It’s all about Pot 3


Celtic have a strategic problem.  The great Neil Lennon European campaign of 2019 is slipping from our coefficient status, and we have done little of note since.  Neil’s team are the only Celtic side to win a European group, finishing above Lazio, Rennes and Cluj.  Four wins, a draw and defeat in a dead rubber in Romania required some breathtaking performances.

If we are to continue at the Continent’s top table, we need to get back to winning games in Europe.  This is remarkably difficult in the Champions League, although Neil and Gordon Strachan had a formula.  Thier teams defended, played to their strengths and gave us some of the most memorable Celtic games in the last 50 years.

Brendan Rodgers and Ange Postecoglou changed all that.  Pragmatism was sacrificed for purity as record heavy defeats arrived in droves.  It remains to be seen what learning has been achieved.

The threats and opportunities within this afternoon’s pots are not evenly distributed.  We could get Manchester City or Feyenoord from Pot 1, Inter or Porto from Pot 2, Milan or Red Star from Pot 3.  There are five current or previous European Champions in Pots 1 and 2, three in Pot 3 and we are the only one in Pot 4.  Liverpool, Juventus and Ajax didn’t make the cut.

If it’s Feyenoord and Porto, fair enough, let’s see what we can do, but for me, the draw is all about Pot 3.  That is where we are most likely to find a team with comparable resources and challenges, and therefore collect some points.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good morning CQN



    Enjoyable read back of last night’s posts.



    Some interesting friendly jousting going on.



    I’d add my tuppence but it would be worth zilch coming from a guy who can’t even tell when the transfer window ends.



    Thought it was last night.



    Was wondering why there were no last minute scrambles.




  2. According to sky sports news paolo bernardi has completed his medical and is expected to join us on loan



  3. We love an incoherent hoarding of mediocre players, don’t we?



    Waiting for one to bloom…while most of them wither




  4. Out if all the signings we’ve made , how may will actually be starters in our first 11 before the end of the season.


    Lucky if it’s 2.



    We’ll just need to get used to finishing bottom in CL every season.

  5. Just watched re-run of first half of ye Spurs v Fulham.



    Angeball? Spurs offered zip in that regard. Perisic would be classed as a proven signing; he looks cooked.



    Hold On: if we’d kept Kelvin Wilson, we coulda had a musical centre-back pairing of Wilson-Phillips.



    What other musical combos could have graced the Hoops ?

  6. If Bernardo signs, we will have a first team squad sitting at 35 players (Ajeti, Soro, Haksa not officially left yet).



    Even taking their hopeful departures into account, that is a very big squad.



    The principal activity of the Group is the operation of a professional


    football club, with related and ancillary activities. The principal activity


    of the Company is to control and manage the main assets of the


    business whilst the majority of operating activity is carried out by a


    subsidiary of Celtic plc, Celtic F.C. Limited. As a result, both of these


    companies are managed and controlled as a single entity in order to


    achieve the objectives of the Group.


    The operation of a professional football club encompasses a wide range


    of activities including: football operations and investment; operation of


    the Celtic FC Youth Academy; match ticketing; merchandising; partner


    programmes; marketing and brand protection; multimedia; stadium


    operations; facilities and property; catering and hospitality; public


    relations, supporter relations; and human resources.


    The Group has three key revenue streams:


    (i) Football and Stadium Operations;


    (ii) Merchandising; and


    (iii) Multimedia and Other Commercial Activities.


    A segmental analysis of these streams is reported in Note 5 to the


    Financial Statements. Football and stadium operations includes all


    revenue in relation to all football operations, ticket office, stadium


    and youth development. Merchandising includes all retail, wholesale


    and e-commerce activities. Multimedia and other commercial


    activities include all other revenue generating departments including


    sponsorship and rights sales. Given the nature of the business, all


    revenue streams are inextricably linked to the success of the first team

  8. SAINT STIVS @ 11:48 AM,



    Well, I’d hope that was corporate speil from fifteen years ago but suspect not



    The cart very much before the horse:(



    Hail Hail

  9. bournesouprecipe on

    Very happy, we’ve drawn Lazio , Madrid and Feyenoord.



    Great chance to make progress in Europe three old foes and if the much maligned Neil Lennon can beat Lazio home and away, there’s no limit to what Brendan’s ‘world class’ credentials can bring.



    Hardly a group of death and it won’t be too difficult to improve on Ange’s abortive attempts.



    Pricing for last season’s elite CL package of £129.00 just like ST’s, is certain to go up, but sure to sell out.

  10. The format of Maeda negating Tavaniern/ terrifying him has worked. I hope Brendan doesn’t tinker with that.



    He looked shattered at end of Wednesday. By the hour mark tomorrow he will be run ragged and our new man can get on and win it for us.



    They will also have less experience on left fb. It will be interesting how we exploit that. Will they play Balogen or Sterling there ? Or go with a 3 ?

  11. Hoping for Lazio first. Ideally at home.



    Lazio h


    Madrid a


    Feyenoord h


    Feyenoord a


    Madrid h


    Lazio a



    Would be perfect for me.



    Lazio have no points and are away to Napoli and Juventus in 2 games pre CL. I want us to get them sooner not later.



    Madrid away is a feee hit but Feyenoord at home would really set us up.

  12. CHAIRBHOY on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023 11:55 AM



    you stated CEO bonus should be linked to Football success, not how much is made in transfer activity.



    I would suggest that the PLC tells us that is exactly what they do –





    “revenue streams are inextricably linked to the success of the first team”

  13. BURNLEY78 on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023 11:57 AM



    Not sure who it favours but we are in some transtional phase and not sure Brendan knows how to play the team. I think he’s shocked by how much mediocrity Angeball concealed when you want to shift gears to a more possession based game, inverted wingers and marauding full backs.



    We’ve been pedestrian in the last 2 weeks and the 60 minute oomph to finish off games has vanished as quality on the bench has not been there.



    So many variables to the selection – will the new boys be fit, had any training to even remember their team mates names and a fear for too much disruption. Who does he trust?



    I can’t bear Scales being there, can live with Hart thumping it forward & GT inverting but that means Callum is a man down….



    I’d play better technical players for possession than Maeda – Palma and Yang and get at them.



    Our back four should be completly changed from the 3-0 reversal last time there, which I’m pleased about.



    Confused csc




  14. GREENPINATA @ 9:14 AM



    A wee caveat there.



    Benfica B play in Liga 2, the level below the first team and, dare I say it, with half a dozen teams that would regularly beat the bottom 6 in the SPFL. Benfica can play young guys at that high competitive level. Not just them but 5 other top flight Portuguese teams chose and were allowed to enter teams at that level (Porto, Sporting, Braga, Maritimo and Vitoria Guimares).



    Their young players are playing at a level that prepares them for the jump to Liga 1 in Portugal. Our guys play in the 5th tier of Scotland and restricted to playing 16-20 year olds . Even if they were good enough to win that league against adult teams they could not play at any higher level, other than breaking straight into the Celtic first team, and no one has managed that yet, not even Ben Doak- the best of them.



    The only Player Development route we have is to loan them to other clubs and coaches, where facilities and coaching may not be as good as Lennoxtown can provide. So – there’s the dilemma- Scottish football is suppressing the interests of elite young players to protect the interests of their member clubs who attract crowds of under 250 to their games. Portugal and The Netherlands think differently.



    Obviously English clubs face similar problems but their elite clubs have sufficient elite players in their reserves to provide a more testing competitive environment playing the equally talented reserves of other elite English clubs. Our lot get to play “Rangers” and Hearts B teams of elite youngsters and a bunch of players whose natural level is 5th tier. Even then, English clubs need to offer most youngsters a loan spell with a Championship or League One club to give them a bridge to the firs team. It is rare for an individual to break straight into an elite English first team without such a spell but Phil Foden has done it but even the likes of Mason Mount had to go on loan twice.



    There are talented boys at Celtic B and the younger teams. If we scrapped Lennoxtown, they would be at the mercy of the various boys clubs and other senior clubs with lesser facilities and coaching to develop from ages 11 to 16 and earn an age promotion to the B team. We face the same challenge as the Govan club and Hearts and Aberdeen. It is easier, but getting harder, for a Dons youngster to break through as it is at Hearts, because their teams are, on average around 20 points a season poorer than our team. Comparisons with Sevco show that they can blood a McRorie, or a Leon King or an Alex Lowry but none established and held down a first team slot.



    We need friendly relations with clubs with decent coaches and facilities that will give game time to our talented 18-20 group. We are using Dunfermline, Queens Park, Fleetwood and Admira Wacker in this way. I hope we can even improve on that, in future.