Celtic Football Club – Believe The Hype

So with the Hogmanay hangovers all but gone I thought I’d have a look back at what our most recent encounter with the leagues newest club has taught us.

The hype building up to the game was as to be expected. Deep down knowing that we would get the job done but with the usual pre match butterflies.

They sprung a minutes silence on us with out any official statement. This was reasonably well observed apart from one or two idiots on either side hurling abuse at each other. Theres videos from both sets of fans which proves this.

We didn’t start off well whatsoever. Which is unlike us. We were slow and made many mistakes which resulted in us going behind to a goal from the only man who has played for all 3 old firm clubs Kenny Miller on the 13th or so minute. This shows that the players need to be fired up before the beginning of each half and not to take anything for granted.

Much was made of the ref McLean being a Rangers fan and so on but I wasn’t for buying into that before the start of the game. As the game progressed it appeared more that it was the linesman who was wearing the red,white and blue. With him chopping off a few clear onside chances for us.

Despite the efforts of the officials Dembele showed his class before half time by smashing a left footed volley into the top corner after the ball had came loose from a corner. Celtic grew in confidence after this and began to settle down into the game, however there was no doubt about it their goal did give us a shock.

As the game kicked off for the second half we started like a house on fire. Chance after chance, it was only a matter of time before we went in front. Scotty Sinclair done just that with a tap in from a great ball across the 6 yard box from Stuart Armstrong.

After that the bhoys were playing with a smile on their faces. The game was never in any doubt really. We could have scored 6. Unfortunately though we didn’t and the game finished 2-1 to the Hoops.

So after a quick round up of the game what did we learn?

We realised that the two main signings brought in by Brendan Rodgers, Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair made all the difference. Rodgers had Sinclair at Swansea and got the best out of him there and it appears that he is doing the same now. Sinclair says this is now because he is enjoying his football again and I think this is clear to see, he’s back to the exciting, dangerous player he was a few years ago before he was swayed by the mega bucks of oil rich Man City. Dembele’s class was proven once again. His determination, his hold up play, his link up play, basically just everything. The boy can do no wrong and it looks like he’s only going from strength to strength. He will be world class in the years to come. I just hope that we can hold on to him.

The full team are now playing for the manager but i can’t write this without a special mention to a special few. Scott Brown, el Capitono, the General. The form he’s found this season is outstanding. Craig Gordon appears to have got his act together since Rodgers signed de Vries and showed that no one in the team is a guaranteed starter. And last but not least Stuart Armstrong, always had potential but now he is fulfilling it. He’s like an energiser bunny, he never stops.

The Rangers are light years behind us on and off the park. They played ok for 30 minutes. Unfortunately their fans won’t like what I have to say next, a game has 90 minutes guys, not only 30. Their fans and players are deluded to say that they are anywhere near the level of our current group of players. I read that they are quoting they need to spend £30 million to catch up with us? I wonder if anyone has told their saviour Mr King? That’s where the money is meant to come from isn’t it?

Today they have been linked (on the internet i may add) with West Brom’s striker Saido Berahino. Now guys this certain player was subject to a £22 million bid from Spurs last summer and reports are saying he will be offered a £60k a week contract to stay in the Midlands. Now I am but a mere middle class guy with no degree in mathematics but even I can see this does not add up.

When reading a rumour like that it always brings a tear to my eye to think if they can spend this type of money to enhance the quality of their team, have they paid the poor wee face painter from there family fun day 5 years ago, as he had to get a provy loan just to feed his family this Christmas?

The league is a forgone conclusion. The gap is huge. And good news fellow Tims, this is only going to get bigger.

Have a prosperous and healthy 2017 folks knowing that Glasgow is, and always will be Green & White.

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Celtic vs. Barcelona – Will History Repeat Itself?

On the eve of another visit from Catalonia’s giants Barcelona, I’m sitting here pondering what the outcome may bring.

Last time out, I wouldn’t be lying if I said the result was embarrassing. 7-0 to the visitors. On paper would suggest that we were never in the game. It could have been a different story if Moussa Dembele had converted that penalty early on in the first half but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It has to be said though, better teams have went to the Nou Camp and been on the other side of a less than flattering result. The best thing to come out of it was the reaction against Man City at home.

All the players have taken on board Rodgers ideas and philosophy’s and implement them on the pitch. At home, we must not be beaten. This is a necessity.

If we look at the dimensions of the Barcelona pitch its very easy to get lost. Take that into account and their style of play it makes it incredibly difficult to go their and get a credible result.

At home however even against a team like Barcelona, us as Celtic fans still have an expectation of being able to get a result. Every one could see against BMG, we underestimated them and we paid the price but yet again we went to Germany, showed what we were made of and having it not been for Mcgregor’s terrible miss at the end then we would have been able to snatch all three points.

Yes, domestically we are expected to dominate as we are doing but games always start 11 v 11. This is what we need to take into tomorrow nights game. Never mind about the results earlier on in the group, they are done, over. Focus all our attentions on creating another magical night in what we quite rightly call Paradise.

Moussa Dembele has came out and said, ” We need to be relaxed but have pride in the shirt we’re wearing. Then give everything. If we do that, I know we can get a result”

He has been a revelation since his arrival in the summer and his performances haven’t got unnoticed. With the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all have reportedly sent scouts to watch him. Also receiving a lot of praise from current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

Now the 20 year old himself may think he has a point to prove after that miss against Barcelona last time out however if the rest of the squad have the same mentality as the young Frenchman (which I think they do) I think we may be in for a very interesting game.

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I find it very hard to believe that Brendan Rodgers will change the game plan too much even against Barcelona. It appears to me that he is happy with conceding goals as long as we score one more. And for me i don’t think this is a bad philosophy. We attacked Man City from the off and that paid off, they looked shell shocked. Agreed however that they aren’t as good as tomorrow nights opponents but they did prove in the last group of fixtures that away from home Barcelona aren’t as good as they are at home. Barcelona got fortunate when they went to Germany too. So taking all this into account, we should have confidence going into the game.

At the end of the day, we have earned the right to be facing teams like this. So why shouldn’t we have the confidence about going to get a result. We are not here to make up the numbers. A win tomorrow will blow the whole group wide open going into the final fixture against Man City in two weeks time.

As Celtic fans we all have that bit of naive optimism going into big games like this. We know we have done it before. So lets get behind the team, get the stadium rocking and be the 12th man exactly like we did on that glorious night 4 years ago.

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HH

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Paddy Roberts – Sign him permanantly?

Job done.

Astana of Kazakhstan now awaits the Bhoys. A long journey but a massively important one. If we go over there and don’t lose then it will be a good result. Get them back to Parkhead then do what we know we can do and finish the job.

Thats all I’m going to say on that.

The purpose of this is to show my admiration for Patrick Roberts. As many have done tonight. He hasn’t been compared to Messi for no reason. I know the standard of the opposition tonight wasn’t the highest but he glides past players as if the aren’t there. This is no easy thing to do. He is a defenders worst nightmare. He will just run and run and run all day. So quick with the ball at his feet and a peach of a left foot. He didn’t feature much in preseason but surely he must be the first name on the team sheet now?

Young Paddy has always been a Celtic fan and tweeted a picture of him in his youth wearing the hoops.

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We only have him for one more season then he’s going back down south to rot in the Manchester City reserves. The board must act now and enter into talks to keep him for longer and secure his permanent signature.

And I know I’m not the only one –

If you have a quick search through Twitter, you’ll find that even Man City fans actually want him back! Lets hope that doesn’t happen however.

What do you think? Should we push the boat out to get him permanently?

If you like what you read on my blogs follow me on Twitter @docccs

HH

Mulgrew on the move?

Its clear for all to see that Celtic are in need of a new centre half.

With no concrete targets it may appear that we would offer Charlie Mulgrew a new deal as a back up versatility player again, much to the dismay of a section of the support.

Charlie Mulgrew once hailed as the prodigal son has not put pen to paper on a new deal yet making him a free agent.

Rumours broke today of him heading down south, the choice of destination Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

They would be inheriting a decent player in my eyes and would be joining up with former Celts, Glenn Loovens, Gary Hooper and Ross Wallace.

No doubt more on this will break throughout the day.

If he does leave then heres a nice way to remember him;

Charlie Mulgrew v Rangers 2012

Rodgers’ Revolution or Lawwell the Liar?

Its been a very long time since I’ve decided to use my blog but I’m not for one going down memory lane.

Lots have happened, Deila out (better late than never for some people) then the miraculous appointment of Brendan Rodgers.

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There was a big will he, won’t he swing with the bookies over the appointment but it certainly brought the buzz back for us fans. With Dermot Desmond digging deep and paying part of the new gaffers wages out of his own pocket. This on its own had us rubbing our eyes in disbelief.

That being said it happened. With Rodgers last club being Liverpool he spent nearing £300 million on transfers during his tenure. Of course he will have known coming to Parkhead he wouldn’t have that sort of money to play with but he must have struck some deal over future signings.

He came out and said that he was to asses his current crop of players which is fair enough. Although the fans could have easily told you the players who no longer deserved to don on the Hoops for another season. But the gaffer said he would give everyone one last final crack of the whip.

We all know our strikers have been nothing short of woeful in recent seasons barring the revelation of Leigh Griffiths. Rodgers made light work of letting go Colin Kazim-Richards, Stefan Scepovic, Carlton Cole and Anthony Stokes. That left us with two recognised first team strikers, Leigh Griffths and Nadir Ciftci. The latter I personally think is a waste of wages. I am very aware however we cannot cull the side without getting in replacements. Wether it was the board or the attraction of the manager we managed to pull off a coup in signing young Fulham protege Moussa Dembele. Luckily enough we only needed to pay a developmental fee off around £500k.

The new boss took the current squad to a very warm Slovenia for preseason and all in all it was a decent turn out, 2 wins and 2 draws.

During the trip we found out our first opponents in the Champions League qualifiers, Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar. The current reining champions for the previous 13 seasons.

I’m sure like me you thought, such a tie wouldn’t posses a threat for the current crop of players without any further additions.

How wrong were we. Getting beat 1-0 was a disaster. The only positive to come out of the game was the beautiful back drop for the game. I won’t dwell on this too much as we still do have the second leg at  home to come on Wednesday night.

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What was clear for all to see that reinforcements are needed. So surely this should have kickstarted the money men at Celtic Park to get on the phone to clubs and agents to get this sorted.

Loads of rumours flying about as to who we are supposedly bringing in but the truth is no one really knows. Names thrown about are Kolo Toure available on a free transfer so only the agent to deal with there. Shane Duffy at Blackburn who have just been taken over by Celtic fan Owen Coyle but there is interest from other English clubs such as Hull and Swansea. Scott Sinclair of recently relegated Aston Villa, we have had several bids reject for him as it appears they are holding out for over £4 million for him which is unrealistic for us to be paying. Bartosz Kapustka who is with Cracovia, he had a cracking Euros with Poland and was one of their better players but Ajax are also interested.

With no real truth behind many rumours its looking like Rodgers may not have as much control over new players as firstly was promised to him upon agreeing to become the manager of our beloved club on 20th May this year. Almost two months later and we have only signed one youngster, a youngster with a lot of hype surrounding him I may add but is anyone else worried by this?

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Can the current squad do what they never managed to do under Ronny Deila? Qualify for the Champions League?

Barring another two quality signings I’m not too sure.

feel free to share as you please and if you like follow me on twitter too @docccs

HH

Carlton GOLD – Inverness 1 – Celtic 3

Inverness away on a Sunday lunch time kick off. Nice one Sky. 

The game was in jeopardy on Saturday due to adverse weather conditions but passed a 730am pitch inspection. 

The green and white faithful travelled none the less to see the bhoys in which they hoped they could bounce back from a bad night in Europe on Thursday. 

No surprises in the starting line up, we all hoped Scott Allan would get his first start but of course he didn’t as Ronny flung Johansen back into the team at the first opportunity. McGregor retained his place aswel which was fair enough. 

With the pitch as slippery as the cinema floor on the opening night of 50 shades of grey, surely we had a plan of hitting a good few shots from range. 

It never really materialised and to be honest ICT had the better start. We got the break of the ball and McGregor began his “it’s ma baw am no passing tae you routine” luckily enough this time his shot from outside of the box skidded off the surface and found the bottom corner. 1-0 to the Hoops. This never deterred  Caley Thistle as they pushed forward and yet again had their best chance from a corner, a diving header which got a good reaction save from Gordon. When ICT got their equaliser it has to be said it was coming. Storey scored for them and the game went into half time at 1-1. 

Shockingly there was a sub within the first 10 minutes of the second half, Armstrong came off for Scott “he’s one of our own” Allan. There’s no doubt about it he does make a difference when he plays. KT bombing forward all day long gets a cross in for Griffiths who makes it 2-1. Games effectively over with 30 minutes to go. 

And then there was the moment we’ve all been waiting for, CARLTON COLE. Sad times when this is the highlight of the game however he had more in his locker. With the game petering out, I think it was Griffiths (I could be wrong) who had a belter of a shot saved by the keeper but the rebound came out to Cole. Now if you haven’t seen the game you may be thinking the ex England international smashes this one into the pokey but no. His first touch was that bad two ICT players caught up with him, fouled him, Cole does a roley poley the ball bounces off three players and finds its way into the back of the net. The goal is met by the travelling support  chorus of spandau ballet’s GOLD. Now this clearly was not Carlton Cole’s debut goal this had been deflected in by Caley Thistle’s defender Devine. 3-1 game definitely over now. 

A dreich day in Inverness ended up in some hilarity for the travelling faithful. But all in all it was a decent afternoons work for Ronny’s side. 7 points clear and we could have potentially seen the last of Anthony Stokes. But I’ll leave Stokesy till another day. 

So if your reading this on your way back from Inverness have a safe journey home, if your reading this from the comfort of your own home, enjoy your Sunday. 

HH

Celtic bow out with a whimper

Celtic vs Ajax. A crunch game in our European season. Due to our inabilities to see games out this is a must win. 

Not gonna lie I never seen the first half, was told that McGregor scored after 4 minutes and thought it was a joke. Turned out to be true. Heard Ajax equalised. Not surprised. 

Got in from the dream factory and watched the two goals. Unsurprisingly McGregors goal was from range as he cuts inside. Good finish. Watched the Ajax goal and what a shambles. Gordon flaps and Boyata flinging himself about like no ones business. 

Start of second half, seen the team. No idea of what formation Ronny has set out. 3 wingers on the park then turns out no one is playing out wide. 10 mins into second half and it appears we revert to the good old Craig Levein tactic of none up front. 

What is actually going on? GMS and Forrest are incredibly quick when they have the ball at feet but we keep passing the ball from side to side! 

Leigh Griffiths has been doing his usual tireless work for the team but he needs to be doing that in the centre forward position in their final third. Leigh is getting it stinking all on Twitter. Ridiculous considering how well his season has been. After 70 minutes or so he was looking knackered and should have been subbed. But no. Ronny decides to take off KT for Izzy. Horrendous substitution from Deila. 

Forrest begins to run at the right back Tete and starts to get some joy. As per usual he’s not got a final ball. We pile on the pressure. Scott Allan showing a good few touches and turns and sends Griffiths through on goal. Good save from the keeper but again he’s ran out of puff. 

We get a corner and it breaks on the edge of the box. Ajax counter and score. 88 mins Celtic 1 Ajax 2. 

As Ajax are celebrating Charlie Mulgrew takes it upon himself to decide his 20 minute involvement or so in the game is over. Walks down the tunnel without a word to the bench. Not on in my eyes. We need 11 men on the park even if one is injured. It will be interesting to know why he done what he did. 

Full time whistle goes. We’re out of Europe with a whimper again. The performance epitomised Celtics play this season. 

Things need to change. Celtic are not a team who should be losing at home! 

I am not pointing fingers. I am not blaming anyone. 

I’ll leave that to you. 

HH