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Celtic: From Russia with love

Celtic: From Russia with love
In what is a genuinely fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read, Vital Celtic member and Russian Celtic fan, Olly090, shares his thoughts with us on Celtic, the Celtic fans, how both are viewed from Russia, Scottish ref's(ha!), the SPL, Russian football, Russia getting WC2018, Aiden McGeady and much, much more... Enjoy!

In the past I've heard a lot about Glasgow Celtic, about loyal and numerous fans around the world. I knew the Celtic players, who were famous throughout Europe. This included Artur Boruc, Henrik Larsson, Neil Lennon - especially as the Russian teams played regularly against Celtic. In my opinion, Celtic is the attacking team, unlike many other Scottish teams. In Russia for a long time it is believed the British (Scots, Irish and English are the same for most Russian's) is a football 'Kick & Run' principle, long passes on horseback, crosses, tough fight and a little combination game. By the way, just the same as most fans, I dont like the pragmatic football which is confined only to the result, but Celtic do not fall under this definition. Another very important point for me is the style of Celtic's game (on the enthusiasm, commitment and sometimes even just attack and no defense) really reminds me of my local team FC Ural Yekaterinburg. Such a style means the fans are always excited and their emotions are everywhere!

I want to remark SPL is never quoted in Russia. Newspapers write very little about Scottish football. They are motivated by the fact that it is a struggle for the championship only two teams - Celtic and the other one I don't like! Indeed, this is the case at present. But! Level 3 - 4 SPL teams (not counting Celtic and them!) are also good - especially if they all play against you with renewed dedication for the defence of 10 players.

I have to say about the Celtic fans. When I first visited the Vital Celtic forum and made my first post, I saw and felt a very good and warm attitude towards myself from the real Celtic fans. They supported me and we became great friends about Celtic as well as about Russian football. We watched together Celtic games online and shared emotions and views on various episodes of the game. Frankly, I was delighted with it and I hope now I am a full member of the Vital Celtic. I also deal with many Celtic fans on facebook. They tell me many interesting things. I try to talk with people of different ages because all have their own opinion on different issues. I have about 1400 friends and almost all of them are Celtic fans!

Celtic are a great team with a rich and successful history. But the great team is in recession, too. I joined at this time, but I don't regret it. I really want to see our team sign good players such as Robbie Keane. I know money rules our world and good players cost a lot. But we cant expect to win the championship and participate in the Champions League without a high-level player like Robbie Keane. I think if money would be enough Aiden would have been in the team. So many young and prospective players in the team. This will give excellent results in the near future. Of course,

Sometimes there is no stability but the desire to win and high dedication make ours a great deal.

I don't want to criticize the coaching staff. All criticize them. But these are temporary difficulties I'm sure - All must to do their job and the result will necessarily follow.

In my opinion the line of attack is the strongest line of Celtic. Anthony Stokes, Garry Hooper are very good players, but the line of defence is very unstable. I agree that we need to sign a 2-3 high level backs. I am sure we will get them in January. Unfortunately, we didn't find an adequate replacement of McGeady. I think Aiden was the leader of the team. Now I watch Aiden in Russia. He well understood the concept of Spartak, which is the short and medium pass. According to Russian football experts McGeady completely reconstructed himself at the combination football and it is very pleasing for us. In short, Aiden is actually a very high level player.

About refs. I was always sure a lot of foreign refs are more qualified and impartial than the refs from Russia. But I watched a lot of Celtic games and I saw it was a misconception. Corruption is everywhere: in life, politics and football. And for many people football is life, and for some countries football is politic. Several years ago, Russian football Federation used the foreign refs. I think SPL should also use the refs from other countries (I think refs from England). Perhaps it would be better at some stage.

My local football team is called FC Ural. The team is located in Ekaterinburg and they play in the Russian Division One. This tournament is lower in rank than the Russian Premier League, but its interesting too. Here is 20 teams and the level of intelligent and combination football is virtually absent, but the struggle, energy and emotion is very much present. In this season FC Ural took 7th place. This is a very weak result for the team, which declares every year that they seek to move to the Premier League. But now the situation has changed. World Cup 2018 will be held in Russia and Ekaterinburg declared as one of those cities that may be holding group matches. As our region's Governor is a puppet of Moscow, then it's all things made very real. Now the government is conducting reconstruction of our central stadium. Number of seats after the reconstruction will be about 50,000. Of course, it will be a modern design and all the conditions that meet the requirements of FIFA. And most importantly it will be a large inflow of finance into the treasury of the city and region. Proceeding from all this, the FC Ural has a very high chance to move into the Russian Premier League. Maybe it will be honest (Sports principle), but maybe it will be for the money (such things often happen in the Russian division one).

I think maybe FC Ural are soon to be known in Europe. I hope this. If we talk about the Russian Premier League, I like a few teams. Basically, these are the teams that play in European tournaments. It's CSKA Moscow, Zenit and Rubin. This season (2010), Zenit - gold, CSKA - Silver, Rubin - bronze. Spartak with Aiden was the fourth. But I don't like Spartak, and so I didn't want Aiden moved to Spartak. I watch Spartak only because there is Aiden. This season I have watched with pleasure FC Nalchik. This is a very interesting team. Look at this. Nalchik club budget is only $ 12 millions. (For comparison: Zenit - 120, CSKA - 100 Rubin - 95). Nalchik was sixth in this season. (They were third after the first half of the tournament). Half the team were rented from other clubs. Nalchik had a very good manager. His name is Yuri Krasnozhan. He worked at the team for about 6 years but he moved to Lokomotiv Moscow in the autumn. Very sorry. I think Nalchik will now be an outsider without him.


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Date:Friday December 17 2010
Time: 12:03AM

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Thanks for that Olly. It makes for fantastic reading!
17/12/2010 00:10:00
really enjoyed reading that, hail hail olly
17/12/2010 00:17:00
Excellent piece Olly. Really enjoyed!
17/12/2010 13:14:00
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