Home / Celtic and Europe
Monti makes a case for prioritising the European stage, arguing that the time is right for the club to re-assert itself in the big boys playground.
From Moravcik 67 on twitter..
Mini Champions League qualifying update. Copenhagen and Olympiakos can no longer win their league. That means only Basel, Salzburg, Ludogorets, PSV & Plzen (Or Sparta Prague) could be ranked above us. It would take 4 of them to make the playoff to prevent us being seeded.
PSV have won the Dutch league. Salzburg, Ludogorets & Plzen have comfortable leads. So there’s a very good chance all 4 teams will have won their league, and enter the CL. Basel, however, can probably be rule out. They’re 13pts back with 5 to play. They’d need a miracle now.
That leaves PSV, Salzburg, Ludogorets & Plzen. All 4 would need to be in the playoff to stop us being seeded. But if this years CL winner qualifies for the group stage via their league Plzen would go straight to the group stage. We’re probably going to have to rely on this.
Of the CL semi-finalists – Munich are champions. – Madrid need 3pts from 5 games to secure their CL place – Liverpool need 5pts from 3 games. – Roma are 3rd, but just 1pt clear of 5th place. Roma are the weak link, but also probably the CL underdogs.
If all 4 teams finish in the top 4 of their league then we’re good, assuming Basel don’t have their miracle. But if the CL winner doesn’t finish top 4 of their league then we’re relying on one of teams ranked above us to be knocked out of qualifying. Still looks good, though.
Europe. and the annual lottery of qualification. Shouldn’t we be looking to be above all that ?
A club of our pedigree ?
After all, Europe is something that is dear to all of us Celtic supporters, we love the Champions league nights, the atmosphere and the odd giant killing results that happen from time to time, Barcelona, Manchester Utd, Juventus & AC Milan have all been put to the sword in Paradise in the past, but will we see these victories again?
There’s little doubt that we’ll get the odd one of, but can we compete again on a regular basis ?
The questions I want to ask is, are we building a side for Europe, like Jock Stein advised us too or are we simply hoping for the best when we go into the big boys playground & watching through the cracks in our fingers?
Is it enough to point to the huge financial disparities and blame that every time get horsed ?
If we want to give Brendan & Celtic a BETTER, fighting chance of qualifying & being more comfortable at CL level, then we must back the manager with serious investment in the side.
Thats not to say we should be looking at spending beyond our means, as apart from anything else thats no guarantee, but surely a little step up in quality is needed ?
We have a world class manager, fantastic stadium and 60, 000 supporters filling the stadium, everything is in place to be a competitive side in Europe, not winning it but competing & that for me is key to Europe, competing & having players comfortable at that level.
So the questions are, where do we want Celtic to be, a club who invest heavily not recklessly, in aiming to be a regular CL side, competing & a team, club, growing and developing into a respected european force, or average to poor in europe but succesful domestically?
I don’t ever want Celtic to get into financial trouble by chasing europe, but surely raising the bar on recruiting players would be rewarded with CL income?
Thus kickstarting a cycle of serious money coming into the club, re-invested on the field and not in hotels, car parks and heated driveways.
Peter Lawwell famously said ” we want to be world class in everything we do “…
But what he says and what he does, or sanctions, are wolrds apart at the moment, and scooping up the best talent in Scotland so that no one else can have it may make domestic sense, but its not going to help when the big boys come to town.
I want to see the evidence of that through the quality & standard of player emerging from our tunnel onto the field.
” Build a side for Europe & Scotland takes care of itself ” – Jock Stein.
He showed how it can be done, as in the period 1966-74 Celtic were feared throughout europe, not only the lions era, but the following Quality Street Kids side, itself involved in two European semi finals.
Martin O’Neill invested heavily to get Celtic recognised in Europe again, and reached another final, but he had a strong side to build on, and arguably its the only time that Celtic invested from a position of strength on the field.
Its time to look further afield, and build for a serious attempt at europe, and with rumours that Brendan Rodgers own ambitions will eventually be on the bigger stage, surely its time to offer him that chance here, before he takes it somewhere else ?