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. After Careful Consideration



    Ma Team fur Italy






    Lustig Izzy



    Ambrose Virgil



    Matthews, Broonie, Ledley, Mugrew, Commons.






    Ah windae dare play.. Stokesy..In Ma Opinon.. mark ye..



    Stokesie ,is entirely unsuited tae play as a Lonely Linwood Striker..



    and ash we Wull be Playing Five Across the Middle.. In Ma Opinion..



    Stoksie wid be totally loast. Playing oan his Oanie Oh!



    Commons, and Sammi.. are of Course.. Must Starts.




    Na.. Stokesie, mus NOT PLAY.





    Still Laughin’

  2. Is Jackson Irvine doing well at Killie?



    I hope Dylan McGeough and Fisher get a loan spell as well

  3. The Spirit Of Arthur Lee on





    We all knew that one



    Amanita is the correct answer




  4. Dena 29



    I respect yer opinion in this ,pal



    Yours is as good as Anybuddy else’s .. and Probably Bettah than Mine.



    Nice Chatting.






    Still, Laughin

  5. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    Keep that heid up pal. Genuinely, time is a great healer and you’ll be left with fond memories and a warm feeling inside whenever you think of your mammy.



    Good to have you back.

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




    Au contraire,old bean.



    My question,I get to choose the answer!

  7. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Not very good at team selections, (I am really, but want to appear modest), but I think that Pukki will start.



    He may replace Stokes, not through any form issues, though, more horses for courses.



    There will be times in the game where we may get the opportunity to through one over the top and that, I feel,is where Pukki’s strength lies.



    Sammi is a must.



    Not sure if Derk will start, especially if Matthews is fit.



    As for the rest, I’ll leave that to Neil.

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



    Lustig is talking about now i.e this weeks game, me too.



    We are almost going to play with almost last years team minus Hooper & Wanyama &, Wilson, 2 of that 3 would be first team choices, some would say all 3.



    Therefore IMO we have a weaker first team for this week.


    No point in blooding Biton or Pukki against Ajax in the fourth game if we have already lost the first three.


    Celtic have had three qulaifying rounds to give players European experience, granted not against the same level of club, but yoy cannot beat experience.



    If we have not got replacements in or given other players experience, Rogic, then that is down to the club, not transfer window dates, which are immovable, unless of course you play in Scotland.

  9. Kojo,



    I’d take that line up.



    Wouldny break my hear nor surprise me if derk was in for Kris.



    Nae gung ho please

  10. Just seen on SSN the deed club are trying to bring in another 2 players one being Zaliukas. I think that IPO must have brought in 100m and not the 22m the nasty media are reporting.

  11. iPaddy McCourt Supports Wee Oscar on

    Based on recent form most would say that Stokes must start on Wednesday, he’s in the form of his life. Pukki on the bench. However, Stokes on his own up front? I’m not sure about that. It’s a tough call.



    The dilemma is how to shape up tactically. Milan are not in a great place at the moment and look vulnerable, with several first-team players out injured, including both full backs. This is probably the best opportunity we’ll ever have to get a positive result in Italy. Do we have a go on the basis that we seldom look comfortable defending in depth? On balance, I think we need to try and get at them whenever we can and not just sit in. 4-4-1-1 with Commons as an advanced midfielder. Samaras to run at them down the left.





    Lustig……Ambrose…Van Dijk….Mulgrew







  12. SSN reporting Sevco look to bring in 2 new players



    Why? who would want to move to a club that is hurtling towards extinction ?

  13. ThomtheThim



    Pal.. Ye ARE Modest!



    Pukki.. in the opinion of. Nutsy.. ( Who is ALWAYS RIGHT)



    tells us.






    Pukki, Plays the Lone Hand. very Well.



    But.. Ah hiv countered his Argument..and Noo it appears.. Your’s .. As well



    With this..



    It all boils doon tae the Simple fact that..



    Soccer , Must be played with a Complement of Eleven Players.



    noo. if . We could swing the Rules.. a tad.. and Play wi



    Twelve Players..






    Ah could be persuaded tae gie Pukki as Shot at getting a Start Agin the Italians.



    but. as we wull no be able tae.. Swing.. that.. well.. “Swing”



    Ah am Afraid that Pukki, must sit this One oot.. oan the Bench.






    Commons and Sammi. Must . Be Starters..




    And Ah canny see where Pukki, could fit intae Ma ,as previously Published… Selection..



    and. .One, Which Ah ..



    Believe.. Neil wull Favour, Himsel.



    Nicer Chatting.





    Still , Laughin

  14. dena29


    15:32 on


    16 September, 2013



    If you get players in on a free and tie them to a 2 yr contract they’ll have a resale value come admin/liquidation, not only that but their additional wages will bring that day closer.



    The custodians are seeking that day, not trying to avoid it. They want to get out of there and have some money in their pockets.

  15. I’m glad Neil is picking the team and not us. Drop Commons? Drop the most creative player we have at our disposal? Our best penalty and free kick taker?



    I had a go at picking the team the other day and realised I am not the Manager.

  16. tigertim



    “Lustig is talking about now i.e this weeks game, me too.



    Lustig is making a positive comment in the press for the purposes of morale. He is not making a neutral professional evaluation of the players involved.



    Neither, he, you or I know whether this year’s squad are stronger, weaker or just about the same as last year and I won’t judge it on the first CL group game or the first 5 SPL fixtures as they all come too early in the season.



    We lost 3 players who were seasoned in the CL group stages and gained two who have CL experience (Boerigter and Pukki). It is always inevitable that they will be less experienced before the first CL game kicks off (for comparison, Kelvin Wilson, Gary Hooper and Big Vic also had no CL group experience as we headed into our first CL group match last season).



    Only time will tell, whether we have players at the level of Larsson, Lubo and Big Vic, or at the level of a McNamara/ Hooper and Maloney, or whether they are Graveson/ Miku and Bangura level.

  17. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Looks to me like the deal is done to get us in the Scottish Cup and they are beefing the squad up for it.


    It really is embarrassing the size and quality of squad they have for the league they are in. They would finish in top 3 at least in the Premiership with that squad.




  18. RE: LasVegas


    Long time lurker after some advice- I’m lucky enough to be in vegas for the Milan game. Any good suggestions for bars to watch it? Cheers in advance. Mani hoop. BetterweatherthanManchesterCSC

  19. weeminger 15:36 I get why custodians(hic) might do this but the players who sign surely are shooting themselves in the foot as it looks to antone that they surely lack ambition.imo



    confused.com is me csc

  20. Geordie Munro




    Ah neveh evah considered.. Playing the Flying Dutchman.. agin the Milanese



    There is Nae Room fur him.. in Ma Selection.



    If ye can fit him in in your Selection, by all means , dae so.



    Personally, all kiddin’ ,aside…




    Ah really DO NOT THINK that Neil , Wull Play Derk.



    Derk ,is Not quite Ready fur a Full Big Time Run oot..


    against such Tough First Class Opposition.. Same, goes….as The Finnish Lad..



    Van Dyke’s , selection..is a Hobson’s fur us..



    That is Why Ah Believe that Virgil, wull Play..



    Anyway. Nice chatting,pal.





    Still.. Laughin’

  21. I know he won’t play this week but Balotelli seems to rate Nir Biton very highly.


    Can’t wait to see the lad play.

  22. The comfortable collective re.12:54


    I’ll try and find out the answer for you to the Irish officials carry on with Craig Thomson, I’m golfing with his brother this Friday and will approach the subject ;-) HH

  23. dena29


    15:42 on


    16 September, 2013



    If you’re out of contract I imagine you’re not that fussy about who’s going to give you a weekly wage, no matter how long it lasts. At the very worst you’ll be back as a free agent and can look again for a club. Get a few decent performances in and you might get a better offer than the one’s coming in right now.

  24. LiviBhoy – God bless wee Oscar


    15:39 on


    16 September, 2013





    Looks to me like the deal is done to get us in the Scottish Cup and they are beefing the squad up for it.


    It really is embarrassing the size and quality of squad they have for the league they are in. They would finish in top 3 at least in the Premiership with that squad.





    thats a high price for professional players to gamble on one game against us and compromising their career in doing so . very risky and narrow minded. dohhhhhhhh!!!


    Just realised I’m talking about players who have probably been lied to as we all have been for many years by that dead club.



    roll on admin(2)

  25. archdeaconsbench on

    Had a quick swatch on FF there and tbf, even the Buns are scratching their heads (ape style obv) at a deal being offered to Zaliukas.


    Does anyone know what size their squad is at the minute, in comparison to ours?

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