Glasgow will feel a long way from Athens for AEK tonight


Celtic Park tonight will feel a long way from home for AEK players.  Glasgow is putting on its best dreich show, looking less like Athens than it should be possible within Europe.   The stadium will be packed, something AEK players simply never see at home.  The cavernous Olympic Stadium they play in had just shy of 20,000 empty seats when they won their first league title in 24 years.  The empty seat count is more commonly around 50,000.

Those of us who lamented the four qualification rounds Celtic must endure are less vocal today.  The rigours of competition has made us better prepared for tonight.  Both teams are missing injured players, but Celtic are not short in any department.  We should be ready.

Irrespective of the environment, AEK are a technically good team who will pose greater challenges than Rosenborg.  They are a counterattacking side, who will defend deeply, hoping to shut the game out and steal whatever opportunities they can to break.  We cannot allow enthusiasm to attack to blindside us of the practicalities.  Respect our opponents’ ability to break and be patient in possession.

It will be late in the game when Celtic should have their greatest fitness advantage.  Even if the game is tight at 80 minutes, it could end quite differently.

This is one of the biggest games of the season – answer the call, Celtic.

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    You overlook the necessary diversions due to roadworks when we play.




  2. For once I agree with Paul67.


    Answer the call Celtic.




    I suspect the talk about injuries, crowd sizes, fitness at the 80 min mark and counterattacking punches by all of us ( most of us) reflects the overall lack of confidence in getting by AEK over 2 legs. I think it’s 50/50. As long as we don’t concede first tonight




    You’re right, nor have I factored in any rail replacement services ;)

  4. I hope we finish the tie off tonight. We do need to be patient and Pauls recent articles have pointed out that AEK may be undercooked. The end of the match should be important if they run out of steam

  5. Whether we Win, Lose or Draw, this Tim will remain……………………………………………philosophical.

  6. Gordon





















  7. I still have concerns that Brendan has went outside the club with his complaints and made it to the media. They are no friends of Celtic and will try and drive a wedge within the Celtic world.



    How significant is this episode? Is it too much to think that Brendan might be looking for a new club?



    Petrie is no friend of ours and must be delighted that his sending McGinn to Villa for discussions when no deal had been made. This has forced Celtic hand and we have had to make another offer.



    The Villa fan site were reporting the deal as £2.1m and 15K per week. We will surely be able to better that.

  8. Alasdair MacLean on

    So, Morelos was wrongly sent off against Aberdeen it has been officially decided.



    Kicking another player deliberately is a yellow card, not a red.



    Just to be clear.

  9. Bada


    Having picked Simunovic in the previous article, I think I would, in fact,now prefer Hendry.



  10. wee bgfc,the rollercoasters negs lass



    we live we learn we get a wee bit better.:-)



    well done



    Celtic victory to work for tonight



    Hail hail

  11. Simo got two games and did not make contact, Maxwell you and your organisation are a disgrace to any sport.

  12. Hot Smoked






    Having picked Simunovic in the previous article, I think I would, in fact,now prefer Hendry.









    JJ OUT!

  13. In 2044 I’ll be exactly half the age of celtic! It can be a struggle killing time on the day of a European night!






    Also – the new first years starting secondary school next week will be double the age of sevco!

  14. The Battered Bunnet on

    Celtic By Numbers



    A quick note of appreciation for the time you spend producing what are valuable insights you share with the rest of us.







    “Can you justify our transfer policy to date or provide a rationale for it?”









    I’ll give it a go…









    We have created a self-sustaining model predicated upon buying players who can at once deliver winning football (within reason), and be improved to deliver subsequent gains when sold on. There’s a long list starting with Ki, through Forster, Wanyama and VVD, and onto the likes of Ntcham, Dembele, Edouard.









    We’ve got to a point where we are cash rich, but quality constrained – we can continue to run with the current model, and it’ll continue to perform as it has plus or minus; winning domestically, inconsistent in Europe, and generally generating cash.









    To improve – the “next level” – we need players who can perform at the “next level”: Brendan’s “quality” objective. That means both spending (some of) our cash on transfer fees, and increasing the wages bill beyond the boundary of the current model.









    Doing so reduces profit and cash. As things stand, unless the “next level” is UCL quarter finals and it’s prize money, there is no financial return to spending the cash we have and increasing the wages bill. We end up with less cash and reduced profit (significant loss if the football performance reverses).









    In short, there’s a tension between the success of the current model, and the limitations of it on the pitch. It’s generating a huge amount of cash, but we are reluctant to spend it on increasing the cost base. Hence perhaps why we’re planning so much investment on capital projects. I sense that we literally don’t know what to do with all the cash.



     Over to the leadership of the club to find a new model, create a new plan, or adapt expectations of staff and fans alike.




    I think the latter is what is most likely, but first some trust restoring moves are necessary because without trust anything said becomes a lie.



    That goes back to communication and that means looking how it is done.



    I think spending a few bob on establishing a communication strategy that engages with supporters two way would be money well spent.



    We might not be able to change the world but we can change how we see it.



    The Supporters Forums are a start for identifying issues but there is a bit of one way communication there. They talk, we listen. They listen to feedback but it’s left to club to pursue with no more supporter involvement if issue is external.



    I’ll leave my views on lack of accountability, lack of trust, and disunity for another time.



    We have a big game to focus on.

  16. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Fear none, Celtic.



    I hope we are ouz(o)ing with confidence tonight!




    If it’s any help, the game is on COSMOTE sport.




  18. The manager is the most important guy at any football club, how much money have we made since BR turned up.To pi$$ him off for 4-500k is a stupid thing to do,STs up, 3 new strips (again), Armstrong and VVD sell on has covered what we have spent this window.For Brendan to go public on this is not a good situation.

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