Riga manager’s edge, Celtic’s high stakes


Riga’s only domestic points dropped this season came in a defeat on match day two of the Latvian league.  Since then, they have recorded 18 wins in 19 outings; the only reversal came away to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Champions League qualification.  Impressive, though a run of 17 consecutive domestic wins and one in the Europa League is, such riches do not harden you for tougher challenges, as Celtic have learned to their cost.

Last season, they eliminated Dundalk from Champions League qualification on penalties, then recorded impressive away goals wins over Polish side Piast Gliwice and HJK Helsinki before succumbing 3-2 on aggregate to Copenhagen in the playoff round.  The Danes recorded a better result against Celtic later in the competition.

Riga were formed five years ago after a merger of two clubs.  They are on their 15th manager since, none have lasted a year.  With 7.5 months tenure, current boss, Russian Oleg Kononov, will be looking over his shoulder if he does not get a result tonight.  If he looks like there is an edge to him, that’s why.

Neil Lennon’s tenure is more assured, but, if anything, the stakes are higher for Celtic, whose prevailing business model has precious few strands left, with fans forced to watch games at home and in pubs, instead of being distanced in the wide-open spaces of Celtic Park.  The most positive consideration is that having gotten so many things wrong already this season, we know where our soft underbelly is.

You are not going to hear this often from me, I’m not even sure how to start.  All four Scottish clubs involved in Europe are away from home tonight, it suits our purpose for all to proceed.  In what could be a tight and curtailed season, where squads could be hit by isolation rules, it will not help for any direct rival to have a full week to prepare for games – whether we are involved in Europe or not.

We have the strongest squad, best manager and are by far the best run club in Scotland.  Under normal circumstances, 10-in-a-row would be straightforward, but so much of what lies ahead between now and May is unknown.  I don’t want to anyone else having a week off to prepare for their Premiership game.

Normal elimination preferences will resume next season.

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  1. “RODDYBHOY on 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020 12:53 PM




    Take a bow , great post. We should be going into a game like this feeling confident of a reasonably comfortable win . That we aint is further proof of no vision from your DDs and PLs of the world”



    I AM going into this game feeling confident ( and I have noticed some others indicating the same). Is that, therefore, proof of vision from the `DD`s and PLs of the world` ?

  2. Ajeti should start, he is the man on form.


    Don’t feel confident at all. The CL debacle still haunts me. Hoping for the best but fear the worst. I know absolutely nothing about Riga. What scares me is our ability to self destruct.


    At home in Europe we gift early goals on a regular basis. Away from home we are prone to not showing up – last year being an amazing exception.


    Fingers crossed.

  3. P67 as usual is right – it suits us better in terms of the league to see Sevco qualify.



    I’m still going to punch the air if Willem knock them on their ass !

  4. Chairbhoy


    From much earlier – thanks for the response – the only point I was trying to make is that companies cannot be held responsible or be judged by their employees actions outside of work.

  5. Just been reading back and saw that ernie has been getting a bit of stick.


    I suppose the often acerbic nature of many of his posts meant that that was to be expected ( unfortunately).


    I find some posters` comments much more rewarding than others . Ernie Lynch belongs in that category for me.


    Whilst I am on the subject .


    I don`t really mind ( but don`t value) people giving opinions as though they were experts on any given subject but one thing I do dislike is when a poster uses `we` when he is referring to himself. ` We all know…` kind of thing.



    On tonight`s game:



    I know nothing re Riga`s standard so I will simply say the the odds on offer from the Bookies gives me confidence of a positive result..

  6. An Dun: ` it suits us better in terms of the league to see Sevco qualify.


    I’m still going to punch the air if Willem knock them on their ass !`



    That`s me as well !!!

  7. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    Afternoon all,



    CQN Lazy Team Selection for tonight:



    Agree entirely with Bournesouprecipe at 1.34pm.



    That’ll be two fools now.



    HH JIL

  8. I don’t understand why so many are posting about the hun match tonight.



    I couldn’t give a monkeys as long as they get humped.



    Seriously humped with a few injuries would be even better.




  9. We all dream of a midfield of McGregor (6), Christie (Left sided 8), Ntcham (Right sided 8) and Moi or Rogic as a No.10.



    Behind Eddie and Ajeti.



    There’s your tea Riga. Boom.




  10. Philbhoy



    Is it not the case that at least some of that `so many` are simply saying the same as you just did?

  11. We all dream


    See ? There `we` go with that `we` assumption again !!



    PS That does not mean I disagree with your `selection`. :-))




    You really do take my post too seriously!



    Did you not see the wee sad face at the end of my last one?



    It was meant to be funny but hey ho……………

  13. Duffy to score both halves, 100/1 Ladbrokes, that is this season’s recurring bet




  14. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    And since we are doing predictions:



    Riga 0 Celtic 2



    Right who’s next?



    JIL HH

  15. Hot Smoked…



    I thought I’d start a sing-song….that’s why.



    At number 6 was Callum McGregor


    At number 8 was…….



    Altogether…We all dream of a team of…….




  16. Barkas


    ElHamed ;Duffy,Ajer, Taylor.


    McGregor ;Brown







  17. Philbhoy,Big Wavy and Gene.



    My comments, although sincere, are not as heavily delivered as they might seem in print. Said at a Hootenanay, we would be laughing and enjoying the disparate points over a pint ( or fifteen if Big Jimmy is there ).




    I don’t think the team will be far away from your selection.



    My only concern is their is not much bite in the midfield and the player with bite disney have the legs.



    I would play Soro instead of Moi.



    But I know it won’t happen.




    No problem!



    I try not to take this place too seriously, although sometimes…………………

  20. GENE @ 3:30 PM,



    Ok, I see, fair point.



    Have to say I am (held responsible and judged), I’ve had to sign several forms to actually commit me to certain behaviour outside work. Both in terms of the kinda – ambassador for the organisation type role and health protocols both general and specific to Covid.



    I believe Celtic staff have also got both general and Covid specific type protocols they should adhere to.



    It was interesting that after the Bolingoli affair, in a presser Lenny reffered to our “Covid Officer”. Someone they should have had in place before the season started – IMO, hopefully compliance can now be improved.



    I’m not sure how many fines Celtic have had from UEFA due to supporters being non-compliant in their European competitions but I think it would be a foolish person who would trust football supporters to return to stadiums in this environment.



    It’s just a general concern and it’s before you start getting down to the nitty gritty, like how on earth does track and trace work, even when the stadium is 10% full?



    It’s a non starter for me.



    Hail Hail

  21. A few earlier posts re fools and predictions so here is one of mine:



    If we win by three or more tonight, the majority will say we played well; if the same performance results in a one goal victory, the verdict will be damning.



    If we win, I will probably watch the 10pm VST showing. It will be interesting to then `analyse` the comments made before victory, if it happens, was a fact.


    Cheerio for now.






    Excellent post… our underachieving is no longer debatable, it’s a provable fact.



    There is better ways to run our club, also a provable fact.



    Hail Hail

  23. HELURKINTIM on 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020 2:40 PM


    Cheers Bada 👍 is that the expired code lol







    Big Jimmy…am gonna forgo my beers tonight if yer still up for hitting the toon tomoz?














    Tomorrow ( Friday) should be okay for me, but can I get back to you Tomorrow morning early doors just to confirm the meeting place and time etc ?


    Ideally for me would be my local Pub on The Saltmarket or maybe The Merchant City as thats about my limit for walking distance ?


    l will Post on here Tomorrow morning, and you can let me know what suits you mate.





  24. Big Jimmy…am easy…whatever is most convenient for yourself…hopefully hav BRRB joining us







    If your buying dept spent as much on duds as we do, would there be consequences?



    I cannot get my head round the number of players we spend big money on who don’t feature.



    Someone posted a list on here recently and the waste of money was frightening.

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