Last night as we all know Celtic booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, with a 2-1 win over Spartak Moscow. That result ensured Neil Lennon and his young charges a place in Celtic history, since taking over the hot-seat at Celtic Park, Neil has performed major surgery on what was a poor squad littered with also rans and journeymen and transformed them into a young, vibrant, well organised and talented team filled with players of great potential who could make the club tens of millions of pounds, either in transfer fees or in helping ensure we continue to qualify for Europe’s premier competition for Europe’s premier clubs of which we are currently one of the top 16! This season in Europe we have not only progressed as Lenny or the fans would have hoped we have witnessed to history making moments, we finally got that away win we craved so badly and we humbled the mighty Barcelona at Celtic park with scenes that would have won us many new fans around the world, these are moments ill cherish as much as any others in my ‘Celtic lifetime’ and for that I’d like to say thank you Neil Lennon.
Its really quite hard to believe the transformation our club has undergone never mind the team. Since Tony Mowbray left Celtic have gone from being a club who tried to sign rag tag players from the SPL and patch it up with loanees and the odd ‘fan’ type player like either Keane to try and sell some jerseys to a club who not only try’s to sign and produce the best young players not just from Scotland with the likes of Mulgrew, Commons, Forrest and Watt but from all over the globe, from Hexham, to Cardiff, via Scunthorpe and Sweden, from Tel-Aviv to Belgium we have been searching high and low and we have got some of the best young talent around, that talent last night delivered for an equally talented young manager and his staff and ensured the name Celtic will once again be heard around Europe and indeed the world and for that I thank every last one of them. The side the gaffer has built is on a gradual progression and the curve seems to that of an upward one, don’t forget on match-day one against Benfica TEN of our starting line up were making their Champions League debuts!
We have such a young squad that they WILL make mistakes and there WILL be the odd stumble along the rocky road to football glory, and that is when they will need US to be supporters and support them and not be too quick to write them off as failures or criticise too much, the press in Scotland will do that for us!
No matter what else happens this season we can all be really proud of how our club and team have responded to Armageddon by providing us and Scottish football with some fantastic moments and memories that will become part of Celtic folklore in years to come. So again for that I’d like thank Neil and the bhoys for bringing back not only the thunder to our club but also the pride back to us, and scottish football.