Bernardo beacon for Holm


It was great to see Odin Holm return to action for the first time in two months yesterday.  Hopefully the player has now fully recovered from illness and can look forward to a period of development similar to that which Paulo Bernardo has enjoyed since last month.

With a run of starts under his belt, Paulo is now motoring.  Only St Mirren of our last four opponents have stopped him scoring, although he recorded two assists in that game.  There is more to come from him and it is the manager’s job to ensure he continues to develop.  That task will become more interesting when Reo Hatate returns from the Asian Cup.

Odin got his chance yesterday because Callum McGregor was rested (and it was Buckie Thistle).  Brendan needs to find opportunities to give the player game time between now and the end of the season.  There is no point buying players and allowing them to wither in the stands.

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  1. Neil Lennon: Ex-Celtic captain says death threat drove him to succeed at Celtic




    Neil Lennon has said the death threat he received just before captaining Northern Ireland helped drive him on to achieve more success with Celtic.



    Speaking on the latest episode of The GAA Social, Lennon revealed he was informed of the death threat less than an hour before the 2002 friendly against Cyprus kicked off.



    He said he was determined the incident would not define him and that he never considered returning to play for his country after it happened.



    “Very much so,” Lennon said when asked if the incident motivated him to succeed.



    “A year later I was playing in a European final [Celtic’s Europa League final defeat by Porto], then I got the Celtic job and it drives you on.



    “It is part of your DNA, it is where you are brought up. We are thick-skinned in Armagh.



    “My way of getting back at people was to win, to keep going and be successful. That is the way you can show you are not deterred by this.”



    Two years after joining Celtic as a player, Lennon, who would go on to manage the Glasgow giants, was chosen by Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy to captain the side in a friendly against Cyprus at Windsor Park.



    A death threat was phoned in to the BBC in the hours leading up to the game, leading to Lennon not taking to the field that night and, ultimately, deciding not to play for his country again.



    “You can go one way or the other, you can give up or you can go ‘I’ll show you’,” he said when reflecting on how he was informed of the death threat.



    “I was going to be captain that night and Sammy McIlroy came in. I could just sense something.



    “He told me there were two policemen outside who wanted to have a word with me. They told me they had had a phone call into the BBC that said that ‘if you turn out tonight something is going to happen to you’.



    “I asked what that meant and they said they didn’t know. I said ‘well on a scale of one to 10 how serious are you taking it?’



    “They said that they have to take it seriously so I then rang the head of security at Celtic, who said I was not to take any chances and for my dad to pick me up and that they would organise for me to come back to Glasgow. That was the end of that.”



    Lennon never considered returning for Northern Ireland


    Neil Lennon playing for Northern Ireland


    Lennon played for Northern Ireland 40 times


    Two years later, in June 2004, the BBC reported that Lennon was thinking about returning to play for Northern Ireland, with the midfielder saying he would speak to his family again and to the manager – by then Lawrie Sanchez – to see what they thought.



    However, asked on The GAA Social if he ever considered coming back to play for his country, Lennon, who was a hugely successful captain and manager of Celtic, said he did not.



    “No, because the story would have been the same,” he explained.



    “It would only have taken another phone call for it to happen again and the narrative would have been about me, not the team, which is the most important thing.



    “Players would be thinking ‘what is this all about?’ It was a very difficult situation for them because they had nothing to do with anything. Neither did I, really.



    “What was happening was I was a high-profile player playing for Celtic, very high profile at the time. Obviously it ramped up when I became manager as well.”



    Lennon, who won 40 Northern Ireland caps, was adamant he would not let the incident define him.



    “Of course not. It doesn’t define me, no. What defines me is my family, my faith and all the trophies I have in my cabinet at home.



    “Faith in a religious sense. I am proud of where I come from and I am proud of the upbringing that I had. I wouldn’t be who I was or had all the success and the journey that I have travelled on without the upbringing I have had.



    “I am very proud of that, why wouldn’t I be? I am no angel, don’t get me wrong. I have had my moments.”



    ‘Martin O’Neill got down and kissed Anthony Tohill’s feet’


    Neil Lennon and Martin O’Neill


    Lennon played under Martin O’Neill at Leicester City and Celtic


    In a hugely insightful episode of The GAA Social, Lennon admits he would be interested in the vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s job, talks about the pressures of managing Celtic and reveals the biggest regret of his football career.



    He also reflects on an infamous touchline confrontation he had with Rangers manager Ally McCoist while Celtic boss and gives an insight into Martin O’Neill’s managerial strengths.



    He recalled he once dropped Frank Sinclair from a League Cup final team for being late for a Leicester City team meeting the night before.



    The Lurgan native was a talented GAA footballer and played for the Armagh minor team, alongside current county manager Kieran McGeeney, before becoming a professional footballer and starting a career that saw him play for Crewe Alexander, Leicester City and Celtic.



    “I loved it [gaelic football]. I loved the physicality of it. I used to get battered, I’d come off the pitch with a broken nose at times and my dad would just say that was part of the game.



    “It toughened me up and stood me in good stead when I eventually went across the water. There was also a lot of skill involved and I was lucky to play with a lot of great players.



    “I remember the day we [Armagh] won it [the All-Ireland title in 2002. I was playing for Celtic away to Dundee and we won the game.



    “I was gutted I couldn’t be there [at Croke Park] but I was straight into the dressing room after the game and got my phone out – you aren’t allowed phones in the dressing room but I had cleared it with the manager, Martin O’Neill.



    “I rang my dad and all I could hear were the horns going in the background. It was very special for me on a personal level, from my childhood up until I was 16 when football really took over.”



    Lennon also told a compelling story about a day when he had former Derry star Anthony Tohill as his guest for an Old Firm match at Parkhead, which Celtic won.



    “I went down to Martin O’Neill’s office and brought in Anthony. Well, I kid you not, he jumps up from his desk, runs around the desk – and don’t forget there are other people in the room like Billy McNeill.



    “He pushes me out of the way, gets on his hands and knees and kisses Anthony Tohill’s feet. I said ‘gaffer you have never done that to me over all these years’. He said ‘you’re not a real footballer, Lennon, that’s a real footballer there’.



    “He told me to go out and he kept Anthony in there for about 20 minutes. And that’s Martin’s own love for the game, he’s a Derry man and Anthony was one of his heroes.”

  2. the long wait is over on

    Anyone else seen the penalty Alan Muir awarded Rangers yesterday?



    Lordy — even by his standards it’s ridiculous.



    Did it change the overall outcome of the tie?



    Almost certainly not but they were only 2 up at that point and Dumbarton did pull one back later.



    I acknowledge of course that had they not gotten the penalty then the whole subsequent play would have been different but let’s say for argument’s sake Dumbarton had pulled one back to go 2-1 down ( as opposed to 3-1 down ) then the last few minutes in those conditions could have been very different.

  3. Since I started going to games in 1980, it was always a core group who got the singing going and the rest joined in. Easy to do when you have freedom of movement in your terracing which allowed younger, drunker fans to group together. The tight grouping in the Jungle meant that it was an easy ripple effect to get a song going without standing out. Singing in the main stand was always more muted and this is now how the whole stadium is set up. All seater stadia across the UK suffer a lack of atmosphere since the Taylor report.



    Letting groups sit together is a good solution but the flip side is increasing the bravado to sing deliberately provocative chants. All parts of society watch football so we will never like everything we hear and others will never like what we sing/say.

  4. “CONEYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2024 4:20 PM


    Letting groups sit together is a good solution but the flip side is increasing the bravado to sing deliberately provocative chants. ”



    Good point.


    I think something else that is often overlooked is the number involved. A very small percentage of fans chant unpleasant and,un-Celtic stuff but , because we are hardwired toward negativity , it makes a much stronger impact. The MSSM, of course, takes that to another level altogether.

  5. Just catching up on loads of stuff…………….



    Huge condolences to Big Jimmy for the loss of his Da’ – bet he was some character too….




  6. Asia cup group deciders tomorrow. Our asian boys play at 11.30.



    Japan will finish second in their group and play the second team from South Korea’s. South Korea need to win their game against Malaysia than Jordan do against Bahrain.



    We could have both teams playing next Wednesday, and the losers back in time for the games against Aberdeen and Hibs.



    Looking forward to seeing Reo back in the hoops again, along with the other returnees and CCV back this weekend. A fully fit and improved squad with Kuhn also due to feature.



    Yesterday was always likely to be an easier game for the defenders. We didnt learn anything about Scales game we didnt already know, but I thought Maik’s passing was excellent again and he looks like a very viable option alongside CCV. It looks like he sees a pass better than both to me, he confident enough to make higher risk passes.



    O’Riley is taking so much responsibility we didnt miss Calmac at all. Not long 23 his leadership is pretty remarkable. A very mature all-round midfielder these days. Holm looked to get in the game more and looked tidy, still learning his game at 20.

  7. “Japan will finish second in their group and play the second team from South Korea’s”



    Thats wrong, they play the team that finishes first in South Korea’s

  8. An T



    Not sure where I said that ‘coke’ consumption was class specific. Granted I do get irritated by the antics of many of its consumers. Whether in fancy restaurants or at football or concerts, Celtic fans or not. So to be stuck beside them or drunken idiots is not fun for 90 minutes. Probably even more weird for kids at their first football match.



    Re the UK and its track record Re the Middle East and many other parts of the world. The legacy we have left and the actions we continue to take are almost exclusively with one agenda. Personal or political gain of the individuals making the decisions. Having been totally ignorant of the wider issues previously I was lucky enough to have visited a range of places over the past month in the region and spent time engaging with folks from 9 different Middle East and Gulf states this past 3 weeks and read a lot. I now feel that I have a wee bit of limited understanding. I know folks such as yourself and many on here have a wider grasp but one conclusion I have reached is the layers of wrong in all of this are many and varied but the self interest of a a few is undoubtedly at the heart of the suffering of millions of people. Israel is one very obvious stand out example but there are so many more…..Sadly.



    Thanks for sharing the. Brendan clip. Kwality.

  9. Incredible in Asian Cup. Poor Lebanon look to have failed to qualify after losing 2 goals in the final 10 minutes to go down 2-1. China and Lebanon will both be certain to be eliminated.

  10. SPFL on scraping the winter break,on a personal view isn’t it about time there should be a winter break in January into February,what I would like see inside Celtic Park all Covered ,surely our billionaire could afford to put that in place,oh wait he won’t upgrade the main stand ,so forget about him installing a roof .

  11. HOT SMOKED on 22ND JANUARY 2024 4:08 PM


    “What bus do you travel on?”



    A big white one ;)



    Joking aside, I am not even sure of the name of the CSC / club; I was told but my head is not good with names – I do well enough to remember the folk we sit next to on the bus. It’s run by an old guy called Shug and it leaves from the Airlie Arms in Dundee and stops at the Charlie Bar also. It’s an older bunch mainly as you may have gather from my earlier post; they are a good lot.




  12. Storm Isha batters Ibrox as Rangers stadium victim of wild weather


    4 hrs ago









    By Aidan Smith




    Sport Audience & Engagement Editor









    Ibrox was damaged in the storm (Image: Twitter)


    Ibrox was damaged in the storm (Image: Twitter)



    Glasgow has been battered by Storm Isha over the past 24 hours with buildings damaged and travel halted across the city.




    Photos have now emerged online of the damage the storm caused to Ibrox Stadium with signage ripped off the ground as well as the surrounding areas.



    Billboards that were once standing outside of Rangers’ home have been snapped lying on the ground due to the sheer force of the wind in Glasgow.

  13. SAINT STIVS on 22ND JANUARY 2024 3:59 PM


    Neil Lennon: Ex-Celtic captain says death threat drove him to succeed at Celtic



    *what is all the more sickening here is that he had played 40 times for the black north and yet the first threat he go was when he was playing for us, so it’s not about his faith and culture, no its about their anti-Celtic stance .

  14. Just catching up – SCANIEL on 21ST JANUARY 2024 11:10 PM


    KELVINBHOY at 10:47



    Cheers for response, it is indeed good to see someone we know achieve every supporters dream.



    On Vata, he looks like he has been in the gym as did Daniel so hopefully points to a focus on the physical side as well as natural talent.

  15. Nothing against Rebel songs,but some being sung,not really for a game.Dont build atmosphere,no one joins in.Self indulgent nonsense.Great for the Barrowland,that’s what customers have paid for.




    Aye,I do expect them to come up with new songs.I was begging on here for them to do Bella Ciao for ages.Better the original,but still great.Hatate song,great,but hardly heard.If you want to be the singing Ultra section at Celtic Park,do it right.Dortmunds Green Wall is a mass of flags,and noise.A drum being beat to a dirgey Rebel song,does not cut it.


    I still love them,but can be so much better.

  16. I am going to say this,won’t go down well,but if we let the scum,by hook or by crook,sign Shankland,it could cost us this league.I say could,the league is so tight,but why take the chance.We have the money,we need a striker,kill two birds with one stone.Rather have him scoring for us than them.If he does not go to them,then no problem,but its a worry for me.




    I don’t think the Huns can afford him, and Hearts need him for the rest of the season and don’t need to sell him to balance the books.

  18. TB


    He will score goals for whichever team he goes to, does he have a preference if hypothetically the bids were the same?

  19. Tom McLaughlin on




    I agree with CELTIC40ME.



    There is no way Rangers can afford Shankland. Not even on hire purchase, their usual payment method.

  20. Bada Bing @ 3:45


    If we want Beck, go and sign him, a couple of months doesn’t make a great deal of difference on a 4- 5 year contract.




    Happy to be corrected if this is wrong, but I’m led to believe that the player can only turn out for a max of two different teams within the same season.



    By bringing Beck off the bench in their last game, Klopp would appear to have made the decision that Beck is going nowhere in January.



    As I say, happy to be corrected if the above is incorrect.




  21. Re : can Sevco afford Shankland.



    Unlikely to afford the fee, unless they sell someone first to source said funds.



    Similarly, for a loan deal to be affordable – if they offload someone like the Turkish LB, they would then free up wages to pay for Shankland’s wages whilst on loan. They have enough players on wages comparable to what it would take to entice Shankland. They only need to offload one such player to free up the required wage.



    I would therefore not be surprised to see Shankland sign for Sevco this month. But I’d expect outgoings first.




  22. If Celtic want Shankland and agree something with Hearts, it will be up to him to decide. If Shankland wants to go to Sevco nothing Celtic do is likely to change his mind.

  23. On the subject of the songbook used by the Green Brigade….



    I can see why they provoke polarising opinions.



    I cringe at some of it. But I also remember that I once sung these songs (and add-ons) that I no longer approve of. But that’s probably because I’m now over 50, as opposed to a young, naive lad when I joined in the singing.



    Can we criticise Sevco fans for singing offensive songs, whilst condoning the (offensive to some) songbook of our own fans? If the intention is to provoke/wind-up/ infuriate opposing fans, then it succeeds, imo, and will probably continue until the end of time.



    Young boys/men will sing what THEY want to sing. These songs/chants are not sung for the benefit of the team, after all. Are they?




  24. Gerry- you’re correct, get him in for next season, not as if we haven’t signed a player who’s injured, and e don’t see him for months, Tilio for example

  25. Prestonpans bhoys on

    I thought third place in the league offers group stage in the EL next season, that’s a pot of gold for hertz.



    Their fans will not be happy if is Shankland is sold, they would go tonto if he was loaned out!

  26. CALL ME GERRY on 22ND JANUARY 2024 8:20 PM



    I got the impression that they’ve spent their budget on forwards with the loan fee for Silva, but you may well be right with the injury to Danilo being worse than they’d thought and Sima coming back from Acon with something that could be longer term.

  27. It’s the cash that’s the stumbling block for them though, if they sell Yilmaz it’ll need to be for hard cash not a loan to buy and they’ll need a replacement.

  28. DESSYBHOY on 22ND JANUARY 2024 8:31 PM



    Yeah, but if Shankland says I only want to go to Sevco, Hearts are boxed into a corner. Accept what Sevco want to give (next to nothing normally in their case) or see him run down his contract and he goes anyway

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