Credit to Newco and Gerrard


Credit to Newco and Steven Gerrard.  They controlled much of yesterday’s game at Celtic Park, took their chances, which on this occasion did not all fall to the wasteful Morelos, and deserved their win.  For Celtic, the nature of the defeat asks many questions.

The visitors dominated the opening 30 minutes, which were a carbon copy of the League Cup Final between these sides earlier this month.  Celtic played the ball forward early throughout this period but it never stuck.  The front four: James Forrest, Ryan Christie, Mikey Johnston and Odsonne Edouard were practically spectators.

Kristoffer Ajer disrupted this pattern when he carried the ball through midfield for the first time in the game.  This inhibited Newco, and, for a few minutes, Celtic held possession in the final third.  In quick succession following this, Celtic won a corner, a subsequent penalty when Christopher Jullien was fouled inside the box and Ryan Christie saw his spot kick saved.  Before Newco could count their blessings, they took the lead when Ryan Kent was given space to shoot from 14 yards.  The opening goal came during Celtic’s best period of the match thus far, but it was deserved.

Scott Brown, who despite the result was imperious throughout, and Callum McGregor began to impose themselves after going behind.  A shot from the latter deflected off Odsonne Edouard, wrong-footed Allan McGregor and drew Celtic level.

The second half did not provide any comfort for the 59,000 Celtic fans.  Newco continued to dominate the game before scoring from a free header at a corner kick.  Celtic could not hold the ball for 10 seconds.

Neil Lennon reacted on 68 minutes by hooking both Forrest and Johnston for Ntcham and Bitton, and going three at the back.  Celtic finally matched Newco in midfield and were able to dominate possession.  They created good chances in the closing minutes but it was too little, too late.

Steve Gerrard won the tactical battle, as he did at Hampden, where Celtic took the trophy but not the lessons.

We’ll have a State of the Club piece up tomorrow.

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  1. P67 can lay the blame at Lennon’s door. Fair enough but what about the man that hired him without ever looking at other candidates ?



    I suggest our state of the club report should begin in the boardroom.

  2. Good summary PAUL67



    I said yesterday that we never looked like a team until we went to three at the back.



    Not getting involved in the slanging matches on here but one or two who were posting last night are defo NOT Celtic supporters.



    A Healthy and Happy New Year to all in Timdom when it comes.

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    Lennon did not learn the lessons then Paul. Why is that? Would a better coach have? There was never any prospect of a better coach coming in though was there Paul? Our money grabbing board saw only the cheap option and gambled on Sevco falling apart. A strategy lauded by you and the rest of the board apologists on here. Who needs 9 though, the “old firm” are back……

  4. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    BOB on 30TH DECEMBER 2019 11:53 AM







    Our ceo has blundered badly by not allowing a good quality second striker to be signed .














    How do you know that ?

  5. Geggen-pressing philosophy



    We have succumbed to the Geggen-press.



    Oh dear, just doesny sound right.

  6. A fair summary of the game and the fact we have now been schooled twice in succession by them.


    I hope lessons will be learnt this time. I fear they will not. We badly need better coaching staff for the training ground.


    Plenty posters on here comment during every game about:


    1.Our dreadful throw ins. How often you see the guy with the ball in his hands wanting to take a quick throw and there is nobody wanting it. Our players stand static. We give possession away far too often from what is supposed to be an advantage for us.


    2. Our poor defending of set pieces and corners High balls into our box cause problems. At Hampden rangers appeared to win every high hall from corner kicks. Yesterday it happened again. This time they scored. They also knew how to defend against threat of Jullien by putting men on line to help theirkeeper.


    3. Our corner kicks. How often we can’t get the ball past the first defender is a joke.



    These are the basics and it defies belief that highly paid professionals playing at this level continue to get them wrong.

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    There is a problem in Celtic team performance.







    What is / are the cause / causes of the problem ?







    Mis-identifying the cause means there will be no solution / rectification.







    Does anyone seriously think that the earlier removal of P.L. would have given us a win yesterday ?





    Does anyone think that the immediate removal of P.L. will win us the league this season ?







    P.L. is the Board gopher. He carries out the instructions of the Board.





    Or he gets the boot .

  8. Neil Lennon, deserves at least not to be disrespected.



    His results this season stand up to scrutiny. Winning at Ibrox, winning the league cup. Topping the Europa League Group, beating Lazio twice along the way.



    However, fans are entitled to ask, that after a lucky Cup Final escape… what was the planning. What was the strategy, to beat the Sevco compact 4-3-3 system and press.


    After failing to get our forward players in to the game at Hampden, what would we do differently in the 1st half in the game yesterday. Well it would appear, that apart from Edouard’s inclusion up front.


    There was no recognition of how well, Sevco snuffed out the spaces, and prevent our wide men receiving the ball in space.


    Therefore if you do not learn from the Cup final, then more worryingly, there was a reluctance or inability to learn from the 1st half display yesterday.


    The biggest concern I can put Lennon’s way, is that we came out yesterday for the start of the 2nd half, and nothing, absolutely nothing had been addressed.

  9. Desmond has seen his shares more than quadruple in value since he bought them. I’m struggling to see what our major shareholder has done for this club in the last 15 years bar see his investment grow.



    It’s been a case of sit back, let Peter do his thing and maybe some British/European football restructure will see Celtic become his next diamond mine.

  10. It’s a contact sport. The team who wanted it (much) more, won it. In midfield especially, where having an extra player gave them an in built advantage.




    It wasn’t working from minute 1. But it took 70 mins to make a change.




    Those Tims who enjoy talking about the lack of threat posed by the Stickies and their fan base being deluded…..seem a tad🤷🏼‍♂️Deluded?




    They’re displaying some of the hunger we displayed in stopping their tainted ten. We’re turning up.




    HH jg

  11. A state of the club piece up tomorrow…..



    Is this an official Celtic Blog??



    I think the posts since the final whistle and even before yesterday’s game know what’s wrong with the state of OUR club.



    D. :)

  12. Didn’t see the game . I refuse to watch that lot . I’ve never facilitated or accommodated Temporary Licence FC .. I went to see Arsenal folding — looked like losing comes easier to them than fighting for a win .. Crowd did likewise .



    Did see Neil Lennon’s post match thing .. . My jaw dropped at his ” standoffish” comment . . What ? – he saw it but did nothing about it? or he attempted to do something about it and the players ignored him ?

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Lennie ” the cheap option ” who got chucked in at the deep end last season and produced a flawless season of RESULTS.


    Who has won us the only trophy played for so far this season.



    Lennie will be hurting more than any of us today.

  14. One would almost think we made our latest managerial appointment in haste, without a proper selection process.



    In the showers or somewhere equally absurd.



    We need a system reset in January. I’d say our chances of winning the league are currently 50:50

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    RUGGYGMAN on 30TH DECEMBER 2019 12:33 PM





    I think that those are the questions which need to be addressed , not the perennial P.L. / Board slugfest .

  16. “Celtic played the ball forward early throughout this period but it never stuck.”



    In the league cup final it was all Lewis Morgan’s (especially according to Chris Sutton).



    I thought then and now it was due to the lack of support offered to the lone striker. Even with Eddie’s prodigious ball skills there is only so much one man can do.



    Quick – long – balls out from the back should be used as a surprise weapon. Not as plan A.



    Also thought Christie and Johnston were going for the killer ball too often rather than keeping it simple and safe.

  17. It is not the end of the world, but it could be the end if an era.



    An era of cheap titles and even cheaper cups. This is not to decry the achievements of the past three years, a triple-treble in any grade is not to be ‘sniffed at’



    We must accept that winning most things in a world without a functioning ‘Rangers’, is almost a given to a club of our stature. This is not a put down, merely a reality. Realism is not Defeatism.



    The Ibrox club have improved dramatically over Gerrard’s tenure, I suggest that we now accept them as equals on the pitch, if not off it.



    Can we acknowledge what has happened, not just a defeat in one match, but that the gap has closed and there will be no more easy honours in the foreseeable future?



    Only if we all accept this and the club responds in the correct manner, do I believe that 9iar/10iar will still be possible.



    If we lose the title and it appears we are also losing ground to Ibrox, season-ticket sales will plummet.

  18. onenightinlisbon on




    He was and is the cheap option. I appreciate the job he has done for us. I was commenting on the fact that our board had no intention of spending money and gambled on a Sevco implosion.

  19. Given the choice of losing the cup final or the game yesterday, the results were how I’d have chosen.



    The performance in both matches were not. Though as some have pointed out, the hype that we were dominated is not borne out by the facts. It did FEEL that way but McGregor had the more difficult saves, plus the penalty, plus the chances we didn’t hit the target.



    I don’t agree that Neil Lennon was outthought by Gerrard. The players were outfought on the day which I believe is only temporary and due mostly to tiredness – physical and mental.



    A rest and reset in Dubai will put us back on track.

  20. Totally outplayed twice in a couple of weeks by Sevco, the lack of a Plan B is obvious, and letting valuable time drift away, without changing tactically, or using subs.We have had it good for a long time, the challenge is here now,we need to respond.

  21. Macjay. Peter lawell has full control of Celtic park


    His remit is zero debt and reasonable success



    He runs the board and the entire business and football operation. As a handyman said inside Celtic park he even choses the paint in the dressing room. He is known s for his autocratic approach to mangement. It’s his way or the door


    Our football department is strangled


    As nir bitton said when asked if he was getting a new contract “ you had better ask peter lawell “. Not Neil of Hammond. Peter lawel Strangles our club Holds us back. Even chooses the assistant manger for our club


    Balance sheet is bottom line He is and always was a cost cutting CEO with no idea how to expand


    A new CEO would change that with a seperate director of football #lawwel out

  22. The good news is that we are only 1 point behind nett and we have won 17 out of 20 League matches this season. Elhamed and Elyonoussi were badly missed and will be available in 3 weeks time. There is cause for concern but no need to panic just yet.



    Depending on how far you drill it down or how far you go back, there are 100 ways in which you could allocate blame for yesterday. For example you could say that the money wasted on Shved and Bayo has come back to haunt us. You could say the ongoing issues with Griffiths and Rogic are costing us. You could say Neil picked the wrong team and didnt change it quickly enough. You could blame individual players like Forrest and Boli. And so on.



    To lay the blame at the door of Neil Lennon only is lazy. Neil is doing an excellent job.



    The squad is actually more than decent, with the return of the injured players and some tactical adjustments allied to a renewed determination, should see us finish with a strong points tally somewhere around the 90-95 mark.



    What we need to do in the next couple of weeks is recruit a quality striker, one with the intent of winning 9 in a row and probably another midfielder with a bit of dig and another centre half.



    We turned them over in September and they spent £7m the following day. They’ve kicked on since and that same player put us to the sword yesterday. We need to show similar intent or Desmond and Peter Lawwell will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

  23. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    I echo Ruggyman’s sentiments.



    While I suspect Neil over thought this game (and Cluj game 2) he deserves our support.



    McNut – with respect, Celtic haven’t won any “easy honours” – a common MSM narrative intentionally designed to cheapen our achievements.



    They were all earned honestly through incredible hard work.



    Don’t take my word, ask Broonie.



    Hail hail

  24. I think it’s dangerous to suggest we countered their press yesterday with our change of set up and subs.



    We were in the last 20 mins and they fell back deep to see out the win – the press had gone and their legs had gone.

  25. ;)









    Huns at it……………………………………………………




  26. Paul67 et al



    Fact is Neil Lennon convinced himself, and I assume, his coaching staff, that he would over run the Rangers defence by, playing a five/six man attacking line-up which would stretch the opposition right left and centre. why else start with, Johnson, McGregor, Christie, Eduardo, Forrest and Frimpong? Unfortunately for Lenny the rookie coach saw him coming. Again. In effect two midfielders in Ryan and Calum, Brown deeper. Leaving NChaim, who had played most recent games sitting on the touchline. Arguably in the most important game of the season. We have went from outright favourites for the league to being on the back foot from now on in. That is something to write about. But not something to write home about.

  27. Bhoys, I will return to an old mantra


    We do need to be spending millions ( yes initially on signings)


    Better squad management should be our goal in January


    How much are the following costing us ?


    Craig Gordon – do we still need him ? We have Bain


    Jack Hendry


    Jozo Simonuvic- I think is decent, but how often fit ?


    Eboue Kouassi


    Lewis Morgan


    Scott Sinclair


    Daniel Arzani


    Marian Shved


    Vakoum Bayo



    Does, Leigh Griffiths still have a future ?


    Thomas Rogic ?


    Who is Manny Perez or Gutmann ?



    Clear the decks as much as possible and sign Quality please

  28. UNCLE JIMMY on 30TH DECEMBER 2019 12:39 PM


    One would almost think we made our latest managerial appointment in haste, without a proper selection process.



    In the showers or somewhere equally absurd.




    Surely a PLC Board would not conduct the appointment of a key employee in such a fashion?

  29. An dun. The double substitution changed it from 9.5 plays 11 to 11 plays 11



    Forrest was Awefull at home to hibs and Aberdeen Lazy no heart Rightly taken off in both games



    What on earth was Neil thinking after watching that and then starting him against them. Did he really believe he would play any different


    He compounded that mistake with playing Johnston. Who will never in a million years be a regular start. Aberdeen or hibs will be his destination



    Does John Kennedy actually advice Neil on tactics or is he just a fitness coach that informs peter lawwell everything ;(

  30. NorrieM,



    Given also the associated drop in quality amongst the other teams in the SPFL, I’d be running a mass loan programme in January – Griff to Hibs, Johnston & Kouassi to Aberdeen, Gordon to Hearts, Bayo to Killie, etc etc….



    We’re not getting to get offers for these guys.



    We need to replace them with big, baby-eating athletes….

  31. Hotel Paris. We are not run as a forward looking business. But are run to the autocratic wim of peter lawell

  32. James Forrest Stats




    Games Played: 35


    Goals Scores : 14


    Goals Assisted : 16





    Games Played: 56


    Goals Scored: 18


    Goals Assisted: 20





    Games Played: 58


    Goals Scored: 17


    Goals Assisted: 10

  33. When it comes to spending money in January, don’t hold your breath. The board failed to back Brendan. Not signing players he wanted e.g. Mcginn and signing players he didn’t want e.g. Shved.


    He is my take of what will happen in January. The board will wait to see what sevco do. Will sevco spend? Will sevco sell Morelos? We will then react to what sevco do. We will haggle over transfer fees and then the deals will collapse. We will then try to get some loan deals done before the window closes.


    If Neil doesn’t win the league this season he will almost certainly pay the price with his job. I don’t think the board will back Neil in January if they don’t believe he will be here for next season.

  34. Too upset to post before.Not good anyway when you are raging.


    Stop slagging Lenny.He has done brilliantly in Europe,which the magnificent Brendan could not do.Won us the 1st trophy of the season,another treble most surely on.Now my complaints.


    I said for weeks before,not hindsight,we had to play four in the middle,nope,and paid dearly.Lenny got wrong.That does not excuse the disgraceful performances of,Forrest,Bolij,Christie,Ajer,who in their own way were shocking.That’s for another post.


    Gerrard is no genius.He has been playing this way all season,and with the players they have,it works.But not without Morelos.Once again he gave us a torrid time.Glad he is a nutter.

  35. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    A disastrous performance and result yesterday. Sevco will now think of themselves as favourites for this league and I think they will go big in January to help seal the deal.



    A lot of people said in the build up to the game that not one of their first 11 would get into our team. Now, I wouldn’t agree with that (particularly on yesterday’s performance), but I still think we have the better players and squad overall.



    However, it now looks very clear that Sevco have a better management team. Their formation and tactics were superior; they were well drilled and comfortable all over the park. We were all over the place. That was Murty-eque from our perspective.



    The fact so many of our players were made to look ordinary yesterday (and in the LCF) is a result of our manager’s ineptitude in the last two games against them; we can’t rely on Forster putting in a world class performance every game.



    On James Forrest: great player for us, but does go missing against Sevco a lot (much like Naka). We need a quality RW to provide competition, as the others aren’t good enough or fancied by NL.