Levein culpable for Hearts red card, keeping Toljan on his toes


Whenever the next History of Celtic is written, yesterday’s 1-2 win at Tynecastle will hardly merit a mention, but right now, it feels like a hugely significant night.  You, me and everyone else in the country know that if Celtic can win a game like that in the 93rd minute, they are going to win the league.

A few observations:

Passing the ball along our own 6 yard line was always likely to lead to conceding a goal.  It looked like an individual error but it was actually a systemic mistake.  Notwithstanding this, we need to stick with the plan.  Opponents pack tight against Celtic, anything we can do that will tempt them forward, like passing this deep in our own box, should be done.  The answer is to get better at it.

I was worried when I saw Jeremy Toljan substituted for Mikael Lustig, the latter a player Neil Lennon signed for Celtic.  The worry is that players will suspect that Neil is favouring one of this own.  Jeremy should be back in the starting line up on Saturday.

Just as important as not having favourites, is making sure players who are only here for a few months are kept on their toes.  If Mikael can be used to get the best out of Jeremy, use him.  We have seen a few defenders arrive from the Bundesliga (Andreas, Edson, Marvin) who never convinced they gave everything they had.

When Neil Lennon’s excitement at getting the job died down, his mood must have dropped at the realisation he would have to play such an unfamiliar central mid combination.

While there was a large period of the game when we had a man advantage but still did not dominate midfield, we saw three good individual performances.  Nir Bitton was at his deep lying best, even if he gave possession away twice by shooting from ridiculous distances.  Scott Brown’s contribution for the winner was delicious.

Pass of the night came from Ewan Henderson, who took the Hearts midfield out of the game with a 40 yard slide-ruler to Scott Sinclair for the opening goal.

Five minutes before half time I predicted Hearts would get a man sent off before the break (I have witnesses).  Craig Levein bemoaned Jamie Brandon’s recklessness after the game, but it was in keeping with the rest of his teammates until that point.  Hearts figured their best chance was to batter Celtic players into hiding.  Levein should consider his part in the red card.  It was a consequence of Hearts’ tactics.

The only concern on the night came elsewhere.  Hibs won their fourth game in succession, away and with 10 men.  Saturday’s Scottish Cup quarterfinal will be an epic.

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  1. Thom


    Only joshin.


    Amazes me that ex players, managers et all say nothing about the corruption and the cheating, I can understand fully that people who are still in the game will say nothing, but people who are out of the game and have been hard done by say nothing, esp ones who are living outwith scotland, anyways they don’t, can’t get the head around that.

  2. Silver



    Very good chance Craig Gordon will be back working at Tynecastle one day, never bite the hand.

  3. Asupporterwhogotlucky on

    It’s interestin the random things a woman will come out with sometimes, in saying that if i live to be 300 i know i’ll never fully understand Mrs A…LUCKY’s way of thinking.



    She has no interest in football, apart from an annoying question of asking me to explain to her what is offside, the annoying part of that is she usually asks it at a pivotal point in a game, while walking through the lounge, and the fact i’ve explained it to her a few billion times before, means nothing to her, so i’m sure she only asks it every time to spoil my viewing (*sigh).



    Last night as NFL was being paraded as interim Celtic boss on the local TV news, she looked at the TV and said “Oh that’s much better !”



    Now knowing she has zero interest in fitba i was rather puzzled by her statement, and i duly asked her “What do you mean, what’s better?” She said “That man .. the new Celtic manager !” still looking rather lost at her she further said to me “Him, now he looks like a real Celtic manager..like he belongs there, not like that other guy Rodgers !!”



    I still don’t understand most of Mrs A…LUCKY’s thinking, but maybe she isn’t as fitba clueless as i’ve led myself to believe all these years




  4. English Premier League is where managers and players want to be, for whatever reason.



    Scottish football is merely a stepping stone, even for Brendan after Liverpool.



    Just get over it.

  5. MICKBHOY1888 ( on Page 5 )



    Of course it would, but then ‘boozed up dicks’ usually obsess on the wrong thing, regardless of whether its Celtic or not, and to be fair, we’ve just lost a very good ‘football man’ by all accounts.



    I understand the Hearts songbook inside the stadium ( not in a wee pub ) is really, really offensive but there were no clips from the BBC and not using ‘Orange B******” which we all heard in the living room, is just lazy journalism if they were arguing properly.



    IMHO the BBC editorial is rabidly anti Celtic before a ball is kicked, otherwise we’d be able to have a proper debate on the definitions of sectarianism and offensiveness. We’ve only just managed to rid Sccotland of the offensive, offensive bahaviour at football act, and ‘Scotland’ is leading the charge for government intervention because the ‘SFA can’t get it right’, and Celtic are marching relentlessly march on to 8, then maybe 9 then maybe 10.



    Watch out for ‘points deductions’ and ‘ and strict liability ‘



    That’s why Celtic supporters are in the BBC clip and not anybody else who have proper sectarian and other full blown problems.

  6. What’s all this crap about Bitton, He’s been out of the game for about a year,and that was his first full game since he came back, of course he’ll not play his best for 90 minutes,I thought he would be taken off after about an hour,for God sake give the guy a bit of respect.



    I hope that our players don’t read this blog, all of them get slagged of on this blog at some time after a bit of bad play,even Ajar, and Toljan are get shit thrown at them, two of the best players we have playing for the team, grow up guys,we’ll still get the treble treble,and maybe beyond that.



    I thought this blog was for supporters of Celtic.I’m beginning to think this is a hun site,it’s starting to read like it is. for god sake start acting like true supporters.

  7. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    THE EXILED TIM on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 7:47 PM







    Only joshin.





    Amazes me that ex players, managers et all say nothing about the corruption and the cheating, I can understand fully that people who are still in the game will say nothing, but people who are out of the game and have been hard done by say nothing, esp ones who are living outwith scotland, anyways they don’t, can’t get the head around that.





    Of course you were joshing.



    I has always troubled me that no agency has picked up on the monster story that is the corruption in Scottish football.



    If this was happening in a small league in a small country under FIFIA’s jurisdiction, all the broadsheets and TV companies would be running stories on it. Even if it was just to show how superior their leagues and Associations were.



    Surely everyone outside of Scotland hasn’t signed up to Omerta, for the “Good of the Game in Scotland”.



    I don’t believe that for a minute.



    I am more inclined to the less than hoary old chestnut, International Freemasonry.



    Anyway, off to watch an old George Gently and record Death in Paradise (just for the scenery) !!

  8. garygillespieshamstring on

    Latest person speaking out about a mindless minority and sectarianism.



    Step up, Craig Brown of this parish.



    Sash singer extraordinaire.



    You couldn’t make it up.

  9. BSR



    Any truth in the rumour you’ve signed up for a Body Language Diploma course?? ???




  10. mike in toronto on




    So, does this mean that our Board are also freemasons, which would explain why they have said/done nothing about the cheating?



    Several of our players must also be freemasons as well …. would explain all the “square” passing across the back




  11. On the rattler back from London and looking forward to being home. Been a busy week in a lot of ways and very nicely capped with that result last night.


    BR has gone earlier than we expected and the timing was poor , very poor .


    I have not learned much in life however i have learned that football is only a game and nowadays many of our heroes have feet of clay. I suppose they always did it was simply kept hidden from us. For me, vanity was always BR’s Achilles Heel. I remember watching that Channel 5 fly on the wall documentary about Liverpool and cringed at many of BR,s antics throughout that series of programmes. The massive oil painting of himself in the hallway of his home was awful. I truly feel that Brendan believed he was bigger than Celtic.


    I dont need to even state that time will tell the answer to that. Take care everyone, and if anyone has a spare for Saturday, I know a good home for it. HH

  12. prestonpans bhoys on




    Come on after all we heard I expected a wee bit more from the german. Will give a bit of slack for game time needed.


    I’ have a glass of port please ?, memories ?

  13. Larry the lurker ? on

    That clip that was shown on the BBC of the song being sung in the pub about Brendan, by Celtic supporters, makes it all the more difficult to argue that, we’re not just the other side of the coin, surely ?


    And, it makes the media and, the establishment’s case much more easier, to put Celtic supporters, onto the same page as, Rangers supporters.


    I would put it down to lack of leadership, from the club.


    When Rangers, or whatever they are called, came into the top league, at the same time as we signed Brendan, our leaders should have come straight out and, made it clear, that we recognize the club from Ibrox, as a different club, and so should the leaders of Celtic supporters groups.


    It could have been so different.


    Who now knows where this, equalization process will end up.



    Back to lurking, HH.

  14. Kris Commons said last night that some European games under Neil they knew couldn’t go toe to toe with the opposition,he mentioned Barcelona in particular,Brendans ego seemed to get the better of him.I never understood what we were supposed to learn being stuffed by sevens and fives other than we were never in their class.After the Valencia game I know 2 supporters from England who said they would never come back up for a European game while Brendan was in charge.

  15. Silver City 1888 on



    It would have been hilarious if Neil spent his time between jobs telling it how it is as regards referees and then rocked up on our doorstep as manager. As SID said about Craig Gordon, they all have an eye on their next move. Chance missed for us SJWs though.

  16. Bournesouprecipe,



    I wouldn’t really worry what agenda BBC Scotland news department has. Now I can imagine that before you tuned in you were well aware that footage from last night was likely to be given prominence due to the fact it was current and it had a shock factor. like it or not the particular clip has probably been viewed more times on social media than viewers watched it on the BBC. Now whoever posted it online,I assume had a fair idea it would it would be picked up on giving him a wee moment of fame. Believe it or not some Celtic supporters have Rangers supporting friends who have access to their chat groups facebook pages etc. Whoever posted it must be very naive to believe that it wasn’t going to be used against us. My point is why give themthe ammunition to shoot us down at every opportunity. Then again there is always the remote control where you could switch channels



    ps I take it you condemn the actions of those singing the song ???

  17. Thom


    Aye we both know what the reason is.


    Enjoy George G, who is remarkable similar looking to my departed Da, or what he used to look like when he wasn’t departed ;-)

  18. Domestically, Brendan’s tenure here was one of almost total domination for Celtic. Certainly, one or two of his results in Europe were amongst the most humiliating we’ve suffered. Both GS and NFL achieved more with inferior players.



    The vitriol Brendan has received, in his absence, is understandable. Some Celtic supporters are susceptible: they see things in terms of how they would like them to be not how they are. Yesterday’s hero – Brendan – was wise, brave, committed and loyal. His only enemy was within the club.



    This was only ever the case in some supporters’ heads. Brendan had a choice – do the right thing or do the wrong thing. So, he opted to do the wrong thing. We’ll get over it.



    By the way, is it just me or is there a rank whiff of entitlement coming off some elements of the support? And another thing – the coin throwing is becoming a feature of away games. In Stein’s day the support self-policed.

  19. Richie #TeamOscarForever on

    Good to see you’re taking no shit, Davie :-) Totally agree on the slaughtering of our players, one of the reasons I’m rarely on here. Hail Hail Auld Yin.

  20. Mickbhoy1888


    So you mean the BBC and other media outlets relay current issues like batteries being thrown at Celtic players and rangers supporters coming on to the pitch to attack our captain, issues like that you mean ?







    More Tim Body Language






    He’s clearly off at the end of the season…

  22. Asupporterwhogotlucky on

    oldtim67 on 28th February 2019 7:55 pm




    I thought this blog was for supporters of Celtic.I’m beginning to think this is a hun site,it’s starting to read like it is. for god sake start acting like true supporters.






    What he said !! Plus One


    Good on you OT67




  23. Richie.



    I’m get to the stage your at, thinking of giving it up myself.



    Will you be in the Blane Valley to-morrow,if yes I’ll comeinto Glasgow for a few,if it’s yes give BT a call and ask him if he fancy a wee dram.

  24. 12 weeks or so till transfer window opens



    I see peter is spinning stuff via the back door to take our mind elsewhere



    It’s past now. Move on. Pressure on lawell ever day till window opens



    Plan now The day window opens let’s see those players at Lennoxtown and cash in the bank on balance sheet gone


    ANDRE PREVIN dies aged 89.he was in THE BUTTERY in ANDERSTON waiting for his table one day and guy standing beside him says “hey pal think a know yir face.did you work in MOTHERS PRIDE BAKERY.?????

  26. RICHIE.



    I was in the BV last Friday,I knew you wouldn’t be there but Sipsini said he’d be in but never turned up so I was on my own for A couple of hours then headed to the pub next to Queens St station and had a few in there. then headed home.



    I’ll wait on the call, Hope it’s a yes.

  27. Another wee take on Rodgers



    Is it possibles that he may have got Puel the sack



    Now about 4 or 5 weeks ago I heard a rumour that Lennon would be returning in the summer and that Rodgers was for the off. Listening to Neil Lennons interview on his appointment he more or less stated that he knew he would be back at sometime but not as quickly as it happened. Were the board already aware at some point that Rodgers was definitely for the off and had sounded out Neil Lennon about a possible return. And had Rodgers already been sounded out by Leicester about being Puels replacement in the summer,an opportunity he was going to grab with both hands as he missed out on his Chinese move. Is there a possibility that after elimination from the Europa League Rodgers reckoned that being at Leicester as soon as possible was more likely to enhance his cv than winning another couple of trophies in Scotland. Cue a phone call to Leicester and Puel gone within a couple of days of Celtic being eliminated from the Europa League.

  28. Somebody from Mothers Pride couldnae afford to eat in the Buttery so I take it he was delivering the breed for dooking in their cullen skink