As predicted, things got worse


On Friday, after the Sparta debacle, I predicted, “There is worse to come”, it did not take long.  Losing at home by two goals to Ross County is worse than losing by three goals away to Sparta Prague.  If you were surprised, you have not been paying attention, Ross County were a punter’s dream.  Celtic are dysfunctional, vulnerable to anyone prepared to put their bodies in the way and take their chance at corner kicks.

The biggest concern I have is the message the players get from persistently overhauling roles and tactics; going from four at the back, to three, to four and back to three.  Add to this how Christie and Elyounoussi play a variety of roles: wide, middle, off the striker, and we shuffle between one and two up front.

If you are a player, you interpret this as, “We have no faith in our plan and we don’t know what to do about it.”  At least in this respect, the manager, players, you and me all believe the same thing.

When will it end?  Soon, I hope.  St Johnstone visit in six days and they are more potent than Ross County.

Reports of missiles being thrown at our players outside Celtic Park yesterday evening beggars belief.  Across the world, on a variety of issues, you see anger whipped up in online echo chambers.  This has consequences: some bring that anger into their personal interactions, some gather to demonstrate.

A smaller percentage of them have no boundaries.  Fuelled by the echo chamber and the crowd around them, they resort to violent acts, which Mr Angry behind his keyboard can condemn.  The violence is a consequence of entitled anger and together they make it more difficult to resolve the situation.  Imagine how you would react if you were a player?

A football team has come off the rails after winning a record 11 consecutive domestic trophies.  For a club that has known so many hard times, it was a pitiful bookend to this historic period.

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  1. Celtic reportedly paid Rodgers £2.3m per year basic.







    Only Conte at Inter in Serie A, 6 managers in the Bundesliga and 7 in Ligue 1 get paid more than that.







    The hysterical, flagellating nonsense that we couldn’t attract a modern coach who could build a modern footballing infrastructure is utter pish. No Celtic-minded bias and like the players he can leave in 3 years with a grounded legacy in place.






    This guy might be within the budget then?




  2. N Sturgeon at her COVID briefing today was bowled two full tosses by the Scottish media desperate for her to get the boot in.



    She clearly did not and was at pains to say she was not having a go at the specifics behind last night.



    She said;



    1) injuries being sustained by police officers was unacceptable behaviour irrespective of the source, and



    2) that she has nothing to say in the subject of Celtic but asked that people living in Tier 4 areas heeded the advice and instruction regarding their public movements.



    She did not take the SMSM bait.

  3. I have met Paul67 quite a few times and found him a good, aware and decent man.With that experience of our Host, I cannot quite understand this:



    ” they resort to violent acts, which Mr Angry behind his keyboard can condemn. The violence is a consequence of entitled anger”



    1) Does one have to be ` Mr Angry behind his keyboard ` to condemn violent acts ????


    2)`understandable anger` I can accept, for certain situations, but as a consquence of` entitled`?


    3)On this occasion, I would have thought that the violence was a consequence of a mixture of volatile parts:


    a) The perpetrator`s own,seemingly unstable, personality;


    b) A very strong passion for Celtic;


    c) Hating the growing possibility of not doing the Ten;



    I`ve just realised I could end up with a very long list so I`ll stop there and hope I have made my point.



    All of the above, of course ,is predicated on Paul being accurate in referring to the occasion as a` violent` one.

  4. !!BADA BING!! on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 1:32 PM


    Sadie’s Bhoy, I’ve seen the same videos, some guys doing a Trump ,and refusing to believe that’s what happened, we have a scum element in our support.





    I think they were throwing bottles of water at police and police vans in the video I have. There’s no doubt that we have a bad element amongst our support but it’s important to point out that not all supporters were throwing missives.

  5. DOWNFORSAM on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 3:11 PM



    I think Juve are paying Pirlo a lot more but I get your point.



    Someone suggested Željko Buvač on here. Would the board have even heard of him let alone make an approach?

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 12:30 PM


    Seems Ryan Christie threw a missile back at the fans last night, but couldn’t get it past the first car.




    Now that’s funny. 🤣

  7. BadaBing – My reading of what Paul was saying on the previous article was that things were going to get worse because he did not see how Lenny could turn it around on the park. He didn’t think we would lose to Ross County, but the signs are there that Lenny’s time is up.



    I love Lenny. I was not convinced he was a good appointment at the time but he proved me wrong. However, all good things come to an end. Fortunately, we are still well in the running for the league due to the poor standard of opposition. It can still be won, but not under Lenny. Peter Lawwell, who IMHO has done a great job with our club, now needs to make a tough decision. These players are plenty good enough, they just need a new leader. There’s some strong candidates on the bench in England who could steady the ship until season end.



    Has James Forrest definitely gone this time?

  8. TOSB


    Not having a go at you here but the image engendered when reading this was funny ,



    “not all supporters were throwing missives.”

  9. On the protests last night



    All got there pretty quick which suggests they don’t live very far from Celtic park. As such, there is no way they can be taken as a representation of the support



    The language was familiar too ‘Strachan, Strachan GTF’ was the original mix back in 2009



    With McNeill in 1991 it was scarf chucking from the Jungle after Falkirk/Motherwell? 1-2



    I remember the 1-2 which ended the title in 87 and Hay’s job . Hardly anyone there and I left early and heard 2 roars as came down the stairs, heard another out on London Road and we assumed it was 3-1 to us. Policewoman asked what the final score was and i said i thought it was 3-1. She laughed and said; ‘last i heard it was 2-1 Falkirk’.



    I was gutted, just about to turn 18, but never felt the anger the young ones today do. That was from guys my age now.



    No idea what my point is in case anyone asks 🙄

  10. HOT SMOKED on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 3:15 PM



    After years and years of unparalleled success, the hard core well and truly addicted are not going to just disappear quietly into the night, screaming and kicking comes to mind, withdrawal symptoms even,



    Paul’s article is just another article with his thought on the matter, the hard core wont even have read it🙂

  11. Ross County 2 Celtic 0 and as the legendary John McEnroe might say YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. We are still left wondering when this ongoing Celtic slump will end. We have won the league Cup so many times that I wasn’t unduly concerned about this competition but in the current circumstances any sort of a win was badly needed as a morale booster. Celtic has broken all sorts of records and played some great football in recent years and can break another record by winning the Scottish Cup next month. I never envisaged seeing the day of the reported disgraceful carry on post match at Paradise. Perhaps we can all now start making a novena to St.Jude

  12. SQUIRE DANAHER on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 3:15 PM



    “Pretty despicable ” is how Nicola Sturgeon described the behaviour of some Celtic fans.



    I would say the bait has been well and truly swallowed.




  13. we are a team of leaderless wimps – pure and simple. When any good team is struggling for form and/or the ball doesn’t drop favorably and/or ref decisions go against you – you need players to roll their sleeves up , get stuck in and turn it around.



    The only player yesterday trying to do that was Broonie – the rest are wimps.



    Moi’s only highlight was a glancing header — How could he not conjure up a few shots in 90mins



    Christie – Headless chicken who should be a tinge player at best IMO. His delivery recently has been shocking



    Ajer – Moody, Huffy and needs to man up – to think we thought he could be CelticFC captain one day!



    Ntcham – Didn’t play and no one cared and he would be smirking at the loss. Rogic came in an had a couple of touches but offers nothing defensively.



    Barcas – The smallest tall guy I’ve ever seen. The quietest goalie I’ve ever seen – can’t remember when he made a save. Now we see how far back our issues have existed , Forster bailed that defense out time and time and time again.



    Fulbacks – I thought Elhamed did ok and Laxalt had a poor game but is excused as he has been a revelation



    Manager – Seems to have forgotten the basics – He should be playing Solo , Henderson , Turnbull and Laca Connell – all of them have looked bright and would surely offer much needed energy and a degree of unpredictability.



    Neils inability to TRUST those players is his downfall – making the same mistakes consistently and clearly cannot get the team to play aggressive football



    Lawell and Hammond – Failing to help the manager. Taking too many risks with key positions and the SPINE of the team. Play buy/sell games with youth projects but STOP messing with the spine if the team – this has needed better investment for 18mths now. FAILED and let us all down.

  14. Livibhoy



    Very good post. Lots in there to digest.



    One small disagreement from me. We shouldn’t move Scott Brown to a coaching role to avoid the quandary of dropping him (I’m paraphrasing). I believe we should either appoint him as coach, or not, based on merit, experience and job fit.



    Otherwise, a very thorough piece which I will read again later

  15. James Forrest :) That’s something to remember going forward. I enjoyed your original posts on this site 10+ years ago and I know your hearts in the right place in all things Celtic.

  16. Self-imposed flounces sure don’t last as long as they use to.



    I blame the Green Brigade myself…

  17. As the day progresses it’s looking more and more likely that our board will stand by a manager failing in his job because they don’t want to admit they got it wrong.



    And to think for years we laughed at Sevco’s boardroom for their incompetence !

  18. BIG WAVY on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 3:38 PM


    Self-imposed flounces sure don’t last as long as they use to.







    I blame the Green Brigade myself…







    Personally I blame the SNP.



    They started it with their foreshortening of the term ‘a generation’ from 25 years to 6 weeks,

  19. we’re still well in the league – somehow- saints is where the fightback begins🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

  20. STEBHOY on 30TH NOVEMBER 2020 3:31 PM



    we are a group of individuals fearties and cowards.



    agree apart from Elhamed , he is going backwards at a fair rate of knots , pity he can’t as fast, appears to have lost whatever he had.

  21. Has the club done the decent and honorable thing at relieved Lenny of his services yet.



    The rest is a smokescreen.



    D :)

  22. Is there a rule of thumb for the ratio of the manager’s salary (and bonus) to that of the CEO for successful football clubs?



    Does anyone know?

  23. I wasn’t too bothered about the league cup, actually thought it was the right game coming at the right time. Here, I thought, is a perfect game to settle our destiny. Either we have a chance to turn around our terrible form, or we lose and Neil’s fate is finally and sadly settled. Turns out it was neither.



    I’ve been watching this slow car crash for the past 4 months, and with each new low a small part of my hope for the league dies away. After each result I’ve thought “Surely, now, they see it. Surely now they have to act.” but each time this Celtic board surprises me. I’m left remembering that quote regarding Trump, how he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not get prosecuted. I’m at a loss to think what Neil would have to do (or fail to do) to get relieved of his duties.



    We’ve all been watching football a long time, and we’ve seen this situation played out a thousand times at different clubs. We know there’s a point when the cumulative problems facing a manager reach critical mass, and there’s absolutely no retrieving the situation. Not exactly sure when that was, but I am absolutely sure it’s behind us.



    Prevaricating now will only cause additional pain and stress, for Celtic, the fans, the board, and for Neil Lennon. Company boards have to make important decisions all the time, they have a duty of care, to their shareholders and to their employees. These are painful decisions, and as much as I want the board to act I’ll feel that same sting of disappointment and loss along with the board when the news finally hits. But no one said this was going to be easy.

  24. James Forest@3.03


    Don’t always agree with you but spot on there, but we are in real danger of being divided and conquered.



    Reckon Steve Clark’s a good shout





  25. Ernie


    It depends on how you define successful



    Finishing 4th bottom in the EPL for instance.



    As a percentage of turnover PL’s salary is way out there.

  26. EL


    A sensible approach would be if we made the CL otherwise you get your basic, which is still substantial for a circa 70million a year turnover business, compare PL’s CEO salary with a company of the same size, I think he will be over paid in comparison.

  27. Good to see Livibhoy Back – been too long!!



    BIG WAVY @ 1:36 PM,



    Celtic reportedly paid Rodgers £2.3m per year basic.



    Only Conte at Inter in Serie A, 6 managers in the Bundesliga and 7 in Ligue 1 get paid more than that.



    The hysterical, flagellating nonsense that we couldn’t attract a modern coach who could build a modern footballing infrastructure is utter pish. No Celtic-minded bias and like the players he can leave in 3 years with a grounded legacy in place.



    However, at this point I’d just be happy with competent rather than visionary such is the nonsense served up this season.



    Exactly, we may have paid BR top do$$ar but our return on investment was huge.



    Now we are all thankful for Lenny coming in and putting a steady hand on the tiller yet the fact was from his very first game the writing was on the wall.



    Let me explain…



    It was agreed that Lenny would come in and steady the ship but he was required to use the systems, analysis, fitness regimes and tactics that was BR & Co’s legacy.



    This would be headed up by John Kennedy who “supposedly” understood these systems and was promoted to Assistant Manager.



    Now, I guess we all remember before the winter break that season, we had been having a rocky time, losing out on the UCL, not been as competitive domestically and getting beat for only the second time by Sevco Rangers.



    However after the winter break in Dubia we had turned things round, domestically winning all our league and cup games scoring almost three goals a game and you may remember, the only goal we conceded was when Motherwell conspired to cheat and rather than give us the ball back after Celtic had put it out, they ran up the park and scored – cheats.



    Ok, so now Lenny takes over, we are away to Hearts, we go one up…



    Now we give away a stupid goal, the ball is played back to the goalie (Bain), the Hearts attack puts pressure on the ball, the ball is hit to Ajer who has the ball on his wrong foot, gets caught in possession and gives away a penalty.



    Hearts score, the points are rescued by a last minute Eddy goal!! Euphoria!!



    So the point is, Lenny decided to get rid of the “kick the ball back to the goalie nonsense”. A tactic that is key in the modern game.



    Yet we hadn’t given away a cheap goal like that all year, it was simply the fact that the Managers and Coaches didn’t understand how we set up and play.



    Arguably the best team effort from the BR times, was goal that got Dembele nominated for the Puska award… The Lustig Rabona…






    Side ways, backwards, possession football – yes, but everyone of the players touched the ball at least once including the goalie. It was a quiet brilliant team goal and frankly a million miles from where we are today.



    The fact that rather than understand these tactics and systems, after his very first game Lenny started tinkering, with none of this back to the keeper nonsense… (look how often Rangers do it!!)



    The fact is Lenny was thrown in the deep end and did well to land the treble, treble safely, but the hard work had been done. We needed to spend money on a first rate Manager who could build on that legacy.



    This indolent Board went cheap and we are now seeing that return on investment.



    Hail Hail

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