Tournament of the underdogs


Spain were cut low by Chile, England by Uruguay, Italy by Costa Rica.  Argentina were pushed to the last gasp by Iran, Germany had to come from behind to match Ghana.  Add to this the merit badges earned by Croatia against Brazil, Bosnia against Argentina and the Aussies against the Dutch, and we have a remarkable list of performances by underdogs against countries who to some extent fancied their chances for the trophy.

The most striking feature of all these performances is the way the results were achieved.  Apart from their own dead rubber in the Nou Camp last season, Celtic beat or narrowly lost to Barcelona in a series of games over the last decade by defending their 18 yard box as though their lives depended on it.  Ventures forward were never supported by many players.  We’ve not been alone, this is the way lower-resource clubs have taken on the super-rich in the Champions League.

World Cup 2014 has seen this change.  Australia, Iran and Bosnia will head home proud of their performances, something which takes balls.  When we’re inevitably drawn against Barca next time in the Champions League, should we press them high up the field?  My feeling is, we would be slaughtered, but at one point in this tournament, we need to mature.

Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his book, All the Best.

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  1. I agree with the thrust of your argument Paul, but Uruguay were hardly underdogs against England. They are ranked three places higher in the world rankings.



    In fact England have performed perfectly to prediction if you believe the rankings – they are at 10 and have lost narrowly to countries ranked 9 and 7.

  2. Could have been 2nd pick….. I read the article though…. never 1st as was already one comment.



    I wasn’t looking forward to this WC but must admit to thoroughly enjoying the football thanks to the under dogs.



    Mon the Chile




  3. Hamiltontim



    Just spoke to BRTH who is boarding his flight back to Glasgow.



    He mentioned that Angela got a big round of applause when she was introduced at the Wimbledon CQN event last night.



    I organised the event and invited all the Celts we know who are in the London area. Angela recently moved there and as she writes for CQN Magazine I was happy to invite her along.



    She has taken quite a bit of stick on Twitter as you point out but so too has Paul! She is a big Celtic supporter and has like the rest of us made her opinion clear on certain matters that hasn’t always been popular. She didn’t like the chants aimed towards the two Swedish girls in the Champions League qualifiers last season. This incident was perhaps both funny and also embarrassing at the same time. Angela gave us a row for it, while many thought that it was simply a case of Bhoys being Bhoys. We tried to cover both points of view on the mag.



    More serious is the sectarian abuse she had to endure in Glasgow for her opinions on the Rangers demise. As a journalist she covered the story in a way that was both honest and brave and being slightly sexist she did amazingly well for a girl! In my opinion she deserves her place at any Celtic function without question.

  4. Shuggiebhoy67 on



    I think i saw that J.McGinn and Paul McGowan have signed 2 year deals at Dundee!


    it was on SSN yesterday so could be nonsense



  5. Richie #TeamOscarForever on

    Thanks to Oldtim for a great barbi, albeit BT did all the cooking! Thanks to HT & Minx for the lift. I think Minx is a frustrated rally driver!



    Also FGF, Lennybhoy, An Tearman and BT’s girls, as well as some of OT’s extended family. Happy 80th to his big brother, Bob for tomorrow.

  6. bournesouprecipe on




    Good shout.



    Celtic the pot 4 underdog? – only problem is, home and away in CL and thus the money


    teams are carefully protected from World Cup type shocks on neutral grounds.

  7. normanstreet49 on

    Phil mac has a nice piece on chuckles green. Would post link but it’s an iPhone thing…. In other words I can’t work it.



  8. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I was really impressed by Iran yesterday – organisation and athleticism with a more than reasonable bit of skill thrown in.


    I did wonder if Celtic had “talked to” Carlos Queiroz as one of our short listed managerial candidates?

  9. WC



    Oh trust me I know all about taking stick on Twitter for sticking up for things :-)



    Okey dokey, thanks.

  10. minx1888 praying to Wee Oscar on

    Richie – That menu chat had me making sure you lot were getting on that train!



    I’m not a bad rally driver for a Ghirl ;-)

  11. Eurochamps67 on

    Good afternoon,


    Pre season training went well, only minor bruising to forehead.


    Trees loped as they were interrupting MrsEC67 sunbathing.


    A wee hit the golfball now calls, no’ long to CQN Open/dayoftheyear.


    Don’t want to be dumping my 6 iron into whins in front of the first tee, again.


    When does the fitba come back?




  12. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Paul 67



    I think we should have signed Derek trotter as Ronny Deilas number 2



    I can imagine his team talks in the nou camp



    ” He who dares wins Ronny “

  13. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on




    Is the piece on Phils’ Blog? His main topic is still Gerry Conlon. (RIP)



    Off Topic



    Any one know the date when the first round of Bundesliga matches are held, are they all on a Saturday?

  14. A little bit irked about Ghana probably leaving Brazil. Thought there attitude and desire to get forward was a credit to the World Cup and to the game. Saying that the Germans weren’t to shabby either.


    Great World Cup, a few upsets and a few noses been put out of joint.


    Who the hell is gonna win it?

  15. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    Allow me …. \o/



    Charles Green prepares to return?


    24 Replies


    Although the idea of Charles Green back at Ibrox did produce some chuckles I did initially question the provenance of the recent BBC story.



    So my first instinct was to be rather dismissive of the notion that Charlie might be riding to the ‘rescue’ anytime soon.



    However, I now understand from excellently placed sources that Charles recently convinced some seriously wealthy chaps in the Middle East to back him should he decide to make a move back towards the Blue Room.



    It has to be said that if this shambolic soap opera has taught us anything is that the bizarre usually comes to pass.



    My initial take was that Charlie’s physician had given him the all clear on his bad case of Rangersitis.



    Now, I’m not so sure.



    Charles Green did very well out of setting up Sevco and he made lots of money for the original backers.



    That, dear reader was the plan.



    Those faceless folks continue to be the beneficiaries of the ‘onerous contracts’ that are, in effect, free money every month.



    The retainers paid mean that as long as the contract is in existence then RIFC will be sending them a cheque for a not insubstantial amount every month.



    However Graham Wallace and Philip Nash have been busy in dismantling the structures within the new club that saw £67 million leave the premises in less than two years.



    As I type these words from my vantage point on the west coast of Ireland the analogies that jump into my head for all of this are Irish.



    It occurred to me a few days ago when I was re-reading a book on another Charlie (Haughey) that all of this has been the GUBU of Planet Fitba.



    I found T. Ryle Dwyer’s excellent biography of the deceased and disgraced Taoiseach (T. Ryle Dwyer, Short Fellow: A Biography of Charles J. Haughey (Marino, 1994) ISBN 1-86023-142-X) to be redolent of both Rangers and Charlie’s Sevco.



    When you’re in the middle of a story trying to be the first to get the next bit of the jigsaw it is sometimes worthwhile to take a step back and look to where the tale started and what direction it has taken.



    Dear reader it really IS breathtaking.



    What Rangers did, what the media did not do (i.e. their job), the sale of the body parts to Charlie and the boys and his Sevco getting the nod from the SFA.



    All of that was a hell of a story, but since then…



    Well, the Sevco sitcom jumped the shark some time ago and I don’t really know where the next episode will go.



    Charlie coming back in with Middle East money backing him and trying to oust Laxey Partners?






    Well it seems so to me, but this saga has now left any previously accepted genre.



    It started as a sitcom, but is now Planet Fitba’s equivalent of “Lost”.



    Marooned on a strange island I wonder what The People make of it all.



    If next week RIFC unveiled their new head of something or other in the Blue Room at a Presser and it was a disgraced Celtic supporting monk addled on the Monastery’s home brew singing the Celtic song then I would probably just shrug.



    Yesterday just as Germany were taking Portugal apart it was brought to my attention that Mr Sandy Easdale had been reported to the London Stock Exchange by a leading ‘supporter’ of the Ibrox club.



    For the avoidance of doubt Mr Easdale and his brother James bought shares in Rangers International Football club at the IPO and then further increased their shareholding.



    Since then they have provided a loan secured against Edmiston House and the legendary Albion Car Park.



    Actually RIFC needs more people like Sandy Easdale.



    He isn’t a ‘Blue Knight’ or a King across the water , but he has purchased shares and supported Sevco when it was looking over the precipice of insolvency earlier this year.



    For some reason this makes Mr Easdale a target for some people who used to support the new club at Ibrox because they certainly do not support it anymore.



    In his personal statement put out on the Press Association wires a few days ago one phrase caught my eye.



    The term “rigid financial discipline” is the sort of language that I would normally expect to hear from Graham Wallace or Philip Nash.



    The Greenock businessman is, of course, spot on.



    It was a lack of financial discipline, lavish hotel stays before battling with part-time Brechin and Stranraer and hiring players on terms that only Celtic could afford, that partly explains the exodus of £67 million from RIFC/Sevco.



    The Austerity/Insolvency mantra will be old news to any regular visitor here.



    Chasing the dream of European glory killed Rangers.



    That haunting image of Billy McNeil in Stadio Nacional told the Bears that Celtic had achieved something that their club had not and almost certainly could not.



    With Ten In A Row dashed only Europe remained.



    David Murray sanctioned massive borrowing and approved of the use of questionable tax strategies to give the Ibrox outfit every possible financial edge over a Celtic that was rebuilding in every sense.



    Murray’s grand plan only crippled the Ibrox club and made it unsellable to anyone except an insolvency shark like Whyte.



    Since it was created from the body parts of the dead club Sevco had made some grave errors.



    Spending like Rangers so that they could pretend that they were Rangers has resulted in Sevco being put on life support.



    Only austerity will save the new club at Ibrox and Mr Easdale gets that.



    He is on the same cost cutting page as Graham Wallace and Philip Nash because he runs several successful businesses himself.



    The people who have purchased Season Tickets want to have a team to support in twelve months.



    If this two year old club is around to blow out three candles on the cake then the paying customers at Ibrox can thank Mr Easdale and not hurlers from the ditch.



    Now we have to consider bringing Charlie back into the script for future episodes of this sitcom.



    A constant theme in the Haughey saga here in Ireland was he was often underestimated by his opponents.



    His ability to bounce back when they thought he was politically dead and buried blindsided clever, Machiavellian men time and again.



    Should Charles Green become a major player at RIFC again then the financial model that he put in place two years ago will be re-established and the money will flow out of Sevco to offshore beneficiaries who have never been in Glasgow.



    With Charlie back in charge the new club at Ibrox would remain a cash cow for faceless foreign investors who care little for the emotional wellbeing of the paying customers.



    With that in mind the vilification of Mr Sandy Easdale by some Sevco ‘supporters’ seems baffling.



    Perhaps we all now on some mysterious fitba island, because I’m certainly lost…

  16. 67 heaven,



    Never took you for a Facebook bloke!



    The kids have been trying to get me on it…. The reap what you sow comes to mind…best I stay off it , too many lookalikes might turn up.

  17. antipodean red on




    I think that was John’s older brother Paul who was at Dumbarton last season, three Bhoys playing pro football, must be good genes there somewhere. The McGinns that is.




  18. Dubaibhoy-"If I signed off the accounts it has been in good faith." on

    Can anybody please advise. Are England still ooot or have I been asleep for 8 years? Seems all the talk is about winning 2022…

  19. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    15:10 on 22 June, 2014



    Believe me, I’m not a fan of Facebook AT ALL …..don’t understand it either…..my son set me up on it when he gave me this iPad ……. only started posting on it when 3 of my very good friends ( Celtic FANATICS) started posting to me …one of them phoned me and asked me why I wasn’t responding…..hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…..HH

  20. Richie #TeamOscarForever on




    You’re right, it was Billy! I blame excess smoke inhalation on my part, and I am refering to the barbi of course!





    Good to see you back in form! I saw the fleg outside RWE’s big hoose in the photo from BMCUWP. I think that following a US/Canada tour, we should get it out to Australia / Asia. Maybe it needs its own FB page?

  21. sipsini



    15:10 on 22 June, 2014


    67 heaven,




    Any of you two get on FB look up CQN/Facebook. Quite a few of the main posters in here get in there also.


    Not the same level of vitriol and enhances by pictures.


    Not necessarily of the CQNers.

  22. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    googybhoy ♥ celtic



    15:23 on 22 June, 2014



    I’ll try now…..might have to come back to you though….hahahahahahaha

  23. Steinreignedsupreme on




    Apparently the BBC has commissioned Michael Palin to retrace your journey from Wimbledon to Swindon in a new eight-part BBC series.

  24. The ongoing saga of the Union flag bags is kicking off in the vp household…


    just in from a hard 5 hours of graft…gets beer and head for garden…missus


    has cut the grass’ God bless you darling’ look towards bin’ WTF’ big bag of grass(moss)


    clippings with the apron oan it..”take a closer look” says my beloved…TROOPAID


    ‘troopaid my erse’ as my rant starts .


    She looks over smiling ” knew I’d get ye”




  25. weet weet weet(GBWO) on




    15:26 on 22 June, 2014





    Apparently the BBC has commissioned Michael Palin to retrace your journey from Wimbledon to Swindon in a new eight-part BBC series.







  26. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    googybhoy ♥ celtic



    15:23 on 22 June, 2014




    Nope, can’t find CQN on Facebook……navigate me, please ( will have to be an idiot’s guide hahahahahahaha

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