Halloween in July


At the end of last month, looking ahead to the Miydjitlland tie, I predicted, “a Halloween movie awaits”.  Home and away, Miydjitlland created few chances until late in normal time, when Celtic tired.  They were unable to sustain periods of pressure and will surely not lay a glove on PSV Eindhoven in the next round.  Still, we endure Halloween in July.

The young and inexperienced defenders performed well, this one was not on them.  As did Scott Bain, whose confidence to drop the shoulder before playing a 30-yard forward pass, created our best chance of the game.  He also made two fine saves, which makes me wonder what could have been had we never embarked on our Greek Odyssey.

Callum McGregor’s goal was sublime; he placed rather than blasted his shot, one of the few occasions we tested a keeper who never convinced.  Anthony Ralston reminded us why we had such high hopes for him a few years back, while Stephen Welsh and Dane Murray outperformed expectations.

James Forrest should have put the tie beyond the Danes shortly after coming on but poked his shot wide.  Within seconds, Miydjitlland were level.

Like Celtic, Miydjitlland were short of reinforcements, but started extra time with four substitutes on the field, including an 18-year-old debutant, Victor Lind.  The teenager repeatedly mishit the ball whenever he got near it, but he and the other subs managed to provide what proved to be crucial energy.  Celtic made only the one change, Forrest for Liel Abada, until after they went a goal down in the 94th minute.  When energy sapped from ever-busy Ryan Christie and David Turnbull, the writing was on the wall.

Even though Celtic closed the game unable to pass out of their half, Ange Postecoglou stuck to his game plan.  Teams on their way out of a cup invariably go Route One in the final minutes, not so this time.

I am sure none of us had Champions League expectations; we are not at PSV Eindhoven level, but Europa League group stage qualification is crucial for financial, competitive, coefficient and recruitment reasons.  That would have been achieved with a win last night.  Two qualification rounds now have to be negotiated, you have more fraught evenings ahead.

I remain hopeful the squad we have on 1 September will be significantly better that that available last night.  Whether that will be sufficient to take the Champions League bounty available to this season’s Premiership winners is another story.

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  1. glendalystonsils on

    SAINT STIVS on 29TH JULY 2021 7:28 PM



    A belter indeed. Wonder if we’ll ever see Ange smiling like that?

  2. FAIRHILL BHOY on 29TH JULY 2021 7:45 PM


    SAINT STIVS-when we meet I will get the first few in .





    Just to apologise 😉






    no need, as the blog motto should be –




    nusquam autem occurrit cqner non sicut feci

  3. GEEBEE1978 on 29TH JULY 2021 7:55 PM


    Neil Lennon on BBC 5 live at 20:00 to discuss the state of Celtic.







    incoming the bloggers apart from one will implode.



    bat signals lighting up the sky

  4. SCULLYBHOY on 29TH JULY 2021 7:39 PM




    The 2013 article you copied and pasted from An Phoblacht referred to leading Labour Party figures accepting an invitation from Sinn Féin in 1983.



    I was enquiring whether Sinn Fein had issued any similar invitation to the SNP at the time. Billy Wolfe perhaps?



    A meeting at Westminster in 2020, twenty two years after the Good Friday Agreement, is not exactly the same thing.



    Do you remember what the SNP had to say about The Troubles in 1983? Their only interest was to campaign for brave Scottish soldiers laddies who had got caught being a little over enthusiastic.

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on

    geebee1978 on 29th July 2021 7:55 pm



    Neil Lennon on BBC 5 live at 20:00 to discuss the state of Celtic.



    Couldn’t get a brassneck at a bonfire…..

  6. There’s always something that makes us smile, neighbour has just dropped off a huge load of goat shit and about 25 kilos of cherry tomatoes, chutney time this weekend me thinks

  7. IniquitousIV on

    Part 1 of Tom English summary:



    It’s safe to say Celtic won’t be inviting the Amazon Prime cameras into their inner sanctum for one of those footballing fly-on-the-wall documentary series’ the channel produces so often.



    A pity. The sight of board members running around with their trousers on fire might make for some light entertainment to contrast with the dull failure against Midtjylland on Wednesday.



    One of the favoured definitions of madness is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.



    Celtic are the embodiment of that. As a football club they’ve now turned up unprepared for Champions League battles four seasons in a row, though this latest chapter is considerably the worst.



    Before the Midtjylland game, you had the newly-installed Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou, saying the club was flying by the seat of its pants. That was just the latest in a series of thinly-veiled messages to his board to get a move on in the recruitment stakes.



    After the game, Postecoglou dispensed with the thin disguise and called out the people running the club. Two competitive games into his reign and already deep frustration is being played out in public. And no wonder. Celtic brought a pea-shooter to a gunfight in Denmark.



    Postecoglou reinforces need for new signings


    Midtjylland knock Celtic out of Champions League


    Celtic’s Griffiths can ‘win fans back’ after being booed


    Jaw-dropping dip in quality & nous



    The last time they played a Champions League group game was against Anderlecht at home in December 2017 – a 1-0 defeat that saw them finish with a single victory from their six games in what was, admittedly, a brutally-hard pool featuring Neymar’s Paris St-Germain and Robert Lewandowski’s Bayern Munich.



    Celtic were coached by Brendan Rodgers then. In goal, they had Craig Gordon with a back four of Mikael Lustig, Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Kieran Tierney, three of of whom played at the Euros this summer.



    In midfield, they had Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor, James Forrest and Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele was up front. They had Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Leigh Griffiths on the bench. Griffiths had scored 20 goals the season before for club and country, the famous ‘invincible’ campaign at Celtic Park.



    Compare that team to the collection of players dumped out in Denmark. The drop-off in quality hits you square between the eyes. It’s astonishing. Celtic finished a critical European qualifier with Scott Bain, Anthony Ralston, Stephen Welsh, Dane Murray and Adam Montgomery as their rearguard.



    The biggest Celtic boffins would need to be deployed to figure out if there’s ever been a more callow defence in their European history. To be fair to all of them, they competed hard.



    They tried their hearts out. You couldn’t fault their effort and nor could you point the finger of blame at them or their manager. They did their best and were all let down by what Celtic have become at board level.



    The club’s attempts to replace departed personnel has been scattergun in recent years. Documenting it, even in snapshots, tells you more than enough about what’s gone on at Celtic Park.



    Lustig was a huge presence for many years. He left in June 2019. Since then there’s been a conveyor belt of right-backs, signings and loan deals, and none of them have stuck.



    Cristian Gamboa, Moritz Bauer, Hatem Elhamed, Jeremy Toljan, Jeremie Frimpong, Jonjoe Kenny. A revolving door. They did great business with Frimpong, selling him for big money, the upshot being that Postecoglou felt Ralston was his best option against Midtjylland. Yet Ralston hasn’t been an option Celtic have wanted to consider for years.



    At left-back, also, Celtic have gone through the numbers since Tierney left for Arsenal. Emilio Izaguirre in his second spell, Boli Bolingoli, Greg Taylor and Diego Laxalt. Jonny Hayes played left-back for a time too. They signed American Andrew Gutman on a three-year deal, then loaned him out to Charlotte Independence, then Cincinnati, then sold him to Atlanta United.



    Celtic reportedly got around £11m for Frimpong which, give or take a couple of million, covered the fees paid for Carl Starfelt, Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada, Osaze Urhoghide and Liam Shaw – combined. They also made £25m clear profit on Tierney. They’d need the best lawyers in the land to argue the Tierney money has been invested wisely.



    In the 2018-19 season, Rodgers’ last at the club, Ajer played 45 games, Boyota played 32, Simunovic played 30 and Filip Benkovic 27. That’s a completely different level of centre-half than they had on Wednesday, a jaw-dropping fall-off in nous.



    Shane Duffy’s expensive loan deal was supposed to address that, but was a dismal flop. They’ve been unlucky with the long-term injury to Christopher Jullien, but the clue there is in the ‘long-term’. They knew Jullien wasn’t going to be anywhere near ready for the Champions League qualifiers.



    Disaffected fanbase deserves respect



    Since Celtic last made it to group action, Viktoria Plzen, Young Boys, Brugge, Genk, Midtjylland, Krasnodar, Rennes, Ferencvaros, Istanbul Basaksehir and others from outwith the old reliables have made it through.



    Celtic are now further away than they’ve been in a terribly long time. Four successive failures, but the previous three almost pale into insignificance compared to this week’s self-inflicted calamity.



    It was like a watching the sequel to a movie with no new plot and the same tiresome ending.



    They’re a club in transition but, as Postecoglou keeps pointing out, the end product is painfully slow in coming. As was his appointment in the first place.



    Celtic delayed in dealing with the Neil Lennon situation, then delayed again when waiting for Eddie Howe.



    That 100-plus days spent twiddling their thumbs as the blessed Eddie figured out what he wanted to do created a chronic time pressure. The catalogue of bad decision-making reached a crescendo at that point. Howe should have been set a deadline to make up his mind.



    Instead, he U-turned late and Celtic haven’t had enough hours in the day since then. They sacrificed their Champions League season in an ill-fated pursuit of a guy whose agent had announced he wasn’t going anywhere until the summer at the earliest. Madness.



    Starfelt is coming to bolster the defence and others will follow, but it’s too late for the Champions League. Again. You have to ask what is Celtic’s plan here.



    The chairman, Ian Bankier, and majority shareholder, Dermot Desmond, don’t talk about the club to the media. That’s their prerogative, but they’ve got a fanbase that’s increasingly disaffected and some respect needs to be paid there. A schmoozing session with fan media ain’t cutting it this time.

  8. FAIRHILL BHOY on 29TH JULY 2021 8:05 PM


    SAINT STIVS-I had to google 😉





    I don’t have the words 🙏






    so just to be safe, and the term lost in translation comes in.



    I tried “never met a cqner i didnt like” english to latin



    and it came out as




    nusquam autem occurrit cqner non sicut feci



    but if you translate that from latin to english it says



    it never happens that as I have done, not cqner




  9. IniquitousIV on

    Part 2


    In the last two-and-a-half years they’ve brought in around £56m in transfer fees (principally on Tierney, Frimpong and now Ajer) and have so far spent around £30m. That’s not counting loan fees for Duffy, Laxalt, Kenny and Mo Elyounoussi just last season.



    Their spending will increase in the weeks ahead and Celtic will surely look a lot different then than they do now.



    But having signed poorly in recent times is there much confidence in the regime to suddenly start signing well? There’s still no sporting director, still no head of recruitment, still no new coaching assistants for Postecoglou. They don’t have enough foundations in place.



    When Postecoglou said on Wednesday that he didn’t do a good enough job to convince “people” to bring in more players, more quickly, who are the people he’s referring to?



    “Maybe I wasn’t clear enough,” he said, though you’d need to living on the moon not to notice that Celtic need reinforcements. He pointed out that he tried to be as forceful as he could be.



    Whether he was talking about the chief executive Dominic McKay, Bankier or Desmond, or all of them, he sounded like an exasperated manager.



    He didn’t like the description of the Champions League exit as catastrophic, but for a club that sees itself, somehow, as a Champions League club then a fourth straight failure is a a horrible event.



    The harsh reality of his plight is that if things don’t improve against Hearts on Saturday then those questions will be launched at Postecoglou all over again.



    “That’s pretty strong language,” he said in response to some of the criticism.



    That inquest was just a warm-up routine compared to what will happen if the people above him don’t get their act together and give the man a chance.

  10. goat shit and cherry tomatoes,



    was that value add on the season book ?




  11. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    The club is being done in by its own Board. Who needs external enemies?



    Even decent outside observers like Alan Rough and Richard Gordon are speechless at the club strategy.



    Big Dermot fattening up the balance sheet for a sale?

  12. onenightinlisbon on

    GEEBEE1978 on 29TH JULY 2021 7:55 PM



    Neil Lennon on BBC 5 live at 20:00 to discuss the state of Celtic.



    You couldn’t make it up..

  13. PeterLatchfordsBelly on




    We both know you would eat that if Peter told you to. And he’s not forking out for a mature balsamic to take the edge off.

  14. glendalystonsils on

    GEEBEE1978 on 29TH JULY 2021 7:55 PM



    Neil Lennon on BBC 5 live at 20:00 to discuss the state of Celtic.






    C’mon Lenny , confession is good for the soul .

  15. Talk about the SMSM twisting statements to suit their agenda! I don’t know who it was but he/she said “Lets wait till September 2nd to see were we are”


    It’s now being quoted as “the board won’t sign anyone until end of transfer window”


    We have players from Japan &Sweden in the door. Joe Harte is apparently on the radar and hopefully other UK based players to get around Covid restrictions.


    A mate was telling me that Ange is not known for taking his own backroom around to different team not like Martin & Robbo, maybe Melbourne Mick could inform about that.


    This Tims off to bed and with Gods grace I’ll waken up a Tim.












    We both know you would eat that if Peter told you to. And he’s not forking out for a mature balsamic to take the edge off







    again, your calling out the wrong fella,



    i dont support or defend anyone on the board.



    i do try to intepret what a plc does.

  17. ange told us that in first interview, happy to assess who is here before making changes if needed.

  18. SAINT STIVS on 29TH JULY 2021 8:29 PM



    ange told us that in first interview, happy to assess who is here before making changes if needed.




    True but the assessment must be over as he’s already said he needs people in and it’s not being done quickly enough for his liking.

  19. Neil on the radio ‘dancing on the head of a pin”. I totally understand why from his personal point of view. We will not get great revelations, or, condemnation from him.



    Ange has said more, but again he must watch his ‘p’s & q’s’. So in essence it is up to those outwith the support, people like Sutton & Hartson to speak plainly, and they have.



    I charge anyone to read recent pieces by Bill Leckie, prior to last night’s tie, and Tom English, today, and conclude what they have written does not encapsulate exactly where we are right now. Yes there has been biased tripe written about Celtic for years – the above articles are not biased tripe.



    We need a ‘state of the club’ address – the support deserves it. The air needs to be cleared.

  20. https://www.facebook.com/BritU1/posts/if-anyone-doubts-that-snp-sinn-fein-the-ira-are-one-and-the-same-read-belowmains/2364266430347235/



    Sorry folks – this is only for Earnest. I have little interest in politics and am against violence, especially murder in any guise. I had decided to watch TV, and my wife has at long last seen off two fecking episodes of Emmerdale.



    I must also reply to this post:



    PeterLatchfordsBelly on 29th July 2021 8:14 pm


    Big Dermot fattening up the balance sheet for a sale?






    According to the Sunday Business Post June 6 2021, DD’s shares were worth £50 million at the start of 2020. After last year, they are now worth £33 million. So, he deliberately didn’t want the 10 IAR and was prepared to take a £17 million hit in the process(?). Too deep a conspiracy theory for me – and my wife is calling and saying, ‘I hope you aren’t on that CQaNon website again!’



    HH and I hope to see Celtic beat the wee Huns whilst enjoying a glass of Rioja (or two) on Saturday.

  21. when you think about what’s gone on and on and on……………..over at The Toilet Block ,


    yet no earnest pleas for Boardroom reality or even any introspection or interrogative questioning of the various low-life hoods who ritually mug the scottish game…………………..




    yet we’ve to bare our soul to those that hate us and have been sickened by our success, now emboldened by our apparent travails……..



    oh aye………….

  22. Neil Lennon on Radio 5?


    He’ll be a fixture on there all season


    Give me Chris Iwelumo any day of the week.


    Just listened to him on his regular slot on Talksports


    The big man never played for us, but he is fae the Brig, never fails to mention he is a Celtic mhan and will always try to talk about us in a positive light, not easy at this point.



    It’s the little things that make us smile so it is :)


    Happy as a……. was going to say pig in shit but should change it to goat I reckon :)



  24. SCULLYBHOY on 29TH JULY 2021 8:45 PM



    I am old enough to remember The Troubles and the SNP’s stance on issues at the time.



    You’ll understand why I’m hardly likely to change my opinion of them based on what some random whacko has posted on Facebook.

  25. sftb



    Got myself into the league okay


    Will transfer the money and make my first forecasts tomorrow.


    Wee bit concerned that there is what appears to be a clock alongside my nom de plume


    Just hope it’s not ticking before a ba is kicked….

  26. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    St Stivs – cheers.



    Am not hugely motivated by the “takeover” idea.



    For me, more about checks and balances.



    I’d have thought the current distrust of the board would have been recruiting manna from heaven for the Trust.



    Apparently not .. am not actually sure what that tells us?



    BTW – I’m neither pro or anti Trust


    (pardon the pun)



    Sometimes though just a having a little bit of “different” in the room can help refocus.

  27. We now have 39 people taking part in the Superbru comp and a wheen more who have donated but are not wanting to play



    I outlined in a post earlier how to register for Superbru, then for the SPFL tournament and then choose JOIN A POOL option to register with CQN Sentinels. 39 souls have managed this so far. I have been registered with them for the past 3 or 4 years so I cannot go through this as a new applicant to show the steps as it logs me in straight away.



    I could suggest that you log in via PC or Mac rather than phone, if that helps but if you get onto a page that allows you to input the SPFL results you can get to the Join A Pool option. Failing that- have you got kids- they seem to be able to manage this sort of thing double quick. You will be treated with scathing condescension from them, however.

  28. BillyBhoy1967 on




    The low take up on the SPFL Predictor thingy may be something to do with the fact that it may not have been made clear – and if it was its me that’s a fud! – that you need to download the App from the Appstore before proceeding. I spent several days trying to click on the link supplied – but kept getting an error message.



    I suspect others may be doing the same thing.



    Once you download the App it only takes a minute. Well, then another 10 agonising whether we’ll beat Hearts or not!



    Good luck everybody!