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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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420 Comments

  1. Murdochbhoy, yermanfromMK

     

     

    Thats for getting back to me mate, im not far from Newport Pagnell so I think Stoney is closer for me so I may join you for a match in the near future, unfortunatley tonight I will have to settle for my own compnay in front of the TV in the lounge!

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

     

     

    Seen in the new year 2000 in Newport Pagnell.

  2. Bada Bing

     

    Aye, wonder how he’ll look tonight – hope It’s sorted

     

    there will be peepil watching who don’t like that

     

    sort of thing :-)

  3. As I am about to depart Arbroath for Paradise, I have a vision of thousands of others travelling along the road from all parts of Scotland, Ireland,England and Wales with hope in our hearts. It`s a wonderful vision….and it is real.

     

    See you all there bhoys!

     

     

    Hail! Hail! The Celts are here!!

     

     

    JJ

  4. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    TheBarcaMole

     

     

    Sorry to hear of your sad loss.

     

     

    You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers today.

  5. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    glasgowdave

     

     

    Many thanks!

     

     

    More than just a football club.

     

     

    Indeed!

  6. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    junglejim.the only eagles you will see were the ones at the bing in barmulloch.hail hail.

  7. Paul67 et al

     

     

    When Barcelona failed to overcome Chelsea in the CL semifinals last season we were denied the opportunity to see whether Bayern Munich’s football style could prevail over the Catelonian masters. Similarily, when Germany failed to beat Italy in the semifinal of the Euros, we missed out on a Spain-Germany final. In other words we did not know which of two brilliant footballing philosophies would come out on top. Still dont. Our performance at the Nou Camp was based more on Chelsea’s last season’s model, and it will be difficult, but not impossible to replicate. Question is, can we offer more? Here’s hoping!

     

     

    NB. Not for the fainthearted but the match is also live on Radio 5 tonight, a radio station that actually enjoys coming to Celtic Park, and a medium, which unseen, really captures the atmosphere on European nights. Hopefully Roddy (Old Firm) Forsyth is on the bench!

  8. conditions will suit us more than Barca, tonight’s the night, great patience and we could sneak the 3 points. 1-0

  9. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve;-

     

    Posted yesterday but it seems to have turned left at the Hubble Telescope and on to deep space.

     

    Anyhoo win lose or draw, the best place to watch a football match tonight will be in Paradise. Courage and don’t look back Lhads.

     

    Greenwells

     

    Nanos gigantium humeris insidentes

  10. glasgowdave

     

     

    i was often very envious of the bhoys who could walk it home from paradise

     

     

    getting ready to board that bus,3rd hangover of the day kicking in

     

     

    Stranraer beckoning,heavy seas forecast,sometimes after a tanking,

     

     

    i’d have given my left ball to be going to the Pondy in Linwood

     

     

    bb

  11. viewfaethewindae on

    Hearts receive winding-up order over unpaid PAYE and VAT bill

     

     

    Ah we live in interesting times!

  12. jimmybhoycampbell on

    very blessed to be in Glasgow now, all the way from Cambodia…

     

     

    a big thanks to itsabouttim for finding me a ticket, he’s a true gent and a fine Celt.

     

     

    good luck to the Bhoys tonight, cant wait

     

     

    jimmybhoycampbell

  13. McNair is the greatest on

    Rev. Ian Millar is now retired and a true gentlemen. Known him since Primary school over thirty years ago when he told our St. Ronan’s class he was a Celtic fan I thought he was kidding. Been to many funeral & wedding services he has performed and spoke of his love of Celtic in nearly all of his sermons. Also been to a few sports night and he was the after dinner speaker.Top, top, funny mhan.

  14. Professor Green on

    Following my recent complaint regarding bbc Scotland claiming newco rangers had set a new world record of winning 33 Scottish cups in 3 months I got this reply

     

     

    ————————-

     

    Thank you for your contact. Your comments were passed to the Head of News, who has asked that I forward his response as follows:

     

     

    “Thank you for your comments.

     

     

    Given the complex nature of the liquidation of the former Rangers parent company, the transfer of assets and the conditional transfer of football registrations to the new parent company, it is entirely appropriate for the BBC to continue to make the distinction between the football club and its previous/current parent companies in the interests of clarity for our audience.

     

     

    The BBC recognises the significant developments at Ibrox (the backdrop to David’s piece to camera) and we do not feel the need to provide qualified words, which may or may not suit particular agendas. In general terms the item was a fair representation of the facts as they are understood by the majority of our audience.”

     

     

    Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.”

     

     

    ————————-

     

    It seems in bbc’s eyes they retain their history. I wonder who their head of news is?

  15. JaseBhoy

     

     

    16:14 on 7 November, 2012

     

     

    istanbulcelt

     

     

    Hope you had a great time!

     

     

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

     

    I really enjoyed the place. Just a nice wee town. I went to a bar called the Inverness. And seen in the bells at a place called the Bull. Took a few quid of the locals playing killer!

     

    Austin Martin’s are or were made there i believe. I met the bloke that was head of the paint shop for them…..said he would never buy one himself!

     

     

    Went to MK a couple of times, the weirdest city i have ever been to. I was drinking in pubs that were situated in what looks from the outside to be offices. Good time though… drink was heavily involved. Oh and i found red stripe on tap in another bar at NP.

  16. Odds for tonight’s game from my local Italian bookie.

     

     

    – Celtic 10/1

     

     

    – Draw 11/2

     

     

    – Barcelona 5/4

     

     

    Double chance

     

     

    – 1X 7/2

     

     

    – 12 Evens

     

     

    HH!!

  17. Kilbowie Kelt 14.03 Late reply 7 hour time difference.

     

    Rarely if ever agree agree with Philvis on politics but history ok.

     

    Read a book recently The Potato/Larry Zuckerman plus general historical knowledge.

     

    Agree on grain exports (even taught this at English school) and the general callousness of the British government to all its peoples apart from the favoured elite.

     

    Seems that the problem had been growing with the population and equally decreasing plots of land. A large number of better off Irish took advantage of these land laws.

     

    The first year of blight was followed by 2 more years of wet summers and long hard winters throughout Europe.Disease followed famine as usual much more death.Holland lost 60000 people, Scotland 9000 (before charitable help arrived-far less got to Ireland with more people to help).

     

    The Highland Clearances ( not as my children where taught at school in Sutherland). Yes instigated by Stafford the Duke “on the hill” and carried out by his factor ,English! Taken up by various Laird of the Glens who saw more profit in taking care of sheep than their own clanspeople. I could expand.

     

    England- The Enclosures/Hedgerows Acts (seemingly unknown of) many,many people evicted and beaten off their smallholdings (if you couldn’t afford to fence you surely couldn’t pay the fine). If not absorbed into industry, same as …emigrate!

     

    It should be a well known fact that at the height of the British empire/industrial revolution the English poor lived in abject poverty just like their kind in Wales,Scotland and Ireland. Life expectancy was so low in the cities. The British Army lowered the physical standard 3 times for entry prior to the Boer War..

     

    Sweden- population halved (all those vikings in midwest states) No English to blame!!!

     

    This was a European time and was the rich getting rid off the excess poor to the underpopulated parts of the world. As throughout history greed was to blame not not just the English. A change in attitudes is long overdue IMHO.

     

    I have reposted this because of time difference and I have since read on from Kilbowie Kelt somewhat.

     

    It is not my intent to whitewash what the British (English)rulers have been guilty of,far from it,there has been much! But given the time and circumstances most European countries and many others would have behaved much the same. Some worse,maybe Spain and Portugal in the Americas?It’s been written that Spains conquest of the Canaries set their behaviour, likewise England in Ireland.

     

    The British Empire-the Scots were willing participants at most levels and very successful.

     

    Ernie Lynch-acknowledge your posting of Enclosures,thank you.

     

    Big Bones-read your posting on food exports during famine,much more horrible when read in such detail.

     

    To any others I later missed I would reply similary. Respect.

     

    The past is not to be forgotten but to be learnt from,so as not to be repeated (theoretically) but not to pass on the blame, guilt and hatred to future generations.

     

    My father and his best pal came over on the boat together,stepfather of unknown parentage and 5 years P.O.W never carried this baggage (not for Germans either) and I know in which country he was treated best.Big hearted men,didn’t live long but so proud of them.

     

    Got it done at last!

     

    Good luck tonight Celtic,do your best.Look forward to updates,enjoy

  18. If Tony Watt is selected he will bring energy in abundance to the team, at 18 yrs of age I often remember playing two matches on the same day. Tony will find himself with loads of room to use his great pace, he will not be operating against the packed defences of the SPL.

     

     

    Win, lose or draw a good performance following on from the Nou Camp for the pride of the club will suit fine. Let’s hope the revelation that Barca will field a second team in their other ties if they win to-night will spur on the Celts.

     

    Go HOOPS.

  19. On the 2nd of December 1964 a young TT stood at the Celtic end and marvelled at the attacking play of Barca, they were a revelation and had a full back who practically operated as a winger, the Jungle roared their approval as he galloped up the park.

     

     

    We tied 0-0 but went out on aggregate as we had lost the 1st game 1-3, from that night one of our young defenders decided he would try to emulate that player and we are glad he did as 2 years and 5 months later he would help propel us to glory.

  20. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Prof Green

     

     

    You should write back and tell him you dont,like the majority of football fans in Scotland,have an agenda and that the bbc has a duty and responsibility to the truth and that he is a slinky hun bassa.

  21. charles kickham on

    I hope Paul67 is staying at home tonight to make sure there are no problems with the server

  22. due to an illness of a friend of my sons girlfriend,I have in the last ten minutes been offered her ticket,cant wait now

     

    Son lives in flat across from B B,will anybody be in round 6 ish

  23. McNair is the greatest

     

     

     

    16:17 on 7 November, 2012

     

     

     

    Rev. Ian Millar is now retired and a true gentlemen. Known him since Primary school over thirty years ago when he told our St. Ronan’s class he was a Celtic fan I thought he was kidding. Been to many funeral & wedding services he has performed and spoke of his love of Celtic in nearly all of his sermons. Also been to a few sports night and he was the after dinner speaker.Top, top, funny mhan.

     

     

    * he also helped locate the grave of our 1st goalscorer Neilly McCallum who is buried in the parish graveyard as is my maternal great grandfather. In those days all residents of the Parish of Bonhill were interred there regardless of faith.

  24. Sometimes when you are sitting at home alone, it just eases the tension to make a post and suddenly you realise Your Never Home Alone.

  25. Ch Lge v Barca at home, under a laden soaking floodlit Glasgow cloud……beautiful.

     

    Since qualifying, it’s been utter joy, twinned with Sevco’s failure on 2 counts to fail to sweep all 4 ttophies before them.

     

    Since winning the league we’ve been celebrating this Ch Lge occassion, it lasts a fair bit yet.

     

    The optimism is blinding at this point, can we nick 1, naka v man utd in my head, there must be new naka in that team somewhere….not by skills of 30 yd free kicks, off someone’s backside in 94 mins to send 100s of thousands across the globe wild in raptures….COME ON THE HOOOOOOOPS !!!!!!!!!

  26. South Of Tunis on

    Tallybhoy @ 16 23 .

     

     

    Catania bookies –

     

     

    Celtic 10 /1

     

    Draw 6/1

     

    Barca 6/5.

     

     

    In boca` al lupo

  27. professor Green

     

     

    I sent this to BBC and got exact same reply as you

     

     

    YOUR COMPLAINT:

     

     

    Complaint Summary: facts reported are not correct

     

     

    Full Complaint: Last night on reporting scotland you reported that newco rangers have won 33 scottish cups. The Rangers have actually won nothing. They are languishing in sfl div 3 with absolutely no history. RFC is dead and their history does not transfer to the new club.

     

     

    ———-

     

     

    Thank you again for contacting us.

  28. tusker

     

     

    horrible reading indeed,its important that people understand that there was no famine

     

     

    it was a potatoe blight and our people were starved to death

     

     

    a thought has often crossed my mind,if it hadn’t happened would we have Celtic?

     

     

    nn

  29. Big Georges Fan Club on

    Bada Bing, Pod i

     

     

    Cheers for the info – off we go!!!!

     

     

    Hail, Hail

     

     

    BGFC

  30. I would suggest that anyone calling for the name of the BBC Scotland Head of News caw a wee bit canny. Leggat named the man’s children because of the Mark Daly investigations. We are better than that. Actually, it sounds to me like something that would come from the mouth of the manager of thon deid team fae Govan.

  31. Radio Shortbread-Hearts last game could be a week on Saturday,due to winding up order,i’m sure Salmond will step in to save one of his favourite teams……