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State of the club report, year-end 2011

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My friends in Celtic, a year ago I signed off on 2010 by saying, “I have never spoken to less confident Celtic fans ahead of a game against Rangers than I have this week”.  Celtic had won only five of their previous 10 league games, seven of which were at home, but with a squad ravaged by injury, they found a formation which over several games dominated Rangers.

After three defeats and an Ibrox draw against 10-man Celtic, Walter Smith eventually got it right and beat Celtic at Hampden.  The league challenge floundered in a scrappy defeat at Inverness, the home team fought for everything and found some vulnerabilities in Celtic but the season ended on a high with the first trophy of the Neil Lennon era as the Scottish Cup was won at rain-soaked Hampden against Motherwell.

Neil Lennon, Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn all had to deal with more serious events than football in the first half of the year.  Bombs and bullets were sent to Celtic’s three Irish stars, prosecutions are pending.  These events put Scotland on the international news circuit in a very unwelcome light.  First Minister, Alex Salmond, promised to take action but instead of tackling a century-old anti-Catholic, anti-Irish tradition, his government passed a law which criminalised all sorts of non-sectarian, non-racist activity.

Despite this initiative taking on flagship status for the Scottish Government, Salmond has steadfastly refused to re-gather and publish information on sectarian attacks in recent years.  Policy has been made without reference to facts.

The new season brought great promise.  Neil Lennon had a year under his belt and was no longer up against Rangers’ most successful manager, instead he would face rookie Ally McCoist, but a humbling by Sion, ultimately neutralised by Uefa, and poor early season league form saw the manager consider his position.

A home defeat to St Johnstone and an utter collapse at Ibrox set the tone, but it was Kilmarnock’s three goal lead which caused Neil Lennon most concern.  The story of the second half comeback at Rugby Park is likely to take on legendary status in years to come, but as with much in life, it contained prosaic events.  Celtic came out of the dressing room like a condemned team and failed to register a genuine attempt on the Kilmarnock goal for 25 minutes.  Anthony Stokes struck a free kick which would have been stopped by most defensive walls but the Kilmarnock version was made of butter and Celtic had a platform to stage a comeback.  Killie’s reserve keeper, Jaakkola, failed to reach Anthony’s shot a few minutes later and Celtic were level six minutes after they realised they had a game of football to play.

In their next game Celtic failed to score at home to then-bottom Hibernian, allowing Rangers to open up a 15 point gap over their rivals, who by then were in third place, although with two games in hand over Rangers.  Celtic then went to Motherwell and promptly fell behind, our season hung by a thread, but it was that guy Stokes who again had the stomach for the fight.  Anthony equalised within minutes and Gary Hooper scored a late winner.

Celtic have not dropped a point since, while Ally McCoist and his boss, Craig Whyte, now look like the rookies they are.  They have lost three of their last six games, completing a collapse at Celtic Park on Wednesday night.

A year ago I reflected on the 46 players who played for Celtic during 2010 and suggested we would be better starting with a blank sheet of paper.  The league challenge ended in failure but 2011 didn’t.  This year ends with a coherent team strategy which could deliver the first sustainable and successful Celtic team in 40 years.  We have a young squad, on wages the club can afford, with a scouting and management team that have delivered a clutch of players destined to achieve an enormous amount in the game.

Despite the energy and excitement around Celtic Park, attendances are down.  Football is not as fashionable as it was three or four years ago.  For much of the season, we play in a cold, wet, environment against well-organised but defensive teams; it’s a hard sell.  We all know fans who have drifted from the stands, large areas of the stadium are now scarcely populated unless Rangers are visiting, which will impact income and subsequent expenditure.

Still, the shambles of 2010 has gone, Celtic look like a club with purpose and the tools to move forward with confidence. A two point lead at this stage of the season is largely symbolic but it’s a deserved honour that your team deserves.

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  1. Dushanbe Bhilly Bhoy

     

    Happy new year to you and your crew.

     

     

    I have a shift tonight with Dad’s taxis !

  2. ElDiegoBhoy says:

     

    31 December, 2011 at 18:52

     

     

    thomthethim

     

     

    Please pass on my regards to Noel.

     

     

    What age is Noel’s young fella now

     

     

    ******

     

    I would guess 9-10. Around the same mental age as his faither !!

  3. Heading out shortly with Mrs RobinBhoy for a wee Hogmanay drink.

     

     

    A Healthy and Happy New Year to all in Timdom when it comes!

     

     

    May the best of your past be the worst of your future!

     

     

    Hail Hail!

     

     

    RobinBhoy

  4. rileyskeepingthefaith on

    Hail Hail and a happy new year to every single one of you

     

     

    Lenny and Co thanks for catching the scum you have topped everyones new year celebrations

     

     

    Off out now to bring in the bells oneills here I come feel right at home in there

     

     

    T.A.L

  5. I’m buying a laptop, purely for use in the greenhouse.

     

     

    The BT Hub is about thirty feet away, if that.

     

     

    Could anyone recommend a basic machine that will allow my wife and I to watch games, listen to podcasts and all that kind of thing?

     

     

    Nothing fancy, but of good quality.

     

     

    I’d appreciate any help.

     

     

    Oh, and, Happy New Year when it comes!

  6. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    We know not what tomorrow or next year will bring;

     

     

    We only know it will bring Celtic and the followers of Celtic– a people of many types and in in many lands.

     

     

    Off now– but may I wish everyone a happy and successful New year in 2012.

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Brogan

  7. Well CQN another year gone, the one thing I will remember from this year is Pablophanque’s untimely death, however that event, from what I can gather, has had a significant impact on many CQNers. From my own personal perspective it has led to the CQN Golf Club where I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with some of you great people. Pablo’s death also led me to meeting BSR, BRTH and BlantyreKev – as I made a promise to myself that I would do what I had done with Pablo.

     

     

    I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2012 and I’ll leave you with a post I submitted the night of Pablophanque’s funeral…

     

     

    One other thing about this morning, I’m not very good at these things. When I arrived nice and early, I went straight in and got a seat in the Crematorium – it was full. There was an old song, My Happiness by Connie Francis playing. I thought it an unusual choice, but hey Pablo’s eclectic musical taste is legnedary (sp?). The coffin was brought in to this lovely old song – I did realise that something wasn’t right – they were starting half an hour early. But what is the protocol when you realise you’re in the wrong funeral? I chose to stay put!

     

    So RIP Margaret Campbell, you got a lovely send-off and I got 2 for 1 this morning, I was too embarrassed to tell anyone earlier.

     

     

    RIP Pablo – I’m sure you were smiling when I was singing Amazing Grace…..that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found…. ;-)

     

     

    I am also certain Pablophanque, wherever you are, you’ll be smiling down on your beloved hoops this week.

     

     

    God Bless all of you and your families.

     

     

    hh

     

     

    bjmac

  8. jhilday

     

     

    I bought the wife a second hand Dell Inspiron a couple of months back, it came with a 3 year warrenty, bought it from

     

    Europc

     

    Cardonald Business Park,

     

    Cardonald, Glasgow,

     

    Scotland UK G51 4EB

     

     

    Very helpfull, and a good price, less than 400, she is delighted with it.

  9. Bjmac

     

     

    Top class story sir

     

     

    I never knew about that.

     

     

    Thanks for the chuckle.

     

     

    I wish you had been wearing your Hoops ;-)

     

     

    Beautiful sentiments expressed very eloquently.

     

     

    I think when we make the film that scene will make the final cut.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  10. Mark \o/ McGhee's \o/ Eyeliner \o/ on

    Happy new year to all on CQN

     

     

    Hope you all have a good one.

     

     

    Peace and love to all

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    MME

  11. Don’t post as often as I used to but still a lurker!

     

     

    To all of you on CQN have a wonderful and blessed 2012!

     

     

    Will be raising a glass to those we have lost this year forever in our hearts!

     

     

    God Bless Happy New Year!

  12. THE EXILED TIM says:

     

     

    31 December, 2011 at 19:59

     

     

    That’s the kind of advice I’m looking for.

     

     

    As long as the signal reaches the laptop from the hub, I’m fine.

     

     

    I’ll check out these folk tomorrow.

     

     

    Thanks and enjoy your pool!

  13. Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

     

     

    It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.

     

     

    So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind Hang it on a shelfin good health and good time Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial For what it’s worth it was worth all the while

     

     

    It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.

     

     

    It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.

     

     

    It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.

     

     

    GreenYear2012CSC

  14. jhilday

     

     

    Bought my daughter a Dell Inspiron, her choice. She probably cost me more than I’d expected cos you can “customise” it but she’s very happy with it.

  15. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, salve salve;- I would like to wish all CQN’rs and their loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year when it comes.

     

    I wish you health, happiness, wealth and the time to enjoy them and offer prayer for all of you have lost loved ones.

     

    Greenwells

     

    Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum, Multa recedentes adimiunt

  16. jhilday

     

     

    The wife often sits outside well over 30 ft away from the router, works no bother.

     

    Dell are quality computers.

     

    As for the pool, will be a month or three before we are back in, it’s probably colder here at night than it is with you :<( warm during the day mind you.

     

     

    Have a guid new year.

     

     

    HH

  17. I wish you Happy New Year. Let the good times roll for all of you. Also wish you very strong wind on March 31st. The wind that will rise Celtic flag very high.

     

     

    Knoxy

     

    I can only imagine what is your the only wish for the comming year. I hope 2012 will treat Oscar and your whole family well, mate. God bless Oscar.

  18. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Canny wait for Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham tonight

     

     

     

    have a gid yin

     

     

    Love

  19. Jhilday- Ebay have a special offer on brand new Fujitsu laptops with a good amount of memory for only £279 delivered- I bought my son one for Christmas and his grunts seem to suggest that he is happy with it

     

     

    Happy New Year to all Timmites- especially Neil Lennon who made it such a good festive period

     

     

    Stairheed

  20. ElDiegoBhoy says:

     

     

    31 December, 2011 at 20:24

     

     

    That’s the kind of reassurance I need.

     

     

    I haven’t a clue.

     

     

    Thanks for that.

     

     

    Hail Hail!

  21. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    BRTH

     

     

    Not me my friend!

     

     

    Must have been some other good looking chap.

     

     

    As Bjmac will confirm!

     

     

    Hope you have a grat New Year!

  22. Minx,

     

     

    A Happy New Year to you and yours, keep looking out for you on match days but never seem to be in the same areas together.

     

     

    EDB and I were chatting about that night in the Indian Restuarant in the Merchant City, remember it well’

     

     

    Good to know that you are still at least lurking.

     

     

    We need you and your likes back to try and achieve some of the oldharmony and comradeship that CQN used to be famous for.

     

     

    Keep well and keep in touch,

     

     

    Martin42

  23. Stairheedrammy says:

     

     

    31 December, 2011 at 20:39

     

     

    I’ll check it out. Thank you.

     

     

    The Exiled Tim, and all who are out there, especially those who are on their own.

     

     

    God bless you all and grant you a happy and peaceful new year.

     

     

    Hail Hail!

  24. To 2012 , To all the Celtic family . may the year bring us all we hope and pray for, if not ,bring us the capability to dream of better days and the strength to get through the bad ones.

     

    Hail! Hail!

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