Key decision of the year for Neil Lennon


If you thumb through the pages of the Celtic Quick News comments section you’ll find a couple of overlapping areas of indifferent form being reported.  One for Beram Kayal and one for the team as a whole.  You’ll also note several contributors commenting that Beram’s form improved after his new contract was signed, settling speculation surrounding the player.

It may be coincidental that Beram’s form seemed to pick up after his future was settled but the fact that this happened a few days after the pivotal 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock suggests a whole lot of what has been going right at Celtic was linked to the Israeli’s form in this crucial central midfield area.

Neil Lennon has a huge tactical decision to make.  Get it wrong and he will not be able to replicate the impressive run of 10 consecutive wins.  Before making a decision, a good place to research would be videos of Celtic’s run up to and including that Kilmarnock game.  Knowing some of the things to avoid is a good start.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    Thought this point of view was worth sharing:



    ‘Devo max’ would make Scotland fiscally responsible – why does Cameron oppose it?



    Only a tribalistic craving for central control explains the prime minister’s urge to defend the UK against Scottish autonomy


    Simon Jenkins


 , Thursday 12 January 2012 18.30 GMT



    Here we go again. Ireland gone. Scotland going. Next is Wales, and then where? Cornwall? The Isle of Wight? There is no knowing what the ineptitude of London politics may do to the British confederacy. The latest row over yes or no to Scottish “independence” is mere play-acting. The real issue is option three, “devo max”. London hates it. Scotland craves it.



    For the past week constitutionalists have been dragged from their cobwebs to pore over laws and documents. This is pointless. When dissident provinces are set on separatism, the minutiae of referendum law will not stop them. Look at Bosnia, Slovakia, Kosovo, Macedonia – each different but starting from the same source. Britain went to war to break up the Yugoslav union. Many Britons yearn for the break-up of the European one. Why do they fight to sustain the United Kingdom as it manifestly crumbles?



    The answer is that English tribalism trumps hypocrisy. David Cameron has only conceded a binding referendum on Scottish independence because polls say it will be rejected. He opposes any delay because that makes such an outcome less certain. The nationalist, Alex Salmond, thinks the opposite – and for the same reason. Neither wants to risk defeat. Thank goodness elections at least are ordained by law.



    The longer London derides the aspirations of the non-English peoples of the British Isles, the stronger those aspirations will grow. Ireland departed the union in exasperation at London misgovernment in 1922. Only last year could the Irish tolerate a day visit by the Queen. Resistance to devolution cost James Callaghan his majority in 1979 and decimated Labour support in Wales. The imposition of a poll tax on the Scots in 1989 contributed to Margaret Thatcher’s downfall and all but wiped out Scottish Toryism.



    Today, Cameron on Scotland is like George III on America, “astonished at the rebellious disposition which unhappily exists in some of my colonies”.



    Most baffling of all is Cameron’s horror of devo max, the one measure that might mitigate the UK’s current centrifugalism. While the details remain to be discussed – first steps were set out in the 2009 Calman report – the concept is simple, that the Scots should raise and spend their own taxes and end their fiscal relationship (or most of it) with London. Monarchs, soldiers, flags, borders, passports are not at issue. Devolution would extend to paying for the infrastructure of the welfare state. Scottish – and eventually Welsh and Ulster – governments would be directly answerable for domestic policy to their electorates.



    If the Scots want this, and polls suggest they do, what does it matter that it would “cost them billions”, as the British media constantly crows? Denmark survives. Norway survives. Meanwhile the Scots, Welsh and Ulster economies are more akin to that of Greece, with spending decisions detached from taxing ones to the point of irresponsible dependency. Scotland gobbles English money and nationalist politicians win votes by spending it on student grants, health prescriptions and wind turbines. Oil is not the issue, since a wasting asset should not go on current expenditure.



    There is no English advantage in letting this dependency continue, and it stands to the credit of Scots majority opinion that it wants it to end. Maximum devolution would repatriate fiscal responsibility to Adam Smith’s home country. It would bring down to earth the spendthrift populism of Salmond’s nationalists, probably lose them the next election and damage the cause of full independence. It would also demand a drop in the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster. All this is to the advantage of Cameron’s Tories.



    The same goes for Wales. It is not Edinburgh (where Welsh was once spoken). Its decade-long experience of devolution has been politically fractious. Hospital and school closures are shambolic, economic development is dire and local democracy has been reduced to jobs for the boys. Welsh nationalists want independence, yet they also want more subsidy and disproportionately high representation at Westminter.




    Even so, a return to Welsh direct rule from Whitehall is inconceivable. There has been a steady rise in devolutionary enthusiasm, from the hesitancy of 1999 to two thirds support in a referendum last year. Rudeness about Celts may be a political parlour game in London, sometimes justified. But the idea that it makes Celts more inclined to bend the knee to Whitehall is absurd. They may not be Kurds or Kosovans, but they have much in common with Basques, Bretons and Catalans. Why not treat them as such?



    The United Kingdom was a creation not of tribal identity but of opportunism and convenience. Its dissolution began in the 1920s and has not ended. There is no historical necessity to it, any more than there was to the Third Reich or the Soviet Union, or now to the EU. Confederations have to be updated and nurtured to survive. Sometimes they outlive their purpose.



    Cameron should let Salmond have his referendum, and indeed champion devo max. It promotes fiscal responsibility. It would end the costly subvention to Scotland. Its political realism might even revive Tory fortunes in Scotland. Why Cameron should oppose it “to the last drop of my blood” is puzzling.



    There can be only one answer. Power and the craving for central control take on a logic of their own when politicians attain high office. In this case the craving is counterproductive. A century ago the British Isles were one nation. The government seems set on making it four.

  2. Imagine the quintessential Newco was to replace a morally and financially bankrupt Celtic. Would you accept it as Celtic or not?



    Yes or no, bhoys and ghirls.



    No links to Lisbon and the Lions, to Brother Walfrid, to our great grandfathers who build the stadium out of love at the end of their working day, their blood, their sweat. No links to Jock Stein, or Willie Maley or Jimmy Quinn, or Jimmy McGrory. If we were allowed to rent Celtic Park, we’d have to let someone else take all the trophies and the statutes outside.



    Hampden in the sun? That wisnae us. Our record score would be 0-0. Semi-final against Leeds? Some other mob. Our record attendance would be 0.



    We wouldn’t be Irish or Scottish. We wouldn’t be anything. We wouldn’t be anybody.



    I’m an emphatic no. We wouldn’t be Celtic.

  3. Celtic_First says:


    13 January, 2012 at 12:17



    I hear what you are saying about Wanyama and he expecting too of him. I am definitely guilty of this. I think the kid is dynamite!



    Worryingly though, is without Kayal in our midfield, I think we are already very dependent on him. Lets hope he keeps up his exceedingly high levels of performance.

  4. bournesouprecipe says:


    13 January, 2012 at 13:12



    Happy birthday Adam Matthews 20 today potential Celtic evergreen.




    Totally Agree my friend!



    If I may be so bold….I think that Thomas Rogne, under Neil lennons tutelage will go on and be the best CH to play in this country since, Alex McLeish!



    Happy birthday Adam.



    Hail! Hail!

  5. Auld Neil lennon Heid



    I knew Harry haddocks son Gerry, he went through school with me. He is ordained now and was placed at St Leonards a while back, don’t know where he is now.

  6. The Ghood will prevail on

    you really got to laugh…


    the laptop loyal’s favourites are about to DISAPPEAR yet they are still stuck in the groove of printing whatever they are told to by their masters at the death star. We are seriously to believe that they are about to spash the cash – shame on them.


    It’s like Custer at wounded knee saying ‘crisis – what crisis?’, it’s like the deluded Hitler in the movie ‘downfall’ boasting that he has divisions of troops ready to swing into action while you can hear the Russian Tommy guns in the middle distance, it’s like ‘comical’ Ali informing the media that the Americans are ‘burning in their tanks’ during the invasion of iraq. It’s like Inter after Gemmel equalised in ’67, still stuck in the rut of defending even though they no longer have a goal advantage.


    I’m almost embarassed for them. These are strange, strange days.

  7. Happy lunchtime!



    Neil Lennon is the SPL manager of the month for December with Victor getting the ‘young player’ award.



    Right, back to lurking and reading my glossy CQN Mag.




  8. The Battered Bunnet – ‘Devo max’ would make Scotland fiscally responsible – why does Cameron oppose it?



    Probably because he has a lot on his plate right now and is in no mood to do Alex Salmond any favours.



    The SNP wasn’t elected with a mandate to hold a referendum on “devo max” or even Devo “Whip It”. They say they have a mandate to hold a referendum on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom.



    Let’s get that over with before looking at further constitutional change. (thumbsup)

  9. tomtheleedstim on

    Bourne – there is a Salvador Dali “museum” at the bottom of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, I spotted it when we played them last.


    I talked my uncle into going in with me in an attempt to keep out of the pub for a bit. I was unaware of how risque a lot of Dali’s works were. It turns out he was quite the pervert.


    My uncle now regards me as the family freak.

  10. The Ghood will prevail says:


    13 January, 2012 at 13:28



    How the Hell did Custer manage to be at Wounded Knee ?



  11. tomtheleedstim at 13:35



    Plus, if I recall correctly, there is a bar in the museum anyway, is there not?

  12. Paul67,



    While I realise that Kayal is a very important player for us, I think that while we have Wanyama and Ledley in midfield, we are well provided for. Brown can run to his heart’s content up the right, while any of Ki, McCourt, Forrest or Commons can play in the middle of the park, leaving us with Sammi, Hooper and/ or Stokes providing our attacking threat.






    I feel, if we can sign a “robust” CF for the SPL, we can become a right good team, no matter what happens to the other lot south of the Clyde.

  13. tomtheleedstim on

    Celtic_First says:


    13 January, 2012 at 13:37



    It wasn’t really a museum as such – just some random artist copying a lot of Dali’s work. There is a bar next door with a large terrace. Hundreds of Tims sat there enjoying the sun. I just gave up and went back to the bar and got smashed. It’s what Dali would have wanted.

  14. ‘There is a bar next door with a large terrace. Hundreds of Tims sat there enjoying the sun. I just gave up and went back to the bar and got smashed.’



    -sounds like the Salvador Glen Dali museum.

  15. The Battered Bunnet on




    Catalonia and Languedoc have a huge amount going for them, but if you’re ever back in the region, stop by at the Dali Theatre-Museum at Figueres. Brilliant. Bonkers. Inspiring.

  16. Neil Lennon(Mr Unbreakable) will, take us on a beautiful journey that will have us celebrating our beloved hoops success’s way beyond this season.



    I think that Neil could go on and be our biggest hero since Mr Stein and, who know’s maybe the huns will take their dumps and, implode for a decade or more, hopefully!



    “Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead!” CSC



    Hail! Hail!



    Off oot.



    May God Bless ‘Every’ Celtic Fan.

  17. tomtheleedstim on

    TBB – will do mate , cheers. Just awaiting the next time we draw them.


    Bourne – google images would concur.

  18. James Forrest is Lennon on

    Simon Jenkins article – and thanks TBB for posting it – is absolutely first-rate. I haven’t caught up with the news today, but I like to read the Guardian’s take on Alex Salmond’s ambitious project.



    I am torn, actually, on this whole issue. The truth is, I’ve never been particularly patriotic towards Scotland, feeling a closer affinity with the goings on in the North of Ireland. I have never seen our nation as particuarly oppressed, although I know that historically the Crown has sown as much division and hate here as it has in any other part of the world and that historically we were a house divided and very much the victims of an oppressive regime – yet, when I hear the stirring echoes of Scotland the Brave I feel none of the pride and attachment I do to The Soldiers Song.



    Yet, as I get older (and I’m 35 now) the tug of attraction to being the citizen of a self-aware, confident and forward thinking nation pulls at me with surprising regularity. The Football Bill has made me distrustful of the kind of Scotland it would be, with these people in charge, yet the idea itself, of breaking the bond with those parts of England which vote Tory, which hate the welfare state, which do not value the public sector and who want to pull away from the EU as if there is a better option out there gets stronger and more attractive.



    In a referendum I would certainly vote for Devo-Max, and probably for independance itself … and yet I wouldn’t want the party which had fought for it, which had accomplished it, to be the government of the independant Scotland they had done so much to bring about.



    Yet, in the immediate aftermath there would BE no opposition party … Labour would have to dissolve and reform as a NewCo (yes, I have thought as far as that, and it would not do to have them inextricably linked with London) and the Tories and Lib Dems would need to do the same, forming their own wholly independant Scottish parties … and thus Salmond would probably have his majority for a generation to come ….



    It’s a tough one, and I struggle with it. I am glad I don’t have to make the decision for another two years.

  19. The Battered Bunnet on




    You want to remind us what happened when you asked Lorraine Kelly to pose nude?

  20. Forster

































    That’s the team for me



    *up_ over i can’t do dots too busy today.

  21. For me – Broony right, Vic Holding, Kris Commons attacking – tip of Diamond and Sammi left.



    I think that Forrest needs a wee rest – he comes on after 60 minutes when sammi is tired.



    On top of that Stokes and Hooper up top.



    Mathews and Izzy bombing forward.



    Rogne and Charlie at CB.



    That team could score bundles.



    Tough on Joe and Ki but you can only play 11.



    Away from home – bring in Joe alongside Big Vic and rotate Hooper and Stokes.



    Kris Commons is the man who made us tic last season he links the whole team together.





  22. victor is gonna be the best but anyone who thinks we wont miss kayal is deluded



    kayal was guy who upped tempo against dobs and the team followed and when he went off we went down a level



    and ffs i wish people would stop trying to get paddy in the team !! he isnt good enough and i cant help wondering if he was scottish and called paul would people still want him in team



    i want the best team celtic can field on the park regardless and paddy isnt even in best 18 imho!

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