International Blues.


These international breaks are a right pain in the bahookie. For starters,they’re a bit pointless if you are Scottish-literally so if the result goes against us tonight as expected against Belgium-and of course there are far too many of them at this stage of the season. Just when teams are trying to build a bit of momentum,they come thick and fast.

The good news is that this one is virtually over,with players reporting back to the club from tomorrow. The bad news is there’s another two of them to come over the next two months or so. About as welcome as a fart in a space suit as far as I’m concerned. It adds up to six weeks without football for me,and that’s longer than the close season these days.

The good news,if there is such a thing,is that many of our players wouldn’t have been on international duty this time,so hopefully they will have been in at Lennoxtown for light training and some rigorous drilling. For all of their excellence at Ibrox-was that really only eight days ago?-the defence are still strangers to each other. They will hopefully have been coached as a unit during this period as I don’t think any of them-with the exception of Kris Ajer-will have been away. It certainly wouldn’t do any harm,and hopefully we will see the benefit when football returns on Saturday.

Not much that anyone can do coaching-wise for our midfield and forward line though,as nearly all of them will have been absent. One obvious exception of course is Broonie,and I hope he’s been nowhere near the place,resting up for a rigorous phase of the season around the corner.

So who have we got to face between now and the next momentum wrecker? Competition on three fronts,with a League Cup quarter final against Partick Thistle,two ties in the Europa League-first away to Rennes and then at home to Cluj. In the league,we are at home to Kilmarnock,with three away days at Hamilton,Hibs and Livingston. Two of which are,of course,on the dreaded artificial surface. I hate them nearly as much as I hate international fortnights!!!

Only three weeks ago I stated on here that we had a momentous four games in eleven days,and that they were four games which could go a long way to defining our season. And fair play to the players-they turned up for each of them. Beating AIK Stockholm in each leg of the tie was a bonus,cementing our place in Europe until Christmas at least,but big displays against the twin threats of hunnery in successive weeks were vital. To win each of the four games by two goals or more put down a marker,as did the performances in each game.

We’ve probably got the Cluj debacle out of our system-even if it is hardly forgotten!-and there is good reason to view the next few weeks with perhaps a little less trepidation than previously envisaged. Big Fraser is back between the sticks,looking like he’s never been away. Of course,his return is a bit harsh on Craig Gordon and Scott Bain,but really Fraser is a better keeper than either of them. Let’s hope he proves that to be the case over the coming weeks and months.

At right back,Hatem Elhamed has probably impressed me the most of our summer signings. If he can continue as he has started,I think we can relax. Of course there is a worry about his fitness,but that’s a bridge we can cross as we come to it. Besides,Moritz Bauer appears to be a very capable back-up. And he can throw the ball further than most of us can kick it!

Speaking of injuries,we’ve already lost probably our first choice pairing in central defence. Kris Ajer,played in an unfamiliar role at right back because of injuries to Elhamed,and Jozo Simunovic,who seems to be out for a month every time he breaks a shoe lace. The latter’s injury record is really appalling and we should be planning our defence without him. Fortunately,in Christopher Jullien we saw another player come of age in our colours and that will have done his confidence a world of good. I know it helped mine! If he continues in that vein,it’ll be Dedryck Who in no time. Nir Bitton has been an absolute revelation alongside him,but that hamstring problem will see him lose his place. Unfortunate,but he’s a capable deputy to have on your bench.

At left back,I don’t think our problems are behind us,unfortunately. Boli played a blinder at Ibrox,especially when compared to his previous for us,and continued improvement will see him settle in to the role. But I think he needs to be told to concentrate more on his defensive duties. We have plenty of threat from others up front,stick to your own job,son. Last Sunday was encouraging,but to be honest it was from a low starting point. The jersey is currently yours,but you have to earn the right to keep it! The good news for you is that I wouldn’t have said that a couple of weeks ago,so continue to prove me wrong and there’ll be nobody happier than me!

The rest of the team? I’ll let the opposition worry about the rest of the team. They certainly don’t worry me much,not with eleven goals in our four tough matches before this break. Carry on as before,that’s all any of us can ask for.

Do it to them before they do it to us!!!


Above article by BMCUWP. As ever,we are always on the lookout for your views. That’s why we always print them as Article of the Day when we get them. Mail them to Mahe

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Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 7:51 am

Morning all
Mick – I’m with you. Pain in the proverbial is the international break.
The Belgium game threatens to be another where the outcome is very predictable.

There were a lot of empty seats at Hamdump I noticed the other night. Looks like the apathy is widespread.

I remember in the 70’s and early 80’s I used to be right up for Scotland’s games. Nowadays it’s a passing interest for me. I wish it weren’t so.

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 7:53 am

I couldn’t find the post with the bet thingy? How did it go?

Greece only drawing was a shocker. Did we have them? Hopefully not.

big packy
September 9, 2019 8:19 am

MICK, im with you and twisty on the international break, ffs we are an embarrassment, funny story remember my uncle packy taking me to hampden probably 1966 I was thirteen, to see Scotland play wales, mike England was the welsh captain, I think jim baxter tackled him on the halfway line, and he went down he seemed to be on the deck for ages, the crowd started whistling and then this bloke next to us shouts, oh ffs stick a leek up his arse ,everybody round about us were laughing their socks off.hh.

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 8:29 am

One of the best stories I ever heard re football involved us v the huns. On the old BBC football forum a Celtic fan said something along the lines of:

He was at the match at CP and the huns were winning. A guy in the stand next to him was getting more infuriated at Klos wasting time on every occasion he had the ball in his hands.
At the time – the 6 second rule was in operation – meaning keepers had to release the ball no later than 6 seconds after they picked it up.

He went on to write :

The next time Klos has the ball in his hands, this guy jumps up and shouts “ RIGHT REF” – and he starts counting out the seconds






When he got to 5 , Klos launched the ball up the park, and he says the guy shouts


?? the ol green n white blinkers eh. We’ve all worn em ??

September 9, 2019 8:30 am

Good Morning Bhoys
Agree entirely about the international break, does my head in. Almost up there with the close season and transfer window! Still, as mentioned in the article, we seem to be set reasonably fair at present, so let’s hope that works going forward.
I’m with ATOB on the reality factor, I fervently wish it were otherwise. Being in the top 60 most valuable clubs guarantees nothing, releasing clubs have to agree a deal, targeted players have to want to come here – and then actually sign on the dotted line. I do accept though that we (PL) should cut out the penny pinching and stump up the required transfer fee – within reason – when attempting to sign a player and secure the transfer as early as possible. This would give us the opportunity to settle the squad and get on with training and tactics sooner than later as currently.
Looking forward to the Hoot on 21 Sep, and meeting new and not so new Bhoys for a beer.

September 9, 2019 8:35 am

Meant to say also that a DOF is essential imo to progress the structure and operation of the football club, which is, or certainly should be, the primary focus of CFC. All organisations need to evolve, and this is long overdue.

September 9, 2019 11:23 am

Good morning from overcast west Belfast.
Hard weekend but will not be forgotten,,,real blast. Met some German fans yesterday over for tonight’s game.
I’ve no interest really in internationals ,, going to see the game would be nice but Windsor Park still a no go for many here.

Brexit, Brexit, all you see and hear on the TV. Drive you mad.
Anyone hears any horse tips get them posted.
Going for a gammon lunch to set me up for rest of the day.
Till later troops.
Hail Hail

September 9, 2019 11:35 am

I see Schwartzer reckons it was an error for Arzani to join Celtic on loan. He doesn’t really give a reason. It can’t be the geography since he is signed to Man. City.

I just wonder if it’s not an error on Celtic’s part to sign players from that part of the world, if they also have an international career.

Every time Tom Rogic goes away on international duty (which seems often) you can add about 3 days to his absence for travelling and recuperation. On top of that Australia’s international calendar is different to Europe’s. So he can be away during our playing season.

is it worth it?

This is his domestic appearances (league & SC, LC)

15/16 – 34
16/17 – 28
17/18 – 29
18/19 – 16

I know he has had injuries but they are poor figures for a first team Celtic player.

September 9, 2019 11:46 am

Totally agree regarding international fitbaw, a absolute pain in the arse we could do without. In fact in makes my blood boil that we send our players to represent the sfa knowing that they hate us and would do anything to hinder us and help any team playing at ibrokes. Is there any Celtic fan that enjoys the international break, if so they’re definitely not Scottish.
Hail x2

September 9, 2019 12:01 pm

Good article Mick! The only thing I enjoy about international breaks is Scotland getting humped.
For me this is one of the poorest periods in Scotland’s history for quality footballers.
McBurnie, £20,000,000!
I rest my case!

September 9, 2019 1:33 pm

Has the rise in nationalism facilitated corrupt UEFA’s unquenchable thirst for more suckers money?
Nations league,Euro qualifiers and a host of other shitty games.
It’s like international football is part of the monthly calendar .
At least in Scotland there is no fervent nationalism to pour money into the corrupt SFA’s coffer’s to delay their long overdue demise.
How sad is it that lack of money will eventually force change rather than the justice system?

A thing of beauty
September 9, 2019 2:00 pm

In total agreement about the international break. Brutal. Though the fact that the Huns have had to nurse their pain for an extra week has made this one a bit more bearable.
Thanks for the support. It’s not how we want it to be but it is the reality. Knowing we will never build a Seville type team ever again hurts but the game has moved on and we are stuck on the hard shoulder, never mind the slow lane.

September 9, 2019 2:23 pm

ATOB, never say never! We don’t know what things will be like in 20 years time. Economics, politics, nationalism, technology, leisure time are all in a state of flux. Who knows what the money side of football will be like?

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 2:41 pm

International football, when did it change, I remember when I was a young fella that it was all the rage, with rage being appropriate, I seem to recall Thatcher was in power and the home international thing was diluted big time, they wanted to stop the tartan invasion every couple of years and they did, was it then that it’s demise came to the fore, in saying that I honestly can’t recall ever being into the national team due to the scum that runs the game in Scotland, always had the green blood in the veins, but I do feel for the players, they don’t see things like we do.
Welcome Philbhoy don’t be a stranger 😉

September 9, 2019 2:55 pm

Thanks! I do look in from time to time.

Hope your good lady and you are well!

September 9, 2019 3:03 pm

We are in the slow lane and hard shoulder through choice not circumstance.
I would not expect us to compete at a higher level all the time due to tv and Bosman ruling creating disadvantageous circumstances for those outwith the big 5 leagues.
But with a professional and properly operated football department and forward planning we could improve on our defeatist approach to European competitions.
Paying a CEO millions to only compete in the SPL is folly.
For his salary we should set better targets that are performance related.

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 3:42 pm

As well as thanks, I read you done your knee in, hopefully it’s no giving you too much bother, love to your brood n awe.

September 9, 2019 3:48 pm



Seems to be healing well.
But a huge inconvenience!

Take care!

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 4:18 pm

No didn’t have Denmark but had Dun Utd who drew at home to Arbroath FFS, couldn’t believe it, at least it will give someone else a chance this week.

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 4:28 pm

Ffs indeed.

No wonder the bookies are loaded eh…. ye can’t legislate for a result like that bud.

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 4:54 pm

I thot that after spanking Dundee the week earlier they would be on a high, aye the bookies, it’s why they have more money than they know what to do with it and we haven’t, are you in for the last man standing over on the other channel ? I have done Ok at it, the first one I was joint winner and was the same this last one, there is a strategy to it but it’s hard to stick to 😉

September 9, 2019 5:46 pm

My mates brother plays for Arbroath, he was playing on Sat.
He felt United underestimated them a little, both teams didn’t start with regular 11.

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 6:10 pm

Paid for their complacency eh!

Yes I’m going to give it a go. Marc and the other guys on CQN do a lot of good charity stuff as you’ll know.

Unfortunately I’ll not be able to check my progress on CQN, it’ll need to be e mail. I really can’t deal with the adverts. Impossible for me to read a thread. Very frustrating.

I won the Paddy Power LMS once before and got a few grand .

Shared it on another occasion. Then my son won a share too.

Stopped doing it. Not sure actually if PP still do it?

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 6:29 pm

I reckon they did, but this is where I am dumbfounded with managers, you would think that they could see within the first half hour that they have underestimated the oppo and change to counteract the complacency, but it seems not, I find it the same when a team are getting their arses handed to them and managers wait till half time to change things, as if.
Well done, am no sure if they still do it, you should carry on if they do.

September 9, 2019 6:34 pm

You are bang on.
It was halfway through the second half, before Neilson put on Shankland and McMullan.

big packy
September 9, 2019 7:09 pm

EVENING ALL,wont be watching that tonight, although not a big lover of the Scotland team, still don’t like to see us get humiliated.hh

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 7:13 pm

Blog quiet today?

We need some controversy on here to spark up some action.

I think the board of Celtic deserve a big pay increase ?

September 9, 2019 7:17 pm

Twists. 7.13 ??
Briliant, maybe a knighthood or a Lordship for Peter.
After all, he’s ensured we’ve paid our taxes to Her Majesty.

September 9, 2019 7:18 pm

Twists n turns

Blog quiet today?
We need some controversy on here to spark up some action.
I think the board of Celtic deserve a big pay increase

My contentious point: Is Calmac worth the reputed £35k p/w Celtic are about to offer him to sign a contract extension? Discuss.

For those of you without an abacus to hand thats £1.82 mill a year.

big packy
September 9, 2019 7:19 pm

ok im gonna give you 5 modern movies that I could watch very night of the week also 5 oldies that I could watch also, in no particular order, the Shawshank redemption, the green mile,,cape fear,saving private ryan,.and sleeping with the enemy, now the oldies,12 angry men,,the seven year itch, the apartment,,its a wonderful life and double imdemnity. what du you all think.hh.

Twists n turns
September 9, 2019 7:33 pm


That’s a big wage!

Is he worth £35k per week?

Well, I like Calum McG but NO. Given our achievements ( or lack of – in Europe) I don’t think we have ANY player worth £35k week.

Mike in Toronto
September 9, 2019 7:34 pm


Is he worth that to someone? Absolutely.

But, is he worth that to us? unless we are prepared to build a team around him (instead of him playing second fiddle to Brown), and play a system where we can get the best out of him, then the answer is no.

big packy
September 9, 2019 7:41 pm

OK ill talk to myself then?

September 9, 2019 7:45 pm

Big Packy. 7.19.
I would talk to you, but I don’t really do films, buddy.
I do recall Uncle Buck though, is that a classic?

September 9, 2019 7:48 pm

Sorry Packy I’m not a film buff. I’m going to listen to the game on the radio. Not excited but bored.
A question! I heard that Peter Lawwell did not install the heated driveway but it was there when he bought the house. Any truth in this?

big packy
September 9, 2019 7:52 pm

JNP ive seen uncle buck but would not consider it a classic,.hh bruv. JIM don’t believe a word of it.hh.

September 9, 2019 7:53 pm


My all time favourite is “Field of Dreams”, Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan.

I’m sure I’ve watched it more than 10 times and I cry every time.

Any cowboy movie with John Wayne also gets my vote.

September 9, 2019 7:56 pm

Now that is what you call a counter attack. 1-0 Belgium.

The Exiled Tim
September 9, 2019 7:57 pm

Like a knife through butter, quality break from the Belgians

September 9, 2019 7:58 pm

Belgium score.

I’ve got a big soft spot for Carousel. For the music. Love Rodgers & Hammerstein. My mother and father had the LP when I was a toddler and I loved it. LPs were just out at the time. They also bought Oklahoma. They were proud as punch at having them.

September 9, 2019 8:00 pm


I am a definite fence sitter re Calmac. Some times unplayable sometimes i wonder why he hasn’t been ‘hooked’. £35k p/w – emmm. I think the PLC are obviously expecting a bid or 2 for him from England. Ring fencing their asset.

September 9, 2019 8:07 pm

I am in the no camp with Calmac.
Haven’t seen much contribution from him since Brown came back from injury.
He flatters to deceive.
Good skill but contributes nothing defensively and little going forward.
I think he is better suited to BR’s possession above all system but we need people who look forward and pass quickly in the way Neil has us set up.
To me he often just slows play down and seems to have no great awareness of teammates making forward runs.

big packy
September 9, 2019 8:09 pm

PHILBHOY, nice to see you posting, how you keeping.hh.

September 9, 2019 8:11 pm

“We’re doomed i tell ye, doomed”

Scotland defensive nightmare 2-0 Belgium, 24 mins played.

September 9, 2019 8:13 pm


Mike in Toronto
September 9, 2019 8:13 pm


3 best films…
1. Casablanca
2. The Godfather
3. Wings of Desire. Wim Wenders’ film about an angel who falls in love with a trapeze artist, so decides to become human … german, so a bit of work… but funny beautiful… poetic… philosophical …funny… who’d a thunk that german film based on the writing of an existential philosopher could be funny… but it is.

Lots of others that I love, but those are usually my top three


He gets a lot of grief, but KC has done some great films. Dances with Wolves. FoD is great (I would pay to go and listen to James Earl Jones read the phone book… a great voice!)…. and Bull Durham is one of the best sports movies ever. Baseball is boring as shit, but somehow it does make good films about it….

best football movies? Fever Pitch is good… as is Gregory’s Girl (although only a football movie in the loosest sense… but it has Ms. Grogan in it.. (sigh)… other great football movies?

John (Marion.. hah) Wayne? A terrible tory (republican) … but, apparently a death bed convert to catholicism, so, he cant be too bad (joking…) … and the Shootist … his last film about an old cowboy dying of cancer… just before JW died of cancer … makes me cry every time.

September 9, 2019 8:13 pm

Big Packy
Fine thanks!

September 9, 2019 8:17 pm

Big Packy
As anyone on here who has kids will tell you some of our favorite movies are crappy kid and teenage ones that we were forced to endure.
When my daughter was about 14/15 she forced me to go with her to see Mariah Carey’s movie Glitter.
It’s about a singer who finally makes it but her boyfriend who helped get her then dies tragically.
The acting and script were so preposterous that i thought it was some camp comedy and laughed hysterically throughout.
Took my daughter months to forgive me for ruining the movie.

The Chinese film Raise the Red Lantern is one of my all time favorites.
They Shoot Horses Don’t They with Jane Fonda another.

September 9, 2019 8:18 pm

Oh dear, it’s going to be long night for the tartan army.

September 9, 2019 8:19 pm

3-0 dearie me. Albeit it is a pleasure to watch the top quality players Belgium have.