Europe in July, heavy legs and waning concentration


After losing the second leg against Salzburg in last season’s Champions League 3rd qualifying round, Qarabag eliminated Twente Enschede on away goals before having a good Europa League group stage.

Draws home and away to Saint Etienne, a home draw against Inter after a two goal defeat in the San Siro, and a win and a loss against Dnipro is enough form to suggest Celtic have a match on their hands.

On the positive side, Qarabag are also preseason, play on grass and Baku, their home city, is four hours ahead of Glasgow, so they will have a small jetlag adjustment to make for Wednesday’s game.  The final whistle will go after 1:30 in the morning Baku time.  Players find the latter part of any big game tiring, more so early in the season, so we have to push hard late in this game.  Qarabag will be vulnerable as concentration wanes and legs get heavy.

This tie feels very much like the Shakhter Karagandy play-off tie two years ago.  Shakhter arrived with a solid two goal lead, but an impassioned Celtic Park pushed us over the line.  A similar intensity will be required on and off the field on Wednesday.

What’s our chances?  Not sure, but we’ve a serious challenge on our hands.

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  1. VVD is a good player and looks excellent in the SPFL…


    He looks a lot less excellent in European games which are more akin to the standard of EPL.

  2. Monaghan1900



    One question my friend……where in the media do these eejits keep reading


    negative items ???


    Never caught one yet.hh

  3. bellshill tim on

    Cults bhoys



    I always thought they should have tried boerrigter at left back to see how he went!


    Maybe they did in training and he got injured in his first tackle!

  4. glass ankles don’t make tackles.



    wonder why he’s still on the books… must have a clever contract clause!!

  5. Partnerships and understanding require time.


    Coaching is also vital to specify what players do in differing circumstances.


    In Virgils case he is physically excellent but sometimes makes schoolboy errors.


    Having a new partner it will take time to develop that understanding.


    Think we lack a designated leader at the back so sometimes disjointed.


    Tony Adams at Arsenal was excellent at controlling their back line.He decided when to step up and when to hold as well as how high a line they played dependent on opponent.


    A real problem we have defensively is ball watching.


    Because of this we often get caught wrong side of opponents.


    When the ball is wide we also seem to gravitate to that side including full back on far side and this leaves us vulnerable to back post threats.


    A simple coaching directive of telling far side defender not to go past the far post till ball is released would make a difference.

  6. Cults….,


    Disagree on heading the ball some players just can’t do it, I’ll also challenge your claim the EPL is more akin to the CL, might be closer than the SPL but results show they are still miles away, a couple of teams can compete the rest like us survive that’s about it.

  7. I must confess that I’m a bit nervous about Wednesday, which is normal for me.


    Know hee haw about the opposition so that doesn’t help.


    John Collins says they are a Champions League team so he’s either bumming them up or preparing us for a difficult encounter.


    50k in Paradise will help



    Hail Hail

  8. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on




    13:45 on 27 July, 2015



    North Cyprus Bhoy



    Thanks.told her she wouldn’t be able to wear shorts but getting the impression its like khazakstan, Muslim but really relaxed.Arrive very early hours Tuesday ,away Thursday night so hopinlg to see a bit of the place.


    Kidding her on that if you don’t know the supreme leaders name then its instant arrest.




    She’ll be fine in shorts.



    If they actually do make shorts that are shorter than they are worn in Fountains Square, then I’ve yet to see them.



    You won’t have time to go far, so stick to the Bulivar (long paved boulevard from the Sea port to the Crystal Hall), the Old City, Fountains Square, and Nizami Street.



    It’s a very lively city-centre at night, but the cops may not tolerate lots of guys bevvying in public places, and they might crack down on anyone who gets out of hand. Just depends on their perception of loud banter, at the time.




  9. Charlotte Church on why Jeremy Corbyn is a good(the only)choice.



    The war criminals legacy to the left in the U.K will only be overcome if Labour voters make a choice on principle.Sir Keith Joseph,architect of Thatchers ideological drive, was correct in the early 80’s when he said Tory success will be in right wing policies being produced by Labour.The war criminal proved that,as did last week when we are told Labour had no option but to vote alongside their unionist/fascist friends.


    I would like to see Labour make wealth redistribution its top priority in contrast to Gordon the dyscalcic helping,aiding and assisting the ‘offshore’ finance industry whilst dertegulating currency and capital markets,allowing the rich to get richer.







  10. Monaghan1900 on



    15:57 on


    27 July, 2015





    One question my friend……where in the media do these eejits keep reading


    negative items ???


    Never caught one yet.hh




    Some lying Fenian so-and-so at BBC Scotland had the temerity to start a vicious rumour about Sevco being in trouble over sectarian singing on Saturday when we know we won’t hear another cheep about it.




  11. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on

    And the weather will be in the mid-30s, but don’t go in the Fountains!

  12. Cultsboy



    Rio Ferdinand’s main asset as a defender was pace. It got him out of a lot of trouble when he started out.



    He didn’t really concentrate, though.



    An English pal once said ‘If there was a magazine called Ball-Watching Monthly’, he’d be the first on the subscription list’.

  13. see Phil is leaking some more rumours? The devil will be in the details of the financial arrangement cobbled together in January with the other od Sevco board, or was it the other old Sevco board? Anyway, paragraph 6 says all you need to know.



    MA has been running them for nearly a year now and will still be running them in 24 months time. King is a hired hand with Gloria Blowave as his trusty whipping boy, they must sit at their desks with no drawers wondering what to be told to do next.


    I would suggest Warburton knows more than they do.

  14. Monaghan1900 on

    The FFin’ rationale behind GASL asking Michael for more dough:



    “IF and big IF [Sevco] took the other 5 million then i am sure it would be to increase the leverage [Sevco] have.”

  15. Heard Prof Roy Greenslade on the radio today , talking about lord Sewell, if the DR editor is still looking for him.


    VVD Is still relatively young for a central defender and his best years should be ahead of him.


    Seem to remember Tony Adams having having some struggles in his early years , in fact did Cascarino not give him a hard time at Wembley one year. He was a much better defender when he got to around thirty , like most are

  16. Monaghan1900 on



    17:00 on


    27 July, 2015




    More dough for Warbs?




    More dough for the baker.




  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Why would Ashley put more money into Sevco ? He already has them by the short and curlies ?



    If Sevco was indebted to him to 20m , how long before he starts seeing a return on the retail side ? I do not imagine that it is that lucrative ?



    With King passing the Lawwell fit and proper person litmus test. Is this the price for SFA accomodated dual ownership ?




  18. A lad I know from the leafy burb of Tunbridge Wells,in the sarf east worked a contract for local telecommunications in Baku.



    He says he loved the town and especially the people.



    Should be a great visit for yet another Tim PR mission.

  19. ..from fishul site….well done.



    Lisbon Lion John Clark to unfurl league flag at Paradise


    By: on 27 Jul, 2015 16:21



    CELTIC legend John Clark will unfurl the SPFL Premiership flag at Paradise this Saturday along with chairman, Ian Bankier.


    The ceremony will mark Celtic’s four-in-a-row triumph last season and takes place before the 12.45pm kick-off against Ross County.


    And the Lisbon Lion, who has served the club with distinction for many decades, going back to when he first signed for the club in 1958, will receive a rapturous reception from the Celtic supporters when he steps out on to the pitch before the game.


    John played for his beloved green and white Hoops for 13 years, making a total of 318 appearances and scoring three goals.


    As well as winning every domestic honour several times over, he was part of the legendary Celtic side which lifted the European Cup on May 25, 1967. His partnership with Billy McNeill was the defensive foundation upon which Jock Stein’s Celtic side built their success, and it was a partnership that would later pay further dividends for the club when the pair took over the managerial reins in 1978.


    By then, John had already been working for the club as a coach before a brief spell alongside Cesar at Aberdeen, and he later returned to the club as kit controller.


    He remains at the club to this day, having worked with the club in every decade since the 1950s and he is not only a reminder to each generation of Celtic players of the incredible heights the club achieved both in Scotland and in Europe, but as an example of the standards required to be a Celtic player.


    John Clark has always been and always will be a Celtic supporter, and his fellow supporters will always acknowledge and appreciate the incredible contribution he has made and continues to make.


    It is a fitting and well-deserved honour for John to unfurl the league flag at Celtic Park this Saturday.


    Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier said: “There can be very few men more deserving of this magnificent honour. John is someone who has served the Club with absolute distinction over so many years and in so many roles.


    “John was a formidable player and of course was an integral part of the Club’s greatest ever team, reaching such heights in Lisbon in 1967. Since those great days he has been an important part of the Club over so many decades.


    “I’m sure John and his family will enjoy this day and I’m sure all our supporters will join me in warmly welcoming John on to the pitch and congratulating him once again on such wonderful service to our great Club.


    “It is great times such as Saturday which I know we all cherish as Celtic supporters and raising the Premiership Flag for the fourth consecutive time at Celtic Park is something I know we will all enjoy.


    “I congratulate Ronny, his backroom team and all our players for all their efforts last season and hope we can look forward to many more days of success and celebration in the years ahead.”


    And John Clark said: “I am very humbled and surprised to be asked to perform this honour, but it is something I am really looking forward to.


    “Ronny and the team have done a brilliant job in making it four-in-a-row for the Club and I hope we can go on to make it many more.


    “Celtic has been everything to me and my family over so many years and this will be a tremendous honour to be part of this ceremony.


    “Over the years I have been privileged to have been part of so many great Celtic occasions and I am sure Saturday will be another one of these great days.”

  20. ThompsonTwin on

    The tie will not be decided on Wednesday – I expect a 1-1 draw.



    That will give ample time for the hysterics to start – e.g. discussion on Ronny’s future, prior to the return leg.



    Yes we have enough talent to get to the group stages – however there is a frailty and naivety about the team.



    This was illustrated many times last season domestically – repeats in Europe will be heavily punished.



    Only a fool can be confident of victory in this tie and in the play-off round – we can be hopeful, but where we play our football is lagging behind so many nations, with unfortunately no light at the end of the tunnel.



    If money talks, we are now using sign-language.

  21. bournesouprecipe on

    Some posters have such a low opinion of everything in the SPL it’s a wonder they bother not to turn up at CP.

  22. jinkyredstar on

    John Clark – great call – there should be on helluva celebration for the guy who has served Celtic with honour since the year I was born- Legend doesn’t begin to describe him

  23. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Great honour for luggy



    Hail Hail John Clark

  24. themaestro72 on




    17:30 on 27 July, 2015


    Some posters have such a low opinion of everything in the SPL it’s a wonder they bother not to turn up at CP.



    Well said. For all the money “the greatest league in the world” spends on players how much further did their teams get in Europe than Celtic last season?



    I’ll be there on Wednesday cheering us on and I’ll also be keeping an eye on the sheep on Thursday.

  25. There is a bit more to defending in pro football.



    We play a pressing game and use a high line. As a consequence, we ‘take chances’.



    We also see a lot of the ball.



    Neil and Johan sussed that out.



    Hence why all our centre backs have had to be quick, mobile and decent on the ball.



    VVD is THE ideal defender for us ( and much better than Jason D IMO ).



    I doubt we will improve on him.



    Oh and Warburton plays the same way, minus the pacy CB’s….

  26. Congratulations to John Clark fully deserved, as for the game on Wednesday no silly mistakes hopefully an early goal + 1 should be enough to take over there as we are quite capable of scoring away from home



    Interesting tweet from Jim Spence lots of Celts in Dundee are they of the United variety :)




    Jim Spence ‏@JimSpenceSport 4h4 hours ago


    Pal who runs a Celtic bus from Dundee says numbers up this season. reckons 6/700 travel each wk and around 7000 Hoops fans in city in total.


    20 retweets 26 favorites

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