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It’s all about Ajax

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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. South Of Tunis on

    Just in from the swimmin and the sunnin [ 32 at 1.30 —very nice ]

     

     

    My 2 cents worth .

     

     

    Beaten by a better team . A defeat which bothered me less than the loss to a poor Milan team.

     

     

    Beaten by a team which took it’s chance .

     

     

    Neymar was as Neymar is . . A brat .[ who can play play football ].

     

     

    I thought Samaras was very good . I thought Forster was excellent [ without him it would have been 3/4 -0.]. Scott Brown was irresponsible .

     

     

    Celtic were pedestrian and really struggled to manage the ball . An apparent inability to pass the ball simply results in the opposition being given the ball. Simply not good enough at this level. Today’s La Gazzetta Dello Sport talks of ” embarrassing technical limitations “.

     

     

    Watched Ajax 1 —AC Milan 1 —– 2 relatively poor teams who won’t upset the real big boys . Milan were dire in the first 45 , Ajax failed to take advantage . Dreadful defending saw Ajax taking the lead . A piece of cheating saw Balotelli being gifted a penalty . Post match featured De Boer calling Balotelli a cheat and Allegri claiming not to have had a good view . He added that ” The Ref did and he awarded the Penalty ”

     

     

    Watched Arsenal 2 – Napoli 0 . Arsenal looked like a good team..Ozil was very ,very good .

     

     

    Good night for taking money from the bookies —–Shalke/ Atletico and Ajax/Milan..

  2. I am here to castigate Tommy Gemmell. – Lisbon Lion he may be but what was he thinking about when he booted Helmut Haller up the erse. He also kicked a Racing player in the nuts and did not have the common decency to send himself off. That’s not Celtic class at all and he should be punted.

     

     

    I am here to castigate Bobby Lennox for pretending to be John Clark and getting sent off in Montevideo, in the highest competition level and most crucial game we ever played. He also got booked for trying to take the ball off of Willie McVie, a ball-playing (not always the official match ball) Centre Half of Clyde who was trying to take the throw-in on Celtic’s behalf before that ruffian Lennox intervened. Not at all Celtic class and he should be punted too.

     

     

    I am here to castigate John Hughes who blatantly punched an innocent Argentinean going about his daily business of spitting and clogging. An immediate transfer to Crystal Palace is too good for him- he should be punted out of the game.

     

     

    I am here to castigate Bertie Auld who refused to accept a referee’s red card and stayed on to finish a game. A shameful betrayal of the Corinthian Spirit. It is not too late 46 years on to pass sentence and punt him.

     

     

    I am here to castigate Billy McNeill for having the effrontery to punch a Scottish journo going about his daily business of stirring up manure about Celtic. Best ever Captain?? Centenary Manager?? you’re having a laugh! That’s never Celtic class.

     

     

    I am here to castigate Sir Robert Kelly for his unseemly defiance of SFA regulations to remove a provocative flag. There is no dignity in that sort of rebelliousness and cheek towards our betters. get that knighthood stripped now!

     

     

    I am here to castigate Jimmy Johnstone. Greatest Ever Celt?? my erchie! How many times was Jimmy sent off leaving us a man down? Almost as many as Scott Brown or just a small fraction thereof? Who cares? Get him punted!

     

     

    What was Neil Lennon thinking about in defending a player whose behaviour can be added to the sordid list above?

     

     

    Glenda Slag csc

  3. weeminger

     

     

    15:27 on 2 October, 2013

     

    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.

     

    ……………….

     

     

    Aye, yer rite ther an long mae it continue

  4. quonno

     

    15:15 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    An Tearmann

     

    15:13 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    Fraud. Dangerous unsubstantiated allegation.

     

     

     

    I take your point quonno,my opinion only,never have i known a set of accounts which beg more answers instead of clarity.

     

    right from sevco5088,the ulster fund raisers etc this has been steeped in dubiety,impropriety and a culture of inculcated wrong doing.

     

    whats more they know we know it.yet nothing is done

     

    Maybe I am harsh in my wording.time will tell.it remains to be seen but when money cant be explained it raises the eye.

  5. benjy mul @ 1240 ,

     

    mncelt @ 1258 ,

     

     

    ” Sammy was guily of infuriatingly bad decision making “.

     

     

    First rule of CQN : we don’t mention Sammi’s faults.

     

     

    I thought he played quite well last night, by his weekly standards. That means he was hardly ever in a huff and occasionally decided to get involved. And in fairness he did the same on Saturday.

     

     

    But reading epithets like ” one of the best European performances by a Celt “, makes me think of comparing him to Jinky, McStay, Connolly… in fact loads ahead of him in that queue.

     

     

    Even Paul’s article compares his performance to that of any Celt in Europe during the last 20 years ( including Larsson in Seville ).

     

     

    Go compare. The comparison pales and fails. ( but he played well. Ish ).

  6. DBBIA at 15.37

     

     

    I forgot to mention in my post at 15.19…. that’s two Tuesdays in a row we’ve been beaten at home@

     

     

    Would Allan McGraw stand a chance of getting in today’s Morton team?

  7. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. Champions. C’mon Wee Oscar.

     

    15:35 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    Scott brown made a mistake last night in the heat of the moment in a passion filled game surrounded by 62,000 passion fuelled specators, against an oponent who was diving and cheating all game.

     

     

    Get over it!

     

     

    Broooonnnnniiiiiieeeeee /

     

     

    Where is uncontrollable passion when, even on scoring the most important of goals, the scorer unerringly locates cameras ion front of which to do some over the top celebrating?

  8. mihal

     

     

    I went to go compare.com but all they had was insurance an the like… nay fitba players

  9. I said it last night,and have been saying it for seasons now,just what do we do at training?.Does anyone honestly think that Barca players are born with the ability to pass the ball?.This sort of mental telepathy they have in finding each other with the ball,is the result of hours and hours of practice on the training ground.Ok we will never reach their standard,but the simple basics of football should not be beyond us.

     

    Last night we continually gave the ball to them,or aimlessly punted the ball forward.To who?.When we were in possesion,our player had very few options to pass to a teamate,lucky most of the time if he had one.Barca have 3-4 options at every turn.They might be superstars,but they are prepared to do the hard work to help each other.

     

    Our form is at best a lottery.When we do pass the ball well,we look a different team.When we dont,Morton etc.How many times have we been dismal to watch?.

     

    We have great heart,and a fantastic support which carries us beyond what our skill levels should be getting us to.If we could improve our passing skills and ball retention,just think what we could achieve.

  10. South Of Tunis on

    The penalty given to AC Milan last night saw this appearing in today’s La Gazzetta Dello Sport [ Italy’s biggest selling , most widely read newspaper —–]

     

     

    ” Ajax were punished by the imagination of the Referee “

  11. An Tearmann

     

    15:45 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

     

    I intended no criticism of yourself. Merely a caution.

     

    Personally I will laugh myself sick, if you are eventually proved to be correct.

  12. setting free the bears supports:

     

     

    Nah! you’re right, he punched him… and then kicked him when he went down.

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    CanajunBhoy 15:12

     

    Was a bit surprised when Lustig came off, but hey who knows how things would have worked out….?

     

     

    Certainly disappointing not to have at least one point from the two games.

  14. I think if Broonie is out for next 3 CL games the NFL will know he needs to change things in the league games.

     

     

    Whoever comes in will need to bedded in and settle with the rest of the midfield. I think Broonie would understand this and if not then tough.

     

     

    Would love to see the arm band passed to Sammi for the duration but think it will go to big Charlie.

     

     

    Btw – Give big Biton a run, he’ll be a star!

     

     

    HH

     

    /Bishop B.

  15. Turkeybhoy

     

    15:57 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

     

    You try and pass the ball accurately when two or more players are closing you down.

  16. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Cadizzy -if Benny Rooney thought he could put in a shift, why not.

     

     

    They could use him to spell Preben Arentoft.

  17. Turkeybhoy

     

    15:57 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    Could not agree more.

     

    Even forty years ago, even the most mediocre of visiting continental sides were stuffed with players whose individual techniques were superior to that of most of Scottish footballers,

  18. weeminger

     

    16:02 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    Turkeybhoy

     

    15:57 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

     

    You try and pass the ball accurately when two or more players are closing you down.

     

     

    If two are closing you down there must be space somewhere.

  19. DBBIA

     

     

    Benny Rooney and Mike Jackson….Morton’s Clough and Taylor..Shankly and Paisley….Ferguson and Knox….McCoist and Durrant( I just made that last pair up)

  20. quonno

     

     

    16:05 on 2 October, 2013

     

    weeminger

     

    16:02 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

    Turkeybhoy

     

    15:57 on

     

    2 October, 2013

     

     

    You try and pass the ball accurately when two or more players are closing you down.

     

     

    If two are closing you down there must be space somewhere.

     

    ………..

     

     

    Not necessarily if you’re down to 10 men

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

    moonbeams wd. kano 1000 \o/ supporting neil lennon 100%. champions. c’mon wee oscar.

     

     

    15:35 on 2 October, 2013

     

     

    Spot on……. !!!!!!!!!!

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Allan Mcgraw, 117 league goals in 136 appearances for Morton.

     

     

    The Gerd Muller of Cappielow.

  23. I don’t know if I am a misty eyed romantic at odds with reality. I append below a recent post I made on an Irish GAA website to a poster who was being ultra critical of Celtic Supporters. This post was from my heart and it summed up the empathy I feel for Scottish Celts. Yet when I read some posts here on the premier Celtic fanzine site, I don’t recognise the people I purport to love. I honestly think I need a holiday from CQN.

     

     

    “wayno, I don’t post to make friends either, neither do I attempt to annoy or wind up people. However I always try to be fair and balanced. You already admitted that you were never in Celtic Park yet you would prefer the atmosphere in Galatasaray (again a place I doubt you visited). I was in Old Trafford on a Tuesday night Champions League Game and the following night was in Celtic Park for another Champions League game. In Old Trafford the fans were simply singing vicious songs about Hillsborough and something about Leeds. It was total tosh. Next night was an absolute carnival without hate or malice. There are never and I repeat never sectarian chants at Celtic Park. You might have come across a few jarred Dubs in Celtic Jerseys and are basing your opinions on their antics. If you haven’t been there don’t rush to judgement. There is a wee lad in Belfast called Oscar Knox who is suffering from a very rare devastating Cancer, ask his Mam & Dad what Celtic Supporters are like. They will tell you of the hundreds of fans who have organised countless events and raised hundreds of thousands in support of Oscar Knox Charities. I could go on and on about the countless Charities that Celtic fans support, they see it as an essential part of their ethos and history to continue to do this. The vast vast majority of them are direct descendents of victims of the Irish Famine. The Club was set up to provide Penny Dinners for their great grandparents when they arrived starving into Glasgow. They have not and will not forget their history. They are as ethnically Irish as any of us, they are the most decent, friendliest,charitable and hospitable comrades, I have ever met. Don’t criticise what you have never experienced.”

  24. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    quonno

     

     

    15:57 on 2 October, 2013

     

     

    Dooooooooooooh

  25. Question- Does anyone remember the ’69 4-0 final? I recall fighting among the identityless at half time? was telling a bear bout it but he had hands over ears,repeatin, it didnt happen, geez you would have thought it was CVA day again.

  26. “If two are closing you down there must be space somewhere.”

     

     

    But you still need a team mate with the awareness to move into that space and make himself available for a pass. That’s what Barce do so well – the man in possession always has options.

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