Bye Bye Gary
Reasons to be cheerful about Celtic's Champions League draw.
The word on the tweet is that crisp eating, former England striker turned BBC fitba' pundit Gary Lineker is giving Celtic little chance in this season's Champions League group stage.Despite the fact Lineker supposedly gave up tweeting last year as "it was taking over my life" the ex-Leicester City, Everton, Barca and Spurs goal machine was all over the social media network with his now infamous "Bye Bye Celtic" one-liner soon after the Bhoys group draw was completed the other night. AC Milan, Barcelona and Ajax coming out of the kinder egg to face the conquerers of Shakatak Para handy or whatever they are called.Three little words were probably as much as Gary could manage on Celtic. He asked the green and white online tirade that followed then came back at his comment to "maintain a sense of humour" but maybe Gary should have maintained a sense of history before writing off the Scottish Champions and first British team to win Europe's major club trophy.Indeed, Celtic should fear no team from Milan after providing the European Cup final with its first major shock result in 1967. An Inter Milan team full of stars was put to the sword in Lisbon by a now legendary Celtic team, all born within 30 miles of Parkhead, and they even gave Inter a goal of a start with a penalty after seven minutes before goals from Gemmell and Chalmers gave Celtic a 2-1 win. Three years later Celtic were back in the final,ironically in Milan, but were caught cold by the emerging Dutch and in particular Feyenoord of Rotterdam who beat them 2-1. English Champions Leeds United were the favourites ahead of their semi final ties with Celtic in 1970 but Jock Stein's side won home and away for a 3-1 aggregate. Sadly, tales of George Connelly's first minute silencer at Elland Road and 120,000 at Hampden to see Bobby Murdoch and John Hughes cancel out a first half Billy Bremner strike were not ones that reached the ears of the young Gary Winston Lineker.However, surely Gaz remembers that even Dundee United were good enough to put Barcelona to the sword, albeit in the 1980's, 1-0 at home then 2-1 away in the UEFA Cup. And who led the Barca strike force in these matches against the Scottish no-hopers, Mark Hughes of Wales and .. oh yes, Gary Lineker of England !As for Ajax of Amsterdam. Well, Celtic beat them 1-0 in Glasgow after losing 3-0 in Holland in the 1971 European Cup Quarter Final Second Leg. The only defeat for Ajax in that competition which they won by beating Panathiniakos of Greece 2-0 in the final at Wembley.1982 saw Charlie Nicholas amongst the scorers as Celtic won 2-1 in a European tie in Holland and the Dutch masters were again put to the sword in 2008 this time by 3 goals to 1 as Celtic qualified for that Champions League group stage that is so beyond their potential according to MOTD's regular presenter.Sure, nobody would expect Celtic to run away with their group this time round but a Europa League place after six marquee matches against some of European football's biggest names? Why not.. there may even be a Battle of Britain to come with Spurs set to stroll their EL group all being well post Gareth Bale.Will Gary be invited to Parkhead to watch his former London team if "Tottingham" meet Celtic on the way down in Europe this season? I think we Scots who are irked by ill-informed English pundits should demand Gary face the music in the Parkhead cauldron.And free Walkers crisps for everyone on the night !
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