Echoes of greatness in Imperious Celtic


There are good ways and bad ways to win the League Cup; yesterday was perfect. The atmosphere reminded me of the 1997 final at Ibrox, where a similar result was achieved against Dundee United. That was our first League Cup in 15 years, but there was a more substantial reason to be optimistic then. At that moment, we began to believe that this could be the start of something significant.

Contrast that with the sentiment two seasons later, as we left Hampden having beaten Aberdeen in the same final. We’d won a trophy but celebrations were muted. We were miles behind in the league and that season had splurged significant resources on players who failed to deliver.

Celtic’s performance yesterday was imperious. It was controlled, oozed competence throughout the team and subjugated the second best team in the land with little fuss. Dare we start to believe we are at the start of something significant?

We dare.

The “start” of something significant is an unusual phrase to describe five-in-a-row champions, but having plateaued as merely champions in recent seasons, the Celtic Movement is on the march again.

These are exciting time – enjoy them.

What did you like most about the win yesterday? I’m really pleased at how effective and important our central defenders are becoming. They helped deliver a trophy without the loss of a goal in any round, but, more importantly, Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko regularly morph into deep-lying playmakers.

At the opening goal, Simunovic wasn’t so deep-lying. Having carried the ball into the opposition half, he won a tackle 30 yards from goal before feeding Tom Rogic. Can you imagine how disruptive it is for opponents to have to deal with a central defender that high up the field? Who picks him up and what are the subsequent consequences?

Those of you old enough to swoon at the great No. 14 will remember when the world first discovered Total Football. As I watched Scott Brown drop behind his own defensive line to create space for others to move into it all came flooding back. The concept which ‘did for us’ a couple of times in the 70s echoes in what you’re now watching. This is Total Celtic. It’s difficult to get right but if you achieve it, it’s very difficult to play against.

This is why we’ve won a cup without conceding. This is why we plucked a guy from Fulham who appears to have geometrically appreciated in value. This is why a guy who didn’t get a lot of football at Aston Villa last season was given special treatment by Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. This is why Stuart Armstrong and James Forrest are looking like new, better, players. They’re not, they are just working in a vastly better system.



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  1. Rowley Birkin QC on

    Domestic honours: Trophy case at Celtic Park





    Scottish League Championship: 47




    1892–93, 1893–94, 1895–96, 1897–98, 1904–05, 1905–06, 1906–07, 1907–08, 1908–09, 1909–10, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1915–16, 1916–17, 1918–19, 1921–22, 1925–26, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1953–54, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16





    Scottish Cup: 36



    1891–92, 1898–99, 1899–1900, 1903–04, 1906–07, 1907–08, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1913–14, 1922–23, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1936–37, 1950–51, 1953–54, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1994–95, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2010–11, 2012–13



    Scottish League Cup: 16




    1956–57, 1957–58, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1974–75, 1982–83, 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2016–17




    European Cup:




    Winners: 1966–67




    Happy birthday to Julia!



    I know you’ll be spoiling her.



    That’s what Dad’s do!

  3. Rowley Birkin QC on

    LOSTINBENIDORMONTHEWAYTOBARCA on 28th November 2016 12:29 pm



    Is there not a fairs cities cup in there too?





    Only counting the major trophies for the 100.




  4. Reasons for having a Monday Club



    trouble-shooter’s guide to alcohol








    Feet cold and wet.


    Glass being held at incorrect angle.


    Rotate glass so that open end points toward ceiling.


    Feet warm and wet.


    Improper bladder control.


    Stand next to nearest dog, complain about house training.


    Drink unusually pale and tasteless.


    Glass empty.


    Get someone to buy you another drink.


    Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights.


    You have fallen over backward.


    Have yourself lashed to bar.


    Mouth contains cigarette butts.


    You have fallen forward.


    See above.


    Alcohol tasteless, front of your shirt is wet.


    Mouth not open, or glass applied to wrong part of face.


    Retire to restroom, practice in mirror.


    Floor blurred


    You are looking through bottom of empty glass.


    Get someone to buy you another drink.


    Floor moving.


    You are being carried out.


    Find out if you are being taken to another bar.


    Room seems unusually dark.


    Bar has closed.


    Confirm home address with bartender.


    Taxi suddenly takes on colourful aspect and textures.


    Alcohol consumption has exceeded personal limitations.


    Cover mouth.


    Everyone looks up to you and smiles.


    You are dancing on the table.


    Fall on somebody cushy-looking.


    Drink is crystal-clear.


    It’s water. Somebody is trying to sober you up.


    Punch him.


    Hands hurt, nose hurts, mind unusually clear.


    You have been in a fight.


    Apologize to everyone you see, just in case it was them.


    Don’t recognize anyone, don’t recognize the room you’re in.


    You’ve wandered into the wrong party.


    See if they have free alcohol.


    Your singing sounds distorted.


    The drink is too weak.


    Have more alcohol until your voice improves.


    Don’t remember the words to the song.


    Drink is just right.




  5. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Re the numbers trophies seen or won as I have said before it just means that you are older or were taken there earlier than others! However no many how may have seen you won’t have seen or enjoyed one any more than yesterday. We were awesome and not one failure among the team. It is great times to be a Tim!

  6. Paul67,



    John Hartson, given what he has went through, would not be saying what he said in front of Millions, unless he mean’t it.



    He was calling is as he saw it. EBT ECK was squirming.

  7. Lostinbenidorm



    Your bronze is just as good as first place, the main prize was yesterday :-)




  8. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Paul67, I agree with most of the article. However, we discovered total football prior to the great number 14 or any other Dutch player; it was premiered on the European stage from 1966 onward with a grand finale at Estadio Da Luz on the 25th May 1967.



    The Dutch learned from there.




  9. Well said. Brilliant day yesterday topped off with the ‘100’ display and BR’s comments in the evening.


    There was magic in the air! And that’s something to be treasured.

  10. Coisty was pressured into taking a reduced pay off.




    His reputation was trashed (largely due to his own incompetence right enough).




    He owes them nothing



    I beg to differ, if my memory is right McCoist negotiated a wages knock down at the table with Sevco, while sitting at the table with contracts from Sky and BT in his back pocket unsigned, he took the deal from King and signed the BT contract the next week,, no flies on that wee fat sleekit bassa.

  11. Here are my latest.



    One about apparent double-standards at STV:





    One about the secret to scouting success:





    And a final plug for my piece on child abuse which went down very well. Very grateful for the reaction to it. Please share and help to embarrass the morons.



  12. Had a wonderful day yesterday, one of the most comfortable Cup Finals I have had the pleasure of attending.


    Great times ahead indeed.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    You are correct and I have seen that acknowledged.



    I think, if I remember correctly, Jonathan Wilson in his book, Inverting the Pyramid, pinpoints Stein’s Celtic as the team that introduced the total concept.

  14. Big Peat of Islay on

    Good article.



    Five in a row. (Should be more)



    But I feel too, that we are just taking off.



    We might just outdo the Stein run if we manage our dominance.



    The time to kill off any orc opposition is now.



    They seem to be imploding, but by investing up front we can help them along.



    It’s always a good time to be a Tim, but it feels special today.

  15. Big Peat of Islay on

    TWISTS N TURNS on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 12:50 PM


    Surely it was Broony who won the tackle to feed Rogic? Or is it specsavers for me?






    Blind as a bat you are.

  16. Big Peat



    The huns aren’t even close to us, Aberdeen are our only challenge and we put them firmly in their place yesterday :-)

  17. Big Peat of Islay on



    Big Peat




    The huns aren’t even close to us, Aberdeen are our only challenge and we put them firmly in their place yesterday :-)






    Exactly my point. We want to keep it that way or better. Kill them off now for decades to come, if ever they last that long.

  18. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Peat



    I would rather Celtic concentrate on Celtic …. leave others to wallow in their hatred, we have something special in Brendan

  19. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Twist and turns,



    No, it was Jozo.


    He beat one man, but over ran the ball into another tackle, from which the ball broke back to him.



    He then slipped the ball to Tom, whose scuffed shot trundled into the far corner of the net, past the unlucky keeper, who would have saved it if he had hit it properly!

  20. ADVICE please ?


    I will be in Glasgow city centre on Friday morn on personal matter.


    Would I be okay to turn up in the BV, ?


    I wouldn’t be having dinner etc, just drink !


    I wouldn’t like to thought of as being a ” gate crasher”


    Can someone advise asap ?



  21. While yesterday was great, in the grand scheme of things it means little. We’ve made great progress and a loss yesterday would not have undone all that. Yes let’s take the cups when they come but the real prize gets awarded every August. This club needs champions league football to bank roll the Rodgers era. ”Tis important now that he’s backed in January and gets us ready for the summer qualifiers.

  22. thomthethim,



    He done fantastically well. It summed up Celtic as he done a Tom Rogic Pass when it looked like he lost the ball in a non Dangerous area.

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