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Note of caution on potential European opponents

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If it’s a choice between a trip to Macedonia or Azerbaijan, Celtic would doubtlessly prefer the former. Baku, where Azerbaijani club Qarabag reside, is not as far west as Astana, where Celtic played two years ago, but it’s east of Iraq and it’s not a city which appears in many tourist lists.

Rudar Pljevlja returned from Baku midweek with a 0-0 draw.  In days gone by that was regarded as a great away European result, but the lack of away goal will much of the second leg is played on a knife-edge.

One large note of caution, Qarabag went out of Europe last season by a one goal aggregate margin to Red Bull Salzburg, who lost in Baku, but won in Glasgow a few months later.  They have twice eliminated Polish opposition in the last five years.

My hunch is that Celtic are better than each potential opponent, but if we’re short of fitness or preparation, we’ll have more trouble than we want.

The good news is that neither club plays summer football, so they should be no better prepared that Celtic.  Rudar finished competitively in May, Qarabag a week later, while both played their first competitive games of the season on Wednesday.  From what I can tell, both also play on grass, so we’ll avoid the Scandinavian bounce.

Before concerning ourselves too much with the 3rd Champions League qualifying round we need to use today’s game against La Liga side Eibar to sharpen fitness, and take care of business in Iceland on Wednesday.

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1,093 Comments

  1. Hamiltontim

     

     

    00:12 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:01 on 19 July, 2015

     

    It’s a strange one, of course the queen should take one up her nazi bottom but at the same time if you choose to work and take a wage in a country you don’t agree with then you should maybe suck it up and respect their customs.

     

     

    ——

     

     

    James McClean pays taxes to the queen I’m not aware of anything she does for him.

     

    ———–

     

    You assume he doesn’t have an EBT?? :O)

     

     

    But also manners, I wouldn’t work in the US and insult them because I dislike their country, same with if I worked in Russia or Saudi.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig on

    James MacLean is answerable to James MacLean, where he earns his money should be of no interest to anybody apart from the Tax people in that country, if he feels strongly about something and decides to publicly show this who cares ? Don’t let the people with the real problem turn on the person with the principle, apart fae all that I think he could have done Celtic a right good turn

  3. What is the Stars on

    So tell me more

     

    Did James do his back turning in response to the queen and nazi salute

     

    Fair play he really is a gas man.

  4. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    00:25 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    James MacLean is answerable to James MacLean, where he earns his money should be of no interest to anybody apart from the Tax people in that country, if he feels strongly about something and decides to publicly show this who cares ? Don’t let the people with the real problem turn on the person with the principle, apart fae all that I think he could have done Celtic a right good turn

     

    ——————

     

    Just playing devils advocate here but how can you be a man of principle by choosing to play in a country that you disagree with. The guy could play in hundreds of countries that doesn’t offend him yet he doesn’t. Why is that? If he’s paying taxes then he’s also supporting a regime he degrees with, it almost makes him a hypocrite right?

  5. Gerryfaethebrig on

    HT…

     

     

    The other week I was on the train to work and you were doing one of your chores, I burst out laughing as you typed “I am not going to say anything …. However” a few people looked at me as if I was daft, never change and as others say keep that fire lit !

  6. the_huddle

     

     

    I don’t think McClean did anything out of insult, I think he displayed integrity.

  7. What is the Stars on

    The huddle

     

    James McLean even if chose to work in his home town would still be paying taxes to a regime that he disagrees with

     

    So don’t be too hard on him. He is a brave young man

  8. Hamiltontim

     

     

    00:31 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    I don’t think McClean did anything out of insult, I think he displayed integrity.

     

    ———-

     

    I don’t think the queen wouldve been insulted, think the old horse has thick skin :O)

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:29 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Devils advocate ?

     

    A job is a job I don’t know anybody that is happy where they work but we have to provide for our family, away and fling excrement at the moon if you think one person has principles when earning average, James MacLean can show his feelings whatever way he feels

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    I hope James McLean is smart enough to realise that this may well damage his career.

     

     

    Precedent……….the wee Irish lass who tore up a picture of the Pope on live television.

  11. Gerry

     

     

    Slowly, very slowly, I’m realising that the chances of changing anyone’s mind on an Internet blog are slim, unless of course you’re the blogger!

     

     

    My problem is that the fires still burn too strong to remain completely silent :-)

  12. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    00:33 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:29 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Devils advocate ?

     

    A job is a job I don’t know anybody that is happy where they work but we have to provide for our family, away and fling excrement at the moon if you think one person has principles when earning average, James MacLean can show his feelings whatever way he feels

     

    ————-

     

    The guys a millionaire, he can pick and choose where he works. I actaully thought he was now playing in the US, I didn’t know he had left Wigan for West Brom.

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:29 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    For the record since I left school I have worked nearly 27yrs as a public servant not once did I agree with the government so should I have chucked my job ?

     

    Would you ?

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:36 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    My last comment on this

     

     

    If you are rich you should stick to your principles ?

     

    What about us working class doughnuts

  15. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    00:36 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:29 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    For the record since I left school I have worked nearly 27yrs as a public servant not once did I agree with the government so should I have chucked my job ?

     

    Would you ?

     

    ———-

     

    I never said he can’t work? I said maybe he should respect local customs.

     

     

    Do you disagree? Should you be able to what you want abroad?

  16. What is the Stars on

    Hamilton

     

    Frank and earnest exchanges of opinions should be what we are all about

     

    No one should shy away from expressing their views

     

    As for changing people’s minds on emotive subjects. That’s never easy

  17. Gerryfraethebrig

     

    ——————

     

    Indeed

     

     

    5 in a row & CL qualifying – great, achievable and within our reach – howeover reach is not grasp.

     

     

    To have doubts, is not as some on here say, is not to be negative, but realistic, in a mad mad financial football world.

     

     

    If we can do it this season – it could be a massive platform for the next two/three seasons.

  18. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MICKYBHOY 1888

     

     

    Michelle Mone was just doing what she thought was guaranteed to get her in the papers. Publicity whore,before and since.

  19. Macjay

     

     

    I pray that McClean continues to stand by his beliefs in the face of the bile, hatred and bigotry he’s now receiving.

  20. I don’t my admitting it every time I go away to watch Celtic playing in Europe I travel on a British passport. It doesn’t mean that that I agree with anything that is remotely British ……just that I can’t tbe feking arsed to research my Irish ancestry to see if I am get an Eire passport to prove a point

  21. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    So it was the McGeady and McLean show

     

     

    All the best to both lads

     

     

    Love

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    hamiltontim

     

     

    00:35 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Don’t try and change anybody’s mind just keep giving the information so they might change their own mind, honestly I had wrote a post on the train the other day but I deleted it as I read it and it sounded as if I was jumping into am argument that had nothing to do with me but trust me you were in the right so keep at them, educate its what you teachers are good at !

  23. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers

     

     

    00:43 on 19 July, 2015

     

    MICKYBHOY 1888

     

     

     

    Aye right ye are son…….having had the pleasure of speaking to both of them on a face to face basis……..I know whose word I would believe

  24. What is the Stars on

    Mick bhoy

     

    That’s your decision, that’s fine

     

    Some people do ( research their irish aancestry to get a passport) that’s also fine and dandy

  25. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Hamiltontim

     

    00:43 on

     

    19 July, 2015

     

    Macjay

     

     

    I pray that McClean continues to stand by his beliefs in the face of the bile, hatred and bigotry he’s now receiving.

     

    ——————————————————————————————————————-

     

    I have no problem with any peaceful protest.

     

    I say that as a Royalist,as you probably guess.:-)

     

    I just hope he knew what it would mean when he made his protest.

     

     

    Black power salutes at the Mexico Olympics`70 spring to mind.

  26. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:38 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    So much for my last comment…. Local customs ????

     

     

    Can you inform me of these local customs……..

  27. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    00:51 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:38 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    So much for my last comment…. Local customs ????

     

     

    Can you inform me of these local customs……..

     

    ——————-

     

    In England they have this thing called the national anthem, it’s this boring shit where they play a song about an old dear and you stand and look bored.

     

     

    Similar to Abu Dubai where they don’t allow drinking, or bare tops, or women driving. Local customs.

     

     

    We don’t agree with them but you know being polite puts us in the right.

  28. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MICKYBHOY

     

     

    I didn’t suggest that it was a case of whose word I would accept as truth,or otherwise. I simply pointed out that she did what she did for a reason. That she is a media whore.

     

     

    Otherwise she could have left an anonymous tip-off.

     

     

    And don’t call me son,it makes you look like the kind of patronising git who gives decent policemen a bad name.

  29. the_huddle,

     

    Your thinking about Saudi, Abu Dhabi there is no problem with drinking and women drivers.

     

    And where was the game played ?

  30. mickbhoy1888 on

    what is the stars

     

     

    00:49 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Fair doos but to to go to all the time and trouble of applying for a foreign passport when you are able to apply for a passport more easily in the country of your birth defeats me

     

    Anyway who pays for your benefits when you are unemployed in this country…..is it Irish welfare state because you were born out with Ireland and hold an Irish passport or is it the British taxpayer because you have an NI number and were born within these shores

  31. Canamalar

     

     

    01:01 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle,

     

    Your thinking about Saudi, Abu Dhabi there is no problem with drinking and women drivers.

     

    And where was the game played ?

     

    ——-

     

    I plucked that out the air knew it would be wrong :O)

  32. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:55 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    So if James MaxLean’s family has been affected with British rule he should just pay respect to “local custom” The Huddle don’t know about Devils Advocate but seems to me you are tuned to the moon, I have never stepped foot in Ifeland but both grandfathers (who I never met) had issues with the Black n Tans so I am sure young James knows more people than me just too settle for respecting “local customs” hopefully your ignorance is bliss good night & God bless