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. THUNDER ROAD on 19TH MAY 2017 9:12 PM






    Falkirks stadium only has 3 stands.




    Many thanks.

  2. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I hope Dundee Utd win. I don’t want another wan o they plastic ‘kinpitches in the top league.



    … and they just scored

  3. Thindimebhoy on 19th May 2017 9:20 pm



    Hopefully the American people will say



    Trump your fired




    Shocking that Trump is dishonest considering all other previous presidents were snow white :O)

  4. TheLurkinTim on

    Be as well talkin about Eva Green…..a professional;-()







  5. Enjoying this game.Will take ET.Would like to see Unt back in the top league.The boy Murray has turned out not too bad.When he first played,used to come on as a sub usually,and ran about like a madman.


    Anyway,another team that the Munters hate.Added to the Dons and Hibs a few defeats that will make the hordes spew.Unt score.Yes.

  6. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    JMORMICK 9:05 – thanks for that. I was thinking of doing the Viva Viagem zapping option from Lisboa airport, but Cowiebhoy’s charabanc option steals the show.

  7. Dexter P. Bampot on

    If the reports are true that we have bid 6.8 million for Paddy Roberts, it’s a very good sign that we are not resting on our laurels and intend making a real effort for Champions League progression



    Sadly however I think that the market value of the player is closer to 16.8 million so we have had to offer a larger sell-on clause, apparently



    The wider message of such a bid must be that we are prepared to spend proper money on the right player. Even if we don’t secure Paddy, it seems that we may be in a position to spend a few million on a young but proven player. I would like to think that for such a player the Club have identified a number of European targets.



    Money would also be very wisely invested in securing long-term deals for Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor and Tom rogic. Such additional expenditure now is a no-brainer, as these players- if not contributing to Celtic’s success in the years to come- would represent how to transfer profits if they moved on



    On a different point, I regret to say that I think Griffiths may have burnt his bridges with Rodgers. Brendan strikes me as a man with history running through his blood- he truly wants to be a modern day Jock Stein or Bill Shankly. He wants to be the guv’nor wherever he is and to be fair I think he’s grown into the role. Brendan will want to send a message out to the rest of the squad and to any player who may play under him. It was stupid, crass and short sighted by Leigh and I fear it will cost him more than a place in the Cup Final (if that’s why he acted so childishly- thinking he had possibly lost his spot).

  8. The Good Ship Celtica on

    The quality of this play off game is not great but the drama is something else. Entertaining to watch as a neutral.





    Sailing On….

  9. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    To all the guys who are not going to Lisbon – I didn’t go to Seville and it was the biggest regret of my life. all the guys who are in work are excused, but any of you in your late 50s, maybe 60s (I’m talking to you Tony Donnelly) – get your arse out to Lisbon next week. – all that stuff that our fathers went through, all our childhood memories of 25th May – we’ll be celebrating that next week. Get your grey-haired constipated, arthritic old arse out there – you won’t regret it.

  10. glendalystonsils on

    Quite glad that Falkirk and their plastic pitch will not be coming up. Probably the better of the two teams but Utd never gave up.

  11. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Peter Houston magnanimous in defeat



    Good interview..

  12. Thindimebhoy on

    America should have a president



    Who wants to make the world great again







    Cheers. Thanks for the solitary reply. I did buy the Via Viagem pass and it is great value. I was travelling back at night with the Mrs , so we opted for taxi back to our hotel just to be safer as it was later on.


    The 3 day pass was only 18 Euro each and worked out great value. We did not he the train trip to Estadio Nacional and Cascais included , but that was only 9 Euro return each.


    I do hope all goes well but I do feel that the heat and hills, not to say the bevvy, will take its toll. It’s a lovely city but probably around 20 years behind Barca or Rome in dealing with tourists.

  14. BT


    Houston tells it like it is, don’t always like what he says right enough :-)


    Enjoy Lisbon, give my regards to Dave, wish I was going, sadly, can’t get animal sitter so Mrs TET is going to see the grandweans instead, but I will be with yous in spirit.



  15. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Another big plus for me this season is some of our players , Callum in particular, now comfortably using both their feet . Its refreshing to see this as its a bugbear of mine professional footballers not being confident using both feet.



    The display by the Bhoys fan group in the Jackie Husband stand was as good as our team’s performance last night.



    I can’t wait for Sunday for a special display by the Green Brigade and more importantly , a special display by our team.



    glad you enjoyed your trip, and thanks also for the tips. We arrive on Sunday evening and will probably spend the first couple of days seeing the city. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go to, mostly for the obvious reasons, but also because of it’s history.


    I was aware of the hills, and had planned to use public transport quire a lot, so thanks for the heads up about the trams.


    Second part of the week will be all about the celebrations, so maybe by then we’ll have seen enough,,and climbed enough hills, but despite that, really can’t wait to get out there

  17. Thunder Road on




    Considering what he has to work with and the teams that have been in that league the last few seasons, they have done well to be in the mix and have only just fell short again this year as they did last year at these play offs.


    Was talking to a Falkirk supporter who wanted Houston sacked after Killie had beat them.


    Was staggered at his attitude.


    They got the knives out for Yogi after he hit a bad spell despite him giving them some of the best fitba they had seen in years for a few seasons.

  18. Dallas



    The GB have been in several nights this week and are in just now setting up Sunday’s display.

  19. JMCCORMICK I will not unfortuneately be going to Lisbon but appreciated your observations, always good to get a current on the spot report. H H Hebcelt




    Not a problem. Just shout if you need any more stuff. I just want to help anyone who will be there. Like any major city I always recommend licensed taxis late at night, and in Lisbon they were very cheap.



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