Pot 1 brings Group of Death

Easy and our club of choice don’t tend to mingle a lot.
It felt nice being in Pot1 along with some of those names, and the opTIMists among us had already paired us with three whipping boys, or three great destinations reminiscing about times of old.
But Dundalk et al it wasn’t to be.


Last year seen us draw the 8th in Serie A, the Champions of Romania and the tenth best team in France. The group was very enjoyable and we took scalps we were not expected to, always fun and what footballs about.
As a support we would have been forgiven for daring to dream of a better group considering we were going to avoid a ‘big team’ by way of entering Pot1.
Or so we thought.


I have our group as the hardest with group K also very hard to call.
AC Milan, FC Lille, Sparta Prague and ourselves.
It makes on query whether we gained and advantage at all being in Pot1 for that reads like a group we get regular, being usually third or fourth pot.
There’s no clear whipping boy, no team you can honestly say that’s three points, and when we do manage to get away from the big 5 leagues we find ourselves up against the always technical and quick Czechs, who will probably fancy their chances at giving us a doing, especially with no famous twelfth man.
To rub salt into the wound the poor Tims probably won’t make what would usually be an unmissable away trip to the beautiful city of Prague, pity for in normal times this one would be the pick of the bunch.


The mighty Milan are not the team they once were, and look a team in transition like ourselves, but few will expect anything out of this pair of ties.
Sparta sit top of their league with five wins from five, scoring 18 in the process.
Lille are also unbeaten in five with three wins and two draws, but have hit a mere six goals which gives some encouragement.


Last year’s group stage saw us produce some great results and when that group was drawn no one would have had us topping the group or ourselves and Cluj the two to go through yet that’s exactly what happened. Where we pulled those results from I don’t know, beating Lazio home and away simply doesn’t happen for a Scottish team these days, but yet somehow we were able to pull out eyebrow raising results.


Going out to Copenhagen when we had beaten teams many thought their betters was a bit of a blow, especially as our rivals managed to negotiate the last 32 stage, but no one had us there in the first place plus it didn’t knock us off our stride as we went on to achieve the seasons main target.


Quite why we performed so well is a matter last time out is a matter of conjecture. Dermot might want phycologists brought in, but as far as I’m concerned we are a second tier club so naturally feel more at home in the second tier. The Champions League is very punishing, which must be detrimental to morale, but we can approach the Europa League with a degree of confidence, or at least it seems that we do.


We cant ‘blame’ last year on the twelfth man either, with credible away wins, plus the fact we are unbeaten domestically with approx one quarter of the season left suggests the loss of home support isn’t affecting the team much, music to our ears and if some fans are there later in the season to roar on the Champions all the better.


Perhaps the Europa league offers a chance for players, especially those foreign born, to escape what must feel like a monotony at home sometimes, playing in the same stadia 4 or more times yearly, with the same bent refs ignoring what they wish, and generally cloggers and hammer throwers who have little interest in fine flowing football but are happy to clatter anything in their zone.
A better quality of opposition can spur some teams to raise their game, playing more or less at the standard necessary for the occasion, and let’s hope that’s the case for our bhoys.
We have a few players who probably fancy moving on once a certain target is hit, so providing a good platform to showcase the wares will be most convenient for a few, and perhaps that will benefit us also.
We could go out with a whimper, thinking there’s a much bigger target in the tenth title, but that just wouldn’t be our style and the fans wouldn’t accept it anyway, in the stadium or not.
Once again the underdogs will aim to surprise the world.


Speaking of surprising the world and to whet the appetite of what’s to come, here’s the ‘David Marshall game’ against Barca in the Uefa cup back in the day.
A star was born. Write off the Celts at your peril. By Mahe.

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October 3, 2020 4:54 am

Napster’s follow the link

October 3, 2020 4:55 am

Score predictor link below

October 3, 2020 6:11 am

Good lead Mahe, will be great to see some good European talent testing this squad, it’s what we need in this rather flat season.

Quite why we performed so well is a matter last time out is a matter of conjecture. Dermot might want phycologists brought in, but as far as I’m concerned we are a second tier club so naturally feel more at home in the second tier. The Champions League is very punishing, which must be detrimental to morale, but we can approach the Europa League with a degree of confidence, or at least it seems that we do.

My preference is always Champions League, sure there is a huge disparity between the Pots 1 & 2 teams and the Pots 3 & 4 teams. Which of course means we are in a real competition for that third spot. Yet that still gives us a shot at the Europa after Christmas.

However it is undoubtedly the case that the UEL is where we find our level.

For sometime now I’ve stated that after 17 October, we will know where we stand domestically. With the window closing soon and the Rangers game the main event, that’s still the case.

Yet October has taken an interesting turn with the Europa draw…

FK Sarajevo (A)Thu, 1st Oct 19:00UEFA Europa League1:0

St Johnstone (A)Sun, 4th Oct 12:00 Scottish Premiership

Rangers (H)Sat, 17th Oct 12:30 Scottish Premiership

AC Milan (H)Thu, 22nd Oct 20:00 UEFA Europa League

Aberdeen (A)Sat, 24th Oct 15:00 Scottish Premiership

Lille OSC (A)Thu, 29th Oct 17:55 UEFA Europa League

So the tricky away tie to Sarajevo is job done, St Johnstone at Perth should be a gimme.

The transfer window closing is interesting, “the man” has form when it comes to last minute wheeling and dealing, that could make a pigs ear of what has been a rather good transfer window, I wait with bated breath but “the man” has been noted by his adsence, just hope it continues.

Then Rangers, the litmus test, just how far have we regressed since the Rodgers era? Have Steven Gerrard and Michael Beale really made new Rangers a competitive force? It’s hard to pin so much on a single game but no doubt this game will go a long way to determine if “the Rangers are coming”.

So that was my first season cut-off point, but hold the bus, we then have AC Milan ay home, an away tie at Aberdeen, on paper our toughest tie domestically outside the old firm, then Lille away. So no doubt a hugely demanding month, every game winnable, every game a challenge, a month that will set the tone of our season, one that will determine if last seasons Europa was a fluke and if we are really Champions elect…

Really looking forward to some great, interesting and testing encounters.

Hail Hail

October 3, 2020 6:39 am

Interesting take on Trump and Biden by G64 and Mags on last thread…

It reminded me of the George Bush – Dan Quayle v Michael Dukakis – Lloyd Bentsen, election. A commentator summed it up thus…

You either vote Bush and hope he lives or you vote Dukakis and hope he dies…

Crazy, they seem like much saner times in the aul’ USofA

Hail Hail

big packy
October 3, 2020 7:40 am

MORNING ALL a big happy hoopy birthday to my best pal jimthetim53 ,he has caught me up at last, the magical number 67, he also shares it with my wife 64 today, damn thats two presents i have to buy today😍 have a good one jim 🥧

October 3, 2020 8:36 am



who reaches a magical number today…

Bluegrass Celt
October 3, 2020 8:53 am

I rather like the draw we have. Since Oor Lenny is incapable of finding his Plan B yet again against a back 10, three good teams giving us an open game, allowing us to find our Mojo sounds very appealing 👍

October 3, 2020 9:14 am

Morning all & Packy.

Cheers lads!

I like that positive take from Bluegrass Celt, at least the 3 teams we got in the draw won’t park a bus!
(We’re no very good at dealing with that at times!) Even when we manage a win it’s ugly football to watch.

October 3, 2020 9:18 am


Left field thinking-I like it!

October 3, 2020 9:58 am

Naps comp.
Ascot cancelled,waterlogged

The Gombeen Man
October 3, 2020 10:18 am

Rebus 67,

Confirmation Bias @ 3.07pm yesterday,

It’s fun just to observe how all this stuff works.

The tyranny of the illusion : ‘I’.

Many of our problems start with the pronoun, ‘I’.
‘I’ translates to Ego in Latin. Sentences that begin too often with ‘I’ can be revealing.

It’s the tendency to see ‘me’ as the centre of reality.

‘I’ think / ‘Ego’ thinks………..’I’ want / ‘Ego’ wants.

My opinions, my perceptions, my preferences, my team, my family, my politics, my problems, my ambitions, my culture, my religion, my race, my money, my nation…

We are largely the products of our limited knowledge and experiences and inhabit a lonely, dualistic world.

Fighting daily duels.Chasing our tails. Precariously clinging to the illusion of security, affirmation and control.
Seeing the world in a state of separation, not as one interrelated household.

That conditioning. That confused soup of memories and experiences can lead to fragmented perceptions, projections/actions and inevitably, conflict.

As consumers of the product of football we largely only see the guy in the jersey. Not the thinking behind recruitment, his suitability, the coaching, tactics, fitness, health etc.

Nor do we take into account our own bias or the pleasure we get from the affirmation of others.

Much of our lives are shaped and determined in the unconscious.

The mind stores experiences…

Fears, judgements, prejudices and perceptions. The unconscious mind projects those memories onto life as it happens.

That projection distorts our perception of what’s actually happening…

Similar to a projector in a cinema projecting onto a screen.

What we perceive through the senses, see, hear, etc, triggers the memory/conditioning.
Often a confused perception of reality results. That confusion can lead to an inappropriate emotional response.

We’ve been triggered.

Thought doesn’t seem to know it’s doing this, but we do it continually.

The unresolved past subtlety dominating the now.

It’s probably a primal physical defence mechanism, but it presents a real problem given our enhanced capacity to do harm.

The Mystics talk of dying before you die.

That’s just letting go of beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, attachments…memories and experiences.

Not suppressing by the cul-de-sac of escapes, distractions or running away.

Learning to be with : ‘What is.’

Meditation/Contemplation develops awareness.

The capacity to watch thoughts as they rise from the unconscious…And to let the thoughts go…

Not unconsciously acting and re-acting.

That letting go reveals the Innocence of Being.

Bada Bing
October 3, 2020 10:20 am

Ascot abandoned

Billy Bhoy
October 3, 2020 10:22 am

CT & The Tim McCoy

Thanks for the clarification re the EL draw.

You guys should maybe try and help Boris sort out his Covid policy!

October 3, 2020 10:36 am

Double Post!

October 3, 2020 10:43 am

The Gombeen Man @ 10:18 am,

Very interesting again, have you heard of Dr Shefali Tsabary? A psychiatrist specialising in child development and parenting and the relationships there in.

Anyways, she has done a series of zoom casts covering many areas related to the pandemic. She did one last week on grieving that has many of the aspects of ego you mention.


It’s thirty minutes long so not a quick look but might be interesting.

Hail Hail

Bluegrass Celt
October 3, 2020 10:54 am

It was an honour to get a response from your good self …….until I saw you’d got my monicker wrong 😔😔

October 3, 2020 11:12 am

The Real McCoy @ 1.01am.

Thanks, that explains it!


October 3, 2020 11:39 am


Makes me favourite for Knob of the Day!

My apologies.

October 3, 2020 11:44 am

Bobby, who else has a birthday today? Clue – He also has famously been in Celtic Park. 🙂

Bluegrass Celt
October 3, 2020 11:49 am

No knob of the day nominations on here mate . I tend to keep that for CQ………..erm, I mean, another Celtic minded site 😳🍀

October 3, 2020 12:03 pm

JtT53, and Wee Joan
Happy Hoopy Birthday to you both

October 3, 2020 12:05 pm

The Gombeen Man
Are you a Psychiatrist, or Psychologist?
Very thoughtful piece, once again.
😉😉 HH

October 3, 2020 12:09 pm

JIMTHETIM53! Hooooooopy Birthday

Weet weet weet
October 3, 2020 12:32 pm

Joe Royle
“Cole should be scoring from those distances, but I’m not going to single him out.”
Alex Ferguson
“If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing-room, get out of the kitchen”
Terry Venables
“I don’t want to compare Bowditch to Matt Le Tissier, but the way he scored his goal was similar to Matt.”
Joe Royle
“Beckenbauer has really gambled all his eggs.”
Ron Atkinson
“If history is going to repeat itself I should think we can expect the same thing again.”
Terry Venables
“I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.”
Ron Atkinson, breaking the habit of a lifetime!
“You’re on your own out there with ten mates.” 
Michael Owen
“I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.”
Stuart Pearce
“I’m sure Spurs will get another opportunity, hopefully before the final whistle.
Steve Claridge
“And I honestly believe we can go all the way to Wembley – unless somebody knocks us out.”
Dave Bassett 

”All the cul-de-sacs are closed for Scotland.”
Joe Jordan
“You can see the relief on Falcao’s shoulders.”
Michael Gray
“There was nothing wrong with the performance, apart from throwing away the game.”
Glenn Hoddle
“Owen scores and breaks Lineker’s competitive scoring record. Although this being a friendly it doesn’t actual count, so he hasn’t quite done it yet.”
John Motson

Bobby Robson
Kevin Keegan has had a section for his Colemanballs and now follows one for Bobby Robson. On the face of it perhaps the two didn’t have much in common, certainly not the hairstyle, but both managed Fulham, Newcastle and England. An unusual combination if there ever was one. But they also both spoke with passion about football, and sometimes got it wrong. A few Colemanballs from the greatly missed Sir Bobby ….

”Football’s like a big market place and people go to the market every day to buy their vegetables.”
“Don’t ask me what a typical Brazilian is because I don’t know what a typical Brazilian is. But Romario was a typical Brazilian.”
“We don’t want our players to be monks. We want them to be better football players because a monk doesn’t play football at this level.”
“They can’t change any of their players, but they can change one of their players, and he’s the coach.”
“We didn’t underestimate them – they were just a lot better than we thought.”
“I would have given my right arm to be a pianist.”
“I’m not going to look beyond the semi-final, but I would love to lead Newcastle out in the final.”
“When Gazza was dribbling he used to go through a minefield with his arm, a bit like you go through a supermarket.”
“He never fails to hit the target, but that was a miss.”
“We had ten times as many shots on target as Bolton – and they had none at all.”
“Paolo di Canio is capable of scoring the goal he scored.”
“If you count your chickens before they have hatched, they won’t lay an egg in the basket.”
“Yeading was a potential banana blip for Newcastle.”
“It wasn’t going to be our day on the night.”
“Jermaine Jenas is a fit lad. He gets from box to box in all of 90 minutes.”

”What can I say about Peter Shilton? Peter Shilton is Peter Shilton, and he has been Peter Shilton since the year dot.”
“I’d say he’s the best in Europe, if you put me on the fence.”
“Gary Speed has never played better, never looked fitter, never been older.”
“We’re flying on Concorde. That’ll shorten the distance. That’s self-explanatory.”
“We got nine and you can’t score more than that.”
“Maybe not goodbye, but farewell.”

“One accusation you can’t throw at me is that I’ve always done my best.”
Alan Shearer
“In terms of the Richter scale this defeat was a force 8 gale.”
John Lyall
“Steve McManaman once described Zinedine Zidane as ridiculous. You can’t get a higher compliment than that.”
Jason McAteer
“Chris Waddle is off the pitch at the moment – exactly the position he is at his most menacing.”
Gerald Sinstadt
“If someone in the crowd spits at you, you have just got to swallow it.”
Gary Lineker
“He must be lightning slow.”
Ron Atkinson
“The lad got over-excited when he saw the whites of the goalpost’s eyes.”
Steve Coppell
“Steve Bruce is like a cat on hot tin bricks.”
Alvin Martin
“Arsenal are streets ahead of everyone in this league and Manchester United are up there with them.”
Craig Bellamy
“Stokes gets a straight yellow for that challenge.”
Ronnie Whelan
“The unthinkable is not something we are thinking about at the moment.”
Peter Kenyon
“I’d been ill and hadn’t trained for a week and I’d been out of the team for three weeks before that, so I wasn’t sharp. I got cramp before half-time as well. But I’m not one to make excuses.”
Clinton Morrison
“The first half was end-to-end stuff. In contrast, in this second half it’s been one end to the other.”
Lou Macari
“If Arsenal don’t finish third, they might not finish in third place.”
Alvin Martin

October 3, 2020 12:38 pm

The Gombeen Man

If I were writing a science fiction book Earth would be a correction centre set up by aliens in a spiritual form who are fully conscious.

Human life is the means of taking us human beings out of unconsciousness to being conscious and death would be the entry into the alien world as consciousness develops.

That thought occured to me at the end of Genesis where it said ” now they have become like us” (immortal/judging good and evil prematurely? ) separation from the Tree of Life is necessary.

My thought then was who the feck are/were “us” and why was separation by mortality necessary?

At the end of the day it’s all about death, intit.

The Real McCoy
October 3, 2020 12:43 pm

Billy Bhoy / CT 🙏🏻
I was intrigued as much as your goodselves at the machinations of the draw.🤔
Initially only interested in who we drew.
Sparta Prague fair enough.
AC Milan ffs and all to do with Roma/ Napoli being in the first half of the draw and AEK being placed in Group G 😠
I’m then thinking not Lille please from pot 4.
Now I’m thinking 4 evenly matched teams so results should be interesting.
Feel sorry for Bhoys who would have relished the away days 🍀

October 3, 2020 12:49 pm

Many Happy Returns Jim.
Wish I could be with you, to buy you a few glasses of Vino.
Great wee tune for you from ’67.


A thing of beauty
October 3, 2020 12:50 pm

Happy birthday pal. Get yourself out for a pint.
Billy bhoy from last night.
Thanks for the reply. It just seems common sense to sell a midfielder and buy some defenders. The squad is very imbalanced as I say.

Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:00 pm

Happy Birthday Jim! Bet you wish you shared a Birthday with Neil Lennon, Scott Brown and Lionel Messi!? 😉

Na na na na na!

Have a belter mate 🎁🎀🍀


October 3, 2020 1:02 pm

25th June. My granddaughter Rhiannon’s birthday.

October 3, 2020 1:04 pm

My daughter Julie’s favourite ever song. She named her daughter after it.


Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:10 pm

Here’s to Rhiannon https://youtu.be/wgmRb3MlpHQ

Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:11 pm

Beat me to it, Garry Bhoy!☺

October 3, 2020 1:12 pm

Cheers folks!
Garry, I thought I knew all the Beatles songs but I cant remember that one! Enjoyed it. Thanks 🙂

Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:13 pm

I’m happy with the draw …these teams will come out and play football! Thankfully we have a manager who knows how to win these groups.

October 3, 2020 1:21 pm

Your version was better quality. Thankfully 13 year old Rhiannon loves the song, the band Fleetwood Mac and her name. 😊👍

October 3, 2020 1:22 pm

It is on my favourite Beatles album, The Beatles (White). Superb album.

October 3, 2020 1:25 pm

I am delighted with the draw. Four evenly matched teams. Would love a trip to Prague for the game. Pity it will not be possible.

October 3, 2020 1:29 pm

This is not for you. This song is for my ex wife on her birthday. 😜


October 3, 2020 1:31 pm

I think I’ve stumped Bobby with my question. The answer is – Today is the birthday of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A guy who loves Celtic Park and our support.

it looks like he will get part of his dream come true in a few weeks.

Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:37 pm

It’s a beautiful name Garry. Stevie Nicks is my GFs fav artist 👍

October 3, 2020 1:39 pm

I share my birthday with my political hero, who is exactly 100 years older than me. Also with 3 former Celtic players. James Connolly, Jim Brogan, Mark Wilson and Kieran Tierney. Four good Tims. 💚😊

October 3, 2020 1:41 pm

I always preferred Christine Perfect.
Peter Green my favourite ever member of Fleetwood Mac though. Blues guitar genius.

October 3, 2020 1:42 pm

One of my favourite ever songs


Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:42 pm

Without any bias, I’d much rather watch Celtic v AC Milan, than PSG v Man City! Both of whom weren’t even also- rans when I was growing up.

Big Audio Dynamite
October 3, 2020 1:47 pm

Garry, did you ever see FM live?

Btw, 1.29 😂

The Gombeen Man
October 3, 2020 1:58 pm


Happy Birthday Jim,

Kepa, the Chelsea keeper shares a birthday with you. He’s warming the bench at Stamford Bridge at the moment. Not bad for £71.6m.


Thanks for that. It’s an interesting topic and I’ll watch the video later and let you know.

The Walls of Jericho are an allegory of the collapse of the ego. Funny how the thing we fear the most is usually the doorway.



Maybe one day I’ll have an original thought but it’s not looking likely.

I’m no-thing and very happy about that. 😉.


Thanks. I’ll come back later.

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