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. Lyon players reportedly going here, there and everywhere but no mention of Moussa Dembele…strange. Perhaps he’s not that good!


    And don’t you get sick of reading about Man Utd signing Jadon Sancho?


    And cqn’s ‘not lazy journalism’ churning out smsm transfer speculation?


    It really does get boring. So why do I read it, I hear you say…’cause I’m bored!

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Tontine Tim – I’d echo Glasgowbhoy’s sentiments.



    Brilliant post.



    One question if I may – What more can you tell us about Dick Beattie?



    (A name I’ve heard mentioned but, admittedly, a guy I don’t know a lot about)



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  3. The Copenhagen, Cluj and Ferencevaros ties all share a striking resemblance.



    Games that were on a knife-edge (a one-off game and two games where we had drawn away from home) at Celtic Park. We seemed unsure how to play when we were going through on away goals and found ourselves chasing the game. We get ourselves back into the game and suffer counter-attack sucker punches as we continue to chase it.



    I don’t think we lost these due to a lack of investment.



    The team wasn’t able to play with the appropriate tactics when it was tightly poised. We then proceeded to play desperately attacking football and got ourselves back to level. We weren’t able to adapt our tactics again.



    When we were level with Ferencevaros why did we continue to play such a high line leaving ourselves open to the counter? It felt like we were taking all the risks when they were looking tired.



    This is what frustrates me. Neil Lennon has shown in the group stage he can get the team to win in Europe but he needs to approach knockout games differently.

  4. TT


    I was at Easter Road the night John Clark scored that goal. Scottish Cup midweek replay. Huge crowd at the game and massive Celtic support.


    The crowds outside could not be controlled by police horses and inevitably a large wooden sliding gate gave way and fans poured in.


    A really smashing Hibs-Celtic ( Battle of the Greens ) encounter. End to end stuff and then up pops John Clark doing what he virtually never did again.


    Great memories.


    Bobby Evans, Willie Fernie, Bertie Peacock, Charlie Tully- my God Celtic didn’t half produce legends.

  5. lets all do the huddle on

    its not lack of investment right enough that was our problem



    our problem was that NL was fixated with playing so many of the same players who have failed in europe before



    as a result our bench was stronger than our starting 11 for crucial games



    see what happened on sunday when he changed the team?



    didnt go far enough for my liking but its a start

  6. lets all do the huddle on

    i want to see ntcham and turnbull in the starting 11 for big games



    up to the manager how he fills the rest of the midfield

  7. we are not in champs league due to lack of preparation , simple! Lennon needed fresh signings and identified key positions that were not fulfilled in a timely manner. Here we are going into October and STILL see cannot close deals.



    If you identify a player, your #1 or #2 target – engage in negotiations and get your man. We don’t do that – we end up losing out on targets and scramble for late loan deals or unfit players.



    Its such a sloppy way to manage a team – our left back situation is scandalous to say the least. Taylor, despite his huge effort, is just not celtic class. Its a weakness in the side and has been for over a year now.



    I get the fact that waiting until closer to window can yield great deals BUT this of all seasons is not the time to dither!

  8. Sarajevo deploy the old Bosnian bus, schooled in old soviet discipline, when they play, looking to hit us on the break a la Ferencvaros.



    It’s a match that if you play people incapable of breaking that down (e.g. Taylor and Brown), defending a high line (e.g. Duffy) and have 1 forward (e.g. Eddie who will go walkabouts and get frsutrated) you run the chance of huffing, puffing and beign subject to the counter attack.



    I look to the team line-up to see if this is being factored in.



    I’m not confident and so hope moments of superior takent see us through.



    The above could be how I look at all our European matches…




  9. lets all do the huddle on

    we are not in champs league due to lack of preparation , simple! Lennon needed fresh signings and identified key positions that were not fulfilled in a timely manner. Here we are going into October and STILL see cannot close deals.





    thats only partly true



    but if you dont put your best available 11 on from the start then you are asking for trouble



    we had the players to win that game



    but NL didnt play enough of them

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    We are not in the Champions League this season because…



    …like last season and the season before, we lack the professionalism to deliver a performance sufficient to take care of teams with a fraction of our resources.



    You can stand blindfold, pin in hand, in front of a group photograph comprising the players, management and leadership of Celtic, confident that where ever you stick the pin, there will be responsibility and culpability for these results.

  11. For all the big mouth trumpets on here,yes,I do prefer the Europa League,that is our level.You want to kid yourselves on,go ahead.I do not want to see our reputation any more sullied ,taking a bsolute doings from the cream of Europe.The run we had in the Europa last year,raised our status in Italy,France ,not so getting humped by PSG.All we hear on here is,”We never learn”,so what difference does it make if we do not get CL,30 million,just the Europa 12 million,should not make a blind bit of difference to the continual whingers,as we ,in their opinion,dont spend it.Fekin idiots on here change their tune every day.What ever way the wind blows.


    Clueless numpties.

  12. when you say Lennon, do you mean Neil Francis Lennon, the manager of Celtic Football Club ?



    when you say “best 11” who knows what the best 11 at that exact moment in time for that opponent is ?



    In Neil Francis Lennon I trust.



    I will say my own piece again, I couldnt give a monkeys about CL this season, a big money participation yes, but a distraction all the same.



    I am convinced the fixtures will not complete, there will be games unable to be played, it is obvious.

  13. onenightinlisbon on

    Accepting that the Europa League is our level? Maybe we should give the huns a chance in the Champions league?

  14. onenightinlisbon on

    Lennon. His name is Lennon is it not? We talk about Larsson, Dalglish, McGrory…not allowed to say Lennon?

  15. lets all do the huddle on

    For all the big mouth trumpets on here,yes,I


    do prefer the Europa League,that is our level.





    i have also said the same thing plenty of times



    though without the Ernie style abusive tone which you felt the need to use 🤷🏻‍♂️



    the europa league is our level these days



    and the games we play in it can be much more entertaining than watching us get pumped in the champions league

  16. glendalystonsils on

    The trouble is …….. if we don’t earn CL money by qualifying for the CL we won’t be able to improve the team to the standard where we can give a decent account of ourselves among the big boys .



    Europa league money won’t cut it .



    CL qualification is the end to which all minds at Celtic should be directed . I can accept a few beatings from the big boys along the road to European improvement.

  17. Qualify for champions league and finish 3rd.



    Collect money.



    Toddle off to Europa league and try to win it.



    Collect kudos.

  18. To the people who think Celtic should have all their transfer business completed day 1 of the window….



    Do you really think that’s feasible with a different CEO? Sounds fanciful to me.



    Lennon. His name is Lennon is it not? We talk about Larsson, Dalglish, McGrory…not allowed to say Lennon?






    No you should have some respect for the position



    And I call them Legends or their full name.

  20. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    BIG WAVY on 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 5:22 PM


    Qualify for champions league and finish 3rd.


    Collect money.


    Toddle off to Europa league and try to win it.


    Collect kudos.




    Good plan.






  21. onenightinlisbon on

    SAINT STIVS on 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 5:25 PM



    No you should have some respect for the position



    And I call them Legends or their full name.



    Wasn’t aware there were rules/regulations over this.



    Lennon it is for me then……

  22. Celtic made an approach for Spurs left-back Ryan Sessegnon.



    But Sky Sports News understands the finances of a potential deal have proved problematic.



    A number of Premier League clubs are also interested in the 20-year-old.



    — Sky fella.



    Good player.

  23. Our dominance in Scottish football is severely boosted by the 30m champions league money. With previous champions league money, coupled with significant player sales – we should be qualifying more, especially when you look at the teams who knocked us out.



    PL and DD criticize the manager for not qualifying yet they don’t support his needs!



    We take risks and never speculate and plan early enough – so here we are with no left back, a center back who has played only a few games since January and a striker who was not fully fit. I’m delighted with the signings but would have liked them in sooner – they were in fact available sooner!



    Looks like Superman a.k.a. Ryan Cant will be unpacking his suitcase.



    B2B, I never bought in to all the guff (IMO) about Leeds and Kent. Admittedly Phil wrote that his ‘contacts’ told him they were willing to go up/to/beyond £12m, but for the life of me I could not see the logic.



    Taking out the fact that he plays for the Dark Side, he came up here for £6/7m (alledgedly) last year and had a reasonable, but not great season. His role is to provide assists and score the occasional goal – he provided less than half of the assists our our Invisible Mhan did (never mind the amount of goals Jamsie scored) and scored fewer goals over the season than wee Mikey Johnstone did and Mikey was out injured for two long spells! Two Celtic players that play in the same position as Kent.



    So where was the justification for doubling his transfer fee? Where was the outstanding development over the season? Also when you look at how Bielsa sets up his teams to play, where would Kent and his style fit in? No, for me it was all media urine and it looks as if that’s now confirmed.

  25. onenightinlisbon on

    STEBHOY on 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020 5:34 PM



    In my 50 years watching celtic the policy has never been “speculate to accumulate”. That’s why we are in such a sad state for European football.

  26. glendalystonsils on

    ‘We aim to come out of every transfer window stronger than when we went in’ Peter Lawwell.



    Paraphrased somewhat ( for any pedants around.)

  27. prestonpans bhoys on

    Passing time so thought I’d look at the DR – I know- but contained a revealing article on comparisons between the Hun and Galatasaray. Listed all the Hun players , now not all were signed by slippy, just the expensive ones, total cost £30m😵😱 to win hehaw😂

  28. Turkeybhoy………..A lot of enjoyable games in Europa last season and good coefficient points returns. I read somewhere that if both teams win tomorrow night the League winners in the SPFL go directly into the Champions group stage next season? Neil probably faces another blanket defence tomorrow against Sarajevo, no different to the tactics he faces every week in the SPFL but these teams have more lethal attackers. Do the homework Neil.

  29. jamesgang @ 11:44 am



    “Controversial and not doubt unpopular hypothesis – had the FOD had this opportunity:


    a) they’d have made the group stages at least as often as us, perhaps more


    b) the financial gulf that they’d have created between them and us would have been unbridgeable.”





    I find it neither controversial or unpopular, merely unproven.



    Rangers DID have this opportunity during the period when they won 9 league titles in a row and saw us reduced to 5th spot in hte league at one point. SO did they do better than us?:-



    1989- Ist round k.o of EC (admittedly by Bayern)-


    1990- 2nd round ko of EC- beata Maltese team – beaten by Red Star


    1991- 1st round ko of EC by Sparta Prague


    1992- This is the year they claim to have ben semi finalists. They beat Lyngby and Leeds in rounds 1 and 2- admirable achievements- This qualified them for one otwo Grooups of 4 where the Group winners sould contest the CL final. Rangers finished 2nd to Marseille in their group with a record of W2 and D4, they lost out by a point to the Frenchies who beat Milan in the final. This was hteir one high water mark achievement in a run of poor quality.


    1993- 1st round ko of CL by Levski Sofia


    1994- Qualifying round ko of CL by AEK (3:0 on agg.)


    1995- Narrowly won their qualifier against Famagusta then finished 4th in CL Group


    1996– won their qualifier and finished 4th in CL Group


    1997- 2nd round ko from CL by Goteborg, allowed them to drop into Uefa Cup where they lost home and away in their first qualifier to Strasbourg.



    So, when they had sole domination of our league, they produced 2 4th place finishes in a CL Group and one good year in 1991/92. This was 3 years before the Bosman ruling took effect and before TV money distorted the market and before big leagues had multiple automatic entrants ( only 1 German, Spanish, & Italian entrant that year). The English team knocked thee germans out in the first round. The Scottish team knocked the English team out in r.2 and the Spanish team lost to CSKA at r 2 also. This was an easier time to do well but it stands in contrast to all their other failures.



    In contrast during our recent 9iar, where no one feels we fulfilled our potential, we have managed to reach the CL Group stages on 4 occasions, finishing 2nd, 4th 4th and 3rd. We managed one round of 16 CL and 4 last 32’s in the Europa having qualified from our group.



    The eras are problematic to compare because of different qualifying arangements but they made CL Group stage only 3 times in their 9 and finished bottom twice. They did nothing in any UEFA camign either. We got 4 CL Group campaigns and qualified like they did one year, though we were not rearded with a set of Group games for doing so. We alos had to play in seasons where multiple English, Italian, Spanish, French & German teams qualified, not just one.



    I think we can hold up our head with what we achieved whilst the dominant team compared to what they did with many more advantageous circumstances.



    I think the fear over how well they do in Europe is not based on any actual reality. Perennial losers and drawers they are.

  30. One nIght in Lisbon



    “In my 50 years watching celtic the policy has never been “speculate to accumulate”. That’s why we are in such a sad state for European football.”





    Can you think of any other comparable club, apart from Rangers & Leeds, who did operate a “speculate to accumulate” model resulting in them outperforming us?