Bitter Sweet No Sympathy

We I’m sure most of us are of a mind that the best team won last night. I called the game 2 – 2 because I knew they would be a better team than we faced at Celtic Park but I honestly expected us to score a couple especially with Hooper and Sammy up front.

In reality we never got out of the starting blocks. We did have a decent spell after Sammy equalised and seen the game out to half time at 1 -1. I expected us to regroup at half time and have a better second half but the loss of Mulgrew and then Brown was a bit of a blow.

During the second half we once again struggled to get a grip of the game. Benfica inbetween diving about seemed to be that bit sharper and dictated play from the midfield which lead to us sitting in a wee bit too deep.

After they scored the second which simply goes down to poor defending we did seem to make an attempt to rally with the addition of Commons and then Watt we had a few chances ourselves but over the piece the better team won. They had done their homework and isolated Hooper through out the game.

I always said when I seen the group we were in that I’d be delighted if we could at least make sure we were still playing in Europe in some form after the new year and last night Moscow’s defeat secured that for us. The problem is the team have performed brilliantly in this tough group and it has raised our expectations of playing in the Champions League in the new year.

It can’t be emphasised enough that this is a young growing up together. They were beaten by a better side last night but I’m sure it’s all part of a learning curve.

We can still achieve that goal so I’m not going to give the bhoys a hammering for one poor performance in fact I’ll say well done to Neil Lennon and the players for making sure we are still contenders in the Champions league and congratulate them for insuring European football after Christmas for the first time in many a year.

Hail,Hail

Comments

  1. JasCam

    I hear and read what you say all everywhere I have been today. It is a question of a reality check and an acceptance that, even at this stage, we have somewhat over-achieved in Europe if you compare what we have done to expectations and especially original forecasts from certain quarters. Unfortunately, the term “over-achieved” often assimilates negativity. This is a total misuse of the word as it actually implies that outcomes are greater than expectations. Thus should we apply the term to the Celtic results in the Champions League so far. That being the case, there is tremendous cause for rejoicing rather than despair. At the start of the football season, with such a youngish and relatively inexperienced squad, with the early start to the European campaign before we had even found our “sea legs” as it were, with the upheaval and the turmoil caused by the shambles in Scottish football in July, August and September and with the unknown quantities in terms of footballing ability that we faced, we had expected to at least reach the group stages. Having achieved this objective, we hoped rather than expected, simply because of the standards of the opposition we faced, to qualify, not for the final stages of the Champions League, but for the Europa League. The latter is now a reality and not a hope or an expectation, while the former remains both of these things. So, what is there to be despondent about? Absolutely nothing. The management and team can go forward with their heads held very high and we should walk the walk with grins that would shame the most gleeful of Cheshire cats.

    It has to be said, that, in spite of all the trials and tribulations, the learning curves and the developments, the pain and the laughter, this season is fast becoming a memorable one. Moments of great disappointment can often be the source of the best memories. Those that have plunged into the abyss of a big wedding, will tell you that the minor disasters on the day are often the most memorable when recalled later. So, as we bump our heads landing back to earth from the Barcelona achievement, so let our hopes be lifted once more, not only by future prospects which are bright and numerous, but by the potentially wonderful memories of the heights we have reached so far this season. Celtic, club, management, players and supporters combined, is on a remarkable journey at the moment, given how things were not that long ago. It is not the same journey along the road to Lisbon taken in 1967. But, it is as untravelled; it is as unknown; it is as exhilarating; it is as exciting; it is as hopeful and it is as expectant as anything experienced by the club in the days leading to the glorious victory of the 5th May. I was around at that time. I know that no one, yes no one, thought that the club would arrive at the destination it did. It was a “youngish team”; it was in the early stages of development; it was relatively inexperienced in Europe and had no expectancy. It did have an ambitious and confident manager; it did have a skilled set of players; it did have a unique set of fans and it played the game “The Glasgow Celtic Way”. What has changed? What is so different? Not a great deal really, as I see it. So, throw away the doomsday books; gird your loins; lift your voices in support and song and follow the bhoys to victory. The mountain is still being climbed; the molehill has twisted our ankle; we are on our feet again ready for the next hurdle on the 5th December, one that does not seem as great as it did last September. Onward, upward and forever forward to whatever summit awaits us. There are more than a few now in sight.

    No matter what the final destination turns out to be, right now, we the fans have to retain the faith, always hope and, if all else fails accept the outcome. There is one absolute and irrefutable certainly in the midst of all of the drawbacks, they will never undermine our support nor weaken the standing of our club. WE ARE UNIQUE! WE ARE THE GREATEST! Remember all of these things and they will provide you with incomparable memories.

    H H

  2. JasCam

    I hear and read what you say all everywhere I have been today. It is a question of a reality check and an acceptance that, even at this stage, we have somewhat over-achieved in Europe if you compare what we have done to expectations and especially original forecasts from certain quarters. Unfortunately, the term “over-achieved” often assimilates negativity. This is a total misuse of the word as it actually implies that outcomes are greater than expectations. Thus should we apply the term to the Celtic results in the Champions League so far. That being the case, there is tremendous cause for rejoicing rather than despair. At the start of the football season, with such a youngish and relatively inexperienced squad, with the early start to the European campaign before we had even found our “sea legs” as it were, with the upheaval and the turmoil caused by the shambles in Scottish football in July, August and September and with the unknown quantities in terms of footballing ability that we faced, we had expected to at least reach the group stages. Having achieved this objective, we hoped rather than expected, simply because of the standards of the opposition we faced, to qualify, not for the final stages of the Champions League, but for the Europa League. The latter is now a reality and not a hope or an expectation, while the former remains both of these things. So, what is there to be despondent about? Absolutely nothing. The management and team can go forward with their heads held very high and we should walk the walk with grins that would shame the most gleeful of Cheshire cats.

    It has to be said, that, in spite of all the trials and tribulations, the learning curves and the developments, the pain and the laughter, this season is fast becoming a memorable one. Moments of great disappointment can often be the source of the best memories. Those that have plunged into the abyss of a big wedding, will tell you that the minor disasters on the day are often the most memorable when recalled later. So, as we bump our heads landing back to earth from the Barcelona achievement, so let our hopes be lifted once more, not only by future prospects which are bright and numerous, but by the potentially wonderful memories of the heights we have reached so far this season. Celtic, club, management, players and supporters combined, is on a remarkable journey at the moment, given how things were not that long ago. It is not the same journey along the road to Lisbon taken in 1967. But, it is as untravelled; it is as unknown; it is as exhilarating; it is as exciting; it is as hopeful and it is as expectant as anything experienced by the club in the days leading to the glorious victory of the 5th May. I was around at that time. I know that no one, yes no one, thought that the club would arrive at the destination it did. It was a “youngish team”; it was in the early stages of development; it was relatively inexperienced in Europe and had no expectancy. It did have an ambitious and confident manager; it did have a skilled set of players; it did have a unique set of fans and it played the game “The Glasgow Celtic Way”. What has changed? What is so different? Not a great deal really, as I see it. So, throw away the doomsday books; gird your loins; lift your voices in support and song and follow the bhoys to victory. The mountain is still being climbed; the molehill has twisted our ankle; we are on our feet again ready for the next hurdle on the 5th December, one that does not seem as great as it did last September. Onward, upward and forever forward to whatever summit awaits us. There are more than a few now in sight.

    No matter what the final destination turns out to be, right now, we the fans have to retain the faith, always hope and, if all else fails accept the outcome. There is one absolute and irrefutable certainly in the midst of all of the drawbacks, they will never undermine our support nor weaken the standing of our club. WE ARE UNIQUE! WE ARE THE GREATEST! Remember all of these things and they will provide you with incomparable memories.

    H H

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