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Oli, Odsonne, Moussa and James, your Celts are on fire!

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Absolutely tons of positives and one negative, from last night.  I’ll leave the negative until tomorrow as the other ten players were just so good and I might have calmed down a bit by then.

Despite allowances made for the calibre of Alashkert, Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard were unplayable last night.  Moussa got the Man of the Match award, probably for his two goals, but Odsonne was more deserving.  His ability to create space by drawing players towards him by running with the ball was the most significant aspect of the game.

The no. 7 role at Celtic has never been an easy shift, even Jinky learned this in his early days, but James Forrest pace and stamina make him the archetype modern version of the wide right player.  James is a player you cannot get too close too.  His speed forces defenders to stand off.  Get too close and he will be away from you before you know he has moved.

Defenders need to double up on him. Again, creating space elsewhere.  And then there’s his goals.

Olivier Ntcham is unrecognisable from the player he was a year ago.  The next challenge will be to get him kick on from here.  The window of opportunity with French youth players will a little tighter than in previous years, but we have an attractive story to tell to talent swimming in that pool.  I hope we continue to fish there.

Loved the new LED floodlights, although we will not get their full effect until the entertainment pack is loaded and games take place in darkness.  The new speakers are loud.  Not Fir Park stairwell loud, but clearly audible in the North Stand Upper.

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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    STARRY PLOUGH on 19TH JULY 2018 6:14 PM

     

    !!BADA BING!!

     

     

     

    The Return of Rancho Franco:)))

     

     

    Or Stanley Unwin…?

  2. TOMMY MARTIN: Society too dumb to heed sport’s inclusive message

     

     

    Thursday, July 19, 2018

     

     

    Ultimately the exploits of Les Bleus won’t solve political tensions in France, says Tommy Martin

     

     

    Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Kylian Mbappe celebrate following France’s victory over Croatia in the World Cup final. Picture: Matthias Hangst

     

    To paraphrase that famous quote about team spirit attributed to the Scottish footballer Steve Archibald, racial harmony might be an illusion best glimpsed in the aftermath of victory.

     

     

    You won’t find too many people in France falling for it.

     

     

    Any suggestion that the success of their multi-cultural Les Bleus represents a blueprint for a happily integrated nation was quickly rubbished in the afterglow of France’s World Cup final win.

     

     

    Once bitten, twice shy, and all that. Most were quick to point to the myths and mistakes of 1998, when official France anointed the World Cup-winning side composed of ‘black, blanc, beur’ (black, white, and Arab) as poster-children for a progressive and united nation.

     

     

    That country didn’t exist. Instead, the subsequent decades saw the rise of the far-right Front National, escalating tensions in the poorer immigrant communities and the Islamist terror threat so tragically realised on the night of November 13, 2015.

     

     

    Now France salutes the class of 2018 but doesn’t expect them to heal. They know that’s the job of politicians like President Emmanuel Macron, who positioned himself front and centre throughout the Moscow celebrations lest some of the team’s reflected glory boost his falling approval ratings.

     

     

    And yet sport continues to throw up simple parables about racial integration even as the world around it grows more complicated, fearful and splintered. If Les Bleus don’t mean that talented people of any skin colour can work together towards a common goal, what do they mean?

     

     

    What does it mean when Irish athletics teams featuring first generation African immigrants achieve international success? Does having athletes with names like Gina Akpe-Moses and Patience Jumbo-Gula running alongside athletes with names like Ciara Neville and Molly Scott represent a bright, shiny, new, and multi-cultural Ireland?

     

     

    Beware the lessons of Les Bleus.

     

     

     

     

     

    Ireland’s young black athletes are clearly proud to represent their country, but they are probably well aware that they are not living in a great big melting pot either. They might know about successive rises in racist hate crimes as reported by European Network Against Racism Ireland (ENAR Ireland) or claims by the National Youth Council that racism was a ‘normal’ feature of life for many young people from minority ethnic communities.

     

     

    Or the ESRI’s report from earlier this year that said 45% of Irish people agreed with the statement that “some races are born harder working,” while almost 50% of Irish people believe “some cultures are better than others”. Or the fact that according to the ESRI the non-EU national group of immigrants are far more likely to be unemployed and suffer income poverty.

     

     

    If you are an Irish sports fan, it’s only natural to relish the emergence of new ethnic groups in our hitherto shallow genetic pool. You think of the fast-twitch fibre speed found more commonly in those of west African descent and imagine Irish sporting teams getting the benefit in years to come.

     

     

    But doesn’t it feel a bit reductive to view members of immigrant communities as some sort of magic ingredient in a sporting livestock breeding programme? Are we as enthusiastic about what immigrants can contribute to other walks of life? We embrace the idea of immigrants as athletes, but what about teachers, scientists, politicians…TV presenters?

     

     

    In the aftermath of France’s success, some have pointed to their ability, and those of their predecessors as World Cup winners, Germany and Spain, to ‘mass-industrialise’ the production of football talent. As large, rich western European states, they are able to turn the development of young footballers into a sort of high-yield battery farming operation.

     

     

    Much of this process focuses on communities that are marginalised in other areas of the national economy. Taking the time-honoured notion that those from poor backgrounds use sport as a means to escape their circumstances, the system targets them and gives them the support needed to fulfil their dreams.

     

     

    Unfortunately, the same system doesn’t need or want to help them become doctors, lawyers, or part of the political power structure, so it doesn’t ‘mass-industrialise’ that.

     

     

    No greater evidence of this hypocrisy exists than in England, where the exploits of a multi-ethnic team — the products of an elite soccer industry — have been celebrated, while a parallel fear of immigrant cultural infestation is stoked up by powerful sections of media and politics.

     

     

    It is no coincidence that sport has often found itself the forum in which powerful arguments for racial progress are made. Jesse Owens making a mockery of Hitler’s doctrines of Aryan supremacy; athletes like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali breaking down America’s segregationist mindset; footballers like Cyrille Regis and Viv Anderson confronting the terracing racism of 1970s England; Colin Kaeparnick’s courage in taking the knee during the national anthem in the NFL at the cost of his own career and the opprobrium of conservative America.

     

     

    Sport finds itself making a fool of society’s prejudices and inequalities precisely because it is the sort of meritocracy that the wider world cannot tolerate. That’s not to say that sportspeople do not experience racism within their chosen fields; the names I’ve just mentioned are evidence of that. It’s just that sport quickly exposes prejudice and marginalisation for the empty concepts that they are.

     

     

    Ultimately sport cares only for fastest, strongest, best — not who you are and where you’re from.

     

     

    The French soccer team and the medal-winning Irish athletes make us confront issues about race in society because they are visible.

     

     

    Sport allows them to be visible because it is not interested in preserving power-structures, fear of the other, religious intolerance or half-baked notions of one culture being superior to another — the things that keep minorities hidden and oppressed in other walks of life.

     

     

    Rhasidat Adeleke is fast; Kylian Mbappé is brilliant — nothing else matters.

     

     

    It might be simplistic to see a manifesto for a better society in a mere sports team, but that’s only because the rest of the world is so dumb.

     

     

    Via TTT

  3. What is the Stars on

    Shamrock Rovers one nil up away to AIK Stockholm at half time.

     

    One all on aggregate now

  4. Mystery video appears on the internet of someone impersonating Rainjurz fans in Macedonia

     

     

    Its ok though Rainjurz fans ( not the ones that made the video ) were quick to condemn it, and they are the victims.

     

     

    Rainhurz statement says they are all inclusive club ( is that like in a package holiday? )

     

     

    Following GLIBS statement and for the second time in a week

     

     

    B> “A big boy done it and ran away”

     

     

    Chris McLaughlin BBC

  5. Mahe

     

     

    Re:-

     

     

    “Rodgers’ entire reign (and incidentally, each of his previous managerial positions) has emphatically proven that he is wholly incapable of fielding a team capable of defending. In his 166 games in charge, we conceded 198 goals – 1.2 goals per game.

     

     

     

     

    Wanna guess what the stats are for his reign at Swansea? 118 goals conceded in 96 games for a goals conceded average of…. you guessed it… 1.2! At Reading, it was 1.4 per game. At Watford it was 1.5.

     

     

     

     

    To put those ‘goals against’ numbers in to perspective, last season’s top 4 conceded an average of 0.8, 1.0, 1.0 and 1.0 goals respectively per game. This season before, the rest of the top 4 conceded, on average, 1.0, 0.7 and 1.0. That season, finishing in 2nd place, we still managed to concede 1.3 goals per game… more than the team who finished 11th.”

     

     

    In 2012/13- BR got Liverpool to 7th in the EPL conceding 43 goals, a rate of 1.1

     

    in 2013/14- BR got Liverpool to 2nd in the EPL conceding 50, a rate of 1.3

     

    In 2014/15- BR got Liverpool to 6th in the EPL conceding 48, a rate of 1.26

     

     

    It looks like the more goals he conceded, the higher up the league they went. In those 3 years they scored 71, 101, and 52 respectively. The goal differences were 28, 51 and 4 respectively. It looks much more like a case of attacking failure in his final full season than defence. BR was sacked in October with 8 League matches played and his team in 10th place. The narrative has to be that he improved Liverpool in his first 2 seasons but they reverted back in his final season and a bit.

     

     

    Before Brendan came, Liverpool had finished 8th (F 47 A 40). Before that they were 6th (59 vs 44), 7th (61 vs 35), and 2nd (77 vs 27). Only this last season 2008/9 stands comparison as a clearly superior defence and both of Brendan’s first 2 seasons are as good or better as an attack.

     

     

    Since BR left Liverpool and Klopp took over they have managed 8th (63 vs 50), 4th (78 vs 42) and 4th (84 vs 38).

     

     

    Klopp’s defence shipped 50, 42 and 38 (they are getting better) and is only slightly better than the 43, 50 and 48 that BR’s Liverpool shipped. Only last season’s Liverpool defence has brought this improvement. His best scoring season saw them score 17 fewer goals than BR’s best. Of course getting 4th place in two of his seasons brought automatic CL qualification and they got a CL final so it counts as a better period than BR’s reign overall but only one of them got an EPL runners up spot.

     

     

    Overall, the argument made by the Livi fan is over-stated ( you cannot compare the defence stats at Reading and Watford as any indicator of how Liverpool should or would do). Brendan improved Liverpool in the first half of his time there but he did not sustain the improvement and they have landed well in getting Klopp as a replacement.

     

     

    Both of them emphasise attack over defence. So does Guardiola.

     

     

    There have been many good defensive coaches- Walter Smith, Steve Bruce , Jose Mourinho, Tony Pulis, Diego Simeone, Hellenio Herrera, Sam Allardyce, Fabio Capello, Trappatoni, Ancelloti, David Moyes and Conte.

     

     

    Fancy any of them for Celtic?

  6. 50 shades of green on

    Liverpool @ Klopp…

     

     

    Looks like they are about to spend upwards of 67 mill for a keeper they hammered 5 past in last yrs champions league at Anfield…

     

     

    That should help his goals against total ..

     

     

     

    Its a funny old game…

  7. While I’m trying to watch the gowf it’s all happening in planet Scottish fitba.

     

    The Jambos field an ineligible player last night.

     

    The SFA kick a can down the road to CAS , (arbitration for sport)

     

     

    The Jambo’s will be rightfully fined .

     

    The sticky’s are trying to buy time . Look out for the “ old” but same club

     

    getting the blame.

     

    Auldheid.

     

    If you’re about, who gets to see the evidence passed on by the SFA ?

     

    I fear a fudge .

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Scottish Defence facist demo on Saturday in city centre, and they were going to let the monkeys march on the same day?

  9. Police attending an incident in Girvan returned to their car to find it up on bricks.

     

     

    Officers are working tyrelessly to find the culprit.

     

     

    HH!!

  10. So John McGinn can’t play in the qualifiers?

     

     

    If Sinclair, Rogic, Johnston and Morgan are outwith the Celtic midfield, John McGinn might be in a queue.

     

     

    Hardly a deal breaker, at this stage fully expect Celtic to complete the deal as planned.

     

     

    IMHO CSC

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    STARRY PLOUGH on 19TH JULY 2018 7:33 PM

     

    !!BADA BING!!

     

     

     

    I would imagine there is quite a cross contamination between those two staunchly loyal groups

     

     

    Swap the bowler hat for a hood…..

  12. the men who run celtic fc are cowardly and disgusting and bring great shame to the club through there cowardice over the sevco episode champions league ah f— it

  13. I won gold at a weather forecasting event yesterday.

     

     

    I beat the raining champion.

     

     

    HH!!

  14. Jimmynotpaul on

    Shamrock Rivers win 1.0, game going into extra time.

     

    They were 12/1 to win in 90 mins.

     

    WITS, I hope you were on.

     

    Hibs now 2.1

     

    Hail Hail

  15. What is the Stars on

    Shamrock Rovers one nil up away to AIK Stockholm at full time

     

     

    All square on aggregate so extra time. Rovers missed a great chance with 5 minutes to go.

     

    Great performance

  16. We’ve got McGinn, super John McGinn, a just don’t think you understand….

     

     

    Ah never mind.

  17. IniquitousIV on

    SETTING FREE THE BEARS @3:11

     

    I have no wish to prolong the discussion regarding our set piece deliveries. You make many valid points. However, our opposition defenses all too frequently do not need to defend our corners or free kick crosses because they are ballooned far beyond the last man, posing no threat whatsoever.

     

     

    In the first Alashkert game, the only danger the Armenians posed to us was as a direct result of our corners. Brendan has assigned responsibility for corners to many players, and favors Griffiths most of all. Absent Griffiths, his current player of choice is McGregor, who failed abysmally with several corners on Wednesday evening. That does not say much for the others.

     

     

    Ntcham is now assigned responsibility for free kicks. God knows why. If he is the best available, what must the rest be like?

     

     

    Since Naka, we have not had one player who can consistently put the ball on target from free kicks, far less score. Again, Griffiths, when fit, is typically assigned responsibility. To my recollection, despite scoring 2 memorable direct free kicks for Scotland in one game, he has only been successful 3 times for Celtic in all the time he has been with us. This is a poor return. Players like Beckham and Naka practiced hitting a dead ball for hours every week. It seems apparent that we do not. (I would qualify this by pointing out that our Scottish MIB regularly do not enforce the full 10 yard distance for defenders, thus making it more difficult for us).

     

     

    We can debate this all day. But it does appear irrefutable that Celtic could improve their return from corners and free kicks from what is a very low base. Stopping delivery of corners directly to the goal keeper or first defender, or well beyond the danger area would be a good start.

     

     

    IniquitousIV

  18. mike in toronto on

    So, I see Sevco’s numpties beat the SFA again …. what chance that the SFA will actually take this to the CoA?

     

     

    I could be surprised, but I think that they will simply say no point/time to move on…. and so, this whole sorry saga will soon come to an end…. and everyone will go on like the last 8 years never happened.

     

     

    whoshotJR?

  19. Reading about Karl Raimund Popper the philosopher at the minute. Also earlier the Fabian Society.

     

     

    It’s rather alarming, when you look at the actions of today’s so-called Liberal/Socialist movements how, contrived and deliberate all that is unfolding today really is.

     

     

    Some foe.

     

     

    HH. ?

  20. mike in toronto on

    Maradominic

     

     

    I should have put “beat” in quotations …. the whole thing has been a stitch up since the 5WA … I think they are really pretty much on the same team ….

  21. Gary 67

     

     

     

    “rumour that the player who was at the game last night as a guest of Peter Lawwell was Kenneth Omeruo. ”

     

     

    ——

     

    Looks a good player. Has been linked with Leeds but they have reached maximum quota of loans players from one club, Chelsea (2). He reported for training this morning at Chelsea.

     

     

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BlaV0RkBhg6/?taken-by=omeruo

  22. Board and management balancing money on possible many players that some of the CQNERS want.

  23. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    The GAA have refused permission to play the Liam Miller Testimonial match at Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

     

     

    This would have permitted up to 45,000 to attend. Instead they will hold it at the 7,000 capacity Turner’s Cross stadium.

     

     

    They are hiding behind the “foreign games” rule, which Croke Park is exempt from.

     

    Croke Park has featured football, rugby and ,God help us, American football and mixed code Aussie stuff.

     

    They claim that the decision to “open” the ground to these foreign games has to be taken by Congress, which meets in February.

     

     

    The difference there is that the GAA received ticket sales and ground rental for these events, Whilst the Cork Board got rental for Ed Sheerin and Neil Diamond concerts.

     

     

    There would be little, if any profit from a testimonial match for the benefit of a Cork widow with a young family.

     

     

    The GAA is the last bastion of the old Ireland.

     

    The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

     

     

    I wonder what the views of our GAA followers on here would be ?

  24. bertkassie,

     

     

    UEFA Club Ranking

     

    The most recent club ranking is used for seeding of clubs for draws in the Champions League and the Europa League. For the club ranking the match results in qualifying rounds do not count.

     

    Since 2018 qualifying rounds and play-offs of the Champions League are no longer rewarded with points because all eliminated clubs get a second chance in the Europa League. Clubs who are eliminated in the first rounds of the Europa League are rewarded with a number of points based on the reached (qualifying) round:

     

    Europa League

     

    P 0.50

     

    Q1 1.00

     

    Q2 1.50

     

    Q3 2.00

     

    Q4 2.50

     

    group stage 3.00 (minimum)