Christie, Bolingoli, Griffiths, Elhamed


You can only beat the team in front of you, and in that respect, Celtic were scintillating against Nomme Kalju last night.  The precision and speed with which they moved the ball was a significant improvement on most of last season, the impact Ryan Christie had on this fact should not be underestimated.

Kalju defended solidly until the opening goal went in.  At this, their resistance crumbled.  Simultaneously, Boli Bolingoli went off injured, his second injury retirement in three games for Celtic.  On this basis, I am not convinced the player is injury-free, which may be inhibiting his performance.

When Mikey Johnston replaced Boli, Kalju were reduced to chasing shadows.  When Johnston, Christie, McGregor and Forrest are allowed the dictate tempo to the extent they were last night, they are remarkably effective.

Leigh Griffiths’ goal was cathartic for the player.  It was an exceptional free kick, reminiscent of his strike against Hapoel Be’er Shiva three years ago.  Last season we succeeded in winning a treble, despite being reduced to one striker for most of the campaign – and to none for some of it.  With Leigh back in the squad, Neil Lennon will have options that were not available earlier this year. Including playing two strikers, as he did last night.

With defensive numbers still low. yesterday we signed 28-year-old Israeli Hatem Abd Elhamed.  It remains to be seen how Neil Lennon views the player, who made his international debut replacing Nir Bitton last month, and may well replace him as central defensive cover.

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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    New contracts for Christie, McGregor, Forrest, Ajer,Jozo,LG,Eddie, we need to try and keep the core together, and build in decent transfer fees if someone does come calling,easy to see why heads get turned with the Monopoly money down south, all we can do is our best,Christie will be the next one to attract bids.

  2. 67 European Cup Winners on

    KT Arsenal


    I just got myself wrapped up in a point scoring debate with an arrogant Gooner


    Because we play in a shit league and Napoli only willing to pay £19m we should accept their offer of £20m and be grateful – obviously this is the view of the arrogant gooner


    But the arrogant gooner got me thinking (I want KT to stay particularly for 10IaR) I don’t think he should be considering Arsenal as a club to play for, at this moment in time. I think they are in a terrible state


    I also think Celtic think that, because allegedly Arsenal want to top up the fee based on CL Qualification


    Celtic like me dont think Arsenal will make the CL


    So why is KT considering Arsenal !!!



    I admire and respect KT and I wish him nothing but success but if he has to go let it be to a club that deserve him – Arsenal not that club




  3. glendalystonsils on

    !!BADA BING!!



    Spot on . I also think we haven’t been far-seeing enough in setting KT’s release figure at only £25m. Unless there’s a bidding war to push the figure up to around £35m where it should have been in the first place.


    It’s monopoly money alright and we’ve got to start playing monopoly.

  4. Paul67,



    Very bright performance from Neil’s side, which is happily beginning to take on his stamp, despite the unfamiliar flat back three shape.



    Gone is the tiki taka that starts from the goalkeeper, no need for a Right Back against this class of opposition (no disrespect) Hamilton, St.Mirren, St Johnstone?



    Much happier with Lewis Morgan who’s clearly benefitted from his loan period in Sunderland, did well, when he came on again last night. Neil Lennon sees him on his natural right side as opposed to playing on the left when BR introduced him to the side.



    We can use next week as a pre season trainer and bed in new players.



    The game on Flag day will be tougher, by which time we’ll be playing with a four and Boli Bolingoli won’t be so far up the pitch? Ryan Christie’s season has started with a bang, and Mikey Johnston is way to good to be playing anywhere other than at Celtic.

  5. Stairheedrammy on

    The comparison between Morgan and Johston is unfair if you are going mainly by dribbling ability. From what I have seen of Morgan is that he is far more direct, throwing crosses into the box really early and often doing this before the opposition defence is set up for one. He has also played fewer games at Celtic and was schooled in football at an inferior academy so will need time to catch up.

  6. Great performance lastnight, admittedly against poor opposition. Delighted for griff great night for him. Edouard was excellent, unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. McGregor and Christie in the middle although unchallenged ran the show. Boli was looking good before coming off and when Johnson came on(not boris) we looked very potent down that left side. My only concern is that we look very panicky with the opposition in or around our box. Something big jullien can help with I’m sure. All in all a great night and on to the 3rd round. We will beat either of the two teams we can face. HH

  7. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Reading back here, and looking at other reports (I couldn’t see the game in the Açores), it seems to be the consensus that our most effective players were, McGregor and Christie, with honourable mentions for Ayer, Griff, and Johnston.


    If you go back a few years, the above named players featured heavily on the “Escape goat of the match” list. They also had a fleet of taxis waiting to drive them to the Airport at various time.


    Boli deserves to play more than two and a half competitive games for us, before the knives are out.


    Also, in my near sixty years on this earth, I have never seen a player, who is exposed to groans from the support, respond by playing better. Never.



  8. 67 ECW



    “So why is KT considering Arsenal !!!”




    They will pay the player multiples of what we can afford to pay.


    He will play on a higher stage for a more visible club


    If he does well a bigger club might consider him


    Arsenal want him; currently the other bigger clubs don’t.




    However, like you, I would not accept a promise of money based on Arsenal qualifying for CL next season. KT could play out of his skin and Arsenal could still finish 5th or 6th.

  9. Fellas (and I’m ususally on the harsh side from my critiquing) let’s cut Boli some slack on last night.



    The unconvinced and the feeling ill might be a correlation surely?



    He was a bit wayward but what I like about him is he is quick to release the ball and keep it moving. Not gonna give up quite yet…

  10. !!Bada Bing!! on

    The frightening sight of Boris Johnson, and Jacob Rees-Mogg on the front bench….

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Boli is just in the door, give the guy a chance to settle in,he will be aware KT is a huge fans favourite, i think he will be a very good player for us.

  12. The opposition were exceptionally poor last night, so we cannot read too much into anything really. Boli looks like he is feeling his way into the way the team plays and so it will take time before he can be judged. In all honesty i thought Griff was a bit off the pace generally with his movement and running particularly. It will take time for him to reach peak performance. It was however a terrific goal. I cannot get over how good Christie and McGregor are, if they manage 30 games each in the League it will be a stroll. Defensively we are untested and will need a better balance for round 3, which will be a significant step up in quality. In terms of the way we played its clear Neil is starting to put his stamp on the team, we put more crosses into the box, the wingers take men on without fear of losing the ball, we take shots and move the ball quicker into dangerous areas. I still think we can improve on the latter part.



    Much to be positive about overall but also lots of work still to do and lots still to be determined in terms of where we actually are as a team.

  13. i'vehadtochangemymind on



    I swear I saw the same lean when got that free kick against killie ( am I thinking right there).



    Delighted for ghrifg. Very very well played the board for sticking up for mental health and Lennie helping him out




  14. quadrophenian on

    I don’t dispute clear Boli’s talent or hunger.


    What I think I see is a guy whose attacking instincts mean he may need coaching about the discipline to play/stick to the shape the manager wants. He seems to maraud infield, possibly clogging our creative mids while leaving us a bit exposed (tho not against poorer teams like Nomme).


    Also, I think i saw Mikey deputise at LB the way BR wanted CalMac to do, albeit to disastrous ends.


    Neil’s Tic look hungry.

  15. DAVID17



    If thats Boli just feeling his way into the team then we have some player on our hands.


    He was excellent and added a different dimension to our left flanks attacks.




    Its known as the “under-lap” and can be very effective once his team-mates catch on.

  17. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Quad- i think Boli is trying a bit too hard to impress, needs to relax and play himself in, he will be fine IMO

  18. quadrophenian on

    Bamboo: Surely everybody – incl last nights 5-man mid – need to know the plan, and know who’s covering him.


    Yeh; I’d be intimidated and trying too hard, too, if I was playing for us having signed for 3mill (a decent fee for a 50-something sweeper, btw).



    Agree with your thoughts. I think we need to change to a back for the next round.


    Would like to see us try it out next week.

  20. Boli Bolingoli went off injured, his second injury retirement in three games for Celtic. On this basis, I am not convinced the player is injury-free, which may be inhibiting his performance.



    as i commented on my previous viewing on boli boli , i hope that this is the issue based on his performances to date and how did he pass a medical if he is injury prone.

  21. DAVID 17,


    Faint praise indeed.I did not think they were “A very poor team”.They had some very decent players,especially the French midfielder.Up until we scored,they were defending very well.What happened was,we ran them into the ground.Our energy levels for this early,were amazing.I prefer to focus on the good things.Griff and Eddy.Calmac and Ryan.Johnston and Morgan.Maybe thats just me.Enjoying Celtic winning.

  22. I agree Lenny’s team look very hungry… which is the one thing i was worried about when Rodgers was here.



    I doubt his style was enjoyable to play in and at times this seemed to show in the players



    The players seem rejuvenated and happy and fully of energy



    Could be the shot in the arm that gets us to 10 in a row

  23. 67 European Cup Winners on




    I get the commercial logic and I respect his wishes


    BUT I just think he is better than Arsenal


    My theory based on they could struggle to stay in the top 6 let alone CL qualification


    Simply, he is too good for Arsenal




  24. Of late, the only news I hear with regards to K.T is the potential transfer / sale of him to Arsenal.



    Ideally the news I would like to hear, is a rough time-frame / estimate on his return to fitness, and potential return to Celtic 1st team

  25. I would give any foreign player at least a season to find their feet and judge them on their second season so long as they’re not a complete disaster like a Bangura, Scheidt etc.



    Plenty of players have come from other leagues and after a patchy first season blossomed into top players for us. Off the top of my head, Rieper, Wilson , Elliott , Petrov and Wanyama would fall into that category imo.




  26. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Paul67, mods, captain etc – has cqn got a photographer/ press pass or are the pics by fans- the ones of last night are Fab!

  27. Ah’ll tell ye whit ah didnae lik aboot last night…



    The blue boots!!



    Griffiths…. blue boots



    Edouard…. blue boots



    Ah mean wtf?!!



    That’s noot whit oor club is a’boot’



    Lenny get it sorted son!



    Or ah’ll naw be back

  28. Good afternoon from a 35degC north Staffs



    Decent result last night but some players still seem to come in for criticism



    Cricket returned to normal with England 176-2 with the night Watchman still in on 89

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