Celtic Diary Thursday September 24: What We’re Really Missing

Celtic are in Latvia for tonights Europa League qualifier, and I’m probably not the only one who felt a blast of relief when the draw gave the hoops an away tie.

 

We just seem to play better in foreign climes, more disciplined, less prone to make mistakes.

 

Of course, I’ve been wrong before….

 

One worrying aspect of this game for me is that Riga have been playing regular football since June, and will be way ahead of Celtic in having a settled team and formation, but then again, they could have been playing regular football since Monday morning and they’d still have a more settled team and formation than Celtic, who still seem to be subject to the manager getting up on matchday  morning and having an idea about something that he wants to put into practice a couple of hours later, something he’s done fairly regularly since asking Efe Ambrose if a flight back from the African Nations Cup and the party the night before would affect him in that nights game with Juventus…..

 

So there is always just a little extra, er, excitement when Celtic play in Europe, hence when a result against a “big ” team from a “big ” league goes our way, there tends to be an outbreak of euphoria.

 

We could do without that excitement, to be fair, tonight.

 

Or any other night in European competition, as over the last few years that approach has cost the club dearly. Last night, for instance, Ferencvaros planted one foot in the Champions League group stages with a 3-3 away draw in the first leg against old Celtic foes  Molde,  and there is the usual sense that had Celtic overcome the Hungarians, as we probably should have, then that could have been us.

 

And given Celtic would have been in pot 3 this year, the possibilities of a memorable European season were probably closer than we think.

 

Instead, it’s the Europa League, which isn’t as lucrative but should still provide some excitement.

 

This year, with every game possibly the last game, A run in Europe is not so crucial, as most fans would prefer to see a tenth consecutive title given priority staus, simply because failure would mean at least another decade would pass before we can be in the same position.

 

In Europe, mistakes can be forgotten and rectified relatively quickly, and this year will be no different.

 

 

However, above all, fans just want to get back to the games, even those who can;t make it are beginning to get fed up with the canned applause from empty stadia. Stein was right, without fans football is nothing, and if you try to find audience figures for games you won’t be surprised to note they are down, which explains to an extent why you’ll have trouble finding them.

 

So, whilst tonights game is important, defeat won’t signal the end of the world. That will come when US president Donald Trumo announces the Christian rapture and he sends both the dead and the living off to meet Christ the Redeemer, despite there being a ruling on crowds of six being allowed to congregate.

 

 

European football for fans offers the chance to travel, meet new people, enjoy new cultures and drink themselves into a stupor in strip bars.

 

Riga  sounds like just that place….

 

Riga - Wikipedia

 

That square would be full of Tims today….

 

Then there’s the nightlife…. post match…

 

Night life in Riga review / Ночная жизнь в Риге Мини Обзор - YouTube

 

 

Speaking about the Riga Old Town you definitely will not be disappointed with the nightlife, it`s very lively, sometimes even crazy. A pleasant atmosphere, lots of good bars and clubs, beautiful ladies – everything you ever wanted. On the weekends Riga Old town is one big party, you just must fumble and enjoy it. There are various nightclubs and great bars all around the Old Town, which invite locals and foreigners to party till the sun is shining.

As we already told – Riga Old town is quite compact, so you will be able to visit three, four or even more Riga Pubs, Bars and Clubs each night. This is how the locals like to party, because generally we don’t spend all night in one bar or club, we like to move around and look for more and more parties. Forget about long drives in Riga, everything is so close and taxi in Riga is easy to find and prices are pretty cheap. In the Old Town you totally can went everywhere by walk.

The Riga Old Town is full of bars and clubs and beautiful people, it`s not like any other Old town, it has a special aura, you will see that.

 

A few years ago, one of my sons had an Estonian girlfriend, and she was always referring to Latvians as being the butt of jokes in the Baltic states as they were of less than average intelligence.

 

So, cheap beer, plenty of pubs and gullible women.

 

Sounds like hell on earth.

 

Glad I’m not going.

 

 

 

The game itself is a bit of an unknown quantity, Riga do well domestically, but failed to overcome Maccabi Tel aviv in the Champions League and dropped into the Europa, where they beat Tore Andre Flo ( are you sure ? -Ed ) after the game was stopped when it rained.

 

Manager Neil Lennon did his best to sound confident….

 

“We’ve another busy week ahead of us. We had a good week last week, three wins in seven days, 10 goals, only conceded three, and we’re hoping to keep that going,” 

 

I think we’re still to hit top form, but I’m delighted with the way we’ve negotiated the games and the catch up that we’ve had to do. We’re in a good strong position and we can now concentrate on Thursday’s Europa League game – we really want to get into the group stages now.

“I’m delighted with the players and we’re still embedding the new players in. We started off with back at the beginning of the season and more recently we’ve gone to a three. It takes time and a little bit of adjustment to that, but we’ve won six out of seven in the league now and have drawn the other one. That’s good going and it’s really good consistency.

 

We’ve got great depth in the squad and it’s important to try and keep players motivated and give them something to look forward to and to also give them incentives. We think long and hard about each selection for every opposition.

“But over time, we will see our most consistent 11 on the pitch. Also, with the amount of games we’ve had in this burst between international breaks, I think it’s important that we do give players the opportunity to play and keep the squad fresh,” 

 

 

He’s admitting he hasn’t worked out his best eleven yet, or his most effective formation. Which is worrying.

 

‘We went out to Latvia a day earlier than we might otherwise for these games. The current situation means we’re confined to the hotel, besides going out to training for a light session tomorrow (Wednesday). In normal circumstances, we’d travel out the day before the game, but on this occasion we decided to get over a day earlier. We’ll do our normal preparations in terms of analysis and the players are working as hard as ever behind the scenes,”   

 

 

I get the feeling he’s making it up as he goes along.

 

Which, again, is worrying.

 

He followed up by saying one or two players have delighted him, the full piece is on the official website, and strenuously avoded mentioning any problems.

 

So, the policy seems to be very much we’ll give it a go, but we’ll see what happens.

 

 

Scared-Face - David Meade

 

 

 

With a lot more clearly on his mind, I’d feel better if he just concentrated on the game.

 

His press conferences of late have seen him ramble about letting crowds back into mathces-not going to happen any time soon-and players , such as Edouard, itching to get back into action, all of which is actually saying nothing with a lot of words.

 

 

Maybe he’s saving the serious stuff for the players….

 

 

The game starts at 6pm, it’s on Celtic TV and anywhere else you can find it.

 

The other Scottish sides are also in action tonight, and EBT Radio Scotland will be covering all of them. I’ll be out on the road, so with the good grace of BBC sounds, I might be able to listen in to their Sportsound show which is covering them all.

 

As ever, I support all Scottish clubs in Europe, but draw the line at cheering for companies….

 

 

Yesterday, we had this….

 

Image

 

 

Puggy67
 13 hours ago

Caption: When Billy launched his ‘Tesco Ibrox – over my dead body’ protest, he had no idea how accurately his campaign would end

Today….
Image
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Cesar
5 months ago

I never imagined when I was a kid that Oor Wullie and Fat Boab would end up in the polis. Very disappointed.

Cesar
5 months ago

The boys in blue try one last desperate attempt to convince bidders they are getting a £30 million beautiful swan and not an ugly duckling or is that dumpling?

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  Cesar

But they are no.

henkesdreadlocks
5 months ago

Caption…….

Post Brexit food shortages kick in as hungry Police officers grab some lunch.

Bognorbhoy
5 months ago

Caption…
you catch it , hold it down, I’ll beat the shit out off it with my baton, swanning about without a mask

Yoker Bhoy
5 months ago

Don’t know too much about this Riga mob except that they’re currently 4 points clear at the top of their league table, are a new club (even younger than sevco), beat Copenhagan at home last season in the qualifiers and have four brilliant Brazilian midfielders on their books (well, they’re Brazilian anyway). They’ll be no pushovers but if our defence is tight and focussed, our midfield dominant and creative and our front runners mobile and clinical, we have to be in with a good shout. Very difficult to predict tonight’s line up but I hope we go with two strikers. COYBIG

Una
5 months ago

Caption

Bruno Alves jets into experience them magestical European nights

Yoker Bhoy
5 months ago

London bobbies show their sense of humour as they freak out to T Rex’s ‘Ride a White Swan’.

SteveNaive
5 months ago

‘Remake of ‘Kes’ proves disappointing’
‘Subliminal advert for Swan Vestas proves confusing’
‘Shortage of goats for Masonic rituals testing for police’
‘ Pet swan of man run over by steamroller, goes on the run’

Ciaran
5 months ago

Caption;
“Right, let him go, I’ll club the **** and we say he fell down the stairs”.

alzyerpal
5 months ago

Caption – “Us swans are under the protection of the Crown ya bastards! Ahm tellin’ the kween, and she’ll stuck that fuckin’ baton right up yur big fat shiter.”

SteveNaive
5 months ago

Ralph,
Think it’s only live on Premier Sports 2 and streams. Pass to Paradise has the whole game at 10 pm… unless we are still taking penalties at that time.
It’s rumoured that a Far East betting syndicate planning to make millions on a swan stopping play.

Mike
5 months ago

Buongiorno.

Caption: The Resolutioners bring in the Met. Police as they know that its the Huns Swansong.

Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Going going gone.

Barry Hepburn 16 years old gone to Bayern Munich.
Liam Morrison 16 years old gone to Bayern Munich.
Josh Adams 16 years old gone to Manchester City.
Aaron Hickey gone to Bologna.

Karamoko Dembele his contract is up in 2021?
Its not a new thing young Celtic players have been scouted for years and convinced to move elsewhere, but its very frustrating to see some of our best talent plundered at such a young age, we cannot be hypocritical though all clubs including Celtic scour Europe and beyond to bring in the most talented young players. Good luck to them all.

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Young players? Rings a bell.Sorry Monti that bhoy Walsh/Welsh should be sitting so no- one gets past him. If a center half cant dance,hes the field fiert.

Boiled eggs across the back-line.(soft)

portpower
5 months ago

Recently played…up to yourself.

Fuck it.

portpower
5 months ago

Awaiting for approval…fuck it.

Celts 4-1. fuck it.

portpower
5 months ago

Och, ok, eff it 4-1 then.

A little bit you a little me.

Don`t left right the condiments.

God hits and hopes Europa.

Soft cock game.

James
5 months ago

Morelos yet again fails to break his duck in a blue jersey against Celtic.

portpower
5 months ago

Caption:

Ralph puts boogie shoes on that swan.

portpower
5 months ago

The feeling is laid back you mankie know alls.

portpower
5 months ago

Are we to be that though?

Begin.

portpower
5 months ago

Eleven.

portpower
5 months ago

When this occurs,remember it is a ball there -n- then.

Bring back the bottomed Ghirls.

sfa unfit for purpose
5 months ago

Tommy Burns documentary was on bbcscotland last night.
Tears were flowing.
Family , Faith and Football.

Legend. HH .

Man in Denial
5 months ago

re caption wtf is fatso doing with a baton drawn ? what a c*** anyone get his badge number -i’ll contact the RSPB

Skinny looks like he’s not been handing in his drug busts

5 months ago

Caption: Hail Mary let the free birds fly.

5 months ago

We have the players to win.
Reserves would be enough to win this game im sure even sevco would be upbeat about their chances playing Riga.
But Hibs for me on Sunday is far more important. So do we play our main bhoys and risk injury or give those like soro turnbull kimala Connell etc game time. I know I would.
Our young players are leaving simply because unlike our quality street gang there is no place for them to play and learn their trade.
You can’t have apprentices and tell them to sit in the van whilst you do the plastering the joinery the plumbing etc.
The death of reserve football and a failure by the sfa to allow us a b team in the lower leagues which would have generated more income for lower league clubs pre covid days is another monumental failure by a governing body who couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery.
It is no surprise they are leaving.
My team tonight though not a hope in hell Lenny would be daft enough 🙂
Bain
Frimpong Bitton Duffy Taylor
Dembele Soro Turnbull Connell.
Ajeti Kimala 3_1 the bhoys.

TicToc
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmybee

Ach well Jimmy, you got a few right. Ignoring JFs injury, the back 4 wiz right, although we played a back 3 (scattergun!) Ken? The back 3 were all over the place at times! 🙂 You also got Ajeti (albeit later). He looks the out and out number 9 to play with Eddie roaming in 2 up front.
Point wiz though, I couldn’t see why ANYONE on here could vote you down for ANY reason, and THAT pissed me off. So here’s an INSTRUCTION to Ralph and all: If you want to keep the playground pish of voting +/- up, then attach it to the poster of +/-. Cowards lurk wherever they can; don’t encourage THAT on eTims, PLEASE!

5 months ago

caption: Hit the fuckin thing with your truncheon shuggie. Naw its no a black Swan Pete you know the rules. #BLM

5 months ago

Caption: Hit the fuckin thing with your truncheon Shuggie, naw its no a black Swan Pete, you know whit we were telt. #BLM

portpower
5 months ago
portpower
5 months ago

To at an age.
Worst than a game of chess prioritised to thy limited.

I`m away to get the messages. Be back in 90 plus minutes.

5 months ago

Caption.. ” Will you just please, please lay us 1 Golden egg, otherwise ” rangers” are rubber ducked”..

portpower
5 months ago

O`the Celtic are shite around that Europe place.

7-0. Ralph.

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  portpower

Corn displays poo. Sooks say it`s sharp edges. Mammy wipes^

Owen Mullions
5 months ago

Caption: Goose goes stork raven mad, shoots the craw and swans off when attacked by pair of blue tits.

5 months ago

What utter drivel and that’s from a simple scan. Who’s got the time to read through the complete sheiz?

Lennon hasn’t won every trophy available to him, he’s lost the league to a dying Huns and won only 4 out of 11 domestic cups.

Griffiths has been missing inaction for the vast majority of the past 5 years or so, which has caused us no end of problems eg European exits etc.

If Bolingoli is a halfwit then this guy is the full works.

Lennon may go into pressers knowing what Qs are going to be asked but he still opens his mouth and puts his 2 feet in.

He comes across as an ignorant anti-masker (“I don’t see why its not safe?” etc). He should leave this area to Lawwell and others, as its their responsibility to deal with this area.

BroxburnBhoy
5 months ago
Reply to  The Cha

Agree on the mask stuff Cha. I suppose they are all getting tested every day hence the off the cuff remarks. That said Lawell is the right person to talk about safety and safety practices at the club and set the appropriate policies. Lennon need to focus on the team winning matches

Monti
5 months ago
Reply to  The Cha

Duncan disorderly cites ” won every trophy available to him ” yet constantly sniped at Brendan Rodgers who had won 7 trophies out of 7 or erm, every trophy available to him.

Deary me

Cortes
5 months ago

When the cob met a couple of helmets.

Puggy67
5 months ago

Caption: If this was a blackbird we could just shoot the f*cker.

portpower
5 months ago

No air in Latvia.
The if though,i`m with you though.

R.St.Parsley
5 months ago

Caption:
“When ye said we were gaun oan a wild goose chase, Ah thought we’d be lookin’ fur intelligent Huns”.

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  R.St.Parsley

G pillow in the making.

JimboH
5 months ago

Caption…
“ C’mon, grab it for Fux sake, the Brothers down the Lodge have lost The Goat”.

JimboH
5 months ago

Sorry SteveN, did’t notice your entry.

portpower
5 months ago

Who wants to buy a fire cracker?

Latvia is now an economic, rather than cultural.

All this, roughly, is what Russia has been doing towards Latvia since 1991. Unpleasant? Indeed. But at least it stiffens the spine. When you think your country might succumb to the malevolence and mischief-making of a big neighbour, you may be prepared to make sacrifices to save it that would otherwise seem intolerable.

Alternatively, Russia’s leaders could try adopting towards Latvia the good-neighbourly policies that Britain nowadays maintains towards Ireland, putting the dreadful wrongs of the past in their rightful place, neither forgotten nor cripplingly unforgiven.

That idea is not tongue in cheek.

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  portpower

endorse schoolbooks and curricula that distort Irish history, glorify British war criminals and mock Irish heroes;

I`ll be happy with penalties.

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  portpower

`tis anglophone.

JimboH
5 months ago

Dear Ralph
When the fux are we getting this site sorted.
Can’t vote
Can’t post a reply

Yours
Pissed off fan.

H.H.
Stay Safe. It’s still out there.

portpower
5 months ago

Realise you moved.

You go to ground during the game at the back the coach will have you on Monday. Run to Dixie.

portpower
5 months ago

Then you begin well.

Remember Jude said ‘bugger off, after all the over and above all.’ Hey,need a hand?

5 months ago

Teams up
Barkas
Ajer Bitton Duffy Taylor
Brown McGregor
Christie Ntcham Forrest
Edouard.
Of course it could be a back 3 with Christie up with eddy and janesy playing right wing back.
Its unbalanced whatever way you look at it.
Could be a nervy night but let’s hope the bhoys show their class even though the manager looks to be losing the plot. HH

portpower
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmybee

Price of tea. Christie direct,left or right is looking good.

Bhoy is not an Aussie though.

5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmybee

That was a terrible performance by any standards please dont insult me by suggesting otherwise.

5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmybee

of course they are the Latvian champions after all ffs.

portpower
5 months ago

Hey, come and get your useless right coordinated left. If the keeper is…see.

SteveNaive
5 months ago

No worries JimboH, I think the swan should play up front.

portpower
5 months ago

What song put you off a wank?

portpower
5 months ago

We`ve a team of penalty takers. Watch the eyes.

portpower
5 months ago

Nets are for Sheila.

portpower
5 months ago

Make sure it hits the keepers hand. Run-in fullbacks goal.For.

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