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Celtic Diary Thursday August 29

Celtic convincingly put the Khazaks to the sword last night in Glasgow, and rightly took their place amongst the big clubs in the money spinning group stages of the Champions League. Thats big clubs, not bigger clubs.

Goals from Kris Commons , Georgios Samaras and James Forrest won the tie within ninety minutes, and it would be fair to say that every man on the park was a hero in the hoops.

The defence defended, the attackers attacked and the midfielders, er middled. ( Might need some work on that line.-Ed )

None more so than man of the match James Forrest. After a slow start the much maligned  ( admit it, we’ve all done it ) winger stepped up to the plate, and for the first time in many a year, a Celtic winger in possession gave the support a sense that something was about to happen.

Despite being kicked, punched , and knocked down when no-one was looking, the little man with the big heart picked himself up, dusted himself down and got on with it. With nothing else working , the Khazaks decided on a surgical strike, and the wee fellow went down in agony, but , he picked himself up, dusted himself down, and muttered under his breath;

” Right, thats it. ”

When Anthony Stokes danced past four defenders late on, and  cut the ball back to the penalty spot, Forrest was bearing down, and made absolutely no mistake with a superb finish. 3-0 . Job done.

One at the end of the first half, one at the start of the second, and one at the end to leave no time for them to strike back. Shakespeare couldn’t have written it better,  ( he’s dead ) and Scorsese wouldn’t have made it more dramatic.

Neil Lennon, having given Usain Bolt something to think about with a celebratory sprint to hide his players from the cameras in case any more teams wanted to buy them, spoke his mind after the game;

“It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done in football. The last three months have all been about preparation for this,”

“I’m relieved and there is a good sense of pride in what we have achieved tonight considering we lost Hooper, Wanyama and Wilson who were the spine of the team really for the last year-and-a-half.

“We lost three very important players and it’s been difficult to replace them. Coming back from a two-goal deficit down tonight as well just makes the players’ performance and efforts even more remarkable.

“I cannot speak highly enough about the players in that dressing room tonight; they were just wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I’m not really sure they get the credit they deserve at times.

“The night required patience but there was a real willingness amongst the players to do that.

“When you have Samaras, Forrest and Stokes in the mood anything can happen and we got what we deserved. We dominated the first half and dominated the second and, contrary to some reports, we actually dominated large parts of the first tie as well.

“We didn’t get what we deserved then but we certainly did tonight.”

Then he had a pop at the media-well, they expect him to take it, so its only fair he can give it back.

“I’m angry as well at the reaction from the first leg towards the team. The environment here is all wrong – there is just far too much negativity,”

“These players have given everything for the club and put Scottish football in a really good light last year.

“I wouldn’t say they had a bad night last week, they just didn’t take their chances. They created plenty but yet the hysteria afterwards was disgusting.

“It may come from some sections of the media, it may even come from some quarters of our own support but the knee-jerk reaction to one average performance is baffling to me.

“It just makes the job impossible at times. Managers nowadays get no respect for their position. They are analysed and scrutinised about everything they say.

“There are times that I call a game as I see it in the cold light of day and I still get slaughtered for it and people try to humiliate you and I think that’s totally wrong and it doesn’t do the prestige of the job justice.

“There’s so much of an imbalance and there’s huge pressure on myself. We don’t have a divine right to be in the Champions League.

“We’ve played three qualifiers and they are so difficult to overcome and I don’t think people appreciate that.

“This club is not a laughing stock for anyone. We will all get pats on the back for this win but it is all superficial to me.”

The bit about the three qualifiers, and the difficulties involved is especially poignant.

Not convinced ?

After the game last night I was knackered. Everything you want in a game was in that one last night. Tension, excitement , drama, elation, despair, – if supporters were drained, how must the players have felt ?

This on the back of a six game trans global campaign to merely reach the level before the level we got to last year!

Those quotes above came from a story in todays Bangkok Post, ( worth reading for the singles ads alone ) and was quoted in a context that gave a fair reflection of  how the manager was feeling-don’t take my word for it, read it and compare it with Keith Jackson in the Record;

bangkok post

Ah, Keith Jackson in the Record, twice winner of the peer appointed Sports Journalist of the Year award, which says all you need to know  about the standard of journalism in he Mainstream Scottish Media, mainstream meaning its going down the river soon

Having already surely asked for his P45 with his “ping pong playing mankini wearing Borats ”  comment-I still think, nay hope I was reading  one of the hilarious Tin Soldier KDS parodies when I saw that-but don’t think TS could come up with anything so crass- Jackson was slobbering with delight as he typed this;

record

Its the bit at the top that sets the tone

Celtic boss Neil Lennon hails players for securing his

greatest moment.. then slams negativity surrounding

club

 

LENNON said there was no respect for his position as manager and claimed the negativity from fans and sections of the media “makes the job impossible at times”.

Jackson , of course, is always there to promote Scottish football. He constantly talks it up, praising the good points and genuinely trying to help put right things that are bad about our game.

Ah, sorry, wrong Keith Jackson. Should have spotted that when the tribute spoke of an  ” affection for the game for the game of football ”

 

Oddly enough, there are not many pictures of Jackson on the web. So, instead, we have had to find another clown.

 

 

Jackson is still hurting, and he and his ilk are determined to belittle the achievemnets of Lennon, the players, hell everybody at Celtic…

 

Which is why when you go to the shop this morning, the guy behind the counter will try to give you a copy of that rag when you make any purchase of ten pence or more.

Well, it hasn’t happened yet, but it will.

Alan Patullo in the Scotsman won stupidest sentence of the day with this

 

” In the end, the only act of cruelty performed at Parkhead last night was administered by Celtic on their own fans, ”

celtic-reach-champions-league-group-stage-1-3064146

The original link said “Celtic sneak into Champions League”….

But, thats all bye the bye.

All eyes will be on the telly, all ears on the radio and all fingers on the airline websites as the draw is made for the group stage this afternoon. 4pm, Sky Sports .

Billy McNeill will be involved in the ceremony, and he will be sporting the biggest grin since he picked the trophy up all those years ago when he pulls our name out of the hat.

As usual, UEFA have divided the remaining teams in groups according to the size of their television audience, and Celtic take their place in Pot 4, -which means we are the bottom ranked side in the group.

Like we were last year, really. This is the line up for the draw;

Pot 1
Bayern Munich
Barcelona
Chelsea
Real Madrid
Manchester United
Arsenal
Porto
Benfica

Pot 2
Atletico Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk
Milan
Schalke
Marseille
CSKA Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain
Juventus

Pot 3
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Manchester City
Ajax
Borussia Dortmund
Basel
Olympiacos
Galatasaray
Bayer Leverkusen

Pot 4
Copenhagen
Napoli
Anderlecht
Celtic
Steaua Bucurest
Viktoria Plzen
Real Sociedad
Austria Wien

We all have our preferred choice, but I’d be happier  with someone we haven’t played for a while-ideally Real Madrid, Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen. What I don’t want is a repeat visit from Barcelona, Benfica or Man Utd.

Its worth a few bob as well at this stage, and clearly its difficult to ascertain just how much.
” Matthew Lindsay@MattLindsayET

Can we get a consensus on how much qualifying for the Champions League group stages is worth to Celtic? Ranges from £7m to £20m today. ”

Thats right Matthew, its between 7 and 20 million pounds. a clue can be found in last years Celtic club  accounts, which should give you somewhere to start, and something to base a reasonable assumption on. Like they taught you in journalism school.

Oh, wait.

Aye, certainly a wee bit happier today, though not as happy as this guy, who was pleased that no more of his brothers would be slaughtered at Celtic Park last night.

What I thought was a tricky wee puzzle yesterday was solved in just thirteen minutes by Dermot Cole, so today, as they say , this one is a right horrible nasty little bastard;

Sorry, ignore that. My fault.

Finally, congratulations to Celtic on perhaps their biggest, and most unappreciated achievement last night. Getting fifty thousand people, and a few of us at home, to dance to a Depeche Mode song.

Well done, lads.

Work that one out.

 

 

 

 

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buyhiselllowgreen
10 years ago

Neil lennon? Lenny the lion?

10 years ago

Thats all very well Ralph but whens the blooming Ramdsen Cup draw?

jon littledick
10 years ago

Where’s the singles ads?

Andy
10 years ago

Willie Lyon?

San Miguel
10 years ago

Sorry to pee on Neil’s chips but I get frustrated at him having a go at the support for moaning at last weeks result in Khazakstan. It was not good enough and he picked the wrong team, last night he picked the right team and he rightly should get the credit (unlike the New Rangers !).

He’s a stubborn man, it’s in his make up I think , but I am sure in the cold light of day when he looks back at his press conference last night he will regret having a pop at the supporters.

I will take Benfia, CSKA and Basle for my group , but we will get Real, Milan and Dortmund !. and in the league cup I would like Sevco…wait a minute !!

Well done all credit where credit is due, now for some signings please !

Also Ralph – please do something about the size of text when commenting from a PC- it’s tiny !!

San Miguel
10 years ago

Oh the photo quiz – when did Pussy(s) Galore play for the hoops did I miss something ?

Raymobhoy
10 years ago

I thought that apart from one slip up Ambrose was terrific but Commons was immense, never wasted the ball and should have been man of the match. Brown was also huge with his driving energy and for keeping hold of the ball.
Stokes had one of his better games but Ledley and Foster seemed a bit out of sorts.
Have to disagree with the Forrest praise though. He continually ran up a cul-de-sac and his shots were a bit wayward. It was only his pass for Stokes to hit the crossbar and the goal both at the end where he improved.
I know that he wom us the tie and think he should be rightly praised for that, i just think that he didnt have a great game up to that point.
Overall the team showed a great fighting spirit which was lacking in the first tie. If we carry this forward into the group stages we have every chance of getting through them again.
Finally the BBC of course had to say that Browns studding should have been a red card if it had been spotted by the officials, thus being judge jury and executioner as usual.
I dont think it was as clear cut, but the BBC always have an agenda against us anyway.

schoosh71
10 years ago

A wonderful performance, but how do you get the players to play with the same intensity everytime they pull on the jersey? Everybody hates us, an it seems we do care. Another £20mil in the coffers, p/l has got to now give Neil the players he wants. HH

Brian53
10 years ago

Great game and fantastic result, hard to pick MOTM as there were so many brilliant performances. A Mr A. Stokes was mine.

On Neil having a go at the press, I remember turning the volume down on ITV4’s coverage, it was that bad. Good to have a go at them while we’re winning otherwise it sounds like sour grapes. Way to go Neil.

Whom would I like? I’m with Neil on Real Madrid, would be nice to play them for a change instead of our the old CL firm that is Barcelona. Schalke and Ajax would make up a nice group and we could qualify from it. Take anyone though now that we’re there.

Hail, Hail on a glorious Celtic morning.

BrisbaneCelt
10 years ago

Dougie Donnelly – trying to shave but no razor?

10 years ago

I had 80 bangers riding on the result, as some of you will know. There was a rash of sevconians down the town last night. Eagerly anticipating. Then they disappeared like snow aff a dyke and faster than you could scream JAMESIE!!!!

10 years ago

So I got home, still owed £80, and dived into the Jimmy’s. Awoke an hour ago to the sound of a bass drum. Got to the windae and there was a walk on the main street for wan of their deid. The band was playing, wait for it, there’s no a team like the……….kid you not. I didnae know whether to shout you owe me a tenner manky or who sanctioned this?

10 years ago

Ralph

I have two reasons for rejoicing today. I will get the lesser one out of the way first. It is my wife’s birthday today. She has reached one of the “big O”s but I have consoled her by pointing out it is better than being 91. So far it has been a wonderful day. For a surprise I got her to bring me breakfast in bed this morning. There was even a rose and a box of chocolates. I gave her back the chocolates ’cause they were not the kind I like. She is smiling. Mind you, on second thoughts it looks more like an insane grin. Anyway, I will be tied up most of the day cleaning the attic before I put her back. She deserves at least that on her birthday.

Now to turn to important matters. Have you ever sat on a bus for about two hours dying for a pee? Then you get off right next to the toilets and you couldn’t care less what condition they are in as long as you can relieve yourself. That is just how I was at 21.38pm last night. And no, before anyone says anything, it was not at the thought of the wife being out of the attic today. Before the game last night I was in two places at once, one bad, one good. In the first I could see us not being able to score and chucking it away on a stupid away goal, probably from a long throw in. In the other, I thought we would walk all over Shakhter and win about 6-0. As it turned out, it was neither one nor the other but a bit of all of it with one notable exception. They were naff this time at the long throws. It wasn’t so much we were better at defending them as they didn’t execute them quite as dangerously or some might say as luckily as they did at home. But, as I said, I was not giving a sheep’s sacrifice what the toilet was like. I was just glad of the relief and getting my breeks changed.

Now to the diary which I note is just a tad later than yesterday’s. I hope it was a good pub. In all honesty, I think you could have been excused writing one at all today. Words really don’t express how everybody feels, I would think. It is a day for rejoicing and wallowing in our uniqueness and our success. Mind you we have to recognise it has taken 125 years. One can not expect teams only a couple of years old to be achieving the same success. While we conquer Kazakhstani C.L. sheep, it is only right they seek progress in a Ram’s den – this is not the time to discuss fans’ orientation nor boardroom orienteering for that matter. Anyway, enough of dreamland. The reality is Celtic won 3-0 last night and are going once again into the hat today for the group stages of the Champions League, rightfully among the ELITE BIG boys.

You should write more diaries when your sozzled, Ralph. Today’s is a beaut!

The quiz? Easy – Ally McCoist fat faced and l(io)ying.

H H

Green Lantern
10 years ago

Is the picture quiz answer Fanny Cuddlytoy?

Do I win a prize?

Mochy
10 years ago

King of the Jungle – Henrik Larsson?

Iljas Baker
10 years ago

I thought Samaras was mostly immense last night and gave them no end of trouble. MOM for me. Everyone really gave their best. Ambrose kept it simple and this is how he should conduct himself in Europe. Brown too was immense and so was Commons. Anthony Stokes’ play for that third goal was sublime.

But let’s remember, Shakhter wasn’t one of the better teams in the competition.

Green Lantern
10 years ago

Dick Puller? Fat Bastard Cowardly Muppet?

Sorry. Not sobered up yet and just love abusing the corpulent sneakster.

Andy Bhoy
10 years ago

Fatberg Lionheart The III……..sorry the Turd.

greenmaestro
10 years ago

Good news stories about Celtic, or Scottish Football in general don’t fit the current media agenda, which as we know is that nothing will be good until sevco reach the top league. Bottom feeders.

greenmaestro
10 years ago

Also just Googled “suoodo intellectual”. I’m not one of them.

10 years ago

I have never been happier to be proved wrong and having to eat extra portions of humble pie after what happend last week, i criticized lenny and Celtic for a poor team selection and poor performance and still stand by that but what i witnessed last night was truly beautiful, lenny got almost the perfect team selection(still naw convinced with Forrest) and got the tactics absolutely bang on, mulgrew at left back worked better than dizzy izzy, but stokes samaras and commons wer something else, pace skill awareness and commitment, they had it all, bring on Europes best, like the blog says ” we are playing with the big teams not bigger teams” so proud to be a tim, and life without the clatty b###dards from down govan way is just dandy,hail hail, GLASGOWS GREEN N WHITE+

The Holy Poet.
10 years ago

What a feeling last night and even when I awoke, I got up at 6am for work but my brain only kicked in about ten minutes ago. Words can’t explain how we all felt last night but Jamesie was forgiven for a lot of poor play once he scored. Three cracking goals from a Celtic team who found the heart, passion and desire that’s been lacking recently. What a night. Lenny picked his best and deserves credit for that. Boerrigter slotted right in last night too when he came on. HH

Dermot Cole
10 years ago

Shot my bolt yesterday. I’m out.

Buckie
10 years ago

I have heard it all now Forrest man of the match only stokes beat him for worse player of the night. Ambrose was head and shoulders above everyone else the guy gets some abuse some deserved some not so credit where credits due. What’s happened to the goalie a shop dummy has more movement than him nearly cost us last night. Got until Saturday night to get an attacking midfielder in and not one but two forwards cause stokes proved last night that he is not european class. Just head a settled team and players playing in there best positions and we could have a excellent season.

tam the tim
10 years ago

Entirely agree Buckie. Ambrose was immense. I’m all sore to-day, getting to old for all that jumping around.
HH

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