The joy of living today, tomorrow


After writing a piece on our European season for the forthcoming CQN Magazine I read the excellent contribution from SFTB this morning.  It is only natural that we live in the moment but for the last 70 years of the 20th century Celtic fans, more than anyone else, viewed each day in its historical context.

Older generations would have had little choice but to keep their history alive during the lost decades between the mid-20s and mid-60s.  7-1 and the Coronation Cup, each magnificent and modest in their own way, were the highlights, while the legend of Jimmy McGrory more than anyone established what was known as the Celtic Way.

Then came Lisbon.  In an instant, all that history was eclipsed.  New heroes, one of whom recalled to me he was told Celtic would amount to nothing with him in the team by a ‘fan’ a few years earlier, changed everything, but for this most historical of clubs, the inheritance was not all positive.

If Jimmy McGrory established Celtic as a remarkable goal-scoring team, the incessant attacking that afternoon in Lisbon cast an unattainable shadow.  It proved Celtic could win the European Cup by playing fabulous football but set a template we were cursed to attempt to follow.

The rules of the off-field game have changed often since those days, no more so than this season, when Celtic grew from a team who were penned into their own penalty box by HJK Helsinki, who needed a goal to knock us out of Europe in August, from a team the Turin media were joyous when Juventus beat home and away.  Thoughts of ‘Maybe we could win this” have since emerged in Turin.

I’ve loved every minute of this season, from the last minute header in Moscow to the last minute header in Dingwall. Adding context to it is a joy for one of our tomorrows.
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  1. What a player that George Galloway on Daily Politics now.



    Las Islas Malvinas Argentinas.





    Supporting Celtic may at times be as frustrating as hell but it is never less than a pleasure-even if that pleasure is only the fond hope that we canny be that bad the next time.



    And we’ve all experienced that a wheen of times!



    Conversely, when we’ve been brilliant,we expect the same again….

  3. I was posting this on bottom of previous thread when the call to “Abandon ship” appeared.



    setting free the bears


    11:24 on 12 March, 2013




    Very thoughtful


    I am in almost complete agreement.


    As a Celtic fan though I reserve the right to find fault anywhere.




  4. Paul67



    I have not missed playing Sevco ONCE this season and most weeks could not tell you who they were playing.



    This was only possible with the CL. 6 games in the summer for this to happen again and forever expel the ‘Myth’ that we need Sevco…

  5. Nailed on studs, kit that increased in weight with the rain, playing with a football which could vary from cast iron to kick to a medecine ball, ball weight variable dependent on conditions and a lace which could (and frequently did) scar for life.



    James McGrory was / is in a league of his own, wish I’d seen him play.





    Should I buy one of thae sevconians halftime ticket thingies?

  7. Paul 67



    After our run in Europe this year will our qualification process be easier or will it be the same as years before with the possibility of drawing a big team??



    I was just thinking we might have to hold onto Sammi’s header and Tony’s stormer as our CL memories if we don’t qualify this season..



    God whit a rollercoaster..

  8. If anyone has heard TFPLG over the last week he always states ” the object at the begining of the season was to get out of this league”.


    I have heard this choice of words at leats 8 – 9 different occasions now and it is obvious that the tone has now chnaged to “getting out of this league”, i.e. reconstruction with them still being in the bottom league is not and option.


    I understood from the begining of the season that the object was to win the league.


    In fact there fans were adamant they could go 3 year undefeated on their march back to the SPL, where incidently there chairman said they would never play.



    The push is on for them to get a promotion this season, out of the bottom league, reconstruction or not, for that reason I am against any form of reconstruction for this season.


    Give them there promotion to SFL2 not SPL2..

  9. We MUST redesign our season to win these Champions League qualifiers.



    We have to be hitting these games at full speed they are simply FAR too important to our club primarily and the Scottish game as a whole.



    Get this league won ASAP, no more pissing about, get rested and back working mid June with some seriously good teams to play pre-season.

  10. philvisreturns on

    Congratulations to jungle jam67, our podium champion for today and possibly the instigator of the fortuitously timed charity raffle ticket drive my office. Hmmmm….



    Special modesty prize goes to Philvis for being amazingly brilliant. (thumbsup)

  11. Will Celtic Park be unavailable for Champions League qualifiers next season 2014/15 as they will be used for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on 23rd July?

  12. philvisreturns on

    mihal – George Galloway still has an audience?



    PT Barnum was right. (thumbsup)

  13. We have 3 qualifiers this year. Like last year our passage will be eased via the club seedings and League Champions status.


    This years’ co-efficient points don’t kick in until next season.

  14. tigertim



    I have posted articles on here before from start of season that their objective was to win the cups and that was why they were bringing in SPL players on such high wages. It was assured they would win the League and ‘the peepul’ deserved trophies.

  15. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul 67 –



    The ‘ground half-empty’ squad always shout the loudest.



    The ‘ground half-full’ Bhoys and Ghirls just enjoy the good times … especially as Celtic have so many obstacles to overcome to attain any success.

  16. Paul67



    The player who was told that Celtic would never amount to anything with him in the team, I believe, was Bobby Lennox.



    Happened in a café in Neilston(!) where he had stopped to buy a bottle of ‘ginger’ in the early 60s, on his way home from a midweek game I think.






    Thank God we don’t pick the team!






    Foiled again bud!



    Hope it’s not an omen for Cheltenham!




  17. I too read the post STFB made, and agree with virtually all of it, but we did in fact fail to qualify for the Europa League proper. It was only the Swiss clubs attack of Rangersitis* did we get into the group stage.



    * They cheated.



    Fine post otherwise, real nail on the head stuff.

  18. ASOD,



    TFPLG has been tasked for two seasons with buying players to compete in cups sadly he has failed at every turn.


    Surely no team can afford to sign players to win cups, its fiscal madness, anyway what do I know.



    setting free the bears



    11:24 on


    12 March, 2013


    I posted this long piece late at night a few nights back. I think it is still relevant to today’s discussion:-



    “What constitutes a successful season for Celtic in our current environment?


    If you expected that, with Rangers gone, Celtic would win the treble, remain undefeated domestically, tie up the league by January and continue to progress in Europe, then, depending on the weight that you give to each individual aspiration, you were probably disappointed with our season.


    We have blown a treble. The league will not be won until late April. We have drawn 5 and lost 6 league games plus defeats to St. Mirren, Benfica, Barca and Juve (2x) in tournaments. We have produced individual games of mediocrity, sometimes 2 or 3 in a row, and, though, to my working memory, that is no different to any other season I have spent watching the Celtic, it seems that rose tinted glasses are used to view our past whereby the bhoys of the 60s, 70s and 80s plus MONs teams but not (WGSs or the bhoys of the 90s) were always winning with a spectacular display of entertainment.


    Well, I am highly pleased with our progres and I think, it is because of the match between my expectations and the outcome we are seeing.


    I did not predict we would win a treble. I felt a double was likely but not guaranteed.


    I did not predict we would remain undefeated. I felt that was highly unlikely and the bookies would have given long odds against it. The huns team thought they would manage this in the 3rd division but, like us, they are facing a cup final every week. Incidentally, I will not sing that “here we go, 10 in a row chant” because it is boasting before the achievment. Having lived through Jock’s 9iar, I can confirm that we only sang and chanted in anticipation of the next title e.g. after title number 6, we sang “It’s magic, you know. it’s gonna be 7(never 10) in a row”.


    I thought, this year, we would be lucky to qualify for the CL groups but favourable draws in the qualifiers gave us a better chance than I anticipated and, blow me, did we not exceed all expectations in Europe (aye but that’s gone now, it doesn’t count any more, the right-to-whiners will moan) by qualifying for the last 16, having failed to qualify from a Europa Group stage last year and having come close to not making Europa group stage.


    And I made these predictions way back at the start of the season on CQN. These are not post-hoc justifications. I predicted that a league win was a certainty despite all the faint hearts in September and October predicting that the sky was falling in on us. Because it was a racing certainty, the manager would experiment with many more fringe and younger players over the course of a season and would vary the tactics and positional placements in order to test and develop players. And , as a result of both of these aims, we would drop more points than we needed to.


    A manager only interested in the short term enhancement of his own win record, would have played the regular first teamers to exhaustion. He would have made CL qualification and group stage 2nd place unlikely by not resting our established players. he would have aimed to win as many games as possible to make his record look good and wrap up the league early to claim some PB or record. He would have accepted the hit in Europe, where our fans had low expectations, to satisfy the lust for a record league win and a domestic annihilation, which some fans called for.


    A manager with a longer term view would use this season to blood new players, to rest injuries and fatigued players, to have a longer look at some players considered failures previously to see if they could be rehabilitated (Forster, Kelvin, Izzy) and to confirm which were clear failures( Murphy, Juarez, Bangura). He would have given promising youngsters hope of a Celtic future by giving them a smattering of games (Watt, McGeoch) but not over exposing them in a season when we would have dropped points and where less seasoned pros might get picked on before they were ready. He would have reckoned himself secure enough in the affections of Celtic fans for what he has come through, to risk all of this knowing that they would stay faithful through and through.


    Boy, was he wrong?


    What pleasure can it possibly give Celtic fans to win the league by larger and larger amounts? the most memorable titles in my memory were the hard fought ones. I could not tell you who holds the largest SPL winning margin. I can tell you I do not believe it is the best ever Scottish team (hope it was not the Lions now).


    I can tell you that our European achievement this year is not as good as 67, 70, or 72.


    I think it is as good as 2007, 2008, 1980 and 1974.


    I think it is a superior achievement to 2003, though we venerate that because we were a success starved club. We celebrate 2003 in a way that 1970 is not celebrated and I understand the context for that, but as a measure of European progress, it is a lesser achievement, though a far greater gathering point for our community, than this year’s success.


    We have heard a lot about our glory days and, in part, they were glory days because we were young and fit and foolish. The teams from 1974 through to 2003 achieved nothing like as much as this recent period. It was us who were better then not our team.


    On the park, this has been a glorious season. maybe in time, it will come to be recognised as such. We are on to only our 2nd title in a row. We will probably mange 3 in a row but I don’t want to start singing about it until we wrap up number 2 and celebrate that one properly.


    Off the park, in stark contrast, we are in a sorry way. Continuing to take part in competitions organised by a corrupt administrative body. I will continue to concentrate my moaning at that target and keep Celtic managers and players out of my firing line.


    It’s all about choices. And those choices will be guided by your expectations.”

  20. tomtheleedstim on

    BMCUW – can you post your Cheltenham selections please. I want to pick the horse above yours ;-)

  21. Great off the field performance from WBA, nothing compared to what Sevco will do once they are back in the big time and getting a share of that BBC Alba money…




    West Brom have announced a reduced pre-tax profit of £1.5million for the financial year ending June 30 2012.



    The profit compared with a surplus of £9.1million for the previous 12 months. It means the club’s net debt has been reduced from £2million to just £500,000.



    In the first full set of accounts released by West Bromwich Albion Group Ltd since its formation in August 2010, the club also reported a record turnover of £66.7million.



    But Albion’s total salaries topped the £50million mark and represented 74% of the club’s turnover.



    West Brom paid out £6million during the summer of 2011 to sign striker Shane Long from Reading.



    Club chief executive Mark Jenkins said in a statement: “The club has continued to invest in its playing squad, both in transfer fees and wages and total salaries now exceed £50million per year.



    “However, with careful budgeting and tight financial controls, we have managed to match our revenue to our costs and record a pre-tax profit of £1.5million.”

  22. philvisreturns on

    Tallybhoy – Indeed. I thought Henrik Larsson wouldn’t amount to much, and that Harald Brattbakk would score a lorryload. (thumbsup)

  23. Nuclear Bovril, no idea how else to describe….



    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-Up, too true.



    ASonOfDan, agree.



    starry plough, we will face lesser seeds before group stage qualification. Lesser seeds can still be dangerous, as Benfica and Spartak found out, but that is the challenge.



    Kilbowie Kelt, thanks.



    Steinreignedsupreme, I’m enjoying every second.



    Tallybhoy, absolutely correct, it was Bobby Lennox. Whatever happened to him after that?

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