Tonight Is Not Mission: Impossible For This Celtic Side. But It’s Mission: Very Bloody Difficult.

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I would never say that a Celtic team has no chance of winning a game. We’ve always got a chance and under Brendan Rodgers especially.

But this tonight is going to be hard, very hard, the sort of match we want to see our team play even if our chances are not great. The club has played well in Europe up until now, but tonight we require something big.

Something too big maybe.

But I’ll enjoy it just the same. This is the level of challenge that we would want from the Champions League. As much as we might cry out for easier draws, you do want to face the big boys and test yourself against that level.

I decry the tactics of those SPFL teams who put eleven men behind the ball against us. I say to those teams that we would never do that, knowing full well that we won’t tonight, that we will have a go.

This morning I did a piece on Ange and his team last night and the madness of continuing to go all-in when you have nine men on the pitch. But it’s a madness that we embraced whilst he was here, a madness which has caught fire amongst the Spurs fans.

We went down to nine against Feyenoord.

At no point did we try that, but nor did we shrink into our shell and try to limit the damage. That’s not who we are. Rodgers is more a pragmatist than an ideologue and that’s all to the good on a night like this. It’s the best way of trying to get a result.

All-out hell for leather football against a side like this, on their home turf, is the way to get done and that’s really all that you would get.

So, I expect us to have a go, but I also expect us to keep it tight and defend well. I expect us to play a good style without over-extending.

Our steady, slow build up which has been driving some fans mad in the SPFL is perfect for a night like this, because this is not a team who will put eleven behind the ball and thus as look as we can keep cool, we’ll create things.

I’m feeling in a good mood prior to this. Because we’ve played really well in the games up until now.

No daft mistakes, Celtic, not early concession, no giving away penalties, no red cards for silly things. A good team selection, discipline … we can do something.

As I said after the home game, we’re probably out of Europe entirely because the other results just haven’t gone our way at all.

We would need to win tonight. Win. In Madrid. Where would that result rank in the recent history? Better, I think, than Barcelona at home. It would take something that incredible, that extraordinary.

Can we do it? Hell yes, on a perfect night if everything – everything – goes according to plan. Do we have the players to hurt them?

Hell, yes. Kyogo, O’Riley, Palma, Maeda. And this is football and one of the reasons we love football is its unpredictability.

Get the right start, frustrate them, turn the home crowd against them … and anything can happen, and in football sometimes it does. So bring it on.

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  • Benjamin says:

    During Rodgers’ last tenure, we got 2 points off Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City (first team to take points off them that year too, domestically or in Champions League!). And let’s be real here: our opponent is Athletic Madrid, not Real Madrid. Getting a result will be difficult but far from impossible. Keep 11 players on the pitch for the full game, eliminate any daft mistakes at the back, and attacking players taking their chances when they come, and we’ll get a result of some kind.

  • Leon says:

    Atletico have won 15 competitive home games in a row, including a joint club record of 14 in a row La Liga home games.

    It’s a hard game but the Spaniard’s rode their luck at home to Feyenoord.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Ridiculous sendin aff and losin another just before ht. Always the same, it’s almost psychological now. Put yer house on it. Damage limitation now.

  • Don Stewart says:

    Joe Hart catches the ball instead of a ridiculous attempt at a punch and first goal doesn’t happen, but we are probably doing as well as we can without better backing from the board. Bit of deja vu for Rodgers

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    This is what Celtic F.C. our club, have become. Grab the money for winnin the domestic league, don’t strengthen properly and get utterly humiliated year after year in Europe. Every year ! It’s the norm now. Never prepared enough for makin even a decent challenge. And while the fat greedy bastards in charge, give theirselves huge pay rises, we’re a fuckin European joke. Absolute fuckin disgrace tae the name of our club and history.

  • king murdy says:

    i turned off after 2nd goal….had another wee peep just in time to see them celebrating their third….don’t know how it ended up….what i do know is celtic didn’t pull a miracle out and score 4….if it was against a Scottish diddy team…we might have…we’re great at beatin the diddy teams..but when we come up against a real football team we get shown up for what we are…..a big, big fish in a stupid wee Scottish puddle….we are ALWAYS shown up at this level…so fukn embarrassing….
    while this board is in place…we will ALWAYS be an embarrassment in europe….ALWAYS.
    no doubt, we will get apologists on here blaming the ref etc etc….deluded fools.
    we just don’t belong here, and haven’t for years….much as it pains me to say.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ king murdy. And your right. We’ve a bunch of greedy pocket linin bastards in charge that’s how mate. Absolutely nae European ambition whatsoever.

    • William McGrandles says:

      I was on the same page as you before a ball was kicked James full of hope and thinking maybe just maybe this could be our night so much optimism I even put a fiver on the Bhoys at 9/1 lol said to my brother in law lifelong supporter and season ticket holder Oh Ye of little faith ? It was more of me with to much faith Onwards and upwards Hail Hail

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    What a thumping again tonight the gap and I mean the GOP is massive we are just are not good enough against these top teams spl level and not even good enough for the Europa this buying projects will not work in this cl standard. And Rodgers knows this we will get the same old bullshit will be better next time had the feeling this was going to be a very tough night sad to see my team well out of our league against Madrid tonight plus not good for the players confidence what a shambles.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Now we know why teams pack the defence week in, week out Peter…

      Money and seeded tournaments has truly fcuked the game I fell in love with 43 years ago –

      Better fun watching Clachnacuddin FC these days…

      That said – The Highland League is starting to go down the slippery road like the rest of them –

      Like the two team SPFL premier league…

      Thank fcuk for the unseeded Scottish Cup –

      Hot n’ Cold balls apart (maybe) – It’s an open draw and therefore sanity !

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