Fantastic Voyage

TIFO1Need to stop using these old Bowie song titles but Fantastic Voyage just works so well when we take account of our Champions League campaign.
I remember before a ball was kicked in anger feeling that even a place in the Europa League would be great for our young team to get some more experience. Why did I set my sights so low ? Well probably because we could not buy an away win in Europe. However we went on to win our games against HJK Helsinki and Helsingborgs IF scoring 8 goals in the process. We where through to the Champions League Group stages.
We were stuck into a group containing Benfica, Spartak Moscow and the mighty Barcelona. Again I was telling myself that I’d just be happy if we finished 3rd and had some Europa League football in the new year. Things quickly changed.
When I left CP after the first Benfica game I was suddenly disappointed because I felt that they were there for the beating and we had done ourselves out of 3 pts and I honestly thought we would live to regret that however we at least had a point on the board. Next game up we were off to Camp Nou to face Barca and once again I was disappointed when after a fighting back to the walls performance Barca snatched a late winner. I was not expecting anything from Barca away but I ended up feeling optimistic because that would probably be the hardest game of the group and Moscow were dropping points all over the place.
Next up as it turned out was the game and result of the new century for Celtic. On the occasion of our 125th birthday and with a magnificent Tifo organised by the Green Brigade we beat Barcelona 2 – 1 after Tony Watt scored a goal that I will take to my grave. Suddenly it was ‘Game On’.
Next up on the roller coaster were  Benfica in Lisbon, the omens were great but the result was pretty predictable 🙁 however due to other results our destiny was in our own hands. Next up was the home tie against Moscow at home. Pretty simple really. Win the game and we are through to the last 16 of the Champions league. Could we do it ? At home in front of the best fans in the world ? Of course we could and we did. Goals from Gary Hooper and Kris Commons carried us through to the last 16 and sent shock waves through European football. Celtic are back ! Chant’s of ‘Wembley’ were in the air but hey you can dream that’s why we support Celtic.
So it finally came down to a double header against Juventus. The first game was marred by shocking refereeing and dodgy tactics from the Old Lady but I think we seen enough of Juventus to know they were in a different class from us and as Neil Lennon said about £100m in front of us.
Last night the European adventure was finally over but the memories of what this young Celtic team and manager achieved will live in our collective heart for years to come. Once again last night in Turin the Celtic support proved that there is no one better. Our support are the Champions of Europe even if our team aren’t not quite there yet.
So where does this leave Celtic in terms of Quality ? On our day we are a top 20 European side and that is a wonderful achievement for us all. Some of the players will move on in the summer, whether they ever hit those highs in there careers is a matter for debate but they will go with our good wishes and thanks.
All I can say is that I am very proud of Neil and our team’s European Adventure. Here’s to many more.
Thank you Celtic
#HH
 

Comments

  1. James
    Very aptly put.
    We certainly didnt let Scottish football down and we made new friends on the way.
    I agree with Lenny there wasnt 5 goals difference in class between out two teams.
    Our wallets may not be as big as the Old lady’s [or should it be her purse?] but least we can boast we’ve got a bigger stadium.
    So come on…lets fill it for the run in to the league title!
    Hail Hail

      1. JasCam
        It is not the winning but the taking part or so they say. This season it is true of Celtic. Like you said, we achieved way beyond our wildest dreams of last July but in doing so we proved we are not simply punching above our weight any more but are genuine contenders at a the very highest level. I thank God for some relief from the doldrums of the last week. Decisions made in recent days have reduced me to silence more than any other circumstances in my many years of following football in Scotland. Perhaps more to say on this, if I can overcome my disappointments. For now, well done to club and fans and “lets be ‘avin ye” for the rest of the season.
        H H

          1. I am well, JasCam, at least physically. I am just genuinely overwhelmed by the decision of the noble lords last week. I have been left speechless because it is, without doubt, the biggest travesty in my lifetime as a football supporter. I am trying to compile some thoughts on the matter so look out for some words of wisdom or anger, maybe. There is a very interesting article on the judgement at
            http://glasnostandapairofstrikers.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/gilt-edged-justice/
            It is well worth a read.
            PS I hope the link works. If not Paul has a reference on today’s CQN 5am update.
            H H

  2. James
    Very aptly put.
    We certainly didnt let Scottish football down and we made new friends on the way.
    I agree with Lenny there wasnt 5 goals difference in class between out two teams.
    Our wallets may not be as big as the Old lady’s [or should it be her purse?] but least we can boast we’ve got a bigger stadium.
    So come on…lets fill it for the run in to the league title!
    Hail Hail

      1. JasCam
        It is not the winning but the taking part or so they say. This season it is true of Celtic. Like you said, we achieved way beyond our wildest dreams of last July but in doing so we proved we are not simply punching above our weight any more but are genuine contenders at a the very highest level. I thank God for some relief from the doldrums of the last week. Decisions made in recent days have reduced me to silence more than any other circumstances in my many years of following football in Scotland. Perhaps more to say on this, if I can overcome my disappointments. For now, well done to club and fans and “lets be ‘avin ye” for the rest of the season.
        H H

          1. I am well, JasCam, at least physically. I am just genuinely overwhelmed by the decision of the noble lords last week. I have been left speechless because it is, without doubt, the biggest travesty in my lifetime as a football supporter. I am trying to compile some thoughts on the matter so look out for some words of wisdom or anger, maybe. There is a very interesting article on the judgement at
            http://glasnostandapairofstrikers.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/gilt-edged-justice/
            It is well worth a read.
            PS I hope the link works. If not Paul has a reference on today’s CQN 5am update.
            H H

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.