Opportunity to claim a great Celtic reputation


Within a few hours the first leg of our Summer Cup Final will be upon us.  Make no mistake about it, these are the biggest games of our season.

The players and manager have learned plenty about European football over the last four weeks to know the scale of the task.  Maribor will be given due respect but the importance of Saturday’s win over Dundee United cannot be overestimated.  Players’ confidence will have received a welcome boost, while some will have realised the weight of responsibility lies with them.

Since the draw I have written enough about the strengths of Maribor, but they are weak at the back – and they are showing all the signs of over-confidence.  Having watched us against Legia, this lot will be shocked if a different Celtic turn up tonight.  Their fans, media and officials are emotionally spending their Champions League windfall already.

Most of all, we need a disciplined performance from Celtic.  No conceding penalties, getting caught in possession deep in your own half, or second yellows.  Stick to the basics, stay alert and we have an excellent chance of progressing; this is not a team with irresistible talent.

For a few players, they have the chance to claim a great reputation at the club.  What an opportunity…..

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  1. TBB



    I didn’t see anything from Berget on Saturday to suggest he’s about to flower, and think he’s a couple of months away from his A game, whatever that is.






    Mhate! We’ve already established you were facing the wrong on Saturday in this respect!!!






    HH jamesgang

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    Line up tonight?






    The critical requirement is that we’re still in the tie at the end of the match, if you’ll forgive me stating the bleedin’ obvious.



    That means our most reliable defence, with a strong, mobile midfield ahead of them, to my mind.



    So, Craig Gordon is a shoo-in.



    Lustig is a better full back than Ambrose, so that one’s easy.



    Izzy despite his “it’s behind you!” problem, is our only capable left back, moreover given that Matthews is defo out.



    Virgil is a shoo-in.



    Leaving the choice between Ambrose and Denayer. I thought the youngster did well on Saturday after a shaky first 5 minutes, but Ambrose and van Dijk know each other’s game too well to risk a new pairing in such an important game, so Efe gets the nod provided he’s slept lately.



    Midfield is the bigger problem. I have great respect for the way Charlie Mulgrew has recreated a career at Celtic, but he lacks the mobility against good opposition to be effective – the same issue with him playing at left back.



    Biton hasn’t yet shown that he’s ready to pick up his form that he had prior to his injury.



    Johansen has the mobility, but his passing isn’t tight enough.



    I thought Kayal looked lean when he came on against Utd, but again his use of the ball isn’t good enough, and he has a habit of losing his man.



    Liam Henderson appeared and then disappeared just as quickly. Don’t know the issue there, injury maybe? Maybe GG can advise?



    McGregor’s been great since he returned, although beyond Legia he has never played at this level, and that tie is perhaps best forgotten. That said, the kid likes to shoot and does it to damned good effect, and a wee away goal wouldn’t hurt us.



    I’d go with Mulgrew sitting behind McGregor and Johansen, three lefties in the middle. We could just as easily go with Biton behind Kayal and Johansen though. Looks like Johansen is in by default then.



    Wide is important in terms of protecting the space in front of our full backs.



    I didn’t see anything from Berget on Saturday to suggest he’s about to flower, and think he’s a couple of months away from his A game, whatever that is.



    Boerrigter is a curate’s egg of a player. Capable technically, fragile physically and often disengaged from a game.



    Forrest is injured. As is Tonev. McGeouch hasn’t figured much lately.



    Commons can play there, but lacks pace. He is though pretty effective at covering his full back, as he showed v Barca, and Lustig is a great athlete behind him. That might work.



    Slim pickin’s…



    Up front, I’d go with Griffiths over Stokes on the basis that Griffiths is better at seeing half chances, and is a little quicker, but there’s little between them otherwise.



    Looking like Boerrigter on the left, Commons on the right, and Griffiths on his own.





    Lustig Ambrose van Dijk Izaguirre




    —-McGregor ——-Johansen——


    Commons —————- Boerrigter






  3. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    jackie mac


    12:19 on 20 August, 2014




    Well thank you.

  4. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    11:34 on 20 August, 2014



    Hahahahahahaha …. Chuckie




    from previous



    Amazingly accurate description despite such a brief acquaintance.



    Cap doffed,if you’ll pardon the pun.

  6. the long wait is over on

    From last thread.



    the long wait is over





    12:15 on



    20 August, 2014








    12:01 on



    20 August, 2014



    What if we do get through



    and we are drawn against:







    AC Milan








    Qualify for the last 16. Obviously.

  7. time for change on

    Fred C. Dobbs




    11:41 on 20 August, 2014







    Other than catering what has Murrayfield ever done for us? :O).

  8. The critisism of Izzy is ridiculous IMO,if it is i viable tactic used by the manager to get more width and another man up the park,we have more than enough left footers (Johansen,Mulgrew) to cover the space he has vacated.Simples.

  9. TBB



    Love it you!



    All the shops sold out. Apparently some ghuy bought a job lot to wallpaper his living room with the bold berget Bhoy!



    At least that way you’ll see him. Static mind!






    HH jamesgang

  10. Steinreignedsupreme on






    I still remember the LC final against the dead club in the early 80s.



    Teeming down for the entire match and no cover at the winners end. Some boy traipsing about shouting: “Macaroon bar, spearmint chewing gum.


    “Macaroon bar, spearmint chewing gum.


    “Macaroon bar … some *#%* buy one…”

  11. bognorbhoy oscar in my thoughts on




    i waited and waited then put the ball through …….



    and you missed a sitter…..



    where you at the bar ?

  12. CQN has turned me into one of these idiots I despise, walking along, head down risking the joint misfortune of collision or toleys!



    I blame you Paul!



    HH jamesgang

  13. —————-Gordon——————


    Lustig Ambrose van Dijk Izaguirre





    McGregor ——-Johansen——Mulgrew









  14. Efe just off the plane? Not for me.





    Lustig Denayer Vvd Izzy



    Kayal Johansen Mulgrew





    Stokes or Griffiths





    I have two areas of concern about tonight.



    First,we don’t have a settled formation-or team,come to that. New manager,loss of personnel,new ones not bedded in yet.



    Second,Maribor have a very strong record at home. The crowd sanction may affect that,and I hope it does.



    I don’t think it will be easy,and I doubt you do either.



    However,over the piece,I expect us to go through.



    Apart from anything else,just for the GIRUY factor to those who don’t think we deserve to be in it.


    It’s called The Champions League.



    We are champions.






    None of them are champo

  17. mullet and co 2 on

    Find it interesting that folk are discussing Fletcher as a possible incomer. Steven Fletcher would be an impossibility as far as wages and transfer fee are concerned unless Sinderland are bringing in someone else and we get him on loan.


    Darren Fletcher would be more realistic but even then we would be asking him to take a cut or a loan and it would be down to his health problems and Van Gaal not fancying him.


    Judging by Ronnys comments on a striker though I think it could be someone coming back the way from the EPL that won’t get a game. Maybe a loan with a view to a larger than mormal transfer fee next year…Guidetti would fit the profile.


    12:30 on 20 August, 2014


    It’s called The Champions League.



    We are champions.






    None of them are champions.



    But they are there because of the rules,and so are we.









    We deserve to take our place.



    (Bloody iphone problem above)

  19. BMCUW



    aye Maribor have only lost twice at home in their last ten Champions League qualifiers

  20. Steinreignedsupreme on

    time for change 12:22 on 20 August, 2014


    Fred C. Dobbs 11:41 on 20 August, 2014



    “Other than catering what has Murrayfield ever done for us? :O).



    “Two home wins:)”



    My one criticism of Murrayfield would be the view.



    Celtic won 3-0 and I didn’t see any of the goals…





    Haha,I was!



    Only my second too. Twelve hours overnight and the same tonight.



    Working man’s reward,and cheaper than sleeping pills down here,haha!

  22. weet weet weet(GBWO) on




    There was a story about tic fans going to Lisbon ,selling wriglees chewing gum and macaroon bars on the train




  23. dksglen



    completely agree with your line up, Kayal and Johansen rattling Maribor’s midfielders would do nicely.


    Cant see Ronny dropping Mcgregor though and our lack of pace and tackling ability in midfield worries me.

  24. mullet and co 2



    Darren Fletcher coming in is a daft suggestion, he’s vice captain and won’t be going anywhere, and he’ll be on stupid amounts of money.

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    What bothers me for tonight we have no one up front who can gather the ball then keep it in order to give the defence a breather.I would try Berget he might be able to do it but in Europe we need to find a player who can give the defence a few minutes rest. H.H..

  26. South Of Tunis on

    ” they are showing all the signs of overconfidence ”



    Mmm-UEFAs preview of the game includes their Manager saying this ————-



    “We must think about the away game because this is only the first half .The decider will be in Glasgow and I have to say again those who think Maribor are favourites are wrong ..It would be very utopian to think of a team like Celtic as outsiders “

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