Wright within rights, Ciftci running upstairs caveat


I was disappointed for St Johnstone at their exit from the Europa League last night but not for Scottish football, or our coefficient points.  Saints are a provincial club in a very rural part of Scotland.  You only have to travel through the hills to Perth to realise that pocket of Scotland, with its tractors, knitwear and wellie boot shops, has no God given right to beat a team from any municipality anywhere.

They have done very well for the last couple of seasons, from a tiny catchment area, but managed to reach Europe by pipping Dundee United, who ironically were good enough to have key players poached midseason.

St Johnstone don’t have potential superstars, they are also the oldest team in the league, which gets you through a long campaign but they are never going to sparkle.  Or earn Scottish football a hatful of coefficient points.

Dundee United were decimated by the loss of those two players midseason, and were done no favours with the shadow of uncertainty which enveloped backroom and boardroom for months, but they, Aberdeen and Celtic are the only Scottish clubs capable of getting their act together to the extent required to reach European group stages.  For everyone else, Europe is strictly a July pursuit, so don’t stress about it, and Tommy Wright is well within his rights to talk up his own club.

If Scottish football wants to get all introspective about last night, we should concern ourselves with concentrating resources on clubs who are independently financially viable: Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hearts, Celtic, Hibs and maybe Dundee.  If more of our sponsorship and TV money went to Aberdeen and United and less to the thirty-or-so hangers on, they would be better placed to consolidate their development work and compete in Europe.

Celtic are five days away from their opening competitive game of the season, so I would think tonight’s friendly against Davie Moyes’ Real Sociedad will be the last strenuous exercise the players go through after what will have been a taxing first few weeks of preseason.  After this workout it should all be about recovery before the visit of Stjarnan on Wednesday.  The usual caveats apply to Nadir Ciftci, if he looks like he couldn’t run upstairs, he’s about where I’d expect him to be right now.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 32

  1. leftclicktic on

    Jungle Jim Hot Smoked


    not caught much of the tennis,but seen a set from a Federer game, I thought i was watching a replay from a few year ago because of rain or something, he was outstanding and just as good as ever ,


    Though I hope he runs out of steam today.




    The HATERS march is getting smaller every year, like their team they are in denial but last week I never heard one whistle stick or seen one bit of ragged crimpolene ,Scotlands shame like their old fitba teams days are numbered .

  2. up_over_goal on




    80% of the time in those appearances, Griffiths played as a striker. Besides, playing attacking left or right didn’t exactly hinder Armstrong or Mcgregor, or even Stokes for that matter, from getting goals/assists.



    The games against Stjarnen are a gimme, but in the others I’d rather start Scepovic up front than Griffiths.

  3. jimbo67 either that or his subliterate big brother, it’s hard to tell with these mountain “men”. No idea why he posts on here,never any Celtic content. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  4. Petec



    Time will tell and I remain ever hopeful but it still worries me how rigidly Ronny persists with his favoured system and style despite the opposition.

  5. glendalystonsils on

    I believe Denayer is looking for guarantees of first team football at city which he might not get. Don’t know what wages he’s on but he’s unlikely to be within our structure. Wouldn’t mind another seasons loan though.

  6. Blessed Martin to return to Leicester






    Republic of Ireland ready to allow Martin O’Neill to return to Leicester City



    • Bookmaker suspends betting on O’Neill taking vacant Leicester job


    • Roy Keane likely to take over for Euro 2016 qualifiers if O’Neill goes



    Betting has been suspended on Martin O’Neill returning to Leicester City. The Football Association of Ireland would be happy to let Martin O’Neill depart amid interest from Leicester City. A bookmaker has suspended betting on the 63-year-old replacing Nigel Pearson, who was sacked by the Premier League club last week.



    Although the FAI has not made any official comment, a source told the Guardian that the association would not stand in O’Neill’s way if he wants to vacate his contract early. O’Neill had been priced at 10-1 to move back to Leicester, where he enjoyed a successful spell between 1995 and 2000, winning two League Cups, but a succession of four-figure bets early on Friday saw his odds reduced to 1-4 with some bookmakers. William Hill said it had suspended its market.



    If O’Neill were to re-join Leicester, the expectation is that his assistant, Roy Keane, would take control for the remaining four Euro 2016 qualifiers. A job share which would allow O’Neill to see out his Ireland contract, which runs to the end of the campaign, appears unlikely after the FAI chief executive, John Delaney, ruled out such a possibility last year.



    That was before Keane doubled up as Aston Villa assistant under Paul Lambert, however. The former Ipswich and Sunderland manager lasted only five months at Villa Park, eventually citing a desire to focus on Ireland as the reason for his departure.



    Ireland have struggled in qualifying. Last month’s draw at home to Scotland leaves them in fourth position in Group D with games against the leaders, Poland, and the world champions Germany still to come. They did earn a draw away to a below-par Germany but O’Neill’s only two competitive wins have come against Gibraltar and Georgia, where a late Aiden McGeady goal saved their blushes.



    O’Neill earns €1.2m a year, partially funded by the businessman Denis O’Brien, and if he were to depart early it could be viewed as a saving for the cash-strapped organisation now hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament in France have all but evaporated.



    The O’Neill-Keane combination was immediately christened the dream team when they took over from Giovanni Trapattoni in 2013 but after showing some promise in early friendlies, performances have slumped.



    Leicester returned to pre-season last week and will open their Premier League campaign against Sunderland, who sacked O’Neill in 2013. The Northern Irishman has never hidden his desire to take another Premier League job and when asked last season, at a time when Leicester were favourites to be relegated, if he would consider coming back said: “Never say never.”




  7. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Excellent, well thought out post and a relic of what CQN used to be before the end of the pier comedians, armchair philosophers and rebels without a clue side tracked it in an orgy of self indulgence.

  8. mike in toronto on




    If it’s a permanent move he wants (I don’t know), we probably couldn’t afford him. But, I’m sure city think we did well by him last year, and he seemed to enjoy it here. And if a cynic like me thinks RD is on the cusp of something good, Perhaps JD can also see it, and may want a crack at the CL.

  9. up_over_goal



    Scepovic? Dear God naw!



    I’m sorry but I just don’t think he’s good enough for us. Ive read and heard Celtic supporters talking about his great movement, I don’t see it mate.



    I’ve related how he was berated at St Mirren last season where you could clearly hear Broonie shouting at him, “You’re running too early!”



    I see him make runs but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those runs are well timed or into the right place.



    Griffiths for me sir.

  10. up_over_goal



    14:25 on 10 July, 2015






    80% of the time in those appearances, Griffiths played as a striker. Besides, playing attacking left or right didn’t exactly hinder Armstrong or Mcgregor, or even Stokes for that matter, from getting goals/assists.



    The games against Stjarnen are a gimme, but in the others I’d rather start Scepovic up front than Griffiths.





    An own goal, for the Celebrations?



    A bulkier Leigh would be ideal.



    I feel Leigh was too nervous last season, his finishing is, IMO, superb, when he is relaxed, ok ok Numero 9 isnae gonnae relax ye, well his STRIKING is Awesome.



    Overall game, needs to be worked on!!!!



    Oh Ronny Ronny.

  11. up_over_goal on




    Scepovic? Dear God naw!



    That’s my point – even the Scepinator would be preferable to Griffa.



    My ideal would be Armstrong behind Commons and Stokes in 4-3-1-2 – capture the dream!

  12. Johann M



    H insists on buying watered doon emulsion which requires at least 10 coats per wall! :-)

  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK



    cheers nice to now your not alone, wish the self serving folk in Scottish football could see the greater good is to the long term benefit to all. off out




  14. up_over_goal



    Like you I’m a big fan of Commons but sadly I don’t think he’ll see too much game time this season. Listen, if it works without KC in the side then great, it’s Celtic that counts not individuals.

  15. up_over_goal on




    What you need to bear in mind is that the number of chances a Celtic striker gets in Europe will be a fraction of those given to him by lesser Scottish sides – that’s why I don’t rate Griffiths.



    Georgios Samaras’ playing style was an example of the kind of attacking nous Celtic need for the Champions League, but it’s a model Ronny is moving us away from.

  16. rwe



    14:18 on 10 July, 2015


    Coolmore mafia



    Barabas was chosen by the “mob” which had been infiltrated by sevconian sympathisers.





    Chelsea fans surely?

  17. Hamiltontim



    14:26 on 10 July, 2015






    Time will tell and I remain ever hopeful but it still worries me how rigidly Ronny persists with his favoured system and style despite the opposition.





    1 year he has been here.



    Let him Breathe.



    I watched the Norwegian games last weekend because of a bet. Perfecto surfaces and attacking fitba, across the Board.



    There is a Dark entity still Presiding over Scottish Fitba. It is sickening really but Celtic is Remarkable.




  18. MiT



    I’m with you brother.



    (Not literally of course! CapeFearCSC!)



    HH jamesgang





    If Man City don’t realise the star they have in JD then hell mend them.



    I’d have him back in a heartbeat.

  20. up_over_goal,



    I love yer analysis of games and formations.



    I said early doors, I Hope wee Leigh can make that step up, and it is a massive step up.



    I still expect Leigh to score 50 this season.



    Get in early and go for the Mega odds, over 2.5 goals first half Celtic games, bolder wans will go for over 3.5.



    Ronny Deila is Perfect for the way Celtic is Run, IMO.



    I am waiting until my Samsung 2 packs in before I get a new phone. I’m also waiting until my not smart TV packs in before getting a smart TV.



    Thats just me.

  21. Petec



    I think the qualifiers will be a good indication of where we are with Ronny’s plan.



    He’s had a full season with the squad and has been backed by the board, as much as they will, in the last two transfer windows.



    Hopefully, onwards to victory!


    cosy corner bhoy



    14:16 on 10 July, 2015


    Looks like I will get to a watering hole before the game tonight. Last Post whilst waiting for my mate to get Paisley. Keep your eyes out for an auld white heided punter with a green top:) :)





    Tell JS to get a guid beer doon his neck and enjoy himself.



    I hope you both have a great night without the women for once!



    Btw,looks like shaking hands wi a skeleton is on the cards for Easter. All those years I went-aye right,Dad-when you told me about it.



    Oh ye of little faith….

  23. RWE diarrhea is hereditary – it runs in your genes!!! I’ll ger my coat. H H H ebcelt

  24. cosy corner bhoy



    I’ll be meeting delaneys in the Caledonia pub in Greenock.



    HH jamesgang

  25. Burgas Hoops on



    13:36 on


    10 July, 2015


    Burgas Hoops



    Turkey cant complain about refugees as they are one of the countries stokeing the war fires in Syria. UK of course is an absolute discrace just taking a couple of hundred when right from the start we’ve been aiding and supporting the extemists rebels.






    Turkey have consistently denied providing support to any armed groups in Syria, insisting that Turkey’s involvement is purely humanitarian.



    The president has also gone on record from Stockholm last year and said: “It is out of the question that groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda can take shelter in our country”



    “We have taken the necessary steps against them and we will continue to do so.”

  26. BOBBY,



    I reckon the Whole of the Celtic Support will be willing Jason on to succeed. As you say, an incredible player in the making.



    Uber coolness as well, Ege Bamyasi, eat yer heart out…….



    A few Mad Cyrils in this clip who didnae put the effort in that JD did all the Time.



    JD also sounds as cool as feck. ;)

  27. mike in toronto on

    Hamiltontim …


    I am with Up over the goal on this one …. I dont think the problem is Scepovic running too early (now, if the complaint was AS getting caught offside, you might be onto something…)… I thought Scepovic made a lot of good runs, but our midfielders didnt have the skill or confidence to see and play the sorts of passes he (and, to some degree, Guidetti) expected/were used to.



    Strikers need to be making runs behind defenders to create chances, but we play so slow, and allow defenders to sit so deep, it leaves little room or chances for our strikers. This needs to chance if we are to have a chance in Europe, where the game is much faster, and we need to be able to play and defend against the fast counter-attacking game.



    It is up to the midfielders to pick up the pace and their game, and up to RD to get them to do it, or replace them.



    I think it may take a few games, and sadlly an injury or two, before RD gets his starting 11 right, and gets the guys who can best play his style into the team. Re: the injury thing… I dont wish an injury on any player, but I am thinking like last year, CM goes down and NB gets his chance, and that was what turned our season around.

  28. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    14-27… Ain’t that the truth



    Re overby ….going for a week 3-10 Sept








    Ffs hardly next door to Paisley Gilmour Street,is it?



    I’ll text you my Dad’s number. It’s a cracker if you know your 77x table and have a stutter(!)



    Enjoy it anyway and get yer dancing boots on for three months today.

  30. Hamiltontim,



    I get a bit annoyed that Neil wasn’t supported like Ronny has been, I’m talking strictly about staying here and preparing.



    I love Neil so much for what he done for Celtic, perhaps the Celtic Board, have a strategy that is still to come to fruition. I’ve said regularly that the y2k lads are like watching Barcelona, not seen them for a while, hopefully their heads ain’t been turned by Ladies and Licquer.



    We will sail through, Mr C, IMO.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 32