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Implicit backing for Neil after a long 48 hours

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It was a long 48 hours before yesterday’s statement from chief exec, Peter Lawwell.  He explicitly acknowledged “hurt, disappointment and frustration following the team’s recent results”, but the implicit backing was there for “Neil, the players and the backroom staff”.

I have been critical of Neil’s decision in recent weeks, team plans change every hour but we do not appear to know how fix the fundamental problem.  What actually is wrong? is a harder question to answer than it appears.  It was not playing three at the back (or four), nor was choosing one player over another.  If only it was as simple as a solitary scapegoat in the team.  There is bigger question: Is the problem actually the manager?

It could be.  Responsibility to fix team structure certainly lies with Neil, but there are doubtlessly other things going on that few of us are aware of.  Neil carries the can, but he would be gone if the board thought that was all there is to the story.

Winning the league is going to take a huge effort this month and successful recruitment next month.  Having been denied the opportunity to scout players during the spring and summer, a great deal of work has gone into preparing for January.  Do the club have faith in this work?  Would another manager ‘put his name’ to those targets blind?

Your recruitment strategy goes out the door with the manager.  My suspicion is the club weigh the need for squad additions higher than changing the manager.  These are the questions that separate those who are paid the big bucks from those who write blogs.  Thankfully……

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.

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486 Comments

  1. SFTB,,

     

     

    Many thanks for the comprehensive reply. You picked up on the potential difference between playing for the team and giving 100% during the Ronny Delia era.

     

     

    But you have cleverly navigated around the fundamental question of the moment :-

     

    Do you think that all our players are giving 100% in all our games.

     

     

    I do not , do you ?

     

     

    Again many thanks, cheers and HH.

  2. Sid

     

     

    I have no doubt thaat any grouping of ex-players will reflect the mood of the current support and will be wanting Lawwell sacked and Neil sacked.

     

     

    All of them, and us, can cite money being lost, potentially, to the club every time we fail to qualify for CL Group stages. Every one can point to the signings that don’t make it and attribute the total costs of them solely to PL’s hands too. And all of them can cite how much he is overpaid for running an operation as small as Celtic. The only surprise is that the amount quoted as lost, attributable to Pl, is as low as £20-£50m.

     

     

    I am less interested in the sources who told you about the money he is costing us and more about how th money is being lost or stolen.

     

     

    Is it just the

     

     

    He cost us CL money

     

    He cost us with his dud signings money

     

    & He cost us more than he’s worth in salary and bonuses

     

     

    Or is it some other form of “costing us money” they are talking about. Surely, you could provide that detail?

  3. Ernie Lynch

     

     

    The players have either told me directly or my dad, who I’ve never heard tell a lie in my life.

     

     

    Don’t tell me what I can and can’t post, I listen to your politics push and respect your right to post whether I agree or not.

     

     

    Everything I do post is from the heart for the good of our club, we have a cancer in our club who’s motivations are at times the opposite of the fans.

  4. SFTB @ 3.35

     

     

    The squad are not trying a leg at the moment.

     

    Some are in the huff because they were not allowed a move.

     

    And some are in the huff because they can;t stick the footballing staff.

     

     

    We are beyond MIB interference / we are beyond poor form / we are beyond bad luck.

     

    Look out for the next stupid penalty that is given away.

     

     

    Please remember if it doesn’t make sense then it doesn’t make sense.

     

    And you have to ask why.

     

     

    Regarding last season — were not great in the SPL and we had a horrible home game against the TFOD2.

     

     

    However we played some good football in the EuL so we always knew there was more to come.

     

     

    This season we are rank and there is nothing left to offer hope unless real change is actioned ASAP.

     

     

    NL is being asked to do a job that he is demonstrably incapable of doing at this moment in time. We have a duty of care to our employees and we are not exercising that duty with regard to NL and the managers job.

     

     

    The blames lies at the door of PL and by extension DD.

     

    They have caused this mess but don’t seem capable or engaged enough to fix it.

  5. SID:

     

     

    It’s more than that; you have to believe what you see with your own eyes.

     

     

    There’s a moment in Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot where Father Callaghan and Mark Petrie are sitting in the kid’s parents house, and Callaghan is trying to convince Mark’s father that there are vampires in the town and that Barlow has personally threatened him and his wife.

     

     

    Petrie Snr flatly refuses to accept it, even when Callaghan admits that he, Ben Mears, Dr Cody and the kid had pounded a stake through a woman’s heart and cut off her head that very afternoon. He just will not accept that such a thing is possible, even when this pillar of the community tells him it is.

     

     

    “If I told you,” he says to Callaghan, “that I had heard, from reputable sources, that a giant ladybird had had walked down mainstreet with an umbrella, would you believe it?”

     

     

    Callaghan gives one of the all-time best answers.

     

     

    “If I was sure the witnesses were credible and that it was not some kind of trick, I would be far down the road to belief, yes.”

     

     

    And that’s the logical intellectuals answer … what can we believe? We can believe what credible people tell us is so. We can believe the evidence of our own eyes. We can believe the things we can touch and feel. The things that are right there in front of us.

     

     

    This club is in a world of trouble, badly led, with a dire strategy. Lennon has plainly got no idea how to fix all this. The board has no Plan B. The flaws that some of us have been able to see for years have all contributed to an evolving disaster, at the worst possible moment, but it has been made 100% worse by the dreadful managerial decision from 25 May 2019.

     

     

    No matter how many people tell us not to believe the evidence of our own eyes or to ignore the reams of issues which are as plain as day, you have to persist in the belief, as Winston Smith said, that 2+2=4 … and as he put it, “If that is granted, all else follows.”

  6. James Forrest,

     

     

    I value your contributions on here as well as in your own blog.

     

    I would like to think that Paul- B and yourself go back a long way and that is why you can be so blunt at times.

     

     

    Interesting hearing you talk about internet traffic. In the absence of Winning Captains, do you know the traffic stats for CQN over the last few years. ?

     

     

    Cheers and HH.

  7. greenpinata

     

     

    “Do you think that all our players are giving 100% in all our games.

     

    I do not , do you ?”

     

     

    Hmmm. This is gonna be difficult.

     

     

    Every player’s form varies , therefore they can never be at 100% effective in every game they played. Sports people talk about being “in the zone”- a feeling I got in only 2 games in my whole career, and I think I was fairly good on the mental side of sport- most of my deficiencies were physical ones.

     

     

    So nobody can commit to giving 100% of their best in all games, to my mind.

     

     

    But, equally, I never played with anyone wjo deliberately played badly. I saw players become emotionally over-wrought adn make bad decisions that harmed the team. I saw players drained of confidence who became shadows of what they could have been. I’ve even seen players who told their coach, they were not “on it” today and maybe should be subbed. But I never heard any say- “I’m not gonna try today” or afmit afterwards that they did not try.

     

     

    At Celtic, we saw Viduja down tools at h-time in the ICT gameand George Connelly walk out of CP and the game altogether. Neither of these were laxy players who couldn’t be arsed; their issues lay elsewhere.

     

     

    I still feel the “lazy player” explanation is both over-used and ultimately, false.

  8. Even the dogs in the street know that PL is useless on a grand scale.

     

    First up he seems to do a lot of business with his own pet agents to deliver project after project / dud after dud.

     

     

    We are back to the shambles of CF shambles of 6 and 8 years ago where people turned up on a regular basis and then disappeared out on loan with the only trace being an exceptional item in the accounts a year or two later.

     

     

    Then there is his wages and bonuses over 17 years — £20+ mill to a second rate property bean counter.

     

    No wonder we can’t get rid of him — Barnacle Bill has nothing on him.

  9. MADMITCH on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 5:20 PM

     

    Even the dogs in the street know that PL is useless on a grand scale

     

    ————————— I

     

    MM ,I asked a dug in the street ,he said I was barking.

  10. GREENPINATA:

     

     

    I actually don’t mate. There are websites which allegedly tell you stuff like that – Alexa is one of them – but actually their data is heavily skewed in a number of ways.

     

     

    I’ll give you an example; I’ll try and not complicate this!

     

     

    I’ve not been on Newsnow for well over a year, it’s an issue involving a disagreement over what’s valid comment and not, partly about me not being willing to toe a certain line. It would bore you to tears so I won’t waste your time on it :)

     

     

    So my “reach” is not as wide as some of the other sites which are more distributed on the net, and on the aggregators. That’s a consequence of me being a stubborn sod and a little bit arrogant about not letting other people tell me what I should write … yes, pot and kettle come to mind.

     

     

    What I know is that I have goals to achieve and I hit them. Simple. Some people do it by publishing 20 articles a day, I have a slightly different approach; I try to write four a day, or five at a push … so my audience is usually centred around Facebook and Celticnewsnow and a certain time window. Lots of reasons why, some technical and some not.

     

     

    All I know is that my own numbers are pretty solid and I have no complaints and nor do the guys who own the site. CQN is Paul’s site and he will set his own goals and targets, and the guys who write the non-blog articles are very good and work very hard and produce in volume, so I am betting he is well pleased.

  11. DBHOY on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 3:28 PM

     

    NOTTHEBUS Here’s Brendan on Shevd prior to his signing…

     

     

    We’ve got about a million wingers and don’t need another one but he’s a talent and in the summer we’ll probably lose wingers and he’ll look to come in. It’s an opportunity for the club to sign a young, talented player but not one that will probably help us now. It didn’t sound like he was involved in this signing at all and certainly didn’t approve of it.

     

     

    *As I previously said he must having been talking about Leicester as Shevd was signed in January when it was anticipated the fraud would be with the Foxes which he was the following month.

  12. Nice to see us match Real Madrid’s standards.

     

     

    “”I am not going to resign, not at all,” said Zidane following the 2-0 loss.

     

     

    “We are always going to have difficult moments, and we are on a bad run, but we need to keep going,” added the Frenchman, whose side suffered a shock 2-1 defeat by Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.

     

     

    “I have the strength needed to turn the situation around and I am going to give everything to do that. So are the players.

     

     

    “We played well and we deserved more. We just need to lift our heads up and think about the next game.”

  13. I have just logged in and read P67’s article.

     

    Not really sure where to begin but to me it’s all over the place.

     

    The board could have come out quite categorically and explicitly backed the manager, saying he was the right man to take us forward and that he would be backed in January. They could have also said he would be getting any additions to his back room staff that he felt he wanted.

     

    They didn’t.

     

    This present crisis has been coming for months not days. Last season we were horsed by Cluj, Copenhagen and the hun. The common denominator being they were all better organised than we were.

     

    To be fair to Lenny, Copenhagen aside he came back after the break and had the team playing well in Scotland. However since the start of this season all those frailties have been exposed several times. We got by against DU, St Mirren, RC, St Johnston and others by the skin of our teeth, through individual bits of magic rather than a team pattern or performance.

     

    In Europe we have been deplorable. The manager could have been sacked after the Ferencvaros debacle.

     

    He certainly should have been sacked after the first Sparta humiliation never mind the second.

     

    Suggesting that we made mistakes in recruitment over the summer because of the pandemic almost beggars belief.

     

    It seemed to me that our first choice forward was the guy Tonev but we wouldn’t pay the money, surprise, surprise and after much humming and hawing we ended up with an unfit West Ham reject!

     

    To suggest that the people who failed so abjectly in the summer are to be trusted in January, is beyond parody

     

    Paul comes close to suggesting that the problem might be the manager. Well blow me over with a feather!

     

    Playing a CL with no recognised strike in the team with not one but two on the bench!

     

    Losing at home to your biggest domestic rivals without a shot on target!

     

    I could go on ad infinitum but you all know what I mean.

     

     

    Neil Lennon deserves better treatment than this by his employers. They will not explicitly back nor will they sack him.

     

    In the meantime our club stumbles from one PR disaster to other.

     

    The disconnect between the Board and the support is as wide now as it was in the later days of the Kelly’s and the Whites.

     

    It gives me no pleasure to say this but it seems to me that the people running our club have retreated into a little world of their own, where they only talk to themselves and their employees. They only hear what they say to themselves and their employees are too frightened or too cowardly to demur from the prevailing opinions and ethos.

     

    No doubt the absence of fans has exacerbated this syndrome as that cosy world would have been shattered long before now if fans had been in the ground when theses disasters had occurred .

     

    To allow this impasse over the manager to run all the way up to the cup final again beggars belief.

     

    Should we win, then believe you me, the press and media will give the achievement about 5 minutes before reminding everyone that in this season we are already out of the League Cup and trailing in the League. Indeed they will probably end by saying the huns are on course to win everything!

     

    The situation is becoming more desperate by the day but it’s not yet too late. Action is required now not after the CF or the game at Ibrox!

  14. SFTB

     

     

    Thank you again, a reasonable request to ascertain the details of the post and not attack the poster.

     

    I hope by now after all these years you realise I just want the best for our club that is my only motive.

     

     

    The cost to the club in this instance is our CEO ignoring the advice of his employee a football person and for a nominal fee having a bid rejected by the club. The selling club then accepting the bid advised then the player moving on shortly after for a 19M profit. This is not coming from third party but the person ignored. ” An absolute nightmare to work for”

     

     

    I would have named the player and you could have back checked to see this was no “creative” writing but my dad who is in his mid 70s forgot the name of player.

     

    Maybe then we can get away from the lying accusations and concentrate on what’s good for our club.

  15. SFTB @ 5.22

     

     

    You have plenty to say about the contributions of others but you have nothing to say about the situation of the club or how things can be improved.

     

     

    Not sure who all this reminds me off Eeyore or Silas Marner?

     

     

    So how about some original thought rather than marking the efforts of others?

  16. QUADROPHENIAN on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 1:17 PM

     

    Somebody asked if anybody thinks Lenny’s not the actual problem: he might not be suggests some research.

     

    I posted this item a day back which shows that luck – rather than skill – defines any manager’s tenure.

     

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/sacking-managers-pointless-stats-slaven-bilic-west-ham-premier-league-a8044586.html

     

    I reckon we’re where we are due to a mix of petulant wantaways, profligate Operations, psychological frailty and uninspired coaching. Some cocktail heading for a still doable 10 eh!!

     

    …..

     

    Another good post…

     

    Data based analysis seems good up to a point for me…

     

    For me – changing any manager mid season doesn’t reflect well on how any club is run as it smacks of a mixture of ‘we got it wrong before & now we’re desperate’. I do wonder if our own board’s reluctance to act now is more to do with a concern that their own reputations might be sullied by that same mixture rather than all the fluff that we’re fed in interviews, statements about rallying round/kumbaya.

     

    Again for me, it’s normally the mark of well run successful clubs if managerial changes are made between seasons. Not 100% but a better indicator of being well run…

     

    I notice that you excluded bad luck from your own list :o)

     

     

    Chance or luck does play some part – just ask Ryan Christie – but I think the issues on your list account for 99% of the causes. The only other thing I’d include would be confidence/morale/belief, and although that’s probably more a consequence of the other things you listed it does feed into the downward spiral & makes it more difficult to separate out the causes to find the solution.

     

     

    The other side of the bad luck analysis is that very few managers/boards attribute success to good luck but are amenable to putting lack of success down to bad luck.

     

     

    HH

  17. LoveYouCelticWeDo on

    NOTTHEBUS

     

     

    Have a watch of Paddy McCourt on the Open Goal podcast with Si Ferry.

     

     

    He tells explicitly how he was sent to Celtic By Dermot Desmond

     

    and that when he arrived Gordon Strachan had no idea who he was !

     

     

    This going as far back as 2008.

     

     

    Just sayin…….

  18. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Paul67 (who I know wont read this but he did mention ‘recruitment policy’ in todays article)

     

     

    The Celtic Support by and large have tolerated a shocking recruitment policy thats been going on for some time now (Hendry, Shved, Bolingoli, Soro, Kimala Turnbull etc etc etc)

     

     

    mainly because of the success we’ve enjoyed under a fairly steady squad of players who are now running out of steam,

     

     

    Our recruitment policy should be binned its been that bad, a complete overhaul top to bottom required,

     

     

    to just carry on as we are now would be sheer corporate negligence, a horrific indicator of what may lie ahead supposing the same people remain in charge ☹️

  19. GENE on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 5:06 PM

     

     

     

    Copy it to Peter Lawwell and ask him if he agrees with their approach.

  20. LOVEYOUCELTICWEDO on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 5:45

     

    I posted similar at 3.58.

     

     

    JIMMYNOTPAUL on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 3:58 PM

     

    Notthebus.

     

     

     

     

    Paddy McCourt in a, fairly recent, open goal podcast said that G.S. had no idea who he was, when he turned up for his first day of training.

     

     

     

     

    He suggests it was the biggest shareholder that arranged for him to be signed.

  21. Glen D- BBC Scotland have by and large,binned the excellent Michael Stewart, and replaced him with that Gonk Levein,that’s what happens when you tell the truth in this country.

  22. Ernie

     

    Thanks at least someone read it. Haven’t got an email for PL but I’ve forwarded it to JP Taylor.

  23. 67 European Cup Winners on

    I have had problems posting today – I thought i was being “screened” by Mods

     

    Due to me not agreeing with our host or PL

     

    But I see james forrest is still on so I thought it can’t be Mods

     

     

    Anyway I think Im back on now

     

     

    67ECW

  24. BURNLEY78 on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 8:40 AM

     

    Lots of folk activating for a new manager.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Quick question.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What calibre of manager would come to a club in a tiny TV market which has just sacked its previous coach for winning all the past 4 domestic trophies he could and who was heading for their 5th potentially in 3 weeks time ?

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A coach who has won 5 titles out of the 15 won by the club in past 20 years in its most successful ever domestic spell.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A club who despite chronic bad luck with injuries and international player fatigue has started the season with 9 league wins and only one defeat in 13 games (a start only bettered 10 times in its 132 year history).

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A side which has actually won 6 and only lost 2 of its last 10 domestic games yet the manager is being hounded out by its own support and a compliant media.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A club where the board is vilified for holding onto all the top players and spending more to bolster a winning team despite a huge reduction in income projected.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What kind of quality coach would put his reputation on the line and come to dreich Scotland and empty stadia in this covid time for that ?

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Answer is only a really desperate mercenary one and we all know where that ends.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A club whose opponents far worse run earlier in the year saw their coach get almost zero negative press.

  25. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    I’m guessing here but with Neil being backed for now it looks like WGS has said no thanks,

     

     

    probably the same outcome with MON,

     

     

    …and listening to Neil re being grateful for getting another chance,

     

     

    no disrespect to Neil but it sounded like he had come straight from the Head Masters office,

     

     

    so we know he’s not in charge,

     

     

    I’m being optimistic here but really hoping there is a plan in place similar to replacing RD with BR,

     

     

    Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday – the next 5 days will be really interesting.

     

     

    If nothing has changed by Tuesday I suspect a lot more Sunday Night type protests, but much bigger.

  26. in ither news…………

     

     

    How many novel monikers will wee sleekit, greetin’ faced nuggets roll oooot the day……..?

     

     

    Aye.