Stiliyan, Henrik, Scott, Brendan, Stoichkov and Mendieta


I listened to Stiliyan Petrov talk calmly about cancer yesterday, as he sat with Liverpool’s James Milner ahead of your Foundation’s Match for Cancer next month.  Just a few decades ago, his recovery would be considered miraculous.

Cancer will affect one in every two of us.  That rate is higher than ever, as people live longer, but, what was a death sentence all too recently, is now treatable and often curable.

If you have been around CQN for long enough, you will know stories like Stiliyan’s are not always how things conclude.  We have lost too many of our number, and more of our loved ones, to this awful disease.

So the work goes on.  In memory of those we have lost, in appreciation of those who have come through successful treatment, and in that hope that our futures are increasingly spared.  Cancer success stories are one of the wonders of the modern world, and while millions suffer this illness, millions more contribute to the cause of treating and eradicating it.

The game itself will be a gathering of the Celtic clans, not just because of the way this disease has touched so many, but because Henrik will once more grace Celtic Park, as will Lubo, the brilliant Hristo Stoichkov, and the phenomenal Gaizka Mendieta.

Scott Brown will play too and Brendan is manager of Stiliyan’s team.  The great and the good are touched by this affliction, which is rapidly being controlled thanks to the efforts of millions.

The game takes place on Sunday 8 September (it’s an international break).  Tickets cost £14 or £6 concessions.  You can buy them here.

I Look forward to seeing you there.

Welcome to Celtic, Daniel Arzani.  The 19-year-old winger-come-central defender (lighten up, honestly!) arrives on a two year loan, having joined Manchester City a few days ago.

A word of caution – an away game in the League Cup is not the game I would choose to play tomorrow.  Get the job done professionally, Celtic.

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  1. J53 @ 9.47



    Sorry that analysis is a dog that don’t hunt.


    You are missing the replacement dimension.



    BR said no because there was no replacement lined up.


    Take that onboard and everything makes sense.



    Just for the record — are you / were you a middle manager?

  2. HS @ 10.01



    His input into the last 13/14 years has been a record of failure.


    Luckily he has had a couple of managers to help fix things.

  3. PB @ 10.09



    But at least you read it.


    My thoughts on the matter — time will tell if it is / was close to the mark.




    They are backing an unproven manager. We are not backing a proven manager.



    We still have a couple of weeks yet , but of course you are correct in the fact that BR identified 2 players and we know we did’nt try hard enough for one of them .



    Time will tell if he gets the backing players he / we deserve .






    In a few years i’ ll be SIXTY also ??hoopy buffday young msn

  5. Happy Birthday to LENNYBHOY have a great day !! DELANEYS have a great weekend enjoy big Ashcroft !!

  6. Madmitch, I take on board what you are saying about the replacement situation. That would be the ideal. But you know as well as I do that it doesn’t always work out that way. Fulham came into the picture about at least a month ago. With 9 million! Still plenty of time in the transfer window. Do you honestly think his absence from the team makes much difference? He is a very average player. Our defensive problems are much bigger than just him.



    How has it worked out with Brendan holding on to him? I wonder if we will get 9m for him now.



    Brendan should have listened to his own comments from last December.

  7. DELANEYS DUNKY on 18TH AUGUST 2018 10:01 AM



    When I used to work in Liverpool a few years ago I went to O’Neills (chain pub) on Hanover Street in the city centre of TVs and is it’s not on one of them they’ll switch one of them over.




    Sleeping bags, overnight packs and kerryoot organised here, heading for ML3 sometime after the game will


    text you as it would be good to coincide.

  9. Delaneys Dunky on



    Thanks pal. My son has been in touch with the Irish Centre Toxteth. They have invited us to watch the Jags match and then a lift to Goodison. Happy Days





    What are you like?




  11. mullet and co 2 on




    The key issue is how to manage £50m expansion and contraction swing on an annual basis.


    We don’t have confidence in the scouting to be willing to go out and sign a player without. Loan period first or a ringing endorsement from Manchester City.


    There are about 15 years worth of evidence now of the same plan being in place with a few times when we stepped outside of loan before you buy or paid a low price or paid a fee to Man City.



    Simunovic, Pukki, Boerrigter, Sinclair, Kouassi, Sviatchenko, Scepovic, Johansen, Armstrong, Van Dyke, Hooper, Juarez, Fortune, Ki, Loovens, Maloney, Brown, Donati, Hinkel, Jarosik, JVOH, Gravesen, Nakamura, Zurawski.



    These are all players costing over £2m who have not come through Man City, not been on loan. It’s a very small list. 8 I think were signed in Strachan era and I would say each one apart from Gravesen were a success.



    The Mowbray era signings are ok. Fortune was one piece of Mowbrays jigsaw he didn’t complete and was a bit of a disappointment considering the fee.



    Neil Lennons period has one belter in VVD and one better than decent in Hooper and Juarez a disaster. Followed by eh Pukki and Boerrigter.



    Ronny’s era there were 3 bad ones , 1 not bad and 1 good one.



    Rodgers has Sinclair who has delivered and would go for the same or better fee. Kouassi not sure yet but still time. Last week the Monday morning quarter backs had him as a replacement for Brown then changed their mind after 1 bruising encounter.



    There are a few observations. The cornerstone of the current Celtic team are the players who either came through the youth system, signed at an early age from abroad ( Rogic) or came from another Scottish club (Brown). All known quantise coached and gelled as part of the same culture and improved by each coach we have had.



    With that said, there is a downward trend in the success of supplementing that core with quality and high transfer fee players. Strachan has a great transfer record in reflection. It’s anorher interesting point that coaches have signed their better players at the start of their tenure. This may be because they personally identify players while they are unemployed or bring knowledge of players from elsewhere.



    We either stop signing players over £2m and use the Man City or low cost route to sign players in order to get quality or we get better at scouting players who cost more than £2m.



    Every other club of our size seem able to identify players scout them do their homework and manage the risk of signing them. We haver delay and ask for a loan first much to the frustration of our coaches.



    Might do a wee comparison with a European club in a future post to see how they supplement their squad with players over £2m and how this helps the team.

  12. Madmitch



    “ BR said no because there was no replacement lined up.




    Take that onboard and everything makes sense. “



    There was no replacement CB because BR “ wanted to keep “ Dedryk Boyata and he’s on record as saying so.



    Celtic fans are objecting to a status quo where there was clearly no plan to buy CB’s when we had Boyata Ajer Hendry and Simunovic.



    Whether we like it or not that was the plan.



    Dedryk Boyata’s antics which couldn’t have been foreseen from a professional footballer and to a lesser extent the unpredictable nature of Jozo Simunovic.



    Not a good plan?



    Identical to the plan every year for at least 7 titles in a row, no major CB’s or Defenders signed in time for the qualifiers.

  13. Caught 15 mins of the Birmingham Swansea match last night, had to laugh at that rocket Oli McBurnie having the cheek to laugh at us, fewest touches on the pitch he had according to the graphic, he is rank rotten. Cant imagine how that will go down when he rocks up for Eck’s hun infested Scotland camps with some of our boys.

  14. J53 @ 10.22



    You are pushing generalist comments against a specific situation.



    We could not be seen to be reacting in that manner to a player request t in the run up to a CL game — the whole of the club must be focused on getting to the group stages of the CL.



    That is the big prize, the primary function of the club over the summer.


    Maximising your return on a specific player is secondary.



    We are in a bad place primarily through the ego and incompetence of our CEO.


    When we solve that problem we can work on the others.

  15. BSR @ 10.56



    Managers come and go …



    However PL still calls the shots — badly is the general agreement — and the bonuses keep getting collected.



    How many times has that plan stopped us from qualifying for the CL group stages?



    4 or 5?



    How much revenue has the club missed out on?


    £90 mill gross / £60mill net?



    What could we have done with that extra cash?


    PL — the charge sheet gets longer every year.

  16. Delaneys Dunky on



    As my mammy who loves you, says about me.


    If I fell in the Clyde, I would swim out with a salmon in each pocket.



  17. Madmitch, let me be very specific, Boyata is a very average player. Whether before the CL qualifiers or not. He is as likely to have a howler as Jozo or Hendry (who shouldn’t be in this position yet).



    I agree with your comments about Lawwell but BR cannot be above some criticism too. He seems to be like other managers who hate spending on defence. You know the ‘romantic’ idea that it doesn’t matter about defence as long as we score more goals.



    Look back to MON, he built from the back.

  18. Feckin August and I can hear Scotland’s shame with their drums, probably on Duke street, certainly not in the Garngad. It’s went on for ages.



    Anyway whoever dons the hoops, please give us an emphatic victory.






    D. :)

  19. The other Grand Old Team: Belfast Celtic’s return could open old wounds in Northern Ireland







    IF you know your history, Belfast Celtic is one of the most famous names in football.



    The team has not played a competitive fixture for nearly 70 years, but former players like Jimmy Jones and Charlie Tully are immortalised in the murals along the Falls Road.



    Belfast Celtic withdrew from the Irish league in 1949 having won 14 championships and eight Irish Cups. They have never been replaced and the repercussions are felt to this day.



    Now, another West Belfast club is hoping to resurrect the Grand Old Team.




    The chairman of Sport and Leisure Swifts, Jim Gillen, says he has a business plan and the financial backing to create a side that will eventually compete at the top level.



    “We have people behind us who are putting their money in,” he said. “They are going to arrange for us to get players in. It is just such a positive thing for the area, we just felt it was too good to pass up.



    “It’s not opportunism, it’s not money making, it’s for the young lads who stand on street corners and do nothing. We want to give them the opportunity to come on board and become footballers.”



    Sport and Leisure play in the shadow of the Black Mountain on the edge of West Belfast. Their single stand has a capacity of a few hundred and an electricity pylon passes over the pitch.



    It seems a long way from the old Celtic Park in the heart of the Falls, where crowds of 30,000 regularly gathered on Saturday afternoons.



    Football writer Barry Flynn says that Belfast Celtic weren’t just a name, they were part of the social fabric of West Belfast.



    “On the streets of where they came from, in West Belfast, they were an institution and the people flocked to Celtic Park in their thousands,” he said.



    “There was a famous saying: when we had nothing we had Belfast Celtic and when we had Belfast Celtic we had everything. The club meant so much to the people on the streets and their heroes came from within those streets.”




    The men in green and white were good enough to beat the Scottish international team 2-0 during a tour of America, in 1949, when Scotland were British champions.



    Colour archive of the game shows the players parading around the Triboro stadium in New York. It was the last time that Scotland ever played a match against a club side – and one of the last games that Belfast Celtic ever played.



    The club’s directors decided they could no longer carry on after the players were attacked in a sectarian riot at the end of the Boxing Day derby against rivals Linfield, at Windsor Park.



    Striker Jimmy Jones was knocked unconscious and his leg was broken as he tried to leave the pitch. He was lucky to escape with his life, but the police didn’t make a single arrest or even draw their batons to protect him.



    The withdrawal of Belfast Celtic was as significant for the Irish league as the permanent absence of Rangers would have been for the game in Scotland.



    Flynn comments that the team was at the height of its powers and its departure left a gaping hole in Irish football that has never been filled. The consequences reverberated far beyond the terraces.



    Fans say it told Catholics in Northern Ireland that the state wouldn’t protect them or allow them to compete on equal terms — in sport, the workplace or politics.



    But the proposal to revive the Belfast Celtic name has opened up wounds both old and new.



    The memory of the Grand Old Team is kept alive by the Belfast Celtic Society, which created Ireland’s first football museum at a shopping centre on the site of the old stadium. Its empty units are haunted by the ghosts of former glories.




    As a boy, Charlie Tully Jnr was allowed on to the pitch for kickabouts with his dad, who starred for Belfast Celtic before going on to become a legend at Parkhead, playing in the famous side that beat Rangers 7-1 in 1957.



    He is not convinced that Sport and Leisure can live up to the name of his heroes.



    “A lot of the players were local, like my dad,” he said. “So you could go out and do your shopping and bump into Cheeky Charlie and stop and have a chat, something that probably wouldn’t happen nowadays and there was an incredible love and feeling from the community for the club at that level.



    “I think that unfortunately this is not the right way to bring Belfast Celtic back. I think this is possibly an opportunity that has been seen to simply take the name and do something with it.



    “Don’t get me wrong when I say Belfast Celtic cannot come back. It would be incredible if they could but it would take millions of pounds and some sort of really futuristic planning to make it come back.”



    West Belfast remains the only part of Northern Ireland’s biggest city without a leading football club.



    It is just one example of deprivation in a community that saw some of the worst violence of the Troubles and is still an unemployment blackspot – 11 of the 19 wards in the constituency are ranked in the 10 per cent most deprived wards in Northern Ireland.




    Flynn says that during the 1970s and 80s the community was marginalised and even demonised. The Rainbow flags flying from Republican bars are a sign of how things have changed.



    The annual parade for this year’s Feile cultural festival saw Gerry Adams walking his dog down the Falls Road alongside Basque folk dancers, circus performers, Chinese dragons and local kids singing their hearts out. If it was successful, Belfast Celtic coming back would be another boost to the area, bringing pride to the streets of West Belfast.



    It would also revive a rivalry with Linfield that historically shared the same tribal characteristics as Glasgow’s football divide. Some supporters of the Blues fear that the fixture would attract flag wavers and sectarianists who were not there for the football.



    Looking out across the pitch at Glen Road Heights, Gillen rejects those concerns and insists that his club have always been cross-community.



    “There are lads who are out there training this morning, some of them aren’t Catholics. We have just been the type of a club that embraces everybody. Belfast Celtic were the same. They were always a club that signed you on your football ability, not on your religion. And I don’t see anything harmful in a team from West Belfast competing on the same level as teams from South, East and North.”



    Sport and Leisure are disappointed that the Irish Football Association has not approved the change in time for their new season, which kicks-off this afternoon with a match against Armagh City.




    Whatever the team is called, to win hearts and minds on the streets of West Belfast they will need to deliver on the park.



    (Andrew McFadyen is a journalist with Sky News, where you can see more on this story. Andrew has donated his fee for this piece to the Belfast Celtic Society)

  20. Today’s starting line up ……



    Bain ; Gamboa, Hendry, Ajer , Izaguirre; Brown, Ntcham; Johnston, Rogic Sinclair; Griffiths




    Subs: Gordon, Simunovic, Dembele, Hayes, Lustig, McGregor, Forrest




  21. mullet and co 2 on

    Here’s a few examples of clubs signing centre backs for over £2m then playing them and the club then enjoying associated success with a bump in the players value as a result.





    Kevin Vogt signed for Hoffenheim for £2.7m in 16/17 now worth over £10m.



    Benjamin Pavard signed for £4.5m for Stuggart – we all saw his World Cup.



    That’s a 2 min search. The number of centre halves in Europe that we could scout are pretty much endless but we restrict to those at Man City or clubs willing to let us take on loan.

  22. mullet and co 2 on

    MON converted Mjallby to a centre back bought Balde for a song and paid about 3.5m for valgarren and then didn’t get the best from him by playing him on the left of a back 3. He also brought in the guy from Spurs at nontransfer fee and Stan Varga for very little.



    Hardly spent a fortune.

  23. Madmitch



    However PL still calls the shots badly is the general agreement and the bonuses keep getting collected



    I agree Peter Lawwell is a very powerful and influential figure in Scottish Football but it shouldn’t amount to the Celtic Internet going full Follow Follow on him.



    He’s been very successful in the main, with varying degrees of the speculate to accumulate type detractors and other downright haters, who just have to, well……………hate.



    His influence on ‘how much we pay’ for players is probably the most hyperbolic extremes of the Celtic internet but bean counter or book keeper, he isn’t.



    As you know it’s not he, that sets his own bonus, he merely gets to spend it, the heated drives and such like.



    There is no doubt that when the dust settles on yet another title and Scottish Cup final , – Celtic don’t begin a race to sign more mega players, crammed in before we play Lincoln Red Imps or whoever.



    You could argue with the plan, as you do, I hope we’re as successful as we are if it changes for next year.

  24. Lawell is angry that Brendan placed him in a situation where he couldn’t bring in £10m for Boyata. That’s £10m off the balance sheet along with the loss of CL earnings. I think Brendan will leave at some point this season as DD will not get rid of Lawell. Despite my frustrations with him which began with the Willo Flood transfer window, he is an excellent CEO who has negotiated a lot of important sponsorship deals and has a EUFA profile. I just wish he wasn’t so intransigent in transfer dealings.



    Only my opinion on current situation.

  25. I seem to have lost the first half of my post above after 6 attempts at posting it. My iPad keeps crashing. I can’t be arsed typing it out again. It concerned previous reports that Boyata was stalling on his contract and that his agent was not taking calls from Celtic. I was also surprised that a replacement hadn’t been scouted and that Brendan seemed happy to enter this season with Boyata even though he had only one year on his contract. Phew!

  26. So is Peter Lawell the Sharp Suited Man or St. Peter, Lover Of Big Bonuses (SPLOBB) both courtesy of ETims?



    Time will tell. Incidentally the most cringeworthy criticism about Lawell is the constant reference to the type of driveway he has. Total pish.

  27. Dexter P. Bampot on

    SS sharpest as has been in long time. Lovely skill to set up goal.



    TR looking good too.



    Bit concerned re set piece defending. Total height mismatch there with Patrick defender McGinty towering over SB and EI. Easy header for him

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