League Tables And Brutal Reality

Morning,all.

Another midweek,another pop at the Champions League. This time at Celtic Park against the currently-exiled Ukrainian champions,Shakhtar Donetsk.

Looking at the various group tables,it has been clear that there is a continuing and regular habit of teams there to “make up the numbers”,to give the appearance that smaller clubs from the smaller countries are welcome,always will be,at the top table. A cursory glance at those tables would include Celtic in those bare and brutal statistics.

The performances though,they tell a different story.

From the opening minutes of our opening game at home to the almost-perennial holders Real Madrid,we have taken this group by the scruff of the neck and showed everyone what we are capable of. Sadly though,our results have not reflected our performances and that is a real shame. I think that a proper reflection of our performances would have given cause for other clubs to show more ambition in how they approach matches against “superior” sides,and maybe open up against them and prove their right to be dining at the top table with the big boys and all the rest.

Our opener against Real could easily have seen us three up at half time,and certainly no-one from the visiting club would have been complaining had that been the case. We even started the second half on the front foot,clearly intending to continue as before and to improve on our first half superiority.

Luka Modric had other ideas,and put on a simply world class performance from there on in. That we couldn’t live with him-couldn’t get bloody near him,in truth-is to no-one’s shame from that night. He was the difference then,as he has been for so many years at club and international level.

They don’t tend much to hand out a Ballon D’Or for nothing,you know!

Since then,we drew our away match to Shakhtar,a game which must have been a treat for the neutral but was a torture for the Celtic players and supporters.  Again,we pummelled the opposition and just couldn’t quite get the ball over the line often enough to get all of the points,even if we did come away with an away point.

Leipzig away was next,and while our style of play offered us plenty of reason to be confident of scoring enough to get more points on the board,the home team were simply more brutal and clinical up front,and the result was one that few of us could quibble about. The return leg at home was an even more brutal lesson about taking chances as you find them,a match which could have gone either way but which then swung against us when RBL scored late on.

Having to chase the game-rarely our forte!-we left ourselves wide open for the clinching second,which duly arrived. And so we find ourselves amongst the also-rans in the tournament,with a mere one point to show for our endeavours. And yet,as I think I have explained above,we have been far from also-rans,are clearly deserving of more than our scant return of that single point,and could perhaps even say that we have actually punched above our weight in our first foray at this level in five years.

But we can hardly argue that point with any real force when our detractors and the neutrals alike can simply point to the table. You might win admirers for putting in impressive displays,but you don’t win many prizes till you can keep it tighter at the back while registering more often on the scoresheet. Realistically,for us to even scrape into the Europa League after Christmas would take the minor miracle of full points from our remaining two matches. And since the last of these is away to Real,I’ve pretty much discounted the possibility. Even then,we need results elsewhere to fall our way.

Tonight and next Wednesday then is about keeping up the levels of performance that we have shown in Europe,just as we are beginning to do domestically after a brief difficult patch. But as I said earlier,getting the plaudits for our performances isn’t the same as getting the points that they deserve. We could easily be sitting with five points going into tonight’s match-and even at that,some would consider ourselves hard done to. We owe it to ourselves to finish the group on those five points,and even though they are two difficult fixtures,I see no reason why it shouldn’t be our minimum target.

Make a good start tonight,Celtic. As we tend to do in the competition to date. But this time,make it count.

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Above article by BMCUWP

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BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
IniquitousIV

Mornin’ Bobby:
Great article as usual.
Just finished watching the Pollok game from yesterday. Wish our midfield could shoot like this, and that we had someone who could belt a screamer of a free kick into the net.
Check it out. Some fabulous goals.

https://youtu.be/tkWFZZVQstM

Chairbhoy

Good Morning All – Grand Day To Be A Tim…

Very interesting lead BMCUWPS

Just got to disagree with a couple of small points, the first, is a point of fact – Celtic are not a small Club.

The next although it’s a small point, it’s pretty fundamental, It’s the nearly mhen myth, we really need to improve quite a bit ‘afore we are at that level.

Real thought they could beat us in second gear, kudos to us that they had to find top gear to beat us, yet the fact remains they blew us away when they hit it.

RB Leipzig aggregate score of 5-1 tells it’ s own story, maybe we were unfortunate meeting them when our confidence had been knocked and they had brought in a very goid, new top coach, yet we weren’t close, the song remains the same – if only!?

So, what of Shakhtar Donetsk, we meet them this evening and we did see a true glimmer of hope against them, for me as I hinted at, at the time – Jota lost us two points in Poland that evening.

Positioning himself in Ryan Christie’s shop window, looking for the glory goal rather than the sublime assist was the difference in the teams.

No doubts a fabulously talented young man, yet football is a team game, mibees Benfica couldn’t convince him of that.

When looking at Jota, Ange has found “a knock” and we can only hope that taking the shrink to fit shirt off the audacious Portuguese has taught him a valuable lesson and as he considered his future training alone yesterday at Lennoxtown, hearing the news he is in the provisional Portuguese world cup squad brings him to realise that he is not that young prospect anymore, he is entering the peak years of his profession and he needs to grow into a Celtic jersey.

If he does, it will be great for him and for us, if he doesn’t; well, we have the equally effective Haksabanovic, the talented, experienced Mr Forrest and the tireless workrate of Meada.

What is certain is with our defence much improved, a learning curve negotiated and our strikers now, striking – Shakhtar at home is the tie where we can stop saying if only and start saying we are at the start.

Hail Hail

Chairbhoy

Margaret McGill @ 4:02 pm,

Interesting insight.

Of course the Hindu’s have a greater insight to the Maya world and see the deluded westerner for what they are.

The significance of Sunak taking power on Diwali will not be lost, as they bring light to Britain the only question is, are we the Jewel in the crown or a stepping stone?

As King Charles II appoints Rishi as the 16th Prime Minister will his thoughts shift to what his favourite uncle may have made of it all.

Hail Hail

16 roads

Good read/lead.

Again it’s difficult to find anything to disagree with there, it’s all about points on the board when all is said and done, speaking pragmatically of course.

Disappointing to find ourselves at the foot of the table,no two ways about it – that’s due to high expectations going into the competition more than anything else.

Going on merit though, there’s no way Celtic deserve to be bottom of the group – a mixture of bad luck, poor finishing and a wee bit of naivety is why we find ourselves where we are.

No excuses,however we are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of financial clout , compared to the other three teams.

Anyway we are paper favourites going into tonight’s game, and like the bookmakers I am also expecting a Celtic victory.

Good luck and best wishes to Ange, the players & the Celtic faithful.

HH. 🍀

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

CHAIRBHOY

Don’t think for a minute,please,that I consider Celtic to be a small club. Far from it. Which I had hoped would be obvious when I wrote-

” A cursory glance at those tables would include Celtic in those bare and brutal statistics.”

But yes,I certainly take the point about Jota that night in particular,and that his form had shaded prior to his time out.

Happy Diwali Day,widely celebrated in the Swindon area. It’s not so long ago that my neighbours at the time invited me along to their feast with their family and friends. I took that as a great honour,and being a Sunday and working later that night,managed to enjoy it without abusing their hospitality!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

16 ROADS

I noticed yesterday that Ladbrokes have us at odds of 3/4. That makes them probably more optimistic than even we are!

Chairbhoy

BMCUWPS @ 8:14 am,

Glad to hear it, though never doubted it, the small club think was an appropriate vehicle for a CEO with mediocre ambition and an expectation management agenda.

However Celtic is a giant of a club and unfortunately, where we find ourselves, the UCL proper or advancement in the Eurooa is the only outlets that allows our potential to be met.

Hope we sieze the day!!

Have a great one…

COYBIG

HAIL HAIL

SteveNaive

Chairbhoy

Good post. The bad luck stories are more than I thought we’d get and to still have a chance of something is heartening. Fact is though, good, knowing CL teams usually score when dominating, defend well ( clearing it when needed playing out and tackling hard/ fouling when )necessary ) when under pressure and manage the game. TV doesn’t do Justice sometimes. Yes our first forty five v Madrid was as good as it could have been at that time and against those opponents but only if it had finished then. Wasn’t just Modric. Their fast, technical, intelligent style was just much better and you could see it coming. We need to keep the core, to keep the management ( coaches ?) and apply what we’ve learned this time.

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends and Happy European Matchday.
I’m still pretty excited about tonight’s game. What also shouldnt be overlooked in terms of the table is Shakhtars very unexpected point against Real Madrid. It was that, coupled with our own losses, that has made us favourites to finish bottom. Were Shakhtar sitting on 4 points rather than 5, tonight’s encounter would probably have been for the third place slot where a win would have been enough for us.
Still, winning tonight at least keeps the unlikely dream alive.

St tams

Looking forward to tonights game , but can’t say that I’m overly confident of a win.
Midfield is far to open and easy to play through and nothing has been done to address this issue.
Also our forwards miss too many chances, not because of bad luck, but lack of quality.

As I say still looking forward to it and hope I’m proved wrong.

Jobo Baldie

Apparently WhatsApp is currently down. A worldwide problem.

maccargo

Morning All, can’t see the gaffer going with anything other than this tonight…Hart, Juranovic, Jenz, Carter-Vickers, Taylor, O’Riley, Hatate, Mooy, Haksabanovic, Kyogo, Abada.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MACCARGO

That’s a very good call on the selection. Like you,I think this is a night for Kyogo rather than G-Mak.

Possibly Maeda will be a starter,replacing either Abada or Haksabanovic,but I’d be very happy with your line-up.

JimmynotPaul

This is good, from Otus Sport
“He’s got @CelticFC playing Rock n Roll football, that’s his style.” 🗣

Harry Kewell has set up camp in Scotland as Ange Postecoglou’s assistant.

Kewell describes what it’s like working with Ange on a daily basis and what he demands of the people around him.

#OptusSport https://t.co/IQlb6HSq0O

Chairbhoy

SteveNaive @ 8:54 am,

Cheers, agree with what you say, especially regarding Modric, outstanding as he was.

Benzema was not on song, though how many times have we seen that and he gets the goals to win a match, he’s not the Ballon d’or winner for nothing – yet when he went off, I thought it ominous, Eden Hazard came on with a lot to prove, thought he was immense the second half.

maccargo @ 10:51 am,

Good shout – maybe not 100% the team I’d go for but it looks like the team Ange will play, and fair do’s, he’s been working on bringing them together for just such an occasion.

As has been said defensively the midfield look vulnerable – also think this is going to be a game where we really miss CalMac.

Yet we have every chance, if we go out today and deserve the three points, I can see us getting them.

Hail Hail

St tams

maccargo
I’d have GG in for Kyogo.

St tams

JimmynotPaul
That was a good watch.
Do you think Kewell is being groomed as Anges successor?

Philbhoy

I don’t think Kyogo is anywhere near last season’s form.

GG for me tonight.

JimmynotPaul

St Tams. 11.29.
I would guess, not.
It would be a big step up, for Harry K.
Hopefully Ange here for a few years yet.

SeS

Bobby – good point on our vulnerability chasing a game at this higher level.

SD will have us weel-Sussed out and have players that can hurt us- strikers that convert chances better than ours do! Feel we will do very well to get out with a 2-1 win.

Maccargo – like your team but not seeing past Gia up top. Kyogo can come on with Maeda if we are chasing it in last 30 mins.

JJ must be wide awake all nite

Mooy must track runners – same for Abada and Haksa

O’Riley and Hatate must release the ball more quickly and – the latter must be delivering the ball far more accurately. All very well offering a few world class deliveries, against these guys it’s the bread and butter balls he loses that leaves us wide open.

2-1 in Paradise and I’ll be right on Jamesy to contribute a goal too!

Enjoy the game folks

jimthetim53

If we play at out best I’m confident of a win. But it’s a big IF!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Test

Bigrailroadblues

Good afternoon all from Shawlands. Setting off for Paradise soon, I need to get some beer practice in. Gerrintaethum Celtic!!!!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGRAILROADBLUES

Shawlands? I’m gonna get you a compass for your Christmas. Hopefully it will work as well as the “water” diviner you got a few years back.

Enjoy the match,I will be watching it via my usual method from 400 miles away.

IniquitousIV

Hi Bobby:
Posted a comment as soon as your article was published ( in the wee hours, your time ). It never appeared.
To summarize: I hope the Hoops ( particularly the midfield ) shoot on sight, like these two teams did a couple of days ago. Some superb goals here. Enjoy.

https://youtu.be/tkWFZZVQstM

Prestonpans bhoys

Steak pie and Ayrshire potatoes with a bottle of🍷. Then time for the bus😂👍

Leftclicktic

Prestonpans bhoys
Enjoy sir and cmon the Celtic

Margaret McGill

Chairbhoy
is the Maya world the western world?
isnt it Charles 3rd and the 57th prime minister? or?

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

INIQUITOUS IV

Checked the filters-which is a regular thing these days,sadly-and nothing there other than your 250am comment.

My sister has also had problems and I am too much of a woose to explain that she’s banned! (As if,she still packs an accurate right foot)

Whenever I see a comment blocked in the filters,I reinstate it. But it’s a bloody nuisance at this end and yours.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MAGS

57th Prime Minister? What you on about?

Oh,sorry. I thought you meant this year…

Leggy

COYBIG 🍀🍀

HH 💚💚

3-1 The Hoops

IniquitousIV

I will be so delighted to be wrong but can’t help but think we are in for another disappointment.
7 CL home defeats in a row.
Hardly a goal scored at home in these games (none this campaign ).
I clean sheet in last 10 games.
A midfield you could drive a coach and horses, or even a chariot race, through.
Playing a counter attacking team with one of the fastest wingers in the CL.
Unable to retain the ball or get it back for long periods versus Leipzig at home.
What could possibly go wrong?
It will be hope over expectation for me today ( like my second marriage!🤣 )

jimthetim53

Prestonpans bhoys, Ayrshire potatoes? I remember as a youngster the start on the New Potatoes from Ayrshire season was a big deal in Scotland. My mother always bought them, they were yummy! They were small and you boiled them with their light skins still on them. Once the chip ahops started using them they put the prices up for the summer and you got slightly less per bag of chips!
Likewise the start of Clyde Valley Tomatoes season was important. They were the best tasting tomatoes in the world!

bada bing1

Real Madrid 2/1 away to Leipzig,they much have sent the weans

Prestonpans bhoys

jimthetim53

In the old days you had to wash them and the skin almost invisible. These days they look well processed…….anyways bottle nearly done and bus in 20 minutes.

Going for a mad 3:2 win⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽

16 roads

Disengage from the puppet show that is WEFminister.

Remember the objectives remain the same – Social credit system, digital ID & digital currency.

If those tyrants achieve their goal (which is ultimately a cashless society),then they will have seized control of every aspect of our lives.

This is an outstanding article:

https://thinkscotland.org/2021/12/how-a-state-britcoin-could-threaten-your-personal-freedom/

Anyway confident of a Celtic victory tonight.

KTF. 🍀

bada bing1

Juranovic to score anytime, a long overdue penalty probably, and to get a card,for fouling their flying winger…🤞

40/1 Hills

maccargo

Re the team I suggested earlier. I too would start Giakoumakis, the team I posted is what I think the gaffer will start with given the recent rotation policy of the fullbacks and front three. Forrest, Maeda and Kyogo to run at tired legs after an hour or so when we’re hopefully ahead!

Chairbhoy

Chairbhoy @ 3:35 pm,

Thanks for the correction on the numbers, no idea where mine came from – guess I inadvertently subtracted the really, really bad ones.

The maya world is of course throughout the universe, we just happen to have a rather large dollop of the deludamol in the west.

Always enjoy your contributions.

Saw you post a couple of very interesting things last week – my son got me into Joe Rogan and sent me the Rodger Waters link, haven’t watched/listened to much of it but will catch up this week.

The influence his mother had on his politics was very insightful, it’s no wonder his lyrics stand the test of time.

Enjoy the game…

Hail Hail

SeS

Bada

An interesting bet … you think Ange will allow JJ into their half at any point in game ? Even to take a penalty …😁

All kidding aside … he’s got his work cut out tonight … as has Taylor

Just rewatched their last game (1-1) v Madrid. Jeezo they were so desperately unlucky not to take 3 points.

SeS

Maccargo – aye that makes sense buddy- HH

Jobo Baldie

Based on who is available and then based on who everyone has voted for after our first 17 games, here’s tonight’s team (with votes to date!)

Hart 75

Juranovic 128
Carter Vickers 263
Jenz 216
Taylor 357

O’Riley 247
Hatate 467
Mooy 132

Abada 214
Furuhashi 177
Haksabanovic 124

Subs to come on – Giakoumakis (126), Welsh (123), Bernabei (103), Forrest (73), Ralston (65)

Strangely, no place for Maeda who has featured in every one of our 17 games but has only amassed 54 votes, just over 3 per game!

I would actually be delighted with that starting 11. But in terms of the subs I’d hope we wouldn’t need to introduce Welsh or Bernabei and instead turn to Maeda (I know!) and Turnbull.

145 minutes till kick off….

The Leopard’s Rimshot

Good article well put, Mick.

Chairbhoy @ er 5:38 am: ‘ As King Charles II appoints Rishi as the 16th Prime Minister will his thoughts shift to what his favourite uncle may have made of it all.’ 😁

Btw, I’m sure the irony of Hi Risk Anus being richer than Charlie himself will not be lost in some quarters.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rishi-sunak-wife-richer-king-084000306.html

The Leopard’s Rimshot

‘Jobo Baldie

Apparently WhatsApp is currently down.’

Nae worries, Jobo, what goes app must come down 😚

Call me Gerry

Can never be sure how Ange will line up the team, but my guess would be…

Hart
Juranovic
Carter-Vickers
Jenz
Taylor
O’Riley
Mooy
Hatate
Abada
Kyogo
Haksabanovic

HH

maccargo

WOOOOFT….Teams up and we’re going with both Kyogo AND Giakoumakis!

Chalmersbhoy

Kyogo and geo start.

maccargo

Full team….Hart, Juranovic, Taylor, Carter-Vickers, Jenz, Hatate, O’Riley, Haksabanovic, Kyogo, Giakoumakis, Abada. Fair warning bhoys…we’re going out swinging!

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