Celtic get game management right


This was a classic European game, requiring concentration, effort, but above all, patience.  AIK were better than the SPFL fare we meet at the weekends, but Celtic Park was a stretch for them, while they enjoyed a spell of possession between the goals, they never landed a punch.

Despite dominating possession and territory, Celtic were inhibited in the first half by the stiff wind blowing towards Craig Gordon’s goal.  The storm calmed during the second half, but by then, the hosts were well in control.

The back line played well, perhaps their best performance of the season.  Kristoffer Ajer won man of the match and Christopher Jullien put in his most impressive performance for the club yet, but it was Jozo Simunovic who I thought stole the show at the back.  Twice he made difficult interceptions that denied AIK an opening, one of which when running back, looking forward and jumping for a high ball that changed direction in the wind.

In full flow, Mikey Johnston, Ryan Christie and James Forrest are formidable.  Defenders bunch around them as they are so fast and direct, no one individual seems able to stop them.  Playing well is a big part of the job, but putting the ball in the net is more important.  The game turned when (again) James Forrest did just that.  His image will surely be next to adorn the stadium coverings.

Boli Bolingoli created the chance with a surging run forward but the angle was tight for Forrest, who saw the keeper get two hands to his shot but was unable to stop it crossing the line.  Odsonne Edouard’s free kick was a delight and gave Celtic the two-goal margin they deserved.  The keeper was less liable for this goal, but he will not enjoy watching either back.

I was very critical of Neil Lennon’s game management and team selection against Cluj last week, but he got everything right last night.  After the second goal went in, Celtic did what they should have done nine days earlier and made sure their opponents did not get space in the final third.  AIK were under pressure as the game neared its end, but Celtic had control of the tie and were not going to let that slip.

Nor were there experimental selections; Callum McGregor was back in central mid, Bolingoli at left full back.

Delighted big Fraser is back, we’ll talk more about him shortly.


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  1. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    From Will McGobledegook…


    One of my sources contacted me tonight, to tell me that the SFA have held a top level conclave, inside the home of Scottish Football, which only finished at 9.30pm this evening. The main item on the Agenda was a discussion of the public stance that Planet Fitba’s authorities should adopt, on the recent sanctions, imposed on the kurrent klub playing out of Ibrox, by UEFA.


    The SFA have to tread a difficult path. On the one hand, they don’t want to fall foul of their brethren at UEFA, but of course they also don’t want to anger the “Club” that they were complicit in creating, IN 2012, from the charred wreckage of Rangers FC.


    After a long discussion, the wording of a press release was eventually agreed, and will be released tomorrow.


    The SFA’s response to the punishment handed down to The Rangers?…


    … Penalty to Sevco, and a five game ban for Scott Brown. Only in Scotland.



  2. Silver City 1888 on

    It would be funny if the SMSM’s reluctance to publish a negative story meant the hoards weren’t warned to mind their language last night.

  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    ” Police Scotland have confirmed three arrests were made on the night of the St Joseph’s game, but none for sectarian singing ” .



    A single UEFA rep. heard the offensive singing and hundreds of Glasgow`s finest didn`t.


    Well , they`ve been suffering from selective deafness for decades.



    As the hun performance on the field has seemingly improved , the ferals have emerged from their years lurking in the undergrowth with increasing confidence , and in increasing numbers.


    After the lack of official sanction , unless I missed it , following the Killie game ,they have been given ” fishel ” carte blanche to be the peepel once again.



    Cue for a song ?

  4. C’Mon Neil Francis Lennon.



    You can do this.



    You are the Man that started it all.



    A firestarter.



    I’d, like Most Celts, Love to see Big Vic Bach, cannae see it now that Wee Fraser took the 6ft 7in shirt.



    Welcome Home Fraser.



    Never giving up hope howevaaah.



    Celtic or Brugge????



    Lenny is about to hit his Managerial peak.



    Stunned by some of the ridiculous stuff put in his Direction sack him etc.



    Whats that Magical phrase?






    Lenny is there for CELTIC enoyreve dluohs esilaeR.



    There is Something inside so STRONG.

  5. Geez, if racist chanting damages Sevconians reputation, it must be truly awful indeed… ‘cos your reputation was down in the gutter already.



    Tell us Stevie G, how many hours coaching were you given to make sure you got the wording right on your statement? Don’t tell us you actually believe that bullsh*t?

  6. Good morning friends from a dry and fairly bright East Kilbride. Here are this week’s picks from the ole Couponeers –


    TET – Dundee


    BMCUWP – Hibs


    JOBO – Ross Co


    POG – Huddersfield


    GFTB – Mansfield


    AWATR – Leeds


    LB – Charlton

  7. Three comments:



    1.Important that the UEFA statement based the decision on ‘Racism’ . I think that this must be emphasized.



    2. Contrary to the wording from UEFA, that ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ refers to a ‘group’ of supporters demonstrates the lack of impartiality in that organization. They never squeal about the Ibrox Songbook.



    3. The Scottish Media will have a microscope on our behaviour this weekend. We must not give them anything to throw at us.

  8. weet weet weet on



    Hi buddy


    I’m fine at the moment thanks.


    Had a scare a couple of weeks ago,went to old tims birthday bash,got there at half three,felt unwell within ten minutes so got a taxi home,ended up in a&be with a severe chest pain,kept me in for three days for tests,turned out it wasn’t a heart attack but a virus called pericarditis,getting discharged the doctor told me to avoid exercise for rid months and no contact sports like football and rugby,so peever it is ;))

  9. My friends in Celtic,



    We are all in a much better mood compared to last week at this time.


    Magnificent result on Thursday, but equally important is how we played and how the fans reacted.


    We can perform at this and higher levels.



    I must say though; don’t throw It all away by responding to the bile that will inevitably come from the Hearts support.



    Ok this is not a UEFA game, however many of our domestic leaders will have their noses out of joint. They will be looking to ” even up the score ” again.


    We must not give them a hint of satisfaction by harmful chants. Have a party in the local pubs pre and post match if you want, but at the game keep it Celtic.



    If you really have the best interests of Celtic at Heart, like it or not is how we must react now and going forward.



    Support the team, keep it loud, keep it proud and keep it Celtic.



    HH to all the journey continues.





    “…What happened next was an appalling lack of sportsmanship from the shotstopper and looked like a sad and pathetic attempt to have Johnston carded for his challenge when it was evident the winger made no contact with the last line of defence, as pictures proved when they were displayed in the CQN match report that evening…”






    Watched this again a couple of times – I think we are being unfair to the AIK keeper.



    Looks to me as if he wasn’t claiming he’d been caught by MJ – rather, when he swung his leg to clear the ball away it looked as if he felt he’d either tweaked his hamstring (he goes down reaching for his left leg – the one opposite one from where MJ slid in) or possible twisted his ankle a bit.



    He didn’t give any indication that he was accusing MJ of anything at all – over-reaction on the night from us (including me).








  11. JOHN1314MAC on 24TH AUGUST 2019 10:18 AM


    New kit for next season leaked..







    Ha! Hummel’s revenge ;-))

  12. Unlike sevco, Celtic fans have a massive array of non offensive songs. (Well, some will be offended at the very mention of ‘Celtic’ but you know what I mean)



    The next glasgow derby is very soon. There is no way the hun hordes can behave themselves. The celtic fans will be drowned out, until we go 3 up anyway. The media and sfa response will be very interesting.



    To be continued……

  13. Wee BGFC



    Ordered one.. just to see the confusion on their mad contorted pusses!




  14. JOHN1314MAC on 24TH AUGUST 2019 10:49 AM


    Wee BGFC


    Ordered one.. just to see the confusion on their mad contorted pusses!







    Good man !!!! :-)))




    Very frustrating!



    Virtually house bound.



    Canny drive, or do anything physical.



    No pain during the day but nights are not good, so not much sleep.



    Cabin fever springs to mind!



    On the plus side, a friend handed in a pile of Ian Rankine books (DI John Rebus) so enjoying them.



    Hope to sit in the garden today for a while with a glass of red, so mibbe not all bad.



    Still waiting on the sun to show herself in Bo’ness mind.



    I definitely won’t make the September HOOT as brace and crutches until end September at the earliest.



    So not happy about that either. Are you going?



    Hope you and yours are good and the midgies are not too bad up there!

  16. West west west



    Hope your on the mend. :-) It was a good wee night at OTs birthday.




  17. If the authorities want to eradicate Racism (don’t call it sectarianism) from Scottish football, you really need to eradicate it from Scottish society.


    This racism is endemic throughout Scottish society, it has been that way for generations.


    Even if you shut down Ibrox forever, it will still be there, at the heart of Scotland.



    The SMSM, judicial authorities and yes, the Church of Scotland too, need to face up to the truth, this problem is a lot more widespread than just the old ‘small minority’ at Ibrox.


    If you want to sort it out, stop trying to find excuses, deflecting blame etc…. For once in your lives, own up to the putrid truth.

  18. A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted: “‘Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am”. The man below replied “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude”.



    “You must be a technician.” said the balloonist.


    “I am” replied the man “how did you know?”


    “Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip with your talk.”



    The man below responded, “You must be in management”.


    “I am” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”


    “Well,” said the man “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my effing fault!

  19. Teemu Pukki looking like a very capable all round front man. A bit of a lesson for us maybe. It can take time. I suppose Ryan Christie is a case in point too. There have been others.



    But then again, I was still hoping Marvin and Dirk Boerigter would come good 😂

  20. Hunderbirds are Gone on



    Sorry to hear that, I hope it improves soon. That sitting in the garden etc, is a state of mind. It took me a while to get used to it when I had to give up work… now though, love it 😃🍺🍷☀️


    Fifty-fifty about the Hoot. Got a few costly weekends coming up in the Autumn connected with ma 60th, so mibbes aye mibbes naw. Don’t worry though, if I do go, I will drink your share, just so you don’t feel left out 😉



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