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Watching Argentina took me back to Fir Park, 2005

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Teams can lose their competitive edge quickly.  The Celtic team of 2003-04 were imperious: 25 consecutive league wins, they beat every team in the country, home and away, on the bounce.  Larsson left, of course, but the following season’s problems were deeper than that.

Watching Argentina last night took me straight back to Fir Park, 2005.  A feted team, packed with reputation and talent, simply failed to compete.  Unable to match the industry of Iceland, or the ability of Croatia, they look like they want to return to the safety of club football immediately after the group stages.

Having great players is not enough if they are not sufficiently hungry, and keeping millionaires hungry for the SPFL is a challenge we will forever encounter.  On this front, we must do what we can.  Packed 60,000 seater stadiums help.  I’m sure open-top bus parades help even more.  These things create a sense of occasion and achievement, which is difficult to find elsewhere.

CQN Golf Annual Charity Open

This year’s CQN Open is set for Friday 29 June at the first class Aberdour Golf Club once again.  It is a day of sport, entertainment, Celtic chat and is always good fun.

After the golf, we head up the road to the CQN friendly Woodside Hotel for our evening meal. We’ve the usual round up of all things Celtic by Paul67, and our very funny after dinner speaker is Willie Allan. Then musical entertainment from Scoogz, who you may have seen if you’ve been to Celtic Park entertainment nights. Plus all the usual prizes and charity fundraising, for the Petrov Foundation this year. Cost is £40 night only and £80 all day including golf. Please contact cqnopen2018@outlook.com if you’d like to attend this fun event.

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  1. Sorry to be rude and plonk shameless self promotion right in there!

     

     

    Agree with your point and we should always be looking out for regression in performance. That happened this season without impact on strategic delivery. That is, performances were regularly ordinary yet the same trophies were won. Probably more to do with who was injured and when then lack of hunger. But certainly to be monitored.

  2. Croatia and Iceland producing better players. I read an article a few months back about how Iceland,in an attempt to cut youth crime drug taking and alcohol abuse had invested a lot of money on after school activities, youth clubs and sports facilities. They got kids interested in various sports and recreation with the result that criminal and anti-social behaviour massively dropped. A second consequence was a general improvement of their football teams.

  3. Re John Terry…

     

     

    Centre back is probably the weakest area of our team. He would instantly add assurance to a sometimes shaky defence. On a wider level he would bring leadership that Broony aside this team lacks somewhat. If he comes It would ease that leadership burden that Broony carries.His knowledge would be invaluable to the likes of Ajer, KT and other youngsters at the club.

     

     

    I’m basing this partly on what his last manager and previous team mates have said and what I’ve seen of him in games.

     

     

     

    No brainer for me, he would be a great addition imo.

     

     

    ——–

     

     

     

    WC

     

     

     

    Hoping Brazil and Jesus get into gear tonight, bet them at 25/1 tourney winner and top scorer. Looking forward to the game.

     

     

    HH

  4. CELTICBYNUMBERS

     

     

    I love your stuff … and marvel at the amount of time you must spend putting it all together!

     

     

    Like many others, I felt that (compared to season 2016/17) our form dipped appreciably at various times last season; and you have posited several plausible explanations as to what that might have been the case (albeit these dips in form did not appreciably ‘impact on strategic delivery’).

     

     

    My big hope for the coming season is that the possibility of an unprecedented treble-treble will act as a catalyst in what should be another wonderful season for The Bhoys …

  5. That awkward moment when you’re just about to fly to Cala De Mijas and you discover that Raman and the Hummel Huns have checked in at your hotel before you!

     

     

     

    Case unpadlocked and hoops added!

  6. John Terry would be a retrograde step in my opinion. Not one for the future. He is way past his best and looked finished for much of last season. And I’m not claiming any high ground here, but morally…dubious.

     

     

    As for Fir Park, never forgave Craig Bellamy for a poor, poor performance. Enormously overrated player. If he’d been playing for Motherwell and McDonald for Celtic…

  7. 50 shades of green on

    BILLY BHOY on 22ND JUNE 2018 12:43 PM

     

    That awkward moment when you’re just about to fly to Cala De Mijas and you discover that Raman and the Hummel Huns have checked in at your hotel before you!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Case unpadlocked and hoops added!…….

     

     

    @@@@@@

     

     

    You mean you were going without them….?..

     

     

    H.H

  8. 50 shades

     

     

    I hear you mate! However, I’ll be 58 over there and I have to accept that I no longer flatter the Hoops!

     

     

    I like to think I look like KT in them but these days it’s more like wee Lenny!

  9. Gamboa starts against Brazil, good luck wed man, I’ve got a feeling you might need it against a team with something to prove…

     

     

    HH

  10. FIELDOFDRAMS on 22ND JUNE 2018 12:46 PM

     

     

    JohnTerry looked anything but finished last season. Despite his age he still managed 36 games and had, for the most part, a very good season.

     

     

    I get the arguments for and against signing John Terry, I would be in the for camp for his experience, leadership and organisational skills, things we severely lack in Europe. Listening to the manager yesterday he seems happy to work with and develop our young CBs, Terry, or someone similar, would make sense to aid and accelerate the process.

  11. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on

    Yer man Gamboa looks like a player! Mind you that wee jobby Neymar has just skinned him..

  12. I’d take John Terry in a heartbeat. Even if it was only for one season.

     

    He would bring a wealth of experience that is sorely lacking in our back line. Wasn’t that what Comperr was signed to address?

     

     

    He may help eliminate the 5, 6 and 7 goal reverses.

     

     

    Anyway, as always, In Brendan I Trust.

  13. Since BR became manager we have played in 12 CL qualifying games. In two of those games, home to Red Imps and Linfield, we played with 1 CH, in the other 10 games we used 9 different players in 9 different CH partnerships. Getting a settled partnership is as important as getting even more CHs to add to the half dozen we already have. Boyata has never played in a CL qualifier for us and Ajer only 2. Jozo has played most but even that’s only 5 times in 12 games.

     

    Right back on the other hand should be the priority.

  14. not sure if this has made the blog already, but Progrès Niederkorn have invited Celtic to help them celebrate their centenary next season.

     

     

    Progrès have proposed that Celtic come over for a training camp, use the facilities at Progrès, and then the clubs play each other in a ‘meaningful’ challenge match, and not just a friendly kick about. (flashbacks to Cruziero here…)

     

     

    The Progrès guy went on to say that they already have very good relations with the Celtic fans…

  15. dbhoy

     

     

    we have five centre backs. problem is there are not to many great ones floating about.

     

     

    look at wc pretty poor in that area imo.

  16. I agree with the article Paul . First noticed the team was in decline against Hearts in the semi final at Hampden that year. Huge gaps between the forward line and defence. On the bus to Fir Park I argued that if we didn’t score a couple early the result was far from a certainty. Other memories from that horrible day , was the game management from MIB H. Dallas. The nightmare continued when our mini bus broke down on the way home on the M77. Witnessed thousands of zombies heading from Ayrshire to Ibrox for a celebration giving us abuse. Finally got home & shut the curtains. Nothing is certain in sport. Especially when under the durastrictoin of FTSFA. ……. by feck will I celebrate if we get the 10. Trust me it’s far from certain we will. HH .

  17. Brazil are a shadow of their former teams.

     

     

    This WC may fling up some surprises in the final four. It may even come down to who wants it the most.

     

    Not impressed with any of the favourites, in attitude and performance.

     

     

    HH.

  18. The Argentina manager got his team selection and tactics badly wrong. We all know about the problems of getting all that attacking talent on the pitch but not only were Croatia able to keep Messi quiet the entire game they also managed to dominate the midfield

     

     

    Mascherano was an outstanding player in the position he played last night but he’s 34, plays in China and hasn’t played a competitive club game there in years. He wasn’t up to it against Rakitic and Modric, they had better options on the bench.

     

     

    One goal, a penalty, in 180 minutes against those two teams with Messi and the rest in the squad

  19. Not sure the criticism of defense is entirely valid.

     

    It is a team sport and we seem to lack in being a complete unit.

     

    Last season a few problems were obvious.

     

    Our defense is guilty of ball watching.We are crying out for a conductor of this relatively young defensive unit.

     

    Our spacing and movement off the ball was poor at times leaving us exposed defensively and short handed in the attacking zone which contributed to our lack of goals last season despite having 3the three best strikers in the league.

     

    Our defenders did not look adept at playing the ball out from the back but i believe the fact that only Brown showing for out ball made it a difficult task and put the defense under unnecessary pressure.

     

    The above was due to an incomplete coaching strategy.

     

    We also have surprisingly little variation in our passing sticking to mainly short and sideways

     

    Would love to see us add diagonal and long balls to our repertoire.

     

    We have a good core of players so hopefully an experienced addition and better coaching will see us improve on last season.

  20. Timhorton

     

    I agree with gary67 in that there hasn’t been much continuity in the CB area, makes it very difficult to form a solid partnership/understanding. Varying form,fitness and availability of our CBs have made that difficult.

     

    As for leadership/organisation at CB, from the games I’ve seen on tv Ajer looks to be the most vocal in that position. It’s an area we should look to improve on imo.

     

    John Terry would be a big help in that regard.

     

     

    HH

  21. Gamboa has had a good first half and created one of the clearest openings with his pace which should have led to a goal imo

     

     

    HH

  22. TALLYBHOY on 22ND JUNE 2018 10:09 AM

     

     

    I’ve been mightily impressed with Croatia, and it’s got me thinking how a country with a population of 4.2 million – a million less than Scotland – can produce players like Modric and Rakitic…and others. What’s their secret?

     

     

    *A fierce love of their country which is above everything else, when they pull on that checkerboard strip they truly are playing for a people and a cause, that and a huge amount of talent. Can we truly say that about the players pulling on the Scottish one, talent or patriotism.

     

     

    Incidentally former captain Zvonimir Boban is accredited with starting the conflict between Croatia and the former Yugoslavia when in a game against Red Star Belgrade he attacked a policeman who was assaulting a Dinamo Zagreb supporter after a riot had broken out in the stadium. If that had been the likes of Lenny he would have been sine died.

     

     

    There’s an abundance of talent at the WC but most countries look jaded, they don’t neither do the Serbs or Russians.

     

     

    As I’ve said before there’s a Croatian side to my family, we are now into 3rd generation and in a hockey mad country they’re sitting there with their taps on cheering on the paternal side of their family.

     

     

    They don’t wear Scottish tees or hats but either Celtic or Irish ones and there lies the difference.

     

     

    We have in or country 16% of the population that lean toward the mother country, myself included, and a huge swarth that claim to be “brutish”. Other than the “doh a dee” mob is there anyone really following Scotland.

     

     

    Mant years ago I was on a bus in the Renton Road going fae Balloch to Dumbarton, the driver had his tranny on and Scotland scored another goal at Wembley against the reigning world champions, the huge bus cheered including wee ould wummin that were on it. That’s when there was a pride in the country. BTW the game wisnae televised live, must have been a wee game on somewhere tae allow the SFA, sitting in their fancy seats at the game, tae have it not shown.

     

     

    As I’m watching the games, and usually only partial parts as they seem to lack the normal excitement, Mrs TT, from a fiercely Tim family whose da used tae take the once every other year trip tae Wembley, not like most of his generation a Scotland fan but he did love the occasion, has remarked that Scotland must be ashamed of themselves not to be participating when other “wee” countries who we took the game to are, my response is nobody cares anymore they’re more interested ion the survival of a club fae Govan.

     

     

    The last time Scotland were at the WC where the performed not too bad they had 8 Celts in the side with 1 token hun, durie, and 2 others in the Danish squad, that IMHO may have cost us the league the following season.

     

     

    After that the greed and avarice of a rugby supporter fae Ayr cost Scottish fitba dearly, he really disnae have a leg tae stand on, pun intended.

  23. CELTIC40ME

     

    The World cup so far has been pretty staid with the superstars Ronaldo excepted failing to live up to their reputation.

     

    We are enduring the mediocre fare due to the proliferation of possession above all coaches.

     

    When players face the wrath for conceding possession they usually take the easy rather than positive pass or move.

     

    Players are now becoming robotic in these systems.

     

    Until coaches learn the difference between positive,neutal and negative possession we are going to see lots of sterile risk averse games.

  24. I don’t see the point in looking back at 05. The Club that won the league were cheats. The game was rigged. It’s an irrelevance.

  25. 50 shades of green on

    BILLY BHOY on 22ND JUNE 2018 12:56 PM

     

    50 shades

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I hear you mate! However, I’ll be 58 over there and I have to accept that I no longer flatter the Hoops!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I like to think I look like KT in them but these days it’s more like wee Lenny……

     

     

    @@@@@@@

     

     

    Ha Ha …Ditto here mate although I’m not 58 till October, I stick to wearing t-shirts the Jock Stein one is my favourite at the moment…

     

     

     

    Enjoy yir Holiday and Birthday when it comes, and remember if you bump into anyone from the darkside a knowing smile irritates more than pointing and laughing…

     

     

    H.H

  26. David 17

     

    Only if you want to chip away at MON’s legacy, seems to be a recurring theme .

     

    Don’t ever publicly criticise the actions of our board, let it be a lesson to any manager who might dare to do so. Your failures will be highlighted and amplified forever more on here

     

     

    HH

     

     

     

    HH

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