Expectations but remember Gretna (liquidated)


The players would have had a light training session at Lennoxtown today as muscles continue to refill after Wednesday night’s exertions. Expectations of Celtic in the Champions League are not high, and were exceptionally low when this group was drawn, but even so, these games have a huge financial, physical and even emotional impact on every area of the club.

One argument suggests the last thing we need is a cup semi-final four days after a Champions League outing. An alternative thought is that this is the perfect game for Celtic right now. Memories linger of sitting stressfully at Fir Park days after Celtic beat the reigning European Champions, Milan, as (subsequently liquidated) Grenta held onto a lead until the 87th minute.

While playing (subsequently liquidated) Rangers away 64 hours after winning a Uefa Cup semi-final 1200 miles from home in 2003 proved to be the perfect game to instil steel into the legs.

With what passes as a fully fit squad, Brendan has choices to make for Sunday. Did Patrick Roberts do enough off the bench against Borussia to justify a start? Perhaps. He’s a player who owes us one at Hamden too.

Callum McGregor will also fancy his chances ahead of Nir Bitton, who didn’t have a great Scottish Cup semi-final against the same opponents in April.

It would be a huge surprise if Moussa Dembele didn’t start as the lone forward, despite Leigh Griffiths itching to get on alongside him. Brendan will not change formation for this game, while Moussa will fancy his chances against a defence he punished to ruthlessly last month.

For me, our two most important players on Sunday will be Scott Sinclair and Tom Rogic. They are the epitome of the modern footballer, strong, skilful, intelligent and difficult to defend against. If we can get them on the ball often enough we’ll score a lot of goals.

Pretty much every Celtic fan I know expects Mark Warburton to have learned a lesson from his Celtic Park whipping and for him to deploy a more defensively-minded team this time. My Newco pals don’t expect this to happen. Warburton hasn’t varied his game-plan since arriving at the club and is apparently reluctant to start experimenting now.

He took his team to Hampden to face Celtic against similarly long odds last season. Within minutes we knew we were in a game, and despite the clear chasm between the teams, it was Newco who faced Hibs in the Scottish Cup final.

A repeat of the 5-1 win at Celtic Park is possible, but you’ve seen enough football to know that nothing can be taken for granted on Sunday. Remember that Newco came close to levelling that 5-1 game at 2-2 early in the second half, and the latter part of their collapse came after going down to 10 men.walk-for-jonathan

I’m off later to meet those from the Tyneside No. 1 and friends, who have walked (yes, WALKED), from Merthyr Tydfil and will reach Doherty’s Bar in Hamilton this afternoon. They’ve pretty much walked a marathon a day for 13 days and will make the final journey to Celtic Park tomorrow.

This herculean effort has been made to mark the memory of Jonathan Thomas, who aged 30 lost his biggest fight one year ago tomorrow.

We’re lucky as Celtic fans that we get to meet and read about people who do these things in our name. It’ll take you 2 minutes to let them know how inspiring they are here.

It’s also worth marking the events in Aberfan, the village a few miles from Merthyr Tydfil which was visited by unimaginable tragedy 50 years ago today.

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  1. VFR: I can meet up around noon if that suits.







    BMCUWP: Just a day trip, but thanks anyway.







    Clighercelt: Cheers.

  2. TONYDONNELLY67 on 21ST OCTOBER 2016 12:17 PM


    HILBHOY on 21ST OCTOBER 2016 12:00 PM








    I didn’t know the Brazen had a dress code.




    Oh yes more so on a Saturday night when the entertainment is on, either in the Tall Poodle Suit, or the Silver Tassel Lounge, no jeans, every one gets all Slaterd up.

  3. Almore,



    ‘Classroom distractions?’



    That’s a first:))



    Enjoy the trip.




  4. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    Bobby M,




    In fairness to the guy, there was no way he would have known the content of the news that evening, when he hatched his protest plan.




    However, it still fell foul to the law of unseen consequences.

  5. Choon of The day –



    7 ” – The Novas ——The Crusher ( Parrot ) .



    Been in my life since early 65 . Absolutely love it . In my to be played at my funeral after party box . The woman from Padova regularly opines that she’s looking forward to the occasion – cos it’s the last time she’ll ever hear it

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    On 21/10/66 I was in primary 7 at St Columba’s in Annan.



    Of all the World events that have featured in my now 3 score years Aberfan is still the one that resonates the most deeply.



    May they rest in peace.

  7. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Thanks for sharing, :) think the time warp might have been an offsping

  8. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    SOUTH OF TUNIS on 21ST OCTOBER 2016 12:40 PM



    Fabulous tune.



    Covered most effectively by The Cramps on the Psychedelic Jungle album in 1981.

  9. channelislandcelt on



    Ok pal , no worries . Don’t think I will make it over tomorrow so we’ll just make alternate arrangements , was offered a ticket for game but politely declined .


    See you Monday at the Big Yins Farewell .



  10. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    Abervan what an awful tragedy to hit a community.A silent pause and a prayer for all who lost their lives and not forgetting the unfathomable grief that the families,friends and those affiliated to the school endured.Eight days later I attended the League cup final(I still have the photo,almost sure Evening times,alighting the royal ulsterman,at seven am.On the Friday night journey collections,on behalf of the Abervan disaster,were collected by fans of both clubs,an act that was warmly greeted by the ships crew,some of whom were from Wales.A long time ago but still fresh in my memory.Suffer little children.

  11. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    On 21/10/66 I was in primary 7 at St Columba’s in Annan.




    Of all the World events that have featured in my now 3 score years Aberfan is still the one that resonates the most deeply.




    May they rest in peace.






    It was beyond anything we could have imagined at the time and the horror of it still, as you say, resonates deeply.



    There have been many man made horrors since and not a day goes by without reading and hearing about hundreds of men, women and children being wiped out by the dozen, only to pass from our consciousness whenever the next atrocity occurs.

  12. TD 67. 1.09.


    I agree.


    When someone calls it Celtic Park, rightly or wrongly I have them down as a Celtic man, when they say Parkhead, I have to dig a bit deeper.


    Plenty of Celtic fans I know call it Parkhead though, my take on it is Fergus nailed it, when he told a journalist, who called it Parkhead in his piece, that Parkhead is an area of Glasgow, we are at Celtic Park.


    Hail Hail.

  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    In my young days, it was always called Parkhead, or Parkheid.


    I used to wonder when players were quoted talking about being at the Park.


    I thought that they should have been at the ground training, instead of larking around a boating pond somewhere in the city!!



    Celtic Park was always the official name, same as St. Mirren Park was the official name for what was known as Love St.



    I believe Fergus’ motive for insisting on Celtic Park was because it got the name ” Celtic” promoted, as per the “brand”.



    It is a bit precious to query the affiliation of anyone who still refers to the ground as Parkhead.



    I’m surprised at Tony not recognising that his generation always asked each other, “Are you going to Parkhead on Saturday”, and not “Are you going to Celtic Park”.

  14. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    AN TEACH SOLAIS on 21ST OCTOBER 2016 1:14 PM


    Can the rotating screen be seen from inside the cafe?





    How about Almore’s Rotating Café?


    THOMTHETHIM 1207 from previous



    Got that. Not clever at all.



    A tragedy is no place for idiots like that.




    Im afraid you’ve got me wrong there mate, I was told by my father and grandfather we play at Celtic Park, Huns call it Parkhead, I got into it with a Hun in my local a few months ago as I mentioned Celtic Park, he said wits this Celtic Park Pi.. its parkheed as he called it, and I said it’s in parkheed , but it’s named Celtic Park, trust me you’ll never get a Hun calling Celtic Park what it is, that’s my opinion, same as saying O.. F… that’s no longer in my vocabulary, same as Celtic Park isn’t in there’s so GIRFU them.

  17. Delaneys Dunky on




    I have heard huns refer to our stadium as Parkheid or Cellic Park, but never the name I refer to our home as, Paradise.



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