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. THEBHOYFROMU.N.C.L.E on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 1:29 PM


    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.




    Basically he was a character actor and a very good one. I thought he was also excellent in ‘The Hill’ and in ‘The Incident’. Ian Bannen co-starred in both. That he switched allegiances is unsurprising – dazzled by success, even patently dishonest success. That’s show biz.


    Also unsurprising is the Levein stream of consciousness ramble. He’s just giving voice to a sentiment shared by all, repeat ‘all’, in Scottish broadcasting. Save Michael Stewart, perhaps.

  2. lets all do the huddle on

    With respect, I’m not sure you’ve properly understood the arguments.




    with respect, i do understand numbers very well



    4000 people a day dying



    that is a very very big number



    and the experts say that what is actually happening is at the very high end of their worst case scenario projections



    those facts should supercede the albeit honourable intention of keeping young folk educated and in a disciplined educational environment



    we have now went miles beyond that arguement



    especially when these environments are by far the biggest spreaders of the virus yet are being kept open



    utter madness



    4000 a day



    try let that number sink in

  3. lets all do the huddle on

    and no



    Sean wasnt the best Bond



    it was Moore



    his patter was top notch


    Shalako is a British-German 1968 Western film directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot. It was shot at Shepperton Studios near London with sets designed by the art director Herbert Smith. Location shooting took place in Almería in southern Spain, particularly in the Tabernas Desert which was frequently used in European westerns during the decade.



    The cast also includes Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, and Honor Blackman, Connery’s co-star in Goldfinger. It is based on a 1962 novel of the same title by Louis L’Amour. It was the first in a trilogy of L’Amour adaptions from Euan Lloyd.[



    So that was wife’s boyfriend and my BURD

  5. fourstonecoppi on




    yep totally agree shut the schools/colleges/unis


    They are one big petri dish..an accident waiting to happen. Most of the staff are pretty anxious especially the older ones. S4-6 as from monday must wear masks in class but no penalty if they dont ffs. Basically its keep the weans in so parents can keep working.

  6. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    When Honor Blackman was married to Richard Todd she said that she often felt lonely…

  7. fourstonecoppi on



    When Honor Blackman was married to Richard Todd she said that she often felt lonely…



    wis that wee Russell Hunter from Callan………lucky lucky lucky barsteward

  8. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on




    She sure was a ‘natural’ beauty…naw wee Russell had to settle for Una Mclean.

  9. Sad to hear of Sean Connery’s passing. Bona fide movie star with real presence who was in a whole range of films over fifty years. Too many to list but special mention to Dr No and the of course Goldfinger. The Hill no question, a brilliant British work with a great cast. The Offence, and later The Anderson Tapes. The great great The Man who Would be King, with Michael Caine, Highlander of course, and Indiana Jones The Last Crusade. And many many more.


    RIP Sir Sean Connery

  10. Celtic v Aberdeen


    William Hill Scottish Cup


    01/11/2020 2:30pm


    Referee:Don Robertson




    Douglas Ross




    Daniel McFarlane


    Fourth Official


    David Munro




    Kevin Clancy




    Gavin Duncan

  11. TONTINE TIM on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 2:37 PM



    Sadly, humility is a lost quality with many of the Americans I meet.


    I did my early voting last week & it was blue all down the ticket.


    All 8 pages of it.


    Got a sticker & a pen.

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Hope everyone on here stays safe this winter.



    It’s up to the “ordinary man and woman on the street”.



    Twas ever thus.



    IMHO – A man who can’t be bothered turning up on time for a 5pm press conference that HIS PEOPLE scheduled can’t be trusted to deliver an effective Covid-19 mitigation strategy.

  13. Think BoJo is watching the rugby. Hoping for a high score so his bad news will be more palatable

  14. EMBRAMIKE- have we any players on a yellow tomorrow? Surely bookings will be wiped out,if Hayes can play for Aberdeen?

  15. lets all do the huddle on

    Marius Zaluiskas dead.may he rip.36.




    very sad after the news of Sean



    im thankful (not sure who to all the same) that i have reached the age i have



    but i will never reach Sean’s age

  16. lets all do the huddle on

    the hampden pitch looks in ok condition



    time for some sheep pummelling tomorrow




  17. lets all do the huddle on

    hearts look a better team than hibs



    which shouldnt be right if they are a league apart

  18. My only wish is that both Naismith and Halliday are both on the pitch when we beat them in the final

  19. lets all do the huddle on

    hopefully if we win tomorrow



    then can go pummel naismith and halliday in the final



    i would love to see their angry hun faces if that happens

  20. I think we will win tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing budge congratulate our captain as he goes up to lift the Scottish cup

  21. Gary Lineker’s latest tweet.



    I think it’s called killing two birds with one stone.







    ‘Doesn’t seem right that the new lockdown guidelines are all leaked to a chosen few in the media prior to the press conference.


    Seems perfectly reasonable that the new lockdown guidelines are all leaked to a chosen few in the media prior to the press conference.’

  22. Good result for us in the other semi. Just one comment for anyone who saw the game, the save Gordon made from Nesbit, Barkas doesn’t save that imo.

  23. AN TEARMANN on 31ST OCTOBER 2020 6:05 PM


    Marius Zaluiskas dead.may he rip.36.










    Terrible, really tragic. RIP.