Spanish media label Fraser Forster ‘La Gran Muralla’

As the Daily Telegraph reported Spain’s media has labelled Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster ‘La Gran Muralla’ – THE GREAT WALL – after his resolute performance in Celtic’s incredible Champions League victory over Barcelona.
I like that description of big Fraser. We only see him from the stands but when you are a wee Spaniard trying to get the ball past him he must look like the side of proverbial brick ****house.
What confidence he must give our defence. Unlike Rab Douglas who was nicknamed “The Cat” not for his prowess between the sticks but more because he gave his defence kittens.

Yes there were other standout performances…my goodness many…many however for me La Gran Muralla’s was the best over both legs.
I had taped the Sky coverage and must say the studio pundits were the best collection for quite some time. But it did rankle me hearing Gary Neville asking just how long could we hold on to big Victor? The answer is as long as we want to before cashing in. He will be here for another season that I predict and even if his agent agitates for moving him on the boy is an honest professional who will want to play his best every game.

Another interesting assessment of the evening came from AS’s Alfredo Matilla who wrote of Barca’s style of football being dealt a hammer blow
“It was an enthralling fight between two different schools of football, similar to what has happened in the last few Clássicos. Neither team’s style of football is necessarily more dignified than the other’s: one is direct, the other more elaborate, but both can lead you to victory. There is one difference, however. Celtic’s style of football is primitive, but got them the result they wanted. Barcelona’s football is far more romantic and is the key to their recent success, and they do not want to renounce it.”
Of course to the purists we might have seemed primitive but let’s just consider this. We have dealt with the best team in world – TWICE and have beaten them. NL has proven he is a modern coach who has an eye for detail and an understanding of the micro tactics that are required to combat teams. What came out of the post match interviews was that the team was prepared and had practiced in training for every eventuality. Mark my words this squad is exceptional and is packed with athletes who listen and learn.

Lastly like PensionerBhoy I have witnessed all our great European nights. I was even lucky enough to be at Lisbon with my Dad and I can sincerely tell you this, last night gave me more pride.
Why? BECAUSE BARCELONA IS THE BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND WE BEAT THEM!!!

Comments

  1. I love watching Barcelona. As a result I have now read a fair bit about the Barcelona style which is a joy to watch but I think might have been rumbled to some extent.

    Their retaining of possession for long spells seems to me at times to be an attractive version of giving the ball to the goal keeper (in the days when they didn’t time the keeper) just to keep it away from the other team (admittedly with the benefit of knackering the other side).

    They go through protracted periods where they don’t actually try to play a killer pass they just ping the ball about and wait for an opening or a lapse in concentration. if they are at the top of their game, a Messi or Xavi or any one of about – well frankly – 10 of them will dribble and create a space. However, if they are at all off form and playing against a disciplined and very, very fit opponent they can run out of ideas (or maybe occasionally fail because they use the same idea) – Pass across the front, down to the corner, back across the middle, down to the corner but never play a speculative cross (by which I don’t mean a high ball, I mean low hard into the crowd and see what happens). They also press the opposition so deep that it becomes really difficult to dribble through because if you beat one guy you run right into the next one.

    That doesn’t detract from Celtic’s achievement last night. barca maybe run into 2 or 3 teams with the fitness and discipline to ride it out for 90 minutes plus. I think it was the best performance I have seen by a Celtic side.

    Well done!

    And well done to the Green Brigade – for last night and in general.

    1. Hi Robert…thanks for your supplementary comments.
      I agree with you entirely as regards Barca…thay are truly a magnificent team…the great thing about us and them is that both our clubs have a great respect for eachother…and we do have history…a good and healthy one.
      As for The Green Brigade…it was breath taking…and as always original.

      Hail Hail

  2. I love watching Barcelona. As a result I have now read a fair bit about the Barcelona style which is a joy to watch but I think might have been rumbled to some extent.

    Their retaining of possession for long spells seems to me at times to be an attractive version of giving the ball to the goal keeper (in the days when they didn’t time the keeper) just to keep it away from the other team (admittedly with the benefit of knackering the other side).

    They go through protracted periods where they don’t actually try to play a killer pass they just ping the ball about and wait for an opening or a lapse in concentration. if they are at the top of their game, a Messi or Xavi or any one of about – well frankly – 10 of them will dribble and create a space. However, if they are at all off form and playing against a disciplined and very, very fit opponent they can run out of ideas (or maybe occasionally fail because they use the same idea) – Pass across the front, down to the corner, back across the middle, down to the corner but never play a speculative cross (by which I don’t mean a high ball, I mean low hard into the crowd and see what happens). They also press the opposition so deep that it becomes really difficult to dribble through because if you beat one guy you run right into the next one.

    That doesn’t detract from Celtic’s achievement last night. barca maybe run into 2 or 3 teams with the fitness and discipline to ride it out for 90 minutes plus. I think it was the best performance I have seen by a Celtic side.

    Well done!

    And well done to the Green Brigade – for last night and in general.

    1. Hi Robert…thanks for your supplementary comments.
      I agree with you entirely as regards Barca…thay are truly a magnificent team…the great thing about us and them is that both our clubs have a great respect for eachother…and we do have history…a good and healthy one.
      As for The Green Brigade…it was breath taking…and as always original.

      Hail Hail

    1. The old ones are the best ones James…what a night…tears of joy…even from Rod. HH

    1. The old ones are the best ones James…what a night…tears of joy…even from Rod. HH

  3. Reading my blog again…I wish I had used the headline:
    THE GREAT WALL OF FORSTER…HH

  4. Reading my blog again…I wish I had used the headline:
    THE GREAT WALL OF FORSTER…HH

  5. mailbox:///C|/Users/Arthur/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/2h26v5so.default/Mail/pop.googlemail.com/Inbox?number=886018593&part=1.2&filename=image.jpeg

    I do not know if this link will work as I am useless at buttons and things. I am a zip man at heart. It is a photo of the Angel of the North at Gateshead in Nth East, wearing an exaggeratedly large sized version of Big Frazer’s jersey and gloves. Says it all. I live near it and it will never look the same again. Love it. (If I have failed perhaps someone else has it and also has the competency – my polite word for brain – to post it).
    McAllister, you are one really lucky, lucky boy yet I think I know why Lisbon could be relegated now to second place. We won the cup but did not defeat a team anywhere near the class of Barca. However, all that is associated with the Lisbon triumph makes it so special it is nay impossible for any event in our illustrious history to surpass it – at least not on the turf. It was the first time a BRITISH team had overcome European domination in the tournament. Last night is not the first victory against all the odds. We destroyed one of the most successful and vaunted football system in the world that, by the means of ‘iron curtain’ defence, had taken the World Cup to England and had dominated Europe for a decade. It is actually said that Barca were born from the Stein ideal of positive attacking and , more importantly, entertaining football. “Football without the fans is nothing” and fans want entertained. No matter the achievement last night, we did not destroy a football system merely dented it and highlighted its weaknesses. The victory in 1967 was achieved by 11 young men who were all born within 20 odd miles of their club. That has never been repeated by ANY team in the history of European football. Last night we were much more international than local. So, I still maintain that last night was up there and for those who were not as fortunate as you and I to be around in 1967, it has to be their Lisbon. However, for me at least, last night will always be a runner-up. But, like all of the Celtic family, today I am sailing after a night of wailing. Big Rod sure got to me :>))
    To all of you out there, happy 125 and enjoy the victory – for ever!

    Just watched the Reporting Scotland’s ‘effort’ at coverage. Nice to see some of the scenes again mind.

    H H

    1. As expected, the link did not work. Not even I am surprised. I can just about mange to get to the loo these days. Useless g*t!!

    2. PensionerBhoy…I agree with you 1967 will never be surpassed as our greatest achievement and I concur we did dismantle the ‘catenaccio’ system. Remember back then, Jock Stein was the only Scottish manager who made the journey to work with Helenio Herrera at one of the great man’s coaching clinics…a manager who had won league titles with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona before joining Inter. Big Jock learnt a lot then not least how the Italian approached preparation for big games. I guarantee he never thought he would meet this young manager from Wee Scotland in a European Cup final…but meet him he did and that game changed the style of football for ever…because Stein showed how you can beat the ‘system’ and Inter were not afterall unbeatable.
      We proved that last night against a technically better outfit with a depleted team that we can beat the ‘system’…that is where my pride comes from…in saying that just writing about back then has lifted my spirits even higher. Hail Hail

  6. mailbox:///C|/Users/Arthur/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/2h26v5so.default/Mail/pop.googlemail.com/Inbox?number=886018593&part=1.2&filename=image.jpeg

    I do not know if this link will work as I am useless at buttons and things. I am a zip man at heart. It is a photo of the Angel of the North at Gateshead in Nth East, wearing an exaggeratedly large sized version of Big Frazer’s jersey and gloves. Says it all. I live near it and it will never look the same again. Love it. (If I have failed perhaps someone else has it and also has the competency – my polite word for brain – to post it).
    McAllister, you are one really lucky, lucky boy yet I think I know why Lisbon could be relegated now to second place. We won the cup but did not defeat a team anywhere near the class of Barca. However, all that is associated with the Lisbon triumph makes it so special it is nay impossible for any event in our illustrious history to surpass it – at least not on the turf. It was the first time a BRITISH team had overcome European domination in the tournament. Last night is not the first victory against all the odds. We destroyed one of the most successful and vaunted football system in the world that, by the means of ‘iron curtain’ defence, had taken the World Cup to England and had dominated Europe for a decade. It is actually said that Barca were born from the Stein ideal of positive attacking and , more importantly, entertaining football. “Football without the fans is nothing” and fans want entertained. No matter the achievement last night, we did not destroy a football system merely dented it and highlighted its weaknesses. The victory in 1967 was achieved by 11 young men who were all born within 20 odd miles of their club. That has never been repeated by ANY team in the history of European football. Last night we were much more international than local. So, I still maintain that last night was up there and for those who were not as fortunate as you and I to be around in 1967, it has to be their Lisbon. However, for me at least, last night will always be a runner-up. But, like all of the Celtic family, today I am sailing after a night of wailing. Big Rod sure got to me :>))
    To all of you out there, happy 125 and enjoy the victory – for ever!

    Just watched the Reporting Scotland’s ‘effort’ at coverage. Nice to see some of the scenes again mind.

    H H

    1. As expected, the link did not work. Not even I am surprised. I can just about mange to get to the loo these days. Useless g*t!!

    2. PensionerBhoy…I agree with you 1967 will never be surpassed as our greatest achievement and I concur we did dismantle the ‘catenaccio’ system. Remember back then, Jock Stein was the only Scottish manager who made the journey to work with Helenio Herrera at one of the great man’s coaching clinics…a manager who had won league titles with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona before joining Inter. Big Jock learnt a lot then not least how the Italian approached preparation for big games. I guarantee he never thought he would meet this young manager from Wee Scotland in a European Cup final…but meet him he did and that game changed the style of football for ever…because Stein showed how you can beat the ‘system’ and Inter were not afterall unbeatable.
      We proved that last night against a technically better outfit with a depleted team that we can beat the ‘system’…that is where my pride comes from…in saying that just writing about back then has lifted my spirits even higher. Hail Hail

  7. I forgot to mention the one thing that does surpass anything seen or heard in Lisbon. The Green Brigade display and their singing. ‘Phenomenal’ sound is such a poor description. If anyone has a real word, please replace it. This group have to be the epitome of football supporting. They reign supreme even though they may not consider the term I have used the most appropriate description of their activities. But you get the drift. When annoyed at us kids, my mother used to say that we would hear her shouting when she was in St. Pat’s. That was the local grave yard. Well ma, you will have to shout awfy loud ’cause the Green Brigade will be ringing in my ears for all eternity after last night. Sincere congratulations to a very unique bunch. Well done.

    H H

  8. I forgot to mention the one thing that does surpass anything seen or heard in Lisbon. The Green Brigade display and their singing. ‘Phenomenal’ sound is such a poor description. If anyone has a real word, please replace it. This group have to be the epitome of football supporting. They reign supreme even though they may not consider the term I have used the most appropriate description of their activities. But you get the drift. When annoyed at us kids, my mother used to say that we would hear her shouting when she was in St. Pat’s. That was the local grave yard. Well ma, you will have to shout awfy loud ’cause the Green Brigade will be ringing in my ears for all eternity after last night. Sincere congratulations to a very unique bunch. Well done.

    H H

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