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. Big Jimmy



    Highlander…There can be only one!



    Good movie, great soundtrack by Queen.




  2. Will the hunsh wear 2 black armbands tomorrow following the pashing of Mr Shyme and Shir Shean?



    Pierce Brosnan was my favourite Bond.



    He was also my favourite Sam Carmichael.

  3. AIPPLE…


    Cheers mate, i knew it but just couldnt remember.


    I enjoyed Highlander.


    Big Sean gets his heid cut aff in the film by the Baddie who was after Christopher Lambert.



  4. Big Jimmy



    Love the movie and soundtrack.



    Weird casting. A Scotsman’s played by a Frenchman and a Belgian played by a Scot.

  5. Not really a fan of James Bond movies although I did see a few but that was only out of convenience, only show in town. I did like big Tam Connery tae give him his Sunday name but quickly went aff him after he “jumped the dyke and pallied about with the Ayrshire grifter.



    I also have problems with Scottish Nationalists that accept knighthoods. Anyway, I had an auntie who was a daily communicant, after dropping her grandweans aff at school she would walk over tae St Kessogs for morning Mass.



    Because of its location, Cameron House etc, there periodically would be personality’s there. On the day we stopped the thievin ten I saw Malkie McKay and Phil O’Donnell RIP at 9:00 Mass.



    One morning she noticed a couple up at the front practically at the altar rails, so on her way back fae Holy Communion she sneaked a wee look tae see who it was. Sir Sean and his spouse.

  6. I watched a documentary about Sean Connery just a couple of months ago, and one or two older actors who were intervied for the programme, claimed that Big Sean more or less played himself in every movie, and he was always a “Scotsman” ?



    Thats not strictly true cos I can think of at least THREE Films were he played an Irishman, one of which was in ” The Longest Day”, and I am sure his name was Paddy in that movie.


    The other Films that he played an Irishman was maybe in Darby McGill….and another old Black and White Film from around 1960, where he played a real ” Heavy who was in cohoots with the London Gangsters that were eventually led by the great actor Herbert Lom…again I cant remember the name of the film…bit it was excellent.


    I think Sean was also called Paddy in that particular film…and its a very good watch..If only I could remember the name of the movie, but its usually on Channel 81 on Freeview.



  7. I did think that “Shir Sean” was the best Bond, but, I do like Daniel Craig in the role and he now just nudges it for me, RIP Sean, por cierto

  8. BIG JIMMY on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 12:49 PM


    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 ???.






    Many years ago I was up the toon on a saturday and wandered around for a barbers, I ended up in Greens on King Street. The barber is quite yappy, nice guy. Chatting away.


    Sitting there and there was a tap at the window and yir fella lookalike was standing waving, really dapper as you say, a real doppelganger for sure.



    The barber said to me “imagine spending your life walking around looking like a movie star …… ”



    Daft but memorable

  9. AIPPLE on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 12:58 PM


    Big Jimmy







    Love the movie and soundtrack.







    Weird casting. A Scotsman’s played by a Frenchman and a Belgian played by a Scot




    in Highlander, Im sure that Sean played a Spanish or Portugese Noble who was sent to teach Christofer Lambert how to fight with swords ?



  10. SAINT STIVS on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 1:03 PM




    I have the same ” Problem”…as several folk in recent years remark that I look like ” Uncle Fester” from The Adamms Family !



    Cheeky Bassa’s the lot of em.




    As a young man in the 1980’s many folk would say that I looked like a certain Charlie Nicholas…I had all my hair back then, and I was once approached by a strange guy in a Pub in Charing cross, who was convinced that I was Charlie Nicholas and asked me for my autograph ?


    I duly obliged, and my mate ( A Blue Nose) who was with me that day was pissing himself laughing….so was I after the strange guy had walked away with my autigraph.


    Very sad…but 100% TRUE !



  11. i nearly met Shir Shawn….. once…


    …..I was stood outside a Belgravia boozer as a Black Cab slowed and turned to drop off its two occupants…..


    ……..The former Celtic Fan and erstwhile Sheecret Agent’s huge noggin filled the back seat winda’ as he checked out the boozer.


    Just as it was stoppin’ I shouted out to my equally gassed colleagues –



    “errz big Shawn!”……….( hardly sotto voce)



    ……..and at that he took off!






    BigMouthStrikesAgain CSC

  12. ‘Would be good if Rangers won the league this season….’



    Ex Scotland manager Craig Levein, on Radio Scotland

  13. Highlander



    Don Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, recently of Spain but originally Egyptian, finds Connor after tracking his old foe the Kurgan to Scotland. He explains that he, Connor, the Kurgan and others were born immortals and are destined to battle each other, save on “holy ground.” When only a few are left, they will be drawn to “a faraway land” for the Gathering and battle for the Prize, the power of all the immortals through time. MacLeod only wants a quiet life, having a family with Heather. Ramírez reveals that immortals cannot have children and believes they must ensure evil people like the Kurgan do not win the Prize, or else humanity will suffer an eternity of darkness. Ramirez then explains the overriding belief of all immortals: “In the end, there can be only one”.



    Ramírez trains MacLeod and the two become friends. One night, while Connor is away hunting, the Kurgan finds and duels Ramírez, who warns him MacLeod is now ready for him. The Kurgan kills Ramirez and leaves the area. Years later, Heather dies of old age, prompting Connor to wander Earth. He adopts Ramírez’s katana sword as his own, a unique weapon made by a Japanese “genius” in 593 BC.

  14. I think most non Celtic supporters wouldn’t mind seeing someone else win a trophy.



    No one else has won one for years ffs!!!

  15. Started as a Tim & then became a Hun. That finished him with me.


    Having said that, May he Rest in Peace.

  16. Saddened to hear that A global Scottish icon has passed – despite him being primo scoddish……….



    I lost most of my regard for him when his allegiance turned neanderthal and his coothie political guff was the tin hat ( tammy?) on it…….

  17. Levein just came across as a huritn hun.



    “cant be doing with all this 10 in a row thing, it is mair hassle than it is worth”



    “who cares about quadruple trebles”



    never won feck all, twat, i dont know this fascination with him , absolutely useless manager



    jealous pwik

  18. After the way the establishment treated Levein………and then payin’ him off wi’ the poisoned chalice job, I suppose he’s just bein’ allowed to return to type – hope hge chokes on a Celtic victory soon.

  19. Levein called out Michael Stewart as “a bully to younger players” “I just didnt like him”

  20. Levein is certainly unique, never won a thing as a player or a manager, quite a record, considering he’s been involved in professional football for over 40 years….

  21. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    Good James Bond …….crap acting in the rest that i would persevere with to a point i couldn’t watch any more..although not too bad when compared to Nicolas Cage.



    snakeeyes csc

  22. TURKEYBHOY on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 12:38 PM



    I can agree with much you say; however on CQN we should be able to discuss all things Celtic and beyond without fear or favour.



    CQN must be a blog of free speech and honest opinion and we must never be instructed what to think or say.



    If we constructively criticise Celtic, ( The team, the players, the board or the manager ) so be it.



    C’est la vie. Not lazy journalism



    That’s good that you have a proper diagnosis for wee Rocky. I’m sure he’s got a few years left in him now.



    Sean Connery. I’m sure I remember being at a game with my dad at Celtic Park, when he had his photo taken with the whole team. For some reason we had an all green strip on.


    It was about 50 years ago mind you. So I might be mistaken with some of the detail.




    Thanks for the heads up about Justified.


    I’ve stuck it on my list.

  25. SAINT STIVS on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 1:16 PM




    Thanks mate.


    I was about to Google the film ” Highlander”, but the Horse Racing had just started so Ive been busy watching my horses getting beaten.





  26. OOPS…Big Sean also played an irishman in ” The Untouchables”. how could I forget that ?


    I dont like Kevin Costner one bit…I dont suppose he likes me either ?




    Thats FOUR Movies that I can remember Sean played an Irishman ?


    Once the Racing is finished I will need to Googlle the Films that I cant remember the maes of.