Preparing professionally for the Europa League


At his presidential inauguration in 1963, Lydon B. Johnson said, “I would give anything not to be standing here today”.  It is with a similar sense of mourning that we look at tonight’s Europa League qualifier between two Baltic sides, Spartaks Jurmala and Suduva, to discover who we face in the play-off round.  I wouldn’t give anything to be in the Champions League qualifier, but I’d happily concede a few league defeats.

Europa League group stage qualification can be worth up to £10m to Celtic, but even winning the trophy will not come near to closing the financial gap between this tournament and Champions League group stage money.  Still, it is an important tournament for reasons other than money.

Accumulating Uefa coefficient points in the Champions League has proven very difficult for Celtic.  Winning games in the Europa will be easier; we have to deliver on this target.  It is also important to qualify from the group into the knockout stages.  We have not faced genuine domestic competition in a very long time, and I see little change this year.  As a consequence, we need European action after Christmas.  Better teams that Celtic have licked their wounds and got on with life in the Europa League, we need to do the same and prepare for the tournament in a professional manner.

I don’t know if the intervening 16 years have been kind to Suduva since we last met 16 years ago, but they hold a special place in our folklore, so I hope they progress tonight.  I also have a great wee story of one man pitching up in the North Stand for a few minutes at the home game, just to be there.


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  1. Celtic fans compete to drive Boyata to the airport:






    Greetings from an overcast but dry Forres. Heading to Glasgow to head that convoy for Boyata 😉



    Have we signed John Terry yet? In fact have we signed anyone? I’m a bit pissed off with myself for being taken in by Lawwell’s pish when he did that podcast for Harry Brady.




  2. DAVID17 on 17TH AUGUST 2018 8:35 AM



    Boyata’ s agents in Glasgow for ” showdown ” talks .



    My heart screams out , boot them out ,let Boyata train with the youths and instigate preliminary actions to sacking him for breach of contract.



    My head says , deal with his agents and achieve a mutual agreement that will facilitate a transfer.



    While Bosman looked good on the surface, the sting was in the tail.




  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I’d have Boyata in the bench next time we play at home and send him out to warm up every 15 minutes, let him feel the warmth from the support

  4. BIG PACKY 1 on 17TH AUGUST 2018 8:09 AM


    morning bhoys from another cloudy day in Cheshire. have not seen any sevco games, the only time id watch them if playing us. but must admit some posters saying on here they have improved, got me slightly worried.hh.






    They have improved whilst we’ve gone backwards..



    Anyone who thinks different are deluding themselves!



    They might be a group of cloggers and journeymen, but they’re definitely more resiliant and able to grind out results compared to the last couple of seasons..



    It’s imperitive we get some quality additions to the squad before the window shuts.

  5. weebobbycollins on

    Tinytim…I agree…Injuries FC (that’s us) will definitely need to buy or borrow a striker. Was so looking forward to rolling over everyone this season with our three French bhoys. Big setback…

  6. weebobbycollins on

    BT…of course it will never happen because he will, rightly, never be allowed to pull the hoops over his head again…


    Hope your dad had a good one yesterday…



    I’d have Boyata in the bench next time we play at home and send him out to warm up every 15 minutes, let him feel the warmth from the support





    Whilst this would be satisfying for us, it would create a negative atmosphere and negativity is a virus that spreads quickly. We must get rid of him quickly and amicability, it is in the best interests of all parties.

  8. My friends in Celtic,



    We all agree we need new signings , however they must be correct and astute signings with an injury free past history.



    Signing players for the sake of signing players could land us with more of the same:-















    Kasim Richards








    Du Wei

















    Or even


















    No doubt there are many others and some obvious ommisions, however we have been stung badly in the past , wasting vast amounts of money, so our signings must be right and fitting.



    Apologies for the spelling errors.




  9. We are going through a wee bad patch, stick with the team ffs.



    Cant say how good sevco are cause not seen them, but if we lose league to them Br would walk and so he should, dont see it happening.



    Boyaya should have been sold at start of season but still think we will get good money for him. Comperr looks like bad deal but over cause of contract we have a good few in this team who collect wages for nowt and should be moved on if possible.



    Mcginn had a choice to make and made it, dont blame board for trying to get best deal.



    Crying out for 1 right back and 1 centreback. Ajer is a quality young players and jozo is able.



    Have this shite where supporters turn nose up at europa league, i shall be there as will many thousands of others.



    Celtic dont have to sell anyone due to cl failure, we wil have picked up 5 million from participation in c/l so far and if we can get into e/l groups we will picked up another 10 million or so.



    Combined with massive bonus payments dropping off cause of failure to qualify we will be fine. but no wonder players and management team so pissed off with Boyaya.




  10. the glorious balance sheet on




    Jeez I had forgotten about Colin kazim Richards! Jarosik at least scored some goals in the Champions League. To that list I would add



    Stefan scepovic


    Morten rasmussen


    Edson braafheid


    Diomansy kamara


    Jos hoiveld


    Koki mizuno


    Olivier kapo


    Steven mouyokolo


    Jeremie aliadiere






    Gamboa (on grounds that manager by never playing him clearly doesn’t rate him)


    Derek riordan






    Holmbert fridjohnsen

  11. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Why do our players get so many Ham string injuries this really needs to be looked into ? The Rangers got a good European result last night and certainly must be growing in confidence.While we appear to have lost some of our confidence it is a concern with our game against them coming up shortly. Still nothing appears to be happenning in the transfer market although being knocked out of the Champions league may make us less likely to buy players meanwhile across the city the Lafferty deal is nearing completion..H.H.

  12. Can someone tell me ho DK won his court case? how can you defy the courts ruling for years and nothing happen? This is whats wrong with this country utter corruption





    Some of those names have me reaching for the razor blades,but there are a few who,IMO,weren’t treated fairly by us or given a fair crack.



    But wow-overall,what a litany of failure. So many names there,it’s like a war memorial.

  14. The impression is that Boyata had a good WC, yet his 3 games were against Panama, Tunisia and a disinterested second string England side.



    He was put under no pressure at all.



    Compare those games with the pounding that Brazil game Belgium in the 2nd half of the WC semi final – do you think he would have had a blinder had he played ?





    He hasn’t won it,it has been deferred till October.



    Seems his latest is that the TOP have no jurisdiction over a South African citizen



    Simple answer of course is that their jurisdiction covers ANYONE attempting to do business in The UK.



    That his case wasn’t laughed out of court-with him done for contempt-is a big concern.

  16. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Big game this weekend. We’ll need a reaction from the team after a disappointing week. Try and get cb cover in (I know I know you can’t magic them up).

  17. Transfer window closes two weeks today. So not long to keep the lid on the biscuit tin.



    Wonder if that player we took to pre season in Austria will surface or have Dundee got any other Centre Half’s who were rejected by Partick Thistle.



    Will Lustig play tomorrow or will he be recuperating after running 2 km on Tuesday night ?



    Will Jozo pass to Celtic players rather than the opposition.



    Ajer is developing ; KT is our only defender.



    We need to address the Sieve as it is glaringly obvious to all concerned that it is not fit for purpose.



    Lawwell has only to screw deals up for another 2 weeks to have another successful transfer window and secure his bonus. The only man who is rewarded handsomely for Celtic failure.

  18. 2 weeks to go. Time for PL and his team of crack negotiators to



    Sell – Boyata, Simunovic, Gamboa, Allan, Christie


    Release – Compper


    Loan out – Kouassi, Ralston and several other ‘prospects’ to get game time



    Sign – 2 x CH, at least one experienced, at least one left sided, 1 x RB who can get up and down the pitch as well as defend, 1 x experienced CM to compete for the two positions in front of the defence, 1 x box to box CM to replace Armstrong.



    6 out (excl Loans), 5 in



    This is all on the assumption that our ‘top rated’ Head of Recruitment has identified players of sufficient quality and agreed a wish list with the manager for these positions.




    I’d have Boyata in the bench next time we play at home and send him out to warm up every 15 minutes, let him feel the warmth from the support



    i would make him sit in your dad’s seat just before your dad arrives for next home game.

  20. I agree that we need to be careful who we sign after seeing that list of past players who never quite set the heather on fire to put it kindly. Unfortunately we are probably too late to get the quality we should have got in before this whole Fiasco happened. ( SO feking mad that Celtic once again havent built on a position of strength ) A short term fix is required ( I know , bit pathetic really) John Terry or someone in that mould could bring a stabilising calming effect to our back line, our achiles heel for past 2 seasons . Not Ideal but think its best we can hope for because we have made a complete [email protected] of this transfer window

  21. The Glorious Balance Sheet / BMCUW



    I’m absolutely certain that there are more that can be added to the lists.



    It sort of dispels the biscuit tin myth. More importantly it demonstrates the need for more homework to be carried out on possible signings.



    Let’s not add any more names going forward. Our signings must be fit for purpose and not panic buys to appease.



    HH to all and COYBIG tomorrow.

  22. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    What tone will BR set st today’s presser?



    For sure the questions will be unremittingly negative: CL exit, loss to Hearts, relationship with Board, Boyata, need to sell players etc etc.



    He is the public face of Celtic and his tone will tell us if we are ready to move on.



    Stay tuned!



    p.s. it’s open season at the moment so the headlines/click-bait will will be spun negatively. Try to listen or read a transcript for yourself before going off on one.

  23. Larrsson, Lubo, Stan, VVD…….just imagine we hadn’t taken a chance with those…..no doubt plenty on here could think of a reason at the time for keeping money in biscuit tin..

  24. Go tell the Spartim on

    In modern parlance, our defence has always been called the sieve, im not gonna hold my breath its gonna be addressed anytime soon, certainly not in the next 2 weeks, any additions are likely to be Arzani and an armstrong type player (both prob on loan)

  25. so we are casting around for free agents and loans? same old saying every year..”its difficult to sign palyers”, ” we only want quality” “nearly got some in” ” just ran out of time” We should be buying for next years CL quaifiers now… and also buying toTRY to win league!

  26. We went to Ibrox this yyear with a chance of them catching up….. and they have changed completely now much stronger and we a re much weaker and will lose more players before window closes…. Still no sign of new players…. every year the same …. maybe a loan from Man city or take a punton an injured out of contract player.

  27. Go tell the Spartim on




    Exaggeration is a truth thats lost its tempo, attempts to cover up the boards failings are just the other end of the spectrum.



    This is a mess solely down to our own action/inaction

  28. What about getting Boyata to work in the ticket office until his contract is up?!



    …or serving breakfast to the players at Lennoxtown?!



    …or maybe pulling pints in the bar at the Kerrydale suite?!



    Just a suggestion!




  29. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ GREENPINATA on 17TH AUGUST 2018 10:43 AM



    Not sure if it necessarily dispels the biscuit tin mentality.



    A lot of the names on that list were loans/frees/negligible transfer fees. So in that sense the phrase ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ comes to mind. There are of course a couple of higher profile signings who could justifiably be considered failures: Boerrigter and Pukki probably being the two standouts.



    I think the list proves that Celtic would be bettered served (especially under Rodgers’ tenure) to purchase fewer players but for a higher average transfer fee. Brendan has stated as much himself.



    We can continue to try and pick up loans, free transfer and players from Dundee, but we cannot then blame the manager for them being a failure, as the odds of them successful are pretty low.

  30. Arzani signing confirmed.


    Given what the manager said last week it’ll be a while before we see him. Didn’t look particularly enthused about the signing, seems to be more of a help Man City around FFP signing than a future Celtic player.

  31. Greenpinata


    Wow! Lawwel’ s Roll Of (Dis)Honour.


    Don’t apologize for the spelling. Most of them weren’t here long enough to learn the spelling!



    And we’ll probably be in for more of the same now.

  32. There seems to be a theme on worrying about the dead muppets across the water.



    I trust BR completely and am confident we will get it right. We have very good players on board just now and some coming back from injury. I think we will add before end of August but anyone who thinks us not spending is to give out bonuses is , IMO, just daft. It wont happen.



    Let’s get behind BR and the team. We’re still far better than anyone in this league (IMHO).




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