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.

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  1. What is the Stars,



    Yer mair than welcome to join us next weekend somewhere in Belfast or near it. ;))



    Maximum respect to you.

  2. Federer (pronounced fay-der-er) really is the complete player, this is a huge task for Andy.


    Winnable tho, in my opinion.

  3. Rowley Birkin QC on

    Hi Bhoys,



    Currently ignoring a parking ticket received at the Forge…4th or 5th letter now, this time from Zenith Collections. Anyone else had one…I’m continuing to ignore these people.








    Happy to help,bud. If no luck,I’m in The Groves!

  5. What is the Stars on



    Did I read correctly your comments this morning. ..planned parenthood is evil. ..


    And planned weekends not evil too?

  6. Back on Paul’s leader topic.


    I don’t care how well or badly other Scottish teams fare in Europe, or anywhere for that matter.


    I equally don’t care how well Scotland does in the Euros or World Cup qualification.


    Those sentiments were killed in my formative teen and early twenty years when Lisbon Lions were ignored for caps or fervently booed when selected.


    So anyone who has read this far will gather I am only interested in Celtic’s well being.


    The issue we must address is how we leverage our financial and playing strengths to guarantee getting to the group stages of the CL.


    These early qualifying rounds may be a godsend for us.


    We now have everyone firmly focused on the early goals needed to qualify:


    The squad has been bolstered, even from the January window.


    The tiring money spinning tour friendlies have been scrapped.


    The players are back in full training.


    The early qualifier should have us in good condition for the trickier latter rounds.


    An easy win against the northern trawler men will increase belief and confidence, kick start our season into high gear and being the crowds back to Paradise.

  7. What is the Stars on

    Anyhow, as another week in the salt mines draws to a close, time to hit the local hostelry with my fellow down trodden members of the proletariat for a bottle of stout, gossip about our lady friends and possibly to check on our investment portfolio. .also known as the bookies docket


    Methodology and trust your opinion have been recommended in the first 2 at navan and Indian rupee in the 650 at cork


    Up the workers

  8. What is the Stars



    17:07 on 10 July, 2015





    Did I read correctly your comments this morning. ..planned parenthood is evil. ..


    And planned weekends not evil too?








    I’m happily Single, well until my Son finds a Lady.



    I love yer Rudi Vata, it is precious.

  9. (Ace drummer) Jumbo McCluney on

    BMCUW….Appreciate it mate but not able to venture out on Hoops duty tonight but are you talking about The Grove on drove road or somewhere else ? Has some place taken over from the Tap ?

  10. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    Scottish Cup, second preliminary round draw



    Civil Service Strollers or Newton Stewart v Kelty Hearts


    Hermes v Auchinleck Talbot


    Wigtown & Bladnoch/Vale of Leithen v Hawick Royal Albert


    Lothian Thistle v Harestanes or Girvan


    Golspie Sutherland/Cove Rangers v St Cuthbert Wanderers/Burntisland Shipyard



    Interesting to see Scottish amateur Cup winners (Harestanes) involved for first time.

  11. mike in toronto on

    Things can change quickly … Federer’s serve suddenly not as dominant. Murray, to his credit, looks fit!

  12. Got my state pension letter this morning with the heading ‘Award Notice’



    Award! – paid in for 47 years – i would call it entitlement.



    Good luck to the bhoys tonight – strong line up required





    No,mate. Fleet Street. Cheap and cheerful,just how I like it.



    As for taking over from the Tap,bird has flown. As have most of the Tims in it. Sad. Still in contact over a pint wi a few,mind.

  14. saltires en sevilla on




    Yes and Dunfermline did well under Jock, Dundee got to a semi final too. These are the exceptions in almost 60 years of Euro fitba only a few Glory Day to reminisce over all that time


    Exceptions that prove the rule.


    You are so right about the subscription TV thing and the modern period.



    Methinks the ailments go back a lot further.



    Hope you get a chance to see the game tonite at whatever o’clock you are at now.



    We are just heading out now




  15. The decline in coefficient means of course you have to play more qualifiers, seedings become worse which leads to a poorer coefficient – a vicious circle.

  16. Gene



    17:26 on 10 July, 2015



    The decline in coefficient means of course you have to play more qualifiers, seedings become worse which leads to a poorer coefficient – a vicious circle.






    I dinnae want to sound elitist, hopefully all the Bhoys that dinnae make it @ Celtic, well, they make an excellent living elsewhere, up here in Scotland or mair likely doon South.

  17. mike in toronto on

    Murray fights off 4 set points on his serve. If he can hold here, I think he could turn this match around.

  18. Burgas Hoops on

    Wouldn’t mind a look at Janko tonight at R/B but not at the expense of Lustig who i think is needed for next Wednesday.

  19. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Kitalba, thanks for posting the the 25 straight wins footage from the 2003/2004 season.



    I was hoping we would go through that season undefeated but unfortunately, home losses to Aberdeen and Dunfermline , we didn’t do it.



    Lots of great players,goals and memories in the footage.

  20. mike in toronto on




    Most players would crack after losing that game, but federer? Holds… At love! Some player!

  21. Respect Dumbarton Riverside, a new and up and coming Club in Dumbarton, Aidan played there. Crucially, they promote their Handicap Team more than anything.



    Scott Banks… A Rangers dude.. an absolute Legend of a person. Humble and just an amazing person.





    Shocker. Everyone knows it’s spelt and pronounced kulchur.

  23. graffiti on the wall



    Aparentlee knott!



    Stooped, stooped hunz



    HH jamesgang

  24. Gave up our tickets for tonight because the Boss accepted an invitation for dinner with our PP before realising Celtic were playing.



    Before Wednesday’s game I’d like to see Ronny start with what he considers his strongest current 11 at the moment.



    Gaun the Cellic!

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Ihave just watched a great tribute on you tube to big Sammi a player I think should still be at the club.H.H.








    Premier Painter,show you how it’s done?

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