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Teams with excuses often take them

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If you were sitting in the Cliftonville dressing room tonight, you would fancy your chances against Celtic.  They are a team reportedly playing the best football in their club’s history and are packed with professionals who are focussed on the task in hand.  Celtic have vastly greater resources, but the fact that we have a list of excuses ready for a below-par performance is concerning.

The plastic pitch, the departed Wanyama and possibly departing Hooper, the tactically non-existent preseason and the fact that the deciding game will take place in Glasgow next week, are all available excuses, and teams with ready-made excuses often take them.

None of the above hold water, though.  I would be surprised if Celtic players didn’t spend more time working on a plastic pitch at Lennoxtown than they spend on Celtic Park.  Wanyama and Hooper were each absent from substantial Champions League victories last season and whatever gave Celtic the blues in Germany is a consequence of poor form, not a reason for it.  Celtic can draw or even lose tonight and will still be favourites to proceed in the tournament but this is a game of football, and deserves to be respected as such.

The momentum for last season’s triumphs started to build after a solid win in Helsinki.  A win tonight in Belfast would take the pressure of next week, allowing Neil Lennon more freedom to prepare for future challenges.

No excuses, Celtic.

To kick off the new season we’re having an Internet Bampots session on Friday at the (always excellent) Columba Club in Blantyre. Paul McConville, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and myself will be on stage for a Question and Answer session from 19:30.

Tickets are available at the door. See you there.
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  1. need to know what channels are broadcasting the game…I’m in Moscow rat the moment

     

     

    Closest I’ve been to Podium LOL

  2. Hello, CQN.

     

     

    July – lazy month of bleached out summer nothingness. And yet here we find ourselves, ready (not really) to watch Celtic play their first competitive game.

     

     

    The absence of Hooper and Wanyama will hit us hard on the pitch this year- there’s no getting away from that. One may argue as to how good they actually were, but the fact remains they were both mainstays of the team, at the heart of midfield and attack. Their going will signal a drop in quality this year, as even if Lenny were to get hold of a Hooper and Wanyama MK II, they would have to be nurtured and developed in the same way the originals were. No matter – progress is rarely continuous, much as we’d like it to be.

     

     

    Looking ahead to tonight, I’ve no idea what team should be put out, but the up for it opposition and odd pitch will make it a game for battlers and improvisers. With that in mind, Brown and Stokes may have key roles to play. Whatever Cliftonville throw at us, we need a solid result. The thought of another Celtic trademarked catastrophe is too much for my heat-addled brain to contemplate.

     

     

    Hail Hail, and a happy 2013/14 to all.

  3. Samaras

     

    “Celtic made a lot of sacrifices for me and I

     

    did for them also. We have an understanding

     

    relationship and that’s why I have been here

     

    for nearly six years.

     

    “I have a great relationship with the manager

     

    and if he wants me, I want him as well.

     

    “I’m still young at 28 and I can see myself

     

    here for a few more years. I’d never say no to

     

    a new contract, if they offer me something we

     

    can discuss it.

     

    “Will I finish my career here? It’s difficult to

     

    say as I don’t know when I will finish. It could

     

    be at 33, 35 or 37.

     

    “You never know how your body will react with

     

    age. I need to be playing at the top of my

     

    game but I still feel good at Celtic and I think

     

    they feel good about me too.

     

    “I just want to keep winning trophies with

     

    Celtic.”

  4. kikinthenakas on

    Hoops to win 1-2….had my breakfast beer and now heading for a wee swim before making a day of it……very hot here in Lanzarote today…

     

     

    Kikinthenakas

  5. The Boy Jinky on

    Ylrcu

     

     

    Bt is in his exercise bike methinks

     

     

    Twisty

     

     

    Cheers… first goal of the new season… should raise my confidence and hoping to score again soon ;)

  6. Excuses are for losers….we have known this game was on the horizon for some time.

     

    All pre-season arrangements should have been made to ensure readiness for this game, clearly things did not go as smoothly as planned. However I strongly suspect Celtic knew that both Wanyama & Hooper would not be participating so we should have no talk of possible difficulties etc.

     

     

    If we cannot match the appetite / workrate / determination of our opponents then something IS badly wrong – no matter what side we put on the park we will have superior players in EVERY position to Cliftonville.

     

     

    Motivation should not be a problem, neither is the artificial surface…do our talking where it really matters & take control of the game from the start.

  7. Tamlaghtduff Bhoy on

    Celtic should really be beating cliftonville with ease tonight. I watched cliftonville a few times last season and they are a good “irish side” side but we are levels above them.

     

    Our class should prevail!

     

    Hail Hail

  8. time for change on

    Welcome back Paul..

     

     

    From memory we’ve won the last few games we’ve played on plastic pitches more the balance of the team will be the issue.

     

     

    stay safe all of you attending the match.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  9. Welcome back Paul, important Celtic win tonight not just to get through but it is also vital to gather as many UEFA co-efficient points as possible.

  10. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    FAVOURITE UNCLE

     

    11:55 on

     

    17 July, 2013

     

    bournesouprecipe

     

    09:59 on

     

    17 July, 2013

     

    Barman :”the password is Leo Messi because he’s the best footballer in the world”

     

     

    Me: “and where can I watch the best football club in the world tonight?”

     

     

    Barman ” Ah………. Celtic fantastico……. Larsson”

     

     

    Pollenca CSC

     

    which bar???i’ll be there next monday 12noon.pollensa park hotel all inclusive !!!!!! domestos wine pash beer.know place well been going 21years.

  11. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    GMP Tameside‏@GMPTameside1h

     

    Man arrested in Mossley after driving around the town with a megaphone shouting “when I say rooney you say c**t..”

  12. I think we’ll get off and running tonight, don’t know if NI is far enough into Europe for Sammy to score though.

  13. Play the pressing game and we will win by 2 or 3. Sit back and we could be in big trouble.

     

    KTF

  14. Some great pics on official fb page of players meeting the locals last night..

     

    The good locals of course. .

  15. parkheadcumsalford- (from earlier) It was magnificent mate, as good as you see on TV, in fact better.

     

     

    Weather was perfect, 25C, cloudless evening.

     

     

    First half of the show used material they played in Amsterdam for the coronation of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. They are very proud of their hard working Royal Family.

     

    And they played YNWA……sung brilliantly by 3 girls and 3 guys in….Orange sashes (kid you not).

     

     

    Second half also had the massed pipes and drums, Scotland the Brave and Amazing Grace with Andy Murray and the Wimbledon trophy- which he won only hours earlier- on the big screen. Blown away.

     

     

    We stayed in a small town called Valkenburg, a 10 minute train journey from Maastricht. Fantastic place. We also visited Liege in Belgium, only 30 mins away and visited Haarlem when we were in Amsterdam.

     

     

    Truly wonderful weekend, would highly recommend it to you.

     

     

    HH

  16. twists n turns on

    curly

     

    rubbish – -jist try and bend your run a wee bit better the next time. Timing man, timing.

  17. twisty –

     

     

    “run”? “run”? Are you mad? The closest I get to a run these days is when I have a cold and my nose gies it laldy!

     

     

    Ahm closer to ruin than run . . . . .

     

     

    Clyru

  18. Any Celts on Costa del Sol give me CQNformation on ‘Our Bar’ in Calahonda? Is it likely to show the game tonight? Is it a safe place for me and the Mrs.

     

    Any other recommendations?

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Anyone who missed BRTH’s post at the end of the last article – read back!

  20. Williebhoy u are 200% correct we have indeed know those players were leaving. We pay Peter lawell a lot of money to prepare

     

    No excuses

  21. Okay folks I managed to devote a wee bit of time to The List last night so there’s starting to see a little meat on the bone now but

     

     

    obviously starting late in the madness of a summer transfer window means I missed a fair few rumours.

     

    So if you know of anyone I might have missed please let me know.

     

     

    Anyway here’s the latest batch.

     

     

    ————————————————

     

     

     

    Players in:

     

    ———–

     

    Name Age Position Club Price

     

    —- — ——– —- —–

     

    Van Dijk – 22 – Defender – Groningen – £2M

     

    Balde – 22 – Striker – Vitoria S.C. – £1.7M

     

    Mouyokolo – 26 – Midfielder – No club – Free

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Players out:

     

    ———–=

     

    Name Club Price

     

    —- —- —–

     

    Rogne – Wigan – Free

     

    Gershon – Waasland-Beveren – Loan deal ended

     

    Murphy – Ipswich – Free

     

    McCourt – No new club – Free

     

    Lassad – No new club – Released

     

    Miku – Getafe – Loan deal ended

     

    Noring – Trelleborgs FF – Loan deal ended

     

    Keating – Brisbane Raor – Free

     

    Wanyama – Southampton – £12.5M

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Rumoured transfer in:

     

    ———————

     

    Keepers

     

    ——-

     

    Name Age Club Source Price

     

    —- — —- —— —–

     

    Westwood – 28 – Sunderland – Various – No fee mentioned

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Defenders

     

    ———

     

    Name Age Club Source Price

     

    —- — —- —— —–

     

    Hutchinson – 22 – Motherwell – Daily Express – No fee mentioned (29/05)

     

    Dja Djedje – 22 – PSG – Daily Sevco – No fee emntioned (02/06)

     

    Dummett – 21 – Newcastle – The Journal – No fee mentioned (05/06)

     

    Mongongu – 23 – Evian – BBCSport – No fee mentioned (17/06)

     

    Nagatomo – 26 – Inter Milan – Evening Times – £1.5-2M (20/06)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Midfielders

     

    ———–

     

    Name Age Club Source Price

     

    —- — —- —— —–

     

    McClean – 26 – Sunderland – Daily Star – £2M (26/05)

     

    Patosi – 20 – Lokeren – Daily Mail – £2M (03/06)

     

    Ljajic – 21 – Fiorentina – BBCSport – No fee mentioned (05/06)

     

    Newton – 21 – Newcastle – The Journal – No fee mentioned (05/06)

     

    Claasen – 23 – Lierse – STVSport – Free (17/06)

     

    Mackay-Steven – 22 – Dundee Utd – Various – £1M (05/07)

     

    Bruns – 21 – Heracles Almelo – STVSport – No fee mentioned (11/07)

     

    Tié Bi – 22 – Evian – STVSport – No fee mentioned (11/07)

     

    Lukasik – 22 – Legia Warsaw – STVSport – No fee mentioned (11/07)

     

    Yadin – 26 – Maccabi Haifa – Celticrumours – £700K (11/07)

     

    Malanda-Adje – 18 – Zulte Waregem – Various – No fee mentioned (11/07)

     

    Barbosa – 26 – Braga – Celticrumours – No fee mentioned (12/07)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Strikers

     

    ——–

     

    Name Age Club Source Price

     

    —- — —- —— —–

     

    Deeney – 25 – Watford – Sunday Post – No fee mentioned (30/05)

     

    Sagbo – 25 – Evian – Daily Sevco – No fee mentioned (02/06)

     

    Cole – 29 – West Ham – Various – Free (13/06)

     

    Goncalves – 22 – Rio Ave – The Scottish Sun – £400K (13/06)

     

    Doyle – 29 – Wolves – Various – No fee mentioned (16/06)

     

    McFadden – 30 – No club – Various – Free (04/07)

     

    Tomlin – 24 – Peterbourough – TeamTalk.com – No fee mentioned (06/07)

     

    Janko – 30 – Trabzonspor – Celticrumours – £2M (07/07)

     

    Austin – 24 – Burnley – Various – No fee mentioned (10/07)

     

    Becchio – 29 – Norwich City – Daily Mail – Player plus cash for Hooper (12/07)

     

    Ardemagni – 26 – Atlanta – Italian press – No fee mentioned (12/07)

     

    Sharp – 27 – Southampton – Various – No fee mentioned (14/07)

     

    Saviola – 31 – Malaga – Scotsman – Free (16/07)

     

    Toure – 27 – Monaco – Inside Futball – £3M (16/07)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Rumoured transfer out:

     

    ———————-

     

    Name Source Price

     

    —- —— —–

     

    Foster – Various – £6M to Southampton/Sunderland/Everton

     

    Forrest – Talksport – £5M to Spurs

     

    Hooper – Various – £4.5M-£5.5M to Norwich/QPR/Reading/cardiff

     

     

     

    Oh and welcome back Paul..

     

     

     

    Until next update!

     

     

     

     

    HH

     

    /Bishop B

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