Dukla, the tragedy and opportunity of the east


Celtic went into the home first leg of their European Cup semi-final against Dukla Prague at 1-1.  Two second half goals from Willie Wallace added to Jimmy Johnstone’s opener were enough to ensure a British team would eventually reach the final of Europe’s premier tournament.  The return leg finished goalless.

The clubs met 14 years later in the Feyenoord Tournament, when two first half goals from Murdo McLeod secured a 2-1 win.  Since then, European football has been robbed of its meritocratic principles, which allowed talented clubs a route to the top, no matter how rich or poor their domestic TV contract was.  Nowhere has been so brutally robbed as east/central Europe.

The 1960s-through-80s saw teams from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Poland regularly dominate clubs from Scandinavia, south-eastern Europe, France, and occasionally, all comers.  Eastern Europe remains one of the world’s most productive areas for developing talented footballers, but even the average ones are stolen for a pittance while still in their teens.

In the 60s, Dukla were a genuine leading light in the game, producing seven of the Czech team who collected runners-up medals to Pele’s Brazil in the 1962 World Cup, with peerless midfielder, Josef Masopust, picking up the European Player of the Year award that year.  They would have fancied their chances against Celtic in ’67.

Where great tradition and sporting affection exists, so too does commercial opportunity.  The people of east/central Europe just need to figure out how to harness it.  Uefa are Europe’s maker of competitions.  Their job is to establish the structures which allows great and successful sport to take place.  A modern-day Jules Rimet is needed.

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  1. This does look like our starting 11 for the game in Iceland.



    The senior pros don’t look to move the ball and move themselves as much as the youngsters did against Linz.



    Pitch might be crap but DP look very capable of handling all we have shown.



    Stokes booked for dissent.

  2. Very lucky there as 2-on-1 in the box squandered.



    O’Connell nudged too easily off the ball and at the other end Stokes get a booking for dissent. Frustration all round.

  3. Unlucky Stokes there as chance from 15 yards pushed wide.



    Then VVD has good shot saved.



    70 mins gone still 0-0

  4. Biton and McGregor coming on and Kayal and Derk off.



    Only question is why so long to take Derk off?

  5. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Pass & move (preferably into space) how hard is that to get into their head .

  6. McGregor involved in everything since he came on.



    Team playing better – coincidence ?

  7. Parkheadcumsalford



    Don’t think that Barca deserve any special tag nowadays as being more than a club.



    They aren’t.

  8. Judddddyeeeeeeeeeeeeee!



    (that top’s so ticht…………I can hardly breathe!)




  9. Istanbulcelt on

    I would love to own one of those two houses. Imagine being able to talk about football teams and football players and be able to say…..’ if they were playing in my back garden, I’d close the curtains’….and mean it!

  10. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on




    You asked me to let you know the next time Josh was playing up your way. 17s are playing in that Denis Law tourny in Aberdeen next week.

  11. Cadizzy



    As I sat in a lovely Gourock bistro today, sipping an ice-cold Peroni while gazing over the azure sea to Dunoon, I couldn’t help wondering how you could ever have left Inverclyde.



    Then, on the way home,as the traffic lights turned to green for go on the road through Greenock, a local character objected to me being on the road when he wanted to be there, threatening to lob his Buckie bottle at my wheels.



    I didn’t panic though. . . ,there was still a moothfae in it.

  12. Delaneys Dunky on




    Mssss Ralston? Who shall be obeyed?


    Well that’s ma weatherlady dominatrix fantasy revealed. ;)

  13. bournesouprecipe on

    Punishment detail completed……………………Saaaaahhhhhh.



    Not quite sure, what Ronny was trying there, especially with Stokes as a lone striker as any semblance of a partner was missing, and so was potency.



    Only real pass marks were in defence especially O’Connell



    Roll on the real thing CSC

  14. Celtic stepped up the pace in the last 20 minutes. Commons had a good shot blocked right at the end.


    I thought we were better with Biton and Watt for Kayal and Stokes.


    Virgil was class. Izzy our main attacking threat and occasionally Mathews.


    O’Connell looks very assured. Will Efe be back for the Iceland game?


    It was hard trying to break down a packed defence. When we stepped up the pace at the end we threatened more.


    Only a friendly. No injuries apparently.

  15. Last minute KC shot blocked for corner. All over 0-0.



    If Icelandic opposition were watching that performance they would feel little to fear. Definitely our poorest performance so far, so let’s hope that’s out of the system.



    Surely Pukki or Leigh will start and Ronny will think hard about 4-3-3 without wingers who can both penetrate going forward and track back.



    Need to play with a real CF and not two guys wide with KC playing deep (he was well off the pace today)

  16. Mon The Hoops! on

    Parkheadcumsalford 19:03 on 11 July, 2014



    Celtic keep their 100% record on Rony Deila, according to the commentator. Whit??? We drew 0-0 in, imo, a very poor game (or at least what I saw).





    Aye earlier he said “we are keeping the traditional 4-4-3 formation” ?!

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