Alarming words from Neil Lennon


I got my haircut today.  Sitting, waiting in line, usual habits were cast aside and I picked up a newspaper; what an alarming read.  Neil Lennon was quoted as saying, “I’m not big on tactics.  It’s about the players and they have to go out onto the pitch and apply that.”

I couldn’t disagree more.  It’s all about the tactics.  Players need to be sufficiently fit, fast and fearless but all the talent in the world can be ripped asunder if it’s not tactically well organised.  I had been watching Celtic tactics closely for 20 years before Martin O’Neill arrived.  Back in 2000, watching Celtic was like going to school.  My eyes were opened to how a defence is organised, how to stage an attack that fits your strikers and how to buy with a playing strategy in mind.

We had seen plenty great players since our last great team: McStay, McClair, McGrain, McAvennie, Burns, Nicholas.  We’d seen courage and directness: the Bear, MacLeod and Provan, and cameos from Moravcik and Larsson, but we were forever found out, a plucky team who would flatter to deceive.  Celtic would regularly dominate Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen – who understood too well the importance of tactics – and lose 1-0, and we went 30 years without beating a team from a major European league.

Martin O’Neill clearly demonstrated that successful football teams are all about tactics, not the players, nor courage, not even an aggregate ocean of skill.

>90% of football games are won and lost before kick-off.

As for the on-going orgy that is dominating front pages (good grief).  Get used to it.  As I’ve said many times, positions are absolutely entrenched when it comes to the songs debate.  Neil Lennon and Ian Bankier are in for a disappointment if they think they, or any of the rest of us, can “self-police” those who object to being inhibited from singing about the IRA.  I’ve encouraged this so often I’m not going to waste my your time with it anymore.

Celtic are set for an extended period when its reputation will suffer, there is no avoiding this.  Unfortunately, not everyone listens.  My great sympathies go to the £X per hour Celtic stewards who have to put themselves in the front line of this confrontation.

If I can offer any advice on a related subject…  Songs and banners affect individuals, who will often be selected randomly for exclusion.  Lateral movement in the stands, which happened last weekend, will get an entire section of the stadium closed by Health & Safety.  If this creeps back into Celtic Park there is a real risk of council action.  I’m pretty sure Michael Davitt didn’t place the sod on Celtic Park before bouncing left to right and back again.  It’s not a key part of our heritage, don’t pick fights you’re going to lose.

CQN Magazine, issue 5, will be out soon.  After 4 issues online and shipping single copies from Magcloud in the US, we’ve ordered a print run locally.  You can order now with credit/debit card or Paypal and buy direct from the UK for only £5 by clicking on the link below.

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  1. saltires en sevilla on

    RobertTressell says:


    17 December, 2011 at 12:28



    (i) A young, vibrant, progressively minded group of football supporters modelled on similar groups of anti Fascist left leaning football supporters across Europe – of course they were going to be victimised, demonised and vilified (i/)




    Good post -you hit the nail on the head a few times there.



    Looking forward to the game tomorrow – an opportunity for the GB to do what they are best at -really get behind the team & encourage the whole support focused on 3 points



    Three points on Sunday is the big prize….the entire Celtic family must focus…focus…focus….let others will do their level best to distract us they always have and always will.



    Remember… we took the top team in Italy to the wire on Thursday nite …and judging by the antics of their coaching staff on the touchline they were rattled



    Let’s focus on giving the coaching staff of teams in the spl some serious palpitations over the next few weeks….and their lumpen fans



    Focus on the prize – 3 points at a time …3 by 3 by 3 ….that will do for me







  2. Is Dallas in their directors’ box today?



    Hope teh camera is on him to get his reactions to all the goings on, a la George “what a goal!” Peat…

  3. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Joe F-He will be getting looked after well due to his brothers at UEFAs dirty work.They have no shame


    KITALBA 1529



    I know what you mean. I had a major heated argument along those lines with my sis. I took her to her first games as a kid. We are both passionate about the club. I think this is probably the first time we have really argued black and white,normally we discuss things from a different standpoint!



    It is definitely fracturing the support,I cannot see the likes of you and I and many others whom I wouldn’t embarrass by naming individually,being welcome at corporate Celtic.



    Maybe Groucho was right after all about not joining a club which would have you as a member.



    Possibly we are Marxists after all,as was alleged!





    Repost from previous,sorry.

  5. saltires en sevilla on

    HT 0-0



    only one denied penalty for ICT



    what price orc pen (they already had the dodgy fk on 22 yds>>)

  6. Alarming indeed. NL has been inconsistent tactically since he took over. He’s getting it right just not, but he’ll probably go through a bad patch before the end of the season. I think a lot of that is due to him not thinking enough about how to set out his team. He’s doing well, but he still has a bit to learn.



    Still, what do I know.

  7. Having better players than the opposition is always a good thing, but tactics do make the difference in many football matches. And getting our tactics right will be crucial on the 28th.



    Goalless at half time at the Bigot Dome. Guess the odds on a penalty will fall as time goes on in the second half

  8. Good afternoon all.



    RC running ‘Cash for Kids’ bids this afternoon – the following offer had me laughing:



    The Chairman’s lunch – join MBB and Duffield – imagine Phil and RTC winning it! :-)

  9. I usually manage to get access to my seat at CP from the stadium aisles via the application of a particularly sexy and sinuous lateral movement.



    Am I in danger of a ban?



    Can we have the Board adopt the role of air stewards (as opposed to bar stewards) and demonstrate, via a video on the Big Screen, correct procedures for movements in the stadium (toilet areas exempted)?



    Is this a professional issue highlighted by structural engineers or an aesthetic call from a police choreographer?



    It’s all very well having Route 1 fitba but I am confused as how I get from my home to my seat at CP solely by deploying forward movement.



    Lateral movement- it’s why God gave us a ball and socket joint in our hips.



    Strictly Come Dancing csc

  10. best chance fell to Wylde(?) header saved by Essen, fine save



    ICT pass across 6yrd box at pace, cleared well by young Bartley – fair do’s






    come on the ICT



    1 yellow given to ICT guy – more of a sandy colour tackle than a yellow – rfc bombing forward at pace, lost the ball, 3 CB’s round him – hit the deck, foul, yellow




  11. saltires en sevilla says:


    17 December, 2011 at 15:50



    Thems will defo get a penalty ….



    Jelly has dived twice in the penalty area…No bookings obviously….

  12. The mystery over the whereabouts of John Fleck has been solved.



    In a moment of complacency he was spotted in Edinburgh taking time out from his weekend job pretending to be a Panda or as my sister has just informed me “five minutes in the country and they break the anti-sectarian legislation – Panda Clause!”




    The other one is learning the lambeg



    Hail hail








    Mibbe Sally needs to read some scouting reports?

  14. bournesouprecipe, aye.



    Kitalba, I hope you don’t take offense at this (and know you didn’t mean any offence), but I’ve dealt with so much crap on this subject over the years I’m a tad sensitive…



    I write my own views and am not a mouthpiece for anyone else. Never have been and never will be. I assume no less of anyone else here. :-)



    Apricale, aye.



    SFTB, I’d ban you for that!

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