Every game’s important for a squad looking to repair reputation


An away trip to St Johnstone on the back of an away trip to Fenerbahce was a challenging one on paper. Teams drop more points away from home after an away European game than under any other circumstances, but yesterday went as well as we could have hoped for.

Nadir Ciftci has failed to set imaginations alight since arriving in the summer but the support were delighted for the player and his prospects, after two excellently taken goals. The first, controlling a corner on his thigh before turning and thrashing the ball into the corner of the net, was top drawer. More please.

Our other summer signing who has recently pulled some form together is Dedryck Boyata. Dedryck was the proverbial bag of nerves earlier this season. He looked clumsy with the ball at his feet, was wasteful when passing and was part of a defence which could not defend corner kicks. The arrival of Jozo Simunovic in the team coincided with Dedryck looking more like a Celtic player.

Without European football the second half of the season has an anti-climactic feel to it but it’s important for both these players. They, like many others in the squad, have a lot to prove after some indifferent performances. Not all will make it. Several, who are teetering on the brink of the first team, will find their opportunities limited, so there is no such thing as an unimportant game. Every game is important when you are trying to improve your reputation, every corner is important as is every chance.


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  1. Tamrabam









    The obvious answer would be to reduce the player wage budget to nearer our domestic rivals which would produce a more competitive league.









    The risk there is not winning the league.









    Taking Molde first they won the NL league three times since 2011. Malmo did the same winning since 2010 but before that their last win was 2004.









    The point is our higher wage budget guarantees us a shot at Europe EVERY year with the CL being the biggest prize if we get through the qualifiers.









    The test there for us is just not the wage bill we play against but the fitness and settled nature of the opposition who, if Scandinavian, are halfway through their seasons.









    I think the benefits of that showed in games against both.









    So I don’t think there is much point using the size of our wage bill as a measure of where we should be. It is what it is to keep us playing in Europe every year.









    I think if Celtic gave the support a choice of reduced wage bill, reduced ticket prices, more competitive domestic competition but no guarantee of UEFA competition and almost a guarantee we will do poorly there


















    our current wage bill and endeavours to reduce the advantage of match fitness and churn give our main competitors, then we would want our current wage bill (but I would like to hear what others think) .









    The CL is a league in which we are unlikely to be competitive see Malmo, so the Europe League is now our standard.









    For that we should be match fitter as it starts later and more settled in selection and formation. We were not this year because we hung on to VVD to get into the CL and had anything but a settled back four right up to now.









    In a way the CL for Celtic (and other clubs who qualify but become goal fodder for clubs with access to far greater revenue streams) is Fools Gold.









    However we should always be in Europe after Christmas so clearly that needs addressing. I think more attention to a more defensive set up in European games is needed and that comes at no cost at all. Just a change of mind for those games (or cheaply finding another Wanyama or Neil Lennon type).



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/st-johnstone-v-celtic-live-updates/comment-page-22/#comment-2737485

  2. The thing is, we write off strikers too early at Celtic



    Morten Rasmussen would still get in the Celtic team!

  3. Auldheid



    I respect your opinion on all things Celtic and know you to be a good Celtic man.



    But I trully believe your expectations of our club are the reason as to why we are in a position were we are lucky if we qualify for the Europa League never mind compete in it.



    The downward spiral we are currently on does actually end with one of your options and it is not the one that sees us compete in the Europa league on a regular basis!




  4. Some people have expectations based off of numbers like coefficients and accounts



    Other have expectations based off what they want to see. Based off nothing but a sense of entitlement.

  5. BMCUWP ignores the bores,scrolls the trolls on




    Interesting little aside about Dedryck’s defending at corner kicks early in his career with us.



    I’m totally convinced by the stats provided by one of our own who frequently states that we barely lose a goal from such a circumstance.



    No,nay,never,he reckons,or near enough.



    Of course,he could be wrong. Try getting him to admit it.



    Red rag,bull.



    Have fun,I’m off to my cot.

  6. I’m always amused at descriptions which use the phrase ‘top drawer’.



    Surely I can’t be alone in keeping pants in my top drawer …

  7. Jungle VIP on 14th December 2015 2:06 pm



    I’m always amused at descriptions which use the phrase ‘top drawer’.




    Surely I can’t be alone in keeping pants in my top drawer …




    Put a sock in it….





    The drawer I mean…




  8. MWD



    My expectations dont rule economics. Its the other way round. My expectations simply reflect the mad football economics Celtic operate in.



    Pure and simple.



    We have choices. Make the best of what is and enjoy the effort of doing so or moan about what isn’t and blame others for our unhappiness.



    Just the Serenity Prayer principles being applied in real life.



    God grant me the serenity


    to accept the things I cannot change; 


    courage to change the things I can; 


    and wisdom to know the difference.



    Living one day at a time; 


    enjoying one moment at a time; 


    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 



    Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Prayers/Protestant/Addiction/Serenity-Prayer.aspx#bJyli8XbuezSQmPM.99

  9. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    Hahahahahahaha …… Yes, they are indeed deed, and no matter what incarnation might replace them, I will never have to enter any stadium to resist them again….they are away, gone, demised, buried, despite what the bigoted meeja would have us believe …..and don’t it feel so good….!!

  10. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I think the away 3-0 at Perth was an excellent result, after an excellent scoring draw in Istanbul. The performance in Istanbul was patchy, but I would not have expected away scoring draws against Ajax and Fenerbahce before a ball was kicked in this group.



    As mineshafters have pointed out good domestic results have to be looked at in context, but I thought that there were definite signs of progress yesterday, which is heartening. On the whole I thought that this stemmed from a much improved performance from Craig Gordon. With every save he made, you could see the confidence of those in front of him improving, culminating in Bhoyata’s “fancy Dan” backheel to get himself out of a tight spot. Gradually, the defensive unit started to look more solid, and I thought their decision making improved. Passing from the back improved, which meant the midfield were able to get on the front foot, and we finished the game strongly on the offensive.



    St. Johnstone are not Fenerbahce, or even Molde, but they were the form team of our challengers in the EssPeeHell, had over a week to prepare for this game. were playing at home and on a type of pitch more familiar to them. The Celtic team was minus our Captain, our senior striker, and arguably its most influential midfielder, and only returned from Istanbul 48 hours previously.



    None of us like it, but we are out of Europe for another year. We were out before Thursday. But the team to my mind, showed the first green shoots of recovery last week. These shoots will fare better in the bright light a “supportive” support can provide. In the dark shadow of negativity and criticism they will surely wither and die. HH

  11. Like the most of today’s society, we are looking for instant gratification. Instant ready meals, instant this and instant that. You can;t rush a good meal and cook at max in two minutes. So, I think RD has the potential to be a very good manager, but we have to give the guy time. Look at Man Utd when Ferguson went there at the beginning and how long the club gave him to get it right! Sure , like eveyone on this site, I hate to see the team I love being humiliated by second rate Scandinavian clubs, but Ronny will hopefully learn.


    If we keep going on when things don’t go the right way, that won’t help, now will it. We get enough sh1t from the Scottish Meeja, fo goodness sake without us loading their weapons for them.


    All I say is get behind the team, week in, week out and let them and Ronny know we are 100% behind them.Then see what happens.


    Off to make some soup!




  12. Hunderbirds are gone,



    Yup nobody does ” bouncebackability” better than RD’s team




  13. Auldheid



    Adopting the Serenity prater written sometime in the 20th century and adopted by those battling alcoholism is all fine and dandy. If it is what sees you through this managed down turn of our club and the applied economics we are being fed by those at the top as the truth the whole truth and God darn yourt soul to hell if you don’t believe us then rather you than me.



    This is not simply about the economics of the game in Scotland. It is about the financial limits being strictly placed on the footballing side of what is now just a business with the sole purpose of floating Peter’s annual bonus.



    There is no strategy that entails our club surving as even a third rate European Brand in business terms never mind footballing terms.




    We have fallen so far so quickly due to lack of investment (and I don’t mean EBT level investment before that crap gets custard pied in my face) that would have kept us at a level were we would be able to compete with teams for CL group qualification. To say we would be cannon fodder would be determined by the level of investment and the subsequent monies won from competing in said competion regularly. Somewhere we all know we could still be competing and should still be competing at least every single other year if not every year. Yes we might see the occassional drubbing but we would also experience the occassional Barcelona. Now I for one would take that any day of the annual Molde, malmo or Legia Warso tripe we have been being fed as the toop level ambition.



    I will not apologise for expecting a club of Celtic’s size and potential to be able to invest a little more substantially in positions thaat matter over thae abundance of sub standard quantity we currently are seeing.



    The plan and the strategy is wrong.



    There is no Serenity Prayer that is going to heal this downward spiral.



    Thankfully though it does help those battling the dreadful disease that is Alcoholism.




  14. the glorious balance sheet on

    Auldheid 1.48pm



    I wouldn’t credit Molde’s superiority over us as being down to their being deep into their league season by the time they played us.



    They played us on 22 oct and 5 nov more than 3 months after we started our competitive season on 15 July.



    In fact the second molde game was played on the Thursday before their last league game of the season so, if anything, it could be argued that Celtic had the advantage at that point because molde would have been tired at the end of a long hard season.



    Whereas we should have been coming into our stride.



    Moreover, Ajax played them before we did and drew with them in Norway. Ajax started their season at the same time as us so they would also have been soundly beaten in Norway had the football season calendar been such an important factor.



    The simple facts are that molde were a much better team than us in two matches despite having to deal with a change of manager just before they played us.



    Among their scorers against us were a guy discarded by Austria Vienna as not being good enough for their squad and a 40 year old midfielder.



    They were eliminated by the CL qualifiers at the third qualifying round by Dinamo Zagreb who had only began their competitive season 2 weeks before.



    Zagreb played only 2 competitive games v the champions of Luxembourg before taking care of molde. They seemed to cope fine with the vagaries of playing against Scandinavian opposition well into their season.



    Come to think of it most teams do. How often do the Scandinavian teams come through the CL qualifiers?



    The reasons for Celtic’s failures in Europe this year can be found inside Celtic Park. Not on a Scandinavian football fixture list.

  15. Delighted for Nadir yesterday and always delighted for our travelling support when we win well awy from home,,

  16. If we accept as fact the gap between the top five leagues and the SPFL is growing to an insurmountable gulf, and our board are incapable of driving the ‘inevitable’ (in 22nd century) federation of small leagues, we have to accept it’s time to either do something, or whither away to obscurity.



    I’d suggest we start investing in commercial activities completely unrelated to football. House building, manufacturing, anything that will give us a chance to increase our turnover, as the current model is going backwards at an alarming rate.



    I’d ringfence the club from any liabilities, but surely when we are limited and handicapped by a tiny tv market, in an underpopulated country, other avenues have to be sought.



    Could we achieve a corporate success story, producing profit which would be invested into the team easier, than say a moneyball philosophy that churns and disrupts?



    Could DD loan CFC say £250 million to begin whatever endeavours will produce the best rate of return?



    If we produced £25 million a year profit on that £250 million, wouldn’t this give us an opportunity to build a team rather than dismantle it every transfer window?



    I say this because we all know the present model is dead in the water and it will likely only get worse as other nations hoover up the tv deals.



    Obviously there are risks, but hey, we are finished as a power now. we have less and less to lose.



    my own personal belief is that we should become a 100% charity, with every operational profit/ transfer fee going to charity, but i’m open to anything (after half a shandy)

  17. the glorious balance sheet on

    I remember when people on CQN used to laugh at Kris Boyd when he was scoring 25 to 30 goals in the SPL for the Huns.



    “Flat track bully”, “can’t score and rubbish in Europe” “can only do it in a diddy league” were among the comments. All of which i agreed with.



    However I wonder whether any of these people are the same ones who are now cracking up about Ronny being judged on European results and performances; or who say that Europe doesn’t matter and that a treble trumps all etc.

  18. The Glorious Balance Sheet



    I was impressed by Molde as a unit.



    What I don’t have is a record of consistency in selection compared to ours but given two key positions in any team – our two central defenders were just getting to know each other (and did one not go off injured v Molde after 5 minutes) then the other factor I quoted – a settled side- applies.



    Taking my approach to its logical conclusion we should be going into the CL qualifiers with players we know will be with us until after Xmas, preferably having played together from the previous.



    The value of a settled side, especially the spine, cannot be overestimated in my view. It’s a team game. The more players play in a settled side the better a team becomes.



    I’m not ruling out tactics like leaving spaces at the back. I covered that. Nor am I making excuses I’m just saying that in my experience of building an amateur team from scratch that quickly moved up the divisions once settled, that playing together regularly makes the sum greater than the individual parts.

  19. SOUTH OF TUNIS 12:51


    “Molde? We will not underestimate them. They won a group containing Ajax and Fenerbache” – Sevilla manager.


    Seems to sum up what Europe thinks of Celtic these days, eh?”

  20. My friends in Celtic,



    Interesting discussion why we underachieved in Europe.



    Could it be that the likes of Molde have genuine completion in their domestic leagues. ? Ok we can argue about the standard of certain leagues, but they have competition.



    We do not have genuine completion and we probably find it difficult to adapt .



    John Collins was definitely correct.



    Imo we can never fulfill our potential in Scotland no matter how we dress the league or tinker with the cups.


    There is only one answer and our custodians must do more to find an exit.



    I watched the game in a well known Celtic pub in Partick and it was not as busy as you would expect. That in itself is worrying. Maybe many punters watched the game at home on BT, Kodi, Mobdro etc or maybe they’re losing interest.







  21. the glorious balance sheet on

    Auldheid 3.04pm-



    Much of the blame for the lack of a settled side through the CL qualifiers is due to the strategy of developing and then selling players to England every summer.



    So do we sack the guy who has introduced and implemented this strategy ie the CEO?



    It seems to be daft to me that we risk £15m of CL money each year for the sake of a £7.5 million profit or thereabouts on a key player every other year.



    Now i understand that the very best players, when faced with interest from the big leagues, will want to move on and we can’t keep an unhappy player.



    But shouldn’t we get them moved on in January and sign and bed in their replacement then too some 7 months before the CL qualifiers?



    Look at the case of van Dijk for example. Southampton were in for him after the Maribor game, he wanted to go and threw the toys out the pram to the extent that he had to be dropped for the next league match at Dundee due to his being so unsettled.



    He should have been sold on and replaced in January 2015. We were already clear in the league and no one was really expecting us to win the EL so it was something that could and should have been done then.



    Similarly at that time if we rated Boyata so much we should have went out and got him in Jan 2015 and given him the chance to add to the 40 or so competitive games that he had played in his career by the time he joined Celtic.



    That way we would have had a more experienced player in situ for the European qualifiers and initial group games.



    So the strategy or at the very least the execution of it is all wrong in my view and that is the CEO’s department.

  22. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I read a lot of posts on here written by people with real courage in their convictions, as to what is required to get Celtic competitive in Europe again. I don’t have that confidence in the answers, because there are no set in stone answers.



    You see maybe DD and PL are deliberately downsizing. (Frankly I find that notion preposterous. If they wanna make more money out of Celtic, it follows that a successful Celtic will in turn make them more money). But even if they were, so what? Manure have spent how much in the last two seasons? How has that worked out? So Pl gets a million quid bonus. So what? Not saying it’s necessarily right, but would an extra £3m in the last 3 years on the football budget make any odds? Using Manure as an example again, they have always had huge crowds, play in one of the most marketable leagues world, and have more income than almost anyone else. Didn’t stop them getting relegated in the 70’s did it?



    Sack RD and get a proven successful manager in? Back to Manure again, how did that work out with Looooey Flatface?



    Cannae be bothered fully researching more examples, but surely Barca must always have had a fair amount o dosh, relative to most. But until recently they were not very successful in European competition.



    It’s a blend of money, talent, tactics, support, chemistry and luck. In any given year somebody that spends mega money will fail to get out of the group stage. It’s a sport, it’s unpredictable.

  23. Glibby McShameless on

    Some of us need to get where we are in some sort of perspective.


    Our sport operates in a country whose population is about 5.5 million.



    No matter what we think of PL or the rest of the board, how do we compete with those with populations of around 60 million, where the vast TV revenues hold sway?



    A greater part of Scottish football’s lack of funds is due to the governing bodies both past and present being “unfit for purpose”.



    The emblazered junket-seeking, expense collecting, EBT pocketing, rule breaking/ignoring/misinterpretting liars have cost our sport dearly. They would get turfed out of their bowling clubs they are so bad.



    In spite of them our great club can produce good sides and of course, the greatest club side of all.



    I think it’s possible to produce another top side from “our own” so to speak, with support from the occasional worthwhile import. There is a core of good young talent coming through. Maybe one day we will be blessed by a Jinky, a Murdoch an Auld or a great leader like Caesar.



    I do understand the irritation of PL’s bonus for apparent failure. I also criticise the board. But let it be fair and measured.



    Those good sides took time to grow. I feel there is promising shoots emerging from the saplings. This is our way at present. Have patience and “accept the things we cannot change” and we will reap the rewards.




  24. glendalystonsils on

    Auldheid on 14th December 2015 3:04 pm



    An interesting comment regarding the ‘spine’ of the team, which I understand to be goalkeeper, centre back,


    centre midfield and centre forward. I would also agree that this spine gives the team crucial stability.


    Our most successful moneyball ventures have been provided by spine players, Forster,Van Dijk, Wanyama, Hooper.


    I just wonder if our scouting strategy is geared towards finding potential high profit spine players. If we can’t or don’t retain a settled ,effective spine, I don’t see us having much CL participation to look forward to.

  25. GREENPINATA on 14TH DECEMBER 2015 3:06 PM


    My friends in Celtic,


    Paul should actively be drawing PL’s attention to every reference posted here that even mentions fans losing interest, for it is this growing apathy that is Celtic’s greatest danger.


    I don’t pretend to know the answers. However, there is no future in a strategy based on selling your best players year on year.


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/every-games-important-for-a-squad-looking-to-repair-reputation/#comment-2737511

  26. the glorious balance sheet



    Are you absolutely sure that there was an offer for VVD in January?



    Southampton were definitely not interested. Their intention was to sign Alderweireld on a permanent basis. They only moved for VVD when he agreed to go to Spurs.

  27. MWD



    The key bit of the SR which I think you are dismissing and I’m not, is having the wisdom to know what can be changed.



    Coolmooremafia makes a valid point addressing the economic issue.



    That is what needs addressing, not blaming the CEO for his bonus.



    Look at the policies that result in that bonus. Question them and come up with better ones that will change the basis on which CEO bonuses are awarded.



    (I think the grounds on which the bonus is based should be transparent btw and should have some relationship to on field success like 50% reduction if out of Europe by Xmas.



    Equally I don’t want the reduction to be such that the CEO takes financial risks with the clubs future to assure his full bonus – so the bonus is a side issue for me).



    The cost of really competing in the CL is beyond most clubs not living in huge areas of population or TV access to the leagues with that population. Any CEO has that to contend with.



    That is the economic reality. The CL rewards for clubs like Celtic in a small market don’t justify the risk in trying to get them. They don’t have free TV money as a backstop if they fail to qualify.



    Or am I wrong? Let’s see the business case for what needs to be spent and what happens if the money spent does not produce CL participation every year.



    Let’s see what a really uncompetitive domestic league looks like in that scenario.



    But please don’t accuse me of lacking ambition or indicative of a mindset that caused Celtic to downsize.



    I’m not stupid but I’m not accusing you of foolishness.

  28. the glorious balance sheet on




    To turn your argument about competition on its head-



    Look at the case of BATE Borisov. They dominate the Belarus league. Never under any threat domestically, i think they’re going for 9 league titles in a row this year and their domestic rivals offer no competition. Can you name another team from Belarus?



    Yet this team have an outstanding record in progressing through the CL qualifiers. I think it’s 5 times out of the last 6 years they’ve come through all the way from CL qualifying round 2 and into the group stages and with a poorer coefficient than Celtic each year.



    The Irish leagues seem competitive enough but it’s not generally any use to them in European qualifiers.



    So I don’t know if lack of competition is the big problem here.



    I take your point about the lack of interest in scottish football. Time was when in the west of Scotland I would speak to someone and be virtually guaranteed that they support either Celtic or Rangers. Now it seems people are more interested in the EPL or La Liga. I know of at least 4 born and bred and west of Scotland based people who go to arsenal games on a regular basis. Arsenal FFS!



    Sky has a lot to answer for.

  29. the glorious balance sheet



    A high proportion of Boyd’s goals were penalties. He scored once against Celtic in a meaningless game (we had won the league easy by then)



    Those comments still apply

  30. Glendalystonsils



    How much did Forster, Wanyama, VVD and Hooper cost us to buy?



    That’s the problem all develop and sell clubs face. Get good uns and their value rockets and like rockets they take off – too soon.



    So form is up and down as is CL participation. Check Ajax as an example.



    I reckon that in fielding more Scots Celtic are trying to build longer lasting foundations because Scots stay longer.



    They might not reach the sell on price those quoted did but if we can uncover a few home grown gems or develop them then that is an alternative way forward.



    I reckon that is why RD was brought in. Not to be a speculator but a farmer to help grow our own. :)

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