Sport’s truism about great champions and the League Cup


You and I are old enough to remember when a home cup draw for Celtic was a rarity, so we’ll take Dunfermline at Celtic Park in the last 16 of the League Cup with good grace.  I know this trophy is our fourth priority of the season, but it will not feel like that come the latter stages, should we get there, or even if we don’t.

Get past Dunfermline and there is a maximum of one away game before the neutral venue semi-finals.  This competition co-exists in the calendar with European group stage games, so it takes careful squad management to chart a successful course through them.

The League Cup represents every other teams’ best chance of getting a trophy off Celtic this season, especially so, if Celtic are the only side still in Europe.  As such, it takes on an importance it has seldom held since its inauguration in 1946.

This exceptional domination of Scottish football by Celtic has made every trophy, every game, more important.  This is why Brendan Rodgers was right to rest players for a Europa League game in Leipzig ahead of a League Cup semi-final against Hearts.  Conventional wisdom held that domination by a single team was bad for a sport, but there is a timeless truism: sport needs great champions for others to aspire to beat.  This is where Scottish football is right now.   Dunfermline have their chance in a few weeks.

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  1. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Jeez, whoever said it on the previous blog is right – the DR is really going for it today – it must be part of their financial strategy – sell as many copies in the close season by banging on like we used to because during the league, there’ll be evidence they are shi*e.

  2. This season’s League Cup is also very important because it is the first trophy Neil Lennon will contest as new Celtic manager. He has to win it because the SMSM will seize upon it as evidence of Celtic on decline/Lennon as inferior to Rodgers etc. We will then have to endure this rubbish until the end of the season when the winners of the League and Scottish Cup are known. If Celtic win the LC, Neil not only gives himself and the team respite but we strike terror into Sevco and the meeja because we will be the only team who can win another treble.

  3. petec on 29th July 2019 3:53 am


    What Time does the Barrow Bus Leave for the Holy Ground?




    Midweek games?








    Is this you taking up missionary work?

  4. Haven’t bought the DR for so long now I can’t even remember, long before the thugs and thieves garbage. Wouldn’t even casually glance at one now. Used to take the herald but stopped that around the time of Broadfoot, it was more to do with the blatant anti Catholic stance though. Only know what these rags spout now when others share it on here.


    Is it true Chris Union Jack ‘writes’ for the herald?


    Whisper it but Jabba was actually quite decent in his herald early days

  5. Back home and the donkeys very pleased to see us!


    Borgo67- you’re right, Jabba was decent back in the day but Ian Archer was around then to keep him in his place.

  6. TOSB 12.30pm



    Also Neil chasing a bit of personal history, first ever player & manger to win every domestic trophy in Scotland

  7. Borgo 12.47pm



    Trainor while at the DR used to send his articles for dodgy Dave the 1st to approve, total lapdog…



    His radio spat with Wee Chick was hilarious trying to outdo each other in their love of the original Huns :-)

  8. I love that statement from Club 1872.


    They completely conveniently forget 3 significant events and the key player in each.



    1. Sevco, facing financial ruin, desperate for cash to survive, approached Mike Ashley for a sub, 5 million pounds.


    2. Sevco, still facing financial ruin, desperate for even more cash to survive, approached Mike Ashley for the 2nd portion of the sub, another 5 million.


    3. Sevco, claimed victory over Mike Ashley, having torn up the existing merchandising agreement when in fact, they had paid 3 million pounds and signed up to what is the current merchandising deal.



    One man participated in all these transactions with Mike Ashley…..




    Sevconian amnesia …

  9. Does anyone know what the team is flying out today. My son has been down at the airport since lunchtime hoping to get some pictures but hasn’t seen anyone as yet. Thanks

  10. I can understand why the Huns are needed for Scottish football, I understand us v them is a draw for foreign players, also Scottish players as well … what I can never understand is why the likes of Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs & co let them away with blatantly flouting the rules … they are still signing players they can’t afford, Hibs in 4th place missed out on Europe as a team from Govan have been trading while insolvent … they are living on the never never payment scheme …



    I would be gutted if Celtic and our board ever acted like that mob

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Premier Sports not showing the game, as they can’t agree a deal with the home club

  12. Bada 14.27pm



    Whit bride wears a nightie ?



    I think somebody has let P67 know am on holiday so maybe that’s why it’s difficult to access the site :-)

  13. Trad88 2.47pm



    Stephen O’Donnell currently having a medical ….



    I just made that up, if the journos can make stuff up so can we ….



    Just saw the Klub72 statement on PhilMacs blog, thought this line was a belter speaking of the SD court ruling



    “it is not a positive situation to be on the wrong end of such decisions”



    Another cracker was the £1m cap has not been lifted ??? Comedy gold

  14. traditionalist88 on

    GFTB on 29TH JULY 2019 2:52 PM



    Yeah hilarious stuff to keep us amused… really bad but not unsurprising you’d have thought to be on the wrong end of the right decision when you’ve fecked up massively!



    Still hoping from more from us in the transfer window with pre season done and dusted,




  15. 📝 Talented Norwegian defender, Leo Hjelde, has agreed a three-year contract to join #CelticFC, subject to international approval.



    #WelcomeLeo! 🇳🇴

  16. traditionalist88 on

    I spoke too soon(kind of…)





    Celtic agree terms with talented young Norwegian defender



    CELTIC Football Club are delighted to announce that it has agreed terms with talented young player, Leo Hjelde, who has agreed a three-year contract to join the club, subject to international approval.



    Initially, the plan is for Leo to join the Reserve team squad, with a view to working towards the first-team.



    Leo Hjelde, who is 16 this summer, will be joining Celtic from Rosenborg, and is a highly-rated left-sided centre-back and has represented his country at Under-16 level. Leo’s father Jon, was also a centre-back and during his career played with both Rosenborg and Nottingham Forest.



    Leo said: “It is a real honour to join Celtic, I had a number of options in front of me, but I know that Celtic is the right place for me. I have had the opportunity to speak to many people within the club, including the manager, Neil Lennon, and that has been fantastic.



    “I know that the club will provide me with the best pathway for my future and I am really looking forward to the next few years of my career at such a fantastic club.”

  17. We have a defender in



    Celtic Football Club‏Verified account @CelticFC · 1m1 minute ago




    Talented Norwegian defender, Leo Hjelde, has agreed a three-year contract to join #CelticFC, subject to international approval.




    Got to admit I have never heard of him.

  18. Trad88 2.56pm



    I think we will actually make 3 more signings (one bigie) …. but dependant in European football .. if we make the CL at least 3 new faces, if we get by Kelju, Cluj/Maccabi then I think 2 new faces as we will be guaranteed Europa group stages …. am happy with the signings so far, really wanted Turnbull but hope we get him in January … a right back, midfielder and maybe a striker and I will be ecstatic :-)

  19. traditionalist88 on

    GFTB on 29TH JULY 2019 3:04 PM






    Yeah the whole O’Donnell/Hjelde thing, so easily confused ;)




  20. Bada 3.08pm



    Am afraid it’s what the big clubs do.. we need to explore every opportunity to attract the best youngsters … I don’t count the bhoy as a new signing but delighted the club are covering every angle possible

  21. No problem .


    Premier Sports has not been showing any games in my house because they have never managed to secure a deal with the home bill payer.


    The S.F.A signing this shower up for the cup competitions was a huge betrayal of the Scottish game.


    Not looking forward to next season either when the BT contract ends and SKY are the only show in town for league games.


    Not only do I hate their coverage but I hate their over inflated prices to help pay their EPL rights bill .




    In Scotland we have the worst of all scenarios.


    Huge football tv subscription costs with almost none of it going towards our own league!

  22. Buddy Morrisey on

    GFTB on 29TH JULY 2019 1:22 PM




    Also Neil chasing a bit of personal history, first ever player & manager to win every domestic trophy in Scotland



    Shirley, Billy McNeill played and managed winning teams in all trophies in Scotland

  23. Lazydynamite 3.16pm



    Sky are only interested in the Glasgow derby … but BT didn’t match their offer, like many others I wish Celtic could control their own matches but that will never happen …



    Celtic perform in a footballing backwater trying to entice players is hard enough and am afraid Sky is the only option for now ….

  24. Buddy 3.20pm



    My disclaimer was on yesterday’s blog it was mentioned by a twitter Celtic fan … did big Billy win the league cup as manager ? Obviously the league & Scottish Cup but don’t think the Skol Cup was won…



    I have been known to be wrong in the past … in fact usually wrong more than correct :-)

  25. Buddy Morrisey on

    GFTB on 29TH JULY 2019 1:22 PM





    Also Neil chasing a bit of personal history, first ever player & manager to win every domestic trophy in Scotland




    Shirley, Billy McNeill played and managed winning teams in all trophies in Scotland



    … and David Hay too, surely!

  26. Buddy 3.24pm



    Don’t think Davie Hay win the league cup either as manager with us



    Again …. I could be wrong



    Get googling … I canny be bothered :-)

  27. Buddy Morrisey on




    Wikipedia – Billy McNeill


    His five years in charge saw Celtic win three League championships, in 1978-79, 1980–81 and 1981–82, the Scottish Cup in 1979-80 and the League Cup in 1982–83. This period saw Celtic’s greatest competition come from the New Firm clubs – Aberdeen, who won the League championship in 1979–80, and Dundee United, who won the title in 1982–83.



    Davie Hay


    Scottish Cup 1985


    League 1986


    League Cup with Livingston 2004

  28. Buddy 3.28pm



    Just checked it looks like big Billy also captained and managed all domestic trophies … Davie Hay doesn’t count as his league cup was Livvy and unsure if he won the trophies with us as captain



    I will admit defeat …



    but if Neil Lennon wins the league cup he will be the first Irishman to win every Scottish domestic trophy as player & manager for the same club … ie Celtic 🍀 :-)

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