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.

CQN Annual £10 +p&p

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Anybody interested in photography and has a few spare hours this afternoon could


    pass the time recording the meeting of the fans and the atmosphere around Glasgow as these two great clubs prepare for battle.


    I for one, would like to see a photographic record of the build up.

  2. Not long now Bhoys, What a night we have in prospect, should be the best atmosphere ever tonight, this part from Macbeth kept coming into my head today hope it is a sign!





    If we should fail?



    Lady Macbeth:


    We fail?


    But screw your courage to the sticking place,


    And we’ll not fail.




  3. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Wonder if hearts woes streach back to the sfa presidents reign at that club

  4. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    never really worked out well for them did it


    she ended up radio rental and he copped it, nah try and get another one into yer head, one with a better outcome :o)

  5. 5 and a half….



    Atmosphere building nicely. Will be in Merchant Square around 5.00 so do say hello!

  6. Green Lantern (((((0)))))


    13:43 on


    7 November, 2012


    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!



    A big Hail Hail to Barack, they hated his name, his colour, his politics, his intellect………….who else do we know hates like this?

  7. Thanks to ‘shady’ I have my ticket for tonight! A big thanks to him.


    Been to BB’s for the obligatory haggis, neeps and tattie with my young brother.


    Checked out the fanzone in Merchant Sq.


    Plenty of Barça fans mooching around town.


    Not long now.



  8. From a poster on TSFM, hadnt heard this before.



    ordinaryfan says:


    Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 14:12


    1 0 Rate This


    Talking about the Scotland job today and I was reminded of this from Bertie Vogts Biography, he talks about Tommy Burns:



    ‘I think maybe if he was the assistant manager of Rangers, then maybe he could have taken over. If Tommy came from the blue side then I think he’d have taken over after me. Sorry but I have to say that.”

  9. paulsatim @14.20



    And still some wonder why so many Celtic supporters don`t support Scotland.

  10. Heading into town now, looking forward to a great Celtic night



    Sing our hearts out tonight, especially poignant to remember those who are not with us to celebrate 125 years



    A happy bhoy

  11. Bhoys due to me pulling a muscle on my back, unfortunaly i cannot make the game to-night, i have a concession tkt ,my seat is in the front stand near the away dug- out .

  12. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    Right enough of this pretence, work is getting chucked for the day.



    Off home to meditate for a Celtic victory



    Altogether now : Ohhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  13. Quite often in the past, I have worried about the outcome of certain CL games at Celtic Park. Sometimes, as the KO drew nearer, my concerns diminished and I grew in confidence. This confidence invariably turned out to be justified. This is turning out to be one of those occasions where my concerns are on the wane and my confidence is growing.


    Arbroath Emerald Supporters bus leaves at 4.30. By then, I expect to be in a very positive frame of mind. Regadless, it`s a nice feeling going to see the best team in the world playing another of my favourites, Barcelona.




  14. From the Scotsman:



    Published on Wednesday 7 November 2012 14:15



    Heart of Midlothian is faces a winding up order from HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill.



    A petition by the tax authority was presented to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to place the SPL club into liquidation earlier this month.



    The Tynecastle club is understood to be facing the action from HMRC over unpaid PAYE and National Insurance dating back several months, which is separate from their ongoing troubles with the tax authority.



    The latest dispute emerged as Hearts are challenging a £1.75m bill at the First Tier Tax Tribunal relating to players loaned to the club by Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas, which is also owned by Vladimir Romanov.



    HMRC presented the petition to the court on November 1 and Hearts have eight days to respond starting from this Tuesday.



    Hearts recently launched a fans’ share issue for a 10% stake in the club, which the board denies would be used to raise around £1.79m in order to pay off its tax debt.



    In January, HMRC lodged a separate winding up order against Hearts with the Court of Session, which resulted in the club paying off another tax bill.



    The tax authority also took similar actions in November and December last year.

  15. Good grief. Up all night with a vomiting 5 year-old. Now catching up, realising the magnitude of the task ahead of our Celtic ‘kids’ against these dyed-in-the-wool megastars.



    Caught the Barca coach comments about playing second-string players in their two remaining matches if they win tonight – means even more pressure on us to get a result and force them to play for it against Benfica and Spartak, although I cannot for the life of me see new dad Messi making a trip to Russia in the dead of winter for a non-vital game.



    Sadly, wee Forrest might be missed big-time tonight for his directness, pace and energy. I hope Lenny has something up his sleeve to throw them a curveball otherwise we’ll see the same Barca pattern of sitting tight, playing it around you.



    But our players know there’s always sometihng intangible in the air on big Euro nights at CP; a force of immersion that has facilitated incredible results in the past, almost beyond the ken of the players who pulled them off.



    Tonight we need the ultimate Celtic european performance, for beyond Inter in ’67 this is surely the most accomplished team we’ve ever needed to achieve a result against.

  16. You would think there would only be so many times a company can face winding up orders – 4 times hmrc have tried to put the Jambos in liquidation. Vlad’s brinkmanship is making a mockery of thetax and legal system.

  17. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    I’ll be costing him a few bob in legal fee’s too.

  18. can someone help sky sports news are saying we have only won 3 out of the last 11 champions league home matches



    is this right thought we had better record than that bugging can someone post last 11 home results please ta in advance

  19. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    I would be very happy to see them follow follow their brothers down the tubes

  20. Big Georges Fan Club on

    Any guidance on a good pub in the vacinity of Merchant Square that will let the weans in?



    Off to pick Wee BGFC and Princess BGFC up from school, then off we jolly well pop to the big toon for the game – be there around 5-ish.




  21. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    The Man from Ballymote and the Celtic Cycle






    Please read and support the guys going to Ballymote tonight after the game.




  22. From the CSA site.



    A fantastic celebration of Celtic founding in St Mary’s.



    Over 1000, Celtic minded people turned up last night in St Mary’s RC Church to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the founding by Brother Walfrid and his committee of Celtic Football Club.



    Celtic FC was represented by majority share-holder Dermott Desmond, Chairman Ian Bankier, CEO Peter Lawwell, and most of the Board of Directors and Manager Neil Lennon. Barcelona also had a very impressive number of Board members and Officials present.



    The majority of the Lisbon Lions were present along with former players from different eras, including Tom Boyd, Frank Mc Garvey, and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.



    Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier started the proceedings by welcoming people here and explaining how Celtic had evolved in these 125 years to be the club we are today.



    He was followed by Church of Scotland Minister the Rev Ian Miller of Bonhill Church. The Rev told how he started out life supporting another Glasgow team, but was converted by the Celtic ethos and culture of all-inclusiveness, and helping those in most need.



    He was followed by Celtic Graves representative Terry Dick; Terry gave a very detailed narrative of the early years in Celtic’s long and glorious history.



    12 Priests concelebrated the Holy Mass, they were ably supported by the choir from the University, and the readings were performed by Lisbon Lion Jim Craig, and Marie Mc Cusker.



    After the Mass it was back to Celtic Park for some mince and tatties that was greatly appreciated on a very cold November evening.



    As you would expect at a gathering of Celtic people, all the profit from last night was appropriately donated to the wonderful Mary’s Meals Project, which helps to feed children in many different countries throughout the world.



    A big thank you to The Celtic Graves Society for organising last night’s celebration, and to Peter Lawwell and Celtic Football Club for paying it the respect it truly deserved. Also a big thank you to all those who joined in the celebration.



    It just leaves me to say, it will be a completely different atmosphere in Paradise tonight, good luck to Lenny and the Bhoys, let’s get right behind the team and cheer them on to victory as only a Celtic Support can.



    Tonight, Glasgow’s Green and White.

  23. good afternoon cqn


    paul67 read the supporters assocation blog on last night,the Reverend Ian Miller,seems to have done good,he would have been in his element

  24. shimmies –



    Don’t have time to look things up, but I am sure that in WGS’ years when we qualified for the last 16, we won all our home games in the group stages. Cannot remember the qualifiers, if any?



    Manure, Vilareal(?) AaB, Benfica, Milan, Shaktar(?)



    Of course, in the last 16 we had a draw against Milan and the narrow loss to Barca.




  25. I noticed Vmhan posted this earlier



    New documents posted today at Companies House for RFC PLC (RFC 2012)









    Does this mean what I hope it means ?

  26. As the greatest of them all once said,



    “The best place to defend is in the opposition penalty box.”




  27. curly



    thanks my son and i couldnt understand were they were coming from we remembered beating benfica milan man utd spartak so couldnt believe there stats



    probably jim white compiled them lol!!