Europa door ajar for Celtic


When we drew Maribor I wrote about their performance in last season’s Europa League, when they were eliminated by eventual winners, Sevilla.  Our man, Blaz, in Slovenia, also warned me that this was a settled team who had improved since ending Rangers’ interest in European football three years ago.

I watched Red Bull Salzburg destroy Ajax in Amsterdam last season with some sublime football, and my pal in Austria tells me not to put too much store in their 3-0 humbling by Malmo, who, apparently, rode their luck to an incredible degree.  Having said that, on the balance of probabilities, they are by far the top seed we would have chosen.

As Croatia Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb bossed Celtic out of the Champions League play-off round in 1998, our first attempt at the tournament.  Zagreb’s stock has fallen since, so while you could make a good case to suggest we are far from ready to tackle any European team right now, this is a good draw.  They are also not Legia Warsaw, which would have been an unwelcome confrontation at this time.

So far, so good.  Then we draw a complete unknown from pot 4, who happened to eliminate Lyon in the last round.

Between now and the middle of next month Celtic have to be ready for these challenges.  We have an opportunity to progress in the Europa League, earn some badly needed coefficient points, and revenue in the second half of the season.

Bring it on.

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  1. If we (Celtic) are serious about trying to regain a little respect and confidence in the European arena, then surely we’ve just been given a wonderful opportunity to start.

  2. squire danaher



    12:50 on 29 August, 2014


    Place will be jumping if Astra come to town at 18:00 on Thursday 11th December and Celtic already eliminated.





    Love your positive attitude?

  3. Greeninbingley on

    Excellent draw. Gives the team and the coach European experience and time to develop out of the main spotlight.



    Which is just what we need at the moment.

  4. All three games should be free.



    Free pies and free prematch drinks.



    A hummer for everyone travelling to the game is minimum.

  5. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/


    12:49 on


    29 August, 2014


    Ive got an Astra. Good car btw!!





    Aye, compared to a pony and trap ;-)

  6. I have just watched the PL interview.



    Oh dear.



    A few things become clear.



    The so called strategy isn’t changing. The board are in denial about it not working. To evidence this we are now being asked to look at the last 10 years in an attempt to spin the story that it’s working.



    PL quotes transfer of Shane long and McCormick as examples of it all being too hard. No one is asking us to spend that money. But hey let’s not let that get in the way.



    Perhaps most worryinging was the wee slip around the board message not seeming to get through. This betrays the GAO between those who run the club and those who support the club. We are miles apart and simply no longer understand one another. Incredibly serious and my contention is that is because the board can’t explain a strategy that is flawed and failing.



    Lots of talk that ronnie could have bought players. But reality?



    And still the carefully worded statement around spending every penny ON the club. Note this very careful wording. Not on the team. Actually even that is not technically correct give that DD gets 600k in divs every year and doesn’t reinvest it.



    This careful corporate wording is clearly nonsense given our ahem small cash reserve so it has to be added to with a nice vague “in the long term”.



    So those who run the club are in denial and being economic with the truth.



    And then we got a new line. That selling players makes up for the loss of the Hun????? Now on every level this is bizarre and twisted logic. So does that mean that we DO need CL income to survive cos if we got the extra CL income and so.d players wouldn’t that be too much. Or do we need both?



    How much do we lose for the Hun not being around??? It’s not 10m that’s for sure.



    You see here it is. The hankering for the Hun return. That’s what peter means here. The loss of around 4m (I am being generous here) is somewhat counterbalances by the massive amounts we have made inn the CL and in transfer fees. So where is it all going. Ah to. The ahem small cash reserve.



    So he is hankering for them back to get that income back. It’s as we thought.



    A final word about his we get it more right than wrong stuff. The players he quoted, all except 1, have left and he has patently not replaced them with what he described as better quality.



    That’s simply a smokescreen and, when it boils down to it, a lie.



    So where does this leave us. Utterly divided, heading quickly in the wrong direction, with executives that say one thing but do another, with a manger who apparently has lots of good ideas but on the pitch it’s a shambles. And with those who run the club simply unable to understand why the support are so angry.



    Oh and they clearly have no intention to change but they will be happy because they THINK the return of the. Hun will increase income.



    They only THINK that because the backlash hasn’t even started yet.



    All in all pretty disastrous.



    I think I will get back to working. It’s currently more uplifting than celtic……



    Oh dear.

  7. glendalystonsils on

    Not the worst draw we could have had.



    My wish is to see a strong Celtic rather than praying for weak opponents though.

  8. Well at least all our expectations have lowered now so every win will be a bonus.



    Astra la vista baby.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Bhoys we need to be positive and hope Rony and John get some sort of settled team.Has anyone hear anything about Tonev is he still injured ? H.H.

  10. FC Salzburg, top of Austrian League, won 6 out of 6


    Dinamo Zagreb, top of Croatian League, won 5 & drew 1 out of 6


    FC Astra, 3rd in Romanian League, won 4 & lost 1 out of 5



    A tough unglamorous group.

  11. My friends in Celtic,



    Accepting that this draw is not attractive in terms of glamor it does provide us with a viable opportunity to still be in European competition after Christmas.



    This has got to be our aim followed by the aspiration of heading to Warsaw.



    A lot of hard work will need to be done and the backing of the supporters will be vital.




  12. Captain Beefheart on

    Congratulations to Calum M for his new contract. His hard work has been rewarded. A couple of bad games will doubtless see him being regarded as a flop by some of our more aggressive fans.

  13. Negon. A shocking interview on Celtic TV No change of direction. More projects and top players to be sold


    No planning just gambles every year


    Nothing about his massive salary

  14. Beamishismypint on

    Cltic TV Presenter: Sorry Peter I only received the list of questions you prepared this morning, I hope I delivered them as you planned.



    PL: Very satisfactory, keep this up and it’s the living wage for you my loyal minion.

  15. Surely we can get out of this group without having to pay the Astanomical wages of the teams in the EPL?



    Ah Yeeeooooooooo




  16. I would expect the top tier of the three stands to be closed for all three home ties, a la Aberdeen in the Cup last season.

  17. I guess the best thing that can be said about the PL interview was that at least he realised he had to say something. Let’s face it it’s pretty rare.



    I guess it’s Paul’s choice to go into denial about the disaster that has unfolded. But it was you Paul who described the game as our alpha and omega…….

  18. squire danaher on




    How do you square your sarcastic criticism of me with your assertion at 12:49



    ‘Some good teams there I’ll be at Celtic Park for those games’



    I know they are good teams. I think at the moment based on form ALL THREE are probably better than us.



    We have no right to expect to qualify unless Scepovic and Mubarak make a significant difference along with the return of Broon.

  19. Gary67



    I think we should close both tiers.



    That might keep you and a good few on here happy for awhile.

  20. I want to know why the Legia owner has not been on Sky Sports discussing our Europa League Group.



    Fe**in midden!

  21. Don’t think we are in a position to be cocky………from Wiki…….



    Club world ranking[edit]



    These are the IFFHS club’s points as of May 2014:[7]





    P Club Points



    36 Celtic F.C. 179,0



    37 FC Zenit Saint Petersburg 171,0



    38 Club Nacional 169,5



    39 Astra Giurgiu 169,0



    40 Club Libertad 166,5



    41 Guangzhou Evergrande F.C. 166,0



    42 Panathinaikos F.C. 166,0

  22. mullet and co 2 on

    Winning Captains,


    From previous. We don’t need to sell and the hole left by rangers isn’t 10 million. This years accounts will tell us that. As I keep repeating, Selling talent is ok as long as you replace it with the same or better.


    We are sticking 10s of millions in the bank. Meanwhile the football dept. I.e our raison d’être is paired back to SPL standard with foreign mistakes.


    It’s a joke. A really really bad one.

  23. Neganon2



    I’d be amazed if anything could have been deduced either way from that interview. No depth, no probing.



    People are taking from it a reinforcement of entrenched views. If change is coming it’s not getting announced today

  24. Well content with that to be done tho.onwards and upwards.:-)



    Eddie Kirkmichael,Weefra, Cowiebhoy, Deyna,Delaneys Donkey.jobo, it was good to meet you Celts briefly before the game on Tues.


    Marspapa thanks again mate:-)


    Still much gutted bout that reault but we will learn


    HH one and all.



  25. squire danaher



    13:00 on 29 August, 2014






    How do you square your sarcastic criticism of me with your assertion at 12:49



    ‘Some good teams there I’ll be at Celtic Park for those games’



    I know they are good teams. I think at the moment based on form ALL THREE are probably better than us.



    We have no right to expect to qualify unless Scepovic and Mubarak make a significant difference along with the return of Broon.








    I also think someone should email Ronny Deila and tell him that Stokes upfront on his own disney work.



    Just so he knows for the next game.

  26. What’s the point in going on about PL’s salary? It probably is too high, but some talk as if the saving by employing a cheaper option would magic us into a better team.



    £10-12/week (tops) added to the available wages for players is not going to be transformational.

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