What a missed opportunity


The morning after Ferencvaros reached the Champions League group stage at Molde’s expense, after counter-attacking their way to a win at Celtic Park does not feel any more satisfying than it would be if they were eliminated.  The Hungarians will find the ‘real’ competition devastatingly difficult, but they will console themselves with more money than they could dream of a year ago.  Money that could have been ours.

The solution to our pandemic crisis lay in our own hands.  What a missed opportunity.  October will bring difficult and consequential challenges, Celtic need to use the pain of this failure to ensure that on Hallowe’en we’re not looking back on what might have been.

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  1. As a follow up to that I don’t understand the mindset that allows this annual cluster to happen.



    Speaking for the group I attend matches with, almost all of us left the home ticket scheme as a result of last years fiasco that must have cost the club easily 2000-3000 pounds.

  2. Wonder what will happen if we do qualify for EL. Will there be a cost for the EL games on VST as those games are not included on ST por cierto.

  3. TIMMY7_NOTED on 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 12:55 PM


    MadMitch on 30th September 2020 12:50 pm




    I don’t agree with you very often but that post was spot on.






    Me too. I’m away for a lie down!




  4. I get all the stuff about coefficients, fixture congestion, pressure on squads, all that stuff. It’s above my pay grade, though. I just hope we win, and Der Hun gets humped on any given day.

  5. Turkeybhoy – last euro campaign the zombies played about 4 or 5 teams that had just sacked their manager.



    how much luck can a team have.



    D :)

  6. WESTCRAIGS on 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 1:26 PM


    There have been a whole series of missed opportunities recently.


    Who should be held responsible?





    I don’t like these phrases or the use of the stick. I’d rather we learnt and that to me is the biggest issue:



    – How to play and beat teams with inferior talent? – Manager


    – How to ensure we have the team needed to operate at the earliest opportunity? – Recruitment


    – How to ensure they are fit and ready to go? – Coaching


    – How to ensure we fully know our opposition and be as savvy as they are? – Analytics and management team.


    -How do we ensure we have the best resources to qualify at our disposal? – CEO and board.



    Let’s see some learning and not the same bad movie.




  7. 🙋‍♂️ Hi Fellow Celtic Fans! 😊



    Just read a nice article on the legendary Danny McGrain waxing lyrical about Jeremie Frimpong and saying basically “If I could speak with the bhoy I would tell him…”.



    I hope the Club, and/or Jeremie Frimpong himself, make immediate and regular arrangements for Danny McGrain to come to Lennoxtown or Celtic Park to meet and give his sage advice to not just Jeremie Frimpong, but to all of our incumbent and aspiring fullbacks! 😊🍀



    Yours in Celtic,



    Take Care, Keep Safe and Hail Hail!



    TB&F. 😊 🍀

  8. Christopher Julien back in the squad. Interesting to see how this plays out.



    Does Bitton drop out now? Would be unfair but horses for courses.


    How do you accomodate Duffy and Julien when they are both central in the 3? You could make 1 world class CH if you merged them both but they have failings as individuals.


    Ajer looks all at sea on the left.



    Looks like we are going to the wire on transfer deadline day Monday for a cheeky wee EPL loanee I think at LB/LW.




  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    MM – I hear you.



    It’s clearly more complex than you and I have articulated.



    That said, it’s maddeningly frustrating that amateur observers (us) see weaknesses that don’t APPEAR TO BE being addressed.



    PeterLatchford’sBelly – your post got me thinking about our CL qualifiers record during the 9IAR era.



    Ronny Deila was 0 for 2


    Maribor – lost by 1 goal


    Malmo – lost by 1 goal



    Neil is 2 for 4


    Helsingborg – won by 4 goals


    Karagandy – won by 1 goal


    Cluj – lost by 1 goal


    Ferencvaros – lost by 1 goal



    Brendan R was 2 for 3


    Beer Sheva – won by 1 goal


    Astana – won by 4 goals


    AEK – lost by 1 goal



    Overall, we are 4 for 9.



    Half of our successes were by a single goal.



    All of our losses were by a single goal.



    It’s almost always very tight which makes it all the more frustrating.



    Hypothetically? Even a 5% improvement would have resulted in a couple more group stages.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  10. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    It’s not just that we lose knockout games, its the way we lose that’s a concern. We seem to have developed the unhappy knack of putting ourselves in pole position only to concede when we look like favourites to win the tie.


    Is that just bad luck – or bad game management?

  11. What happened to Mikey’s return date?






    Who abducted Karamoko Dembele?



    Answers on a postcard.

  12. @Turkeybhoy



    “I reckon it would still be 50/50 on us winning…”



    What a damning indictment on our quality.

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Postscript to earlier comment.



    From memory, our two single goal victories both featured wobbles when we had to stand firm, be brave and seize the day.



    Beer Sheva pulling back to 3-2 at Celtic Park



    Karaganda hitting the crossbar at 2-2 on aggregate before James Forrest’s winner.



    My point – being brave and taking control are key to negotiating qualifiers.



    Handing the initiative to the opposition (irrespective of their talent) rarely ends well.

  14. glendalystonsils on

    The club seems to lack the collective will to get over our shortcomings in regard to CL qualifying. There seems to be no lead , no proactive strategy.

  15. 3 killie personnel have tested positive for covid. Not clear whether they are players (though that could apply to most their squad).

  16. We are losing these CL qualifiers to less and less accomplished sides. I find it disturbing and wonder if our senior players are damaged by the hammerings we have taken at the hands of Barcelona and PSG in the CL groups.

  17. Although not interested in the fortune`s of the Scotland team, I looked at the squad to see how many of our players would be in unwanted ( for me ) action.


    I was aware of Christie and McGregor but who is this Taylor guy?


    Obviously he is not the one much maligned on here. That guy would never make it into an International squad.Leaves me wondering if those who rate him so lowly are better judges than the Scottish manager.

  18. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    Hot smoked,



    I assume the game will still be played. St Mirren had to play their game when all their keepers had to isolate the other week.

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    No idea, JJ. SPFL has been making it up on the hoof so far. Expect more of the same.



    Let’s hope the players develop no longer term conditions.

  20. TBB


    Thanks to you as well.


    I am aware of how readily the human brain attaches to negativity so I am hoping that is the reason for my immediate response that there will be many more positive tests amongst players and , accordingly, the season will not be completed.

  21. Hot Smoked,



    Not wishing to go into a GT debate but holding up the Scotland squad as proof?



    They have a fella called Oli McBurnie who I don;t even think is a footballer.



    Poor, poor international side.

  22. To be fair, Steve Clarke knows GT well from time at Kilmarnock. I recall plenty of Celtic fans thinking Clarke would have been a decent coach for us after his tremendous first season at Rugby Park. I am genuinely surprised he has been a dud so far with Scotland. Thought he would have done a lot better. We have the nucleus of an ok Scottish team.

  23. Interesting to note that Ferencvaros include a smattering of South American / African players in their squad.


    This is also true of a number of teams from countries that historically tended to feature basically ‘home based’ players and have produced ‘shock’ results in qualifying if you look at the number of seeds eliminated.


    I’m pretty sure we could match if not better the transfer fees and wages in question, but wonder if it is down to UK ‘work permit’ regulations compared to other countries restricting our recruitment in these markets ?


    Surely our scouting network could have picked up a Brazilian hidden gem or an African based speed merchant ?


    Other European clubs have to their obvious benefit.

  24. On Sunday morning while out walking with the dug between the craft penalty show and our game against an upcoming hibbees side I got to think about the comparison between Bobby Evans and Broonie I had posted the night before.



    It’s a bit of an unfair similarity as although in a 12 year period Scott played 55 times for his country while Bobby was 48 times in a similar period.



    The latter’s is more impressive as it was during a period when Celtic players were shunned on by the national support and for a time he asked not to be chosen although also to be fair, World Cups notwithstanding, there were not that many international games back then though he did play a record 25 times for the League side while Scott had 13 appearances for the Under 19/21 teams.



    It should be noted that of Scott’s 55 caps only 3 were earned when he was at Easter Road so playing for us did not hinder his being chosen for his country.



    Us oul Tims talk about the years in the wilderness, October 19 1957 until April 24 1965. However it was not all bad as up to 1960 we had some decent performances including 2 SC and 1 LC semis as well as a 2 wins over deidco while still trying to rebuild a side that had been decimated after “hampden in the sun”.



    Up to the tail end on 1957 we looked to be in good shape for another championship. Our away form was excellent with wins at Cathkin, Methil, Easter Road, Broomfield and Shawfield, it was our home games that had let us down, tying 2 and losing 3 out of our last 5 games tae the bells, we even managed tae get gubbed by second division Middlesboro 1-6 after being a goal ahead,a young Brian Clough grabbing 4 goals, who had 2 weeks earlier lost 5-0 to Hibs at Ayresome Park.



    That team incidentally mirrored the 7-1 side with only Eric Smith replacing the now injury prone Charles Patrick.



    In that final game of 1957 played on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, after a disastrous performance on Christmas Day at Parkheid where we lost 1-2 tae the Doonhamers John Donnelly was dropped Willie Fernie, Charles Patrick and Billy McPhail were in the treatment room with both Bobby Collins and Sammy Wilson carrying injuries.



    By 1960 our wonderful 7-1 team had been decimated, Both Sean the Iron Mhan and our 3 goal hero Teasy Weasy had retired, Charles Patrick and Sammy Wilson had been freed, Dick Beattie and Neilly Smiler Mochan were transferred as well as the Wee Barra Bobby Collins and the Juggler Willie Fernie allegedly tae pay for the floodlights 17 years after the Clydebank Blitz.



    That left only 2 players, John Donnelly who was actually a back up player and only turned out 43 times for us before leaving for Preston North End in 1962 and club captain Bertie Peacock who IMHO was treated shabbily when freed in 1961.



    The latter is one of those Celtic sorrowful mysteries which like Bobby Evans leaving were never fully explained.



    He was injured in a Scottish Cup game at Parkheid where we tied the game with 5 minutes left through Stevie Chalmers; unknown to us Bertie would never don the Celtic first team jersey again.



    On the Wednesday night at Easter Road his replacement 20 year old John Clark scored the winner in extra time. Young John kept his place in the side right through to and including the cup final even though Bertie by this time was fit and had come through a reserve game on the Wednesday night.



    For the replay 4 nights later Jim Kennedy had been rushed to hospital the evening before with appendicitis. His replacement bizarrely or mibbees not with Sir Bob in charge was a 20 year old Wullie O’Neil. Meanwhile club captain Bertie was turning out for the black north that same night.



    However in 1960 2 exits occurred at Parkhead which IMHO adversely affected the club, first in March the Big Mhan moved tae East End Park tae take over the reins there and 2 months later his back up captain and centre half Bobby Evans who the club had promised to buy a house with the caveat obliging them to do so only “should he finish his career with Celtic” took umbrage to this and left for Stamford Bridge.



    The promise of a house seems have become common knowledge in recent years, is this a ruse. Our captain when we won our first LC was stripped of this a year later.



    At the age of 33 and after 16 years with the club experiencing the highs and the lows and when most players are contemplating the future why did he not agree to end his career with the bhoys.



    Shades of Roy Aitkin here who at the age of 32 and 15 years a Celt decided tae move on, like Bobby he only lasted a season with the Toon before coming back up the road tae 2nd division St Mirren. At the end of his only season at Love Street he was off tae the Pen as player/assistant manager.



    At least a role has now been found for the Bear; a mhan who IMHO single handily won us the Centennial double, as he has now been awarded a well deserved ambassador role with us.



    In the summer of 1965 after ending the season as the Hi Hi manager Bobby then donned his boots and moved tae Kirkcaldy where he played for another 3 seasons.



    This was the summer Jock reshuffled the coaching staff at Parkheid, could a place not have been found for a Celtic and Scotland legend. It is no secret that Jock generally got what he wanted especially while Sir Bob was around.



    This was when the club were now pursuing a youth policy and with Jock coaching the Reserves a good group of youthful players and decent back-ups to first team regulars was starting to be available.



    We were beginning to reap the advantage of superior scouting and the selection of young talent from the Junior teams, combined with superior coaching.



    How often though would I hear the oul yins saying we needed an oul heid tae settle the young lhads down, a bit like why Jock was originally signed from Llanelli and later on Ronnie fae Hibs.



    A 32 year old Willie Fernie who would go on tae be a main cog in Jock’s coaching team was brought back with this view in mind, however 6 months after that demoralising cup defeat he was allowed to leave for St Mirren, a move that would come back to haunt us several months later when he starred for a young Buddies team in a 3-1 victory over his former side.



    A series of disastrous signings occurred before at last we got one right; a 27 year old wee ten thirty, who should never have been released in the first place, was brought back as allegedly a prerequisite to the return of the Big Mhan.



    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but wouldn’t a youthful Celtic side built by Jock not been better served by the veteran Bobby Evans than Newport, Morton, Third Lanark or Raith.



    What really happened tae allow a player who shunned protocol wearing his shirt out of his shorts, his trademark, and whose stamina, determination and sheer will-to-win were regarded by many as exceptional to leave.



    With the exception of Paul Lambert who we paid to take his coaching badges and who now never talks positively about us we don’t have a good record of looking after our captains, well not in my lifetime watching the bhoys going back to big John McPhail.



    At least 56% have been treated shabbily including personnel that put us on the world map or gave us some of our greatest days watching the Celts.



    Some of the others though were lucky and left of their own accord with the exception of the captain on that wonderful “Albert Kidd Day” who’s still with us.



    We are now in uncharted waters between Covid and Brexit, it might be that we can only sign players within the 2 islands where we reside and even that may be debatable as the 26 counties are still in Europe although under the Common Travel Area ( CTA ), UK and Irish citizens can live and work freely in each other’s countries and travel freely between them.



    So would we not be a better side with a wily Broonie in a holding role strolling along and protecting our defence, he has the perfect mentor to coach him.



    Also, hopefully he’ll be better looked after than the likes of those that have went before him and going further back Jimmy McStay who found out he had got the tin tack when reading it in the paper while on holiday.

  25. Big Wavy


    I am not sure there has been a GT `debate`.Some believe he is rubbish, others consider him Ok and yet others think he is one of those two but will/will not eventually become Celtic class. I would have thought a debate would have led to some change of opinion. I didn`t see any of that.


    I have lived in Scotland,England and America.In my experience, Scotland is number one for negativity,America number one for positivity and England closer to the US than to Scotland.


    PS I realise that is quite negative :-))


    PPS Then again, I am Scottish .

  26. The lack of forward planning, year after year, for the most lucrative money,is gross negligence, October tomorrow, and still fannying about for a left back.

  27. Compare and contrast – according to beeb


    (I’m paraphrasing)



    We won’t have to sell if we don’t qualify



    They’ll be able to buy if they do