After having a wee look on google for any extra information on Shakter Karagandy, I came up with this
and finally this;
Thats because I wasn’t paying attention to detail, and made an arse of it. Something that Neil Lennon will no doubt be aware of as he plans for this afternoons game against the Khazak champions.
The boss told Sky Sports that he has had a wee bit of footage to examine, so its not too bad, and went on to dismiss questions from a journalist who just had to bring up the fact that no new players had been brought in for the tie-except for the four that have. Lennon also added that experience is vital;
“I suppose after last year you are a little more comfortable,” he said.
“But it is still quite a nerve-wracking time for all us involved although we try not to let that permeate to the players.
“We are relaxed, we had a great result at the weekend against Aberdeen and the players are in good form and looking forward to the game.
“We haven’t had much time to gauge but I am very happy with the way the squad has settled. I have liked the camaraderie between the players and the new boys have settled in very well.
“Obviously we have lost hugely influential players in victor wanyama, gary hooper and kelvin wilson but we feel we have acquired some very good players. Players with capital letters. They will take time to bed in obviously, but we are very happy with the way things are going at the moment.”
( I might have paraphrased a bit there. )
“Obviously we have more experience than Shakhter but they are at home and they have an excellent home record,”
“They have already knocked out BATE Borisov, who beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season, so this is going to be a difficult tie.”
Is it ? Or is he just paying lip service to the host club ?
You tube footage of the BATE game suggests that in fact Shakter are a bloody awful side, who were extremely lucky to beat the Bulgarians, with the Khazaks only managing two shots on target-both scored-over 180 minutes.
BATE seemed to be playing shootie-in, but neglected to actually put the ball in the net.
At least Celtic have several players capable of scoring.
Lennon will rely on his tried and tested players, Forster should start in goal, Lustig and Izzaguerre at full back, with the only real issue being at centre half. Efe Ambrose has been doing his Michael Palin around the world tributes again, and there is a question mark over Virgil van Dijk and Steven Mouyokolo, due to lack of experience and match fitness, but the latter two would be a better bet, with Charlie Mulgrew sitting in front of the defence.
That leaves Scott Brown and Joe Ledley a we bit more advanced in midfield, again Beram Kayal has been subject a to a lot of travelling lately and should sit this one out, leaving Kris Commons , Gergios Samaras and whoever is the fittest out of James Forrest, Anthony Stokes, Amido Balde and Derk Boerigtter for the final starting place.
Personally, though, I would slot Adam Matthews in there at right midfield, leaving Samaras out left and Commons in a free role.
The Khazaks sacrificed a sheep in the tunnel at the weekend, which is a good luck ritual in that part of the world. ( Though presumably not for the sheep ) It shouldn’t bother anyone at Celtic, as I can clearly remember games against a club, just a couple of years ago, that would regularly sacrifice goats as part of a ritual. Indeed, there were even rumours of other, more sordid practices, but they were started by Celtic fans.
There were serious scares when a picture of the players relaxing in Khazakstan emerged, well, they said it was Khazakstan, but it looked more like the airline pilot had took off from Dyce airport after the Aberdeen game, and circled the north of Scotland for a few hours, before landing outside a pub in one of those highland villages you see in postcards.
I am absolutely certain I’ve been in that bar, its somewhere up north in one of those little villages, if you look for it you’ll find it in 1950.
Except one thing is different. That big empty frame on the wall in the top left had a picture of a man in a kilt and a tweed jacket, outside his manor, thoughtfully puffing on his pipe, whilst staring into the distant mountains and wondering what to do about the ginger haired immigrants who were raping his haggis and eating his women.
And I’m sure his first name was Urquhart or Farquhar or something.
4pm, is the kick off time, its on ITV 4 , and my prediction-you’ll have noticed how bad I am at this, is that Celtic will be in front before five past, and the game will finish 2-0 to the good guys.
Aberdeen fans are particularly keen to see us do well, to avenge the murder of one of their own…., and it might be worth reminding Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews what they did as well.
While we have a Champions League game to look forward to, the team which is supported by the fans of the team which used to be our rivals, will be glued to the wireless for news of a board meeting where the future of Charles Green , the lovable Yorkshire rogue who has brought so much laughter into the world. Well, the civilised world anyway.
At least, thats what i think the meeting is about. It could also be to discuss the latest allegations against midfielder Ian Black, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
He might , though.
Or it could be to discuss the defection of Jack Irvines Mediahouse to the Easdale/ Green cartel, or perhaps the about turn of Keith Jackson, who is now claiming that he should have been listened to right at the beginning, and Rangers wouldn’t be in the mess they are in.
Ah, theres the word. Mess. And its a right royal mess, a pile so high that if you came upon it, you would have to treat it as a roundabout.
And do you know what ? I don’t care. Neither do you. In fact, I don’t think anyone does anymore, except all the vultures who are scrapping over the dregs of whats left of a once mighty institution.
We’ve got a game to look forward to.
Dan-yell-fergus- muh-grain was the legend idetified by nearly everyone yesterday, and on this European occasion, lets try to identify this guy, who was one of our more productive players in continental clashes;
Well, you try to identify him. I already know.