Team of 2012 put more illustrious Celts in shade


Much of our Champions League history was on show last night, apart from the fragility which has accompanied Celtic so often on the road.  The game was immeasurably more difficult than any challenge we face in domestic football.  The opening minutes were so stressful, otherwise composed players were spooked, but winning is all about how you react when you are spooked.  Do you crumble and concede an early goal?

With less than three minutes on the clock, and Spartak about to take their third corner kick, how many of us thought back to early goals lost in the opening minutes of recent European adventures?

Not for this team, who reacted to being spooked by scoring a genuinely top class goal.

It wasn’t until Spartak went down to 10 men that we made them look like Motherwell (the similarity in possession, passing, composure last night and on Saturday are remarkable) but, Spartak going down to 10 men was not the deciding factor in the outcome of the game.  Kris Commons should have won a penalty when Celtic were 0-1 up and Gary Hooper was clean through on the goalkeeper at the incident which led to the red card.

Once level, with 20 minutes remaining, the stage was Celtic’s, but a more illustrious (i.e. expensive and feted) Celtic team had the same stage against a weaker opponent in Anderlecht in 2003 but ended up losing the game.  Last night Hooper, Izaguirre, Samaras, Forrest and Brown went about their business in a steady and unspectacular fashion, exuding the confidence you need to win at this level.

No result is achieved in this competition without an enormous performance; just ask those who lost in Belgium nine years ago, including the proudest man in Europe last night.

Bring on the Salt ‘n’ Sauce Rangers.

The next issue of CQN Magazine is in the planning. If you would like to contribute an article, or advertise, let me know, articles@cqnmagazine.co.uk.

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  1. No doubt we will sell big Fraser and Hoops in the future.



    I would love them to get a few caps, much more bobs for the club.



    I wonder if there are still 20 strikers better than Hooper today, I still can’t think of 2 who are better.

  2. philvisreturns on

    corrib04 is Neil Lennon – I have a cap with fake bird poop on it, and the words “DAMN SEAGULLS”. (thumbsup)



    canamalar – When you have off the radar wealth like Craig Whyte, you don’t need to fund things.



    You don’t need to pay your taxes, creditors, or even the lawyers you hire to fend off your creditors.



    I hear Kelvinside Academy have excised him from the guest list for their next Prize Giving because they fear for the prizes.



    That’s just a scurrilous rumour I made up of course, but can you prove it isn’t true? (thumbsup)

  3. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    A lot of discussion regarding mcgeady today. Although I rate him highly, when I think back to his Celtic career, more often than not in the big games, especially at ibrox he tended to be a little anonymous. For me it was more of the same last night.



    When Forrest came on and performed so well, it did make me wonder if any rich Russian clubs took notice. Because in my opinion Forrest’s all round game looks a bit stronger than Aidan’s with respect to his age.

  4. Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman of Leeds United, Barnsley and Cardiff City football clubs, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for seven-and-a-half years, following an investigation by Company Investigations team in Manchester, part of The Insolvency Service.





    Diddy football clubs in dire straits need a strong Peter Risdale.

  5. corrib 04



    Usually support any team that plays england, if GH and FF play for them ill have to


    support them. On the same subject who was the last celtic player to be capped


    for england. Not googled it but im thinking chris sutton or peter latchford.


    At my age memory is a thing of the past.

  6. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. Champions. C’mon Wee Oscar.




    Sorry mate thats the problem with posting at work meetings interupt! lol We have no idea if its a Bhoy or a Ghirl yet its a surprise waiting to happen although we already have a wee Ghirl a Bhoy would complete the set!


    WRT the St Ettienne bike,let’s not forget he also hawked off some Arsenal shares for a right few bob.



    Would Capital Gains Tax be payable on them?



    I expect they had been in the club’s ownership for too long to qualify,but since he sold them PERSONALLY and pocketed the cash-no doubt to pay a bit of alimony or lawyer’s fees or summat equally pressing-the transaction should qualify for it.



    I demand to know!

  8. philvisreturns on

    corrib04 is Neil Lennon – Sadly I have the giant Irish head gene, so the greatest hat I have ever or will ever own doesn’t fit any more. (thumbsup)

  9. TBB @ 13.47



    “Funny what some folk take offence at.”



    You’re new to this blog, aren’t you? :)





    GG is correct,I don’t think either player you mentioned played for England while with us.



    In fact,Thommo might be the only one in our history.

  11. Kevin McCarrain in the grauniad…



    European tournaments often cast Celtic as underdogs. The drop in status from their commanding position in the Scottish Premier League has made it difficult to cope with away fixtures. The club have now bucked the trend by taking their first victory on foreign soil in the Champions League group stage. Spartak Moscow were beaten 3-2.



    The Russian club have not run amok in the transfer market despite being owned by Leonid Fedun, but their means are still well beyond those of Celtic. The Spartak lineup included Aiden McGeady, who had been sold by the visitors for around £10m in 2010. Celtic’s whole lineup on Tuesday cost only a little more than that sum.



    Spartak are not yet among the most extravagant of clubs but the billionaire Fedun has declared his intention of building a squad to equal Barcelona. Although Spartak were beaten 3-2 by the La Liga team at the start of this Champions League group, they had led 2-1 at Camp Nou.



    The Spartak manager, Unai Emery, checked himself from dwelling for long on injury troubles. Celtic were the true difficulty. Spartak coped so poorly that the defender Juan Insaurralde was sent off in the second half for a second caution. All the same, it would be rash to assume that the Scottish club can continue to prosper on their travels. They go to Barcelona next.



    It is unlikely Celtic will retain the standing they enjoyed in Moscow, but it looks as if their scouring of the world has come up with some bargains. All clubs of substance try to build an awareness of prospects around the globe, but it felt on Tuesday as if Celtic’s scouts had as much to celebrate as Neil Lennon and his players.



    Their right-back was Efe Ambrose, a Nigeria international bought from the Israeli club Ashdod in the summer. Celtic have taken an eclectic approach for a while and the late winner by Georgios Samaras in Moscow was set up by the Honduran Emilio Izaguirre, who was priced at around £600,000 by Motagua when he was sold to Celtic in 2010.



    Samaras, too, has prospered. He may not have had much standing when Manchester City sent him on his way to Glasgow for a fee of £1.5m at the beginning of 2008. The forward is an example of the sort of project that clubs with more cash and less patience are liable to avoid. Nonetheless, his merits are clear and, at present, Samaras is the outstanding performer for Celtic.



    He has always had athleticism and ability. For a long while those qualities have been employed selflessly as his hard running towards the left flank committed defenders and opened up space. Samaras, though, has started to prove that he is capable of doing more than just self-sacrifice in the cause of the team.



    Despite the exhilaration in Moscow, everyone at Celtic knows how steep the odds are against them when other clubs have such vast means. The economics of sport, however, force managers and chairmen to be innovative if their budgets do not run to purchasing players of undisputed excellence.



    There ought to be accolades for the three men at Celtic’s training ground. The trio research footballers who are often at work in obscure places. That, all the same, need not stop them from looking closer to home. Whether the forward Gary Hooper is truly a candidate for the England squad, as Lennon suggested, his value was apparent in his opener against Spartak.



    Fraser Forster, once third-choice at Newcastle United, may have even greater merit. This tall goalkeeper has the air of command that comes with regular appearances. Celtic would wish to see Forster as the epitome of a policy that brings out surprising excellence in players who have been undervalued or ignored.



    There is no guarantee that the team will go on to flourish in the Champions League or even the Europa League, should they drop into the latter tournament, but Tuesday’s fixture made optimism inescapable for at least a little while.

  12. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    I thought Lustig had a brilliant game last night; won everything in the air, a few good passes up the line, brilliant runs up the line, excellent set up for the first goal and when Forrest came on they used the ball well together. Very impressive.



    The hooper for England story is funny as he only becomes a thought for them cos he scored and played well in the champions league. You’d have thought they might have compared his scoring record in the championship with, say, 35m man Carroll. Or compared his SPL scoring record with, say, premiership sensation Jelavic. Or, actually watched the man play & score every so often. He’s a goal scorer, it’s not rocket science. England squad announced tomorrow… In my opinion there’s no chance they’ll select hooper. Cos he doesn’t play in the magical premiership & score against footballing greats such as Wigan, QPR, Norwich, Southampton, Fulham, Swansea ETC the list could go on.

  13. philvisreturns on

    The Battered Bunnet – I don’t see what the fuss is about.



    Thanks to the adventurous Scottish diet, a lot of Ayrshire men have buxom figures.



    If the First Minister of Scotland can have generous bosoms, why can’t the Bard? (thumbsup)

  14. Commons, who denies there has been


    any sort of falling-out with Levein,


    said: “It would be nice of him to tell


    me if I am not in his plans but at the


    minute I am in limbo.


    “Everyone seems to think I should be


    in the squad but the only man who


    doesn’t want me in the squad is the


    manager, so it would be nice to find


    out if he has a problem with my


    game or attitude.


    “I have no idea (why). I was called up


    last season a couple of times.


    “I have had no text message, no


    phone call, nothing from the SFA so it


    is kind of baffling for me but if Craig


    Levein genuinely thinks there are


    seven players better than me then


    that’s his view.


    “I am still disappointed not to be


    involved in the squad. I have to forget


    about it while they crack on and try


    to get a result against Wales and




    “So good luck to them and hopefully I


    can do enough to get into the next




    Does anyone remember the Spartak coach,after the draw,saying his club and Benfica would fight it out for second place?



    IIRC,football is not about people running after big hoofs up the park,or summat like that?



    Aye,enjoy yer humble pie,even if you’re right about the eventual qualifier,it’s a three-way fight.

  16. Quiet around here when we win, isn’t it?



    You are all too easily satisfied. I want to know how long it is since we won an away Champions League group tie on grass against a team that finished with eleven men on the park.



    And I blame Peter Lawwell. For everything.





    Guppy’s cap was in 99,long before he joined us-2002?





    Hoping to make the acquaintance of F McC at the weekend,who I believe is a friend of yours.

  19. Aiden like many of his illustrious team mates were not given the opportunity to perform last night . With the obvious astute studying of spartak pre the match by our management team and tactical awareness during the flow of a complex game the willing players were often seamlessly arranged and re arranged to nullify what was in front of them as the game progressed. Aiden is wonderful football player as the plaudits from highly esteemed names in football around the world agree.


    With ‘character, fortitude’ and so much more we won.


    ‘People underestimate Celtic’


    I don’t

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