Vulnerable underbelly of Fenerbahce


Let’s be clear about this, Fenerbahce looked at a Europa League group with Celtic and Molde and figured they and Ajax would progress.  They are paying some of the highest wages outside of the uber-resourced clubs in order to attract Robin van Persie, Nani and Raul Meireles, among others, to Turkey.  They clearly met stiffer competition than expected two weeks ago, when Molde stunned Europe with a 1-3 win in Istanbul, so Ronny Deila is right to suggest they are under greater pressure tonight.

This is our key advantage.  Fenerbahce arrive in Glasgow needing to bring the game to Celtic.  Had they won their opening fixture, they could have afforded a more conservative attitude.

As for Celtic, we’re at our best when counter-attacking.  Home and away to Malmo we dominated possession and territory but were picked off.  In Amsterdam we frustrated Ajax and broke forward with pace – which is something we have plenty of.

This is going to be a long, tense, night, but we can get at Fenerbahce.  Their early season league results have been positive, but there are signs of fragility, their only win by more than one goal was against the 17th placed team, and that was 7 weeks ago.  Maybe Molde uncovered a vulnerable underbelly.

Dermot, where to start?  You want things to happen before an important match day to unite fans, so I suppose he united us, but really?  Ill-advised, get on-message.

Eye on the prize for tonight.

Fan safety issue:

Uefa Security, Turkish Police, Police Scotland, Celtic and Fenerbahce met last night.  The issue of Flags and Banners was discussed at the request of the Turkish contingent.  They have highlighted their concerns for any banners being displayed which could provoke a reaction.

Political and religious tensions are running high in Turkey and it was expressed that the wrong displays could lead to serious disorder.  There will be banner checks on both sets of fans entering the stadium.

From what I can tell Fenerbahce fans enjoyed the ‘That’s not a knife’ parody, and our reputation with them is high, but Celtic fans will be in Istanbul in a few weeks and vulnerable if resentment exists.

Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to donate to the Foundation this week via the Celtic fans who are competing in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday.  A wonderful aspect of humanity flows through the Celtic support.  If you get a chance to participate in the appeal, go for it:

Click here for my linked donation page.

Here for Steve Gunn’s.

Here for Thomas Eman’s.

Here for Robert Doherty’s.

Here for Stephen Hewitt’s.

Here for Kenny O’Neill’s.

It’s not too late to sign up for the GSR/Foundation, Sunday’s going to be a great day in Glasgow, if you fancy it……

If you entered the Magners’ Fanzone competition yesterday, check your email, winners have been notified.

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  1. goals so far



    Griffiths – 10


    Johansen – 4


    Bitton – 4


    Rogic – 3


    Boyata – 2


    Mulgrew – 2


    Armstrong – 2


    Izzaguire – 2


    Lustig – 2


    Commons – 2


    McGregor – 1


    Brown – 1


    Ciftci – 1

  2. Canamalar



    I’m glad you said it was just your opinion or i’d a bin right doon yir throte sir!

  3. Kjam,


    I believe Michael is the better player but breaks down too often, Janko will struggle to get up to speed if he’s no given a run, I’d prefer to have a player we can depend on physically, bringing on Michael when the bhoy needs a rest or if he gets injured or carded, not a bad fallback but we can’t depend on him to stay fit, look at how he responded to cram you’d have thought he broke his leg.

  4. KJAM….



    Top post…! Such a league could and should be very viable. It’s creation would realize a 70 to 80 million viewer base. It would be big teams against big teams. All the time.



    Ajax, Fenerbache, Benfica, Porto, Celtic and such like.



    We should be going to court to make this happen, rather than waiting another 10 years to see if Man U and Chelsea want us in their league.



    As for the rest of you……people wonder why so many posters have disappeared over the years. Just take a look at what you are posting. Petty fights among wee, anonymous gnafs. Give yourselves a shake.



    That’s all from me….

  5. A favour if possible? I find myself in Granada, Andalucia this evening. Nothing on the ever unreliable Celtic bars ☺. Has anyone any idea where I might see the game without the need for sausages?

  6. West End of East End on

    Geordie Munro – I was behind the team at kick off and we were kicking off away from me – honest…

  7. Ellbhoy



    Janko in midfield could be a good shout.



    He’s got a bit of football and some dig, something we are missing in that area.




  8. “I was very surprised at the weekend that Izzy was used as were most I think, we had a chance to try and settle a new left back and spurned the chance no a good idea in my expert opinion.”







    I know you can’t always look on the wrong side of things but if we had tried either Tierney or Blackett at the weekend and they picked up an injury then we’d be right up there without a paddle.



    It’d make the decision tonight a bit easier though :))

  9. West end,



    I knewd what ye meant neebs ;)




    Although I did like the idea of Gordon up top with Griff in goals




  10. All you Bhoys and Ghirls going to the game I’m jealous as hell.



    Enjoy and be glad you are all Celtic supporters.



    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Afternoon all.



    Beautiful outside and have been out and about until now.



    Just read TBB’s contribution on page 1. Excellent summary of how we are run and, seemingly, likely to be run in the immediate future. Quite depressing if totally realistic. Somebody needs to tell Desmond what is really happening in the football world.

  12. Geordie..,


    There’s also the flip side, a run out could have cemented the chosen into the side and made him ready for anything.

  13. We need 3 in centre-mid tonight otherwise we’re playing into their hands (or feet, maybe). And all, as one pundit used to say every game, in the ‘wide-awake club’.

  14. Philbhoy



    Yes I agree, can win the ball & hopefully hit the byline also saves us a sub late in the game for when Lustig inevitably needs replaced.



    Hopefully Ronny picks a side with bags of pace & power.




  15. West End of East End on

    Gordon up top will please Ernie Lynch as I’m sure he’s played up there before :-)

  16. Janko might play in front of Lustig,to double up on Nani……ooo eerr missus.Nani is a show pony,back off him and he will run the show,give him no space,and hit him early,fairly of course.

  17. Canamalar,



    Oh gawd aye. Can’t argue with that.



    But knowing our luck….





  18. Gnafs? That looked wrong but then I wondered if it’s the Italian pronunciation. Then it’s right. Bolognese pre-match meal. Gnum gnum!

  19. Hey! We’ve a really important game tonight. Let’s try a totally untested formation. That’ll definitely work.

  20. Hi fellow Tims et al. My partner and I were in Rocky Sullivans in New York. It was the game Henrik scored his 50th goal of the season at Ibrox. As you can imagine the small bar was packed. I was standing next to a New York Tim., I bought him and his wife drinksHe was very polite and a very interesting guy, he worked in Finance.Long story short , he left after the match with his wife. One supporter came up to me and asked me did I realise who the guy was? No I didn’t. Apparently, this guy was going to be investing in Celtic with millions, however, the stumbling block was DD. it’s his way or the highway. The proposal was this he would have bought DDs shares, and a New York Banks shares as well. He was talking about mobile devices with Celtic games being streamed, that’s was back then.


    He couldn’t convinvce the other Irish Billionaire who ironically made his money in the telecoms industry to get on board with this idea. This looking back was an opportunity lost. I asked how the guy got interested in Celtic? His old man made him labour on building sites in New York and his fellow workers were Tims, they took him to Rocky’s and he was hooked. He attended any Ivy League uni, but he said he learnt more on the building site that was more relevant than the Ivy League uni. He contributed millions to restoring St Patrick’s Cathedral. He is a big hitter on Wall Street.

  21. Joking aside, I think it’s the way to go.



    I know they lost but Borussia M done this last night and it frustrated the hell out of city.




    Doubling up on the wide man might leave a man free but it limits the area that can be picked out.






    has JUNGLE JIM announced the team yet.??????



    European league is the answer for us .why not 10 divisions ????

  23. TBB



    I certainly enjoyed that read some well thought out and informed ramblings that complement my uninformed ones! If you could have a word with Desmond please.



    To quote you, nail on the head for me in terms of European Leagues, “the pathway is open for all clubs to aspire towards and reach the very top level”.

  24. Hi All


    Fenerbahce, should supply stiff opposition tonight, it will be interesting to see how we fare


    A clear sky under floodlights with hopefully a vocal 50K crowd will make for a cracking night, Get along if you can.



    I was somewhat bemused with DD’s comment. He really is out of step with the vast majority of us, and he knows it.


    So is it purely arrogance , or on his limited visits does he just want a hassle free time to concentrate on his first love, golf ?



    Whatever the reason I have to keep reminding myself that We are Celtic, not him . but it is not a very good move on his part to alienate a large portion of his customer base.


    If he bothers to turn up tonight, then I’m sure he’ll be politely reminded.



    HH Enjoy the game.

  25. TBB



    A sad but, in my opinion, accurate analysis of DD’s strategy.



    Great post.



    C’mon the Celtic!!!



    The Prophesies of Nostradesmond



    Dermot’s investment was (and remains) predicated on the capital return that would be generated were Celtic to get into the EPL. It’s instructive listening to Roger Mitchell on the development and ultimate demise of the Atlantic League, coincident with Dermot increasing his stake in the club following Fergus skying the park. Celtic were antipathetic to the idea, providing no support, while at the same time courting the EPL. Celtic used the Atlantic League idea to ‘concentrate minds’ in the EPL. The Dalglish/Barnes folly, followed by the MON appointment and corollary investment represented the big play to make the case for EPL membership. Celtic were to be recognised as one of the big boys, and to be fair, it worked to an extent. Our reputation soared during the early 2000s. But the call from the EPL never materialised.



    Getting into the EPL could (in Dermot’s view) only happen with Rangers, who simultaneously were going for broke (literally). The proposition at the time was that Old Firm would expand the EPL’s economics and kudos, and each club worked the ticket. In the end, the project failed to deliver the prize, and the reaction at Celtic was to stabilize the club financially, ensuring that there would be no need to go back to shareholders to fund working capital. That’s been the position for 10 years now. It’s admirable in the sense that Celtic is able to manage its finances within a (nearly) sustainable framework, but equally, it overlooks the fact that in relative terms – relative to the neighbouring leagues in major consumer markets – Celtic is regressing. We are smaller now than we were 10 years ago by Revenue and Budget.



    What we have achieved is to pull the club off the nipple of external working capital support (whether bank or shareholder) while maintaining a holding pattern business model. However, it is a diminishing pattern, with the trend towards a smaller enterprise and a less competitive football team (by European standards). The demise of Rangers has reduced Celtic’s domestic income by around £5M per year (given what we know) while we have found it increasingly difficult to generate significant revenue from European competition.



    Our revenue to end June 2015 (£51M) is the lowest since 2001 (£42M), a remarkable FACT, during a period when inflation in the football market has been running at a compound annual growth rate of 9%. Celtic’s turnover, were we participating in the wider growth of the Game in Europe, would be >£100M today. But we’re not participating. We’re watching on.



    Hanging on actually, in large part due to better management of ‘football assets’, where investment in players seeks to add financial value as well as football impact, while costs have been managed down. We’re not so much growing our own as harvesting our crop, Lennoxtown being an effective nursery for £10M EPL players, the sale of which keeps the financial model balanced.



    Dermot’s comments yesterday speak to his long term EPL project, of which the current Celtic business model is – in his eyes – an interim one, ensuring the club maintains itself while other influences outside of our control are brought to bear. But it cannot be sustained over the medium term; We cannot operate in isolation from the rest of the world indefinitely. Previously Dermot has hung his hat on the EPL failing to maintain growth, then on the ‘Sky Bubble’ bursting. Now it’s the emergence of new technology. In 15 years only one thing has remained constant: Celtic play in Scottish football.



    Dermot wants Celtic in the EPL. That’s his end game. Everything he does for Celtic (whatever that is) and says about Celtic should be seen in that light. Why are Celtic not in the vanguard of change in European football? Because Dermot wants a different kind of change. He does not subscribe to the collectivisation of the peripheral European nations. In his view, it is a lesser business opportunity than Celtic in the EPL. Were a Regional Euro league to occur, it would kill the possibility of Celtic ever getting into the EPL.



    Dermot would rather manage another 10 years of pressing our nose against the window, than abandon his EPL project. By the time Dermot’s latest 10 year prophesy has lapsed, it’ll have been a quarter of a century of hanging about, waiting, getting progressively smaller and less important, with the odd ‘success’ along the way.



    And that’s pretty much what we’re going to be doing, hanging about, trying to find new ways to slow down our diminishment year by year, while the world moves on without us.



    Outstanding Strategising.







    Quality post and irrefutable conclusions imho



    HH jamesgang

  27. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on 1st October 2015 2:24 pm Good to see Malmo getting humped by R M –




    *Not a fan of RM now or the sand dancer but enjoyed that. Red card tae, both the bully rosemberg and ragnar lothbrok seemed invisible. Oul hard ride’s face was a peach at the end.

  28. Lots of the good stuff from the Dear Green Place today………….




    Well Played CSC.

  29. We have a game the night. That’s it just a game, what we in the early 60’s would have called a glamour game as we are playing what was called then a “continental” side.



    We went intae these games with no great expectations, just a chance tae see some of the best players in Europe at the time.



    Due to being billy cotton then we were late entries intae the European adventure, both Hibs and the deid team had already competed, the latter having been beaten finalists in the ECWC prior to our first entry.



    As it was into the Inter-City Fairs Cup we went. This was a strange tournament as only 1 team from the various cities was allowed entry, a few years later a strong Clyde team who finished 4th in the League and were beaten semi-finalists in the SC were denied as the deid team who had finished 2nd had already been accepted.



    The Bully Wee persevered though claiming they were not from Glasgow but Rutherglen. Didnae work, wonder if the roles had been reversed would a govan team been accepted.



    So in we went against Valencia, although we were 2-4 down after the 1st leg (away goals didnae count then) a healthy crowd of 45,000 appeared at Parkheid (Bobby Craig’s debut I believe) to see the holders of the trophy (beating Barca in the final) who would go on to repeat this feat that season, and out we went after a credible 2-2 tie.



    Our next venture came the following season as we entered the ECWC via the back door having been humiliated in the SC Final replay several months before and also losing 3 times in the League and League Cup against the same side.



    However, unbelievably we managed tae take 10 goals off of Basle over the 2 games. Next up was Zagreb, beaten finalist in the Inter-City Cup the season before. Home and away victories saw us in the quarters where we again were victorious home and away against Slovan Bratislava.



    OMG we were now in the semis, we were still not very good in the Scottish game having failed to qualify from the sections of the LC and being dispatched in the quarters of the SC at the govan landfill site.



    We did finish joint 3rd in the League behind kilmasonic and the supremacists who won the treble that season, although they were dispatched early doors (7-0) by Real Madrid in the Big Cup, but who cared as we had the glamour games to tantalise us.



    Could we win this, after a 3-0 victory over MTK (Luggy missed a penalty as well), the dream was becoming a reality. Alas Bob Kelly elected “tae play fitba the Glasgow Celtic way” and the dream was over.



    However back intae the Fairs Cup we went, after dispatching Leixoes, Barca were up next, we went down 1-3 at the Nou Camp (again away goals didnae count) but on a cold December night 43,000 of the Faithful turned up to see our favourites play the Catalan giants (that was the night the fans plus a young Tommy Gemmell witnessed a mesmerising attacking full back in the Barca colours).



    And then the Big Mhan arrived and our glamour games in Europe became “could we win this thing” ones, although I must confess I didnae fancy our chances in the ECWC, in fact I was more looking forward to a Mr Zimmerman concert in the Odeon up the toon than the scheduled ECCW Cup Final at hampden.



    As we all know we were robbed at Anfield by the cowardly Belgian referee but that night we realised we now had a team that would compete with the “continentals”.



    And so it was for at least 8 seasons, we were the benchmark for some sides…..and then it ended.



    We can all get sentimental about Seville, but as Yer MON said “we were punching above our weight”, even so if it hadn’t been for a durty cheatin wee reprobate we should have won that night. That run almost bankrupted us though and so our games once again became just glamour ones. Aye even the “Tony Watt” Barca game.



    So for me the night is just another glamour game, I can’t see us winning a European trophy again in my lifetime, which I hope we win or at least compete, but as far as I’m concerned Sunday’s game in Hamilton is much more important, that’s our bread and butter, tonight’s the jam.



    Oh BTW for all you young pups out there, I’ll be 68 in 3 weeks time so mibbees we will win a European Trophy in your lifetime, as hopefully by then both UEFA and the SFA will have been de-oglivieed.

  30. Audio only tonight from CTV not great but better than nowt.



    my pick would be:











    Simunovic(if fit)/Boyata




















    I’d take a draw right now, but hoping for the win. all depends which team turns up tonight for the turks.



    Gonna have a wee sneaky bet on a WIN.

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