The Importance Of Being Early



Tonight sees us going head to head with the champions of Hungary,Ferencvaros. I’ll be honest and tell you right now that I know very little about Hungarian football,in fact the only other teams I’ve ever heard of from there are their famous army team,Honved,and of course Ujpest Dozsa. We played the latter a couple of times in the 70s and acquitted ourselves fairly well.


Or maybe it was the famous party with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor that sticks in my mind. More likely it was going round to my auntie’s house to watch the game,only to discover that somebody at STV had forgotten to put two bob in the meter. Either way,I’m just grateful we are playing Ferencvaros and not Ferenc Puskas-the way we are playing,he’d beat us on his own,and he’s been dead for years.


Let’s not pussy around here. We’ve played four competitive games and played brilliantly well in the two home games. But we’ve been woefully uninspiring in the away ties. Tonight we are at home,and it remains to be seen if that trend continues. I certainly hope that it does. The early goal will be vital,as it seems to settle us down somewhat,fail to get one and our lack of a Plan B becomes increasingly apparent.


Players seem unwilling to make that imaginative and bold move,try something different. We shuttle the ball aside,a square ball here,a sideways pass there. A distinct lack of the killer incisive pass between the centre back,or inside the full back. We can discuss until we are blue in the face whether we should be playing the ball to feet or into space,but we need to learn an important aspect of the game,and that is that defenders hate having to face their own goal while chasing the ball. Almost all of them are in a comfort zone with their back to goal and up against an attacker facing the same way.


But scoring early? It might well make all the difference. It’s like a massive weight has been lifted off the shoulders of the players. They probably feel the burden of expectation more than the fans do-after all,many of us have been here before,and there is still the outside chance that some of us may live long enough to see our club winning nine in a row for a third time,with another chance to make it ten. But the players won’t,their careers don’t last that long. Maybe we might be better playing without fear,not too bothered about being seen to make a mistake when you try something different.


I make no bones about it,folks. I don’t know what the answer is,I cannot understand why we are so eye-numbingly tedious to watch at times,not given the quality that our players are capable of. You tell me why they seem to hide their light under a bushel so often. But I do know that tonight is a time for men,a time when the Celtic jersey will not shrink. You can insert your own Castore joke here,but it is no laughing matter.


The season starts tonight. It’s time to get real.



Above article by BMCUWP.

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Mike in Toronto
August 26, 2020 4:04 am

A team is only as strong as its weakest link … again, we start our European campaign without addressing our glaring deficiencies … We have a glut of midfielders, but dont have a ball winning midfielder …Siri’s is reputed to be that, but he seems to be as trusted as his predecessor, Kouassi …. and we are still missing a left sided CB, or a top level left back .. because, of course, most teams don’t have any right sided attackers.

It is like we intentionally sabotage our chances …

August 26, 2020 5:01 am


PL is a lucky guy. He manages to lose at Russian Roulette nearly every year. For most people,they only lose once.

August 26, 2020 6:03 am


Morning all.
No less than 4 winners to report this week. Our runaway leader Raymac booted home a lovely 100/30 winner to cement his considerable lead at the top.
That was bettered by Celtic Champs Elect whose selection romped in at the smashing price of 11/2. Excellent winners.
The glory this week though has to be shared by The Real McCoy and Leftclicktic. Both opted for the same horse and it duly obliged at the very handsome odds of 12/1.

Those winners sees some significant changes at the top end of the leaderboard. The real McCoy leaps into 2nd spot, Lefty tucks into 3rd and Celtic Champs is elevated into the number 6 spot in the table.

Superb winners bhoys. Well done to all 4.
Garry, Bigrailroad Blues and Chalmersbhoy all grabbed some place points, so well done to those 3.

Updated table below, and as always, I will have a double check a little later but shout up if you spot an error please.

1 RayMac £37.33. (2.5)
2 The Real McCoy £9.00 (5.5)
3 Leftclicktic £5.00 (4.93)
4 Bada £0.00 (4.63)
5 Big Packy -£0.87 ( 0)
6 Celtic Champs -£1.50. (1.83)
7 Craig 76 -£2.00 ( 2.13)
8 Vogue Punter -£3.00 ( 3.3)
9 Chalmersbhoy -£ 3.00 (2.38)
10 Calton Tongues -£3.00 (0.75)
11 Jim the Tim -£3.27 ( 0)
12 BMCUW -£4.00 ( 3.75)
13 Jimmy NP -£4.00 ( 0.63)
14 Gordon -£5.90 ( 1.63)
15 Garry -£5.90 ( 1.16)
16 Twisty -£8.00 ( 10.5)
17 AS67 -£8.00 ( 3.26)
18 Mahe -£8.00 ( 3.00)
19 Valleybhoy -£8.00 ( 2.25)
20 Mea Culpa -£8.00 ( 0.63)
21 Big Railroad B. -£8.00 ( 0.40)
22 Cosy Corner B -£8.00 (0)

August 26, 2020 6:18 am

Interesting Piece BMCUWPs…

A one off game to progress in the UCL qualifiers is bound to make us tetchy, the fact that it’d at home and we haven’t lost this season should give us a pragmatic confidence.

Yet somehow I feel a real undercurrent of fear among the faithful – why? Well our top players aren’t delivering, our fitness bekow par and we do seem devoid of tactics when our “A” game goes awry.

As stated in the last thread the shoot! Shoot!! Commands from the bench at Tannadice, identified as JK by Garry, really smacks of desperation.

Let’s hope cool heads and quality football prevail this evening.

Hail Hail

August 26, 2020 6:23 am

Seems we might be allowed some fans back in this week . Meeting today. How many? How will Celtic decide who can attend?

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 7:47 am

At Tannadice, I was also screaming shoot! shoot! at the tv, every time we went up the park. Drives me bonkers, that we don’t shoot more.

August 26, 2020 8:20 am

B.A.D @ 7:47 am,

We had 23 shots, 9 on target. I don’t think it was a lack of shooting that made for a bad performance.

Interestingly the goal came as a result of a shot, a Christie shot which was identical to one he’d hit earlier in the game. During the resultant stramash Ajeti got in a close range shot that deflected in.

A winning tactic in the end but unless you have a Naka or Lubo type bidding their time for the right moment, it is not effective and often leads to counter atracks against by better opposition.

Christie was high, wide and handsome with his shooting, maybe a reason some thought him MotM others that he’d had a poor game.

Players of this calibre should know when and where to make a pass or cross, carry the ball, beat a man or take a shot… for me taking pot shots is not a tactic that we should be deploying.


Hail Hail

big packy
August 26, 2020 8:31 am

MORNING ALL and JIM, BOBBY good post i hate the sideways and then back and furrit stuff, think ronny deila started that, not nice to watch, talking about hungarian teams remember us beating mtk budapest at parkhead ,then getting beat 4-0 over there, was heartbroken.H,H,

August 26, 2020 8:35 am

Morning all & Packy.

“I hate the sideways and then back and furrit stuff”

remember how we used to slag Barry Ferguson for being ‘square baw Barry’ ?

big packy
August 26, 2020 8:42 am


big packy
August 26, 2020 8:45 am

JIM, joan just asked me what furrit means, these sassenachs get on my nerves😎

August 26, 2020 8:46 am

Good Morning all
Well, I’m in the Shoot camp. If the sideways and backwards passing is the default with 10 men behind the ball and a crowded penalty area, then surely to goodness a shot into the middle of the danger zone has the effect of producing a goal or deflection thereby potentially creating an opening. Its got to be better than watching paint dry.

Here’s hoping that we don’t need to apply this tonight, with pace and movement, and the ball over the top for our 2 front men to turn their defence.


big packy
August 26, 2020 8:50 am


big packy
August 26, 2020 8:51 am

OK JIM, be back in a bit, you know where im going YES to get bliddy soaked again👍

August 26, 2020 8:53 am

I can’t see the Hungarians parking a bus in a single game qualifier. Should be a more open game which should suit us better. Or the opposite!

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 9:15 am

Chairbhoy, as you say, the goal came from finally getting one on target, with enough power to cause the goalie to fu and put it back in the danger zone. I should maybe have said, I scream at the telly, no matter if it’s 0-0, or when we are winning 5-0! Shoot! Pass it, ya dobber , I even scream at Eddy! “Ffs, do you need 3 extra touches in a crowded box!?” I keep catching my wee boy looking at me as if he doesn’t know me lol.

Pre-game? Always confident the Bhoys will get the job done.

The Leather Belts 3 – The Green Eagles 0

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 9:22 am

A win for Neil tonight, will take him past Martin O’Neill ‘s Euro record.

August 26, 2020 9:43 am

I feel nervous defensively for tonight.
First name on my team sheet would be big Elhamed. The best most solid defender in our team. I really hope that Greg Taylor is nowhere near the team. Would take a scrappy 1-0 now.
The Hungarians are nae mugs.

A thing of beauty
August 26, 2020 11:17 am

You say you’re nervous defensively for tonight. That just about sums up what is wrong with our team. Why are we nervous defensively when Neil has had 2 and a bit windows to sort the shit show that is our back 4. If he is happy with the players he has, as he says he is, he needs to start coaching them to defend better. We should not be nervous of a team with so far fewer resources than us. Btw I am not nervous. I am a good bit more than that.
BAD/chair bhoy, yes there is a time to shoot but surely it can’t be our only tactic. It sounds like listening to Mike Bassett on the highlights.

Celtic Champs Elect
August 26, 2020 11:22 am

Team Tonight


Elhamed Julian Ajer

Frimpong Brown NTcham McGregor Christie

Ajeti Edouard

August 26, 2020 11:31 am

I watched highlights of the Ferencvaros victory against the Swedish champions. The wee striker who scored both the goals, is lightning fast and possesses a good shot in him. We need to man mark him with someone equally as fast. Step up Jeremie Frimpong.

August 26, 2020 12:01 pm

Good afternoon all from Govanhill. Pouring down again here. I may have to go to the pub.

August 26, 2020 12:13 pm

We have reason to be concerned about tonight. The main problem, as Bobby says, is inconsistency. If the brave Celtic show up in the correct formation, we shall win. The relative values of the two squads suggests that.

Their danger man is Tocmac who scored twice in the last round against the Swedish champions. Incidentally, all this talk about the Hungarians only having played two games and therefore are not match fit, should be disregarded. The Swedes were well into their season and still lost! Tocmac is billed as a winger but he likes to play centrally. He interchanges with their reality he is an attacking midfielder. Overall, the Hungarians like to play on the break and we can struggle against that style with both of our FBs moving up the park.

This is as tough a test as we could expect at this stage of the season. Get the formation and attitude correct, then we shall win.


A thing of beauty
August 26, 2020 12:23 pm

Surely you don’t think because frimppng is quick he can man mark their beat player. He hasn’t got the football brain to play a defensive right back role (see the LCF), never mind man mark someone.
We need a system that takes care of their players. That’s what we’re supposed to work on in training. At least I think it is!!

August 26, 2020 12:32 pm

Another of our players you discredit.
Frimpong has the football brain and pace needed to man mark and compete against Tomac. None of our other defenders nor Broony would cope with this boy’s pace.
Who do you suggest should mark him?

Bada Bing
August 26, 2020 12:36 pm

Twists- a pal just got email to say he can attend on Sunday, if the Main Stand cant be used, as JPT said,are we included in the ballot?

Bada Bing
August 26, 2020 12:38 pm

Wee Nicola has just said no fans allowed at CP on Sunday

August 26, 2020 12:44 pm

Nicola says No because we are all football scruff not that nice Rugby lot

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 12:44 pm

In 71 games since he took over in February 2019, Neil Lennon has lost 6.

Hope he repeats that in the next 71!

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 1:03 pm

Garry, I’m a fan of man-marking their biggest threat. Reminds me of the job Lambert did on Zidane in the ECF of 97(?) Don’t think it’s something we employ often. Seem to remember Agathe getting asked to follow Ronaldinho all night! ☺

A thing of beauty
August 26, 2020 1:10 pm

Garry, It’s not a case of discrediting frimpong. He is in my eyes but a defensive right back. I see him more as competition for Forrest. He will not be disciplined enough to man mark as his first thought is not to defend. I think you are being unrealistic as to how this boy can play.
Lambert could man mark because he was disciplined and was prepared to sacrifice himself for the team. Not all players can do that. Interestingly enough he went to Dortmund as a right winger but a very good coach in hitzfeld transformed him into a top class defensive mid. That didn’t happen by accident.

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 1:30 pm

ATOB I’m very aware of Lambo’s story 👍 Garry is suggesting that Frimpong is capable of doing a similar job ..I tend to agree with him.

August 26, 2020 1:30 pm

We have 5 season books in my family. Seats together. None of us have received an invite 😡.

August 26, 2020 1:32 pm

I’m pretty sure we will concede tonight. At least once. So, if I’m correct we will need to score a minimum of two to qualify.

August 26, 2020 1:36 pm

The opposition put ten men behind the ball and are difficult to break down is a constant excuse.
But is it a surprise our opponents can slowly fall into defensive positions with the ponderous style and tempo we play with?
At this moment in time we are our opponents most potent asset.

August 26, 2020 1:37 pm

Sorry, but I totally disagree.
I feel you are belittling Jeremie’s abilities.
Who do you suggest marks the lightning fast Tomac, if not Frimpong?

A thing of beauty
August 26, 2020 1:39 pm

Fair enough. It’s all about opinions but I have given you both two reasons, player discipline and good coaching, as to why jeremie frimpong will not be man marking anyone tonight or anytime soon. If you both think that he has the discipline to man mark and the coaching is good enough to drill him to man mark you must be watching something very different from me.

August 26, 2020 1:40 pm

Mike in Toronto
In my opinion our weakest link’s are in the dug out and boardroom.
We have the players to be better.
We are just not the sum of our parts

A thing of beauty
August 26, 2020 1:41 pm

If we have to alter our system to man mark a player plying his trade in the Hungarian league things are worse than I thought. He’s a centre forward and should be picked up by the centre half, if he drops deep I expect a midfielder to pick him up. Ffs he’s no messi.

August 26, 2020 1:43 pm

Best man marking performance I ever witnessed was my first European away match in Amsterdam. Graeme Sinclair was never more than an inch away from the great Johan Cryuff, till JC was substituted as he had not had a touch all night. Of course we won 2-1 against an excellent Ajax team.

August 26, 2020 1:44 pm

He is not a centre forward. More an offensive left sided midfielder. Jeremie should man mark him.

August 26, 2020 1:45 pm

It’s incredible how low our expectations have become and the fear of even the most modest European opponents is palpable amongst the support.
Lawwell with the help of pet bloggers has excelled at this.

Mike in Toronto
August 26, 2020 1:48 pm

I tend to agree with ATOB on this one; I have yet to be convinced of Frimpong’s defensive prowess, and to be fair to the kid, if this guy’s as good/fast as reported, it would be a big ask for a seasoned defender. Again, we are back to what Celtic do at training…do they work on man marking?

Also. won’t it depend on the Hungarians Line up?

August 26, 2020 1:48 pm

That performance by Sinclair was truly incredible.
Until that point in his career he had looked like an average Scottish league player.
A limited but honest trier.

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 2:04 pm

Turnbull left out of Motherwell training.

big packy
August 26, 2020 2:10 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM , GARRY and MCAFF, cheers for those vids much appreciated,ok ill stick my neck out, all day ive been thinking of the league cup final in 57 down ask me why, niven shearer and caldow thought they were the bees knees, nothing could get past them, well george what time is it,its seven past niven, love saying that😎 so here goes celtic 7 ferencvaros 1.👍

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 2:13 pm


Sinclair kinda proves the point i’m making. You don’t need to be a great defender to do a specific job. I feel young Jeremie is more than capable. 👍

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 2:14 pm


As you say, all about opinions, pal 👍

Mike in Toronto
August 26, 2020 2:20 pm

Reading back, I can see ATOB’s concern; Frimpong does seem more of a winger than even a wingback or defender.

Celtic don’t seem to man-Mark a lot, so how will the team cope? Will it throw the rest off? is it fair to the kid to throw him in at the deep-end if he hasn’t been prepared?

For me, it comes down to what we have been doing during the week, and, from our games, I have never been able to really discern that ….

I just hope that if they do ask the kid to man mark him, that someone has been working on this in training.

Big Audio Dynamite
August 26, 2020 2:33 pm

Former Rangers target Messi … 😂😂😂

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