Winning a cup semi-final is always special, winning after scoring four goals adds to the achievement but when your third and fourth goals are scored by a substitute, then that’s icing on the cake!
However, the goal scoring substitute wasn’t just any old player, it was the big game hunter himself Moussa Dembele.
Since pulling a hamstring in the semi-final of last years Scottish Cup semi-final, Moussa has been on a long road to recovery, nurtured all the way by Brendan and his medical team.
Over the last few weeks, he’s gradually got more game time, and last week in Munich you could see his movement, touch and strength returning.
So much so, you sort of knew when Moussa was introduced as a second half substitute for the tired Leigh Griffiths on Saturday, he would make a difference. In all fairness to Leigh, he’s played so much football, with club and internationals these last few weeks. he must be glad to an extent to have some help up front.
It’s difficult when you’re the one expected to score in every game, especially at a club like Celtic.
The timing of Moussa’s return couldn’t be any better for the Bhoys either, with Saturday’s semi-final followed by a top of the table clash with Aberdeen on Wednesday, then a home game against Kilmarnock, before we entertain Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
These are the type of games Dembele thrives in. His record in the ‘big games’ is superb. The bigger the occasion, the more chance he’ll score.
Whether Brendan will take the chance of starting Moussa on Wednesday remains to be seen, but he will be involved at some point. He’s gradually getting back to full fitness and there’s nothing better than scoring goals to give any striker a boost.
Welcome back the big game Bhoy!
Celtic took on the team that are third favourites to win the Champions League in the Allianz Arena, in Munich last night.
While Brendan Rodgers and the Bhoys have aspirations of playing in Europe after Christmas, the German side have their sights firmly on winning the trophy. The five time winners already stated their intentions by firing former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, and bringing back 72 year-old Jupp Heynckes. The last Bayern manager to win the cup with the big ears!
The notion that the Hoops would come away with anything other than a loss was wishful thinking, but a bit understandable after our great result in Belgium. With Broonie and Stuart Armstrong back, who knows?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. We lost bad goals, and to be honest, Bayern were all over us like a rash. They showed a different level of play we an only aspire to match.
The final scoreline of 3-0 turned out to be fairly respectable considering the chances the Germans had, with Craig Gordon bring of a number of great saves. Our makeshift defence did little to help the keeper as wave after wave of Bayern attacks pierced through the Hoops back line.
Like every game,there were a few pivitol moments. Yes, we rode out luck early on when we could have conceded a goal and a penalty, but Bayern got a break before the first goal too, when Mueller went over on Scott Brown. A tackle that warranted a yellow, but could have been a red.
And regardless of the time, Scott SInclairs goal should have stood. consolation or not, as he wasn’t offside.
I’m not making excuses, we didn’t play well enough to take anything out of the game, that’s a fact. And as much as the Faithful will be disappointed, no one in the stadium will be as disappointed as Rob McLean!
For ninety minutes, he urged the Germans to score with every attack. When the third goal went in on 51 minutes he was almost ranting for Bayern to keep on scoring. I’m sure he had a betting slip with 5-0/6-0/7-0 on it! His tone when the home side missed a chance was that of dejection.
I was going to say I was worried for his well being, but I’d be lying.
Rob wasn’t alone in his sadness with the result. Tom English, (remember him, the guy that sent emails to Paul Murray about trashing Craig Whyte), didn’t think Bayern were all that good. Funny that, we beat Anderlecht, they weren’t very good, but lose to Bayern and they’re not very good? Strange. But no entirely surprising.
And as if to go one better, BT pundit Stephen Craigan tweeted about the Bhoys losing 8-0 on aggregate to PSG and Bayern! Yip, aggregate against too different teams! You couldn’t make it up.
Still, we know what we’re up against, and the next time Craigan and his cronies want anything from the club I hope they remember who’s side he’s really on.
You expect some sort of gloating from the Zombies, until you remind then their team went out of Europe before the weans went back to school. But from paid ‘professionals’? I suppose our domestic dominance must make them all the more bitter…
As the Bhoys prepare to take on Bundesliga giants, Bayern Munich, tonight in Bavaria, Celtic’s success in Europe means for the second year running, the windfall generated by the clubs Champions League group stage qualification means a bumper pay day for the top flight clubs in Scottish football.
UEFA will make payments of £370,000 to each club in the Premiership, a total of just over £4m, significantly higher than the league sponsor Ladbrokes put into our game. The last figures I saw from the betting giant was a package of £2m for all the clubs in the SPFL.
When you consider too the money generated last season from our group stage qualification, thought to be around £275,000 per club, it’s easy to see Celtic are propping up Scottish football with our Champions League success.
So when fans of the other clubs try to belittle our achievements, you can always give them a timely reminder that without Celtic in Europe, their respective clubs would be a lot worse off. To say the least.
Add to that the money the fans generate by travelling all over Scotland to watch the Hoops, then it is a fact, Celtic are the only show in town..
Although I’m still waiting on some of the beneficiaries, such as Stewart Milne at Aberdeen, Ann Budge at Hearts or Rod Petrie at Hibs thank us for running a legitimate, prosperous club that lives within it’s means, therefore generating a windfall for their respective clubs.
Seems to me they prefer backing corruption…
With the SMSM frenzy over the appointment of Alex McLeish as the successor to Gordon Strachan for the Scotland international job, should the Celtic tell big Eck where to go if he calls up any of our players?
You see, McLeish has a history that endears him to the corrupt sports media in this country, but is despised by the honest decent fans who contribute to our game.
Let’s just put aside his acrimonious resignation as Scotland manager in 2007 to take over Birmingham City for a moment, and concentrate on his more recent history.
While he was being interviewed by Mark Daly of the BBC, ‘big Eck’ openly admitted that during his time as Rangers manager, where he was in receipt of EBT payments, he acknowledged that without using the cheating tax scheme his now deceased club couldn’t compete with then rivals Celtic.
All without an ounce of remorse or regret. It was matter of fact. We broke the rules, so what.
In a more honest environment than Scottish football, McLeish’s admission would have ensured he would never be considered for any managerial position in Scotland, let alone the national managers job! But this is Scotland…
More recently, the same guy openly admitted to ‘helping’ Celtic’s Champions League opponents Anderlecht, by identifying Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata as ‘the weak link’ before our tie a fortnight ago.
Apart from the fact he was wide of the mark, with Boyata and his team mates putting in genuine five star performances, the notion that he would rather help a Belgian side before the Scottish champions tells it’s own story.
Now should McLeish get his wish, his begging on the radio and TV for the job is cringe worthy, I hope Celtic remember his actions and refuse to allow our players to risk injury playing for Scotland under him.
In effect, they should tell big Eck to get to feck!
On Sunday night, Scottish football’s Hall of Fame became the latest organisation to shun the men who were part of Celtic’s most famous and historic season.
By inducting Bertie Auld, Willie Wallace, Jim Craig and John Clark into the Hall of Fame, they gave an enormous slap in the face to these players colleagues and team mates of the 1966-67 season, namely John Fallon, John Hughes, Charlie Gallagher, Willie O’Neil and Joe McBride.
These five men, now known as ‘the forgotten Lions’, each made a telling contribution to that memorable season, and other seasons when Celtic were conquering all at home an abroad.
The fact they never played in Lisbon on the 25th May 1967 should NEVER take away the part they played that year.
Having spent some time in the company of three of those ex-players, all Celtic through and through, it hurts like hell they don’t receive at least some recognition for their efforts. Without which, Lisbon may never have happened.
You only have to listen to our current manager Brendan Rodgers, when he talks about his team, he ALWAYS refers to it being a COLLECTIVE. He recognises the part everyone plays in our success.
It’s time for everyone to do the same with the men who helped make Celtic the club they are today, it’s time to remember the ‘Forgotten Lions’….
*The banner featured is on the wall of a Belfast Celtic fan
For many years now we’ve suspected those that run our game of being shall we say, ‘less than honest’, only for our suspicions to be confirmed with the tax cheating over at Ibrox and the role played by the various administrators.
We’ve had a former CEO of the SFA Campbell Ogilvie, accepting tax free payments from a member club, Rangers at the time, with impunity, then holding shares in another member club, Hearts. His share transfer to his wife was also against the rules as no family member can hold shares in two clubs.
Which coincides with the news this week of Hamilton Accies being subjected to a fraud scam. This brought the spotlight on the Lanarkshire club’s accounts where it emerged Donald Park has a major shareholding. Yip, the same Donald Park who’s soft loans are keeping Sevco afloat.
He may have transferred his shareholding to his son Graeme, but the family rules then applies. Or is ignored in this case.
These revelations shouldn’t really come as a surprise when you consider the same governing body allowed a convicted criminal to ride roughshod through the rules to take control of the new Ibrox club. Aided and abetted by an equally corrupt media, shysters of all kind have been allowed to ply their trade in Scotland, all with the blessing of the SMSM and SFA.
Seems to me the more honest you are, the less chance you have of succeeding in Scottish Football.
And this week shows there is no limit to anyone’s dishonesty as long as it a) sells papers and b) suits the SFA.
By suggesting the former disgraced England manager Sam Allardyce, as a suitable replacement for Gordon Strachan, tells me there is no place in Scottish football for honesty, as it’s obviously a hindrance. The people in charge prefer crooks..