Pot 4, decline of the Spanish empire


A cursory look at our fellow pot 4 Champions League teams shows the extent of the challenge.  Six of the eight teams lost: Steaua Bucharest (3-0), Austrian Vienna (0-1), Celtic (2-0), Real Sociedad (0-2), Plzen (0-3), Anderlecht (2-0).

Copenhagen got one of the better results of the night, a 1-1 draw at home to Italian champions, Juventus, while Napoli, who split Juve and Milan in the Italian league last season, but are still a pot 4 team, recorded the only bottom tier win, a 2-1 victory over last season’s finalists, Borussia Dortmund.

Napoli are in a different category than the rest but Celtic are in with a decent chance of out-performing others from pot 4.

Sociedad’s home reversal to Shakhter Donetsk, who are going through a rebuilding process was a shock, but Valencia’s 0-3 Europa League defeat to Swansea indicates a worrying scenario for Spanish football below the uber-indebted Barca and Real Madrid.  As a general rule, anything which undermines one of the economically powerful football nations should be welcomed by those disenfranchised by the size of their TV market (that’s us).

Shakhtar Karagandy put in a credible performance before going down 2-1 in Greece, a far better showing than Elfsborg’s 4-0 collapse in Salzburg.  Best of luck to the Kazaks.

I’ve been going to the football long enough to remember black players being booed whenever they touched the ball.  The phenomenon seemed to arrive here in the late 70s and faded around a decade later, although such is human nature I don’t think complacency is appropriate.  Homophobia is a different matter.

‘Out’ gay footballers are so rare I don’t know what the reaction would be at a match but the crowd-bullying phenomenon which can exist in the game makes any minority vulnerable.  The first step is to explain to the hard-of-thinking what they are doing, and the error of their ways.

Can rainbow coloured laces change the world?  Stonewall have distributed rainbow coloured laces to every player in the UK, asking them to wear them this weekend.  We’ll not see the WAGs acronym become WAGSABAH overnight but it feels like an appropriate, colourful, first step.

Keep reaching for that rainbow, Celtic.

1254125 at The Great Scottish Run.

On Sunday 6 October there is a 10k and Half Marathon.  If that is beyond you. There are family events taking place the day before. This is your club, remind the world of what really counts and get involved in 1254125.

The first thing you need to do is sign up for the Great Scottish Run, or here for one of the family events.

Once you’ve done that, you can register for the 1254125 campaign here.

Then you can create a donations page here.  Click Start Fundraising, search for Celtic Charity, setup your My Donate account).

Email me and let me know if you are having trouble signing up or need any more help, celticquicknews@gmail.com.

To read the new issue of CQN Magazine click here (don’t try to read the graphic below).
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  1. The smugness of some on here is breathtaking sometimes.Whenever anyone mentions one of the blatantly obvious shortcomings of an other wise excellent Celtic team,they are shot down and ridiculed.Our lack of a PROVEN top goalscorer,is not a figment of anyones imagination,it is a fact.Temmu Pukki is a goalscorer,they retort with.He may well be,but the ones spouting this,a couple of weeks ago would not know Pukki if he walked up and booted their stones.This bandying of Pukki as the answer to our striking problems,is based on what?.Your opinion.So others are not allowed an opinion?.


    I like Stokes,many others dont.Balde,is a novice,work in progress.Sammi aint no prolific striker.Derk may chip in with a few,but no striker,same with Forrest.


    We have put a lot of faith in Teemu to get us the goals.Not in the SPFL.Journeymen are scoring there,regularly.If we want to compete in the CL,I am not sure guys like Teemu will cut it,and neither should anyone else,because we just dont know.


    Just stop slaughtering guys with a different opinion from you.Supporting Celtic is not all about blind faith.

  2. SydneyTim



    12:37 on 20 September, 2013



    Please scroll by. Not interested in ur head in sand views. Just like I was not interested in the white Kelly lovers


    Don’t comment on my posts





    I’m sure I’m not the only white Kelly lover to feel offended by that post.



    Live & let live CSC.



  3. Philvis was great value.


    He disappeared around the time Thatcher pegged it. I don’t think he liked the outpouring of joy on here. For while I thought that he was so upset he might be related to her. Maybe he’s Mark and has just got lost!

  4. Turkeybhoy-Had you heard of Gary Hooper before he signed ? And you are writing off Pukki after half an hour in a Celtic jersey? BTW I agree we should have signed a guy with better stats in a decent league.

  5. tomtheleedstim



    13:07 on 20 September, 2013



    I found the whole Thatcher thing very distasteful but as I get older I accept more that people have different opinions and different experiences so should be allowed to voice their opinion. If I want to promote Thatcherism I can do that too – but am unlikely to do so here :-)



    As Clint said ‘opinions are like as*holes – everyone’s got one’



    Main thing for me is that everyone here had a common fondness for the same football team.



    So if that’s it Philvis get over it – at least one other person here did




  6. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Real shame that it was only twenty minutes with pogmathonyahun aka laird of the smiles. Was close to a weekend session ohne genimigung ;-) I now get his name. LMFAO



    Mon the hoops




  7. Saint Stivs


    13:19 on


    20 September, 2013


    For the history buffs. A FOUNDING FATHER , and the Celtic Graves Society.



    I was passed a brochure for the commemoration couple of weeks ago of one



    JOSEPH FRANCIS MCGROARY (or McGrory). 1865-1937.



    B, In Cowcaddens Street , Milton Glasgow


    D. Mountcharles , Co Donegal.



    If you get a chance to purchase the brochure, its a wonderfully enlightening read. Costs £2.50.



    Joseph parents were from Donegal, and his story is just so engaging.


    A pupil of St Aloysius, a Solicitor, invited to be on the commitee for this new “Celtic” club.



    His family story will be similar for hundreds of thousands of us descendants



    If you want to order email, cant recommend it enough.




  8. !!Bada Bing!!



    No way am I writing off Pukki.He could turn out to be a superb striker.Your statement that he has had only 30 minutes in a Celtic jersey seems not to have registered with some.After the 30 mins I read people on here lavishing him with praise,predicting great things!!!!.Bada,I had not heard of Hooper before he signed,but he was banging goals in for his previous club.


    I really pray Teemu does it for us.My point was that anyone with a different opinion gets shot down.We have put great faith in Teemu to get us the goals,if he does not come up to scratch,we are back to square one.Bye the way,looking at Pukki,with his run and movement,and a wee fat looking bahookey,he reminds me of Scott Mc Donald.Hope he bangs them in as well.

  9. Travelbhoy,



    I don’t think something so trivial would drive philvis away. He obviously cared a lot for this site and was, IMO, the best ever contributor.



    philvis is off, obviously, evangelising others to what he believes to be the Truth. Thinking back, and I miss most CQN through the week, he was always on solid ground.

  10. thomthethim, Extremely sorry to hear of the death of Conor, things like that put football into perspective. May he rest in Peace.

  11. Long time ago, pre-computers, cash at the gates days, crowds of 40k being submitted as 30k or circa, investment back into the club, or not, investment by which I mean the hard earned disposable income of the working classes (as it generally was back then) that was given to Celtic in every good faith, being re-invested back into the club’s playing staff in everybodies hope, was not only a common joke among the Smsm, it was an infuriating joke, and a slap in the face, to every thinking Celtic supporter at the time.



    We were taken to the edge of the abyss, only an absolute fool forgets, or ignores that.



    And see all those guys who say that we might not have beaten AC Milan had we signed a striker of worth prior to the campaign… well we’ll never know to our graves now, will we?

  12. I take it the comment about “White Kelly lover”was a reference to Desmond White and Sir Bob Kelly?.Have no idea the meaning of the post.

  13. Paul



    I commend your defence of vulnerable minorities, but have to question your support for this particular campaign.



    I’m sure there there are many more deserving causes than this ’embrace lace’ PR exercise by Stonewall, an organisation with recent ‘form’ towards a group of which I am a member.




  14. Turkeybhoy



    “My point was that anyone with a different opinion gets shot down.”



    I don’t think that is strictly true.



    I do feel that some of the uber-critics on all points in the mineshafter: happyclapper spectrum do not cope well when their positions are challenged or corrected.



    Though I disagree with posters like Sydney Tim, he will stick to his guns and argue his point without crying about being bullied when posters do not agree with him or praise him.

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

    Word of advice for anyone thinking of organising a wee sesh.



    Always make ABSOLUTELY 100% SURE that the initial meet-up place is actually open!



    Turns out the one for the DAYOOOT on 28/9 blinkin’ isnae…



    Just spent a lovely hour or two contacting as many people as possible.



    If you haven’t received an update from me via






    can you please contact me on it?






    Couldnae organise a,aye,I know….

  16. A Star Mo Chroi,



    no we will never know.I tell you what I do know though,it would have given us a better chance.

  17. petec – oscar braveo – god bless



    Would hope so also – I find it a shame when some excellent contributors ‘leave’ especially when they feel like they are being chased. Kojo is another highly entertaining poster and I’m not sure why those that don’t like him (or her) feel the need to tell everyone else.



    But these blog spats have been going since the blog has been going.




  18. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    We’ll see on October 1st if the Spanish Empire is in decline.



    Swansea got a great result but they played against 10 men for 80 minutes.

  19. Turkrybhoy, not sure that anyone is going over the top about Pukki. I would say jury is still out on all of Pukki, Derk & Biton. I think most of us can agree that we do have a player in Van Dijk. The Striker role is always the hardest to fill, thats why the good ones cost so much. I was extremely sorry to see Hooper go but it was quite obviously his decision. I would imagine that we do carry enough firepower to serve us well in domestic competition but we are likely to come up short on the European front.

  20. tully57 - praying for Wee Oscar on

    thomthethim 12:29



    I hadn’t heard about poor Conor’s passing, although I was aware of the huge initiative across Ireland to pray for him. God rest his soul. Thought & prayers for him and his family.

  21. .






    Courtesy Celtic Journal




    Growing up in Jarfalla, a district of Stockholm 20 miles from the city centre, Johann Mjallby had numerous sporting options to pursue in his formative years. He displayed early promise as a tennis player, enough to seriously consider racquet sports as a profession, and exhibited a youthful enthusiasm for ice hockey, though these endeavours were rumoured to have been discontinued as Johann increasingly risked injury with his characteristically vigorous approach.



    Football was deemed the most appropriate outlet for his youthful energy and it was Celtic’s good fortune that he progressed his interest in the beautiful game. A successful playing career in Sweden and Scotland developed and he captained his country in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.



    Signed fifteen years ago by Dr Jo Venglos from boyhood club AIK Solna, he made an unforgettable debut, as Celtic destroyed Rangers 5-1. His commanding defensive presence that afternoon belied his nervous disposition:



    “It was unbelievable. I signed on the Thursday and thought I might go home to Sweden and get the chance to pack my bags. But I trained with the team on the Friday and was told I would play from the start. I was still pretty cool about it, not cocky, but I had played in the Stockholm derbies for AIK v Djugardenns and Hammarby, but for the first ten minutes I was s**t scared. I mean it. I didn’t want the ball anywhere near me and when it did come, I felt my touch was terrible”





    Fellow new boy Lubomir Moravcik scored two superb goals to assert Celtics dominance in the match and Mjallby soon settled.



    “After that start, I really began to enjoy it and of course, we won 5-1. The noise around the place was incredible. I’d never experienced anything like it”



    The enduring image of the match, aside from Moravcik’s goals, was of Jorg Albertz bouncing off the Swede in a 50-50 challenge, something that would become a familiar feature of the now obsolete Glasgow derby in the years that followed.



    Mjallby went on to represent Celtic 184 times, scoring 15 goals, and was regarded as a first pick for most of his six years at the club. He persevered through difficult periods, especially when Venglos’ successor John Barnes opted to utilise him in midfield in an ill fated 4-2-2-2 formation. His determined approach eventually found favour with Martin O’Neill after a spell out of the team and he became a mainstay on the right hand side of a physically imposing back three. His will to win became legendary and he was often chosen to captain a team packed with leaders in their own right.



    Possessing a physique seemingly carved out of granite, Mjallby epitomised the intimidating nature of O’Neill’s side. John Hartson, never described as a shrinking violet, recalls feeling the full force of the Swede’s aggression in a vicious and bruising training ground session which O’Neill ended prematurely, labelling both men lunatics.



    He was not blessed with pace and though technically proficient, he was not a ball playing defender in the mould of Mulgrew or Stubbs, but made up for these limitations by sheer force of will, strength in the tackle, aerial ability and an unrivalled never say die attitude. A Scandinavian Roy Aitken might be the closest comparison.



    Hampered by injuries, he left the club in 2004 with three league winners medals, two league cups and two Scottish cups, having played in a European final, which he described as both the best and worst day of his life.






    “It was an easy decision for me to say yes, even if I wanted to Neil wouldn’t have let me say no”



    Now, as assistant manager of Celtic, Mjallby brings all the qualities he demonstrated as a player to Neil Lennon’s backroom team, though to view his contribution to the club merely through the prism of his on-field traits would be an over simplification. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to suggest his determination and will to win have been major factors in his fledgling career in football management.



    When Neil Lennon set about reinvigorating the club in March 2010, he surprised some by turning to Mjallby as his right hand man. Many suspected the decision was due to the timidity and defensive frailty that characterised the playing squad at the time, but in fact it was a long standing agreement between the two men who had taken their coaching badges together.





    They embarked on a daunting task, both aged only thirty nine (the average age of a premiership manager was fifty three), neither having been in charge of a club previously. From the beginning they set about rekindling the fire in both the players and the supporters, a process which Mjallby was happy to lead from the front.



    “The least you expect is that every player is prepared to fight for every inch of turf and help their team mates. I decided to get involved in training. At first I was cautious and then Neil gave me the green light to hit the players as hard as I could if I got the chance, so they would understand what we meant. It showed them what we needed, passion and desire.”



    However, this one dimensional view of Mjallby in management was gradually dispelled as his role took on requirements he could barely have conceived of when he signed on for a second time. He assumed a significant proportion of the club’s media duties when live ammunition arrived in the post for the manager. Following the infamous attack on Neil Lennon at Tynecastle, he launched an impassioned defence of his friend and colleague:



    “It’s a dark day for Scottish football, I’ve never seen anything like it. He is shaken but he is ok. Of course Neil has had death threats, we all know he is a strong character, but how much is one guy supposed to take?”



    Mjallby’s approach to the media proved ideal for modern day football management; firm and concise, non confrontational while unwilling to suffer fools. Mjallby upholds the clubs policy of carrying out important business privately and confidentially, all the while communicating in his second language. Like all good assistants, he has been unwaveringly loyal and lightened the load on Neil Lennon in extremely difficult circumstances.



    None of which is to say the management team have been perfect. There have been low points. The dismissal of their ex team mate Alan Thomson as first team coach will have been a difficult episode and their first faltering steps in Europe will have invoked some soul searching. If Celtic under perform defensively, Mjallby can often be subjected to criticism, though he was never recruited as a defence coach.





    When Champions League participation was hanging in the balance after a less than impressive performance in Kazakhstan, critics suggested a more experienced management team would have demanded squad reinforcements, though it’s incredibly hard to conceive of Lennon and Mjallby as yes men. In any event, one of those special nights in Paradise followed and amidst the euphoria you may remember Johann at the manager to get a defensive sub on after he had went marauding down the touchline to celebrate with his team!



    Johann may harbour future ambitions to manage in his own right – he was linked with a post in his homeland in 2010 – but while he is here there is nothing to suggest that the iron resolve he displayed as a player has diminished. Lennon and Mjallby are not Stein and Fallon – who is – but the Swede is playing his part in a vibrant, committed and successful management structure. Long may he continue.




  22. tommysbhoy


    13:38 on


    20 September, 2013





    pukki wi a we fat bahooki lol..did yi mean that hh




    Well what I saw of him in the Milan game,I think so.Awee bit like Mc Donald.Did not do him or Dalgleish any harm.Could have had the wrong shorts on right enough.

  23. Travelbhoy – well said. I didn’t agree with most of Philvis’ political stance but he was excellent at taking down the more pompous of us a peg or two with great humour. Seemed a good Celtic man as well.

  24. lilys grandpa-Me and Lily backing Oscar on

    BMCUW 13.36,



    Thats bad craic,Annie Millers telling you they were shut of a Saturday…:)






    Ps. Been looking at the list of past greats, never saw anyone mention Paul McStay, Id have him on my list.



  25. Petec



    at 13.03.




    jist in fae the jiggin’







    Great tae Greet ye..



    Ye know..



    Ah Nevah Comment oan .. the Subject of Gays.. oan here.



    But, Ah wull mak an exception.. this time.



    Awe awe Ma Workin’ Life.. Ah hiv bin in the Company of.. Gays.



    In Ma Joab..as they say.. “It comes wi’ the Territory.”



    Hiving said that..



    Ah hiv found..



    That Gays are Always the Most Remarkably Talented Grouping, in whitevah field


    of Endeavour, in which they Ply thur Talents.



    And they are Needed.



    Yes, They Ur..



    Ah could gie ye a Whold Screed of Famous Gays.. who have added an enormous


    Contribution tae the World.



    and, yes..


    It wid be a far Greyer World.. Without their Remarkable Input.



    Godot, In His Wisdom.. Made sure that they wur thrown intae the Mix.. when he Created his Creatures.



    There is a Cliché.. which Ah wull repeat..



    Ah hiv a bunch of Friends who are Gay.. and They are the Most Stolid, True.. and Faithful Friends that Ah guy Could Hiv..



    Ah could go oan a loat mair ,oan this Subject..



    But, Ah wullnae..



    Suffice tae Say..



    Gays are Great!



    And Christ in his Teaching..Laid it oan the Line.



    Judge Ye not.. Lest that You Be Judged.



    This is the Last Time that Ah wull Broach this Particular Subject.



    Nice Chatting Pal, Always a Pleasure..





    Still Laughin’

  26. Asked this on the last blog,but a bit late.


    Can anyone enlighten me?.Should the huns be referred to in every mention,”The Rangers International”.I mean every official mention,ie the football results,the MSM(I know).


    I have never heard them being called this.

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