Clean sheet objective against Lille


The one ray of sunshine in our long dark autumn was holding Lille to a 2-2 draw in France.  After 13 games, the French club sit second top of Ligue 1, two points off PSG; so far, this is their season in the sun.  The French club sit top of our Europa League group, a point ahead of Milan, both teams have qualified for the knock out round ahead of the final group games tomorrow.

Lille are incentivised to win at Celtic Park, there is the best part of Є1m open to them and seeding in the first knockout round to play for.  Celtic’s motivation is less clear.  We should certainly rest some ahead of the more important game on Sunday against Kilmarnock, but our defence needs every test it can get right now.  A clean sheet is achievable and should be the focus on team planning today.

Celtic: Fifty Flags Plus One, an anthology of how Celtic won each of their league titles, is available now.  Starting with our first title in 1893, it details how Willie Maley brought consistent glory, then the sparse successes over four decades before Jock Stein arrived in 1965 and the more contemporary wins since.

It will rekindle memories you had forgotten and give insight into how the leagues were won.

SPECIAL OFFER, free copy of Seville, The Celtic Movement, while stocks last!

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9

  1. “clean sheet” “focus” “team planning” …did I miss a memo on a change of coaching team?

  2. My theory is that the title was won and lost on the training fields at Lennoxtown and Murray Park during the close-season. That period between the 7th of March and the 2nd of August.



    They have gone from a team that struggled, losing to Hamilton at home, to a team that scarcely looks as if it’s capable of dropping points at all. A team that seems to be completely in control of every game.



    This is with the same coaches and pretty much the same squad of players. No significant outs. A couple of new players in but they haven’t been the backbone of this season’s success and have been used sparingly.



    On the other hand, we have regressed in every way. With the same squad mostly (albeit a downgrade in goals)



    I believe this is down to coaching. The title has been heading to Ibrox from day 1 of the season because Neil Lennon has failed to coach and prepare his squad for the task ahead.



    We have countless players who look a shadow of themselves. New signings of international pedigree (Barkas, Duffy etc.) look lost at SPFL level.



    Bad results can cause things to get worse. Confidence is clearly on the floor. These issues can be compounding. But I can’t say that Celtic have looked right at all this season. That’s down to coaching.



    Maybe Barkas isn’t as good as Forster.



    Maybe Scott Brown has markedly declined. He’s the only one at the age you could say decline applies due to age.



    Outside of that I cannot fathom why the regression has been so clear rather than coaching.



    We are now in a period of playing every few days. The coaching team doesn’t have much time to address these issues outside of normal fitness and recovery training.



    There isn’t an easy way out now there isn’t a winter break, No time to address this.



    My personal suggestion was to throw the final 3 Europa League games. Prepare a second 11 to take to the field in Prague and Milan. Allow the “first team” an extra day of training to address issues as they can skip the recovery.



    That didn’t happen.

  3. From previous thread.




    Schummi – Add Frimpong to that list.



    He used to go by people with ease now he runs to them stops, comes back and passes back to centre backs.



    A great wee player getting coached wrongly IMO.



    D :)

  4. Right that’s the negativity out the way.






    Bring on these Frenchies of French land



    D :)

  5. So it has come down to not conceding a goal. Then we can celebrate a 0-0 draw. How feking sad is that. Anybody got a gun I can borrow, to shot myself.

  6. We should certainly rest some ahead of the more important game on Sunday against Kilmarnock, but our defence needs every test it can get right now. A clean sheet is achievable and should be the focus on team planning today.



    was that not the case prior to the last europa game that we had a more important game on the Sunday , have they changed the transfer window and did I miss the purchase of defenders as we certainly don’t not have any currently , or maybe we should just erect some heras fencing from outside to block our goal as that is the only way we will not concede goals.

  7. I’m going to make a bold prediction that we will surprise everyone with a 2-1 win Thurs night , a comfortable 3-0 vs Killie on Sunday and huns drop surprise points in 0-0 vs Covid ravaged Dun Utd. Tavernier misses a penalty too



    Expect team for tomorrow to be :





    Elhamed Julien Ajer Laxalt (if fit, assume he had a knock last weekend)


    Brown McGregor


    Frimpong Christie Elyounoussi (1)


    Edouard (1)



    Expected team for Sunday to be:-





    Bitton Julien (1) Ajer


    Frimpong Brown Rogic McGregor Laxalt


    Edouard (1) Ajeti (1)



    Easy!!!! Wibble, wibble, NURSE!!!

  8. I fear P67 is setting the bar too high for Neil Lennon. How about conceding less than three ? Let’s keep it realistic.

  9. 4 at the back and keep it tight, a bit of energy in the middle of midfield, and 2 strikers up front please.



    El hamed, Ajer Julliene Taylor



    Christie Soro Turnbull McGregor



    Ajeti Eddie

  10. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    The strained relationship between Neil and JK.







    Didn’t Neil say JK picked and ran the team for the first 2 games back after Brendan left? Maybe JK still had a significant say after these games too.





    Maybe Neil has stopped listening and stopped taking on some of JK’s advice and JK is just scunnered with the whole thing now hence the shoulder shrugs and general ambivalence.





    Gerrard looked like he was out the door before Covid but plenty folk seem to credit Beale with turning rangers fortunes around. Maybe Gerrard finally realised he needed to listen to someone else and take on their advice.

  11. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Clean sheet?



    I’d settle for 5-4 win right now? 🙂



    From previous thread thank you to all who replied to the following




    You can ONLY have one. Not both.



    1. CHANGE


    2. 10IAR



    What do you choose?





    Just worth saying – it was genuinely intended to be just a query / not an examination of your stance.



    Brilliant responses.



    Compelling cases made for both.



    Here and now, I can’t imagine a more satisfying outcome than winning this league.



    Bolingoli, Multiple Covid-19 disruptions, constant media negativity, appalling collapse in form, injuries and – now – a homesick full back.



    Achieving 10IAR against that backdrop would be sensational.



    One poster made a great observation – can you imagine what Celtic winning in these circumstances does to the morale of our competitors?



    Sets them back years and gives us breathing space to make BIG changes without risking too many outcomes (trophies).



    Bit like when we appointed Ronny Deila.



    It didn’t work but it was an imaginative move done at the right time when our domestic opponents were weak.



    Lots of words. What’s my point?



    Change is needed.



    Park the “big change” agenda for now and focus every ounce of supporter, player, manager AND board member energy towards 10IAR.



    Message to the board …



    “Park” not “Kick into the long grass”



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  12. When we played in Lillie, we actually had some semblance of a defensive shape.


    Neither full back bombed on up field, when the other was doing the same .


    Broony also stayed closer to the central defenders, rather than chase lost causes all over the park.


    It worked to a certain extent.


    Rather than stick with the new found semi defensive discipline, we abandoned it in our next tie against Sparta.


    Instead we reverted to SPL shape .


    We got humped by Sparta reserves.



    Concentration on not conceding goals should have been a priority in July, not December.


    The horse bolted, long ago.

  13. Bhoy From The Boyne on




    Many Celtic fan sites are accessing Wyscout and breaking down the data of our season performances – CBN, Juco James, 90 min cynic etc. Some really great work being done by fan media.



    Their analysis of our season to date is quite damning in terms of team selection, tactical approach etc, This output doesn’t show any evidence that the Celtic first team management has similar opinions. Celtic’s own analysis is either polars apart or not being incorporated into decision making.



    I suspect it is the latter based on NL’s various comments over past 18 month – his awe for BR’s set-up when he arrived in March 2019, comments that he thinks players can be given too much info etc. Not ignoring his baffling team selections and incoherent post match interviews.



    Would it be possible for you to focus on the general topic of data analysis in a future article & Celtic’s general approach in using data to drive decision making within the first team operations?




  14. CHAIRBHOY (from prev)


    ‘There are a lot of qualities that have made Celtic great; Neil Lennon, Peter Lawwell and Desmond Dermot possess none of those qualities.’ –


    Unfair on Neil in my eyes.


    Up ’til this season’s debacle – and the subsequent vitriol towards Neil – I think Lenny exemplified quite a few, great Celtic qualities; qualities that came out in the face of virulent and potentially deadly threats on him and his family. Neil was brave, composed, called out anti-Irish racism and improved our performance while steadying the tiller during Brendan the Deserter’s exit. Sure, Desmond and Peter are cut from a more commercial cloth but I won’t forget that as a player and manager Neil has exemplified Celtic qualities few can deny, even with the red mist and fear understandably engulfing our support right now.



    TIMALOY29 – While we’ve been speculatively playing Moneyball with younger punts, they’ve been playing Medicine-ball; rotating older, wiser crocks into an efficient – not flash – system which has built their confidence no end. Mainly guys with significant British-style football experience. Our exotics haven’t bedded in well at all. Shipping out Gordon, Simunovic, Hayes and Sinclair to save a few bucks was dumbfeckery of an elite order.

  15. Andy Patons Mullet on

    Is this not the perfect game for the captain not to play? Not hat he is the blame for all our ills however, the rotation of his use is long overdue. Soro and Turnbull should be two starters with Griffiths up with Eddy. The chances of not conceding are up there with Pistol Pete inviting the banner bhoys in for a heat sadly.

  16. CHAIRBHOY on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 11:16 AM



    If you have a link that would be great…




    Easily found in the same place I’d look, Google

  17. However, Elhamed’s potential exit could depend on whether the club are able to sign a replacement with Head of Recruitment Nick Hammond currently looking at possible targets.



    bring back jack hendry , give him a chance

  18. PAPAJOE55 on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 11:16 AM







    A return to the jeans discussion , like you I had to go from a 40 to 42 with my jeans and fr my Birthday my wife bought me a pair of jeans from Sainsbury,s . They were described as a 4 way stretch and I had to return because 42 was too big and buy a 40. They are the most comfy jeans I have ever had. I have since bought 3 more pairs in different shades , not too pricey either £20 and in the sale 20% off so got for 16. You can buy online as well. Hope you are feeling better by tomorrow and we’ll done with the horses.HH




    Cheers mate. I might have a look in Sainsburys also if I feel better Tomorrow.


    My Heart Nurses are due to visit me Tomorrow morning so hopefully it will be an early visit and I can get out BEFORE Friday when I expect the Christmas shopping PANIC to kick in, which will mean longer queues and many folk at risk to Co Vid ?


    I did buy a pair of Denims on Monday from marks & sparks and they do Fit, so its just they New Woolly Jumpers that I am after for now before the Christmas rush.


    I did buy a New Woolly jumper on Monday also, its a One Shade of Grey LOL….FIFTY Shades may be too much for me at my age LOL ?



    I am STILL unhappy that Pubs that have taken great care when open against Covid in the past remain closed…and yet MORE Shops are going to be re open on Friday….and I fully expect mass crowds of shoppers in Christmas panic mode…in my opinion thats every bit as dangerous, if not more of any Pubs who could have been re opened ?


    Maybe I am biased and selfish ?


    It wouldnt be the first time LOL.


    HH Mate.

  19. Defensive confidence comes from clean sheets. The better the opposition the more confidence



    We need to concede no more than 1 goal against the Huns, probably none, or it’s gone. It’s what we should be working towards now

  20. CONEYBHOY on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 12:22 PM





    Coneybhoy – stick a fiver on all of those predictions, should be good odds the way we are playing just now.



    D :)

  21. I CRAVE the Magical 10…more than anything. Lets get the TEN…and then we can chase as many Celtic buses as we want to afterwards…..once we have all sobered up ?





  22. Paul 67


    ”A clean sheet is achievable…”






    Connolly in his prime years would have killed for a gag like that.


    Fair play to you Paul for the best joke you have ever told, right here on PL’sCQN.





    ”A clean sheet…should be the focus on team planning today.”


    Why today?


    Defence should be focused on constantly, day in, day out, especially with the way we have leaked goals for weeks.


    Think about what you are saying!

  23. Dear Moderator,



    Can you please give automatic Reds to any poster who continues to put Brown and McGregor together in their line-ups.






    From everybody who has seen that it doesn’t frickin’ work.

  24. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Agreed Paul, but I thought this ahead of the Milan game, which was also a dead rubber.



    Use these games to practise defending/counter attacking against better teams in preparation for Mordor. I thought If you can deploy a system to contain and limit the chances of Milan, it would surely be effective against an inferior Sevco.



    The manager didn’t see it that way against Milan, maybe this time will be different against Lille.

  25. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Christie is suspected for tomorrows game so this would be my line-up:






    Elhamed Ajer Julian Laxalt



    Ntcham Soro



    Frimpong Turnbull McGregor








  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9