Y Viva Espana
Well,well,well. A European draw where Celtic didn’t get the worst possible outcome. No coincidence that Dallas,Snr is over here instead of continuing his baleful presence inside UEFA. Maybe he’s been found out over there too,like by making a joke about money-laundering.
Not known for a sense of humour about money,the Swiss!
If I’m honest,I thought we would get Napoli. They look good for this season’s trophy,to be honest. Valencia,maybe not. Their domestic form has been very poor overall,with only 19 points from 16 games,and more than half of them draws. And their squad looks to be lacking in quality. Of course,a lot of this may be down to ownership issues as Tony Lim-the genius who hired Gary Neville-looks to offload his interest in the club. Or it might be down to me simply not recognising the names of decent players,but the names don’t jump out at me.
It could conceivably offer Celtic a chance to make history-again! Valencia’s stadium is known as The Mestalla,and it has a section similar to the old Kop at Anfield where mountain goats are a familiar sight-the banks of seats are very steep indeed. I doubt any Celtic fans will be seated there,it’s for thrillseekers only! Anyway,Valencia have been building a Nou Mestalla for over a decade now-the building stopped due to financial constraints but is underway again. There is every possibility that on current form,Valencia will not qualify for Europe next season. And with their Nou Mestalla due to open in 2020,should Celtic win the tie,we will have been their last European opposition at their old ground.
Are we likely to win? Well,that’s another story,innit? It depends on a number of factors,most of which revolve around Celtic playing like they did against Leipzig in the group stages. If we play like we did at the weekend,I wouldn’t even bother chartering a plane for the second leg. I’m hopeful that by the time we play the first leg-on Valentine’s Day,so a lot of you guys will be busy elsewhere!-we will have had around a month to get our new signings bedded in. That’s a whole different ball-game and involves Santa being good to Brendan this year.
And bringing him a baseball bat to use if the CEO doesn’t get his finger out and do his bloody job by signing the required players…
Don’t be in any doubt after Sunday,folks. We ARE in a title race,and we are faltering far too often. Injuries are piling up,as usual,at an alarming rate. Brendan may well know his best eleven,but I’m damn sure he hasn’t been able to play it yet. We need a minimum of eight points from our next four games before the break or we are on the back foot going into the new year.
If we make the ten,there will be a whole lot of people scrambling for recognition for their part in the achievement. Should we not do so,well,failure is an orphan,and everyone will be attempting to deny any responsibility. They needn’t worry about that. There will be many thousands of Celtic supporters only too happy to remind them who they hold responsible.
Really,the powers-that-be at Celtic Park need to do their jobs properly,every damn one of them. They should have their minds on nothing else,that they must not be held responsible for stopping the ten.
But back to Valencia,folks. With a couple of new players bedding in,this is an eminently winnable tie. After that,well,you only need a bit of luck in the draw,and to bring your A-game along when it’s needed. Aye,I’m not overconfident about it,and I won’t be putting money on it,but there were worse teams in that draw. But…
We could be in Europe longer than the UK if we win!