Milan, the incredible Paul Murray, Tyneside No 1


I never like to hear Celtic fans talk about weaknesses in opponents like Milan. They may be weaker than they were a decade ago but Milan have never been weak. The one thing Celtic have in their favour is the element of surprise, despite last season’s epic achievements. Milan will have read the screaming headlines, ‘spine of the team sold’. They will know little about how effective Celtic can use the vast open spaces of the San Siro.

After defending resolutely against Barca, Celtic looked like a far better team against a less effective Juventus but we found the limit to our abilities. Juve exploited the gaps in defence left as we took the game to them. I would rather defend in numbers and take our chances on the break than try to go toe-to-toe in midfield.

The San Siro seems to bring the best out of Celtic. Jock Stein went there three times, drawing after 90 minutes on each occasion; losing once after extra time. Gordon Strachan’s team were also level after regulation time, losing only after extra time, and lost narrowly in a Champions League group stage game. Martin O’Neill’s Celtic came within three minutes of securing a draw before conceding twice late on.

There can be fewer European grounds on which Celtic have performed as well. Wednesday will require another almighty and intense effort but that is something Celtic are never lacking. Milan may not fear us, but they have reason to be worried.

I listened to former Rangers director Paul Murray on BBC Radio Scotland over the weekend. I know books have been written on the downfall of that club but I could write one on his own contribution. As a non-executive director, Murray’s job was to be the eyes and ears of other shareholders, to ensure the business of the club was in order and carried out properly. He was in a position to ask awkward questions, in fact, it was his job to ask awkward questions and to ensure threats to the club were uncovered and addressed.

In this instance he failed absolutely. Despite this, he trumpeted the 50% decline in the club’s debt during his tenure as a badge of honour, he told us his namesake, Sir David, was exclusively responsible for the sale to Craig Whyte and for the consequences of the EBT debacle. We were informed that Rangers won their EBT case, despite the fact that during the First Tier Tribunal the club accepted they operated an illegal tax scheme for five players, and the remaining issues are a matter of appeal.

Most bizarrely of all he rejected Lord Nimmo Smith’s findings on the conduct of his board before telling us he is absolutely certain he would be judged fit and proper to be a director of a football club. No remorse, not even a hint of self awareness.

Well done to the Tyneside No. 1 Celtic Supporters’ Club who walked from Newcastle to Celtic Park in aid of 1254125 and the Sam Bradley Care Fund. You can support their magnificent effort here.

The new issue of CQN Magazine is out! Click here for a proper read (don’t try to read the graphic below). It’s another great issue, thanks to all who helped.
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  1. Tigertim,



    I think Virgil will start on Wednesday with Ambrose.



    Boerrigter i expect to start as well, to stretch them on the break with his pace. I suspect Stokes will be dropped in favour of Samaras.



    Pukki just got here, starting him against Milan would be a bit of a gamble before he’s had a chance to settle in. Biton ditto. Balde we always acknowledged was a bit of a punt on a promising youngster and Mouyokolo’s crocked for 6 months.



    Think we should wait and see whether Boerrigter, Virgil, Pukki and Biton are featuring come the latter UCL games and then judge it.

  2. BMCUW



    Is the connection that you have to be aff yer heid on mushies to like that particular wee beat combo ?

  3. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    That may well be a toadstool.



    Not nipping round your place anytime soon for a mushroom risotto.

  4. @tigertim



    Virgil and Derk are pretty certain to start.



    Biton has not made a debut yet because of religious reasons and it would be a big ask for him to step into the San Siro.



    Pukki will make some sort of appearance, either from the bench or from the start.



    I thought the new boys played pretty well at the weekend and Balde is the only signing I am a bit down about.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Just read old Keechers. Dear oh dear – where do you start?



    “about whether the club died last year or whether it survived the liquidation of the company which owned it”


    Em, not quite Keith. Not the company which owned it, the company that WAS it – the Rangers Football Club PLC (as if you didn’t know).



    And as for “Few who listened could have failed to be impressed by the way in which Murray handled himself”. Surely he HAS to be joking? No???

  6. The beauty of Group H is that we could quite conceivably go to the last round with all four teams having something to play for. I mean Ajax, Milan and Barcelona who knows who’ll come 2nd and 3rd from those three?

  7. Billy Connolly is without a doubt a national treasure, someone whom whenever his face appears on the TV you automatically stop what you are doing and listen to him.



    I watched a show last week about Barbara Dickson and The Big Yin was on with her talking about the old times they had in the folk scene in the 60’s.



    I can clearly remember the first time I heard his “Live Solo Performance” album in 1972, from which I taped The Crucifixion and and The Jobbie Wheecha, like most school kids could almost recite them word for word. Still makes me laugh thinking about it.



    Lang may his lum reek.




  8. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on






    I had never heard of Flowers of Guatemala before.



    Truly,The Exiled Tim is correct that every day is an education on here.



    I remember my local paper did an exposé re a local shop selling hallucinogenic fungi about ten years ago.



    Queued out the doors the following day!

  9. Zbyszek mówi, trzymaj się Oscar on

    Starry Plough



    Good to see you back. Stay strong keeping memories about your Mum.

  10. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    That particular track is over thirty years old.



    Damned good,IMO.



    I agree with you that they went downhill rapidly.



    After Orange Crush.



    Maybe Jack Irvine took exception to the title,and nobbled them.

  11. celt55



    14:41 on 16 September, 2013


    The beauty of Group H is that we could quite conceivably go to the last round with all four teams having something to play for. I mean Ajax, Milan and Barcelona who knows who’ll come 2nd and 3rd from those three?






    Hope that is not the case. Would rather Barca were home and hosed by the last game when we play them.

  12. Doesn’t oul Keech Jackson realize that whatever is printed in the DR is instantly regarded as “utter dog keech” by anyone with any intelligence and printing that the Zombies retained their history in the DR is tantamount to admitting they didn’t.


    Stupid Zombies




  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    BoscoBhoy02 14:26


    Don’t recall any questions from Jackson. As you say, English and Spiers chipped in now and then but didn’t ask any difficult questions. There were so many gaps in Murray’s version of events it was untrue. A half-decent journo would have made him squirm with three or four basic questions.

  14. glendalystonsils on




    I agree. One of the positives about such a strong group is that the teams are all capable of taking points off each other so it could be tight all the way.

  15. “Few who listened could have failed to be impressed by the way in which Murray handled himself”. I laughed out loud at that bit. Murray was not the least bit impressive, ‘it wiznae me, ok it wz me, but it wiznae ma fault, aye ok that bit wiz ma fault, and that bit, and I didnae know about anything else…’

  16. tiger tim/ dena



    Not really that much to be puzzled about.



    In every CL squad, not just Celtic, the new signings have only a limited time to get to know their team mates and bed in before the CL fixtures come around. In addition, all of them bar Pukki seem to have had an injury spell since signing.



    Nonetheless, of our 6 major signings (Balde, Van Dijk, Moyokoulo, Boerigter, Biton and Pukki), one seems certain to start and two more may get a chance. One is out of consideration with injury, one has yet to be blooded in an SPL match so a CL debut is unthinkable and one is a more long term prospect (Balde) who will get chances to develop in SPL matches and will be likely to be used only as a “hail mary” sub in the CL, if we are behind and need to pump it up to a target man.

  17. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    I think if we’re being realistic then if we have 2 points after the first 2 games then we’ll have done well. We’ve never won in Italy and I’m certain that Barca will be better prepared than they were last year against us.



    For me it’s the double header against Ajax that will determine whether we have European football after Christmas or not.

  18. Didn’t see much of Derks pace at the weekend, also wondered why he played on the right?


    Is Kayal injured?

  19. tigertim



    14:27 on 16 September, 2013


    Are none of our new signings going to play on Wednesday night, no Biton, no Pukki/Balde, does only the centre half merit a start, will Boerichter play if Sammi does? bad transfer window if that is the case.




    omg………..even victor and henrik took time to settle


    imho the bhoys have made the group stages of the champions league


    part 1 job done


    get a bit more experiance for the whole team at the top level


    part 2 win the league again?


    the time to judge will be after group stage and the run in to the league finish


    long way to go before any case can be made it has been a bad transfer window







  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Handled himself?






    Guy has enough problems without being called a winker in print.

  21. setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox


    14:51 on 16 September, 2013




    So although Lustig says we have a stronger squad, we have a weaker first team!!

  22. Dena



    at 14.29




    Ye state that ..in your opinion.. this has bin a Bad Transfer Windae.






    Mebbe, Ah hiv misapprehended ye.. as Ah am wont tae dae..






    Oan the way oot presumption that Ah didnae..



    Let me say, this.



    In Ma Opinion..



    This His Bin a Very Good Transfer Intake…



    Mebbe ,as the ye aver.. the Transfer Windae wiz a Bad yin.



    But, if it wiz.. That wid be doon tae the Timing.



    It is always a Rush tae Copy..fur us..as the Euro Tourney.. Starts so Inconveniently Early..if thur is such a Thing.. for Oor Liking.




    But ,the Player Intake.. his bin.. Phenomenally . GOOD!



    The Israeli, Chap.. is a Real Prospect.



    Virgil,has Shown me.. that He wull be the Best Thing since.. Celluloid.



    The Flying Dutchman.. His Label says it awe.. He wull Dae.



    Pukki, is the real deal.



    Moko..is a fine Replacement fur Loovens.



    Yep.. Ah am very Happy with oor New Players.



    Tip of the Homburg … tae Pierre, Lenny and Mr. Park..not necessarily in that order.






  23. My team for Wednesday.





    Lustiq VanDirk Ambrose Izzy


    Matthews Brown Ledley Mulgrew Samaras



  24. GlassTwoThirdsFull 14.47


    I agree they didn’t roast him but when you consider the usual useless questions they ask it was better than normal IMO especially when Speirs brought up LNS’s views on the formerboard. I did laugh at Murray’s mumblings at that point but agree they could have and should have asked more.

  25. setting free the bears supports Celtic’s best fighter- Wee Oscar Knox



    time will tell re new signings and dont get me wrong I still believe, but not overly convinced that we strengthened team in window. I hope I am wrong and in the later stages we have gelled (especially as Barca is my away fixture this year)



  26. BMCUW @ 14 45 .



    My weans really liked them at the beginning. Mrs S of T didn’t , but being a good liberal never did that -Turn that crap down thing . The weans eventually lost interest -R E M were no longer cool .



    Mrs S of T got her revenge when the super naff Everybody Hurts was released . Mrs S of T bought 3 and sent one to each of the weans . with a wee note attached —



    ” Aren’t REM great ! “

  27. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Every tale you tell about the good lady from Padova makes me smile.



    You certainly caught a tiger by the tail there,bud!



    REM started out well,IMO,but,well….



    Re the question earlier.



    Here’s the answer,like I said,extremely tenuous.



    A stipe is also a structure found in a number of organisms that are studied by botanists but that are no longer classified as plants. It may be the stem-like part of the thallus of a mushroom or a seaweed, and is particularly common among brown algae such as kelp. The stipe of a kelp often contains a central region of cells that, like the phloem of vascular plants, serves to transport nutrients within the alga.

  28. Kojo


    each to their own opinion but someones name doesnt prove their ability(the flying dutchman)


    the Israeli chap may be a prospect but that also remains to be seen,


    I agree Pukki looks good but that is based on very very limited experience. I am not saying these players will never be the real deal what I am saying is if they are good enough for the Celtic team play them now and not in the latter stages of CL.

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