A goal down but the Celtic story was going to be told


A goal down in the second half, having not made a chance worthy of the name.  But the Celtic story was going to be told.  Hearts pushed, kicked and wasted every possible second of the opening 82 minutes of the Scottish Cup Final.  Their game plan worked, for 10 minutes the outcome looked in doubt, until Odsonne Edouard out-witted Heats ‘keeper, Zlamal.  Instead of shooting the Celtic striker knocked the ball forward.  By this point Zlamal’s momentum was unstoppable, he cleared the Celtic striker off his feet.  The penalty was inevitable and a consequence of the maturity of a 21-year-old.

Odsonne’s craft for the winning goal was better still.  He was off like  lightening after Mikael Lustig’s header put the ball beyond the Hearts back line.  Watch Odsonn’e body shape, he opened his foot and drew his right shoulder back, as though to place the ball to Zlamal’s bottom left corner.  The keeper followed the body language but Odsonne turned his foot at the last minute and chipped the ball into the opposite side of the net.  It was delicious.

I did not think anything in domestic football could match the Invincible Treble, secured in such drama against Aberdeen in 2017, but as this journey of success has continued, the drama, the importance of each subsequent trophy, mounts.

Yesterday we retained the Scottish Cup for the ninth time in our history; the first time we won three-in-a-row and the first time in world football a Treble Treble has been completed.  Whatever it is that we are living through right now, let it’s reign be long and glorious!

Condolences of the family and friends of Harry Hood, who we lost earlier.  Harry was part of the successful Celtic team on the early 70s and was the last Celtic player to score a hat-trick against Oldco Rangers.  On leaving football became a successful business man, running some of the best restaurants, hotels and pubs in Lanarkshire.

With the Treble Treble only minutes in the history books, Celtic wasted no time in confirming Neil Lennon would become permanent manager.  We will pick this up later.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    Wee edit Paul:



    “He was off like lightening BEFORE Mikael Lustig’s header put the ball beyond the Hearts back line.”

  2. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Former Celtic favourite Patrick Roberts was in the crowd as his former team secured the treble Treble at Hampden and refused to rule out a Parkhead return.



  3. The Battered Bunnet on




    I gather you were in the same area of Hamdump as I was yesterday. What was the script with the rabbling?

  4. Fool Time Whistle on

    Someone asked if NFL is as good as BR.



    The stats suggest that they are at least neck and neck.



    Neil Lennon became manager first time round in an interim capacity after Tony Mowbray was sacked, eerily similar to the circumstances of him joining this season. That season, 2009/10, Celtic finished 2nd but won the next 3 titles under Neil – the first three of the current run of 8 in a row league titles.



    Neil didn’t win a treble in his first stint but as well as 3 league titles he won 2 Scottish Cups in just under 4 years, having had to sort out the mess left by Tony Mowbray.



    In terms of player signings, Neil sold McGeady, McManus & Boruc.


    He bought Forster, Hooper, Ledley, Izzaguire, Kayal, Mulgrew, Majstorovic.



    Neil played for Celtic while Brendan didn’t – not that significant really, except that Neil’s life was made a misery by dark forces because he was a Northern Ireland catholic playing for Celtic. Brendan had none of that “baggage” to contend with. We know that all of the personal death threats, bombs, assaults & threats to his family took it’s toll on Neil. His own admission of struggles with depression are inevitably linked to the PTSD that he developed over this period of time.



    Brendan was lucky in that he arrived as an unemployed and sacked football manager from a “better” higher profile & richer league. None of that mattered as he was largely welcomed becuse of the kudos in recruiting a well known name from that league. Essentially, Brendan had won no honours prior to joining Celtic. I discount play off wins from that list. Nevertheless, some fans including my own son were not so keen that he become the Celtic manager. He tells me now that it was because he feared that he would leave us precisely as he did & that Celtic were just a convenience to raise his personal profile.



    Neil was not sacked by Bolton or by Hibs – despite spurious claims on here that he was.



    He was mutually consent at Bolton who were then & are still in deep financial trouble.


    His release from Hibs was the equivalent of a mutually agreed departure but with add-ons. Leanne Dempster & Neil didn’t get on & it appears that she exploited what she thought was an opprtunity to get rid of Neil. She was wrong in her judgement but got the backing of her board which meant that Hibs released their manager – stating that he neither resigned nor was sacked. His tenure at Hibs was a success – just ask any Hibs fan.



    My own reservations about Neil taking over concern his perceived reputation as an old school manager as cpmpared to BR’s more cerebral style. I want Celtic to build on the benefits of BR’s tenure. More significantly, the form of the team since he took over in February has been less than convincing and, using this as an indicator of future performance, I was not convinced that he had the backing of players & the board. Now if the board appoint him & the players appear to be very happy that he’s the manager – I am happy tp support him.



    He needs his own men around him though – on and off the field – and he deserves no less.


    He also deserves the support of Celtic fans, although I accept that he has more to do to win over some doubters than I would wishh for him.



    This is the second time Neil has stepped in to clear up a mess at Celtic made by someone else.


    I won’t count the performances of the last 3 months against him but blame the chaos around him.


    Others will disagree, but he has proved beyond any other candidate that he loves the club, that he can bring success & that he has matured as a person.



    I would only ask that we get behind him because it’s a difficult enough job managing Celtic in Scotland without your own fans truning on you.




  5. FWIW


    Had we not had a manager of the calibre of BR, I feel the majority would be happy with the appointment of NFL. `Celtic` was the pull for BR, I don`t think that pull exists for other, high quality Managers so it is unlikely we could have attracted them. Neil will do fine for me..


    Off to watch St M V United.



    Cheerio for now.




  6. 35mins in and Charlton, Sunderland, St Mirren & Dundee Utd all have scored no a bad wee 1/1 & 1/1 double



    Ah well things could be worse :-)

  7. Fool Time Whistle



    I don’t think there’s a question mark on that battle. Brendan (Liverpool, Chelsea) represents a higher level of manager than Neil (Bolton, Hibs). Maybe that was our high watermark and the moons aligned with Rodgers needing redemption and us needing his drawing power.



    Trying not to personalise for a moment (as I really admire Neil) I think our profile required us to hire someone capable of squeezing every value out of the club’s finite resources – science, nutrition, preparation, player development, tactics, recruitment, etc and if that was the profile then Neil falls short on so many. Go to market and hire the best we can get to take us forward.



    Our board looked like they couldn;t be arsed with alternatives, got pished at full time and rolled up in front of a naked Neil Lennon to tell him he got the job. Promote it out when we are all high on adenaline and cheap booze and bury it immediately. Get over it eevryone and support him or you’re a hun. We’re not robots and personally in my circle of Celtic buddies to a man we are all gutted.



    Of course we’ll be Celtic supporters still next term – Neil isn’t a litmus test for my allegiance but from a good place I wanted the best for us going forward. It’s over but I see a bad selection and no amount of ‘let’s back Neil’ mantras will deviare from the poorest of decisions. I’m a bit more fact based than that.



    This won’t end well sadly and Neil himself doesn’t deserve that.

  8. HRVATSKI JIM on 26TH MAY 2019 3:08 PM


    Let us give Neil his chance to bring the thunder back




    HJ it’s up to Desmond and lawell to give him the chance to bring the thunder back . Will that happen , going by the last few transfer windows ,I’m not so sure

  9. Go tell the Spartim on

    There are few positives for me in the appointment of NFL



    Firstly I’m happy for him ?


    Secondly I’m happy for those that are happy with his appointment ??



    Based on his short second term tenure I have nothing but hope that it works out, for those who say he’s inherited a tired squad that’s true but the number of games next year isn’t going to be any less. Like most managers for every good signing there’s a bad one, for every Barcelona result there’s Ross County.



    I wish Neil every success, despite my grace reservations.



    As for the PLC there are no words that would adequately cover my view of them and the chief Snakeoil salesman



    Let’s see what the summer brings ????

  10. Big Wavy



    Enjoyed our correspondence last evening can I ask you one question why do people forget about Reading & Watford with Brendan ?



    Chelsea ? He wasn’t even their manager .. I would say Swansea in the championship was probably his best stint (obviously apart from us :-)

  11. Woke up and I’m still steamin’.


    What a day – what a result. Even ate my hat last night as I felt it the right thing to do as we didn’t, as I predicted, completely destroy Heartz.


    Calling the Bingo today – all the threes – the ole treble treble.



  12. A very happy treble treble to everyone.


    Yesterday was such a wonderful achievement and proudest days of watching Celtic at Hampden we always do it when it looks out of reach and with more to come I hope in our rich illustrious history.


    Hail Hail

  13. IniquitousIV on

    I was sad to read of the passing of Harry Hood. I had the great privilege of playing 5 -a – side with him in Townhead around 1966/67, and what a wonderful player he was. He used to join us in the back room of the Ingram Bar in Queen Street, but confine himself to a couple of shandies. If any of the gang read this, please get in touch with me at CQN. (Aidan O’Donnell, Eddie Cullen, Pat Milrine, Mick Deery, Danny Deery, Richard Rae, Bobby McWilliams, Tom Clayton). Harry was quiet, modest, pleasant, and had a great sense of humor.



    I then lost touch with Harry, but met him again around 1969/70 when he came to my office in the Lanarkshire Planning Department for approvals regarding his first pub in Uddingston.



    We then lost touch again, and I met him again under strange circumstances around 1980/81. I was the manager of Cambria FC Amateur Football Club and I was taking a training session midweek under the floodlights at Strathclyde Park. I noticed about a dozen guys, who looked quite useful, training on the grass adjacent to our red ash field, taking advantage of the light spillover from our floodlights. Their trainer/manager, dressed in a dark tracksuit with a woolen hat, approached me, and asked if they could use half of our field (we were only using half at the time, although we always finished with an 11 a side game). Amazingly, we recognized each other. It was Harry, then manager of Queen of the South, who was training his Glasgow area based players, and presumably his Club was unwilling to pay the Strathclyde Park rental fee! Well, of course I agreed, and we had a high old time discussing the past, and mutual friends.


    Harry Hood, one of the nicest persons you could hope to meet, and a superbly gifted football player. R.I.P.

  14. eddieinkirkmichael on

    So by all accounts Lenny was assured that the job was his if he delivered the league. Did PL & DD offer the job on a temp basis with the inducement of the full time position to seal the deal? Or did Lenny refuse to come back unless he was given the job full time if he won the league?


    We’ll probably never know for sure but what if Lenny did insist on that clause? It sure as hell puts his coming to our aid in a totally different perspective. Would he have took the job without this clause is certainly worth a debate.



    I have yet to talk one Celtic fan I know who wanted Lenny as permanent boss, most are like me, stunned at the announcement and angry in the manner and timing of it.


    Is this really the height of our ambition. A club with 10’s of millions in the bank settling for mediocrity with a coach who is one dimensional and lacks the ability to change tactics or formations when things aren’t going our way. A coach who allows his first team squad to go away for an extended party the week we have to play our biggest rivals, albeit the game in terms of the league title was meaningless. Though the manner of the defeat has given them renewed belief when we had the opportunity to quash any hope they had. This episode still doesn’t sit well with me as Lenny appears to think that the alcohol culture prevalent in Scottish football isn’t an issue with performances and fitness levels in the modern game, when all the academic studies would suggest otherwise.


    My biggest disappointment during Lenny’s previous tenure was the yr Hamden was out of commission and both cup finals were held at Celtic Park, we had the opportunity to win every trophy at our home ground and Lenny failed miserably as he often does in cup competitions.



    Given our financial superiority we will be able to buy a better quality player than any of our domestic competitors, so I would assume quality will ensure we continue to dominate the league. Although in one off cup competitions I suspect we may not continue to have the success we have had over the last few yrs.



    So here we are, Lenny at the helm of our club for the second time. What choice do we now have but to support him and the players. Whoever got the job was always going to get our support but if Lenny doesn’t hit the ground running then the supporters who didn’t want him will be vicious in their condemnation of his appointment. He now has a job of not just rebuilding a team but also his reputation with the majority of supporters and for me that is going to be his hardest task going forward.



    An interesting summer awaits for us with knives already being sharpened.

  15. Fool Time Whistle on

    Big Wavy



    Thanks for that.



    I understand the issue of managerial levels & I suppose that was why I wrote that the stats “suggest”.



    BR’s contacts are in the higher echelons of EPL & Europe.


    Neils’s are in Scotland and the lower levels of the EPL & the Championship.



    I tried to make a merit case for Neil but suspect that it ended up as an emotional one.


    For many of us, that emotional connection to Neil & all that he endured & achieved previously, is as much an impediment to clear thinking as anything else.



    He is the manager & time will tell, but at least give him the full support that any new manager is entitled to.


    I know that you will, but I wonder about some…



    Despite the alarming image of a naked NFL being accosted by the Kaiser & gang in the Hampdump shower, I prefer to think that all were fully clothed & fully briefed & that “shower room” is a comdeic induced euphemism for the dressing room.



    The issue of the board in general is one that excites many emotions, just as NFL himself tends to do.


    Some people complained of a cynically timed announcement, but what they really meant was that they disagreed with the appointment of NFL anyway. This seemed very clear to me in some posts.



    Other people who complained of the same cyncism by the board were just as evidently ill-disposed towards the board – historically & traditionally for some the board can do nothing right.



    Separating out all these presented concerns & grouses with hidden & repressed views is impossible but I acknowledge that they are all part of why some say what they do. I myself will have my own version of these subliminal things clouding my judgement.



    My view is that I’m n ot sure what the board were supposed to otherwise do.



    Interviewing, recruiting & appointing another man while leaving NFL to win the treble treble would have induced pelters for the board. Lying deliberately to & exploiting such a true Celt who had twice stepped in to sort out the chaos left by more illustrious colleagues would rightly have the board widespread scorn.



    I don’t know whether Neil was told anything about his permanent role as Celtic’s manager, but I do sincerly hope that he wasn’t lied to. No one who steps in as he has done deserves that huge disrespect.



    Did the board seriously consider any other candidate or were they waiting to see?


    I can’t believe that they would seriously wait until May 26 to decide on the new manager if it wasn’t to be NFL.


    THAT would have been mismanagement on a grand scale in my opinion.


    How could a brand new manager, perhaps with Englsih not as his first language, hope to accomplish all that would be needed at Celtic to have us ready in 4/5 weeks time to face ECL qualifiers. Celtic have tried that before and it always ends badly. Ask Gordon Strachan/Neil himself/Tony Mowbray/Ronny Delia…



    In the run up to yesterday’s game there was a lot of chatter about that game AND who the new manager would be, but the focus had to be on winning the game first so that we could avoid being distracted.


    Once the game was won (or even lost) the next priority would be the permanent position of manager.



    Any delay in announcing the new manager would have led to more criticism for the board, because once the final was over, there was no reason not to announce it. More besides, on this board yesterday and immediately after the victory, some posters were complaining that every player interviewed on pitch was asked the same question about NFL’s position. Lazy journalism is what they called it, but the reality is that it was the predominant question on everyone’s mind. A failure ot make an anoouncement would only have fed that frenzy & very likely unsettled NFL & the squad.



    I am no board apologist – they are very capable of sorting out their own business – but once we accept that NFL was their man, the actual timing of the announcement was perfect.


    Their man had just secured the treble treble.



    However, if folk don’t like the board or didn’t want NFL as manager then their moans should be seen as being motivated by those things and not by the timing or an announcement.



    On a side issue, I noticed on Saturday morning’s BBC online that a Glasgow solicitor also tried to impugn Celtic FC board for another announcement about historical serial sexual abuse by allegedly releasing/hiding it on a busy Friday evening.



    I wonder if the matter of timing was fresh in some minds at 5.00pm on Saturday.




  16. GFTB



    Good call so for me it’s the club association rather than the track record if that makes sense. Both Liverpool and Chelsea had setups and investments far ahead of those of Hibs and Bolton. Pure economics of course but would be much further forward in what is expected at a modern European setip (pitches, science, scouting, analytics, etc)



    Rodgers is certainly not flawless. I could fill these pages with my invective but I’m worried the advances in professionalism we’ve made will diminish given the reasons above. Can we rescue that with soem further appointments in that space – hope so but can’t help think we’re backtracking (the board).

  17. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    BR has two good seasons in him at each club. Thank God he came to us, we needed him at the time but his style is limited even though he has a magical touch during that short spell. Another manager who sees us as a stepping stone, we need that like a hole in the head.

  18. Eddie 4.25pm



    I read your post on the other article and was going to respond there, do you think Neil wouldn’t have wanted a guarantee ? Brendan bolted and it was a critical stage of the season with tynecastle & Easter road our next two fixtures … I can understand some thinking we might have got a “bigger” name … but don’t get the thinking that Neil wouldn’t have had his own demands … by the way I also liked this part



    “An interesting summer awaits for us with knives already being sharpened”



    It reads like you have the knife out already … I do realise that’s not what you meant :-)

  19. Fool Time Whistle



    That;s a great post fella. One of the many criticisms of myself is that I’m a bit too clincial in my thinking and the idea of an emotional attachment to Neil, a respect for what he has been through and what he’s achieved – you call emotional – is absolutely merited. Yesterday proved how emotional this club is at our heart and there’s nothing wrong about some of that being in our thinking and decision-making. If we were playing Top Trumps this is an area Neil would hammer Rodgers on by many multiples.



    I’m using today to get myself along the change curve. Like many yesterday I was an emotional wreck and regret not enjoying the historic moment enough. What an achievement. I’m a worrier by nature but people continue to amaze me so clearly the bits of Neil’s game he is to embrace and improve upon will hopefully have me eating humble pie or making the worrying look ridiculous.



    The board though…not ready for that change curve :)




  20. Big Wavy 4.35pm



    Yet again, I don’t disagree … but (there is always a but :-)



    Can we not let Neil fail before we decide his appointment is a backward step



    Will be an interesting summer, again Neil left previously when not backed financially … so maybe, just maybe before accepting the job as our manager Neil has Peter & Dermot exactly where he wants them …



    I live in hope :-)

  21. Circa 5 years ago Neil Lennon walked out on Celtic ( resigned, mutually consented, etc etc ) saying he had taken Celtic as far as he could and there was no challenge in Scottish football.



    Apart from Neil’s personal circumstances, can anybody tell me what has changed.



    Maybe I’m old fashioned but I don’t readily give second chances at Paradise.


    However I’m willing to make an exception if we demonstrate that we are not downsizing yet again.







    That’s a great point. Context is everything. I’m not sure there was an appetite for another manager who could jump ship at the inevitable flirtation from the EPL when it came along. Continuity in the next 2 seasons was a key point of reference…

  23. GP 4.45pm



    You answered your own question



    What has changed ?



    5 years…



    am pretty sure most of us change our minds after a half a decade :-)



    I change my mind hourly

  24. GFTB – Can we not let Neil fail before we decide his appointment is a backward step



    Yep. That’s all part of my development plan. Trying hard today and there may be setbacks along the way :)

  25. RIP Harry Hood



    Great story Iniquitousiv about the sadly departed Harry Hood. As you say a very gifted player. A mix of Dennis Bergkamp and Harry Kane and should have played much more for his country. A scottish as well as a Celtic legend.

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