Forster, Samaras and Perth


When I researched yesterday’s article (yes, research does happen sometimes) I was far from encouraged.  Udinese had an impeccable home record and Snr Di Natale is one of Europe’s irresistible strikers at the moment.

We didn’t manage to resist Di Natale but he will remember Fraser Forster for a few years.  We have been fortunate to see a few great goalkeeping performances in Europe in the last decade but last night Fraser was second perhaps only to David Marshall that night in Barcelona.  That last minute penalty save against Hearts on Saturday has moved the player onto a new platform.

Udinese had a good 20 minute spell when they looked every inch the team joint top of the Italian league but they were on the rack in the closing stages of the game.  Cha DuRi has had an eventful Europa League on the road this season.  He was a bit unfortunate at the Udinese goal but completely out of luck when he twisted his body mid-air to volley off the post.

Watching Georgios Samaras last night was a lesson in how complex a game football can be.  This is a player who could not hold down a place in the SPL last season, yet playing in a different position he had top-flight defenders throwing themselves at him in order to inhibit progress.

There is still work to be done, but the return of three first choice defenders will enhance the team considerably.  The most pleasing thing about last night came after the game; Fraser Forster’s focus was immediately on St Johnstone.  It’s all about Perth now.

Issue 5 of CQN Magazine will be out soon.  Hard copies will be available direct, at a considerably reduced cost from our current Magcloud arrangement and with a fast delivery turnaround.  Details soon.

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  1. Celtic Soul Brother- Supporting Kano 1000 on

    Hard draw for the English in Europe@:



    Chelsea v Napoli



    Arsenal v Milan



    City v Porto



    United v Ajax



    Stoke v Valencia

  2. Spirit



    Just to let you know l could have had the podium, but frankly l am far too mature for such trifling nonsense. -)




  3. A slightly, though one suspects rather grudgingly, more positive appraisal of the keeper than the previous article.

  4. Celtic Soul Brother- Supporting Kano 1000 says:


    16 December, 2011 at 12:34



    Some cracking ties there, four of them would be worthy of the final in their respective tournaments.



    Udinese v PAOK.



    Would have heavily fancied us in that.

  5. James Forrest is Lennon on

    Yeah so an excellent performance last night – and it was excellent in every way – has been utterly cast aside by the mindless, moronic actions of a bunch of self-indulgent wannabee revolutionaries who think their view, their warped view, of our club is an accurate representation of what we are about.



    Note to the yahoos – you ain’t Celtic. You speak for no-one but yourselves.



    This isn’t about our enemies in Scotland coming after us, and this Family needing to oppose that. This is about a small group of supporters trying to pick a fight – a fight, by the way, we cannot win – with people who at present are NOT our enemies. This is about tarnishing, about urinating on, a reputation we have worked hard, damned hard, to cultivate and it has taken us years.



    UEFA are not our enemies. They took on Rangers when the SFA had no intention of doing so. Are some of their rules contradictory, like not holding clubs responsible for what happens outside the ground? Of course. To hammer clubs for the behaviour of a few nutters inside the ground whilst they turn the proverbial blind eye and deaf ear to a riot is a piece of nonsense, but they at least have gone boldly where the SFA did not want to go, and made some EFFORT.



    I say again, we have no enemies at UEFA. Last night’s showpiece in Italy was as a result of a ruling – a major ruling – in our favour, and that appears to have escaped the notice of some of our so-called fans.



    Let me remind them, we in the Celtic Family have a collective word for people who behave in a way which is mindless, arrogant, confrontational and destructive. We call them huns.



    Last night their actions damaged our club. The people responsible for it should be hunted down and removed from our fan base. Their actions were not reckless, as some have said, or about freedom of speech or any of that stuff. They have a clear agenda, and if I did not know better (I do, I am not indulging in whatabouterry) I would say some of the people steering them are doing so deliberately to put our club in harms way. Conspiracy theorists of the world unite.



    What we saw last night is not about standing up for yourselves in light of attacks from people who wish us ill. It was pure self indulgent nonsense, utterly without merit, completely negative, shocking destructive and brought no credit to anyone involved.



    The board had my contempt earlier this week with their shocking decision not to clarify the situation with our fans singing. On this one they have my full support. These people went out of their way last night to provoke the next phase of this, and if the people running Celtic want to clean house and be rid of the lot of them, any sympathy they had from me has gone.



    Appalling behaviour by a minority who now seem determined to cause us problems.

  6. Yes, Paul, a top quality keeper is worth about 12 points a season. 2 points chalked up on Saturday.



    Big man has been outstanding this season, when he gets a contract he will feel even more part of the team, he has come a long way since his pre-season howler for Newcastle.

  7. True story Paul.



    Was gutted last night but proud enough this AM.



    “There is still work to be done…” Again, true story, now at least we can see fruits of their labour, long may it continue.



    Have a good weekend all.




  8. Ahem! repost from etc. etc. etc.



    Can’t believe some of the bickering on here.



    The banner was silly, childish & slightly embarrassing. Nothing more.



    The flare was stupid & potentially dangerous.



    Let UEFA do what they do based on the rules.



    ‘We’ put ourselves in this position. If there is no reprimand, fine if there is (assuming it is moderate) accept it like the big club we’re supposed to be.



    Surely we can’t treat everybody as having an agenda against us?



    In fact complaining about everything negative which happens merely dilutes our complaints when we really are shafted.



    Now I hope we can stop the needless debate on this issue and concentrate on our strongly developing squad of players

  9. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    I saw the Scottish media’s bannergate this morning.



    Then I went and picked up my kid from nursery school.



    There was a lot of name-calling, finger-pointing, petted-lips and general whining designed to get others into trouble with teacher.



    The nursery, however, was quiet.

  10. brimmer 'kano 1000' on

    From last thread..



    brimmer ‘kano 1000’ says:


    16 December, 2011 at 12:31



    Yep that banner will be really offensive to an organisation such as Uefa. Tsk. Some people need to get a life. It was a wee bit childish, but that’s it. Dearie me..



    As for the flare/smoke bomb, i’m sure the Italians would have been mortified.



    I mean why take a wee bit of smoke in, when you can do this!!!







  11. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    VP-You must work a lot of Saturdays as you always have your working gear on after the game ;)

  12. Paul67 – I wouldn’t worry too much about the reduced cost for the hard copy.


    I remember Viz increasing their magazine cost with the slogan “new, cough-up or f@@$ off price”

  13. James Forrest is Lennon



    A very powerful piece.



    You may have seen my post of a little earlier so you’ll know, while sympathising with what you say, I’m a bit more relaxed about last nights embarrassment.



    Perhaps your contribution has been building up for a while and last night was the proverbial straw?

  14. Oh, so I didn’t see the banner on ESPN last night.



    I see it’s in the Daily Record this morning.






    I wouldn’t be proud to wave around a banner with the F-word on it, there are better words in the dictionary.



    It was childish and stupid, but so is a lot of the stuff that goes on at football matches.



    Not everything is for serious, right?



    There were more offensive things said last night on that cringingly awful TV show “Life’s Too Short”. (thumbsup)

  15. I thought Fraser showed remarkable maturity in someone so young last night. Not in his performance, that spoke volumes in itself, however his post-match interview was terrific.



    Although it is a very young team we have, Neil has instilled an undoubted maturity throughout – this will see us through the remainder of the season.






  16. johann murdoch:







    “The next game is always the most important game”. I don’t always agree with that but if it is a league game, then I do.



    Do you know what pee’s me off with the present incumbents of Celtic Football Club… they don’t answer their mail.



    Now that we have Europe out of the way can we concentrate on the governance of Celtic Football Club and its future, not the corporate governance, just the ethical, social and historical governance of those who believe they speak in our name would be a start.



    Is Celtic PLC prepared to stand by, after their choreographed capitulation to UEFA, and allow a young naive Celtic Supporter to incur a criminal record when they never once spoke out against 25,000 bigots at Hampden and then in TOTAL HYPOCRASY, take bigoted coin from same said bigots. And a young naive Celtic Supporter has his future curtailed courtesy of a collusive Celtic PLC board who value the auld firm coin more than the ethos and values of our club?

  17. James Forrest is Lennon says:


    16 December, 2011 at 12:38



    Last night their actions damaged our club. The people responsible for it should be hunted down and removed from our fan base.



    I was thinking this last night.



    That action brought nothing positive to the club. Nothing. What they done was no more than throwing their collective dummy out of the pram.



    Grow up lads or sod off.

  18. Player ratings:



    Poor: Cha, Mulgrew, Forrest



    Cha’s delivery was all over the place, and his header providing the assist for the goal was idiotic – no other word for it. However, his speed was vital when it came to stopping Udinese’s quick breaking play in the 2nd half, and he was oh so nearly the Cillit Bang hero with a shot that hit the keeper after ricocheting off the post. Mulgrew’s delivery was just as bad – why he continued to be take free kicks was one of the frustrating aspects to last night – and his passing was lazy. The poor play of our fullbacks did not go unnoticed by the Udinese coach, who sent his wide players to run at them in the 2nd half. Forrest was largely unable to influence the game, and lacked the necessary self-assurance to play behind the strikers. His strength lies in driving at defenders, and it would be interesting to see this team selection played in a straightforward 4-3-3, with James on the right.



    Average: Hooper



    Took his goal (right place, right time) but, like Forrest, does not do well with his back to goal. Some of his touches were Scott Mcdonald at his worst, and I’d love to see him work on this aspect of his game, rather than remain one half of a double-act with Stokes.



    Good: Kayal



    Did his job competently, breaking up play and one or two good passes forward.



    Very good: Wanyama, Majstorovic, Brown



    Once again, Wanyama showed immense strength and concentration in defence. Play him at CB! Dan’s positioning was excellent – terrific block 57 mins to stop Di Natale’s shot. Although Scott was hit and miss, and he certainly tired towards the end, his energy in the first half was worth two players in terms of closing down and tracking back.



    Outstanding: Ki



    His first-half display hasn’t been commented on, but if you watch it he quietly goes about his business, making four crisp interceptions within the first six minutes. Much quieter 2nd half. A central three of Brown, Kayal and Ki looks strong on this evidence.



    Astonishingly brilliant: Samaras



    Yes, he wasn’t as effective in the 2nd half, but even then played very well, despite being inexplicably switched to the right. His first half was as good as anything in the last two years, and the wonderful play to chest the ball down, shrug off a player, beat another and take out two defenders with a pass that set up Hooper (who sent his shot agonisingly wide) is just one example plucked from many.



    MOTM: Forster



    Never mind goalkeeping performance, I’d count that as the best display from a Celtic player this season. Brilliant saves, superb positioning, confident, accurate kicking – what a difference a last-minute penalty save makes!






    Stokes – Quickly got to grips with the game after a couple of mistakes. Seemed to have something to prove, and in hindsight should maybe have started instead of his striker partner.



    Bangura – Not enough time on the ball to see whether he’s improved or not.

  19. Was it a flare or a smoke bomb?



    How many flares and smoke bombs are let of at Italian football games each week?



    When in Rome.

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    I think it was a sparkling gesture from Philvis to gift SOAL the podium laurels.



    Many happy returns SOAL.

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    I.R.A. Nazi Links



    The truth is beauty and beauty truth.



  22. Celtic Soul Brother- Supporting Kano 1000 on

    Celtic_First says:


    16 December, 2011 at 12:45




    They have a good draw and should make the last 8 but doubt very much they will win it.

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