When we were kings


Our now-annual defeat against St Johnstone yesterday was a timely reminder of how close to defeat any team can be if they are even slightly off their game.  Despite fighting the urge not to be disrespectful to yesterdays’ victors, they are a poor team, previously without a win, bottom of the league and they had to cancel training during the week due to illness in their small squad.

But, they deservedly beat Celtic.

Kris Commons was a bright light among the largely disorganised looking team structure.  Tony Watt also did well, even if he is still beating himself up for passing up the best chance of the game in the dying seconds, but defensively we were turned over, the midfield singularly failed to control the ball and Gary Hooper looked miles away from scoring his first league goal of the season.

Did we need a sharp reminder of the level of performance required against Benfica on Wednesday?  It looks like it.

When we were kings

Don’t worry too much, a team with Fallon, Gemmell, McNeill, Murdoch, Auld, Johnstone and Wallace were turned over 0-2 at home by Hearts in 1969.  A few days later Eusebio and Benfica, who lost the 1968 European Cup final after extra-time, a year after Celtic won the tournament, walked off Celtic Park having lost 3-0.

Artur Jorge played for Benfica that night.  Apparently he still lurks in the corridors.

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  1. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on




    Left a reply on the last one. Maybe you can bring it over. See at you Paradise.

  2. Attitude & application are basic fundamentals for wearing the Celtic jersey.



    Excuses I can get from anyone. Its results that matter.




  3. Paul 67 ——



    Hostages to fortune ———-



    ” The Perth team are bottom of the SPL without a win so far this season ,so will not present a challenge ”



    Paul 67 CQN 9 /9 /2012..



    Most of the players looked like they believed that too. .



    Benfica – unlike St Johnstone – can play football . Enormous improvement required.

  4. Paul 67…. Admire your positivity and am sure the Bhoys will be back to their best come wednesday and benfica.



    I don’t take defeat too well, I avoid all media in the aftermath and become something of a recluse, avoiding even family and friends . Any defeat Celtic take I take as a personal slight.



    I know this sounds pathetic for a grown man of 43 but I seem to getting worse .



    For god sake I have even avoided surfing Cqn since the result..



    Am I mad?

  5. prestonpans bhoys on

    Well just back in from the game, had a nice night in Perth good food, good cocktails and can’t remember gettng back to my B&B :-)



    However what I do remember was that decision not to award us a penalty. Just watch it on the telly – that ref should be banned for life against us!



    Anyway I did find it funny walking down to the city centre and the St Johnstone fans leaning out cars windows giving me the bird. Ah well, I just laughed and let them enjoy their day!!

  6. Here’s a strange tale. Went into the JJB superstore in Swindon yesterday to get some footballs for our youth team. Went to checkout to pay and the girl began to pack the balls into a carrier bag- a The Rangers carrier bag, at which point I noticed that all goods being purchased were being placed into these Rangers bags. I told the assistant that she could take them out of the two bags- as there was no way I would be taking them out in such things, much to my 9 year old daughters embarrasment as regaled my wife the story when she got home.



    The assistant told me I was ‘funny’ and thought I was jesting. I then told her I was deadly serious. Anyway, she scrambled around to find a couple of JJB carriers and I explained the reason why to to her and the others in the queue.



    Still trying to reason why they were using the club formerly known as Rangers carrier bags in the Swindon store. Is this because they are now old stock, or a subliminal attempt to normalise the Rangers brand in England.



    Anyone else come across this in England?




  7. JUDE 2005.i live in england will give my son a bottle of MALT for raffle in ..the pheonix.he is going on wed night for benfica game.wee idea you get 10 people only to write their name on a £10 note and they all fire at the same time.like 1,2 3,go .nearest bottle wins.easy £100 profit.

  8. Looking forward to this Reading and Spurs match,hope it’s a real open game. I have a lot of time for the Reading manager too.

  9. Perspective



    Two of the new players hardly even met the others…. A few just coming back from injury. And no consistency of selection in any area of the park



    I do worry about emelio though

  10. starry plough .



    No idea about Celtic but Paolo Di Canio said this re the training at Sheffield Wednesday —————-



    ” The warm up exercises at Juve , Napoli and Milan were tougher . “

  11. StumptownBhoy-(ex-SanDiegoBhoy)For_wee_Oscar on

    burghbhoy- 15:49 on 16 September, 2012



    I’m 45 and behave in a similar fashion after a poor result.



    That is because I want to remain objective and in a positive mindset. Perusing the MSM after a loss will have you hiding behind the couch in no time. In addition the hunterlopers and those with an anti-Celtic agenda are all over the blog like an embarrassing rash. It’s not because I am afraid of objective debate, it’s just that there is no reasoning with them.



    Go for a walk and hug someone you love. It’s just a game after all, albeit one very close to our hearts :-)



    Yours in Celtic. HH.

  12. Paul 67,



    It seems to me we are huge underdogs for Wednesday. I haven’t carried out any research on Benfica primarily because the little titbits I have heard on them is quite frightening.



    Cascarino, Matt Holland and the excellent German journalist Rafael Honigstein on Talksport today discussing our group:



    Cas – very very tough group for Celtic


    Holland – as much as I would like them to go through it will be Barca and Benfica


    Honigstein gave a lengthy appraisal of the Benfica team adding – “they have incredible quality, they may be intimidated a little bit, the crowd can be a force and a power for Celtic but over two ties Benfica will be too strong.



    Of course, we all know better, no matter the quality of the opposition and irrespective of our current form, very few teams survive the CL experience in Paradise. That is the reality.




  13. Paul67



    Was at both the games you mention.



    Don’t have a great recollection of the Hearts game, but the one against Benfica is still – even at my advanced age – fairly clear in the old memory bank. Gemmell, Wallace and Hood scored. It could, and should, have been 5 or 6. Another fantastic European night in the old Jungle!



    Similar score on Wednesday would do just fine!




  14. The ref giveth and the ref taketh away.


    It would be good to have actual refs in the spl and not just **** stained masonic sevco ‘fans’ doin’ their damndest to make sure as many of our players get damaged.


    All part of the problem.


    Why is it that we did so well in qualies for the CL against teams that would give anyone in the spl a run for their money, yet we struggle against the identical inferiority?


    There’s enough evidence to say that the match officials have an negative influence, not just on the match, but on our players, too. It would be dispiriting for anyone to play in any sport to know that before you even begin you will not have a level playing field, and you run the risk of wilfullly unpunished injury.


    Yeah, we wish we could always stick enough balls in the back of the net, but narrow victories are not uncommon in football games anywhere, so a biased ref is an enormous handicap to overcome. Week in, week out….well, anywhere else that would be vociferously condemned from all quarters as wholly unacceptable.


    Not in Scotland. We are just supposed to get to the back of the bus and ‘deal with it’.


    Aye….okay then.

  15. El Diego bhoy,



    When Benfica play us it will be their first game for nearly three weeks




  16. TJ



    Cheers mate. Didn’t know that.






    I seem to recall John Fallon having a great save from a Eusebio header.

  17. StumptownBhoy-(ex-SanDiegoBhoy)For_wee_Oscar on

    Check the Benfica 12/13 fixtures. Very few games played yet in their season. A few against teams that seem to have been organized for morale boosting wins. 3-0 and 5-0 respectively.



    Could this be their Achilles heel? Lenny is surely planning around this.

  18. El Diego bhoy,



    Not sure if its a plus or a minus for us, Benfica fresh and raring to go or possibly not at their optimum tempo? Don’t think it matters either way.




  19. Paul 67



    Spot on,I am sure we will show improvement on Wed. but yesterday was not on,I can take a defeat but most of those guys thought they were doing us a favour.



    Someone should remind them that fans of a certain vintage have seen better than them both play and leave,but we are the constant.



    Hooper in my view is all wrong,not interested,one lay off good,one accidental knock and he wanted off.



    Do not understand NL then moving him to MF,in effect we were playing with 10 men.



    Play Watt,give me a trier everytime.



    Didn’t we just lift the mood of the Nation however,never mind Andy Murray winning a Major,nothing lifts the uninitiated like a Celtic defeat.



    Pity for them the game on the Caravan site fell short.

  20. SoT



    Apols for the delay, visitors.



    I thought Juve and the other Italian teams were at their club for at least 8-10 hours a day, and they trained for 6-8 hours, but 6 hours is still probably twice what we do at Celtic.



    My local team, would be in about div 135, they train every night for 3-4 hours, seems the europeans have a very different mentality when it comes to their football, they realise that hard work and practice is essential.

  21. South Of Tunis



    I was impressed by Celtic’s fitness in the CL games we have already played, Wednesday is a whole different ball game, Benfica always have players and the current crop are getting good press should we leave the door to the GAP FIELD between our mids and defenders we could be up against it.



    On the other hand underdog is not the worst thing to be in life!



    Let’s see what the Young Lions are made of, you wanna be a Celtic Legend, nows yer chance!!

  22. EDB



    Felt a bit sorry for John Fallon because he came into the side after Ronnie Simpson dislocated his shoulder in the League Cup SF replay against Ayr. ‘Faither never played for us again. Big Jock signed Evan Williams shortly thereafter.



    Fallon played against Basle in the 1st round and against Benfica in the 2nd, and then lost his place to Williams.




  23. The Exile Tim et al,



    It is an interesting topic.



    Di Canio’s book was illuminating, the anecdote where he ran off the training ground because ge perceived a lack of application on the part of his team mates, chased from Barrowfield to Celtic Park by the great TB, is noteworthy. By all accounts Paolo trained like a demon.



    He famously fell out with Redknapp at West Ham when Arry stopped the team bus for fish suppers to celebrate a victory – unable to comprehend that a professional would recover from a game with grease and fat.



    Marcotti and Vialli’s book detail the traditional differences in approach to training on the continent. When British players shoot high and wide in practice they get donkey noises from team mates, apparently good banter and helpful for bonding. In Italy there is no hilarity, no banter and very often, disapproving looks.



    If memory serves me Paul Lambert was blown away by the German approach to training and was not allowed to leave the ground until he had a 90 minute sports massage and a lengthy session on tactics. This was after a few hours on the pitch and conditioning in the gym.



    I daresay things have improved now as sports science has gradually and helpfuly become embedded in the British game but you stil get the feeling we lag behind somewhat.




  24. Benfica ——-



    Post draw I’ve watched 2 of their games====



    Setubal 0 — Benfica 5


    Benfica 3 —–CD Nacional 0



    Very quick / excellent technique . Pass and move for 90 minutes .



    Both fullbacks are excellent- love to bomb forward .



    From what I’ve seen ——– Rodrigo and Cardozo are very , very good . Aimar can still put a ball on a sixpence / through the eye of a needle etc. .



    They are no mugs

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