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. Big Peat of Islay on

    PETEC on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 1:01 PM



    Pity you suffer from extreme disturbance to the mental humors.



    If you cannot be civil be silent.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Jimmy



    Am sure you will made more than welcome in the BV, I would love to join you for a pint or 10 but after yesterday’s escapades Miss GFTB says am not allowed out again

  3. Big Jimmy,



    I believe there’s an open invitation to the BV. I cannot speak for the persons attending, but they always make everybody welcome.



    Enjoy your swally, one things for sure . You will be in fine company.




  4. Not had the chance to sign in a gloat at a fabulous win in the diddy cup.



    It’s never been a trophy I have particularly cared about since they moved the final back out into the second part of the season. Now that it has it’s place back in the first half of season it is on my radar again. It is on it’s own just a diddy cup of little worth or value but winning it early in the season offers the players and fans confidence while tearing that same confidence from others. With our domination of the league so far all others must now be looking at us, and at the ease with which we won the final and be thinking ‘Oh FCUK is it ever going to end?’.



    Now that the diddy cup is won and the foundations have been built to secure the League the treble is on. I look forward for once with interest and heightened anticipation to the next two transfer windows to see just how serious our club is in making in roads in the Champions League.



    The future is most definitely Green & White.



    I was at a Christening yesterday so only caught the second half prior to watching a full re-run of game straight after. There was not one failure in the team. The only let down for me was Brendan not giving LG the last 20 minutes after the 3rd was scored.



    A small thing but it would have been nice to see Leigh get on and hopefully on the score sheet to.



    If we do go on to sell Moussa we will once again have to turn to Leigh for his goals. let’s face it, even with the reputed £20 to £40 million we might get there is not a hell’s chance that all of that will be spent on bringing in a striker. And even if Brendan got all that cash would it be possible to tempt a striker in the £10 to £20 million bracket to some to Scotland and would he even consider it rather than stretch it out to buy a few players for 2 or 3 positions. The club could also go down the Moussa route again but there are no guarantees with that route and I think we have been very lucky on this occasion to have secured the youngster at such little outlay. Leigh therefor should be given as much game time and opportunities, to keep him satisfied and make him feel part of the team, as at this time he certainly doesn’t look like he does to me. There will come the day were we will need to turn to him again and rely on his goals.






    MWD who give a flying PIG about Sally McMoist! It’s all about The Celtic.

  5. I’d like to put out a special mention to Mikael Lustig. Another accomplished performance yesterday, and seeing his immediate post match reaction, and subsequent celebrations around the track etc, you can clearly see that he “gets” Celtic.



    HH Mikael!

  6. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Gerryfaethebrig on 28th November 2016 12:54 pm



    GFTB, it’s no’ often yer right, but yer wrang again!¬ :>)



    It wiz Jozo ya bozo!





  7. League Cup? It means everything as does the Scottish and the League. I want Celtic to hoover up absolutely everything. Hail Hail.

  8. VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821



    It was Estadio Nacional not Estadio da Luz. Don’t go to the wrong stadium for the 50th anniversary…;-)

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Am used to being incorrect, it was Jozo, in my defence I knew it was one the baldy guys wearing the hoops and after copious amounts of magners & jack Daniels it was an easy mistake to make :-)

  10. Most significant aspect of the win for me was that I haven’t even seen it mentioned that it came on the back of a hard, hard game against Barca. Producing those levels of performance bodes well for the future; doing it back to back even more so.

  11. Paul67



    Good article



    Better players under Brendan Rodgers or better players because of a better system.



    Emilio Izaguirre is the latest in the squad to have ‘suddenly’ become a better player playing for BR, whilst before he was isolated like Forrest , and Armstrong .



    The defence has been worked on with better coaches we must buy again very wisely to kick on to CL level, whilst being untouchable in Scotland.

  12. Paul 67


    Agree a system that suits that has had casualties in that we do not play regularly a 40 goal season striker, stay patient Leigh like Izzy your chance will come, I think in December as we have a huge amount of games, I would like to mention the conditioning and fitness of the players which has improved markedly from the last couple of years , well done to all involved the players for their application to be stronger faster and fitter and to the fitness conditioning staff, it is very obvious to me we are now no pushovers.

  13. Happy days are here again


    The skies above are clear again


    So let’s sing a song of cheer again


    Happy days are here again…

  14. I wasn`t bothered by the foul count yesterday,as over the last couple of years we`ve been bullied out of games by lesser teams,we were agressive, very competitive and set out to dominate our opponents.This is what I expect Celtic teams to do,the foul count is immaterial as far as Iam concerned.

  15. ..






    Very well Put Re; Griff.. Hlad to see someone thinking the Same as Me..



    I was Ill during the Night so have just now watched the Match.. when I woke up and read the Article on the Match I too thought it was a Insult to Griff at the Least..



    Having watched the Match and what I thought all along for this Cup was Rodgers was Desperate to Win it.. So he sent a Team out Not to Lose.. His Achilles Heel at Anfield was Losing 2-3 Goal leads and Not winning..



    Having watched the Second Half I understand why he only intended to give Griff 10 Minutes then Celtic held Posetion for 5 Mins..



    How Evva ..



    He (Rodgers) jas a Massive Decision to make in the Next Few League games Re; Griff as He is Without Doubt our Best Striker Finisher..



    He ran up the Tunnel when the Players were doing a Lap of Honour.. Glad he came back and Joined in and Looked Happy during the Celebrations..



    December will be a Critical time in Leigh Griffiths Career..






    Cheers Bhoys for the advice.


    I’ll certainly pop my head in the door.


    GFTB, just tell the missus whos the boss !


    PS don’t tell her I said that .



  17. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Moonbeams Wet Dream on 28th November 2016 1:23 pm



    My own opinion is that the League Cup may take greater significance if the Deid Club struggle to get Europe; a place in Europe may become a reward to the victors as it did (if I recall correctly) in days of yore.



    As far as Shorty goes, Brendan disnae do sentiment I don’t think (ask Toure and De Vries). He will get game time when Brendan thinks it’s time.





  18. SUMMA OF SAMMI…. on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 2:12 PM



    BR also made sure everybody involved in the squad got up on the podium with the trophy, and acknowledgement that it’s not just about the players on the pitch. That said, I think he tried to get LG on a bit earlier just as a reminder that he’s part of the success too.



    I’d actually give LG the Man City game, as I think MD has been a little bit off the boil of late.

  19. Big Peat of Islay 1.13



    Who are you to judge and pigeonhole another human?


    Your own humor seeks attention


    And got it.


    Last week espousing virtue to some who gave their lives against nazism


    This week week farting out that same nazi speak at 1.13


    This blog is inclusive.all have an equal say.if you dont like scroll by.or think before typing and follow your own advise bout Civility and silence.


    Good day



  20. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Jimmy



    The Mrs is glad to get shot of me, it’s my 8yr old daughter that I have to answer too :-)

  21. I decided to buy a wee cake to celebrate so I was having a look in the bakery shop and saw a nice one in the display. I asked the wummin ahint the coonter if it was a custard fancy or a meringue.



    ‘Naw’, she said, ‘yer right enough’.



    ‘It IS a custard fancy’.



    Old school.



    Hail Hail,



  22. Just enjoyed the Bertie Boogie – 7-1 [lewd fist pump]. I love that man, unlike the Blessed Sir Robert.



    I was looking for something on the net to confirm my recollection that Bertie held the record at one time for the most sendings-off in England in a year. I couldn’t find anything, but I did turn up this from a Fulham reminiscence site (for younger readers – Johnny Haynes, the original Brylcreem Boy, was an English idol, a cross between David Beckham and the Queen Mother):



    [i]… the sinister Auld, one of my least favourite players; do you remember the heinous scenes in the World Clubs Championship when he was sent off among three or four others for Celtic against Racing Club in Buenos Aires? Anyway, suddenly Johnny [Haynes] was pursuing Auld, who had the ball, and seemed to be swinging punches at the little toad. Auld stopped in his tracks and head butted Haynes who fell in a heap on the turf. Cook, who was about 20 yards away, lumbered over to protect his friend and captain, towering above the diminutive Auld, and was sent packing with a haymaker of a right that landed just below his eye. He too ended p a crumpled heap on the Birmingham turf. When the mayhem died down, Haynes and Auld were sent off – Johnny for the first time in his career, Auld for about the tenth, and Cook was carried off. Haynes received a week’s suspension and Auld four weeks. Cook had a bit of trouble restoring his pride but nothing more. [/i]






    Only recently discovered that Bertie might have played in the 7-1 game.



    *played in the semi against the bully wee, my first big game, he replaced Charles Patrick who was injured.

  24. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Terje Vigen on 28th November 2016 1:41 pm



    Yep, you are correct; I automatically think of the Benfica Stadium!



    GFTB, nae problem! We all suffer that fate!





  25. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    how many trophies ? 162 and counting.



    they are all majors to me –




    Honours –



    European Cup Champions: 1966-67


    Scottish League Champions: 47 times


    Scottish Cup Winners: 36 times


    Scottish League Cup Winners: 16 times


    Glasgow Cup Winners: 29 Times


    Glasgow Charity Cup Winners: 27 Times (once joint)



    One-Off Tournaments


    Glasgow International Exhibition Cup Winners 1901-02


    Navy and Army War Fund Shield Winners 1918


    Empire Cup Winners 1938


    Victory In Europe Cup Winners 1945


    St Mungo Cup Winners 1951


    Coronation Cup Winners 1953



    Minor Tournaments Honours – Kerrydale Street Minor Pre-season and Invitational Tournaments



    The Alfredo Di Stefano Trophy Winners 1967


    CNE Cup Of Champions Winners 1968


    Dubai Champions Cup Winners 1989


    Drybrough Cup Winners: 1 Time 1974


    Translink Cup Winners: 1 Time 2009


    Wembley Cup Winners: 1 Time 2009


    Fenway Football Challenge Trophy Winners: 1 Time 2010

  26. Had a great day at the Cup Final yesterday. A wee sore head today though.



    Paul thanks for reminding me about the 1997 final. During the lap of honour, I threw my scarf on to the pitch. Marc Reiper picked it up, put it around his neck and wore it throughout the celebrations.



    Haven’t seen that scarf since!

  27. “Woke up this morning feeling fine” © Peter Noone, not felt this way since we won the SC in 1965, no not even when MON was here, I feel that we are possibly on the verge of greatness again.



    Trophy counts for me including the St Mungo and Coronation Cups is 68, although I can’t recall the 2 mentioned above or our first double in 40 years. Also 12 Charity Cups and Glasgow Cups until the latter became a reserve team trophy.



    A wee gander at our trophy haul indicates until they were dedicated to the craft we had won 16 titles, only 3 after that until Big Jock lofted it in 1954. We were a bit more fortunate in cup wins 9 before their “consecration” and 7 after as well as the empire Exhibition Trophy aforesaid St Mungo Cup and the other that “big geordie who was loyal and true with his durty big nose the right shade of blue” promised his beloved majesty.



    Our greatest ever goalie never won a League Championship badge and the greatest goalscorer these islands ever saw only 3.

  28. Hail hail bhoys



    What a wonderful time to be alive..



    On the Griffiths thing I think Brendan has more than enough man management skills to keep the Griff onside. We have a fantastic strike duo in Moussa and Leigh which is a bare minimum for us.



    Anybody know who our third choice is ?



    Cifci ?



    Now that’s when we should start to worry :(



    I like that.



    Dessy bhoy


    Did you get a reply to your EBT McLeish question?




  30. VFR



    I was not referring to sentiment. I was thinking more of Leigh’s state of mind come a time if injury strikes his only other competition for strikers slot or if Moussa is sold.



    He doesn’t look like a happy bhoy. And in our domestic position there is no reason not to at least give him a run out to keep his head up and in the game. He was a 40 goal striker last year. I also reckon he’d be ahead of Moussa in scoring rates if both were regularly in the team. He is more of a penalty box and 6 yard box natural striker.



    We may rue the day that we let a 40 goal a season striker feel worthless.




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