The beating of Barca, II. This time it’s Tony.


Where do we start discussing last night?  Perhaps the end of the night.  There was joy in abundance, not only inside Celtic Park, but in the streets surrounding the game and in a hundred thousand homes across the world.  This joy manifest itself into a great sense of community.  That performance brought tears, hugs, spontaneous jumping up and down, and not only from Celtic fans.  Messages have poured in from fans of other SPL clubs and beyond.

This is what great sport can do for people.

Brother Walfrid has excellent timing.  He managed to arrange our kick-off meeting to coincide with match day four of the Champions League group stage.  Those of us who attended the anniversary celebrations on Tuesday were reminded what Celtic is all about, the best team in the world were in Glasgow waiting to play, the fairy tale script was written, but could it be delivered?

It’s the details which are most impressive.  Mikael Lustig looked like he could play in any team in any league.  He was comfortable and composed throughout.  Adam Matthews, deputising for an injured former Player of the Year, played out of position flawlessly.  I watched him struggle at left back on his Celtic Park debut in a friendly against Wolves last year; it defies explanation how far he has progressed.

Please forget about Victor’s goal, it will only detract from his incredible midfield performance.  His composure, skill and assertiveness troubled Iniesta and Messi all game.  This was all the more impressive given the absence of captain, Scott Brown.

Georgios Samaras was crucial for most of the evening.  He was the one player Barca seemed afraid of, although a lack of training caught up with him before he was subbed.

I’ll not burden Tony Watt publicly with the comparison I made of him earlier in the season but he possesses an impressive array of attributes: upper body strength, pace-with-the-ball and a nose for goal.  I’m tempted to say he will continue to improve but, to what level?  Without injuries to Hooper, Lassad and Forrest it’s unlikely he would have enjoyed as much time last night.  Sometimes Fortune Favours the Celtic.

All of Europe would have been impressed with Fraser Forster last night, dubbed La Grand Muralla, the Big Wall, by a Spanish newspaper.  He will play for England, so too with Kelvin Wilson if he maintains this season’s form.

The only man with a problem today is Neil Lennon.  Tactically the two games against Barcelona have been as accomplished as any I have witnessed.  Neil needs to know how to follow that in Lisbon. I’ve no idea.

Happy Birthday Celtic!

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  1. Hehehe – just noticed in that 360 degree thingy that someone at the top of section 110 has tagged themselves as `Hec Tor’.



    Anyone spotted any other good ‘uns?




  2. Bhoys



    We have a bad injury situation at the moment ….



    I’m not sure we have the players available to make too many changes



    I think Kayal & Watt will start , perhaps McGeoch …who else

  3. Just watched that video of the pre-game events at Celtic Park.



    “For we only know that there’s gonna be a show and the Glasgow Celtic will be there.”



    Never were those famous words more apt.



    How I wish I could have been there. An unforgettable night.

  4. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Hearts? Personally, I couldn’t care less.



    But their problems have given the jokers in the Scottish media another opportunity to peddle the league reconstruction line.



    Any excuse to try and get Sevco into a higher league – they must have forgotten they are enjoying life in the fourth-tier with their ‘new friends’…

  5. .



    PF Ayr..:O)



    With My Memory you could Have Told me Anything..Kit on the Other Hand..:O)



    I Do remember You saying He Never Commanded his Box..Seems to Command it Better since Ernie Els






    No he has to Sit with His Other Grand dad..(The one with a Guid eye for a Football team)..




  6. Celtic confirm appointment of Jim McGuinness



    Celtic have announced that Donegal GAA Football manager Jim McGuinness is joining the club as a performance consultant.





    In a statement issued on Celtic’s official website, the club say McGuinness will be based at Lennoxtown and will help in the development of the club’s young players.



    McGuinness said he’s grateful to Neil Lennon for being given the opportunity and he’s relishing getting started towards the end of this month.



    “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me on an individual level and I’m very thankful to Neil Lennon for giving me this chance and bringing me into the club,” McGuinness told the official Celtic website.



    The news brings to an end weeks of speculation surrounding the Glenties man’s future. He met with Celtic officials after attending Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Barcelona in Glasgow and reports in the national media this week suggested a deal could be worth as much as 150,000 euro a year.



    Just what impact the appointment will have on his role with Donegal remains to be seen.



    “Obviously I work in amateur sport and the opportunity to work in professional sport in any capacity is a wonderful chance for me and one I’m very looking forward to,” McGuinness said.



    “My role will be based on developing the younger players in the club, development and Academy players that are U20 and that level.



    “It’s really about trying to work on every single one of the players on an individual level, trying to develop them in several areas, something I have experienced often in the past.



    “You are really looking to create a finished product that is good enough to be pushing for the first team and creating a stronger squad at the club.



    “We will hopefully look at every single player as an individual project and move them forward as best we can. We will revaluate every couple of months and try and move them forward and give them the best opportunity to develop and grow within the club so they can put their best foot forward in making the ultimate step up to first-team football.”



    Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, says he’s delighted to bring Jim on board. “We are absolutely delighted that Jim has agreed to join us. He is a first-class coach and manager and a high-quality individual who has achieved so much already in sport.



    “We feel he will add real value to the club in terms of moving our young players forward and in making sure they develop in the right way for the benefit of the Club.”

  7. I view the Hearts situation as natural wasteage in a country that has far too many teams.



    I’m afraid the supporters of Dundee/Dundee Utd, Motherwell/Hamilton, Ayr/Kilmarnock and so on are going to face a decision to merge or see one of the teams die completely.

  8. Art of War


    11:44 on


    9 November, 2012


    Hehehe – just noticed in that 360 degree thingy that someone at the top of section 110 has tagged themselves as `Hec Tor’.



    Anyone spotted any other good ‘uns?






    section 144, someone is tagged with their own name , but a picture of Osama.

  9. Snake Plissken




    11:32 on 9 November, 2012



    Yup its an attempt to ramp up the reconstruction argument on the fundamental basis that in order to survive Scottish football needs sectarianism as its basis to make it work. This of course flies in the face of the reality that sectarianism was the underelying cause of its failure, but hey lets not let reality poke its nose in.



    At club level the St Johnstone Chairman pointed at the root cause of club’s problems the other day, i.e players wages and the need for a wage ceiling. UEFA FFP provides the principles and formula for a wage ceiling that ALL national associations should adopt, but of course the EPL want their cake whilst eating us and will not play ball. However God knows when that particular bubble will burst so the reconstruction argument will gather force..



    Ultimately it will be down to supporters to drive change by changing what we want to support – glory or community, although our result the other night must have big club chairmen thinking – if Celtic on their budget can beat Barcelona and maybe qualify for the CL qrtr finals, why are we paying over the odds in wages. (Man City owners if they had brains should be asking.this).Its a Moneyball thing.On top of that Man City (again) should be asking why was our crowd so low and dead?



    However everyone has to play their part not least the players who now “own” the game. It is time they and their agents became soccer socially responsible.





    PS where the “£!%^ Link Creator?

  10. weeminger



    This is where supporters have to face reality. I put it to a good Hearts man on TFSM that selling Tynecastle and ground sharing with Hibs would benefit both clubs and keep money in football with no leakage to rugby.



    He thought that a step too far,but Murrayfield was ok. I’m a pragmatist who can understand how much folk are bound by their feelings and attachments but cannot comprehend the unwillingness to try something that might work instead of holding on to something that clearly does not.



    The hardest thing in life though is letting go and letting the life cycle pedal on.

  11. I hope Celtic put their strongest team out on Sunday.We are dropping too many silly points,lets build up a lead,so if we progress in the Champions League we can look at utilising the full squad then.Watch Barcelona team this weekend,I bet you they will play their recognised first team.HH

  12. PeteTheBeat


    10:39 on


    9 November, 2012


    Did anybody know if there were any local ‘tourists’ at CP?



    Not in a derogatory sense but people that came primarily to see Messi, Xavi etc and would not be Celts (but not TFOD either)?



    Unfortunately for me I’m offshore and missed the game. My oldest bhoy did manage to go and as he also had my ticket he took along his mate, a Dunfermline supporter.


    He may just have been converted, his main reason for going was as you said to see the likes of Messi and Xavi, something he could never do following the Pars. According to number 1 son, he didn’t hold back celebrating either Celtic goal.

  13. Paul67





    My conversation with easy jambo on TSFM.



    easyJambo says:



    Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 13:38



    Auldheid (@Auldheid) says: Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10:12



    I was wondering is it time to think the unthinkable and leave Tynecastle with Mad Vlad to develop as long as he takes responsibility for any outstanding tax?




    When Chris Robinson tried to sell Tyncastle and move to Murrayfield in 2004, the sums just about added up.



    Hearts were around £21M in debt. The deal with Cala Homes was for £20M -£22M depending on the number of units that Cala could obtain planning permission for from the council.



    The deal with Murrayfield was for an annual rent of approx £500K, plus a surcharge of £5 per ticket on crowd in excess of 18,000 (the capacity of Tynecastle at the time.



    Hearts played a number of European ties at Murrayfield and got crowds of between 18,000 and 30,000 for games against Braga, Shalke, Ferencvaros and AEK Athens, plus a friendly against a pub team called Barcelona that attracted around 58,000.



    Vlad came on the scene and promised that staying at and developing Tynecastle was a key priority, thus gained the support of the fans with an emotional attachment to Tynecastle.




    What has happened in the meantime? Vlad’s proposals for Tynecastle were not followed through, although there was a planning cost of £1.383M written off in the last accounts.



    Property values have also plummeted. The stadium was revalued in March at just £13.75M on a depreciated replacement cost. The historical cost value was a more realistic £8.4M, although in a firesale Vlad would get just a fraction of that.



    The old stand is on its last legs and in need of replacement. There is also an issue with asbestos (seem to have heard that one before.



    However, Tynecastle is Vlad’s only real asset. How much would he get now for it as development land? I think he would be lucky to get £6M as there are other building control issues due to COSHH regulations in connection with the nearby distillery.



    He could retain the property and wait for an upturn in the property market and a new owner of the club or a newco may see a rental of £500K as a reasonable option, leaving Vlad with the helth and safety issues of the old stand, but with a guaranteed income.



    I don’t think ground-sharing with Hibs is now an option given that Hibs have completed their stadium development as Easter Road would be an anathema to the Hearts support.



    Best hope for a stadium is the council’s desire to replace Meadowbank, possibly with a new stadium on the west of the city, which could be shared with Edinburgh Rugby. A site at Hermiston has been mooted but is unlikely as it would mean a development on green belt land. An added negative factor would be that the land is owned by one Sir David Murray.



    How will it play out? I really don’t know. The current debt is strangling the club. My preference would be for Administration and a lease/rental deal on Tynecastle. If the old stand is eventually condemmed, then the capacity of the remaining three stands of 14,000 should be sufficient in the short term.

  14. Hoping Jim Crowley can drive home BLAZING KNIGHT for a first win on turf in the 1:25 at Doncaster……………. Good Luck.



    Regards & Hail Hail




    RETRIEVE in the 235 DONCASTER for me.



    Unless top weight and being my nap jinx it.



    Off to Bath for the racing-from pub to pub!

  16. tommytwiststommyturns on

    Sirius Prospect in the 3:10 at Docaster. This horse has been really unlucky in running and is due a win.






  17. !!Bada Bing!!


    13:38 on


    10 November, 2012


    Cubinata 2.00 Doncaster




    Well done big mhan :O( grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr