Some Perspective


Negatives out of the way first: we’re not good enough, this is a low achievement by a Celtic team who have reached a group stage. There’s no disputing that, but amid the predictable ‘Throw them all overboard’ reaction, I know I’m not the only one who is not panicking right now.

When I heard we were playing three wingers (Forrest, Mackay-Steven, McGregor) I anticipated a thrashing. Gordon Strachan would often drop all his craft players for the more industrial types in European football, with good reason.

As it turned out, we had the majority of the chances, and all the better ones, as we spent most of the second half pushing for a winner.

No arguments with Leigh Griffiths assessment immediately after the game, that was his worst performance in a Celtic shirt. Nor is there dispute in Ronny Deila’s retort that he’s scored plenty for us before and will continue to do so. Even the greats have days like that, including the Swede.

The midfield formation was fluid throughout the game. Tom Rogic initially played as a defensive mid, before moving in front of Stuart Armstrong (who moved everywhere) and Callum McGregor. The defensive mid role Rogic played isn’t one carried out by either Nir Bitton or Scott Brown. We’ve not had anyone in this role since the departure of Victor Wanyama (still pining) and it remains a large gap in the offering.

Lesson: we need a defensive mid. The deep lying playmaker + box-to-box player isn’t robust enough in Europe.

Callum McGregor carried possibly the lowest expectations of everyone in a Celtic shirt but he put in an excellent shift. His goal was outstanding, losing possession immediately before Ajax equalised took the shine off things a bit, but it was still a strong performance.

Do you know the last time McGregor started a game? October 2014. Under those circumstances that was a remarkable performance.

General consensus is that the defence played well. Kieran Tierney is as good a left back as we’ve had in years. Had he not gone off with an injury the result might have been different.

Jozo Simunovic is clearly out best central defender. I know I’m not setting the bar too high with that statement, but he’s a move in the right direction. He’s also young, still working on his fitness, and will continue to progress.

A week ago Celtic Underground’s Harry Brady suggested Dedryck Boyata plays better alongside Simunovic than without him. Dedryck still has a long way to go but the evidence suggests partnered with a game-reader like Jozo has helped him. Let’s see where he is at the end of the season.

And Craig Gordon? He could have stopped both Ajax goals. That’s not to say he was to blame for either, he wasn’t, but these were the kind of stops he was making in last season’s Europa League.

Ronny is 18 months into the job and has contributed to the situation we find ourselves in (tactical mistakes in both Molde games), but this is not the time to lurch off plan. We’re not good enough largely because we’ve recruited too few players since 2012 who have improved the team.

We need to continue to develop players like Tierney and we need to recruit better. Get this right in January, and again in the summer, and we will be vastly better. The alternative is likely to be to pick up a best from the SPFL pool, or someone from the English circuit who cannot get a better paid gig. And then it would take until November 2017 before we could assess them properly.

Return of the Bampots

Tonight, for one night onlyt, Phil Mac Giolla Bháin, John Fallon and myself are in the Hibs Club, Carfin, for a Q&A in aid of Mary’s Meals, with Phil Agnew hosting. The event starts at 7:30, £5 entry, can pay at the door.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

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  1. the celtic plc doesnt do diversity.



    another white middle aged middle class appointment.



    inclusive ?




  2. The old Castlemilk con man is going full steam ahead, lol.



    image: http://cdn.thecelticblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/JS27882794-300×200.jpg







    The first big headline story of the day is that Sevco is set to repay the Sports Direct loan.



    Aaaah, this is further proof that the Age of Innocence has not yet passed.



    What he actually said is that they’ve agreed they should.



    If they can raise the money.



    In the next breath he says the already have.



    And guess what? He is getting the money from his fellow directors!



    If this all sounds familiar, it’s cause it kinda is.



    We’ve been hearing for months how the club could “afford to” do this. If they wanted to.



    But we also know they’re existing on soft loans at the moment.



    Maybe it’s just me who thinks this wishy-washy statement is a long way from becoming hard reality.



    No other person in Scottish football gets so easy a time as this guy, I swear to God.



    His fellow directors have paid for every single moment of his “reign” here; that looks like going on and on and on as long as these mugs are willing to let him away with it.



    How’s he doing this?



    A combination of emotional blackmail and brass neck presumption?



    What would it take for you to say “no more of this”, if you had means and this was Celtic?



    For a while you might go along with it for the sake of the club, but wouldn’t you eventually ask where his money was?



    This guy … honestly.



    The Sevco fans have paid.



    The board of directors has paid.



    The whole of the club has paid for the fights this clown has started already, and his arrogant speech to the AGM today came perilously close to contempt of court in the way he talked not only about the Sports Direct deals but previous board members who are engaged in legal battles right now.



    It’s one thing to write about what these people are accused of; it’s another entirely to stand up in front of a room of potential jurors and talk about justice and people getting what they deserve.



    I mean, really?



    Does this guy possess not one iota of discretion or awareness?



    Like turkeys voting for Christmas, I expect a lot of the supporters to vote for the proposal King has put down to enable the club to issue fresh shares to existing shareholders, diluting their holdings in the process.



    I would be surprised – very surprised – if it passes.



    Because most people aren’t completely stupid, and those institutions which already have shares and which don’t want to purchase more aren’t going to take kindly to any measure that weakens further what’s in their hands.



    This proposition needs a 75% majority. Does King have that?



    Doubtful. Very doubtful indeed.



    Have you noticed how little analysis there’s been of that in the media?



    Have you noticed how, in contrast to the previous votes, who’s likely results were trailed in the media long before the event, these particular measures haven’t been scrutinised?



    They know this will be close.



    They know it’s not set in stone.



    They don’t want anyone looking too closely at what these proposals will mean or why they’re now being mooted.



    This is the life blood of the club right here … without the cash-for-equity deal that’s on the table here would the Three Bears even be putting up the money for the next series of loans to pay the bills?



    And these guys are now expected to find double that again?



    To pay off a loan which simply returns to the club’s control certain rights, but doesn’t change the fundamentals of the Sports Direct deal at all?



    And what a deal that is; on a seven year rolling contract boys and girls …



    Picking fights you can’t win is one thing. On top of that he’s testing the patience, and tolerance, of his own directors.



    As usual, I’m unsure where all this fits into the alleged “King masterplan” … but that’s partially a consequence of not understanding the plan itself.



    This club continues to sleepwalk towards disaster, led there by those the fans are being asked to trust– as I said in my latest piece for On Fields, Friends Like These, which you can read at the bottom of the page.



    The longer King is at the helm the further from a stable situation this club moves.



    At some point next week I’m going to write about damage limitation, if that’s still possible and we haven’t been completely overtaken by events.



    To read Friends Like These, click on this link.




    Read more at http://thecelticblog.com/2015/11/blogs/sevco-will-repay-sports-direct-loan-but-only-if-you-believe-dave-king#uB5FQU2DygoqHdtm.99

  3. HERBO on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 5:38 PM





    Oh aye I know that, but I was using the Urban Dictionary, you should try it, you come under it too, no offence, but you did start it. ……

  4. Canamalar



    to be honest, I will not be listening or watching, seldom do. I will pick up the comedy moments on Twitter or on here later. Family taxi commitments are the preferred option.

  5. Ian P. Bankier (62) was appointed to the Board as an independent non-executive director on 3 June 2011 and became Chairman on 14 October 2011. Mr Bankier is Executive Chairman of Glenkeir Whiskies Limited, a company he substantially owns. Glenkeir operates The Whisky Shop chain, which is the UK’s largest specialist retailer of whiskies. He has been involved in the Scotch whisky industry for over 20 years having been Managing Director of Burn Stewart Distillers PLC and Chief Executive of CL World Brands Limited. Mr Bankier’s formative career was as a solicitor and he was a partner of McGrigors for 15 years, where he specialised in corporate law. Mr Bankier is a member of the Remuneration Committee and chairs the Nomination Committee.



    Thomas E. Allison (66) has been a non-executive Director since September 2001. He is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Nomination Committee. Mr Allison is the nominated Senior Independent Director. He is Chairman of Peel Ports Limited and a director of a number of other companies within the Peel Ports Group. He is Chairman of Tulloch Homes Group Limited, a non-executive director of Pinewood Shepperton plc and an ambassador for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow.



    Dermot F. Desmond (64) has been a non-executive Director of the Company since May 1995. He is the Chairman and founder of International Investment and Underwriting (IIU), a private equity company based in Dublin. Through IIU, he has investments in a variety of start-up and established businesses worldwide, in the areas of financial services, technology, education, information systems, leisure, aviation, health and sport (including Celtic FC). He also promoted the establishment of a financial services centre in Dublin in 1986. Today more than 500 companies trade from the IFSC.



    Brian Duffy (60) joined the Board in February 2010. Mr Duffy was educated in Glasgow and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. He has held a variety of senior posts in the clothing and consumer goods sectors, most recently with the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, which he joined as President and Chief Operating Officer, Europe in 2003. He became Group President, Europe in 2008 and retired in March 2012. Mr Duffy resigned from the Board on 30 June 2014.



    Peter T. Lawwell (55), Chief Executive, joined the Company in October 2003 from his position as commercial director with Clydeport plc. Previously he held senior positions with ICI, Hoffman-La-Roche and Scottish Coal. During the year Mr Lawwell served as a member of the Professional Game Board of the Scottish Football Association, the Board of the Scottish Football Association and the Board of the European Club Association.



    Lord Livingston of Parkhead (50) was appointed to the Board as an independent non-executive director in October 2007 and chairs the Audit Committee. Lord Livingston is Minister of State for Trade and Investment. He was Chief Executive of BT Group plc until September 2013, having also served as chief executive of BT Retail and as Group Finance Director. Lord Livingston has also previously been Group Finance Director of Dixons Group plc and a non-executive director of Ladbrokes plc (formerly Hilton Group plc). He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1987.



    Eric J. Riley (57) is the Financial Director and joined the Company in August 1994. Mr Riley is a chartered accountant and has executive responsibility for operational areas of corporate strategy and finance. During the year Mr Riley served as a member of the Board of the Scottish Professional Football League Limited and was a member of the Finance Committee of the European Club Association.



    Brian Wilson (65) was appointed as a non-executive Director in June 2005. Formerly a Member of Parliament, Mr Wilson also held several ministerial posts during his political career. He is an experienced journalist and writer and a director of several private companies including Harris Tweed Hebrides Limited and Havana Energy Limited. In 2011, he was named UK Global Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors and is a Trade Ambassador for the UK Government.

  6. Notthebus…………….nothing wrong with Celtic fans setting their sights with ambition and judging one of Britains biggest club sides by performance in European competition. We are talking here about a club that has played in three European finals and has reached the later stages of all the big European tournaments.

  7. JUDE2005 IS NEIL LENNON \O/ on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 5:33 PM


    How do i get rid of all these effin adverts?







  8. We have a particular pride in our reputation as a successful organisation and recognise that this is built very much on the commitment and skills of our colleagues. It is our aim to recruit and select colleagues who have the relevant skills, qualifications and experience to make a positive and innovative contribution towards the continued success of the Company. All applicants who have a disability and meet the minimum criteria for the job will be interviewed.


    If you would like further information on current opportunities, please contact the Human Resources Department hr@celticfc.co.uk



    Information about Work Experience opportunities can be found at the foot of this section.


    IIP Logo






    (Based at Celtic Park)



    Celtic Ticket Services are looking to employ enthusiastic people within the Ticket Office.


    Engagement is on a zero-hours basis with a requirement to work on weekends and match days.


    Successful applicants will be self-motivated, reliable and trustworthy, responsible for dealing with customers either face to face on our ticket office counter or on the ticket enquiry line. Experience of cash-handling and administration is required.





  9. zero hour contract !!!!



    how does that work ?



    the ticket office must know when its opened and/or what staff levels are needed.

  10. PL, should be on a zero hours contract, only bring him in when Dermot is in town.



    In fact , do that with the lot of them.

  11. Sevco are gonna Shame Celtic & pay the Living Wage. Bloody Hilarious!



    What the Daily Record forgot to mention was that this is the rate they’re gonna pay their first team staff.



    Are they even Solvent?

  12. Take a job at Celtic. Don’t get work for a week. Wait six weeks for your new benefits claim to be processed.



    A club like no other.

  13. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    clearly ronny hasn’t reached his tipping point – wonder what it’ll be – lg’s enough to win us the spfl what’ll it be – bad euro performances next year ?

  14. Gravy Train chugs on….bonus culture gone wild.


    Beautiful Stadium, Best fans in the world….and an absolutely dire team in Europe.


    Nasty wee businessmen, Tory Lords, and Freemasons….There’s your board.


    That’s what you are paying for…The dilution of Celtic tradition.


    Celtic fans my arse….they are in it for personal gain.


    Attempting to disassociate Celtic from their Irish roots(PL)


    Glorifying bigots and cheats(DD)


    Contempt and smearing of Celtic fans(IB).


    That’s what they are doing in our name.




  15. twentyfirstofmay1979 on




    That was a really lovely wee post introducing our latest board member, just what Ive been thinking about all day after our latest European disappointment “who’s going to be our new financial director” ffs




  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    bournesouprecipe on 27th November 2015 4:31 pm Which ex Celtic player has won a league medal with three different Scottish clubs?




    Billy Stark?

  17. i’vehadtochangemyname



    For that to happen the following things would need to happen:



    1. Hearts or Aberdeen would need to go in front in the league again and probably after New Year. Given how Celtic were garbage last weekend and they both failed to take advantage that is most likely a moot point.



    2. We would need to crash out of one or both Cups in January.



    3. We would need to see a St Mirren 4-0 type performance.



    The last two are possible, the other is unlikely.



    We shouldn’t need such a tipping point. The deed should be done now.



    It is not only about Europe as some people are suggesting.



    It is about the abject and woeful football we play on a REGULAR basis at home and abroad.



    I keep asking this and no one has ever answered – show me 10 matches under this manager where the team have obliterated the opposition either domestically or in Europe or both playing wonderful football.



    No one has answered because those 10 matches do not exist.

  18. HT,



    was just looking forward to it.



    its good to know what goes on in the den of che guvaras. and when we storm the front door and take over.






    no hurry, when you can is good.

  19. I’M fed up reading comments re GMS and SA, both players came to Celtic flying from the off , whats happened up to now, both players look a shadow of the players when they signed. I blame the coaches simples.

  20. Saint Stivs on 27th November 2015 5:46 pm



    the celtic plc doesnt do diversity.



    another white middle aged middle class appointment.



    inclusive ?










    Maybe he just seemed the right man for the job after a series of interviews.



    Or maybe ethnic disabled extremist socialist lesbian chartered accountants are a bit thin on the ground at the moment.




  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    RON67. I dont believe that there is a Celtic class player in any of the 3 players we bought from Dundee Utd. the step up appears to be to much for any of them. H.H.

  22. SANDMAN on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 6:30 PM


    Saint Stivs on 27th November 2015 5:46 pm







    the celtic plc doesnt do diversity.







    another white middle aged middle class appointment.







    inclusive ?























    Maybe he just seemed the right man for the job after a series of interviews.







    Or maybe ethnic disabled extremist socialist lesbian chartered accountants are a bit thin on the ground at the moment.













    or maybe they didnt bother their arses to go look and headhunt a suitable alternative candidate.



    because its all a jolly boys masonic hows yir father cosy club, look at the profile of the directors, its all about knowing each other.



    i bet we could go to london city next week and get a female CEO for half the price of fat bonus man.

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