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Celtic Diary Tuesday August 27

Lets get the negative stuff out of the way first.  Theres a big game coming up, so , as usual, half the team are getting sold, the other half are injured and its all the fault of the management and the board. Oh, and we haven’t signed anyone because the club is crap, the league is crap and its always bloody raining.

See, I’ve just saved you five bob or whatever it costs to buy a newspaper.

Fraser Forster is the subject of an ” undisclosed ” bid from Benfica, who haven’t got any money, and presumably haven’t seen him lately.

Despite the fact that the manager has said no more key players are leaving, the press won’t let up. They seem to be trawling the web for the remotest links and splashing them all over the back page. Forster himself was reminded a month or so ago he has gone from Newcastle reserve to England squad member within his time at Celtic.

Many years ago, Scotland had qualified for the finals of a major tournament before England had, and I was terrified then that the English would fail to go through, meaning the full attention of their press would be focussed on the Scots.

Theres a similar scenario in Scotland just now. With only one big club around, the press have to find as many stories as they can about them, to try to maintain interest in the game.

There used to be another big club, but it died, and the papers don’t seem to be to bothered about an inquest.

Alfred Finnbogasson keeps scoring goals, and the hesitancy of the Celtic board in paying what his club Heerenveen want will backfire spectacularly should Celtic fail to overcome Shakter Karagandy tomorrow night. With Teemu Pukkis club Schalke playing hardball as well, it seems that Lawwells stubbornness could cost the club millions in lost UCL revenue, and whilst we all figured we should have enough in the tank to beat the Khazaks, it turns out it wasn’t about the fuel, but the chassis which needed looking after.

Lawwell himself , to stave off criticism, has simply rang Dudu Dahan and asked him if he knows anyone who wants a game of football.

Nir Biton

The agent sent back this picture of 6 foot five defensive midfielder Nir Biton, which set the old pulse racing. He is a former team mate of Efe Ambrose at Ashdod;

“Of course I would be interested in a move to a big European club like Celtic.

“I know a bit about them because my friend Efe Ambrose moved there last year.

“I have spoken to him quite a few times and he has told me that Celtic is a very good club and Scotland is a great place.

“I know how big a club they are and it is flattering to be linked with a club like Celtic.”

Other than that, its either Billy Sharp or Kevin Doyle.


The six UCL games have clearly taken it out of the players. They look tired, probably because they are tired, and need inspiration, they need to be running on pure adrenaline tomorrow, which is where the crowd must play its part.

However, Shakhter midfielder Roger Canas is quite confident;

“After the draw Celtic were favourites to reach the next round.

“Now the picture has changed and I think it’s 70-30 in our favour.

“Our aim is to score one goal in Glasgow and put huge pressure on Celtic.

“It would be an enormous error to play an ultra-defensive style because we would concede the ball to Celtic which is very dangerous.

“This Shakhter team has a lot of courage and we are so close to our dream.

“We are obliged to prove the match in Karagandy wasn’t lucky. We have to show why we managed to win 2-0. We plan to go without fear. This is the most important match in our history, we cannot fail.

“We know it’ll be a tough match and more difficult than the first. The atmosphere will be intense against us and that will be the main obstacle.

“The key is to avoid nerves and stay calm for 90 minutes. Celtic will attack us at the start but we need to handle that situation.

“Two goals are important in Europe, it’s a good advantage to have. But the tie isn’t decided just yet.

“Celtic need goals and we have to defend against that. Every minute that passes at 0-0 will bring us closer to qualification.

“Celtic have all the history in Europe. We are unknown. But after Wednesday night all of Europe will know about Shakhter Karagandy.”

One of our midfielders, the fragile Beram Kayal will miss the game after he was hurt against Inverness, he tweeted;

“MRI has been done. Need to be out for two weeks unfortunately.”

Another one of our midfielders, Joe Ledley, gave possibly the most honest appraisal of how things stand;

“I still think we have a fantastic squad here.

“We have brought in some good players and have kept a lot from last season.

“There have been only two or three changes.

“There are definitely no excuses. We played games without Gary last season, including winning against Barcelona.

“We had other wins without Victor and the same without Kelvin. So there are no excuses.

“We just need to go out and perform. It’s going to be difficult to get the win we need but we are positive.”

If you can sort of hum the theme from “Rocky ” while you read that, its even more effective.

There is good news for the Khazaks though, as the Daily Record claims that at the Radisson Blu hotel, where they are staying, lamb is on the menu and they won’t have to slaughter one before the game. Animal rights campaigners, claimed the Records Keith MacLoed , were outraged at the killing in Astana, but presumably they’ll be much happier it was killed humanely over here.

The lamb itself was unavailable for comment.

Its also worth mentioning that any interference with the Khazaks sleeping habits whilst they stay at that hotel is completely unacceptable and the sort of behaviour that should not be associated with Celtic or its supporters.

But if anyone needs a lift give me a shout.

We are probably all a little nervous ahead of the game. Actually we are a lot nervous before the game.

The combination of a high speed game and an excited crowd may prove too much for the Khazaks. The thing is , we have to make sure it is.

Wayne slob from the Harry Enfield show, Ivor Biggun, who had a novelty record about winking, called the winkers song, and the noise made by those who are asleep in cartoons led us to Wayne Biggins, who joined Celtic after a free scoring time at Stoke. I’d seen him down here, and was convinced he was a better bet than Gordon Durie, who had just signed for Rangers at the time. And his debut at Airdrie proved that I know nothing about football whatsoever.

Today, mull over this one;


And while you are doing that, drift off  into the past with this squad, which will form the Celtic XI in Stilian Petrovs charity game next month;

Tom Boyd
Momo Sylla
Tosh McKinlay
Jackie McNamara
Joos Valgaeren
Bobo Balde
Henrik Larsson
Morten Wieghorst
Chris Sutton
Pierre Van Hooijdonk
Jorge Cadete
Tommy Johnson
Brian McClair
Bobby Petta
Martin Compston
Didier Agathe
Neil Lennon
Rab Douglas
Stevie Graham
Warren Brown
Lubo Moravcik
Johan Mjallby






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10 years ago

Paul Shaun Bert?

10 years ago

Paul Lambert

10 years ago

Paul Lamb Bert or Lambo as Dortmund fans know him

10 years ago

Surely if Mjallby can play in Stans game he can pull on a pair of boots for the first team!

10 years ago

Paul Sheepernie?

Frank McGaaaaarvey
10 years ago

Is that the squad for Wednesday? Did Lou Macari sign Stevie Graham and Warren Brown from the Dog & Duck Sunday League team first XI?

Should be a great day for Stan.

On to Wednesday, can I make a plea for any Lhads and Lhasses out there who are ho-humming over going to the game to please get the finger out (along with £22 from of your wallet/purse/arse for a ticket of which there are quite a few left) and come along and make a lot of noise with the rest of us? Let’s frighten the sh*t out of those Shakhter numpties and on Thursday morning we can debate the merits of Celtic’s transfer dealings and an appropriate punishment for Mr Lawell.

If you need and extra kick up the bahooky to come along and add your weight to the support, then think about the possibility of the CL draw on Friday with Shakhter Karagandy in it and not us……..

Frank McGaaaaarvey
10 years ago

BTW, with regards to the puzzle today, who the hell is NachoNovo SheepErnie?

10 years ago

Shiteing myself about tomorrow!
What could we kill for goo luck?

Frank McGaaaarvey
10 years ago
Reply to  Maniche

How about a few Scottish sports meeja journos Maniche?

Shouldn’t take much and no bloodshed will be involved. Some Domestos or Cillit Bang should do the trick!

10 years ago

I just do not believe it, Ralph. My comment has been sacrificed in a tunnel by a sheepish Kazakhstani Butcher.

And once again it was a cracker. All about Celtic or, as a Kazak journalist says “Glasgow Catholics”. I guess he was doing a “tribute” piece. Familiar?

Photos were fairly straight forward but keep them coming. They are great fun and make me look intelligent. Today’s was a blast from the past – “A lien and the lamb cartoon”. Disney get any better!


10 years ago
Reply to  Pensionerbhoy


“I was terrified then that the English would fail to go through,”
Start worrying again. Big Forster’s just got a call up and it isn’t for the Foreign Legion though he might have to escape there after he plays. Ach naw, he’ll be too old. Hodgson must be going to Specsavers cause Big Fraser aint been much of a saver these last few weeks.


10 years ago


Do you think Lenny is saying to Forster in the photo “Listen, ya useless big git, ye f***ing are joining the England squad tae gie me a break.”


Brian Fearon
10 years ago

Too many people take comfort in the statement “we won games in Europe wihout Kelvin,Gary and Victor.”

What they do not say is we did not play these games with all three missing and that is the issue. Our best striker, best midfielder and best central defender all left and we have not replaced any of them with similar quality. It is not and never would be about one player, it is about all three.

Iain McAllister
10 years ago

BIG sorry James Forest, I thought you would be the weak link in the team if you played. It is very obvious I know f all about football. I hoped you read my wee bit and it inspired you. Enjoy. Gratefull thanks.

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