Celtic Diary Thursday October 3: The Rapid Syndrome
Some of you will be old enough to remember the Rapid Vienna story of 1984.
The Austrian side employed gamesmanship at Celtic Park when it became obvious that they couldn’t handle a far superior Celtic side.
A bottle launched from the jungle terracing landed near to an Austrian player, Rudi Weinhofer, who later appeared in a bandage, Hans Krankl led his team from the pitch, and Celtic emerged 3-1 winners on the night, with UEFA originally throwing out Rapids claims that Celtic had cheated.
Then it all went a little suspicious, with a replay being ordered at Old Trafford, where an overly emotional Celtic lost control and exited the tournament.
Tonight the old adage of learning from history lest it repeats itself should be stamped on the heads of every player and every supporter.
Got that, Neil ?
“I was pleased to get Cluj again because it was a quick opportunity to right a wrong.
Clearly fucking not.
“I don’t really look at it negatively or positively. You just have to put a perspective on it and look at what you’ve got in front of you. Gradually, we’re improving and it has been steady and really good progress since then.
“So, I’ve been delighted with the reaction.
“I don’t want to build it up as a revenge game. The important thing is that we play well and maximise the home advantage.
Oh, maybe it is sinking in after all.
“We got off to a really good start with the point in Rennes and, if you want to qualify, you have to win your home games.
“Cluj are a good side and that has been underestimated. They ran Slavia Prague close in the qualifier and they’ve beaten Lazio.”
They are a good side, and should Celtic throw everything into attack and lose their discipline, they will simply take the ball off us and run up the park and score.
I remember the manky old bigot Archie MacPherson using the phrase “keep the heid ” ahead of amny a similar game. These days he doesn;t say much worth listening to, but he has a point here…Celtic must keep the heid and play the game that is in front of them, and not try to remedy past faults.
Beating Cluj tonight is all about three points.
Nothing else matters.
The big difference between Celtic in the last game and Celtic now is Fraser Forster.
He will have a massive part to play tonight in keeping the defence alert.
Cluj are a very streetwise side, and their manager is a wily old sort, which is why one has to take this report with the proverbial pinch of salt..
Cluj coach Alin Minteuan insists ill boss Dan Petrescu can sicken Celtic once again.
The manager was unable to attend Wednesday night’s press conference in Glasgow’s east end after informing the squad he felt unwell prior to their departure for the stadium for training.
Petrescu still hopes to take his place in the technical area for tonight’s Europa League showdown.
But if he can’t No.2 Minteuan – who has been main man in the technical area for the last three domestic games with Petrescu serving a touchline ban – says the wily boss has already put an altered game plan in place to silence the home support for the second time in seven weeks after the heroics of their 4-3 Champions League victory in August.
He said: “We really hope Dan is with us on the bench for the game but if not we will prepare the team for this game.
Mind games ?
One would not be surprised.
Celtic are a different side from the one that threw away a play off spot in the champions League, but there is still a niggling doubt that a lack of concentration could creep in, making tonights game at least as important as the original clash.
We need to show that we have grown up, and although I wouldn’t mind a return of the old emotional Neil Lennon, tonight is simply neither the time nor the place.
We may see the return of the calming influence of Nir Biton, perhaps alongside Chris Julien at centre half, with Elhamed and Greg Taylor in the full back positions.
Kris Ajer has been a little accident prone of late, and may be relegated to the bench, with Brown and MacGregor in front of Forrest and any two from a half a dozen supporting Edoaurd.
We can forget Rogic and Griffiths for now, as neither seem interested in playing for Celtic at the moment.
Scott Sinclair ? A strong possibility that he will feature, and perhaps even start.
Elyanoussi is another who Lennon could turn to, and on balance it will probably be the Norwegian who gets the nod, but perhaps the good thing is that if we can;t predict the line up, then there’s little chance that Petrescu will.
And there will almost certainly be a number of new faces in there, which make it a completely different game from the last one…
Elsewhere, and Brendan Rodgers has admitted that the timing of his departure from Celtic could have been better…
“I lived my dream managing Celtic, a club I supported. That journey will always be with me,”
“But every manager and players will have goals and objectives they want to achieve in their career.
“Your situation can change very quickly. We won seven trophies on the spin and if I felt I could not take Celtic further it had to be the right club and I thought Leicester was too good an opportunity to turn down. The timing was not ideal but I left the team in a good place.”
He’s managed to convince himself he was a Celtic supporter, such is the magnitude of the man’s own creative capabilities.
The problem with Rodgers, in retrospect, is that he lied shamelessly about his allegiances. We’d all have preferred it if he’d have just cut the crap and been honest.
Dave king has won a little more roadspace to kick his can down as the courts yesterday decided to wait until January to see if anyone else wants to come up with anything else they want to claim for.
This at least means the Morelos firesale could yet prolong their agony.
The South African fraudster is betting on a couple of sales and possibly even European money after christmas, a bit like Craig Whyte did with the original club.
It’s a depressing sign of the times that liars seem to hold the public eye more than they deserve. Hypocrisy is the order of the day as the country hurtles towards the disastrous possibility of no deal brexits and emergency governments.
Boris Johnson has told the country the national debt has been wiped out, an amazing claim that is easily disproved, but the national media mirror the Scottish sports media in their unwillingness to seek facts and question thise who do wrong.
Johnson also criticised Jeremy Corbyn for meeting Martin McGuiness, the obvious implication being that he supports terrorists.
This is Martin Mcguiness, who did indeed meet may British politicians….
Any budding sports journalists might want to follow this story up..from the BBC…as you never know, there might be a similar story closer to home..
Juventus have launched a fresh appeal to have the 2005-06 Serie A title stripped from Inter Milan – just days before the two teams play each other.
Juve finished top that year but had the title revoked because of their role in the 2006 ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal – when five Italians teams were penalised for attempting to influence results by picking certain referees.
Juventus, who have made numerous prior appeals, have made a new pitch to the Italian Olympic Committee’s Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport tribunal.
AC Milan had finished second in 2005-06, but were also penalised in the scandal, so the title was handed to third-placed Inter Milan.
Yesterday, we had this..
Today… tonights referee is card happy Daniel Seibert, and one of our players could well give the others a heads up on him…but what was said here ?