Last season’s Celtic edge over the line


Shortly after Elfsborg cracked one against the crossbar last night I quickly scanned the Celtic team and had a thought.  For the second season in a row we are taking on the Swedish champions but we’re missing two of last season’s big performers and none of this season’s new signings were ready for action.  In short, this was Celtic 2012 minus Wanyama and Hooper. No wonder we looked unstructured.

Joe Ledley brought some vision to central midfield when he arrived, hopefully banishing the Brown-Kayal partnership to hidden corners of our mind once and for all.  Anthony Stokes playing at the front of a wide diamond was equally effective.  With the signing of Amido Balde, bids in for Kevin Doyle, and the addition of a wide-delivery-expert Derk Boerrigter, clearly Neil Lennon has a different plan for the months to come….. so there’s no real need for me to state the obvious.

Defensively we looked solid after a shaky opening few minutes.  I’m not the only one who was a bit nervous about Efe Ambrose after he was (again) caught underneath a long ball, but he settled quickly.  As we know to our cost, being great for 87 minutes is not how Champions League reputations are made, you are judged on your how vulnerable you become in your weak moments.

I said yesterday that Samaras and Commons were the two players who could cope at this level, which became plainly obvious during the game.  Georgios was the one player who frightened Elfsborg, they either swamped him with four defenders or fouled him before he got near goal.

Kris is simply the most intelligent footballer we have.  He is not the fastest, will never have the best stats, but he understands how games are won and is able to act accordingly.  Without these two players Celtic would be distinctly vanilla.

Thanks to those who sent over their 1254125 Great Scottish Run details, I’ll have them on the page later.
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  1. TBB



    FFS…i wish you hadnt bothered



    at least he`d be at home with our other non goalscoring forwards



    really not what we need …at all

  2. Utter panic merchants on here. Bangura didn’t get a sniff. Why was he booed? Why don’t we make a game of it? We could call it ‘Pin the tail on the blindingly obvious’.

  3. Paul / runners – Glasgow half marathon



    Runners might want to consider organising a CQN motiviation station at some point along the route of the half marathon. You have probably seen them before during London Marathon, manned by supporters all wearing the charity colours / tshirts etc.



    Friends / family / supporters of the CQN runners could all get together at one point, handing out gels / juice / mars bars / old school oranges and best of all, some support to the runners?



    Just an idea

  4. Willie Haughey has been given a seat in the House of Lords. We also have Ian Livingston as a Lord.


    Are we now the Establishment Club?

  5. Kilbowie Kelt on

    I’m saddeneed by the sheer numbers of posters who feel the need to stick the boot into any Celtic player that they, in their infinite wisdom, think is underperforming.


    We have a few players who constantly seem to get it in the neck for failing to live up to the expectations of this growing band of critics.


    What is gained by these negative assessments ?


    Have they ever seen a player who improved after he was told that he is not good enough ?


    Don’t they realise that very often these players will go onto these blogs to see how the fans feel about them ?


    There is no need to say that a guy is playing well, when we don’t think he is, but I wish we would just praise the one’s who are doing well & leave the strugglers alone.


    You will get far more out of a man by supporting him when he is struggling than you will by castigating him.



    WE are supposed to be SUPPORTERS.

  6. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    The Battered Bunnet:



    Are you saying that that document is all just made up nonsense and that Celtic were never party to any of what it claims?

  7. Fassreifen _ Congrats to all three of you. These are moments you will always remember.



    Best wishes from Gerry in Saarland.




  8. tomtheleedstim on

    The Battered Bunnet @ 13.09


    There are elements of that report which gave me a little concern until I read that their strategy was to “win the SPL each year and gain access to the group stages of the Champions League” which probably undermines the credibility a little.


    Good reading though.

  9. tommytwiststommyturns on

    up_over_goal : going by your comical player ratings after most games, might I suggest you visit Specsavers, because you appear to see a different game from everyone else! :-)




  10. pfayr,


    No problem, I’m home till 10th but not sure if I’m allowed out after Friday :o)

  11. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    PFAyr- K.Doyle is 1.83623457777777777777777777777777777777777777m tall [approx], if that helps.



    -sorry I didn’t get back re pre- game beer.



    Off oot, off line.

  12. Malone Bhoy


    12:31 on


    1 August, 2013



    Wholeheartedly agree. Sammi used to get a lot of abuse on this very site, how things change. Now it is Stokes turn to receive an unwarranted amount of criticism. True he is far too greedy but to overly castigate his performance last night is out of order. He played a difficult role, one to which he is patently not suited, yet put in a lot of effort he was the only Celt who actually caused their keeper to make a decent save –the whole game. He had a couple of bad touches – as did JF and KC, the later more than a couple of times. For all Sammi’s heroic runs and KC’s guile our goal came from a defensive blunder. Izzy played a decent cross into a dangerous area which the Swedish defensive comprehensively failed to deal with. One of the smallest guys on the field was allowed a free header and scored- thankfully for us. As I mentioned last night I honestly believe that Henke and Chris Sutton playing up front would have struggled to make an impact last night. The lack of service to the forwards from midfield was shocking as well as very worrying.

  13. Kickinthenakas



    No but I do think of Nog Bad the Bad when I see Efe attempt to score a goal with his heid.



    PFayr – I think Paul67 meant to say INeffective!



    Have to say The Ghod Like Genius of Georgios Samaras, the guile of Kris Commons and the assured vision of Joe Ledley are our current three aces in the pack in the creative part of our game. Need to see if Derk becomes our fourth.



    We have a lot of good players at the club who are still early in the season….still love Izzy, Adam and Lustig is improving with every game. I believe we will progress but will need some additional quality before the next round.

  14. Think Sammi will be rested on Saturday to make sure he’s ready for Wednesday. Hope Balde gets a start with Forrest/Boerrigter on the wings giving the big man the service he needs to kick start his Hoops career.

  15. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Nearly all the stuff on the ole internet is ‘made up nonsense’ that’s why the USArmy loves it.

  16. saltires en sevilla on




    “Distinctly vanilla” ha! Superb …



    Hope the Joe, kris, Sammi knockers are going finally ‘get it’ this season!!



    Solid performance and better position than same stage last season – it’s improvement by any reasonable measure.



    We have the team to handle the Elven Cloggers next week









    We need to play to a strong running pacey heid the ba’ in ra pokey striker



    It’s not happening – yet- but methinks it will.




  17. Though big Michael was a bit laboured of thought last night but he still looked the part

  18. The Token Tim on




    he was booed so often because he was on the ball so often!



    Rattled our back 2 plenty of times. Won way more than his fair share of the ball against 2 opponents.



    Thankfully he was on his own most of the time so no real danger. But to say Wilson and Ambrose had him in their back pockets?


    Pash! Utter Pash.



    Youve just backed up what ive thought for a while now.






  19. Tim Tanium



    hope so






    important info ..thanks



    re bevvy …plenty of opportunities in the future …didn`t get up until later on yesterday evening couldn`t get finished up

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    A Stor Mo Chroi



    Few folk know the extent to which we were involved in formalising “The Old Firm”, and I am not one of them. It may have been an idea conceived solely by Rangers to develop their ‘worldwide brand’ by hanging onto the coat tails of Celtic, Celtic being unwitting, or it may have been a more collaborative project, with terms of agreement already drafted.



    You may recall that plans to stage an ‘Old Firm’ match in Boston in summer 2010 were abandoned after some fairly strong reaction from the Celtic support. Doubtless this put paid to the planned tours of South Africa, Australia and USA in subsequent years…

  21. The Honest Cover-up on

    Kilbowie Kelt



    I agree all players in the hoops should be supported at the game as getting on their backs is counterproductive.


    But we’re not allowed to give an honest account of their performance on an internet forum? Come on, man. You must be joking!


    What next, don’t criticise a poor performance of a player in the pub with your pals in case said player walks in unexpectedly?


    The whole point of these forums is to discuss Celtic. That includes good performances, bad performances, good memories, bad memories.


    Everyone has got their opinion.

  22. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Canamalar, I sent back the signed resolution. Did you get it? I had some IT issues and couldnt get the attachment to open on the sent file.



    When you sober up let me know you got it:-)




  23. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    kilbowie kelt



    13:18 on 1 August, 2013



    Fully agree….. But last night’s game was critical and I was even getting a bit ‘excited’ ….. Normally VERY upbeat / positive…….I, and others, need to appreciate that our players are still striving to attain full fitness / sharpness….

  24. The problem with Bangura last night was that Celtic players wanted to get into him instead of playing him as just another player. Many times there was Wilson, Ambrose, Brown and Kayal all gunning for him at the same time. They just got in each others way.



    On a separate subject. James Forrest. Give the guy a break. It used to be McGeady who copped it with “final ball” / “cross” criticism.



    Watch every other football game and you will see the percentage of crosses that could be classified as “good” from any one player is very low. Try running at the pace of Forrest and see how hard it is. Agathe used to suffer from it too.



    The thing is, it’s not how many he gets wrong that matters, it’s how many he gets right. And I saw a fair few last night that I thought were good.



    Izzy is a perfect example, huge number of poor crosses, but one that counted. That’s all that matters (to me).



    In my opinion the only thing wrong with Forrest’s game is that the ball is rarely played in front of him to run onto. And not once was it played inside the full back. The trick is that these passes don’t have to succeed every time. But by trying them it keeps the defender in two, or three, minds. That is the key.



    And that is why Sammy is so good. He tries a multitude of things. Always has done. When they don’t come off the crowd dispair (or used to) with cries of FFS SAMMY. But it’s those variations that cause the next one to work, plus his skill, power and pace.


    The Honest Cover-up


    13:30 on


    1 August, 2013


    Kilbowie Kelt






    Hear, hear!


    Fully endorsed your sentiment….all the way from here in Tajikistan.



    Fair play til yee.

  26. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    If we end up with Doyle – No resale value and been off form for lowly Wolves. Then it will in my opinion be a slap in the face to the fans. Not asking for us to break our wage structure but we need a quality striker and playmaker ASAP. Open the biscuit tin, just a little bit!




  27. Not many (any?) games being played at the Big Hoose these days.



    Maybe that’s why they needed T’Bus – to take them to all these exotic away fixtures they’re playing (Elgin, Bristol, Sheffield, Coatbridge, Dundee…).



    The Big Hoose – is it open?

  28. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    The Battered Bunnet:



    I do recall and it was Rangers that pulled out of the TV deal and the games in Boston too (Not Celtic). Or so it was reported in the press. Now Celtic did not come out and state anything to the contrary. Celtic stayed silent. So I think, actually I know, Celtic were in joint commercial planning with Rangers. Even Celtic senior office holders told us that.

  29. I think you all need to calm down a wee bit.



    We are 1-0 up in a European tie, no goals conceded so far. Bangura did not get one shot on target all night. By any standards, the defenders can be pleased with their performance. My final word on the subject.




  30. Most posts are saying the same thing…


    creative midfielder and a poacher…ie…a striker that can put a half chance away.



    If we can all see the need and I’m sure our management do…make the moves that we are crying out for.

  31. tommytwiststommyturns on

    Twisty – today’s donkeys in the first three races at Goodwood:


    Tha’ir, Saayerr & Cavalryman.



    Good luck



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