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Celtic Diary Wednesday January 16

Celtics European co-efficient shot up again last night with yet another away win, this time  against former European champions Steaua Bucharest. Despite falling behind in the first half  to a Stefan Nikolic strike, the hoops rallied and goals early in the second half from Georgios Samaras and Mo Bangura meant it was a comfortable, morale boosting win ahead of the real stuff starting again on Saturday.

Alright, it was only a training match, alright, it meant nothing, but for a football starved Celtic support it was like winning the European Cup. Alright, it wasn’t, but it certainly provided a chance to watch a few players we don’t normally see, and we got a rare Mo Bangura goal to talk about as well. He is the surprised looking one in the picture above.

The live feed for ESPN was initially provided by Look TV, which is a Romanian company, and they decided that their adverts should be shown during the game, by simply migrating the main feature to the top left of the screen, and the advert forming a reverse L shape to the right. Of course, this was criticised and eventually removed by ESPN, as it left no room for their wee boxes telling us which offerings of  turgidity masquerading as football were on in the next few days.

Craig Burley was at his enthusiastic best, and at times surpassed even his own previous levels of ignorance and pettiness.

“Its a meaningless game, trust me”

“Its not a morale boosting win”

“I watch a lot of Italian football, and , actually how are Juventus doing just now?”

My favourite was when he commented on Scott Browns tweet to congratulate new Scotland boss Gordon Strachan

“Why didn’t he just phone him, like normal people? If I open a twitter account just shoot me. ”

Today, the social network site reports over 50,000 new accounts in the name of Craig Burley.

ESPN are to blame for employing the guy in the first place, as anyone who listens to him talk about football would realise after about twenty minutes that he lacks the wit, knowledge and articulacy to be in the job he’s in.

Which we hear is pretty much why Peter Houston isn’t in the Blackpool job yet.

As mentioned briefly above, former boss Gordon Strachan is now the “proud” manager of Scotland. good luck to him, and perhaps we can now see a proper manager get the best out of his players -and there are plenty of good players in the set up-instead of covering for his own inadequacies by blaming the team.

One player we are hoping Neil Lennon can get the best out of is attacking midfielder Tomas Rogic. His club, Central Coast Mariners have agreed a price with Celtic, and all the player has to do is sort out personal terms and learn how to pass the ball sidieways.

Its gone a little quiet on other players coming in, and only the usual stories about players leaving (although someone on twitter reckons Barcelona want Fraser Forster. A revamp of the dressing room means none of the other  players can reach the towels) , so perhaps we’ll get a bit of peace for a few days. As long as no-one gives Downing and Bent any encouragement..

The Herald has published its list of the  30 most influential men in Scottish football. not surprisingly, the unseen fenian hand of Peter Lawwell is at number one, with babbling funster Charles Green in at number two. Lennon is at five with the rest filled up with money men and decision makers.

James Traynor is in there as well, but only so his former colleagues at the paper can have a pop at the once respected writer. (Well, he was respected once. It was a Thursday.)

Celtic may well have taken a wee boost of confidence from last nights win, but spare a thought for Aussie player Francesco Stella, who has been told he is not good enough for third division newboys Sevco. He left yesterday with the good wishes of all at Ibrox, and cried all the way to McDonalds, where he failed the application form by getting his date of birth wrong.

Bit unfair really, he probably just realised he made a mistake and wanted out of there. In fact, the success of the New Blues means that bigger teams have been queuing up to swoop for the new breed of Murray Park starlets…Oh, hang on…

Away from football, cyclist and drugs cheat Lance Armstrong has confessed on the Oprah Winfrey show that he did indeed cheat to win his titles and medals. All the money he earned as well was therefore acumulated on a lie.

Wonder if this sort of honesty will catch on in Scotland.

After a surprise defeat in an early round of Europe by greek side Olympiakos Piraeus, manager Jock Stein made the comment about leaving it to teams who were good enough to still be in the tournament. Ant owens got the name right, but the wrong game. Good shout , though.

Today, its about last nights opponents Steaua. which European record did they break this season?

Now.I’m away to the fridge to check on those burgers I bought from Tesco yesterday.

Aaaaaaannnnddd they’re off.



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11 years ago


Weetabix!!!! I must say that in spite of it being very much my generation, I would never have guessed Big jock in a million. Good one, fella. As for today’s do Steaua hold the record for the most wins in all competitions for a European team? If not, are they the only team European team from their country to have won any European honours? How many guesses are allowed? 🙂

Diary: How do you get up with so much humour in the mornings? I am like a bull – well more a calf actually – with a sore heid and I do not even have to go to work. I was impressed by the second half last night and depressed by “utterly burley”. I am sure he had a bottle of Turt with him. It is a strong plum Romanian brandy. He sounded “plumb” crazy all night. I should not say that really as I hit mute after a time. I hope he opens a twitter account soon as I desperately want the right to shoot him. Nah! waste of a good bullet and he will die with the rest of the pretend journalists in the very near future.
“Its a meaningless game, trust me”
“Its not a morale boosting win”
“I watch a lot of Italian football, and , actually how are Juventus doing just now?”
If it was meaningless, why was the Steaua coach doing Martin O’Neils as if it were the European final? “trust me” – not as far as my grand wains could throw you – if I ever let them that near you. “Morale” was not an issue. Unlike your team, we have plenty of that already. It was a bit of practice, you fud, not the second D Day landings. You will be right at home in Italy, Craig. You’re drivel is perfect for the dubbed, out of sinc, incomprehensible dialogue of spaghetti westerns. Ciao – Italian for f** *ff.

So, getting away from the hurly burly (did you or did you not get that one?) I felt Mo Bangura did not too badly at all last night. Maybe we have misjudged the boy or then again, maybe not. Big Sammy was just Big Sammy and he some of the others showed in the second half that we should feel really confident about Europe. Let’s hope there are no other parks with pitches made from the same material as the one last night. What the hell was it? Either it was worse tan astro or someone was working the ball with a remote.

Can I just add my best wishes and condolences to yours for Wee Gordon. I genuinely think he is the last straw in the genie bottle. However, it will make for good post match interviews when he tell the experts how to put their arses to best use.

The Herald list was interesting, so much so that it is now being used to protect the floor from the distemper the wife is putting on – no it is not a new make up. I suppose it was only time before even the less bad papers resorted to meaningless tripe in the hope of appealing to Yorkshiremen. That is a difficult border to cross for anyone far less tripe merchants. At least they won’t suffer for long. Death is only just round the corner. By the time that news is whispered out the back on washing days, it will be all over.

I hear the call of the open air, so I will end now. Ah naw, it’s the wife wae the purridge again!!!


Scottish Bhoy
11 years ago

Steau – keeper saved all 4 pens v Barcalona therefore won pen shootout without conceding a goal

11 years ago
Reply to  Scottish Bhoy


And here was me thinking Big Fraser came from Newcastle. I hope he is not an unlawful immigrant? 🙂


11 years ago
Reply to  Pensionerbhoy

Unlawful!!!!!! They only play for them. Should be illegal, of course 🙁


Gareth Savage
11 years ago

They qualified for 9 consecutive group stages (Champions Leage and UEFA/Europa Cup) having come through the qualifying rounds.

11 years ago

You won’t EVER change the ingrained bigotry rising from the UK “cultural” mindset. It has been forged by implacable forces for four hundred years to their enormous material advantage. But like beached whales those powers are rotting; so let them lie. Mind you a threat to any particular medium however steeped in the prejudice of the times lies in lost revenues — and that is in your own hands. Do not pay to be insulted.
Even a letter to the CEO of a TV company can result in some moderation of prejudice. The Burleys and Traynors are just an inevitable product of a nasty mass consensus; and the less educated such people are the more deeply affected they can become.

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