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Fortune favours the Celtic

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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. We will win the champions league in the next 3 years……..is this absurd ?……do you dare to dream ?……..porto did it ?

  2. Forster

     

     

    Lustig Ambrose Wilson Mulgrew

     

     

    Brown Vic Ledley Sammi

     

     

    Commons

     

     

    Hooper (watt if hoops inj)

     

     

    Hope paradise is rockin from the off.. Late night in oz for me.

     

     

     

    Let the people sing

  3. Forster

     

    Lustig Ambrose Wilson Matthews

     

    Brown Wanyama Ledley Mulgrew

     

    Commons

     

    Miku

     

     

    Cant put Mulgrew at LB tonight as he is too slow, with Matthews being there it gives us some pace to cover at the back. Too soon for Watt to start, Miku up top for me

  4. South Of Tunis on

    Just seen Donald Trump on the tele . Ranting about democracy and millions of Americans marching on Washington to save America.

     

     

    I was deeply impressed by his ability to cover 95 % of his head with 10 % of his hair .

  5. Good luck to the bhoys tonight

     

     

    Gutted that im half way around the world instead of my usual 107 seat

     

     

    Do yourselves proud tonight Celtic

  6. Forster

     

    Lustig Ambrose Wilson Matthews

     

    Brown Wanyama Ledley Mulgrew

     

    Commons

     

    Miku

     

     

    Cant put Mulgrew at LB tonight as he is too slow, with Matthews being there it gives us some pace to cover at the back. Too soon for Watt to start, Miku up top for me

     

     

    Your right about mulgrew, too slow at this level but his set pieces mean he must play.

     

     

    Is sammi and hooper defo not fit to start ?

  7. Ok here we go….

     

     

    I’m monitoring rfc (IL) activities at companies house. I just received notification that “The Rangers Football Club PLC” company number SC004276 has filed the following docs.

     

     

    • Liq Doc 4.2(SC)

     

    • Liq Doc C) 4.2S

     

     

     

    Apologies if already covered.

     

     

    HH

  8. In the mile high city of Denver this week. The British Bulldog shows English Premier League and claims they will show the game today. Will check it out later.

     

     

    Any Denver based Tims out there? Any alternates that will definitely show the game?

     

     

    Interesting night last night watching the election results roll in. Thank God Obama won!

     

     

    Hail Hail!

     

     

    RobinBhoy

  9. At the risk of stealing Jobo’s near monopoly on weather-related musings, and of distrubing his countdown to kick-off …

     

     

    Tonight’s forecast is a balmy 10 degrees centigrade, with frequent showers and breezes up to 20 mph from the south west.

     

     

    Tonight’s scorecast, on the other hand … ?

     

     

    FF

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    Bada Bing

     

     

    Per Barca debt etc, you’re welcome.

     

     

    There’s a lot of ill-informed and mischievous reporting that is little more than ‘pass it on’ whispering founded in part on envy.

     

     

    Barca were in the poo a couple of years ago, but have since adopted a responsible business model that others might do well to follow. Similarly Real, who have been profitable 6 years in succession now.

     

     

    While Chelsea, PSG, Man City and others continue to spew other people’s money on the Game, the two big Spanish clubs have done exceptionally well to create a business that delivers success on the pitch and profit off it.

     

     

    Wages v Turnover is mid-high 40s percent at both clubs.

     

     

    They are profitable, and predictably so.

     

     

    They are winning trophies, in Barca’s case, with a remarkable number of kids from their own Academy.

     

     

    You might even stretch it to say that Barca have adopted the Lawwell model, only on a x10 scale.

     

     

    The big so-called ‘debt’ numbers whirling about are the total liabilities of each club – accrued through the normal process of trade like any other company. The bigger the company, necessarily the bigger the transactions. At €500M revenue each, Madrid and Barca have commensurate liabilities.

     

     

    Their net debt – money borrowed to sustain the business plan – is reasonable in Barca’s case (€99M) and negligible in Real’s (€30M) when compared to their revenue and their interest cost.

     

     

    Both are expected to reduce in the coming period, which means for Real they will have no debt at all.

     

     

    Of course the inequity of the TV rights system in Spain – where rights are owned and sold by the clubs individually rather than collectively – gives each club a disproportionate advantage domestically, is causing all manner of problems for the other clubs, and is something that is expected to be changed in the coming seasons.

     

     

    At the European level though, it makes little difference when compared with the TV and commercial revenues enjoyed by the English and German clubs for example.

     

     

    Surprising as it seems to be to some, these two clubs are nowadays models of Platini’s FFP vision.

     

     

    TBB

  11. philvisreturns on

    RobinBhoy – God had nothing to do with it.

     

     

    The Big Man would probably have had a word with both candidates to ask what part of “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not covet your neighbours goods” they don’t understand. (thumbsup)

  12. South Of Tunis on

    Ooh hey hey-yah ah-ah ah -ha yeah

     

     

    Voodoo ray ray ray ray ray ray .

     

     

     

    Voodoo Ray / Guy called Gerald CSC -way down south.

  13. SOT

     

     

    :)))))))))))))

     

     

     

    …apparently its one hair, but measures exactly the same height of the Trump Tower!

     

     

    FACT.

  14. Green Lantern (((((0))))) on

    Maybe Mitt Romney should have tried voodoo last night. His magic underpants certainly didn’t work.

     

     

    Mind you, the world has been saved from a bunch of cowboys, rednecks and bible belters, which is where Romney appeared to derive much of his support.

     

     

    Well done Bronco Bama!

  15. Hi RobinBhoy

     

     

    An old workmate of mine runs an Irish Bar in Denver “Scruffy Murphys” that might be worth a call to see if they are showing the game

     

     

     

     

    Brnobhoy

  16. Steinreignedsupreme on

    South Of Tunis 13:29 on 7 November, 2012

     

     

    “Just seen Donald Trump on the tele . Ranting about democracy and millions of Americans marching on Washington to save America.

     

     

    “I was deeply impressed by his ability to cover 95 % of his head with 10 % of his hair .”

     

     

    We can only assume Trump met Archie Macpherson during one of his trips to Scotland.

     

     

    I passed big ‘Whooft’ at the top of Renfield Street on a particularly windy day in Glasgow many years ago and his entire head of hair was dancing north above his right ear. It was like looking at one of those candy floss machines.

  17. That post of mines relates to an email I just received, but it may be previously filed docs although the email says that the docs were recently submitted. It may be a red herring but hey its also a good day to bury a 4th division team.

     

     

    HH

  18. Some fans on here need to get a grip with ” a don’t fancy us tonight, think barca will win 2,3,4-0 ” that’s not what we’re all about how about remember AC Milan,man utd and the rest who all came thinking they would win and never tonight is not for the weak. MON THE HOOPS

  19. patmcgrathtakesapenalty on

    Arrived in La Paz yesterday and thought I must mail CQN to find out where to watch the game. No need. The taxi driver handed me his card and on the back was an advert for The Dubliner bar. That was the first “sign”. He dropped us at our hostel. They hadn’t a record of our booking but put us in a bigger room with a TV and ESPN. The second “sign”. We walked a few blocks and dis not see a sign of a Barca top whereas we have spotted them throughout Peru and Equador. We saw one Real Madrid top. Another “sign”. We went into a small restaurant and I picked up one of the local papers: El Deder. I scanned the pages. The centre pages were taken up with serious political debate about the constitution and accompanied by a photograph taken at a demonstration. Two figures dominated the foreground and one of them was wearing… you’re ahead of me now… a Celtic top. A sign to beat all signs.

     

     

    I don’t believe in signs but I do believe we will come away with points tonight.

  20. For any of the Corby St Brendan bhoys out there, just received the news (from my youngest brother Patrick) that My Uncle Tony passed away this morning………… You will will surely know who I am talking about……………Jeez………. In bits and don’t know if I’ll be able to book flights etc.,

     

     

    What’s the time Tony??? We used to say as kids in Maryhill “Seven past Niven, son, Seven past Niven”……………

     

     

    TBM

  21. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Glad to say I’m all the way round the world and will be taking my place supporting Celtic, I know its a long way to come to see the TIC but I think it is worth it, to all you ghuys who could only make it half way, my comiserations but rest assured those in your place will do you proud.

     

    hail hail

  22. Folly Folly

     

    13:38 on

     

    7 November, 2012

     

    At the risk of stealing Jobo’s near monopoly on weather-related musings, and of distrubing his countdown to kick-off …

     

     

    Tonight’s forecast is a balmy 10 degrees centigrade, with frequent showers and breezes up to 20 mph from the south west.

     

    Thunder forecast in the east end of Glasgow…….

  23. The Battered Bunnet on

    Celtic’s record in Europe this season is, curiously, better than our record in the SPL

     

     

    Europe

     

    P7, W5, D1, L1

     

     

    SPL

     

    P11, W6, D3, L2

     

     

    Barcelona are a wonderful team, blessed with exceptional talents and a remarkably effective system. Looking at our SPL record lately, Barca should walk over us.

     

     

    But we’re talking about Celtic, at home, in the Champions League, where over 10 years our record reads:

     

     

    P19, W12, D5, L2

     

     

    I think the Bhoys will do us all immensely proud tonight. These are the games where life long memories are created. Moments captured. Legends born.

     

     

    Mon the Hoops.

  24. Tom English ‏@TomEnglishSport

     

    Getting my stuff together for Celtic. Laptop for my report. Tape recorder for post-match. Ear plugs to stop my lugs exploding from the noise

     

    Expand Reply Retweet Favorite

     

     

    C´MON THE HOOPS

  25. Hearts get winding up order for non payment of PAYE and VAT,not connected to £1.7 m bill.Can’t remember another team getting that…..

  26. Greetings from a rather driech Glasgow. Sitting in one coffee shop using the free WiFi of the Coffee shop across from it. Greetings to all CQNers I hope your team wins tonight. Heading to Babbity’s later to pick up my tickets for me and the Bhoy, you’ll recognise me I’ll be wearing Celtic colours.

     

    Hail! Hail! PMTYH

  27. Barça Mole

     

     

    Very sorry to hear about your uncle. He sounds like a fine mhan.

     

     

    God rest his soul.

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