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. Green Lantern (((((0))))) on

    Tikhonov sounds like another Hareide. In other words a total FUD who will end up having to eat his words.

  2. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Tom, funnily enough I did fail my maths O level. Thats when I decided to buy ma furst chib.



    Your first session is free. Cash in hand and nae VAT.



    Think aboot the biscuits



    HH, good luck with the bet.

  3. Estadio Nacional



    Hi m8, I hope things are going well.



    I remember you being out of work for a while and admired your bravery in going out to the Middle East just to get work. I know how much Celtic means to you, you are Celtic Daft, like us all.



    Are you still working out there m8?

  4. “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.”



    I presume that “very good technical football” involves keeping possession, and particularly good, accurate passing? Well, to proffer some comparative information on that, and to ease the fears of Malarkey (22:50 post), we could compare the respective stats from Spartak’s and Celtic’s play-off matches.



    In the home legs the pass completion percentages for Celtic and Spartak respectively were 67% (of 484 passes attempted) and 61% (of 415) respectively. In the away legs the figures were Celtic


    60% (of 351) and Spartak 47% (of 434).



    Indeed, in the away legs Spartak’s technically gifted players managed to find a team-mate with a pass on 7 fewer occasions than Celtic’s kick and run heathens, in spite of the fact that they attempted 83 more passes. And as for Izzy’s direct opponent for the two matches against the Russians, their superstar winger successfully made 59% of 37 attempted passes at home and 58% of 50 away from home. Izzy’s comparative stats are 77% of 53 at home and 68% of 37 away.



    Perhaps if Mr. Tikhonov had done a little research he might be a little more concerned about the challenge facing his team. But I am quite happy to let them all under-estimate us.



    I think that we are good enough (bad luck and injuries notwithstanding) to outdo both Spartak and Benfica over the two games against each, and that we can even give Barca a run for their money if only our players recognise that they are just eleven blokes who are eminently fallible and susceptible to pressure, if only we are able to apply it!

  5. Estadio Nacional on

    Magnificentseven 00:10



    Ok so being frustrated by the team and management and having opinions on that mean I shouldnt have been there supporting the team like I did? I was happy last night, had a good old fashioned CL night party after the game and Ive still not lost the smile Ive had. Lost my voice, came on to CQN the next day to express my concerns at the state of the team Id seen in the flesh for the first time in a year, I stand by them. If we have concerns should we just keep them quiet on a supporters forum like this and all say things are brilliant?





  6. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Lots of talk and speculation on who,s coming in to enhance our line up and our chances in the CL.



    I,ll put my faith in our young fearless manager to work his magic on a miserly budget.



    Remember, We Are All Neil Lennon. He,s brought us a long way and he,ll take us further.



    Hail Hail and goodnight all Celtic men, n wummin

  7. Estadio – love your comments and critiques! Never hide your opinions and keep up the good work.




  8. Estadio Nacional on

    PeteC 00:14



    Cheers mate, aye bad few years but things got good and had to move, hoped to be drawn against Al Sadd today but never happened, after going to the game last night and witnessing the phenominal ‘Glasgows green and white’ I got a bit emotional, thats an outstanding thing we do, cant think of anywhere else that can do that. That game last week didnt even come close, I mean it without bias, FCB v rM has nothing on a European game at Celtic Park, miles ahead of that nonsense.



    Now very very jealous of all the folk going to the CL games and booking to go to Barcelona, scouted them last week in advance, they are no bad, please pass this on to Neil Lennon.





  9. Bundoran Bhoy – Wee Oscar 4 Life Campaign


    23:17 on


    30 August, 2012


    Would anyone take them both for 1.3mil?





    I would,Matthews has been a bit suspect of late,McGowan is strong,good feet,and adaptable.Jones is a lazy player who got too much too young.

  10. BigChipsUK



    A good post. They also paid £10Million for one of our players and we have since brought in another player through the ranks who, IMO, will go for more in the future if he decides to leave.



    I’m glad we are being dismissed because this team is seriously under rated IMO and I have been very impressed with the way Neil is growing with his tactics ( it helps when you are not getting sent bombs and bullets) and he is going to make Celtic as much a European force as is possible over the next few years IMO. We may not win the big one under him but we are going to go deeper into the competition than ever before, which will be remarkable given where we are operating from.

  11. Italian guy who is a mad Juve fan and works in the pub,said at about 10pm tonight that tally press saying Del Piero deal is still active.

  12. Estadio Nacional



    The Green Brigade must be the talk of World Football, the banner at the last ever game against the Huns (rip) was incredible.



    The Green Brigade deserve to be in the Champions League as much as this exciting team on the park.

  13. Paul67



    That’s as poor an article as I have ever read from you. It’s tabloid in the extreme, preparing us for the signing of no-one really – ‘frightening losses’? For whom exactly, how much and how have they come about? The loss of Rangers? Hmmm. We’ve just sold Ki for the sum of the loss I’d think, but if the losses are ‘frightening’ then maybe we should do/have done one of two things. Sell Hooper to Southampton for £6million or vote and plead for some kind of Rangers to be in the SPL. I saw neither of those. Of course a CL income is welcome, I had chats with several people today who each said they were delighted with the money for the club and weren’t expecting a big signing. So, ‘frightening losses’? I really don’t get the contextual reference. I’ll bet NL was relieved. He should be glad because he is partly to blame for the losses – £2m on Bangura. That’s all we need to say here. Bang for buck? Not so much.



    And ‘beat these clowns’? Seriously? Good lord, if we’re criticising an opponent for saying what he said, we’d better make damned sure we have a team on the park to dispute him. I don’t need a tin hat on with this… he’s right. We are technically inferior, and if anyone tries to argue we are a technically proficient group of players, they need their head examined. Did you watch us last night? Perfectly forgiveable, a tricky, tricky tie to overcome, and I as much as anyone left in the stadium jumped around like a loon for the second goal, and for the well-timed CL tune after final whistle. But let’s not kid ourselves – we kick the ball forward and expect someone to chase it. We of course have much more to our locker, we have genuine big-match winners in Commons, Samaras and Mulgrew, a good young side, developing nicely. But technically proficient we ain’t.



    We can’t have this web v tradtional media both ways. We can’t quote a manager saying what he said and poo-poo him, all the while saying something just as mis-judged. They could pin this article to a wall with some justification. ‘Clowns are we? Ok, let’s see.’ I want us to beat all these teams and liked NL’s position in the pc – let’s aim higher than our pot 4 status, let’s get third, second or beat Barca and get first. But we won’t be doing it against clowns. We won’t even be doing it against clowns who speak silly – we’ll do it on the park with a bit of skill, a load of heart and a manager learning quickly on the job. We have a chance with who we have.

  14. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Bada Bing,


    when Neil told us he thought the ADP deal wasnt a goer I immediately thought about him telling us there would be no live coverage of our first home qualifier :o)

  15. As The Moon Rolls Over The Green Verdant Hills….Of Our Wee Scepted Isle..




    We Have Distinguished Visitors….From Across The Pond……..









    |Batman> See That Absolute Bounder,Fortunes Favour Mibbies….



    Of All The Blogs In All The World,I’ll Bet He Never Dreamed We’d Wander Onto CQN..Lookin’ For His Sorry Butt…






    |Robin> Too True……With These Blue And Red Lycras….With The Five Stars On The Tights..No Chance We’ll Be Getting A Welcome In The Parlour…



    Anytime Soon….





    |Batman> Stitched Up,We Were…Robin !!!!





    |Robin > Right Enough,Batman,That FFM


    Gotta Lot To Answer For…



    Fitting Us Up For That “Sparklers Caper”…..With Not A Shred Of Evidence.!






    | Batman > Too True,Robin….’The Joker’ Will Be Laughin’ Like Heidi…..







    | Robin > Aye…Disnae Strike Me As The Brightest Supernova In The Neighbourhood….



    Holy Galloping Neutrinos..




    Ah Mean,You Don’t Have Tae Be A ‘Rocket Scientist


    To Ken That ‘Strangeness’ And ‘Charm’ Are Intrinsic Properties Of ‘Quarks’…



    Right ? Right !



    And Clearly No Pop-Picker Either….






    | Batman > Ah’m Tellin’ You….Ah Despair Of The Youth Of Today….



    Do They Learn ANYTHING At These Schools Today..


    With All These Leftie Teachers….Wi’ Leather Patches On The Elbows ,Bad Breath…And Visible Tattoos…An Awe..






    | Robin > Certainly Dinnae Have A Clue About Sub-Atomic Particle Physics..That’s For Sure !



    A Cryin’ Shame,So It Is…



    Where Will We Find Our Scientists Of Tomorrow ?



    Our Kids Will Be Working In Call Centres….And Delivering Domino’s Pizzas….






    | Batman > And As For That Gallagher Character



    Clearly An Inhabitant Of Another Planet……




    In Another Constellation….






    | Robin > In Another Universe……!!







    | Batman > Clearly A Red Dwarf…Or A Piece Of Dark Matter….






    | Robin > Anyways….Are We Gonnae Jump In The BatMobile…And Pay This Fortunes A Visit….?




    Bit Of A Drive….Mind !






    | Batman > Already Sorted , Robin….



    Just Given Bob Crampsey A Bell….



    He’ll Send The Shawlands Heidhunters Round…To Show Him “How The Coos Eat Thae Cabbages..”.






    | Robin > Right Boss.. So Now We Jist Have Tae Find ‘Pebbles’…And We’re Laughin’……..



    | Batman > Sounds Like A Plan,Robin….



    Then Head Back Tae Gotham City…In Time For The Jiggin’….Pinkety ?






    | Robin > It’s Yer Lucky Night……….Virginia..!!



    Ah Don’t Think We’ll Be Havin’ Any More Trouble From Mr Fortunes….












  16. Estadio Nacional on




    Thats exactly what I wanted to say, thanks for putting it so well. One of the best posts Ive read on here. Well done.





  17. BigChipsUK -I would take Del Piero in a heartbeat mate,these guys are superfit and the habits of a truly world class player passed on to the Bhoys would be fantastic. The jerseys sold would be through the roof.DiNatale still under contract so….

  18. i see the ground is being prepared for a disappointing transfer


    window,i cannot see any other reason for frightening losses statement,i live in hope but expect despair.

  19. Art of War


    00:10 on


    31 August, 2012


    Estadio – incredibly negative. Enjoy that pint on 1st Sept (me da’s birthday).


    We have scored more and let in considerably less. Wot’s not to like??????


    Can i suggest that you do a Tim calendar with your photies and pass proceeds to wee Oscar?









    Negative? ME? You can hear me clapping like a demented green spectacled optimist half way across the known universe.



    Where was I negative.



    As for Saturday……I can taste the pint.



    Pics are already booked and being auctioned for another cause.



    Happy birthday to yer dad.



    hail hail




  20. Estadio – just trying to get your attention!


    Howevah, you do have a gift for the `shot’ from which I believe you can make a buck or 2!


    Would never question your support of the team.



    Old man says “thank-ye”.



  21. Kenwyne Jones would be a new Henrik. He has not been managed at his clubs. He’s a footballer who needs to be left alone to play football. NL can bring that out of him. Jones/Samaras ? That would scare anybody.

  22. Estadio.



    Are you heading out to Barcelona this year,let me know you flight times and I’ll try and avoid you. and your china’s,You gave me enough problems the last time?C.”cannie dae they smillies”


    been trying to get a decent flight price but it was all in vain still paid over the odds,It’s always the same when you go away to Celtic Games,a hike up of prices,hope too see your smiling face around the harbour or one of the wine shops.

  23. AOW



    Incredible negatives perhaps! :-)



    Cannae sleep… is going to be like Christmas Eve all over again, or trying to sleep on a scaffolding two stories up behind the Cathedral in Seville before the game!



    Think I’ll have (another) Custard cream!



    Hail hail




  24. Oldtim



    We need a cunning plan to generate some cash (a lot of cash as airlines won’t let me on board unless I’m heavily insured). First part of the away-squad strategy planning will take place after the Hibs game on Saturday.



    We still laugh about that Jolly Jape at Heathrow – you were suspicious mind you! :-)



    hail hail




  25. Heard a rumour today, second hand etc…



    But apparently from an impeccable source.



    Aiden McGeady is on his way to Sunderland, subject to a wee bit of negotiaton (£170,000



    hitch to be resolved).



    My first ever rumour!

  26. Estadio.



    I hope your on the same flight as me,I’m going over with Blantyretim,so there will ba a bit of drinking involved.I really hope you manage over,my flights are booked just the hotel to fix up,such a choice of hotels.

  27. Bloke109



    A good post, I agree we are technically still lacking and it is a real shame that Ki has decided to move on. I’m sure he wanted to move on to further his career because of where Celtic play and because he wasn’t a first team cert every week.



    A first team cert at Celtic in the SPL (centre mid) has to be able to handle himself. And that is exactly what is wrong with Scottish Football. The real quality are kicked and kicked and eventually a ref books a player.



    Neil had a plan but decided to go for more strength because of the hun and the lack of referee protection. I must say though, Victor is a quality footballer as much as he is the Incredible Hulk.



    We need to bring in more quality, or bring through our eagerly anticipated youngsters, Dylan showed he isn’t fazed and he should become a fixture in the team this season.



    I hope Paul67 was just dampening down expectation just so today becomes a great day for us in the transfer market.



    The CH is essential, the main money should be spent on him, as the CL is extremely unforgiving.

  28. Estadio Nacional and Bloke109


    Both guys deserve praise for their realism and honesty.



    We are a work in progress.


    The dots are not all connected yet.


    The youth give me most optimism.


    Would liked to have seen young Twardzik last night but since he is just back from injury maybe wise to rest him.


    We still need to be more of a proactive team to go to next level.

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