Fortune favours the Celtic


On hearing the results from England’s vaulted competitors in the Champions League last night, against teams ten points off the pace in the Netherlands and seven adrift in Germany, my first thought was, I wonder how they’d get on against Barcelona?  This is a guide to the magnitude of the challenge facing our manager and players this evening.

You can forget notions of stoical performances two weeks ago, that game counts for nothing, which we will find out within the opening minutes.  If Celtic are going to earn anything substantial from their group-stage games against Barcelona, they will need to open better, retain possession higher up the field, and maintain energy and concentration levels until the final whistle.

Barca have had an incredible start to the season, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 domestic league games, while winning all three in the Champions League, but each well-oiled machine is susceptible to having a spanner thrown in.

Nine years ago the same team arrived at Celtic Park on the back of a nine game winning run, the best in their history at the time.  The trip to Glasgow didn’t work out so well for them as Celtic punched a hole in their defences and used what, at the time, I assumed was voodoo to prevent the visitors from scoring.  They travelled home blaming hex, bad finishing and the foreign conditions for their defeat, but the truth is we spooked some of the most experienced players in the game.

This is not a team of diminutive super-humans.  They are enormously skilful and effective, clearly the best team in the world today, but they are vulnerable at the back, as Celtic proved two weeks ago, and struggle to vary the formula, if required, up front.

Celtic need to concentrate on winning possession on the wings inside the opposition half.  Do this regularly enough and opportunities to fire high-balls into the box, directly or from free kicks, will follow.  Neil Lennon will decide if this is a game for Kris Commons but even if it’s not, it is a game for a Commons-style intelligent use of body and ball.

If voodoo is your thing, knock yourself out.  The rest of you wear your lucky socks/shirt/shoes/Hector mask and arrive ready to participate. Fortune favours the Celtic.

I attended the 125th Anniversary celebrations at St Mary’s and later the Kerrydale Suite last night. I’m not sure what I expected beforehand but it was not the funny, touching and unmistakably-Celtic occasion we experienced. Well done to the magnificent Celtic Graves Society for getting the tone absolutely right, and to Celtic for bringing the event together. If Messi and Co were in attendance they would be reluctant to leave the dressing room tonight. The Barcelona directors who were there will now where to aim for with their club.

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  1. Paul67 – If voodoo is your thing, knock yourself out.



    Let’s stick a pin in that, Paul67. (thumbsup)

  2. ……………….Forster



    Lustig Ambrose Wilson Mulgrew



    Commons Kayal Wanyama Ledley





    …………………………….. Watt

  3. 4th place? Shame I couldn’t do so well with getting tickets for tonight. leads have dried up, not giving up yet but guessing it’s going to have to be sky sports for me.

  4. Beaten byPhilvises experience, I will improve.


    Tonight is a night to be savoured.


    To every Tim out there ENJOY THE MOMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    C’MON THE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS of to fanzone for an hour.


    “Oscar Knox celtic warrior YNWA” HAIL HAIL

  5. How the mighty have fallen:



    “Owen Coyle open to Scotland approach”



    Does his Donegal granny know about this? Where are our remarkably well-informed posters on all things Coyle these days? (thumbsup)

  6. leftclicktic – Celtic men may not always win, but we are never beaten.



    Hail Hail. (thumbsup)

  7. Two things, no, three things;



    First , we must not give away possession from our own throws, a bug bear of mine.



    Second, when we receive free kicks anywhere within distance of their 18yd box, stop the game, bring up the big men and launch the ball into them. Please do this. It slows the pace of the game and puts them on the defensive.



    Finally, the Barca coach has stated that if they win tonight, he will be giving all the second string players a run in the remaining games. He later rowed back a bit, but the cat is out out the bag.


    We will be at a huge disadvantage if this happens.


    Neil Lennon must fill the teams bellies with fire, controlled aggression.


    We will do it !!!

  8. Threesy,…mind and bring your respirator, might need it tonight!


    What a buzz waiting for this game.


    Just have a go Bhoys, get in aboot rem!!

  9. I hope tonight when we have the ball we make better use of it. At times in Spain it was an embarrassment to see some of the attempted passes. When we have possession we need cool heads and good movement. Good luck to the bhoys tonight.



    It was great to see 3 of the best players in the world posing for a photo with the Celtic home and 125 year tops.


    The greatest team in the world visiting the greatest club in the world is a wonderful thing.



    Oh has anyone taken any notice of the 31st Dec….ssshhh don’t tell the Tims.



    Some pathetic attempt at a wind up by the bleeding knuckled hordes. Champs league against Barca, 125 years of unbroken history and that’s what they come up with.



    Hail Hail

  10. sixtaeseven: £94M: Permanent Embarrassment & Disgrace Forever on

    We will make our galant bid.



    C’mon the Celtic !!!

  11. Press on the fullbacks and draw the central defenders out wide or deep into midfield and we CAN take them.



    Matthews to left back with Mulgrew / Ledley / Vic in midfield.



    Lets show the world bhoys

  12. OT question.



    Does anyone know if Norn Irn Sterling is accepted in Scottish shops, pubs, etc.?


    It didn’t used to be.

  13. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    if we can take at least 4 points from the 3 games we have left we should still have some kind of Euro-football after Christmas to look forward to.



    Benfica/Spartak drawing tonight would be a good result for us.

  14. thomthethim – Does anyone know if Norn Irn Sterling is accepted in Scottish shops, pubs, etc.?



    Only in Tillicoultry. (thumbsup)

  15. Can I Have Raspberry On That Champions League Ice Cream


    12:13 on


    7 November, 2012


    Fitness test failed, back to the docs for me.





    Sorry to hear that Broonie…you are Broonie right? ;)

  16. Just had a text fae Owny’s granny –


    ………….she’s in Ballbofey at a competitive Knit-Off……..


    ……..apparently Owny’s using his ‘mates’ in shortbread to push his profile with the “Hampden Speculation”…………


    ………..but what he REALLY covets is The Ugandan Gig……….


    ……..aye………… According to our Donegal connection…………..Once he manoevres “Boaby” into the Scots job………………He’s Mr Uganda


    …ye heard it here first.




  17. TwoTunTimfromTeddington on

    No ticket, no sky sports, can’t go out the house tonight…….. But not a bad broadband connection, mmm I wonder!


    Finishing early,


    home for a shower,


    A little dinner,


    head down the gallowgate,


    Go and watch the best team


    in the world play Barcelona!!!


    aaah bistro ..



    Happy Celticing

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