Huge game amid many distractions


Brendan Rodgers’ comments about Moussa Dembele, “It’s something you have to deal with”, suggests it is likely we will be without him tonight, meaning we go into one of the biggest games of the season without (currently) our best striker.

As it stands right now, it is likely, but not certain, that Moussa will leave this week.  For a start, those delicate muscles would need to pass a fitness test.  One week ago, Celtic expected the player to remain at the club until January, when they believed his value would be no less than it was then.  That possibility remains, and it should be noted, Moussa has behaved professionally.

The situation is far from ideal.  Only yesterday, I wrote about the need to concentrate on the important job to be done tonight.  Under any reasonable circumstances, we should see Suduva out of the competition comfortably, but this is football and we both know anything can happen if one team is even 10% off peak form.

The Europa League is a poor relation to the Champions League but it remains hugely important, not least of all in attracting one or two players, who will want European as well as domestic exposure. I don’t know how motivated the squad are, but they should be at peak preparedness; tonight is significantly the most important game of the week.

One positive is that Leigh Griffiths was made for days like these.  He has the experience and aptitude to lead the line.

Let’s get this job done.

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  1. The CEO executes our strategy.



    Our strategy appears to be a pragmatic use of talented youngsters being bought, borrowed or built at home and turned into EPL / European signings. Some may stay for a bit longer than a usual 2-3 year cycle and we have a core of mainstays (typically scottish) to retain a level of continuity.



    We also try and maximise our revenue (in face of crap TV money) streams elsewhere (hotel, sponsorship, etc).



    The next CEO will follow that same strategy.



    I care little for Peter Lawell as no board / CEO has featured at all in my love affair with Celtic down the years but surely the need for a bogeyman now loses sight that his successor will continue with executing the same, with possibly a few personal differences (less Man City reliant and a poorer negotiatior perhaps).



    Am I missing something ?






    I’ll take any win tonight for the hoops.

  2. “We keep saying it but we want to come out every transfer window stronger than we’ve gone in.”



    Tick tock.

  3. Huge congrats to Red Star Belgrade, who last night became the first team in 25 years to qualify for the group stages of the Champions (sic) League while completing four qualifying rounds.



    They did this after two draws and winning on penalties, against the only team in the four rounds they played that wasn’t from the first qualifying round (whom they played in round 1, 2 and 3).

  4. from last thread






    interesting response



    kevinjohn on 30th August 2018 12:00 pm




    Planning for this summer was concluded in January. given that no team has ever had 4 qualifying rounds and made the CL, and that our first round was during the World Cup, and that the English window closed early – we did our business in january.



    Will we be stronger after this window or not?



    Not. We were never ever going ot be stronger. It’s why we did our business in january.






    If that is the case, I would have to conclude that our planning and the execution of it is lacking in consideration, depth, responsiveness and mitigation…. and could be described as unfit and a dereliction by those responsible.



    We have then also been lied to since it has been stated that we ALWAYS plan to emerge from a transfer window stronger than when we went in. That would not be the case if you are correct…




  5. I’m not surprised Paul67 has decided to ignore our transfer business and lack of preparation for this transfer window.



    In these times of unknowns I confidently predict tomorrow we will have an article outlining how important our win over Sudova was and that now we must concentrate on Rangers. Come Monday we’ll have an article outlining Celtic’s great narrow win over a poor Rangers and how we’ve still got a strong squad and will look to january to strengthen.

  6. I keep hearing about Mulumbu as a strong possibility.



    Whatever we think of the player, he has been a free agent sin.ce 31 July. If we are only looking to get him in now, he must be like Plan G or something.



    When we publicly lost out on Mcginn WTF was the club doing by not moving straight on to Brendan’s second choice (whoever that was). He clearly required a midfielder, Armstrong was away for serious money, yet hours before deadline day we still have no replacement.



    (I am aware we need several other positions as well).

  7. No matter what the outcome, the last few months have been handled fairly disastrously by the board and manager alike.



    With the talent we have at this level it almost beggars belief.



    We are now running about like a school boy at the discos as the last dance comes on.

  8. glendalystonsils on

    VALE BHOY on 30TH AUGUST 2018 12:07 PM


    “We keep saying it but we want to come out every transfer window stronger than we’ve gone in.”







    Aye. Saying it’s the easy part.

  9. There are so many elephants in the room they could come off the UN endangered list.



    Want to focus on the game???



    Ok. I’ll bite.



    “One positive is that Leigh Griffiths was made for days like these. He has the experience and aptitude to lead the line”



    The reality is that he’s been injured for far longer than he’s been fit and available over the last 12 months. And has been far from a clinical pitch when offered chances on the pitch, in front of goal.



    So we seem almost certain to lose an international-class, but often-injured, striker. we’re left with one who’s a hugely promising newbie coming off an injury. And another who’s predominantly sat on the subs bench or Physio couch for the last year.



    We were already struggling for goals WITH Moussa in the squad!



    Do ????s play football? ?



    HH jg



    HH jg

  10. Catman



    Well at least he’s not a project. Probably not the hardest bit of scouting ever undertaken given that we could all watch him for the whole of last season. I suspect if we’d asked him on 1 August he’d have bit the hand off…




  11. glendalystonsils on




    Unsurprisingly ,since his return , Leigh has been a shadow of the sharp , clinical , pre-injury Griffiths.



    I reckon he will need a run of 3/4 games to get that back.





    The guy was one of the strongest midfielders in the country.



    Physically strong and mentally. Seemed to actually raise his game against Brown and the Huns. I watched their midfielders literally bounce off him. Football wise remains to be seen if he has the passing ability to improve us. His previous clubs would suggest yes.



    We also need to beef up. They have, (as have Hearts) for certain.

  13. Youssouf Mulumbu looks like being in today





    Thanks Catman. I liked the look of him last season and a Brown / Mulumbu CM pairing would be good. Move Ntcham further forward.

  14. Get them ready to run through walls for you, Brendan


    i think if we could get them to defend and pass properly from the back to midfield , be able to take corner and free kicks & throw-ins to our advantage would be a start , before we run through walls.

  15. I’d take Mulumbu in an instant. An Ayrshire McGinn as it were. Was excellent against us.



    I want quality and dig. I’m no snob as to which team they’ve come from. He showed it against us.






    I hope it would only be 3 or 4.



    HH jg


    DAVID17 on 30TH AUGUST 2018 12:32 PM


    No Douglas Luiz then if Mulumbu coming in. Complete farce, could have signed him months ago.






    Catch a grip ? If we capture Mulumbu it’s a better option than someone else’s player.

  17. Suggested Mullumbu earlier in the window, obviously a last minute panic signing since he’s been a feee agent all summer. Would be happy with him as back up to Brown/Ntcham duo in central midfield

  18. Pog



    The Leicester boy on loan






    PR disaster this window. Appalling leadership being shown




  19. I was going to post:


    “Watch the posts of those who have been effectively demanding a signing to rubbish the reliable Catman`s news.”



    I am too late already!




  20. some celtic fans are living in cuckoo land if they think we are in a position to boss transfer negotiations when trying to lure players to us. The first 3 divisions of english teams have more spending power than us, the top spanish,italian,german, (name a country)have more spending power than us. FFs get into the 21 st century. this is where we are. The constant f*cking moaning by f*cking so called celtic supporters who could not negotiate crossing the road is so wearing. SUPPORT YOUR TEAM. f8cking simple.


    If the club sign the big guy from Aberdeen. Try and just shut up eh ?



    The guys who will have scouted him will have examined every facet of the player rather than watched him defend against us in 2 or 3 games when you are half canned.

  22. Paul, stay in Europe to attract players. We can’t attract any at all.


    Leighs Griffiths, your right about tonight. The opposition is his limit

  23. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on 30TH AUGUST 2018 12:34 PM


    DAVID17 on 30TH AUGUST 2018 12:32 PM



    No Douglas Luiz then if Mulumbu coming in. Complete farce, could have signed him months ago.








    Catch a grip ? If we capture Mulumbu it’s a better option than someone else’s player.





    Catch a grip? Merely stating a fact above. Poor planning is obvious.

  24. Big Wavey – there is absolutely NO reason we need to keep repeating the same old movie. There are other strategies to pursue. Lawwell is holding celtic back massively – we are underperforming financially and on the pitch.



    Mursheen then why on earth are we paying Lawwell over £1M per annum if its all too hard. What a crock.



    Mulumbu – hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Really? Pathetic in the extreme.



    And lastly Paul 67 take a bow for the most cringeworthy avoidance of issues in the history of celtic bloggers. You win the prize…..

  25. I’ll be absolutely delighted if we sign Molumbu.



    He was the one player I thought, who outmuscled Scott Brown last season. Who cares if it’s a last minute, plan X signing. who knows, maybe he was holding out to see if anything materialised elsewhere before committing to Scotland again. I don’t know, but it’s as valid a guess as any other.



    In any case, great, strong player.. Just watch the so called newly strengthened Rangers’ midfield bounce of him.

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