Joy from Inverness rekindles memories of 10 years ago today


News this morning that Uefa president, Michel Platini told newspaper, Quest-France, that the governing body are considering dispensing with the Europa League and broadening the Champions League from 23 to 64 teams is far from welcome.

Celtic fans have grown to love the Champions League since our early exploits in the group stage in 2001 but while national TV market values continue to determine who has a chance of winning the tournament there will continue to be a need for a second competition.

10 years ago today Henrik Larsson scored the only goal of the game as Celtic beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in the Uefa Cup on their way to an away goals victory which ensured they were in European competition for the first Christmas since 1979.  That was a huge tie for us and an unlikely victory, given 23 years of failure experienced without exception at that level.

The excitement rolled on, Stuttgart, Liverpool and Boavista were eliminated at Celtic reached the final in Seville but all this happened after we’d lost to Basel in the Champions League play-off round.  I remember looking at the quarter finalists of the Champions League that year, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Inter, Valencia, Juventus, Barcelona and only Ajax from outside the then top three leagues in Europe, all of them tier-one clubs.

It’s difficult to imagine our progress in the Uefa Cup meaning any more to us if we had been Champions League but the other quarter finalists were Besiktas, Lazio, Boavista, Malaga, Liverpool, Porto and Panathinaikos.  I was really glad Real Madrid & co were not in the same competition; we needed more mortal opponents to stand a chance.  For me, it’s infinitely better to beat Boavista than lose to Milan.

Compare this scenario with the SPL, which currently have five teams within a point at the top, a truly magnificent competition.  St Johnstone, in sixth place, could go clear at the top if they beat Hibs tonight and Celtic stumble at Tynecastle.

We are the only fly in the ointment.  It doesn’t really matter how well Inverness or Motherwell prepare, Celtic have vastly more resources than all other challengers combined.  For that reason and that reason only, they will win the league, probably by some margin as their stronger squad allows them to ease through the injuries and suspensions which will have a disproportionality sever effect on others.

CQN Annual – perfect Christmas present

I read some joyous tweets from an Inverness Caley supporters’ account last night, including, “This has to be one of the most exciting spl seasons yet! Very close and all to play for. Who needs Rangers?!”

Who needs Rangers?  Certainly not Inverness Caley.  I wonder if they realise they don’t need Celtic either.  Together these two clubs have robbed Scottish football of what it has a wee taste of right now, genuine competition.  Those running the game here are still concerned with squeezing more life out of the broken model instead of giving fans what you and I got a taste of 10 years ago tonight – a sporting chance to compete and win a tournament against a group of our peers.

It’s time to tell Celtic to stop talking and go find themselves another league to play in, they are not needed in Scotland.

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  1. BT- is that the Subo CD with the tasteless twitter hashtag? Subo’s butty or something like that?



    DBBIA- Pebbles can teach Lawwell a thing or two about getting a meal ticket down south.

  2. Lord Gilbert .



    A Labour man .



    Many were astounded when Wilson gave him a post but others simply suggested that Gilbert’s real role was making George Brown seem sober in comparison.

  3. Somebody earlier asked about “the Seville money”…



    Either it was spent on wages to fund MO’N’s poor transfer strategy or…



    Peter Lawwell and his cunning Celtic hating cohorts conspired to actually use the money to help out some old friends. Yes, it seems that maybe the Seville money was donated to our fair play friends from Racing Club, Madrid and Rapid Vienna.



    Good luck Celtic against the uncouth bunch of swines tonight.

  4. My Dear Kojo….



    We Need An ‘Enforcer’ In Oor Team…..



    Who Is Prepared Tae Take On The ‘Hammer Throwers’ In The Other Side…..



    If They Start ‘Puttin’ It About’…..



    An’ They’re No Sae Brave



    If There’s Someone In The Other Team…..



    Who Will Kick ‘Em Where It Hoits…..



    The Lisbon Lions Had Such Players….



    As Did MON’s Team….



    But We Hiv Lacked Such An Individual….



    Since Paul Hartley Was ‘Moved On’……



    Somewhat Prematurely…



    Now We Hiv Mainly Foreign Mercenaries….



    Who Play Tae Further Their Ain Careers….



    And Hiv Nae ‘Espirit De Corps’….



    All The More Reason….



    That We Should Place More Faith….



    In Oor Development Squad…



    Oor Players Who Hiv Come Thru The Ranks…..



    And Play Simply For The Hoops..



    Afore Any Personal Considerations….



    Wur Pinkety…?

  5. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on

    Great Hun free fair SPL league…was at AFC v ICT last night – real buzz among fans enjoying no RFC.


    Hopefully tonight we start to burst a few bubbles.. Leave the rest to target 2nd spot..

  6. harryhoodsdugbitme on

    Back in from work to find my Arbroath tickets and my big shiny new CQN annual all that’s needed now is big (or any) win tonight!! ‘it’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas’! COYBIG….HH.

  7. S O T



    Shared a carriage – very briefly – with George Brown on the London Tube once.



    Mid/late 70s.



    Before noon.



    He was on his own and got off a few stops before me.



    He was pissed.



    Managed -just – to not keel over.




  8. BSR



    You able o meet for something to eat before the game? Starry might make it, oldtim n BT not sure at the moment. Merchant City at 3?

  9. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    Re absurd injuries.. Was there not an Oldco Ranker/ Broadfoot springs to mind, that had an alleged accident with a microwave and some eggs?



    Apologies if this is nonsense, it’s just my medication talking, but in the turbulent troughs of my brain I think he did..



    Tonight … Cannae wait.. I dislike the diet tax dodgers as much as the full fat mob.. Ever since Jefferies cekebrated a quitongo late goal on the pitch and he refused to condemn the attack on Neill..



    Mind and stay on the pitch tonight hoops when celebrating goals…




  10. TSD


    Absolute rot! What we lack is a midfield playmaker with some imagination and ability to deliver the imagined moves. I think it is often referred to as guile. Bobby Murdoch, Bertie Auld, George Connelly, Paul McStay, Lubomir Moravcik to name just the immediately obvious.

  11. Really hope we are not still in ‘League Already Won’ mode tonight, not against the mini huns, we need a result to settle things down, another defeat will stir up a hornets’ nest and give Arbroath hope for Saturday…can you imagine…



    Having said that I’m confident we’ll beat them both.

  12. DoctorWhatfor,



    Couldn’t agree more. I would only add Charlie Gallagher to that list. I have high hopes for the Bhoy George. But we desperately need someone of that type to unlock the 10 man defences the SPL employ against us.

  13. Just watching Braunschweig v St Pauli game in the Bundesliga 2 and its a much more entertaining game than either in the EPL from yesterday, even if the refs tryin to spoil it by dishing out a red card very early. Fans in great voice too.

  14. sixtaeseven: CQN, antidote to deceptive, selective journalism on

    Sacré Bleu…


    As a player in France, Paul LeGuen was known as “La Patate” (The Potatoe – a term of endearment that loses something in translation, no doubt).


    As a manager in Ecosse, he was known as Saint Paul LeGuen (also a term of endearment).

  15. Parkheadcumsalford



    ’twas ever thus for Celtic. From my experience of over 50 years of watching Celtic it was always a question of breaking down defences and so it is now. And yes. Charlie Gallagher.

  16. 3 spare tickets on Eddie Duffy bus which will park on Corstorphine road after the Zoo if anyone looking for spares

  17. Dr whatfor…



    Whit Planet Ur Ye On..?



    If We Had A Player(s) Selfless Enough To Take On The ‘Protector ‘ Role…



    To Discourage The Hammer Throwers….



    (Who Are MOSTLY COWARDS…By Nature)



    Our Inventive Players….



    Such As Joe Ledley,Tony Watt,Dylan McGeouch….



    And James Forrest….



    Wid Hiv Mair Freedom…



    Tae Weave Their Magic…

  18. My team to take care of Hertz






    Lustig Ambrose Wilson Matthews



    Commons Kayal Wanyama Ledley








    talking of famous french people, might want to check out this news reader – melissa Theuriau…. Top Notch!

  19. Vmhan


    Enjoyed my time with you & you good lady last week,ma old Da is coming down to watch the game tonight

  20. My dear,dear,dear,friend.. The Singing Detective..



    We do Need an “Enforcer”..



    No Argument frum Me..oan that..






    We Dinnae Need.. A Middy ..in Which “their” Presence..is.,.



    Over- Abundant..




    Kayal, in Ma Opinion… kin carry out those Duties..in Tonight’s Game..






    He has the added Qualitee.. of being ABLE mak that all too valuable..



    “Telling Pass”..




    In Ma opinion..



    Most … if Not.. ALL. of the ither Teams in This League..



    Have Tumbled..



    “Celtic, Kinny Break Doon.. a Stolid And Determined.. Human Wall..



    Ten Man Defense..






    Celtic, Dinnae Hiv the MALLAM , of Yore .. in thur MIDFIELD..



    Celtic, Are Sorely Lacking in the Fitba Nous.. Dept…



    They hiv a



    MUSCLE BOUND.. Mid Field.. and



    We kin Beat them..if we Jist Haud oot..and


    Get that..



    Solitary Chance tae Score..oan a Break Away..



    If we are Patient…It wull Come.”




    So ye see..



    Neil, needs tae Think mair..in Terms of



    Breaking DOON..the Dee-Fense..of Our Opponents..



    Rather …than..



    Breaking.. UP.. the Attacks.. of oor Opponents!



    Maks sense.. Tae Me



    Heck.. Ah dinnae know the Complete Answer.. tae awe awe this.



    Mebbe, Playing Ibrahim..is No that Answer..






    He is the Only guy.. we hiv..






    Who shows a Glimmer o’ Fitba Mallam.



    It is Neil’s Joab.. No Mine.. find the Cure fur oor..



    Creeping.. Lassitude.. and WAN .. Performances ,in the S.P.L.




    Ah am Only.. a Baby Duck..



    He is the Drake in this Story.





    Yer pal…who thinks yer swell




    Still, Laughin’



    of which.. Victor..Ah am grieved tae Say..