Progress will be about how we defend, penalties


There’s been a palpable sense of relief among all of us since Leigh Griffiths scored in Astana last midweek, but as Wednesday’s second leg draws nearer, the reality that our Champions League hopes are very much on the line is dawning.

Astana’s natural game in Europe is to defend and play on the break. They kept a clear sheet in Vilnius in the last round and conceded only twice on the road in last season’s three away qualifiers against Maribor, HJK Helsinki and APOEL Nicosia – decent qualifier opponents by any measure.

They will put two men on both Patrick Roberts and Leigh Griffiths, and sit deep, hoping to draw Celtic into leaving space at the back. This is the exact scenario we lost out to otherwise inferior teams in Europe over the last two seasons. We enjoyed possession and territorial advantage (home and away) but were ripped open on the break.

Progress to the playoff round will be all about how well we defend.

The bulk of tomorrow’s training session should be set aside for the practice of penalty kicks. Celtic lose far too many penalty competitions, and despite legacy notions which persist in British football, penalties can be practiced. 10 players should hit at least 10 penalties each.

Dreadful news that Tommy Gemmell was hospitalised over the weekend. He’s been a great friend to CQN in recent years and I know we all send him our best wishes.

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  1. That awkward moment when you make a high profile mistake and get linked mysteriously by the press with Bayer Leverkusen then that awkward moment when you do it again and your off to Olympiakos.



    Hmmm CSC


    “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.”




  3. Neustadt-Braw on

    Ron Bacardi….which one?



    They should all be to told to tell the truth….feck sake ….but probably no comment would be wiser…or they could all pass the queries onto ACGR….that would sell pippers !!!!!!







  4. wolfetonebhoy on

    Proudbhoy – if either Celtic or Aberdeen are involved in Europa league final round qualifiers game would likely be switched to Sunday so better off waiting to see results in Europe this week

  5. Hey guys, back in UK and looking to buy ticket for Wednesday in the Jungle side near Celtic end. Where is the best viewing, upper or lower tier. Thanks for any info.




  6. The Battered Bunnet on

    TOSB, from the fishal site this afternoon. Looks like we’re going for bums on seats, as opposed to potatoes on couches.



    “THIS Wednesday night (August 3) Celtic face FC Astana at Paradise for the crucial second leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, and we’ll have all the action exclusively LIVE on Celtic TV.



    Having secured a crucial away goal courtesy of Leigh Griffiths late strike in the first leg, it’s honours even as the sides go head-to-head under the Paradise floodlights when the game kicks off at 7.45pm (Celtic Park Time).



    It promises to be compulsive viewing and overseas viewers can see every kick of the ball exclusively LIVE on Celtic TV while enjoying match analysis from our commentary team of Paul Cuddihy and Stephen McManus.



    Live audio coverage and Celtic commentary is available for subscribers in the UK and Ireland and a full match replay will be available at 10pm.



    The Channel of the Champions is the ONLY place to watch the match as the Bhoys take on FC Astana”

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    On reflection, given that the match broadcast will be delayed in the UK, chances are there’s a broadcaster in negotiation atm for the UK rights.



    Long odds on that being one of the terrestrial bradcasters mind you…

  8. With Celtic about to play important game in CL qualifiers , and for Scotland too, what pish story will appear in Daily Retard about the exploits of the dead Rangers in Europe? Or how Warbmaster will take them to CL Winners next season?

  9. Neustadt-Braw on

    BLANTYREKEV on 1ST AUGUST 2016 6:21 PM






  10. Penalties!!!!!



    Geezo i hope no!!!!!!



    Fail to prepare = prepare to fail.



    Can just see Ronnie O’Sullivan not lining up the balls for practice in order to keep in the groove or hone his skills, or for a golfer not bothering to spend time practising on the putting green prior to or during a tournament!



    Practice practice practice!



    Would like to think we have staff doing research on every single penalty ever taken by any of their players and every way their keeper has ever went when trying to save one.



    Will it all make a difference?



    Maybe not but as pro’s we need to be as thorough as we can possibly be instead of possibly being left wondering……maybe if we had done this……or maybe if we had done that.

  11. Neustadt-Braw on

    Ron Bacardi….please do not use that phraseology for that paper.….







  12. Efe’s own goal was just another example of him panicking at the wrong moment. Good footballers are always aware of what was going on around them. You can’t teach it. Efe is a hard worker and will do a shift as a back up defender, but he is unfortunately not good enough to be a starter. Despite this, he was a bit unlucky that the ball ended in the net. When I heard the booing I decided enough was enough and went out to sit in the garden instead. Sickening behaviour.

  13. Delaneys Dunky on

    BK and NB



    I must admit, I found one eejit shouting, ” FECKIN’ BOOOOOOOOO AMBROSE!” at a match last year, embarassingly funny.

  14. Neustadt-Braw on

    Hi DD….hope you’re wee holiday was fine…hahahaha


    It is hard to imagine in Oor day …not getting whacked for being a green and white Hun….. Nobody in my near ever got away with being a c*nt …but times change……



    No me ..



    Bankies rule OK






  15. Dad



    You may want to make that Friday too if you’re partying with that young Mick!



    Catch you about 5.



    HH jamesgang

  16. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Andy Lynch scored two own goals in a 3 nil loss to Motherwell in April 1977, a game we could have won the league at if we beat them that night.



    Some of us on the blog wete at Frank Munro’s debut against St Mitren when his own goal gave them the lead as were some of us at Wullie Garner’s debut against St Mirren when he scored one own goal and another St Mirren goal took a bad deflection of him.



    All the above players took abuse but as no internet in those days, it was never over the top in the way Efe is being treated by some of our own and the media.



    The Aberdeen centre half, Ash Taylor , has made more errors than Efe but is never highlighted by the media for whatever reason.



    I hope Efe leaves but not for the reasons many want him to go for.



    If he goes it will be with my gratitude and respect, for being a good man, never complaining, always willing to play for us and not running to the media saying he wants out.

  17. weebobbycollins on

    I really, really, really hope Efe plays on Wednesday and is man of the match after a fantastic hat-trick. I also hope he blooters a few balls into the crowd and succeeds in hitting a few ‘haters’ right smack dab in the middle of the mush…away to Ibrox, the huns could be doing with a few more of your kind…

  18. RON BACARDI on 1ST AUGUST 2016 6:52 PM


    All Celtic players and staff must be told not to answer any questions about ‘Rangers’



    Disagree. They should be told to have absolutely Feck All to do with media.



  19. Neustadt-Braw on




    Awfy braw ….



    Havana banana haha…..lots of hugs though?



    Smiley thing



    Luv all….Dunblaney style




  20. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Front section of north stand ( jungle) only had single seats available had to buy one in front of the other


    Missed ST deadline and seats taken

  21. Delaneys,


    i am going into Clydebank for a ticket tomorrow,


    finish at one on Wed,may join up if its ok

  22. RON BACARDI on 1ST AUGUST 2016 7:38 PM


    I remember The Jungle booing Bobby Murdoch and Stevie Chalmers



    And that was only after giving a few others a roasting.

  23. RABERTO67 on 1ST AUGUST 2016 6:32 PM



    We will agree to disagree. It’s a team game and the others on the mid and defence should be tracking back and covering.




  24. I think it would be uber cool having Delaneys as a da!


    But I’ve got one already and it’s fair to say they could be more different!!!






    HH jamesgang