The Alkmaar gamble ahead of Thursday


You and I have watched enough European qualification games to know that fitness is perhaps the biggest determinant in success.  In this respect, we should be ahead of AZ Alkmaar, who have played only two competitive games comparted to Celtic’s nine.

Despite this, AZ pressed Celtic back for much of the final 15 minutes last week, an indication, perhaps, of a higher baseline.

From a fitness perspective, Celtic’s game against St Mirren could not have gone better.  They sharpened the tools in the first half and no player was physically taxed to the extent that it would inhibit performance five days later.

AZ, meanwhile, got their fixture against Fortuna Sittard postponed to allow them time to prepare for Celtic.  That is a big gamble.  AZ need to be rested, especially as their game plan is likely to involve extra time, but two games and two defeats into their season, a home game against the side who finished 11th last term would be welcomed by others.

We have a recent reference point for taking a 2-0 first leg lead to the Netherlands.  A Utrecht team who were poorer than AZ did not even need extra time to see them through.  The Dutch, it seems, arrive in August fit and ready.  Let’s hope AZ’s weekend off proves unhelpful.


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  1. Will be interesting to see AP’s tactics, we don’t need to chase the game,can he play a different way?

  2. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Clancy is the most miserable-faced person I’ve ever seen – looks like somebody pinched his football as a wean and he never had a game since.






  3. Ange will NOT change the way he plays, if we play the way he wants us to play then he’s hoping we will outscore them, por cierto.

  4. Clancey is a terrible Ref. He is terrified of being labelled as a closet Tim and overcompensates by giving decisions against Celtic. At a Tim free Ibrox I fear he will be a disaster for us.

  5. All out Ange ball and we go through.



    Let them worry about us but in their final third.






    D :)

  6. Angeball lite for me Paul67…



    Drop a Rogic for a McCarthy (if fit) or Soro and be less gung ho. We don’t need to.



    Hit them on the break




  7. Tom McLaughlin on




    You mentioned Jock raging at Bertie but couldn’t remember the circumstances.



    Could it have been a Glasgow Cup semi-final against Queen’s Park at Hampden in 1965?



    Celtic won 5-0. In the first half Bertie was in possession out on the left as a couple of defenders approached. He stopped, bent forward with his arms outstretched, put his hands either side of the ball as if to pick it up before at the last second kicking it down the wing to Lennox, leaving his two opponents red faced.



    Big Jock ran to the touchline and roared at Bertie. As the reams left at half-time, Jock waited for Bertie at the touchline and shouted, “Don’t let me see you humiliate a fellow player like that ever again.”

  8. theRangers F.C. v Celtic F.C.


    cinch Premiership


    29/08/2021 12:00pm Ibrox Stadium


    Referee:Kevin Clancy




    David McGeachie




    Frank Connor


    Fourth Official


    John Beaton

  9. Clancy ffs….coward…….honestly would rather have madden



    Big week……and old darts saying….scoring for show doubles for dough….. let’s check out celtic…..tho I’d take two draws right now

  10. Listen,which Ref do you want?.No matter who,it would,rightly so,been a moan.It is what it is,what its always been,let’s just gun them,like we have done so many times before with equally as bad officials.

  11. The Battered Bunnet on

    A wee public health message…



    In Scotland we now – today – have the highest number of new cases of Covid-19 ever reported.



    New cases have more than doubled in the past week and continue to gallop ahead.



    It’s likely that around 4% of 18-24 year olds are currently infectious. That figure will probably grow in the coming days.



    If you haven’t yet, go get yourself jagged. It takes a jiffy, you’ll likely have a sore arm for a few days, but you’ll reduce your risk of serious Covid illness by ~90%.



    There are drop in clinics all over the country, per this link:

  12. Tom


    I vaguely recall the Clyde game (end of Lisbon Lions) and thought Bertie sat on the ball with Jock none too pleased. It was 50 years ago though…



  13. Talksport have listed what they consider the top 60 goals of all time and are currently running a competition to find what voters consider best. Rather surprised or maybe i shouldn’t be that it does not include Tommy Gemmell’s history making cracker in the 1967 European Cup final that not only smashed open the famous Inter Milan cattenacio defence but also broke the hitherto monoply of the European Cup by continental teams.



    A terrific goal in any era but then not really surprised at usual English sporting bias.

  14. Quadrofenian,



    The “Falkirk supporting hack”,,Oh ur ye,Aye,used to have a full page in the Sunday Mail.Can’t remember his name.

  15. Tom McLaughlin on

    On a similar note, the story goes that with Celtic trailing Partick Thistle in the 1971 League Cup final, Jock stormed into the dressing room at half-time and said, “What’s the f*n score here?”



    “Four nothin to Thistle,” said Tommy Gemmell.



    Gemmell didn’t appear for the second half.




    The first ‘acid test’ test week for the reformed squad, there will be others throughout the campaign. However notwithstanding the outcomes, the reform must & will ‘carry on regardless’ – mind you, being out of the EL & trailing in the league will bring extra pressure.



    I have no view on the results of the two games, it’s too early in the season to say – both could go either way – we have not been tested to this level up to now.



    I am hopeful that a ‘corner has been turned’ and we can push-on with the ‘Ange ball’ project that is exciting us all at the moment.

  17. TURKEYBHOY on 24TH AUGUST 2021 1:05 PM



    Listen,which Ref do you want?.No matter who,it would,rightly so,been a moan.It is what it is,what its always been,let’s just gun them,like we have done so many times before with equally as bad officials.




    Spot on. There isn’t a ref in Scotland that I have confidence to put in a solid performance.


    Whilst bias is often projected onto many of our refs, I have more fear for their basic incompetence in doing their job.



    They are all very poor. Some more than others, granted. In saying that, I’d rather have Clancy than Collum (eyes in the back of his head), ex-Ibrox season ticket holder Madden or Beaton (enough said).




  18. itscalledthemalvinas on




    Was that Gordon Brockville Waddell that “supported” Falkirk ?

  19. TBB,



    Well said.Some not taking the vaccines because of the most ludicrous reasons.Real Tinfoil Heads.

  20. Garngad to Croy on

    I would have loved if we had scored that 3rd goal last week which so nearly came about but I am confident we can score away. I’ll take a 2-1 defeat as long as we can progress, don’t want extra time !

  21. It’s still early in the season and the team is still coming together. For that reason I’d accept a win and a defeat over the next 2 games.



    1-0 to AZ on Thursday and 6-0 to us on Sunday will do me fine

  22. Jeezo, now the sanctimonious twat believes his/her posts are worthy of a title.



    Just keep on educating us philistines, we are in awe at your grasp of the language.

  23. Majestic Hartson on 24th August 2021 1:25 pm



    Ok if it’s on offer I’d settle for that :-)

  24. I never want to see anything other than attack, attack, attack from a Celtic team.



    Under Ange the players now look as fit as a fiddle and look as though they are up for the challenge.



    Do not change what has been working. As long as we score 1 more than the opposition we win. You don’t do that sitting in.



    D :)



    A wee public health message…




    A worrying post, the contents of which must be addressed.



    That we now have young healthy people, with their whole life ahead of them, routinely refusing inoculation because of some of the sh*** they read on social media is unbelievable.



    These youngsters, full of bravado, live their lives by conducting a running commentary with their followers and thinking it a ‘wizard wheeze’ to defy medical advice & evidence – the fact that they are now the main spreaders and are killing older and less able people is of no consequence to them.



    Social media has replaced a social conscience among the ‘invincible’ young, it seems.

  26. TURKEY


    Met him thru work and my recollection was that he claimed to be a Falkirk fan – mibby he was yankin my chain.


    Mibby my memory deceives me, tho it’s usually decent. Happy to stand corrected.


    So many journos supporting wee teams… Chick Young and Bill Leckie both Sainters – whoda thunk it.

  27. Weebobbycollins on

    “the fact that they are now the main spreaders and are killing older and less able people is of no consequence to them.”


    Do you have evidence for that statement?

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