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Celtic Diary Tuesday August 20

After having a wee look on google for any extra information on Shakter Karagandy, I came up with this

Then 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.

Posted Image

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.


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9 years ago

Tommy Gem-ill

9 years ago

Yes, get in. So excited. An honour.

9 years ago

The games also on STV ( and STV+1 for folk leaving office at 5!)…darn Sassenachs and their contrived ITV station ways!

9 years ago

the game is only on stv online

9 years ago

3e for us Irish Bhoys…….

Goddamn chest infection coming on

Frank McGaaaaarvey
9 years ago

Well, we still ain’t brought a goalscorer in but what is done is done (or hasnae been done more like) so let’s get behind the Bhoys and get through this tricky tie (tricky but quite favourable nonetheless).

Yep, ITV4 at 4. Don’t be tempted to watch Kojak or Magnum PIE on ITV3, ITV4 is where it’s at tonight.


Frank McGaaaaarvey
9 years ago

BTW, is that picture of the wee green man in the puzzle Mark Wilson?

Charlie Saiz
9 years ago

ITV4 Down South in bandit Country….(rural Lancashire).

9 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz


You wanted brevity – 75 minutes of pure unadulterated sh**e!!!

Enough’s enough!


Run Sammy Run
9 years ago

Fox sports plus here in the US….oh it’s days like today that make working from home a delight, getting paid to watch the Celts.

Run Sammy Run
9 years ago

Disgrace! Every single one of them from the management down…I had a great idea during the game, how’s about playing a striker against a shit team!

The Silver Fhox
9 years ago

The 15 fans who followed Celtic to Asia today should be compensated by the club. What in God’s name was Forster doing? The whole match turned after his stupid kick straight out to an opponent. Also, why does he insist on punching balls when they are catchable? Celtic were unlucky not to score, but the goals they scored were both avoidable.i

Run Sammy Run
9 years ago

Agreed, never thought he was that good a keeper, every dog has his day and his was against Barcelona so he got a reputation for himself but Woy Hodgson could see through it. Someone call Benfica quick and tell them we’ve changed our mind before they see the video of that game.
I don’t think we were unlucky not to score, I think we got what we deserved. You could see right away how shaky they were at the back if you got in amongst them and he doesn’t bring on a recognized striker till 8 mins from the end.

Iain McAllister
9 years ago

Lawwell sold the back bone of the team, centre half,midfield and forward and he might as well have punted the goalie to Portugal.The comedy of errors at both the goals, especially the 2nd strike was the case of you pay peanuts you get monkeys! Still keeping the faith and hoping to do the business next Wednesday. Otherwise the Celtic CEO can give away the season tickets for next year for a hundred pounds.
Ye cannie milk it beath ways myloon.

tam the tim
9 years ago

Well Ralph, 2-0 for the good guys never happened. Have to agree with Chris Sutton’s comments at half-time that Shaktor are not very good at playing football. However their appetite for running and chasing every ball gave our defence a real hard time. When we have such fragile defenders anything can happen.For the second leg we will have to play two wingers who must get behind their defenders and stop this pissing about in the middle of the park. Commons coming in on knock backs and Stokes getting in among them to create space should be enough to see off Shaktor.

9 years ago

So frustrating as we are a better team than them, if the centre back are maybe introduced to each other & Forster remembers he’s bout 10/11 feet tall wen jumping & that your allowed to catch the ball.
Things in our favour;we are now underdogs & another special Paradise nite could get us thro, although i reckon we need to score 4, can anyone else see us keep a clean sheet?

San Miguel
9 years ago

James Forrest should simply not be near the first team. Too many prima donnas in their private jets ,we got what we deserved. I agree compensation for the supporters who paid a fortune to get there.I also don’t hold out much hope for next week either. Why play such an untested central defence ?

Iljas Baker
9 years ago

That was truly disappointing and the possession figures tell you nothing. Shahkter didn’t mind giving up possession as their strastegy was the counterattack against a weak defense, and it served them well. Forster should be dropped andI couldn’t believe that Samaras was kept on the park for so long. The close marking effectively nullified any threat he might have and he gives up so easily. He should have been off early in the second half.

Can’t see Celtic going through. Shahkter will sit in and Celtic don’t have a goalscorer, they might get one, or two but no more. Surely all this was avoidable?

9 years ago

Lennon got it wrong. We lost two players playing Sammy as a centre and why he insists on not playing Chico at Centre Half is beyond me.

You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at