Spartak hero already dismisses Celtic


I’ve been trying to interpret the Champions League group all evening.  It’s an exciting draw.  The world’s biggest box office team will come to Glasgow, a chance for us to marvel at, and test ourselves against, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and the rest.  We also have a sporting chance of finishing second or third, either of which would be acceptable.

For me most of this analysis is irrelevant for now.  The two most important games are the first, Benfica, and the last Spartak Moscow, both at home, so for now, all that really matters is the 90 minutes at Celtic Park against Benfica on 19 September.  Beat Benfica and you go to Moscow in the following game with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Can we beat Benfica at Celtic Park?   Benfica have lost all three games they have played at Celtic Park, twice in recent Champions League history, but they are not a pot two team and we are not a pot four team for nothing.  They have played only two league games this season and did not benefit from being tested by a Champions League qualifying competition.

In short, playing Benfica in the first game, when we will have played twice as many competitive games as they have, is ideal.  We will be ready for them.

Tomorrow is a big day.  Who was it said ‘perfect day to bury bad news’?  While some of us are busy trying to keep a server online as transfer speculation reaches its annual crescendo, what chance last year’s accounts will be released?

If they are (and I have no information on this), you can count on some very bad news.  Losses will be frightening, which sheds some light on some of the earthy tones from Neil Lennon today on just how big a result the win over Helsingborgs was.

We needed that win.  We needed Messi and his pals to help us sell 60,000 ticket packages, and to prompt Celtic fans to go out and buy some of the many thousands of season tickets still available.

Let me leave you with a word that came out from the Spartak camp tonight.  Andrey Tikhonov, Spartak player until he became a coach at the club last year, said, “Barcelona are favourites from the group. We and Benfica will be fighting for second place.

“Celtic are outsiders. The Champions League competition is about very good technical football.  It has nothing to do with running after the ball that somebody kicked forward.”

Beat these clowns, Celtic.

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  1. prestonpans bhoys on

    Agree with Tikhonov – Barca will win the group, as for the rest what a muppet he knows nothing about us and no doubt didn’t even ask Aiden………..

  2. Magnificentseven on

    prestonpans bhoys




    22:46 on 30 August, 2012




    Agree with Tikhonov – Barca will win the group, as for the rest what a muppet he knows nothing about us and no doubt didn’t even ask Aiden………..





    Aiden probably doesn’t know too much either….we are a much better team than he left….much better

  3. No love,for them but thought Hearts done ok tonight,not an embarrassment for SPL.


    I think we can do well in our group,if we buy a couple of good players,if we don’t buy questions must be asked.Well done Lenny and the players,you have all done your job.


    Over to you Peter.

  4. Kenwyne Jones would be a fantastic signing. Wanted him years ago. A poor mans Drogba (but still class) but exactly what we need.



    Re Commons getting left out the Scotland team – sums that diddy Levein up….we dodged a Mowbray part two there…..

  5. Just opened a Warsteiner there which reminds me I’m off to Berlin in November.Happy days,if we had got Real i would have went to Madrid and as i’ve been to Barcelona and Lisbon and Moscow is too expensive i may need to see who we get in the last 16.Seriously i’ve been to see Celtic on 14 away ties in europe but got fed up being ripped off by every agency involved

  6. Kenwynne Jones is an average player who has been earning stupid money for years and is lazy. There is no hunger there. We should know by now to keep clear of overrated, overpayed EPL journeymen. Go for young hungry player looking to prove themselves,

  7. fourstonnecoppi



    I was talking to a woman in work today who meantioned her brother was asked to do a eulogy on his friend who was a fantastic musician..


    said they could have been bigger than the stones…



    RIP your friend..

  8. philvisreturns on

    Paul67 – I’m glad some of our opponents are already writing us off.



    A lot of Swedes were pleased when their team was drawn against us as well.



    One of the striking things about Neil Lennon’s Celtic is that they have the fearlessness of youth. They will, to a man and bhoy, be bursting to prove themselves against our illustrious Champions League opponents.



    Wouldn’t be surprised if the accounts turn out to be pretty gruesome. Like you, I have no direct knowledge on this, but from what I hear, Celtic battened down the financial hatches even more tightly than usual some months ago. (thumbsup)

  9. Bjmac, yes.



    Estadio Nacional, losses come from spending a lot more than income, which we did last season. Glad to hear you are will caution our board about this. Some would have them spend ever more.



    EXILED TIM, I hope you get your hope.



    Teuchter ar la :-)



    fourstonecoppi, thanks for sharing that. Take care.

  10. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Andrey Tikhonov’s in for a wee shock………

  11. Magnificentseven on

    Estadio Nacional




    22:52 on 30 August, 2012




    After huns create a tribute to deceeced club rangers ‘football’ club the hearts support pay tribute to Dens Park 1986




    long haired hertz fan sitting greeting…………..a great memory from that day….giruy moment

  12. Andrey Tikhonov – Never even heard of the trumpet before.



    Spartak, I would say, are the weakest team in the group. Celtic are on the up and I feel we can now pick up points on the road with a pacey counter attack and I can see us doing well in Lisbon and Moscow. Barca, well, we can forget it, they are phenomenal at home but we could give them a fright at Celtic Park.



    Delighted with the draw and I think we are 50/50 with Benfica to get 2nd place.

  13. Sir Kojo….


    Absolute disgrace that with only one


    day left of the Transfer Window,we


    have yet to sign a player….


    We’ll be involved in a bidding-war..for


    any player we manage to sign at the


    last moment…


    Which is ridiculous,having shed so


    many players over the


    summer….leaving the squad looking


    very light…even if we draught in our


    promising youth…..


    Watt must be regarded as a first


    team player now.


    With the additional European games


    this season…..especially as Europa


    League Football can be gained by


    finishing third in the group….


    We couldn’t have selected a better




    All teams we have faced in recent


    years,so there will be a familiarity


    with the venues and


    surroundings..aiding the logistics…..


    Even the way the statistics have


    panned out is favourable….Facing


    Spartak away in the first


    fixture,rather than in the depths of


    winter..when both teams regularly


    play with heavy balaclavas..and leg-




    Who knows….Perhaps Our Pals at


    Barce will settle for a draw at




    Spartak have definitely been on the


    decline since the start of Aiden’s


    second season over there….


    And Benfica are notoriously poor


    travellers….and probably feeling a bit


    inferior at the moment….on account


    of their basket-case economy..?


    However….We seem to have missed


    out on most of our signing targets…


    in the last few days….


    Markus Henriksen,Jordan


    Rhodes..and Maya Yoshida….all


    snapped up.


    Must at least get Russell,who could


    certainly do a job for us…and another


    decent CB…..Don’t know this chap


    Bowlly….but if he sings anyways as


    good as Al..he’ll certainly do for me…


    Even relying on the Developement


    Squad…We’ll still struggle to put out


    a competitive team at times…with


    the inevitable injury list and




    So we will never get a chance to


    witness the Dynamic Duo…Rocky


    Rhodes and GigaWatty….in the




    Oh well….Perhaps get a loan of


    Goodwillie…and snatch Mackay-Smith


    and Jon Daly,at the death..??




    Al Bowlly….Celtic’s Next European


    Cup-Winning Centre-Back..?


    “Love Is The Sweetest Thing”


    Watch out,Tommy


    Burns&Jinky..You’ve got competition


    in the Crooner-Stakes..






  14. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Andrey Tikhonov……’re gettin a tickin’ off.

  15. Flights booked to Lisbon, Aer Lingud tripled the price in a 5 minute flurry.


    Rather then pay them, we decided to do a 3 nighter.


    Sun, Mon and Tue.


    Now to source 3 tickets.

  16. Paul67



    Loving all these guys doing team talks for us.



    Accounts might be mince for last year but compared to a certain Barca who probably have more debt than the entire population of Scotland?

  17. Paul67,



    Happy with the draw. Head says 3rd place and European football after xmas is a real possibility. Heart says who the f**k are Barcelona. If we are considered as out already – all the better.



    Believe both scenarios are achievable without additions to the current squad, and if times are as tough as you believe, would be happier to ‘stick’ than ‘twist’.




  18. 1 game at a time. Great news to get Benfica at home first. Beat them and its all to play for. So glad we missed that Chelsea group – defensive minded yawn fest. We’ve got glamour and also a fighting chance. What’s not to like? Jonny Russell would cheer me up no end. If we’ll go to £1.7, let’s not quibble over a few hundred grand, we’ve been there before.

  19. philvisreturns on

    fanadpatriot – Well said, Re: Hearts.



    I don’t like Hearts. But since the implosion of the Death Star, I’m hoping all Scottish teams do well in Europe.



    It’s ridiculous that the champions of Scotland have had to play four games before being allowed in the Champions League proper.



    With all the talk of league reconstruction, we also need to start the season earlier in Scotland to give our clubs a better chance of being ready to qualify for European competition. (thumbsup)

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