Why this is the finest Celtic team in 47 years


You and I have seen some special Celtic teams. For me, the double winning team in 1977, the Centenary team and, of course, the Martin O’Neill team, were without doubt above anything we’ve had since the 60s.

I am in no way disparaging Gordon Strachan’s remarkable achievement of twice reaching the knock out stages of the Champions League. This was down to Gordon’s superior ability as a manager; the wee man didn’t have a squad to compare to the others on the list.

By contrast, this team, in its embryonic state, finished fourth in the Champions League group, but that was then. Now, they are within touching distance of winning an undefeated treble. This is the finest Celtic team I’ve seen.


The ’77 team wasn’t so much a team as a support act for Kenny Dalglish. A season later, without King Kenny, they finished fifth, without even a Uefa Cup spot as compensation.

It was sheer force of Billy McNeill’s personality which drove the Centenary team on, but they returned for preseason without their elixir.

It was like going to school watching Martin O’Neill’s team. We learned so much about the game that we’d never seen at Celtic. This was a guy who knew how to get results. But without another King, we discovered that team too was built on a single foundation.

There are no Kings in this Celtic team. They are a team in the true sense of the word. Last night, without Dembele, Armstrong, Tierney, Lustig, Simunovic and Sinclair they rolled around the Firhill surface like a machine from the 22nd century.

It was breathtaking. This is the greatest Celtic team since the one which walked off the Hampden pitch in front of 136,000 fans in 1970.

I saw a preview of the BBC documentary film, Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions, which airs across the UK on Wednesday 24th May. It was heartfelt, entertaining and inspiring. I intended to review it today, but I was so annoyed at the coverage some in the media gave it, I thought I better step back to do the job justice.

They had some of the Lions, of course, and some wives too, but they sat a microphone in front of a few of our more experienced CQN’ers Some of the best things you have read on this site come to life on the screen. We’ll talk about it again next week.

Stunned and humbled at the support for the marathon, which takes place on Sunday morning, to benefit the Celtic Foundation. I just don’t know what to say. There are spectacular donations (here) there – a simple thank you does not seem appropriate, but I know every donation, large or small, means someone has taken the trouble to spend hard earned money.

It is appreciated, thank you.

If you’d like to get an historic week off to a unique start I hear there’s a projector screening of the original live broadcast and whole 90 minutes from Lisbon in a Govan warehouse tonight (Friday, 19th), it’ll run from around 6.30 till 9. If interested drop an email to cqnopen@gmail.com



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  1. Hi Bhoys



    If that’s the major announcement I didn’t need ladbrokes to tell me that.




  2. thetimreaper on







    You’ve not got it yet!!!





    Nope, struggling.

  3. Paul67 et al



    One of our best teams in the last fifteen years or so certainly, but unlikely to have got the better of Neil Lennon’s best team, and would certainly be outmuscled and outplayed by a Martin O’Neill team powered by Larsson, Sutton and Hartson. Not to mention the 1972 and 1974 Jock Stein teams, both still influenced by the Lisbon lions, and full of ability. 1977 was a last hurrah for Big Jock, and we did very well indeed to win the double that year. And those views are based on having seen all of those teams. The most consistent team since Willie Maley’s of one hundred years ago? Absolutely.

  4. What is the Stars on

    Been given 3 horses for today


    told each way on them all



    Kentish Waltz 2.20 York


    Mabrook 4.15 Newbury


    Undisputed 5.35 Aintree



    Other snippets are Declan Carroll stable fancy Saigon City 3.55 Newmarket and Justanotherbottle 5.50 York


    Also at York told Simple Verse 3.30 will love the ground


    Best of luck if you choose to invest

  5. A Stor Mha Chroi on

    Findlay “Who has £33m in cash?”


    Betts “Nobody I know”


    DF “Possibly a gentleman from Medellin, but that might ring alarm bells”

  6. A Stor Mha Chroi on

    Betts says he first found out about Whyte’s plan to buy Rangers from Vincent Bull




  7. A Stor



    The only comments about this matter I recall reading were the misinformed scribblings of journalists and pundits, like Chris Sutton, I cannot recall one intimidating statement from Celtic at all. But my memory’s not what it was.



    It’s very easy to blame Celtic for everything, a lot of the time they are in the wrong admittedly, but a lot harder to prove it. However when it comes to Celtic, not having proof has never proven a hindrance for some.

  8. So the Munters will be spending all ST money on transfers.So says the Glib one.Not an eye batted by our intrepid hacks.Not a question about how the week to week running of them will be met.No Kit deal,no credit,a paltry sponsorship deal.A host of players still under contract,who are unsaleable.A club that are 20 million in debt to soft loans,incurred for the last couple of seasons alone.ST income will be around 12 million.Running costs of Sevco have been put at around 17 million per season.It does not take a lot of brainpower to see the “WTF”here.


    You would think that at least one Hack would have the Cohones to ask,”How is this possible”The good news is,the Gullible mob are whooping at the thought.

  9. West End of East End on

    At the start of this season Callum McGregor was the target for the boo boys, now that his game has stepped up a gear who in the team will be the next target ? I honestly don’t know who they can pick on next based on the performances this season. Last night was a masterclass performance with not one failure.

  10. Paddy Roberts.For me it will be like a death in the family if he goes for good.he is the icing on the cake in this fantastic squad.His drag back from the despairing Jags player,and vision to curl it away into the net in one movement,was really,Messiesque.A wee genius.





    We came up against a very good Ajax side in 71. Exceptional,in fact.



    Held them to one until a coupla late lapses left us a mountain to climb.



    Mullered them in the return,only 1-0 and out.



    Like many teams who won the EC,they knew who their most difficult game was against.



    69 could have been so much better. 70 71 72 and 74 too.



    I’ve always wondered why the wheels came off thereafter. Personally I put it down to the death of Robert Kelly.



    He always had the best interests of the club at heart,but to be honest he didn’t know how best to achieve that.



    Leave it to a pro,Jock arrives and together,an autocratic manager rules the roost.



    Didnae suit Des White. There’s a circle in hell for that money grabbing bastirt who destroyed every manager he hired and every good team we managed to assemble.



    There aren’t any pockets in a shroud,so I would love to know what that asset-stripping disgrace for a “Celtic man” did wi the money



    Never will. He probably didnae even pass on the account details to his heirs,it will be rattling around the Cayman Islands waiting for an unlock code.



    I genuinely struggle to think of one single action by him which was of benefit to the club.



    He has good company in that special circle,though the other occupant might feel hard done by for only getting thirty pieces of silver.

  12. The Green Jedi @ 1:08 pm



    Unless I am mistaken UEFA do not allow loanees to be barred from playing against their parent club.

  13. Izzy and Gamboa are a fantastic back up in both full back positions.This is some squad of players.

  14. Ryan Jack will be leaving Aberdeen – official. In my opinion he is no better than Andy Halliday




    Perhaps the harshest critique of a player ever made…

  15. It’s hard to compare teams of different eras. Imo, if the Quality Gang team had stayed together, it would have been legendary. At least 3 World Class and a few others no bad. Personally, I think the current squad are the best and most entertaining we have had since Mr Stein’s time. In the past, I used to worry if we needed to make a substitution. No more. When we do so now, the substitute adds something. We are way better than anything in Scotland. All that will stop us now is the MIBs. As our manager said earlier in the season, this team will be get better. That has happened and will go on doing so, individually and collectively.

  16. The Conservative twitter account just tweeted:



    “For too many people in Britain today, life is simply much harder than many seem to think or realise.”



    The only thing more bewildering is that people will read that, agree with it and still vote for them without stopping to think about why life is much harder for them.

  17. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    This season is turning into a very fitting way to mark the 50th Anniversary, but it is probably too early to say how good this current team is.



    Expectations for next season, before a ball has been kicked,have been set fairly high.

  18. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Afternoon Celts






    That Paddy dragback was magnificent.


    What a player that bhoy is.


    Surely Pep can see how good Paddy….staggering if he cant get in that Manc City team, they are mince.


    Rich non-triers.




  19. Go tell the Spartim on

    West End of East End



    just listen closely at any home games and you’ll find there are plenty of scape goats, boyata is the favourite whipping bhoy at present from the bedwetters.

  20. !!BADA BING!!



    Well you normally hear his name immediately followed by the name of an opposition player such is the frequency of him giving away possession.

  21. Brendan Rodgers on Leigh Griffiths: “He’s apologised sincerely. He’s a massive part of what I’m doing so don’t think he’s on his way out.”

  22. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    ” James Comey tried to hide from Trump, by blending in with curtains”


    That must have been difficult to pull off.


    Clever eh


    FBI, masters of disguise:)








    Aye,had my say on our former chairman.



    Bed for me now,nightshift to come.

  24. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Ah, The supreme leader wants to control the internet now.


    No different from Erdogan, or Kim, the Chinese, or the Saudi’s.


    I fecking hate that snide curtain-twitching nazi reptile….just get that in before the GOVERNMENT clampdown:)


    Social Engineering, State assisted murder, Corruption, and revolting privilege and nepotism.


    Sieg Heil Theresa.





  25. saltires en sevilla on




    Love the team and last night’s performance was a complete joy! Full pub absolutely buzzing and smiling. Gnarled oul’ bhoys that never get excited or too upbeat about the team were up punching the air and cheering!



    Lots of guys getting the Love back for Celts! Which is some achievement by all concerned!!



    However, we are about same age and cannot agree with best team I’ve seen since 60’s.


    These guys have a lot to prove where it matters. Europe!



    The quality of opponent in Scotland has arguably never been worse ( I know about only playing what is in front of you)



    Let’s keep the feet on the ground for a wee while longer until Hertz get sirted out, there is a Scottish Cup in the trophy room .



    I’m still feeling the pain from Iberian Peninsula – The Rock and Camp Nou are not easily forgotten and a reminder of what can happens when we meet continental opponents at either end if the spectrum.



    The class of 72, 74 and 2003 would beat this team right now!



    We are on the right road and if Phil Mac is correct on his news today, another big step forward.



    Personally, I’m anticipating that the 2nd season team will have reached the heights of 72/74/2003 by this time next year! In Europe!!




  26. BMCUWP



    I would not know what Desmond W’s motivrs were for running Celtic as he did- I do not know if they were as base as you think ( my late father would have agreed with you BTW) as there is a school of thought that he acted as he did in a sincere belief that it was the right thing for Celtic. But he was a disastrous leader who set us on the road to the near catastophes of 1994 whatever his motivation.



    Ajax 71. Great team – they did to us in the last 20 what Barca did to Bayern 2 years ago. Destroyed us. Piet Kiezer their left winger is one of the best players I have ever seen in the flesh. The no 14 was not bad either



    Work to do ( by me) and that very large Jura I had last night on return from Firhill seems less of a good idea now!



    McGregor is a fine footballer who is developing into a first class player.


    Like Armstrong he had the good fortune of Brendan being appointed as a coach.


    McGregors Asbests are vision, shooting passing and the ability to attack space.


    His tackling is poor so under the previous coach he was often accused of being a defensive liability.


    In Brendan’s fluid system he has coverage and less individual responsibility .


    The first two chances he had last night through attacking space happened due to the system encouraging and adapting to vacated space.


    In short last season his strengths created weaknesses in our team and this season we have a system that makes them assets.





    We saw some teams and players playing against us in those days,didn’t we?



    But we saw some great teams and players playing for us,too.

  29. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    PS on last night.




    We may have scored five goals, however, only three hit the back of the net.




    Not good enough, lads.

  30. Dave king as paraphrased by the imbecilic Scottish Meeja hacks:



    ‘Rangers will be spending all the season ticket money on transfers.



    Dave King in reality:



    ‘Rangers will be spending all that’s LEFT of the season ticket money on transfers.’








  31. Davidopoulos on 19th May 2017 2:19 pm



    Brendan Rodgers on Leigh Griffiths: “He’s apologised sincerely. He’s a massive part of what I’m doing so don’t think he’s on his way out.”






    That’s heartwarming.



    It hink BR understands Sparky is just a bit mental and desperate to play and do well; nothing egotistical about his moans last night.

  32. Raymond Shannon61 on

    Not missed a game at CELTIC PARK all session no ticket for final because not on home ticket system got a hour to renew or not.?HH

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