Celtic joie de vie


There is an age-old debate about what is more important, tactics or players (it’s tactics), but the argument is nuanced.  Even a team that is tactically sound will be ineffective if passing is hesitant, wayward or clumsily controlled.

In Lille last night, Celtic’s passing was fast, precise and controlled, even in the tightest of spaces.  Throughout the first half I shouted “Too tight” at the space we were passing into, only to be surprised on the upside.  This allowed us to hold possession, move up field, get into the box and create chances.  In this regard, the contrast with what we witnessed earlier this season was brilliantly stark.

Consider the performance of Callum McGregor on Sunday, who was a stand-out by the way he drilled the ball over the surface with laser precision.  Last night, Callum put in a similar performance, but he looked no more than another cog in the wheel.

Throughout the game, Albian Ajeti held the ball up under the tightest supervision, turned and brought others into play.  His early effort was correctly adjudged offside and he could have opened the scoring with a snatched chance midway through the first half.

Aside from his abilities on the ball, Diego Laxalt’s energy levels were outstanding.  He was up and down the field from first to last, like the proverbial pinball, overloading in attack and rolling downhill into defence when required.

Central mid looked at its best, with Scott Brown doing what we know he can do so well and, before he tired early in the second period, Olivier Ntcham opening up play.

For a game in which we lost two goals, saved a penalty, Scott Bain made two other excellent saves and our crossbar was rattled, the defence played well.  Ryan Christie switched off at the corner for the first goal, allowing an unmatched run at the back post.  At this stage of the game the defence was under pressure but holding firm, Bain was seldom called upon and Lille looked frustrated.  It is so important not to make it easy for your opponents.

The same observation could be made for the rash challenges in the first half (both outside the box, as it happens) that led to the penalty and the free kick Bain did so well to get a hand to.  Last night was Celtic’s turn to pack their defence, making Lille very dependent on set pieces.  To win games at this level, you need to be smart about what you concede.

The second Lille goal was one of those concessions that was not the result of a defensive mistake.  We were in good positions when the first ball into the box, there then followed a miss-hit shot that fell to a second Lille striker, whose effort was deflected past Bain.  C’est la vie.

With limbs and minds visibly tiring and an eye on the Scottish Cup semi-final, Neil Lennon indulged in a bit of showboating, closing the game out with the lesser spotted Ismaila Soro and Stephen Welsh among others.  The substitutions helped stabilise Celtic for the closing period, when there were chances to win all three points.

On a night of fine Celtic performances across the field, there was only one Man of the Match contender.  The finish for his second goal was technically more difficult than the jaw-dropping strike for his first.  Much of the successful passing we discussed further up the page went through him and, having converted two more difficult chances, he will wonder what inhibited him from shooting inside the D to complete his hat-trick.  It was an outstanding European performance.  Moi Elyounoussi, très bien!

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  1. That’s over 60 folk that have already voted, so a huge thank you for your support. Anyone else – please don’t be a stranger. Open to posters and lurkers alike and if you’ve never joined in before what a fine game to give your opinion on.


    The names of your 3 top performers (not in any order) by 10pm tonight please to me at CQNPOTY@GMAIL.COM


    And your votes will definitely make a difference (as it currently stands) ;-)




    My Dad was a miner at Cardowan Colliery in the 30’s..



    Not for very long thank God.

  3. until then i will take the word of our manager


    when speaking of Celtic staff.



    “He’s got a back issue that’s been rumbling on for a few weeks. He’s gone back to Germany to get some round the clock treatment.


    “Hopefully that will work. He’s had scans and he has been in a lot of discomfort but there isn’t much showing up on the scans.

  4. philbhoy



    There you go. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that many on here, you and me both, have relations near and far that at some point worked down the mines, in the pit if you like. I have nothing but total respect for all that did. It only adds to Big Jock’s story.

  5. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    MCPHAIL BHOY on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 6:23 PM


    Ajeti and the referee?



    I’d have had more than a chat with him going off at half-time! Other than what has already been said about the ‘penalty ‘ and numerous non fouls given to Lille what about when Ajeti was at the edge of the box and two Lille players had a go and one tripped him, nothing?!


    Huns in Europe, brought to you by Bigot Dallas






    WeeBGFC was worried (pissing himself laughing) about my blood pressure last night, such was my ranting and raging about that very point – ref was like an old-school Lanarkshire Ref Hun.



    Ajeti just had to look at a Lille player and he gave them a free kick. Definitely two different applications of the rules.



    And, while I’m at it – whit about Collum at the weekend – hand-balls!!! – hand-fekin-balls!!!!”!”!- man’s an arsehole.



    Dallas casts a long shadow – a bitter, bad orange feker.









  6. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Going for quadruple trebles doesn’t quite suit Shorties narrative.



    Nor does ‘new klub may win something’’,




    My best mate’s Dad was a miner in Ayrshire.



    He was working in the New Cumnock colliery at the time of the disaster in 1950.



    He was trapped for 3 days but survived.



    I think there were 17 deaths.




  8. Ron, What are you saying Julian is like a wee boy throwing a sickie coz his nose is out of joint.



    Back pain is weird, I had a problem for about 2 years. I could go for a walk & suddenly be paralyzed with pain, I’d just grab anything like a railing for support & just stand there for as long as the spasm lasted, There were times when my wife would have to walk home & come back in the car to get me home.


    I went to Doctors, Chiropractors, Bone Setters, Physiotherapists the lot & apart from talking about trapped nerves no one really knew what was wrong, I got to the stage that I had accepted this was something I just had to live with for the rest of my life.


    Kept going for treatment & suddenly the spasms stopped and to this day am not quite sure which of the treatments worked.

  9. CELTIC MAC-my grampa but we called him da was a miner from Blantyre.John McDougall from Victoria st.

  10. He sat up front with my ‘uncle chubber ‘ at the welfare making sure you signed in.😉


    Memories ar special 😉

  11. From much earlier, sorry;



    GENE on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 12:37 PM





    Or we made them look ordinary.🤔




    Apologies, I meant the Huns were ordinary



    No one has laid a glove on them yet this season. There’s next to no chance they won’t hit a rough patch or their super-sophisticated game plan won’t get rumbled. No doubt they’ll be working on a plan b, but judging by what happened last season mike Tyson’s quote about everybody having a plan until they get punched in the face fits quite nicely

  12. philbhoy



    It is almost impossible to imagine how that felt, for those underground, and for those hoping and praying above ground. Remember, as I’m sure you do the rescue of the Chilean (gold and copper) miners ten years back almost to the day, over two months down there. Plenty on these Isles praying alongside their families. And to see the miners brought to the surface, especially the last one, prayers answered, no other way of describing it. Saved from disaster by the efforts of their fellow humans. Hope sprung eternal.

  13. GERRY123 on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 4:42 PM


    every celtic supporter should read John Hughes article on cqn @10.15




    Yogi’s article puts the season so far in perspective.


    I saw Yogi lay waste to so many defenders and defences over a period of ten years. That started when the 17 year old Yogi destroyed Rangers’ new white hope, big Doug Baillie, on one Saturday afternoon at Ibrox.


    Interestingly, to me anyway, John told fans at the Greenock Celtic Club that not once in his time at CP had he received any coaching.


    Big Jock explained his transfer to Yogi saying he was building a young team. John Hughes was 27 at the time.

  14. FAIRHILL BHOY on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 8:27 PM


    He sat up front with my ‘uncle chubber ‘ at the welfare making sure you signed in.😉


    Memories ar special 😉




    Do you mean, ‘chubber’ from Victoria Street, who had an Orange flute band called after him, from High Blantyre? hh

  15. fairhill bhoy



    Looking back via Scotland’s People, (which really does include the history of all post Hunger Irish in Scotland) no shortage of miners in my own background, especially, Stirlingshire, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. Guessing the MacDougalls made the trip South at some point in their history. And dug deep.




    Yes, I remember the Chilean miners.



    I would not like to have been the last one to come up.



    How brave were they?

  17. Inflammation of the Spine,is Julliens problem.


    Does not sound painful at all.Your Spine,ha,what’s that awe about.

  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Respect to the CQNer who posted the link to BT Sport’s tweet re Laxalt’s performance.



    (Apologies – can’t recall who).



    During the game, there was a fantastic cameo around the 8-10 minute mark which should be used in defensive analysis sessions.



    Lille attacked our left side.



    Moi “tracked” but was passive, static and didn’t get within 2 metres of his man.



    Ball got played wider left.



    Diego closed to less than a yard, and he was constantly bouncing and feinting, arms moving everywhere.



    He looked like Taz, he was all over the Lille guy and TOTALLY disoriented him.



    This is 10% skill (balance and positioning need to be retained going into contact)



    But it’s 90% attitude (I’m a whirling, manic, driven, in-yer-face adversary – NO WAY YOU WIN THIS DUEL)



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  19. Laxalt is a tremendous player ,reading of the game and tackling,but I wonder if we moved him forward into a more attacking position he would be a revelation


    ,would Lenny see it or would Laxalt want it .?

  20. philbhoy



    Last man up was the first man down, an emergency rescuer


    Not sure the word hero even begins to cover that man.

  21. CORKCELT on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 8:15 PM



    hope you’re back pain stays well away , have also had bouts of lower back issues , not nice, blamed the golf.

  22. Fritzsong, the story going around the time of Yogi’s destroying Lex Bailie’s da was the next day at Mass during the sermon the Father said “John who made you”, to which he allegedly replied “ doug bailie made me Father”.

  23. I mentioned on here in the past day or so being surprised to find that my great grampa, born in a Bothwell of an Irish miner da, was also a miner himself and was underground while still a bhoy.



    His mother was widowed early and left with 5 weans the youngest being a year old, he was the oldest at 14, her next 2 spouses, she was widowed again, were both Irish miners.



    It was a tough life for the families period, that’s why Gerry Rafferty’s Steamboat Row resonates with me.

  24. RC on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 7:56 PM



    until then i will take the word of our manager



    when speaking of Celtic staff.



    “He’s got a back issue that’s been rumbling on for a few weeks. He’s gone back to Germany to get some round the clock treatment.



    “Hopefully that will work. He’s had scans and he has been in a lot of discomfort but there isn’t much showing up on the scans





    any chance of a link? for the above.I assume it is from our manager,your answer above, contrasts with your original comment



    ‘so have they have found an issue with julien ‘s back or is it a hot water bottle and rest.’



    cant fathom the tone of doubt rc.ach anyway have a good night.:-)




  25. *CQN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2020-21*


    RESULTS FROM GAME #17 – LILLE 2 CELTIC 2 (Elyounoussi (2))



    As kick off time approached most of us I’m sure were preparing for the game by rearranging our furniture, making sure there was just enough room behind the sofa to still comfortably see the game. Shortly before the game (well at 5:48pm to be precise) I posted on Page 1 of the ‘Live Updates’ article as follows, “Please just get through 10 minutes accident free. And try to still have a chance of taking something when there’s 15 to go.” As soon as I pressed ‘post comment’ I thought “Noooo, what have I done, have I yet again initiated the ‘Jobo Jinx’, a fact acknowledged just 3 minutes later when Hot Smoked posted “Jobo, I wish you hadn’t mentioned those first 10 minutes!…..” So during the opening stages of the game – and remember, we started very well – I was willing that wee clock in the corner of the screen to move quicker. The relief when 10 minutes passed, fairly incident free was most welcome.


    Anyway, there’s been plenty posted and talked about since last night and I’m pretty sure almost everyone has the same 2 opinions – (1) that before the game we’d have gladly accepted a point and therefore it was, on reflection a good result; and (2) that having taken a 2 goal lead AND saved a penalty it did feel as if we had just failed a little bit in not seeing out the victory. Especially with the further good chances that we created in the 2nd half. However, a great point away from home in Europe and we now go into Sunday’s semi-final with a fair degree of confidence.


    As you will see from the numbers below, we had a number of good performances last night but 2 players stood out from the crowd. As always, thank you to the 77 who voted; after last Sunday being the lowest ‘turnout’ of the season (35 voted then) tonight’s numbers are the 2nd best of the season (80 voted on the opening day when we beat Hamilton 5-1). The votes cast for each player are as follows (with my own choices asterisked) –



    Bain*: 23


    Frimpong: 15


    Duffy: 0


    Ajer: 2


    Laxalt*: 71


    Christie: 3


    Brown: 0


    McGregor: 38


    Ntcham: 3


    Elyounoussi*: 74


    Ajeti: 2


    Bitton: 0


    Edouard: 0


    Soro: 0


    Rogic: 0


    Welsh: 0



    So, a very close run thing for Man Of The Match but the players receiving points for the Lille game are –



    Elyounoussi – 5 points


    Laxalt – 4 points


    McGregor – 3 points


    Bain – 2 points


    Frimpong – 1 point



    And the overall table is now –


    1st – McGregor – 31 points


    2nd – Christie and Frimpong – 27 points


    4th – Laxalt – 19 points


    5th – Ajer and Elyounoussi – 18 points


    7th – Ntcham – 16 points


    8th – Duffy – 14 points


    9th – Brown – 11 points


    10th – Bitton and Taylor – 10 points


    12th – Barkas – 9 points


    13th – Ajeti and Griffiths – 8 points


    15th – Rogic – 7 points


    16th – Edouard – 6 points


    17th – Forrest– 5 points


    18th – Elhamed, Klimala and Welsh – 4 points


    21st – Bain and Jullien – 2 points


    23rd – Turnbull – 1 point


    24th – Bolingoli, Dembele and Soro – 0 points



    *Player Of The Month*


    During October we played 6 games, winning 2 (Sarajevo and St Johnstone), drawing 2 (Aberdeen and Lille) and losing 2 (including AC Milan). We scored 9 but conceded 10. Our top goalscorers this month were Elyounoussi with 3 and Griffiths with 2.


    Only 3 players played the full 6 games, Duffy, Frimpong and McGregor.


    Based on the total votes across all 6 games, in 3rd place we have Calum McGregor on 88, in 2nd place it’s Kristoffer Ajer with 100 votes. But the winner by an absolute mile is a player we only saw for the first time 13 sleeps ago. So, the PLAYER OF THE MONTH for October with 180 votes (3 MOTM awards and 1 2nd place) is DIEGO LAXALT.



    It’s now onto Hampden on Sunday afternoon for our 2019-20 Scottish Cup Semi Final against Aberdeen.


    Hail Hail!

  26. AN TEARMANN on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 9:59 PM


    not good at the link set-up but have copied and pasted this.


    However, the club’s medical team still don’t fully know what the issue is, and he has been sent abroad to try and get to the bottom of the mystery.


    Neil Lennon explained to The Daily R****d: “We’re missing Jullien because I thought he had a stellar season last year. He’s got a back issue that’s been rumbling on for a few weeks. He’s gone back to Germany to get some round the clock treatment.


    “Hopefully that will work. He’s had scans and he has been in a lot of discomfort but there isn’t much showing up on the scans.”

  27. Cheers for the mountain of work jobo in compiling all stats.


    top timmery :-))



    i put mine in sharp.amazing from Laxalt.





  28. RC


    no.please dont supply a link lol.the rekkord is loo roll and context is simple.anti Celtic.



    hopefully not long til it is on its knees.




  29. In complicated matters like this it’s always something to do with the clutch pedal on the car or the teeth.



    Has anyone asked Lenny if Julien’s had his tonsils out or been checked for a gluten intolerance?

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