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Celtic Diary Friday February 25: Keep On Running

Bodo Glimt duly finished off the job they started in Glasgow last night with a 2-0 win. In fairness, they didn;t even have to break sweat.

 

We should be used to losing to sides with far less European pedigree than Celtic by now, but we are where we are.

 

The disappointment doesn’t get any less. Neither, it appears, does the criticism.

 

 

On paper, we should have overcome the Norwegians, at least according to those who point to wage bills and the size of the support etc., but the reality is Celtic aren;t ready for latter stage competition yet at this level.

 

We can blame who we want, but that record has long since worn out it’s grooves, and whilst it’s 2004 ( Barcelona ) since the hoops won a tie after the group stages, at least this time we can say that we may well have learned something from it.

 

At least, you’d hope so.

 

One encouraging sign was that post match , the manager was angry.  When asked by a Norwegian journalist if Bodo could win the tournament, he was less than diplomatic… even shouting, in italics…

 

MATE, COME ON. ASK THEIR COACH. WHY DO I CARE? REALLY. DO YOU THINK I REALLY CARE WHO WINS THIS TOURNAMENT NOW? WE’RE NOT GOING TO WIN IT.

“THEY’RE A GOOD TEAM, I HOPE THEY KEEP GOING WELL, BUT I COULDN’T CARE LESS WHO WINS THE TOURNAMENT.  

 

 

That shows a focus that perhaps hasn’t been there in previous years. A disinterest in all but his own team.

 

It also mirrors the anger and disappointment we all feel.

 

Joe Hart, who broke character during the game and caught a high ball, added..

 

“Have you ever seen the manager look happy? That’s just his face!

“Of course he wasn’t happy. None of us were happy. 

 

That’s good.

 

For a long time I’ve felt that players don’t feel a defeat the way fans do, and if that mentality has changed or even just taken root, then we might finally see the end of such horror shows as Bodo, Cluj, and several other clubs going as far back as Nuechatal Xamax, Artmedia and even before that.

 

It was maybe too much to expect Celtic , still a new team playing a new style, to make a mark on the continent this season, and that should lessen our disappointment, but we’ll be stronger next time, and more importantly, a little bit more streetwise.

 

Most of the squad hadn;t even played in European football before this season, and the manager certainly hadn;t managed a side at this level.

 

We did okay for a first tilt, and we might have sown the seeds for a better run next year.

 

 

What might have fuelled supporters anger is that “rangers ” have progressed beyond one of Europe’s bigger clubs in Borussia Dortmund.

 

what they do is of little concern to us, or at least it should be, but they are doing something right in these games, and although it might not be enough to dazzle and enthrall spectators, it’s getting them results.

 

As far as I can see it, if that collection of journeymen can progress, then anyone can.

 

Maybe they are lucky, maybe they are better than we give them credit for.

 

Maybe they played a bigger club who treated the Europa league as a secondary concern, though that matters little. They are through, and that annoys us.

 

So what now ?

 

Is it time to panic ? Is the train going off track ?

 

 

No.

 

 

We are very much a work in progress, and progress is being made.

 

Social media has given the support a platform to criticise Celtic, and some players were on the end of it last night.

 

Players will have bad games, but the responses from fans, such as “he’s done ” ( Forrest ) and others shows a lack of patience and an unnatural expectation that all players will play at their best in all games.

 

Same with the barbs aimed at the manager.

 

Last night;s team selection surprised a few of us, most of us probably, with a few changes.

 

Was this because Ange had given up on the tie ? Hardly likely, given his post match reaction, he just thought that this was the best way to begin the game, clearly hoping to settle in and absorb any pressure.

 

The early goal put that plan to bed , though, and he changed it around at half time.

 

Now, supposing he had gone full tilt with what we think is the best line up, and someone such as Jota or Carter Vickers had picked up an injury.

 

 

We all know he’d have been hammered for that, so it’s fair to say whatever the reasons were for the changes, they were his reasons and if we are to back him as he rebuilds our club, we have to acknowledge that.

 

Hindsight is the most useless of arguments.

 

 

 

It’s back to the league campaign on Sunday, with a trip to Easter road.

 

The first of eleven games, that if Celtic win them all, they will be champions.

 

With that should come automatic group stage UCL football.

 

that will make it easier to keep the players we want to keep, sign the loannees we want to sign and attract the players that will raise the overall standard.

 

 

If Ange did decide to prioritise the Hibernian game, and the rest of the domestic campaign, then looking at the bigger picture, it’s not difficult to see why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James
3 months ago

Ange is the Mhan

AntonDeclan
3 months ago

We don’t care if we win, lose or draw….
Ah well, that’s ‘marriage saved’ and the 25th May Norwegian holiday trip back on then!
COYBIG!

Iancelt67
3 months ago

Painful watch. Glad it’s over. Need Kyogo back though

Monti
3 months ago

The conference league is nothing, it is utterly meaningless and I wanted us to go out last night, these games are a distraction this season, thankfully like original rangers, these games are behind us.
I’ve said it for more years than I care to remember, if we don’t qualify for the CL then it isn’t worth the bother.

” We don’t want to just build a side that is in the CL group stages, we want to build a side that emerges from the group stage ” – Peter Liewell.

Kiran Tierney sold – £25m
Boli Bolingoli bought – £3m

Hmmmmm

Salad queen
3 months ago
Reply to  Monti

Too true Monti. Sevco now have 2 Sunday games to play catch up, although I think one will be a Scottish cup tie.

Auldheid
3 months ago
Reply to  Monti

We are where we are, ie in recovery, as a result of the finances first and foremost policies over football that Lawwell executed (and I chose that word deliberately) during his time after MoN left.

Lawwell was well rewarded for the lies he told over the years, saying one thing, doing another or sfa. All the evidence is out there.

It remains to be seen if the policy has changed although buying players who start games rather than bench warmers is certainly different.

Time will tell but putting football first has to be given a much higher place in The Board’s thinking.

Monti
3 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

Auldheid, Lawwell’s lies must not be forgiven or forgotten, he is responsible for a lot of bad decisions that have hampered the team.
He got millions from the club as we consistently failed to strengthen the team or qualify for the CL.

This is how I will remember him.

Damian Smyth
3 months ago
Reply to  Auldheid

As long as we keep on talking about the perceived wrongs of the past , how can we deal with the current and future obstacles that are presented to us . If we feel treating Ange like we treated NL improves results, we have a hard road in front of us

Jungle Jim
3 months ago

“but the reality is Celtic aren;t ready for latter stage competition yet at this level.”

Wow.

We can’t compete against a tiny Norwegian team who are in pre season with a budget less than that of Aberdeen in UEFA’s third tier competition?

The two legs were an embarrassing shambles.

Ah, but the league. Ah, but ten in a row.

It’s just defending failure.

MabozzaRitchie
3 months ago
Reply to  Jungle Jim

celtic aren;t ready for initial stage competition yet at this level. We are boggin

Bobsmith1906
3 months ago

Very impressed with Bodo over the two legs – pellegrino at LB and Stolbakken two players who should be on Ange’s radar as both would be an upgrade on Taylor, Scales and some of the forward players we have – more mobile, more skilful

Brencelt
3 months ago

Never nice to lose, but what we’ve seen in Europe is that fast passing, skilful, well drilled teams can seemingly pick holes in our system.
The addition of a couple of more players and the passing of time should make the team more of a unit and our system tighter defensively.
The 10 year old klub winning seems to make last night appear bleaker. That should be irrelevant to us for now.
Eyes on the prize, win the league and maybe the cup and most of us will look back and say mission accomplished. Hail, hail

BJF
3 months ago

I can’t agree with Monti that ‘other’ European competitors don’t matter. Bodo clearly have a good coach and good players. The only time we competed was when Calum and Abada came on, we played the ‘ Celtic’ way. Bitton who was very poor came onto a game, the ‘ invisible’ Forrest began to hold up the ball, Welsh another who was shucking with his passes got blocks in. If Jota, Reo and Kyogo had been on—-? But it has been a long demanding season, some of our earlier European results were good but at a price. I want the League, if last night was the price Angie felt was necessary I agree.

Monti
3 months ago
Reply to  BJF

BJF Generally I want the club to do well in European competition, this year winning the title has to be the priority.

Mcklintop
3 months ago

I don’t care if the conference league is Mickey Mouse, if we are in it we should be trying to win it. However I think we lost our chance to win it last week at home. Bodo were better than us by a distance which is a concern, a team coming back from a lengthy shutdown.

So I have no real issue with Ange changing the team last night, but he will only have been proved right if we do the business on Sunday.

And does anyone like playing games on a Sunday? The more games we can play on a Saturday and have the sevconites playing catch up the better. Let’s see if they can handle the pressure.

Monti
3 months ago
Reply to  Mcklintop

Mcklintop, that’s fair enough mate, I just think the league should be given priority & I think Ange does too going by the players rested.
If someone said to you at the start of the season we would win the conference league & the league Cup but lose the title and all that goes with it, would you take that? Happy with that?

Mcklintop
3 months ago
Reply to  Monti

Of course I’ll happily take winning the league over a conference league win mate. But it’s a risky strategy, what if, god forbid, we don’t win the league? And shouldn’t we aim for the quadruple while we can still win it? As I said if we win 3 points on Sunday no one will be mentioning the weakened team fielded last night.

When we lift the Scottish Cup to complete the treble in May I will of course eat my words and a large slice of humble pie.

Monti
3 months ago
Reply to  Mcklintop

Mckkintop I will have a slice of that pie, though knowing me, two slices 🙂

Whoriskey
3 months ago

After last season, we wanted a good manager who would build a team and get rid of those who were pushing for a move. Well isn’t that what we have? I, like a lot of fans, worried that after the complete capitulation of last season we would struggle for a few years given the board we have, but no, we are top of the league and already have one of our trophies back. That, to me, is progress and something to build on. We still need some players but I think we will get them and then we can have a go in Europe again. Well that’s if there is a Europe next year after Putin is finished.

Paranoid celt.
3 months ago
Reply to  Whoriskey

Yes because Putin has always wanted to take over all of Europe. Nothing has happened in Ukraine since 2014. Boris and Biden are heroes.
I believe everything the BBC tells me.

Cartvale88
3 months ago

Miserable watch last night, not too bothered about getting knocked out, but at times the team were chasing wraiths. The ones that wear gloves, Starfeldt and Bitton were really poor, but however you dress it up The Hobbits are not World beaters.
Ange has brought in some quality but we still need a defender that takes no prisoners, also the BT mob especially the commentator showed their true colours last night, one Celtic fan showed a finger, an immediate apology from McLean. Meanwhile as we listened to the bile and fingering at Ibrokes Rory and his two muppets were hysterical especially when they sang their usual ditties.

Arbee
3 months ago

it’s 2004 ( Barcelona ) since the hoops won a tie after the group stages

Didn’t we beat Zenit a few years back (didn’t go through over 2 legs tho)

Funkyy
3 months ago

I’ve already recovered from the disappointment of last night and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s match. Now the focus should be 100% on winning the league and the Scottish Cup. We’ve played better football than anybody else in our domestic league and that’s even with key players missing with long term injuries.
We’re heading in the right direction and next season the players will have gelled better and be more used to how Ange wants them to play…and those who have just had a taste of European football will have no illusions about the performance level they need to reach. Losers give up after a disappointment….winners fight on harder.
As for what’s happening over at Orcville…who fekking cares. They’ll never win the Big Cup and that’s what drives them mad every day.

portpower
3 months ago

By the sounds of it, we are playing the Hibs reserves ?
Leave your ego at the by-line and do not rely on others to do the work.

Celts 4-0.

henkesdreadlocks
3 months ago

Absolutely woeful again. Since the performance at Fir Park this team has regressed at an alarming rate. Hatate has been an empty jersey since the defeat of the huns. Rogic back to last season looking like he’s towing a caravan. So many poor showings and no inspiration being injected into proceedings, be it from manager or any individual given a jersey. If it was just one poor performance I’m sure we can take that on the chin, but this has been going on for weeks. Sort it out Ange.

Funkyy
3 months ago

Agreed, there’s been a big dip in performance. I was totally down after watching the match….”but football’s a funny old game Saint”….and God’s a Tim. The huns raced into a 2 goal lead against Murderwell and trying to remain positive I thought, “Well at least we’re still top by a point and a point lead at the end wins the league”. Then later on I checked the latest scores and Murderwell had hit them with two goals and it ended 2-2. Lucky (green &) white heather right enough!! HH

henkesdreadlocks
3 months ago
Reply to  Funkyy

Quite remarkable. I got a message from my boy, simply said ‘F*#@*n hell’.
I thought they must have hit double figures. Nice to find out what he was on about. But we need to give ourselves a shake. Win these next two games and we’ll see where that takes us.

Funkyy
3 months ago

That’s twice the *rangers have come back from a good Euro game and then dropped points in the league. Their fans must be gutted ‘cos every game, every point is now critical and we’re on the last lap towards the winning post. If we’re still 4 points in front come the Ibrox game they will be under extreme pressure from their fans and the media and dropping point in that match will be fatal.

Iancelt67
2 months ago
Reply to  Funkyy

Unique position of two teams shirting it and not wanting it enough

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