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. TONTINE TIM on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 1:04 AM





    CORNELIUS on 30TH OCTOBER 2020 11:48 PM




    I’ve been listening to it all year. Patty Loveless does a great version too. Have you watched Justified?




    *Ms Loveless is a full cousin tae the legendary Loretta Lynn and her wee sister Crystal Gayle




    Did you watch the PBS Ken Burns series on Country Music? Absolutely brilliant. When we were growing up in Scotland and watching US programmes on telly, we all thought everybody in USA was wealthy and had fabulous lifestyles. Watching the humble beginnings of some of them Loretta, Crystal, Dolly etc, you see that they grew up in dire poverty in absolute shitholes. They deserve their success in life.



    CORNELIUS on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 1:50 AM






    Justified is on Amazon Prime. It’s set in Kentucky, about Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) a US Marshall who has his own particular approach to dealing with organised crime and the more often disorganised crime of the local Hillbillies who live in the mountains around Harlan. Raylan is a former miner. The writing in it is absolutely brilliant and there are so many great characters in it Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and Dewey Crowe (name escapes me). It’s a brilliant series and I can highly recommend it.





    Justified is absolutely brilliant. Raylan Givens is the coolest dood ever to come out of a doodery








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



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


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



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



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






    We were talking about this too – hate seeing players running up to engage an opponent and then stopping 5-10 metres away – happens all the time. Do they think the opposition are just going to get a fright and give the ball to them?



    Laxalt gets close – irritates and disturbs them – we need to all do that. Griff is good too – her runs at defenders / keeper and – instead of slowing down when he gets close, he speeds up. Disorientating for the opponent. Remember he got a goal a couple of years ago doing that – keeper bottled it and hit it off Griff. Patryk got a similar one earlier this season.








    Wee BGFC



    Justified is my all time favourite and Raylan is my all time favourite character. Totally agree with you.





    And Ava Crowder – ooft!!! What a Southern accent :-)))

  5. I’m looking for something to watch so thanks for the info on Justified, will give it a go. I loved Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood and Walton Goggins (what a great name!) in Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones so sounds like a good un!

  6. WEE BGFC on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 10:28 AM









    ”We were talking about this too – hate seeing players running up to engage an opponent and then stopping 5-10 metres away – happens all the time. Do they think the opposition are just going to get a fright and give the ball to them?’







    Worked for Bobo.

  7. Oh and good morning cqn from a very very blustery and wet Garngad



    Ffs my wife is self isolating but getting me to do loads of DIY about the house, she needs to get back to work asap.



    I’m fecked already.



    Gasping for a drink🍺 but to early






    D :)

  8. ERNIE LYNCH on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 10:41 AM


    WEE BGFC on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 10:28 AM



    Worked for Bobo.





    Aye – from 50 yards away :-))

  9. Absolutely wild down here. Storm Aiden has struck. If that game goes ahead at Hampden this afternoon, the pitch is going to be a quagmire tomorrow. That can only benefit the cluggers fae up North.



    Chubber wasn’t my real uncle.I think everyone called him uncle.He did live across from my gran and grampa in Victoria st. I was about 7/8 years old .Dont know about the flute band connection .The mcdougall’s are from my mums side of the family so it’s possible.I have a cousin Ian that moved to Somerset a long long time ago.

  11. A question you’ll only ever see posed in SMSM – Does the quadruple treble still matter?



    The bizarre notion could only be dreamed up by an outsider mindset separated from the fantastic land of a fairy tale football club. Not able to have been despatched by the null and void lobby, Celtic take on Aberdeen in the wee semi final the day after Hibs play Hearts. It matters to Celtic supporters, as much as Billy McNeil’s towering header, Stevie Chalmers toe poke, Davy Provan’s free kick, or Paul McStay’s tears of joy.



    This is the semi final day, a day we all lost last May, how many more days we’ll lose remains to be seen, as people die at more than one per hour in Scotland, every day is cherished, and every Celtic day at Hampden is a day of expectation and anticipation.



    ‘Celtic know all about their troubles’ we win fight till the day was done, and they’re not in last years competition either, though Celtic will probably get Sevco instead, somewhere down the line in this years cup. Think of the wins, then see lazy, skewed SMSM concentrated on shifting a balance of power.



    A quadruple treble and only the Glasgow Celtic could be there. CSC

  12. was the Laxalt stuff this ?








    · Oct 29


    Electric light bulb | FUN FACT



    Diego Laxalt has just become the first player since at least the start of 2015/16 to record 13 tackles in a single Europa League match – no other player recorded more than 11. Cross mark



    Remarkable defensive performance by the Celtic’s left-back! Clapping hands signClapping hands sign







  13. UEFA Europa League






    Oct 29


    Four leaf clover



    Celtic are unbeaten in their last 20 competitive away games…





    | #UEL

  14. WEE BGFC on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 10:29 AM





    Wee BGFC




    Justified is my all time favourite and Raylan is my all time favourite character. Totally agree with you.







    And Ava Crowder – ooft!!! What a Southern accent :-)))





    Ava Crowder – the acceptable face and body of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan’s wife ain’t bad either …. and she’s a papist! 🤣🤣🤣

  15. lets all do the huddle on

    Shir Sean Connery has died. RIP.




    jeez, thats a bit of a shock



    still think Moore was a better Bond though

  16. ST TAMS on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 9:30 AM







    How is wee Rocky?




    Thanks for asking about wee Rocky, but he has been diagnosed just yesterday and he is DIABETIC.


    I have taken him to the Vet ( PDSA) last Monday and I had to get Taxis to and from the PDSA on Wednesday to drop off his Urine sample.


    I had to take him to the PDSA again this morning ( Saturday)…, taxis again LOL. He doesnt like being in a Car, but hes fine in the Vets itself.


    I now have to INJECT him with Insulin twice every day, and the Vet was showing me how to do it this morning.


    Although the PDSA is a lot cheaper than a Private Vet, its still quite costly ( Donations and cost of Insulin/Needles etc ), and Ive spent around £200 this week on the Vet and Taxis.


    I have to take him back to the PDSA again Tomorrow ( Sunday) morning at 9.30, to get other work done on him as he also has a Gum Infection , broken Teeth etc.



    Its possible that he will need Insulin injections and higher doses thru time ?



    I am just glad that he is still alive…as the Private Vet that I took him to a few weeks ago, didnt hold out much hope for him cos hes old ?


    Cheers again mate.



  17. Frankterry – Godfatter of Harlem as well with the excellent Forest Whitaker as the main lead, crime boss Bumpy Johnson.



    The pubs need to open quick or I will complete Netflix, Amazon Prime and Iptv.



    D :)

  18. We can see the forces of Hunnery forming their ranks even more tightly against us.Bad enough the printed media,who have waged war against us since time immemorial,we are now faced by another attack from the TV and Radio channels.Sky,who were never really our friends,ever,have gone totally gaga,since the first appearance of “Steven Gerrards Rangers”,have now been joined,in full on battle fever ,by the BBC Scotland Lodges.


    The latest,about”Does this Treble really matters is staggering,in its blatant bias.We all know how this would be portrayed if it was the Huns going for this unbelievable feat.In their desire to downplay it,we are constantly reminded that ,because we are playing in the Semis tomorrow,the Huns could go another 3 points clear.Salivating on the prospect.Totally wiping from their addled brains,that,just as they are taking the 3 points for granted,the fact we will have the games in hand if won,would reduce it to 3 points.


    We know our enemies.Lenny knows them.We could see that in the recent press conference.Instead of filling their mouths,and pages,we should all be getting behind the team,and the manager ,showing support in this most important of all seasons.Dont be fooled.The Media are on here,drooling at the divisions among us,only too eager to get it into print and on air.We know what we are up against,why are we helping them.

  19. BIG JIMMY,



    The first film I remember him in was Derby o’Gill and the Little People, which I saw umpteen times in the Scotia. I can’t remember the name of the street it was in but it was just off Duke Street and the original Coia’s was nearby.

  20. That’s yir Sean Connery popped his clogs.



    Loved Scotland but didn’t pay tax here.


    Took Japanese whisky cash.



    Worst of all said women need a good slap now and again.



    TV folks talking pish about him being the greatest ever Scot.



    What the actual….

  21. Original Sadies just back on, yes I did watch Ken Burns Country series, Mrs TT is a country fan, especially the vintage stuff, but didnae bother with it at first, after the 2nd show she was glued tae it.



    The history of music runs right through it. One segment talks of how the music split, blues was formed as well as country and western. Most of it is influenced by the Scots and Irish, and yes we all grew up believing it was all Hollywood or as they say over here a Leave it tae a Beaver.



    I’ve unfortunately stumbled intae ghettoes, very scary, where a block or two away there is a bit of wealth, land of the free ma erse.



    BTW the theme song for the show was written by Mr Zimmerman.

  22. Sir Sean Connery in a film “The Hill” one of the best I’ve seen.Anybody know what was unique about it? H H Hebcelt RIP

  23. Big Sean..The BEST Bond ever imho.


    Funny enough there was an elderly gent who drank in my Local now and then, and he was also tall, and he was almost a sean Connery lookalike. He was a very dapper dresser and he also had the whiskers like Big Sean, if you think of Sean Connerys looks in the film ( I cant remember its name), where he played the part of a Spanish Noble alongside an actor called Christopher ???.


    In the film Big Sean teaches Chrisopher ?…how to SWORD Fight against the Baddies.


    My God, my memory is getting worse !



    Anyway, the Wummin in my local Pub ” Liked” the Big Sean ” Lookalike”…and he enjoyed it….and why not ?


    I only spoke briefly to him once or twice and he seemed to be a decent guy, who was well aware of who he looked like…sadly he died last year.



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