European v Domestic success?
A personal view from saltires en sevilla, hoping for an away win in Norway tonight.
An old boss sat me down. Dreaded Annual review time.
Not for him the Sandwich Approach, although he had his own methods.
My appreciation was limited then, and to this day I still think he was a prize tosser. More because of his preference for favourites, than his abstract notions of how to nurture, or guide, my career path.
His intentions on a one to one basis, in hindsight, seem honourable enough. The test of sharing experiences and creating opportunities was achieved… albeit, grudgingly.
“You seem to have problems acknowledging affirmation or agreement”
“maybe I’m just getting to problem solving more quickly, without wasting valuable time on all the accolade driven bullshit/froth?”
” when someone says something you agree with, it’s not always obvious that you agree… ”
“Because I’ve already got to problem solving…doh!”
Fully exasperated now ” can you think of ways you might acknowledge that you are shooting in the same direction, to build consensus and … some rapport?”
“Why…. It should be obvious!!”
Almost standing up now..
“NO! IT IS NOT!”
“OK then” …
that will be another ‘meets requirements’ rating ?
Twenty- five years later, I’ve improved … but not much. ?
Tonight we go into game 5 of our Europa League Section against Rosenborg BK of Norway.
Whilst it’s not the Ideal situation, in terms of NOT being a Champions League Game (where we actually belong), it is still the most important game we will play this week.
Or, is it?
Over the years, European games have been/are the truest measure of our success as a football club. Proper glory belongs with our top European successes. Mainly.
The sprinkle of magic dust…under those floodlights. Nothing can ever beat that.
Can it?. Does it?
Can we really take fullest satisfaction in winning everything in sight and being the top dogs in a league where every other club combined cannot achieve our Annual Turnover?
We spend more on infrastructure improvements and ongoing maintenance, than most other clubs can afford (sic) to spend on new playing staff.
Those numbers may not be 100%,?but I hope you will see my point.
We are so far ahead in terms of money/wealth and infrastructure in Scotland, yet we go into this game probably needing to win,and also the next (game 6) against Salzburg, to be sure of playing European football after Christmas.
If we can only win one game in the next 4 days. What one would you guys take?
It seems to me some Celtic fans, perhaps most, seem far more interested in winning the forthcoming League Cup Final game against Aberdeen.
We have fans on blogs advising our manager to keep key players fresh for the domestic games, including this forthcoming Cup Final, rather than risk injury or tiredness in trying to win European ties.
We heard that around the last Europa away game in Leipzig.
To me that’s Unbelievable!
The pursuit of a ‘Treble, Treble’ is probably more valued than a last 32 place. Which may lead to a 16/8/4/2…
That must be wrong, surely?
That type of thinking, grinds my gears.
Move on a step and a half, or two. Ten in a Row. What does it actually prove outside this wee parochial corner of Europe?
Not much actually.
If I had a tenner for every European football fan who has told me .. ‘you win everything in that league but do nothing in Europe’ ( they are too polite to say ‘but yer league is shite’) They are partly winding it up of course, and that is understood and accepted.
However, there is a message, and we would do well to heed it.
Before the Saint Petersburg game last year, I was talking to a Slovakian colleague ( Milan fan …go figure!?) he smiled when I told him who we were playing.
“You’ll never walk alone… ” he said, and I was glad that he knew about our anthem. Well chuffed, there were Czech and Dutch in the room and they nodded. Vaguely. Kinda indicating knowledge or awareness of Celts.
Then he said ” pity the team are not as good as the fans” we both knew what he meant. The room did too!
After the result at Paradise I messaged him …” maybe the team is catching up with fans” he sent me “?” text.
Then after the return leg:
” Ahoy! Petersburg just awoke from hibernation…”
It was just winding up chat, and we met later in the year and discussed fitba – he told me he thought Scottish football was heading in the direction of Slovakian football.
He had written his domestic league off a long time ago.
“Maybe soon, your fans will be supporting Paris or Munich”
It was a wee bit depressing to hear that, and I know he was just being honest.
It got me to thinking about our general direction of travel as a club. All the recent chat about the club dumbing down on Europe and focusing only on domestic fitba gives me real fear.
Ironically, 10 In A Row may actually work against us.
Fast Forward ( one more …at least…please) to May 2020 and we are celebrating our 2nd ever 9-in-a-row. Never been done before etc., etc.
Must admit it has a wee ring to it.
European success will have to take a lower priority position that season.
Dareisay a back seat?!
Then colossal pressure on the manager to win ‘The 10′ will mean that Europe will take another back seat in 20/21
Sooooo, we could probably be waiting until 2021/22 season before a Celtic manager can feel confident enough to look at his squad and say – “right lads this is Europe, where it really counts, where the big boys play” indicating to his players that he is prioritising Europe and will be resting a few key players in both league and domestic cup games either side of Euro matches.
I am probably alone in this, but I couldn’t give a toss about domestic trebles (and 10 in a row) if that means our progress in European competitions is adversely impacted.
To my way of thinking. We start putting a strong winning team onto the park in European games. Learn from and compete with a higher standard of opponent. Then Domestic baubles will become an almost guaranteed side benefit.
If we don’t prioritise Europe. If we have the reputation as a club that is primarily focused on domestic success, how will we hope to attract ambitious managers and players?
Best 11 in Norway, the Aberdeen game will take care of itself.
My reluctant mentor would probably boot my stones for reaching ‘problem solving’, without acknowledging ‘success’.
25 years on. I monitor subsequent career paths, with the warm glow of satisfaction.
Because I’m just a conceited, shallow bassa…
Just kiddin’ lads and All points of view welcome.
Forza! Allez! Adelante!