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. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Trickier finding the guy who chucked the firecracker of course but worth a scan.



    PS – this might sound lame but the green smoke bombs set of at the goals against Alkmaar seemed to be of the quickly dissapating variety?



    Social responsibility GB style?

  2. glendalystonsils on

    Pyros don’t bother me much provided they’re not thrown on to the pitch , but pitch invaders could pose a potential risk to the players on the pitch . They should be hammered .



    For those of you who may know him, Danny Martin, manager of Heraghtys bar died last night after a battle with cancer.



    Danny was the manager of Glasgow’s best Celtic pub for 3 decades.


    R.I.P Danny.




    Got the sad news at lunchtime today from my mate Niall. Danny was a great guy and will be greatly missed by many.


    RIP Danny, in a better place now.

  4. I went to Istanbul a few years ago to see us against Fernebahe


    and midway through the game one idiot from our end fired


    a firework towards the Fernebahe fans and it crashed directly into


    the advertising boards in front of the Fernebahe fans but if it had been


    a couple of feet higher god know what it would have done as it


    would have probably injured or even killed one of their fans



    No excuse for using them

  5. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 24TH AUGUST 2021 3:53 PM


    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that UEFA use the club fines system purely as a revenue raising exercise.




    There may be “no doubt” in your mind, however if there was no offence, there would be no fines – are you saying that UEFA are making it all up? I am sure that clubs would have plenty to say if that were the case.



    UEFA, for all its other bureaucratic faults, have a thankless task in creating rules & guidelines in stadiums. For example let’s look at the political ones that our very own ‘Clearasil Commandos’ regularly flaunt. If there were no curbs on political demonstrations there would be a free for all in football stadiums world-wide. Such is the profile of football that every terrorist group on the planet would, if they could, use football grounds for their purpose. How long before rivals came in to oppose them? How long before killing & atrocities blight football? If football does not present a safe environment, it will eventually die.



    Maybe the idiots who continually blight our name on European nights should think things through….trouble is most probably couldn’t.

  6. Saint Stivs from earlier; 😁. Never seen that programme, shame, sounds funny



    New rules in Ireland are that goods make in UK don’t get charged but anything made in a 3rd country and pass through UK company get VAT if over €50 and also Customs if over €125 . Amazon predict it for you so you can decline before buying. From now on , i’ll buy in Glasgow Celtic Shop and smuggle in on the flight back!

  7. Tom McLaughlin on




    Reasonable effort but you must learn to control your imagination or the plot just becomes silly. Try building a plot in credible stages rather than diving in at the deep end.



    Leave them wanting more.



    Must do better.




  8. Terrible news about Danny’s passing away for his family and all his friends especially the regulars in Heraghty’s .



    I’ve only been Heraghty’s once in the last 5 years but still got a big smile and hello from Danny when he served me. A top man and excellent bar man. May he rest in eternal peace.

  9. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    RIP Charlie. A true legend.



    I saw them for the first and now sadly the last time a few years ago at Murrayfield.



    My wife had to twist my arm to go. Turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Still get goosebumps thinking about ‘Gimmie Shelter’. It blew me away.

  10. JVR


    Sad news bout Danny rip.


    I hadn’t been down that neck of woods often.sad to hear bout him.i used to pop in a see the cousin at Kellys(evelyn) then have a quick one in heraghtys.


    A lot of Craic in there,and top Celtic nights.winning the TB Cup in 95 being a hazy memory.


    Ps Kelly’s now a fancy beer shop.:-)


    Hope your good




  11. GM- was at Murrayfield as well, i had a Meet and Greet with The Stones at Hampden 2012,one of the best nights of my life,i wonder if they might chuck it,i think it was the touring that kept them going,RIP Charlie

  12. An Tearmann , the only time I’ve been in Kelly’s , it was still the Elcho lol.



    Danny was some man , took no crap and if anyone he didn’t know came in or wasn’t with someone he knew , he kept an eye on them to make sure they weren’t up to no good. There was a time there was a lot of hassle with the new Regent.



    The Celtic by Numbers article FrankTerry posted this morning about our full backs , was very good. It showed Greg Taylor in a far better light. He will be replaced by a better player either this season or next but Ange is happy with him and that’s what matters the most.

  13. FOURLEAFCLOVER on 24TH AUGUST 2021 2:45 PM


    “For those of you who may know him, Danny Martin, manager of Heraghtys bar died last night after a battle with cancer.


    Danny was the manager of Glasgow’s best Celtic pub for 3 decades.


    R.I.P Danny.”



    Mickey Joe’s was my local when I drank, I have probably met Danny, but he hasd probably become the manager after I stopped and didn’t frequent anymore, may he rest in peace.



    por cierto

  14. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Bada – supposedly their forthcoming tour of the US was without him. Needless to say, however, they’ll never be the same.

  15. Weebobbycollins on

    Iniquitous..”Is it not ironic that the one who DIDN’T take drugs passes away first?”


    I’m afraid even Charlie had his moment with Dr. Ugs and Dr. Ink…



    I guess it’s all relative Bobby. If you were a quack, would you bet on Charlie passing before Keef, Ronnie or Mick?

  17. Quadrofenian,



    I do believe he actually supported Falkirk.


    I have a mate with a house here.Right good Tim,.His whole family,and him,Killie ST holders.He was born there right enough.

  18. Weebobbycollins on

    Iniquitous…Charlie’s passing shocked and saddened me. I didn’t know he was poorly…and yes, I would have expected others to go before him…his legend will live on.

  19. Charlie Watts,yep loved him,with his mates,Pigpen,Snoopy,brilliant cartoon.


    Used to love the saying


    “Good grief,Charlie Bro




    “I’ll get me coat”

  20. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 24TH AUGUST 2021 5:52 PM




    You steer clear of offering a scintilla of a counter – dead give away – just throw mud it’s easier, and requires no coherent thought – ’nuff said.