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Clean sheet objective against Lille

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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!

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310 Comments

  1. BHOY FROM THE BOYNE- totally agree ,but after the last couple of club statements, all bets are off .

  2. Lawwell and Lennon are using the media to demonise the Celtic fans —- of course they are giving it big licks.

     

     

    Typical of Lawwell find a scapegoat and fling it ( the supporters ) under the bus—- just like lennon has done with the players. They are both in survival mode whilst eying a final exit package. Difficult balancing act.

     

     

    The 2 of them know they are well past their sell by date as does Desmond.

     

     

    Desmond will be ruthless and remove both. He ultimately then has a decision to make —- will he allow the club to be run properly and grow. Suspect not —- then he needs to manage his exit.

     

     

    Dermot carries ultimately responsibility but these 2 individuals have brought Celtic to it knees.

     

     

    Sevco will win title 55 this season and crown it with a treble. Lawwell paved the way with the 5WA and helping SFA with Res 12. Lawwell gave Sevco legitimacy —— there is nobody to throw under the bus for that.

     

     

    Desmond must feel shafted by the lying Lawwell who has played him as if he is losing his marbles.

  3. LC

     

    If this all comes out in the wash about the 5WA and the stitch up of Scottish football to benefit one club then I hope fans of other clubs are as angry as some Celtic supporters, they would probably have more leverage with their club to demand restructuring of and the removal from the game of those responsible, you cannot have one set of rules for one club and rules for the rest.

     

    As for 55 not a chance a new club came into existence in 2012 Traverso from UEFA said so even though he wasnt asked that, why would he say that?

  4. UNCLE JIMMY on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 1:48 PM

     

     

    Does a football mgt team have KPIs? CSFs?

     

     

    Are ours meeting them?

     

     

    What are the contractual consequences if not?

     

    ==================================================

     

     

    A vote of confidence by the board.

  5. I don’t think Stevie Clarke would have even considered the Celtic job.

     

    That’s based on watching and listening to every public utterance in the past few years.

     

     

    There are a dozen reasons this season has been rubbish and all correct.

     

     

    However, it’s on Neil Lennon and Stevie Woods that we have 4 goalkeepers and none fit for purpose.

     

     

    The decision to rip-up the selling policy this year has backfired and we have 5 players counting the days until January 1st….I think the plan is to sell the wantaways and buy other players (mental in my book).

     

     

    So who would we (try and) sign?

     

     

    I think Forster or the guy from ManU will play in goals on Jan 2nd.

     

     

    Martin Boyle 100pc… I’ll be suprised if he doesn’t have a release clause.

     

     

    I still think it’s going to fail but I can’t think of anyone else.

     

     

    Lewis Ferguson….? Big Celtic fan

  6. LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 6:32 PM

     

    NL on #CELLOSC: “We are looking at Klimala, Turnbull, Soro getting game time which they deserve and need with the run of games coming up. It’s ideal to give them an opportunity to play.”

     

     

    ———————————

     

     

    Compounds his total inability to manage a football team.

     

     

    A desperate man now.

     

     

    Not amazing.

     

     

    Very sad, for him and us.

  7. If Desmond was going to act,he would have done it weeks ago,even before the car park protests IMO

  8. “We are looking at Klimala, Turnbull, Soro getting game time which they deserve and need with the run of games coming up. It’s ideal to give them an opportunity to play.” NFL

     

     

    ………………………………….

     

     

    Does this mean they are all on the bench as usual?

     

     

    Game time? Is that the last 20 minutes or perhaps less?

     

     

    If these guys don’t start then the manager is taking the piss on a huge scale, just like the board of directors.

     

     

    We need to throw more fences!

  9. The collapse of a section of the Celtic support after a poor run of games is every bit as depressing and shocking as the collapse of the team on the park.

     

     

    Utterly miserable time for the Celtic family

  10. ulysses mcghee - a demographic of one on

    We are all suffering under the myth that we can affect things in some way.

     

     

    We can’t.

     

     

    The dice are cast.

     

     

    I’ve seen what feels like a million reasons or rumours posited – COVID, players, the coaching staff as individuals, the management team, the board, the owner, maintenance of the Govanites, managed decline, awaiting the quadruple treble, awaiting the January transfer window…

     

     

    We’ll never know.

     

     

    Certainly not anytime soon.

     

     

    But we’re in a holding pattern for pain.

     

     

    And as sad and angry as I feel, there’s something in my gut I can’t shift – this was avoidable – this was easily avoidable.

     

     

    But – as Bobby says to Mickey – what good is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise?

     

     

    Everything’s a copper taste on the tongue right now – we’re heavy with fear and the return of them – as if the 10 push will denigrate the 9.

     

     

    For the past 4 or 5 years I’ve tried solely to measure ourselves against ourselves – and tbh we’ve constantly came up short. The plan A for 10 was BR – unfortunately BR was ambitious and easily swayed away from our joint course. The plan A derailment unfortunately hit at the same time as BR’s regime’s scouting/signing history started to bite.

     

     

    The contingency was Neil Lennon – no matter how much you love Neil Lennon – he should not have been our new Plan A – especially if there wasn’t even that, never mind a plan B.

     

     

    I live in my head and my heart.

     

     

    Corporate diligence and duty of care to future planning look to have been ignored or understated.

     

     

    And my head and my heart tells me that I think that the pre COVID Celtic thought they could outspend their way to winning football matches and the resultant challenges – and then COVID came along and laid that strategy bare as boorishness.

     

     

    And having had no plan A there was no plan B – except to pretend that Plan A was to maintain and support the status quo.

     

     

    The performances for the past few weeks – are sackable offences – now zealously compared to laughing stocks of our past – yet they result in no sackings…

     

     

    So, that means we’re just a big oil tanker heading to land, no brakes, no reverse, no navigation.

     

     

    Comms is a tricky business – because it’s a balance of what you want to say and how you want to look. Celtic’s have been woeful.

     

     

    Instead of selling deckchairs on the Titanic and all going down together, they’ve thought fencing off the upper decks will keep them safe.

     

     

    The club/board/fan nexus has always been ‘fluid’ – I fear that’s for the change.

     

     

    I just pray we don’t spiral further…

     

     

    As always, I love Celtic and you all and I hope I am wrong or being overwrought…

     

     

    But…

     

     

    U

  11. glendalystonsils on

    I think Kilmarnock are a far bigger threat to Celtic’s chances taking 3 points from Sunday’s game than any supporter demonstration .

     

    They are as well organised in defence and as dangerous in attack as either Ross Co. or St. johnstone .

     

     

    Unless of course , we have ‘turned it around’ .

  12. NOTTHEBUS on 9TH DECEMBER 2020 7:45 PM

     

    The collapse of a section of the Celtic support after a poor run of games is every bit as depressing and shocking as the collapse of the team on the park.

     

     

    Utterly miserable time for the Celtic family

     

    ===============================

     

     

    What about the collapse of the managers managerial abilities? (if he hid any)

  13. FAIRHILL BHOY

     

     

    I’m no worried about the front pages!

     

     

    It’s the back pages that piss me off!

     

     

    Hope you are good!

  14. lets all do the huddle on

    The collapse of a section of the Celtic support after a poor run of games is every bit as depressing and shocking as the collapse of the team on the park.

     

     

     

    i’m sure you realise that there is so much more going on than just a poor run of results to trigger the supporter angst, and you are just doing a bit of stirring

     

     

    the club has been disasterously mismanaged from top to bottom

     

     

    yet no one is taking responsibility, but are just carrying on as they were, while collecting their large pay packets

     

     

    DD, PL, NL, the coaching staff and the players all guilty

     

     

    yet they are just forming a protection racket to keep them all on the gravy train

     

     

    with the 53000 season ticket holders being treated like mugs

     

     

    no other business would get away with it

  15. PHILBHOY-the back pages aren’t much better mate.

     

    It’s nearly the weekend thank god 😉

  16. If you win every trophy going (again), win the league by a mile (again), finish the domestic season in incredible form, keep your best players and spend a load of cash on improving the squad, how can that be mismanagement or poor planning?

     

     

    It’s not like we were “doing just enough to stay ahead of them” or “failing to strengthen from a position of strength”

     

     

    What sort of business strategy or football planning foresees a collapse in form that we saw from last season to this while bringing in fresh blood to improve?

  17. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    SFTB @ 2:24pm.

     

     

    Enjoyed your analysis immensely.

     

     

    Couple more factors sprung to mind.

     

     

    First, the wide availability of granular player performance data from matches. Everyone’s an expert now.

     

     

    Second guessing professional football managers – who have to deal with complex human issues and levels of pressure to succeed that most of us can’t even begin to comprehend – has become a regular pastime.

     

     

    Second, dark nights?

     

     

    Reading back today’s thread … it’s palpable how it begins quite positively then steadily becomes more negative as the evening progresses.

     

     

    Now, clearly, there is a large constituency of regular CQNers who are, frankly, p155ed off at the current situation.

     

     

    Totally get it.

     

     

    Throw into the mix though those who foment unrest for their own narrow aims and the mood deteriorates further.

     

     

    Celtic are my team and my club.

     

     

    Love them.

     

     

    It’s players, managers, and board of directors routinely do things that annoy me.

     

     

    Still love them.

     

     

    Change may very well be needed.

     

     

    Sticking with NEIL Lennon might be the wrong move.

     

     

    But as long as he is the manager I’ll try my damnedest to forget about the times he has annoyed me and support him.

     

     

    Same with the players.

     

     

    And if Sevco win the treble (a prediction presented as fact on here today) …

     

     

    .. I’ll hate it.

     

     

    But I’ll still love Celtic.

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

  18. “We are looking at Klimala, Turnbull, Soro getting game time which they deserve and need with the run of games coming up

     

     

    that’s the back 3 sorted then.

  19. B2B – Glass Half full..

     

     

    So…….

     

     

    Ignore the obvious signs of decline.

     

     

    Blame the supporters as they have an agenda.

     

     

    Spread unrequited love of Neil Lennon.

     

     

    I’d suggest all this results in is nothing but cognitive dissonance as you watch TavPen parade the town with the league trophy.

     

     

    HH

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    BW – blame the supporters?

     

     

    “there is a large constituency of regular CQNers who are, frankly, p155ed off at the current situation. Totally get it”

     

     

    FWIW – I don’t blame anyone.

     

     

    Merely pointing out there are a small minority on here doing/feeling fine about Celtic (and it’s fans) not doing/feeling fine.

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

  21. BACK TO BASICS – GLASS HALF FULL:

     

     

    First up, who “ferments unrest for their own narrow ends”?

     

     

    You are FULLY entitled to support the club and the manager and the board in whatever way you want.

     

     

    But don’t come on here with that patronising pish that suggests the rest of us are lesser somehow because we refuse to live with decline. And don’t accuse anyone of having an agenda.

     

     

    The agenda is simple; we want Celtic to succeed.

     

     

    Bottom line. If you don’t believe that of your fellow fans I suggest the problem is yours, not theirs.

  22. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    These have been a tough few weeks & indeed months for Celtic supporters.

     

     

    Confusing too considering we are on the cusp of a quadruple treble and 9 league titles in the bag.

     

     

    I still wake up each match day excited for the match and guessing the line up in my head throughout the day.

     

     

    And maybe…just maybe this team can click in the league come Sunday!

  23. HOTSMOKED – your comment:

     

    ‘In my experience, people think that making negative comments is indicative of a sharp, analytical mind and they would like others to have that opinion of them . Positivity is seen as being an easily led happy clapper.’

     

    Absolutely.

     

     

    TIMALOY – re Moneyball: Turnbull, Soro, Afolabi, Ajeti, Klimala, Afolabi, Perez, O’Connor… all 23 or under.

     

    Pete plays Moneyball – not exclusively – as it’s key to the business model. And despite backing NFL with expensive acquisitions ‘to secure the 10’, these exotics – homesick, unsettled, COVID stressed, whatever – have simply not bedded in as hoped.

     

     

    BGFC – ur welcome.

     

     

    CHAIRBHOY – ta.

  24. Fantastic article from The Celtic Star which describes how Pinocchio Lawwell has destroyed the club

     

     

    Celtic’s Managed Decline and the Men Responsible

     

    9 December, 2020

     

     

    It feels like this season an up to now ascendant Celtic has suddenly fallen off a cliff edge. It almost feels like we didn’t see this coming, as we hurtle towards the earth below it’s all rather unexpected.

     

     

    But the fact of the matter is this is not a short sharp fall from grace it is just the acceleration of an end game that has seen us speeding us toward the precipice for some time.

     

     

    To the outside looking in it must seem ridiculous to see a Celtic support protest outside the ground. Those outside the club will see 11 trophies in a row won, possibly a 12th to follow and a team not so long invincible. Yet at the first sign of a bona fide challenge, a pothole in the road, we act like entitled brats. But that is not the case, the perceived sense of entitlement is not the truth of the matter, despite the narrative being spun.

     

     

     

     

    The truth of it is Celtic have been in a managed decline for some time and it has been something many following Celtic have been warning of for just as long. The warnings were not heeded.

     

    The benchmarking Celtic have used has been at a local level, when had we gauged at a European level, Celtic would have been judged far earlier and more critically. We all play a complicit role in that but that managed decline and the responsibility for it lies with Celtic’s Chief Executive and a board who are unwilling or unable to challenge him.

     

     

     

    Instead, the smokescreen, or perhaps safety blanket for some, of continued domestic success, the eight, nine and now ten-in-a-row obsession has papered over the cracks and allowed those managing the strategy and structure of the club to get away short-changing the club’s ambitions.

     

     

    This from a board that is ageing, tired and operating with a short-term vision, relevant perhaps as long as a decade ago, rather than the modern ways now enveloping the game.

     

    In an industry that has grown and developed so quickly in recent years we have a Celtic board with people in post for excess of 15 years not so much with their finger on the pulse more inserted further south.

     

     

    While Celtic drop the use of the phrase ‘Old Firm’ it seems that is where the separation from our rivals ceased. We, it appears, are still basing a business continuity plan on staying one step ahead of a rival we refer to as deceased, now we’re giving them the kiss of life. Our managed decline sees us adopt a strategy of staying ahead of theRangers with the least spend possible.

     

     

    Some of course did see this coming, those initially behind Resolution 12 and the requisitioners who continue a seven-year battle even now. The ones who were involved from the beginning, shedding a light on the SFA, the continuity myth and our own clubs’ acquiescence in it all. It’s just they were too short in numbers to really convince the board of their threat having an impact on the club, but those guys are still there and they go again at Monday’s AGM.

     

     

     

     

    The club have been challenged on the use of EBT’s by the old Rangers, the board’s knowledge and participation in a 5-way agreement, the acceptance of the Lord Nimmo Smith judgement, the blocking, rerouting and kicking into the long grass of Resolution 12 and the verging on corrupt nature of the SFA and SPL at the time.

     

     

    Even now an up-to-date threat goes unchecked, as the current financial position of a member club going about its business in much the same way as their previous incarnation did, and all with little or at least no meaningful appetite for a challenge from Celtic, the club most impacted by it all.

     

     

    Is it any wonder when Celtic’s current board and in particular the CEO have overseen years of presented evidence and slights on Celtic as a club, and chosen to almost entirely ignore it all, that some of that questionable and lazy decision making made to protect a safer, more risk averse –up to now -status quo would not eventually seep into the team on the pitch in a domestic environment.

     

     

    Having underestimated or had a disregard for the quality of opposition we faced in European football year after year, and as the standard of those teams we exited to dropped rather than improved, and as we lose out on qualifiers for the champions league earlier and earlier, to the point we are now performing worse than Dundalk in the Europa League consolation cup, is it any surprise we’ve now to face up to this decline at a domestic level too?

     

     

     

     

    And the sad thing is this had less to do with the money and everything to do with the planning or lack of it. Celtic spend money, but how we spend it, where we spend it and who we benchmark that spending against has failed. Who controls those purse-strings going forward now requires immediate attention.

     

     

     

    And now we protest and the outside world scratches its head. They only see the temporary blip, rather than the deep malaise. They don’t see the opportunities wasted for years of European progression, gaining champion’s league qualification, reinvesting that money in the team and infrastructure, all the while slowly building our club’s international reputation, and squandering the opportunity to do all of that while our only credible rival was out of the picture and we could safeguard our superiority.

     

     

    And so, we’re back to that managed decline. Instead of blowing everyone away and being the dominant force in Scottish football but aiming to benchmark ourselves with European clubs and not a recovering rival, we’ve frittered away that opportunity, and by May this year could have blown the entire advantage.

     

     

    And now we ask ourselves if we need a new manager. Well yes, it’s clear we do, but the board aren’t for letting that happen yet. Even if we do who is going to take on the job? Who is going to work under the constraints that Neil Lennon does – the man now being used as a human shield for an out of touch CEO?

     

     

     

     

    Which manager of sufficient standing and reputation chooses Celtic when they realise how we work is entirely outdated and unhealthy? Which self-respecting top-level operator chooses Celtic and working under Peter Lawwell? Particularly when they seek out advice, they are informed of our Chief Executive’s strange old working model for the football department flows entirely through him?

     

     

    And if anyone wants to know how interfering or out of touch that is, they need only sound out Brendan Rodgers, or ask those who previously applied and who heard their applications were stuffed in a drawer without the decency of a cursory glance, for their opinion on Celtic’s main man – the one they’d be expected to work under.

     

     

    Are we starting to see why things won’t be changing even when they change? And are we also beginning to understand why Neil Lennon hasn’t been replaced?

     

     

     

     

    If Celtic want to change they need to play catch up. Catch-up to a world where analytics rule the roost, where coaching is data driven, where marketing and brand development are areas where we are behind the curve from a decade ago never mind today.

     

     

    And to do that in a big organisation it needs to be fragmented. By all means have a CEO, but heads of marketing, recruitment, merchandising, and of course the football department all need Directors feeding into the board as a whole. Departments with budgets, targets and accountability to a Board, not one single man, now so out of touch with modern football it could take years to get on a par with similar sized European clubs, never mind been in a position to excel.

     

     

    Peter Lawwell has overseen this managed decline where we could have rammed home our advantage. Instead, we tried to do it on less and less and a rarely changing infrastructure, stay just ahead. Now our stagnation is evident.

     

    In some organisations you may see that man challenged, but appears even the rest of the Celtic board do not question or confront our CEO. It is not an environment that will foster change. Even a new manager would see a bounce factor at best before the same old problems around planning, accountability and interference would raise their head.

     

     

    So, at next week’s AGM when the issue of a replacement manager will no doubt be raised, will anyone be asking what is the point when the man overseeing it all remains? The man who had an opportunity to build a dynasty but chose to try and stay one step ahead of a rival who should be of no significance to us any longer. One who has overseen our European star descend to the point, we are statistically amongst the poorest performing teams in any European competition this season, and one where at the first sign of an organised rival, even our domestic stranglehold has been weakened to the point we fold like a pack of cards at the first sign of a challenge.

     

     

    It is not simply on the park that Celtic would benefit from a fresh outlook. If we are going to appoint a new manager, it may not be the brightest of ideas for the chap who has managed and been responsible for the decline in standards at the club to play any part in appointing a new man. Indeed, the man responsible for a managed decline at Celtic would do well to manage his exit strategy-and soon.

     

     

    Niall J

     

     

    Great stuff from James Forrest too, also calling out Pinocchio Lawwell

     

    https://thecelticblog.com/2020/12/blogs/if-the-people-inside-our-club-want-things-to-improve-they-need-to-stop-scapegoating/

  25. CELTIC40ME @ 8:27 PM,

     

     

    And yet the fact remains that many on CQN and elsewhere predicted exactly this. How?

     

     

    What we are seeing at Celtic is not some random collapse of a first rate team. What we are seeing is the result of one of either three things…

     

     

    1 – The Board deliberately down sized so that they could have “old firm” competition and make profit from the bigot pound

     

     

    2 – The Board are incompetent, they thought they could downsize, save money, take profit and still be the dominant force in Scotland

     

     

    3 – The Board are businessmen whose priority is running a profitable PLC to benefit themselves and their shareholders, the sporting aspect of the Club is secondary to that, i.e. do you build ladas or ferraris? The car fanatic says ferraris, the businessmen says the one that makes most money.

     

     

    The fact remains, when Rangers died, Celtic had the perfect opportunity to look at their Eueopean peers and become a tier 3 UCL Club. They choose not to excel as a football Club, rather, they looked at revenue schemes… among other things this meant getting into bed with alcohol and betting companies, playing moneyball with the squad and ensuring Rangers were ressurected.

     

     

    We could have been Ajax, we are Aberdeen, and big Pedro has made an absolute killing out of it all.

     

     

    Hail Hail