It’s all about Ajax


Two honourable defeats, away to Milan and at home to Barcelona, confirm that Celtic can compete at this level, but the two points which only just eluded us could prove crucial in determining qualification for the knock out stage.  Barcelona and Milan are in the driving seat.

Two home wins, against Ajax and Milan, could change all this.  If Celtic can achieve this, Ajax could still be on four points after playing (and beating) Celtic in Amsterdam, but will be odds against to reach six points with a visit to Milan and a home game against Barcelona to come.  Milan bloodied Barcelona’s nose last season, but are not certain to take anything against the Catalans this time, although the outrageous decision which gifted them a draw last night suggests we cannot take anything for granted.

It’s possible that Milan could finish with seven points, which is not an unsurmountable target for Celtic.  For now, we can ignore all the ‘what ifs’, the only thing that matters is facing Ajax at Celtic Park in three weeks.  This is our cup final.

It has been said repeatedly since last night, but deserves repetition, Georgios Samaras’ performance was nothing short of incredible and stands comparison with any individual Celtic performance in Europe over the last 20 years.

Efe Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk looked more every bit as secure as Efe and Kelvin a year ago.  Efe can be particularly pleased with the way he recovered his form after shading last season.

Some months ago I heard a numpty on Radio 5 Live describe Fraser Forster as a ‘Match of the Day goalkeeper’, the implication being that he was more show than substance.  Yet again Fraser demonstrated that he is by far the best goalkeeper in Britain.  I couldn’t care less who in England is aware of this fact.  I hear he released Neymar from his pocket late last night.

Adam Matthews and Mikal Lustig are a terrific right-side partnership but from the opening seconds they were taxed to the limit last night.  The more they play at this level the better they’ll get.

Despite deserving more from Milan last night Ajax are in a state of flux at the moment.  They will not travel to Glasgow with anything approaching confidence but it will still require out best performance of the season to overcome them.

Bring it on.
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  1. Bamboo


    A little bit of experimentation in the spl would help.


    W e should release our centre mids from their holding position and see if that forces opponents to adjust defensively.


    It would make them less set than their usual defensive posture of waiting to defend the cross after our slow build up.

  2. masty is neil lennon and both of us are supporting wee oscar on




    ditto!!!! had a run in with some of them myself before giving in and going to bed…



    steviebhoy, mrs masty wants to know were to get one of them there tazers,?

  3. We have one player on the books who could be the answer.


    Step forward Mr Amido Baldie.


    Give him games and lets see if we have a match-winner here.


    At the moment I feel he is in danger of having his confidence dented.


    A striker with his physque could cause havoc in the Champions League.

  4. DeniaBhoy in awe of wee Oscar's Courage on

    bamboo – agreed. Celtic spent decent money on him so it’s time to show us why.

  5. Corkcelt


    We went toe to toe with probably the best club side in the world?


    Realistically they are not the best.Top 5 yes.


    We defended well and stoutly but never really caused them problems apart from Forrest’s brilliant effort.


    Yes someone criticised Sammi but most posted on what we had to do better rather than being the gallant losers of our last 2 CL games.


    Both games we competed in well but never looked like scoring.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ 14:13


    Dungbel defending scallywags 825k pay on SSB last night.




    Chico has been defending it too (surprise, surprise!). Might do well to look at the example set by this guy:



    It stands condemned as one of football’s harshest sackings. Peter Reid had worked tirelessly to save Plymouth Argyle from oblivion, digging into his own pockets to pay the club’s heating bills and even covering the mortgages of employees left stricken by the club’s financial plight.


    And his reward? A P45 from chairman Peter Ridsdale



    Full article here:



  7. Billy Bhoy 05:



    In my time of watching Celtic… I would not hesitate to agree with you.



    I am on record on here having stated that my favourite Celtic player of all time… is



    Bertie Auld.



    I loved Jinky, King Kenny, Bobby Murdoch, Joe McBride, Paul Elliot, the King of Kings, Nakamura, BBJ, Sutton, Lubo, Jackie Mack, Mahie the nutter, and hordes more, but for me, in my life time… Bertie was the man.

  8. desertbhoy


    13:50 on


    2 October, 2013



    You’re correct that 3+3+1 = 7.



    However, we have two home games and two away games, so if we win at home and draw away then 3+3+1+1 = 8.

  9. kitalba


    14:02 on


    2 October, 2013


    What sort of Namby Pamby team would Celtic be without Scott Brown? Off the top of my head I can’t think of a single player that has got half his bottle. Artur Boruc had it but he’s gone. Davie Hay had it too.





    Brown wouldn’t even make the bench for ANY Celtic 11 that Davie Hay played in………



    Hay played in a Big Cup Final……….



    Hay played with 2/3rds (?) of the Lions in their prime……..



    Hay played in a 1974 Scotland team that with a better manager would have done much better….



    Hay played at a much higher level with much better players for company….thats a fact.



    Brown would get cold just standing in Hay’s shadow………..



    Just my opinion……:)

  10. current group table Barca 6 Milan 4 Ajax 1 Celtic 0


    after matchday 3 – Barca 7 Milan 5 Celtic 3 Ajax 1


    after matchday 4 – Barca 10 Milan 5 Celtic 4 Ajax 2


    after matchday 5 – Barca 13 Celtic 7 Milan 5 Ajax 2


    after matchday 6 – Barca 14 Celtic 8 Milan 8 Ajax 2



    It will go down to the head to head between us & Milan so we need to beat them by more than 2 goals. Europa League here we come.

  11. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    benjybhoy mul



    12:40 on 2 October, 2013



    Now that IS something…..hahahahahaha…..and I can’t wait to find out where the £22m went …. as I have said from the outset, there was never £22m in the first place ……Tick Tock



    …..and the taxman will want to collect Capital Gains tax from an asset sale of property, in the accounts valued at £60m, but sold for £1, then £5.8m ……oh stop it, my sides are splitting …..

  12. DeniaBhoy in awe of wee Oscar's Courage on

    GreenDreamz – Agreed. Brown wouldn’t get into any team that Hay played in simply on football abilities alone. Brown has a bit of dig about him and, when injury-free, a decent engine. But his vision and passing are, at best, average for a central midfielder at this level and his ability to hit the target from around the edge of the box is amongst the worst I have seen. Oh for a McLeod or a McStay that could leather a ball from 20 yards into the top corner.

  13. For what good it may do or not do I have just sent the following to Alex Salmond




    First Minister,



    Considered odious, comparisons can often be highly relevant, and at times even necessary.



    An hour or so before kick-off time at last night’s Champions League encounter between Celtic and Barcelona, reports were circulating on the internet to the effect that plain clothes policemen were handing out on the spot fines related to the public consumption of alcohol in the proximity of Celtic Park.



    Since last Saturday, again on the internet, there have been posted a number of video examples of apparent breaches of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act, at a football ground on the south side of Glasgow.



    These breaches of the act, apparently included renderings of ‘Derry’s Walls’ ‘The Sash’ and the UVF anthem ‘A Father’s Advice’. All of which many people in Scotland would find to be highly offensive. Additionally, related to the above, a photograph has been circulated showing uniformed members of the Armed Forces in attendance, flaunting a scarf emblazoned with ‘Keep Ulster Protestant’ and energetically waving an Ulster Flag.



    It would appear that any police in attendance either lacked in numbers or even desire to act in relation to the above offences.



    As an individual, you have never been noted for backwardness at coming forward.



    However, at least one Westminster MP, Respect’s George Galloway, has publicly remarked on your stunning silence on Saturday’s events referred to above.



    Some, perhaps unfairly, and doubtlessly amongst them a number ‘Parkhead Paranoids’ will compare your silence with your eagerness early last year to have word in HMRC’s ear, pleading leniency in the matter of unpaid taxes, for the self same football club at whose ground last Saturday’s unsavoury events took place.

  14. We have come a long way when we are able to debate how close we came to taking something from Champions League games involving the top tier clubs. Well done Celtic.



    We are still missing a bit of tactical savvy at this level though.


    In both games against AC and Barca our odds of getting 2 draws, 2 points were greater than getting a win. It is very predictable that the top tier teams will pull something out towards the end of a game. We don’t seem to expect that and continue to cavalier on trying in the “Celtic way” to get the 3 points. Then we get suckered.



    Why do we continue to throw on mostly attack minded subs when we should be playing for the draw? I know some will say, if only Forrest or Mulgrew had scored….but they didn’t and we leave with no points and gallant losers again.



    I’m not trying to be negative here, just pointing out that along with team development at this level, we also need to progress at tactical decisons.

  15. The accounting exercise……. to many square pegs,not enough round holes.



    Fraud.simple as



    always liquidated never regurgitated

  16. greendreamz:



    Davie Hay was a harder player than Scott Brown. Davie Hay was a better player than Scott Brown. Unfortunately Davie Hay no longer pulls on his boots.

  17. weeminger



    14:57 on 2 October, 2013




    13:50 on


    2 October, 2013



    You’re correct that 3+3+1 = 7.



    However, we have two home games and two away games, so if we win at home and draw away then 3+3+1+1 = 8.





    You are indeed correct, thought I was on a roll there!!



    Humble pie dutifully scoffed.

  18. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Criticising Scott Brown for not being Davie Hay is a bit like criticising James Forrest for not being Jimmy Johnstone.



    The current XI are not the greatest collection to pull on the ole Hoops but no one can say that on the European stage at least they are not punching above their weight.

  19. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    deniabhoy in awe of wee oscar’s courage



    15:06 on 2 October, 2013



    Some of our players haven’t yet mastered the basic principle of getting their body over the ball to keep the strike down…….aaarrrrgh……but great team / performance

  20. …. I would add, in my defence, that the narrative was referring to the next three games…



    And hadn’t noticed you,d expanded it to four

  21. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    15:15 on 2 October, 2013



    Correct……and it would be scurolous to think otherwise….hahahahahahaha

  22. greendreamz:



    Oh and when I said “what player has half the bottle” I was talking about the present team.

  23. fan-a-tic “We never looked like scoring”. What about wee james’s volley and Chico heading wide with the goal at his mercy. In the Milan game we created a few as well, I can’t remember them all now but I do recall Sammi making a great burst and sending a screamer just wide. There is no doubt when playing the top teams we will be limited to 3 or 4 chances a game but what else do you expect. How many chances did we create last year when we had our famous win against Barca. For those saying Barca are on the slide just look at their other results this season.

  24. greendreamz



    14:59 on 2 October, 2013



    “Brown wouldn’t even make the bench for ANY Celtic 11 that Davie Hay played in………”



    Unfortunately, I think that is true for the majority of our currently. It is a sign on the times and where football is at now in Scotland. The same argument could no doubt be made when comparing Scottish internationalists noe with the 74 team you mention or players from the mid to late 60’s



    Our goalkeeper is up there and Samaras, if he got his haircut and a pair of sannies (gutties or whatever they’re called outside of Greenock) , could easily be John Hughes. A few others possibly but not many.

  25. Great Atmosphere!


    Great tifo!


    Great passion!


    Great support!


    Great defensively!


    Great saves!


    Poor passing losing posession!


    Poor first touches losing posession!


    Poor ball retention!


    Poor speed of support and movement off ball for players on ball leaving little options for pass!



    What more is there to say?



    MWD disappointed at amatuerism of most of Celtic players basic footballing skills in the face of pressure from oppostion.

  26. Afternoon all. First time I have been on since last night. Weather is back to its grey misty worst.



    Was Adam Mathews really fit last night? Was impressed by Efe but terrified too, at times? Virgil van Dijk and our goalkeeper were simply different class.



    That Neymar is a cheat; no more to be said. I’m surprised Barca allow him game time. They are a joy to watch but I doubt they are as good without wee Lionel.



    I wish we were able to face such opposition on a regular basis. Sammi, for one, belongs in that company.

  27. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    From rm





    (I would like to have spent more time on this post but work commitments don’t permit. I hope this can be the basis for further investigation, particularly amongst the accountants and solicitors on the forum, on a matter that does appear to have been missed by everyone from McMurdo to McCollco and everyone in between. Feel free to correct the post as necessary given my lack of time to follow through some points, but I believe it is basically correct and explains several unresolved issues from the Accounts. For the avoidance of doubt, no illegality is implied.)






    The Mystery of the £5.7m Share Issue Costs



    It was Charlie wot done it.



    One of the main issues raised from the Accounts was that £5.7m of costs were charged against the IPO proceeds.



    But we were told the IPO costs would be about £2.5m. So why the difference and who got the other £3.2m?



    I believe the answer is that there wasn’t actually £3.2m more physically paid out because it was simply a paper transaction. And it relates to the 5m shares issued to Charles Green basically for free.



    As we know, Green was due a percentage of the shares (complicated but basically more than 10% of the company post IPO) for doing the initial deal to buy the club and for getting the initial investors (pre-IPO) to buy £7.7m of shares. There is reference in the prospectus to both an employment contract and an option for Green to buy shares at 1p. The option was eventually satisfied by the issue of 5m shares to Green on 31 October 2012 as part of his agreement for the IPO to go ahead. Green ended up with under 8% of the company – less than originally agreed. This did not cost the company any money – it merely diluted the shareholdings of the initial pre-IPO investors. It is an important technical point that this issue of shares was heavily dependent on a successful IPO.



    When shares are issued, the value of those shares (as opposed to the issue price) needs to be reflected in the share capital and share premium accounts. We don’t have the information to know exactly what value was put on these shares because nor do we know exactly how much the IPO costs were, but I would suggest 50p-70p is likely (£2.5m-£3.5m) given the IPO price and the information previously leaked about the pre-IPO share issues.



    So far as the company was concerned, the premium element of this deemed value of shares was to be charged against the share premium account as part of the cost of doing the IPO, so it had no net effect on the cash raised. Read Accounts note 23 and think of it like this:


    10-6=4. If you add 2 onto both numbers you get 12-8=4. You still end up with the same number. It is accountants playing with bits of paper.



    Why was this done? One consequence is that the (say) £3m doesn’t then get charged to the profit and loss account, which would have worsened our loss. But I don’t think that’s the real reason. It was to shift what may be an income tax matter (up to 45%) for Green, to be a capital gains tax matter (up to 28%). HMRC may want to look further at this structure but Green has indemnified the company against any tax that arises, which again points to this being the reason, so it’s not really our problem.



    For this structure to work, the share premium had to be charged on paper against the IPO money. That’s why it looks like the IPO cost so much and why the issue to Green was specifically dependent upon a successful IPO. But in layman’s terms, it didn’t really cost £5.7m in money paid out – the (say) £3m was really Green’s cut for the initial work. That was of course before we knew what league we would be playing in, hence Mather’s comments today are not incorrect.



    A further point worth noting is that the £7.7m initial fund raising exercise is what effectively paid for the purchase of the Club, not the IPO money. It was the initial (pre-IPO) shareholders who gave Green a free ride, not the IPO proceeds. The purchase of the Club appears in the Cashflow Statement as a result of merger (as opposed to acquisition) accounting – an unusual one even for accountants.



    So Green walked away with not just £933,376 salary but also 5m shares worth about £2.5m by today’s prices. Nice work if you can get it.



    The costs of £5.7m charged to the IPO share proceeds are therefore technically correct but the real pound note cost to us was closer to the original estimate of £2.5m The rest was bits of paper that did not affect the cash from the IPO or the shareholders who invested in the IPO.

  28. DeniaBhoy in awe of wee Oscar's Courage on

    67 Heaven – Agreed on both points. My Dad used to always ask me how, as yet another ball headed out of the park, a player getting paid 1000s a week couldn’t hit the target from a few yards out. The likes of Lampard are masters of a dying art. I used to think it was normal for our midfielders to bag 10-15 goals a season from outside-the-box rockets.

  29. desertbhoy


    15:17 on


    2 October, 2013



    Well true, but if we all wrote plain and precise English half the arguments and the fun would disappear from the site.

  30. Corkcelt


    James Forrest’s effort counts but Mulgrews was not on target so does not.


    Against Milan their keeper could have read a magazine he was so untroubled.


    Praise for our stout defensive jobs but to win you have to score.


    We are to slanted in the reactive mode and until we learn to be proactive we will always only be a nearly team.


    I posted after the Milan game that the praise was over the top and the result was a fair one based on chances created.We did not unfortunately.


    Again last night you could ask why when we knew Barcalona were small at the back did we not employ a big target man to exploit this weakness especially in 2nd when it was obvious Stokes was not working?


    Perhaps our game plan of stopping opponents rather than creating needs tweaking?

  31. greendreamz:



    My point still stands…



    What sort of Namby Pamby team would Celtic be without Scott Brown?



    btw I was at the European Cup Final in Milan when a Celtic player took the field with a lit cigarette. Neilly Mochan took it off him. A bonus protest was the consensus in the crowd.



    Davie Hay, much as I loved him, took Chelsea’s coin over the Celtic jersey. Why? Only he could tell you. I personally don’t know the reason but I suspect it was money and if it was I would not fault him.

  32. 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors


    15:22 on


    2 October, 2013



    I don’t think he’s right. Charlotte Fakes revealed yesterday (I think) that an Alan MacKenzie had nearly presented them with a winding up order over a payment of £300k.



    The basis of this was that he was one of the original investors and had put in money on the basis that the shares would be launched at £1. In the end, they launched at 70p. I’m sure you can calculate what the £300k represents.



    If they had to refund around 30% of the original £7.7M to the investors that would be £2.3M, and I think that perhaps makes up a big portion of the £5.7M IPO costs.

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