoyment just watching Celtic in a European game than almost any domestic game.






    Ps bit of an unstructured ramble; sorry about that

  16. I am finding it quite easy to draw a conclusion that Celtic PLC are not too concerned about maximum attendances at Celtic Park if it in any way creates a workload for the Ticketing Operations.



    The ticket office barely opens for f2f enquiries, what is it 3 hours a day or something ?


    They prefer online sales only.



    I am absolutely convinced they have “deadlines” to work to when offering up tickets and the electronic sales portal puts up a “sold out” banner when the timeline is up, rather than when all seats are sold.



    We will find out also in next few days if CL 3 game packages become available to existing SB holders to buy more, rather than a general sale.



    This happened last season, and I would argue it was because families could not afford the inflated prices.


    And that wealthier fans then able to buy while others are priced out.



    Ironically last season, single match tickets did become available for very short time as visiting teams and even uefa gave back tickets from their unsold allocations.



    Some say we just do enough to stay ahead of the rangers domestically, I feel ticketing operations “just do enough” to get from game to game, they dont work hard enough to maximise sales, if your at 97% seats occupied, well is that “just enough”.



    Dortmund has a 100% occupancy target for all games, they take a pride in having people sell out the stadium, there is something missing now in the celtic collective culture.



    We have some fans not going but wont pass on their tickets, and a club ticketing operations who are not measured on anything realting to customers feedback, unless someone can show me otherwise ?

  17. File under “och we canny be bothered”.



    Celtic ticket exchange clamour addressed by club as cautious timeline emerges for supporters’ ultimate wish


    The Parkhead fans may have to wait on the scheme which would allow season ticket holders to exchange their tickets.







    Celtic fans


    Celtic fans (Image: PA)


    Celtic supporter liaison officer John Paul Taylor has revealed a ticket exchange scheme it is not expected to be put in place for fans by next season.



    Similar initiatives are already in place at fellow Scottish Premiership side Hearts, which allows season ticket holders who cannot make a home game would put their ticket into a trade where it it is sold to another supporter. Some fans watching on the outside in Glasgow’s east end have pointed to empty seats being spotted during some games – such as midweek fixtures or night fixtures where it can prove more difficult for punters to attend. (or sunny saturdays in august raising a league flag still 1600 empties ss added)



    While the proposal has proved popular among Celtic fans it looks unlikely that it will be put in place next season as the club look to defend the league title under Brendan Rodgers after season books sold out again. Queried by a supporter online for an update on Twitter, Taylor said: “(It) Is being looked at but don’t think will be next season though.”

  18. bigrailroadblues on

    Ffs I’ve just noticed that Leggy is wearing slippers and his Grandads socks. He’s a dedicated follower of fashion. 😂

  19. Independent Non-Executive Director – Scottish Football Association


  · Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (Hybrid) 1 day ago · 18 applicants



    I applied for a laugh.



    I put Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond for my references

  20. The Huns and Hearts dont give cash for resold season book seats. The season book holder gets a credit on their account of 75 or 50% of the value of the ticket on their account that can be used in the club shop or put towards next season’s book.

  21. I dont think the numbers add up for a straight peer to peer cash sale, not at the scale we’d be talking about

  22. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Here’s a wee insight into how Brentford manage it…



    1. Season ticket = £450 minimum for 19 games – calculated at £23 per game. (That’s the lowest and could be higher depending on where you sit)


    2. Games are CatA or CatB. Cat A Game valued at £45; Cat 2 Game Valued at £40 (Could be higher depending on where you sit)


    3. If Ticket is sold on Exchange – ticket holder would be credited with £23 and club retain the difference for sale price (Club make £22 on CatA game; £17 on CatB game). No cash changes hands – member account is credited.


    4. Only “registered members” can buy a ticket on the exchange – membership registration is £40 per year.



    The Brenford ticket exchange and membership registration is outsourced to Ticketmaster – so there is a cost to the club in providing the platform.


    That said, even a small club like Brentford would pull in £2 Million a year if they had 5,000 registered members – now just think how many registered members Celtic might achieve.



    Brentford are also keen to maximize matchday revenue (a big criterion for Celtic) and would assume that an empty seat might cost them £15 a head on additional spend on a couple of beers and a pie.



    This season they have implemented “three strikes and you’re out”. If your seat is empty 3 times during the season and you haven’t tried to sell it on the ticket exchange, you lose the right to renew your season ticket next season.

  23. My friends in Celtic,


    Two quick points.



    If short term loan players are not able to play when needed, then what is the point. ?



    European success must be the aspiration for a huge club like Celtic. It should not be seen as a bonus, it should be the main focus as it reaches all the parts that domestic football cannot reach.



    It is the stage where we can demonstrate that we can compete with teams that we do not dwarf financially .



    Let’s end this underachievement in Europe.


    In Brendan we trust.




  24. bigrailroadblues on

    Shipbank Shipwrecks meeting called for Friday 29th September at 12 midday. Hope to meet friends old and new for good times and a few beers 🍻




    that was a great insight to how a club can operate the exchange scheme, really interesting.



    I like that 3 strikes and you are out rule.



    Holding a Celtic season ticket should be an honour and a privilege, and should be reserved for those who actually want to attend to support the team.







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