Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Celtic’s Glaswegian European night to remember…

Thu 8 November 2012, 9:20am

Well, I’m no fan of Celtic. Or the Old Firm for that matter. I was in Glasgow just over two weeks and it’s clear that the levels of resentment between supporters of the two clubs is as high (higher perhaps) than it has ever been.

But fair play to Neil Lennon and his players for an exceptional performance last night… It even pushed an old rock star to tears.

It would be good to think that success on the pitch might presage a greater magnanimity towards the blue side of the city. But I suspect most will continue in the vein of Somerset Maugham:

“For most of us it is not enough to have achieved personal success. One’s best friend must also have failed.”

So, a journey to be taken more in hope than expectation then. In the meantime the Lurgan man has delivered his fans a 125th birthday present par excellance

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Comments (23)

  1. BarneyT (profile) says:

    It means nothing if they fail to win one of their remaining two games. However, is this a true reflection of the standard of Scottish football or Celtics ability to raise their game merely to temporarily punch above their weight?

    Either way, its bad for Scottish Football, as its either a one-off or an indication that the Scottish Premiership has been reduced from a two horse raise to a Celtic canter.

    If Celtic have a great CL run and run away with the league at home, I can see the pressure building to have them move south into the English Premiership, especially in the absence of Rangers.

    Hold on…I’m being very pessimistic….it was a great night for Neil and The Hoops, lets not take that away.

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  2. Dec (profile) says:

    Not sure why you’re referring to the ‘Old Firm’ in the present tense, Mick. Only one of the two clubs that archaic phrase refers to exists nowadays.

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  3. grandimarkey (profile) says:

    It was an amazing night to live in Glasgow, the place was buzzing and the roars from the pubs could be heard all over the streets.

    Neil Lennon has matured as a manager and is really coming into this own, he is humble when the occasion calls for it and has nothing but praise for the players and the fans. It is an exciting time to be a Celtic supporter, if we can beat Barcelona (who were undefeated in the CL group stages for three years) then what is the limit?

    @BarneyT

    “temporarily punch above their weight”

    In 180 minutes of football against Celtic, Barcelona were ahead for less than 2 minutes. That’s one hell of a statistic…

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  4. Dec (profile) says:

    Any excuse….

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/11/07/article-0-15E1B83C000005DC-354_634x391.jpg

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  5. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Grandmarkey – You are corrrect. They would have been found out over 180 minutes…and nearly came away undefeated from both games.

    Scottish football teams have always been compared to those in England and I believe the Championship was deemed a fair entry point for Rangers and Celtic at one time, when it was mooted they would move south.

    I’m trying to gauge where Celtic are and where they stand in terms of British football. I didnt see the game, but based on the two games against Barcelona, they cannot be far away from the English PL top 4? Is that a fair conclusion?

    If so, can I take it that Hibs and Inverness CT sit at the same level as Everton and Tottenham perhaps?

    If we have a team in the Scottish Premiership that can hold their own against Barcelona, and there is only 6 points between 1st and 9th in Scotland, Scottish football is stronger than I thought.

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  6. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    Cannot see how the SPL can be a Celtic canter when they’ve already been chinned in the league this year.

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  7. Nordie Northsider (profile) says:

    I’ve mixed feelings about Celtic going into the Premiership. They will be a mid-table side, at best, without the resources of the big-spending clubs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen though. With Rangers gone and Hearts looking very shaky indeed, the future of the SPL is far from certain.

    A great result though, at a time when the reputation of Scottish football isn’t exactly soaring.

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  8. grandimarkey (profile) says:

    @BarneyT

    “I’m trying to gauge where Celtic are and where they stand in terms of British football.”

    If Celtic qualify second from the group they’ll play Man Utd. You’ll see then!

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  9. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Fantastic. Should be a great encounter and Celtic should be assured of second place. I’d say many over here will be conflicted…..as United and Celtic represent a lot of folks number 1 and number 2 teams respectively…but not always in that order.

    Good luck. I’ll be tuning in no doubt.

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  10. BarneyT (profile) says:

    Andnowwhat: My personal opinion is that Celtic were slack at at the start of the season, and again personally I think some of this is due to Rangers absence. Perhaps they wont canter to a finish, but they can I feel take their foot off the juice a bit and perhaps push for more glory in Europe.

    The deeper Celtic can go into the CL competition, the more it will benefit those in 2nd and 3rd places next season and Scottish football. For this reason, perhaps non Celtic supporters should be hoping for more nights of glory from the Hoops?

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  11. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Dec, if you want to be strict about it, sure.

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  12. Dec (profile) says:

    Just being accurate: if Rangers still exist sombody should tell the HRMC that they might get the £95 million in unpaid taxes they’ve just had to write off.

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  13. Nevin (profile) says:

    “One’s best friend must also have failed.”

    I find it difficult to envisage Celtic and Rangers being best friends.

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  14. derrydave (profile) says:

    ‘It would be good to think that success on the pitch might presage a greater magnanimity towards the blue side of the city’

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  15. derrydave (profile) says:

    ‘It would be good to think that success on the pitch might presage a greater magnanimity towards the blue side of the city.’

    – No it wouldn’t Mick – only a rugby fan would say that. Football is the most popular sport in the world precisely because it is tribal and raises passions and emotions like no other sport. Football fans of all hues hate and despise their rivals – the way it should be however distasteful the middle class thought police may find it !

    Mon the hoops – f**k the huns !!

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  16. damon (profile) says:

    ”… it’s clear that the levels of resentment between supporters of the two clubs is as high (higher perhaps) than it has ever been.”

    Is it really? I haven’t been in recent years, but I would have thought that it would be less than in past years.
    Despite some high profile incidents lately, the violence has to be much less than it was, and the lessening of bitterness over the Troubles would also have mellowed things out I’d have guessed.

    The problem lies perhaps in the modern intolerance of bawdy footbal culture, particularly in Scotland – where a Rangers fan has just been given three months for singing sectarian songs.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13062/

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  17. Ruarai (profile) says:

    Celtic Football Club is one of elite European professional football’s few institutions that bring honor to the game, not least due to its fans conduct and the club’s community work. But last night was all about the football – tear in the eye stuff.

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  18. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    From what a friend told me this evening, an audio of the Frank Mitchell show might be a useful addition, if that could be arranged.

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  19. Ruarai (profile) says:

    @3gerardpique: Unlucky that we lost even I think we played well. Happy to be back. No words to describe the atmosphere at Celtic Park.. #ChampionsLeague

    Xavi Hernandez – “Celtic, like Barcelona, are more than a football club. Our clubs are a symbol of a culture and community that has not always been made welcome in their respective countries.”

    Joan Laporta – “‘The Celtic supporters are fantastic, in fact the best travelling supporters in the world, as we have seen many times. We can assure Celtic supporters that they will receive a very warm welcome when they visit the city.”

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  20. Desmond Trellace (profile) says:

    I was an avid Rangers fan as a kid and had posters of Greig and Stein on my bedroom wall. I used to hate Celtic because all the Leeds fans supported Celtic and I was an Everton fan.

    Even though I have long since grown to hate the Old Firm Punch-and-Judy sectarian business, I would still like to congratulate Celtic on their great success.

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  21. BarneyT (profile) says:

    By the looks of things, St Johnstone now have the beating of Barcelona :-)

    Seriously though, if Celtic are now knackered after their European exploits, does it not suggest they were battling for their lives and pulled off a Davidian win? I dont want to dampen the whole afair, but a measure of greatness and success should be consistency, and not a periodic show of heroism followed by hollow defeat (which is how a 1-1 against St J would have been regarded, perhaps last season? (I’m not armed with last seasons head to head stats).

    And there was me implying they might canter towards the title at home.

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  22. grandimarkey (profile) says:

    @BarneyT

    “Seriously though, if Celtic are now knackered after their European exploits, does it not suggest they were battling for their lives and pulled off a Davidian win?”

    I don’t think anyone has suggested otherwise. What else were they meant to do against the best team in the world? Not try and lose? Celtic did something that very few teams in the world have done, beaten that Barcelona team and beaten them in European football, which is all the harder.

    I dont want to dampen the whole afair, but a measure of greatness and success should be consistency, and not a periodic show of heroism followed by hollow defeat (which is how a 1-1 against St J would have been regarded, perhaps last season?

    Celtic have played St Johnstone twice already this year, once in the league (were Celtic lost 2-1) and again in the Scottish League Cup were Celtic hammered them 5-0. I think the pain of drawing to St Johnstone with a depleted and knackered squad is easily numbed by the glory and history-making victory that took place on Wednesday. I don’t think too many Celtic fans will be worried, European football is the goal right now.

    And there was me implying they might canter towards the title at home.

    Once European football is over, or at least paused for a while Celtic will get back to business at home. You’d be a fool to bet against them winning the league this season.

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  23. david thistle (profile) says:

    Great result from Celtic just at a time when we needed it.
    Reminiscent of the halcyon days when Scots not only dominated the English leagues, but had serious European contenders every year themselves. Dundee Utd V Barcelona- played 4 , won 4, lost 0, drew 0.
    Ten European finals contested, 4 trophies won.
    Happy Days.
    Well Done Celtic- from a true blue.

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