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.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9

  1. After decades of deceipt i’ll wait to see who runs on to the field on Sunday.


    Huns speak with forked tongue.




    Just catching up…



    Slovakia? 🤔 I heard you were having difficulties in Cleveland? 🤔 😊



    Nice to see you back posting! 😊



    I hope all goes well back in Scotland for you! 😊 🍀

  3. Weebobbycollins on

    From the BBC…


    The bids of both Rangers and St Johnstone to claim European group-stage football will be shown live on BBC Scotland on Thursday.


    Celtic are also in Europa League action, as they take a 2-0 lead to face AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands but we won’t be showing that game as we are just trying very hard to sook up to our favourite team from along the road in Govan…

  4. I hope we are not going to be conned by thems over there , they do nothing honestly . Something will happen in there favour mark my words. Regards ourselves middle to front we are playing some super stuff , defence still a bit of a problem for me , I couldn’t believe it when I read on here that celtic were 2-1 for a result at the victorian lavvy ,the bookies dont often make mistakes ,so what is it . Is there a chance our new young bhoys will freeze in the stinking environment maybe a chance of that , will the big guys bully our nice we soft and light players again every chance , will the mibs play a part a certainty . But the main concern for me will be our defending at the loads of set pieces the mibs will fabricate at every 50/50 challenge . Some of Our fans i read were predicting big wins for the celts. we are playing good stuff as i said, but this will be a huge test for our bhoys . HH

  5. Here I bet the big headlines have most thinkin’ they’ll be wiped out by this?


    First team decimated?


    The Ned as close kontact?




    I’d bet naebdy of any significance is affected and if they were they were injured anyway.


    Perhaps the Euro protocols have forced the Red Hand pantomime?



    Genuine question –



    Can squirrels catch covid?

  6. Re the HOOT on Saturday, BMCUWP emailed me this morning as under –




    Been up in Glasgow on Monday with GARRY,on a scouting trip for the Hootenanny on Saturday.



    Just as well that we did,places are having difficulty getting back up to speed regards staff and stock,plus there are shortages in supply of beer and gas.



    Upshot is that The Blane Valley are cool with around a dozen or so more than usual around lunchtime and McChuills are confident they can cope with around fifty or so in the afternoon.



    Not that they’ll be counting,of course!!!



    Since I won’t be mailing people as I did in the past,I think their worst case might be optimistic!



    Hope one and all can make it. Usual rules apply-just have fun!!!





    Be there or be square!



    And don’t forget your mask.

  7. Good shout re the flights and times.



    So if they leave at 1 and it’s 6 hours, they’ll be there for 7pm our time 10pm local. By the time they get to the stadium and prepared to train it will be 11 earliest. Not the usual time for training.



    I’m assuming they’ll just be running on a BST schedule

  8. As it’s the rainjurs who have the longest journey Scottie will just beam them up.



    There in a jiffy.



    Ain’t KARMA a bitch.

  9. Weebobbycollins on

    Bankiebhoy…it’s awright, big Mark Hateley’s gonnae gie thum a gallon a rid haun gel…

  10. Be surprised if the Huns were going on scheduled flight.Times probably would not suit.Coming back would be a bugger.Think it will be a chartered flight.

  11. Hi Bhoys



    Heading home from Dublin tonight a day early my fault. We had a great time due mainly to our very own ALMORE. This wonderful Tim took it upon himself to drive us around Dublin and if that wasn’t enough he then drove us down to the coastal towns of Howth and Malahide. He also filled the time with great insightful information. He really gave us a wonderful day out. A true gentleman and celt from both of us again ALMORE a sincere thankyou.





    Just a wee note to anyone making a trip to Ireland. Carry your proof of vaccination with you or access to pubs and restaurants etc will be refused.




  12. Weebobbycollins on

    If it is indeed a charter flight they will be sneaked airside without being seen by photographers or public.


    They are experts at being sneaky…

  13. Gerrard





















    All not on the passenger list (neither are Lundstrum or Roofe but they’re suspended)



    Not sure of source…

  14. Sky bet still offering 11/2 Alashkert win tomorrow


    8/1 for them to win the tie…..just saying…..

  15. Mention of Malahide, had me thinking about a great wee work jaunt over to Dublin for a day visit to an office on the Kinsealy Lane business park.



    My employees cousins run the pet shop there and we payed them a visit.



    I thought I would take a look on google street view see how its looking.



    Came across this, hope it works.






  16. i have it on good authority that the The Rangers Accounts Payable (AP) department are not affected by the Covid outbreak as they have not been seen in the office for several years

  17. …Aggie the Tea Lady is ooooot




    ….wee Bullly ( no’ that wan) is ooooot an’ aw………..



    For the guid o’ scoddish foo’ball the rainjurz have slapped in a demand for all points and Wins to be awarded, sine die….

  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    CONEYBHOY on 25TH AUGUST 2021 11:35 AM



    i have it on good authority that the The Rangers Accounts Payable (AP) department are not affected by the Covid outbreak as they have not been seen in the office for several years






    Coneybhoy – Lol.



    And close to the truth?



    AP team working from home during pandemic.



    Connection problems. Can’t speak to suppliers.



    21st century’s “cheque’s in the post”

  19. Trouble with the strips.






    From historical kits website.



    After Rangers went into meltdown in 2012 and were admitted to the Scottish Third Division, the team started the season without an away strip and wore their training kit in their opening SFL match at Peterhead instead of the new black third kit that was due to be launched in that game.

  20. All my bags are packed


    I’m ready to go


    I’m standin’ here outside your door


    I hate to wake you up to say goodbye…



    Who ISN’T leaving on that jet plane?

  21. I think this Covid Huns story was spread by PL,to take the focus away from the time it’s taking him to sign the Greek striker.


    There ye are.

  22. Tom McLaughlin on

    I can understand people getting vocal about Rangers and a Covid outbreak, given their history or lack of it in this regard, but why are some posters concerning themselves with when they fly out, how long the flight takes, what time they land UK time, what time they land Armenia time, what time they’ll check into their hotel and how little time they’ll have to train on the pitch.



    Seriously, what’s that all about?

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9