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. Good Morning – Mild, Spring morning here in the Chilterns…



    Morning DBHOY – @ 12:02 & 12:53 AM,



    For me you are quite correct. Brendan Rodgers has left and Celtic should and must move on.



    So this isn’t about BR per se. This is about the invective, the lies and what seems like a concerted black-ops campaign.



    For me, Phil Mac’s piece makes no sense at all…



    First he states that Celtic, and Brendan and his team have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Well of course this part is believable, in fact it’s a racing certainty.



    Then he goes on to suggest that a Celtic Executive has broken that NDA… even if he thought “Rodgers played all of us” this is unlawful.



    He then states that BR was going to take John Kennedy and Damien Duff to Leicester City. With all due respect why would he?



    As you say, this is completely at odds with what John said and Damien Duff is a rookie youth coach.



    I’m not casting dispersions and I think Damien will be a great asset to Celtic. He was a supporter as a boy and said Celtic were his “Dream Club”. He’s delighted to be involved in the first team.



    Yet he is a rookie and as far as I’m aware Leicester’s backroom coaching staff are still in situ…



    My understanding is that BR left JK with the data, game plans etc as you’d expect. Of course this does not compensate for him leaving so abruptly but it allows continuity all the same.



    He goes on to suggest the Celtic hierarchy and BR had an agreement…



    Celtic then made a deal with Rodgers about getting the team safely through the group stages of the Champions League.



    Now this makes no sense at all we didn’t qualify for the UCL in 2018, unless of course he means safely through to the group stages of the Champion’s League. Even then, without context it makes little sense.



    Phil Mac mentions the OE transfer, although again doesn’t put much context to it, yet certain versions of this saga have Peter Lawwell throwing his toys out the pram because he had just signed Odsonne before the China crisis.



    Why? Why would he regret that?



    It’s worth looking at the reality of OE’s transfer and how he came to be at Celtic.



    OE was a top European youth prospect but blotted his copy book when he got in trouble with the law while on loan at Toulouse.



    It made his position at Toulouse and PSG untenable. So his temperament was in doubt, if his talent wasn’t.



    Celtic cut a deal. They would take OE on loan with a view to buying him if the loan period was successful.



    PSG needed to sell players to stay within FFP compliance. So in August 2017 a deal was agreed and a completion date set.



    The deal had to be completed by 16th June 2018 or Celtic’s exclusivity clause was cancelled.



    OE had a great season with amongst other things a couple of hunskelping displays. He loved it a Celtic, winning trophies and the atmosphere during our May celebrations.



    The deal was duly completed on the 15th. It was the Celtic Executive who had negotiated the deal in August 2017, it was Celtic Executive that completed the deal in June 2018.



    OE for 8M was thought to be a no brainer and so it has proved.



    Lenny certainly seems pleased with him.



    So why on earth would PL be upset with completing that deal in any circumstances?



    I’m not sure who is stirring-up this nonsense, nor why they are doing it but it is showing up Celtic and their supports in a bad light.



    Very Odd…



    Aff Oot



    Hail Hail

  2. Chairbhoy



    Most of Phil’s blog,’re the China story I think was already out there,



    ‘re Brendan-


    we own our own history.it is uniquely ours


    It has been that way since that first meeting in St Mary’s hall in 1887,some 130 plus years ago.Brendan was part of our history,not the other way about.i thank him for the happiness and joy that I experienced under his tenure.i will defend his reign as he is part of Celtics history.



    Tippbhoy 1.45



    That’s a sound wee essay mate.thanks for posting




  3. Good morning Chairbhoy



    You raise some good points . As you concluded it some of the information being put out seems a bit odd .



    I noticed two or three articles today Scottish Herald, Evening Times were two of them with headlines stating JK turned down the chance to go to Leicester. When you read both articles looking for a direct quote to confirm this assertion , low and behold, it’s not there.



    The cynical side of me thinks there are moves afoot to control the narrative here so no fingers can be pointed in the boards direction for the fact that arguably our most successful manager since Stein has left the club.




  4. Good morning CQN from a chilly Garngad



    Well we have the Hibernians of Edinburgh mañana at 5.15pm…. WTF


    5.15pm are they trying to kill me, that means a lot of pub hours before the game???



    Anyway, with our 4 natural footballers (midfielders) still injured, Ntcham, Christei, Rogic and Cal Mac, this will be another tough game, I would start with OB and French Eddie, with Weah coming off the bench at some point.


    COYBIG. Cannot wait to see Lennys Heros.



    Let’s move on from Rodgers. Managers and players come and go, their loss.



    D. :)

  5. Larry the lurker ? on

    Brendan, the PLC, Lenny, were all in on the ‘scam’ that was conducted when RD was defeated by Warburton, which led to RD getting sacked. I remember Lenny applied for the Celtic job back then as well, having walked out a couple of years earlier, but, what struck me was, when Lenny was asked how he felt about Brendan being awarded the Celtic job, Lenny was like a wee bhoy, trying to bite his lip and smiling as he said the right man, Brendan, got the job, it just seemed surreal. Its as if the PLC told Lenny that it was too dodgy for him to go back into the dugout at that time, especially with the huns coming into the top league, and not one dodgy trophy removed, and the mood of the Celtic supporters on the Internet-Bampots scene, was pretty raw, and the PLC would have had a million questions to answer, so the safe option, or squirrel option, was Brendan, till the heat had gone out of the trophy stripping debate, the “Rangers” game was normalized, then out of nowhere, Brendan would “mysteriously” leave, and Lenny would be returned.



    Back to lurking,HH.

  6. morning bhoys from a damp looking Cheshire, ive promised myself not to talk anymore about our former manager he’s gone, its his loss, roll on Saturday to see lenny and his bhoys .hh.

  7. !!Bada Bing!! on

    At the presser today,Neil has to shut down any BR questions, he’s gone,forget him,we all move on.

  8. Apologies if this has already been covered this week ?


    Due to the many stories coming out in recent days about Rodgers, and his personna etc, allied with other “stories” since the start of this season following of the fall out between PL and Rodgers after last Summers Transfer Window, and ESPECIALLY the “Performance” of the Celtic team at Ipox on Dec 29th 2018, I questioned myself, and spoke to close Friends IF something with Rodgers Team selection and Tactics etc were ALL a DELIBERATE attempt by Rodgers, to ensure that we would LOSE that Day ?



    He put Cal at left back, and young Mikey Johnson “Up Front” on his own etc, and I honestly can not remember who we had on the Bench that day that could have Played ( Teirney ?) for one ?



    More so, was Rodgers Post Match Interview were ( If I remember correctly), all he basically stated was that “The Best team on the Day won blah, blah”. NO MENTION whatsoever of the Hun Thuggery by Morelos and others that day, nor Ref Beatons “Performance” ? Rodgers FAILED to call any of what we had just witnessed out ! Speaking to Friends afterwards, I shared this with them, and expressed my DEEP Disappointment that a Celtic Manager would FAIL in his Duty to ask questions, and/or Call out The Huns and their Thuggery and Ref Beaton.


    Given what has transpired in the last few Days, I am now more than ever ALMOST CONVINCED that Rodgers DELIBERATELY threw that Game that Day, as a kind of GIRUY to Lawwell and Celtic ????



    Maybe, I am wrong, and unless Rodgers decides to “Confess” all in his next Book, or any of the Celtic Squad and/or Coaching Staff reveal that something WAS seriously amiss before that Game with Rodgers etc, for example, maybe some of the Players themselves were surprised, shocked etc by Rodgers Team Selection/Formation that Day, we will probably NEVER know for sure ?



    At the time of his POST Match Interview, AND looking back, I am 85% convinced that Rodgers DELIBERATELY Sabotaged Celtic that Day !



    Then again…surely not ?



  9. traditionalist88 on

    F.U.B.A.R.BHOY on 1ST MARCH 2019 3:31 AM


    It’s 3.20. and I’m having trouble sleeping. I keep hearing the words ‘I hope you die in your sleep Brendan Rodgers’ and its being sung by so-called Celtic supporters. I’m disgusted. Did we sing that when Kenny left? Or Jimmy? Or Henrik? Nah, its over for me. Our young supporters are worse than huns. oot.





    It was a few numpties, in a pub. It only takes a handful of people to make a fair bit of noise in a pub.Thankfully it was not to be heard in the ground, or if anyone tried it, it didnt take off.



    But take into account the size of our support, if 0.5% are numpties thats still a lot of people.



    And I’d say at any given point in our history we have at least 0.5% numpties!



    This can be said for any gathering of people. Including most workplaces.




  10. Ken You are a gas man. Larry the Lurker, who posts regularly but instead of going Offf ooot, he goes back lurking. I liked CorbynCelt but he only posted once or twice not sure what’s happened to the fella.


    Anyway it’s nice to see you back, obviously this place seems important to you and if so it’s good to see you around.

  11. That should have read Kev but maybe I started something by error, KenJungle anybody.

  12. AN TEARMANN @ 6:02 AM,



    DBHOY @ 6:04 AM,



    If you are being cynical you have to look at a smoke’n mirrors deflection campaign, if it’s being run from inside Celtic that would be hugely sad… it’s doing a better job of undermining us than level 5 could ever do.



    But it’s true, the Club and it’s history is ours… our hero’s and founding fathers, great players, great coaches and Managers.



    Lenny and the bhoys are more than capable of completing a historic Season for us… it’s in them we trust.



    Hail Hail

  13. Tradionalist. You are spot on. Many many years ago maybe about 60 me yrs ago a young schoolbhoy who would grow up to be Corkcelt went to see the famous Glasgow Celtic play the Cork Hibs in a pre season friendly in Cork. No terracing then in the ground just a big sloping grassy hill behind the goal. There were hundreds of Celts in their late teens & early twenties all around me on the slope, there was a fair amount of messing going on pre match and I ended up getting a hell of a kick in the back off a couple of clowns who were scuffling with each other.


    I was none too pleased but a few others who witnessed it came over, told the culprits to cop on and apolgised to me and made sure I was OK.


    A few pricks around then but they were the exception same as today.

  14. The theory that BR sabotaged the jan 29th Rangers game is absolute nonsense.


    For a start his match ups with SG are the only fixtures that are deemed worth of examination down south in the promised land of the Premier League where he so wanted to be.


    I also do not see how he could have returned back to Lennoxtown on tuesday to say goodbye to his players when the story was breaking and the anger was building from the fans.


    I am not trying to defend him.He betrayed us alright.


    But I refuse to nit pick over all his actions and try and shed him in a worse light.


    There is a piece in a paper this morning about the Blue three piece suit he was wearing at Leicster on the day he signed as alleged proof that he was planning this action for weeks as the suits he buys are specialist made to fit items NOT your average Burtons or Marks and Spencers jobs?


    Is not even slightly conceivable that a multi millionaire of his wealth actually owned a blue three piece suit in his wardrobe?


    Time for the justified hate and scorn to die down.


    I am still glad he was Celtic manager and a few days later I can now be thankful for what he gave us all if not for the abrupt way he left.

  15. traditionalist88 on

    CORKCELT on 1ST MARCH 2019 9:10 AM



    Exactly! A grassy slope though, Health and Safety would have a field day now… though I went to a gig at Slane Castle a few years back and thats where about 1/3 of the crowd watched the gig, on the big grassy slope(big incline too!). Lost count of the number of folk who were steamboats and rolled down it! Not young ones either.



    But if its alright for music fans…




  16. Go tell the Spartim on




    I think will play everything with a straight bat, we have to be seen to be the better entity, which pains me at times given the stuff we (Celtic supporters) have to endure.



    BR rebuilt his reputation with us, but it was Celtic that won the honours and not him. He has no significance anymore.

  17. LAZYDYNAMITE on 1ST MARCH 2019 9:14 AM


    The theory that BR sabotaged the jan 29th Rangers game is absolute nonsense.


    So you KNOW for FACT that Rodgers didnt deliberately Sabotage Celtic that Day ?….Thought NOT !



    He wouldnt be the 1st Celtic minded” Chump to throw a Celtic Game…You obviously have never heard of Dick Beattie ?


    MY Contempt and Distrust of Rodgers will NEVER die down…Who are you to tell ME or ANY other Celtic Supporter how they should feel ? It’s MY Perogative to feel ANY WAY I wish about Rodgers or anyone else.

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    The downsizing started on Tuesday, but hopefully in a positive way.The squad and the wage bill is out of control, guys like deVries,Gamboa and Commper ,will be on £18-20k a week,and they don’t make the bench. Neil is a smart guy, and will build a presentation/business plan to the Board, as part of his application for the role full time IMO. He will know scouts, and have players in mind who were too expensive for Hibs,he picked up some very decent players for them,and his strike rate first time round, is miles better than Rodgers.

  19. BIG JIMMY on 1ST MARCH 2019 9:47 AM



    Sorry mate you are entitled to feel any way you like.


    The pain of all this effects us all.


    However I do know that BR never sabotaged the Rangers game on the 29th dec.


    I know it as much as I know he never sabotaged the AEK athens game or the Valencia games.


    He was an outstanding manager for us , history will always tell you that.


    I do not wish him well in his new job but a few days later I am thankful to him for the best years of my Celtic supporting life.

  20. traditionalist88 on

    !!BADA BING!! on 1ST MARCH 2019 9:50 AM



    Spot on. Lots of change ahead but that will be exciting too. It certainly won’t be changes for changes sake or further stockpiling of players.




  21. Whether it’s Neil Lennon or a n other ,one thing is certain . We will need reinforcements Berkovic will be back at Leicester , , boyata may well be with him . Toljan could possibly be away back to his club , likewise weah, and Burke . Add to that list joso ,and ntcham who are serial absentees . So quite a few replacements are required , I hope our scouting system , if we have one are active in securing the quality we require . We need players of quality ,as in Berkovic, lustik, and boyata ,that is the type we could be losing . Also guys please concentrate on Lenny , and give BR a break . Whatever happened ,he did us proud ,and gave us a double treble ,and great hun skelping performances . I wish him luck in his new job . HH

  22. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I wish Rodgers no ill will,up until Monday he was up there with my Celtic Legends,but no more banners,no more songs,and i can’t wish him good luck.We have already moved on.

  23. Go tell the Spartim on

    BR isnt worth the angst, anger etc of Celtic supporters, he’s gone and doesnt give a sh*t, why anyone gives a sh*t bout him is just wasting their energy.



    We all feel betrayed but i think we are more angry at ourselves than the Colgate powered Julius Caesar (as someone else wonderfully named him)

  24. Just read that Rodgers didn’t even speak to players to say goodbye before he left. If that is true, then we are well rid. We have 3 lads now Lenny, Kennedy & Duff who really get Celtic. They may not be the dream team for the long term but they have my full support & backing. Thanks Brendan for what you did when you were here but you only ever really loved yourself. Eventually it will catch up with you.

  25. My friends in Celtic,



    Only a few days ago I was delighted that we had a manager of Brendan Rodgers stature. He had the double treble in the locker and were In an extremely good place to deliver an unprecedented treble treble.



    We had the best fit manager possible for our club who looked and talked the part while displaying a cool and respectful demeanour. Our sense of anticipation which brought 15000 fans to his “unveiling “ had delivered and been totally vindicated.



    I can now view this rationally and history will record BR’s achievements favourably. Unquestionably he made some mistakes however BR has set the standards both on and off the park and has subsequently set the bar.



    He has given me some of the best times as a Celtic supporter. NFL will be acutely aware of this and manage accordingly.



    HH. To the future.

  26. LAZYDYNAMITE on 1ST MARCH 2019 10:00 AM


    BIG JIMMY on 1ST MARCH 2019 9:47 AM







    Sorry mate you are entitled to feel any way you like.





    The pain of all this effects us all.





    However I do know that BR never sabotaged the Rangers game on the 29th dec.




    I will ask AGAIN with respect…”How do You KNOW that Rodgers didnt sabotage the Game against the Huns” ? That is TWICE you claimed that YOU KNOW ?


    I would strongly suggest that given what we knew BEFORE that Game and what is being suggested now about all manner of issues regarding Rodgers, I would argue that there is MORE Evidence to suggest that he DID deliberately threw the Game at Ipox, than not ?


    For starters, his POST Match Interview, when he FAILED to Call Out the Thuggery and the Ref for blatant cheating…Why did he FAIL his Players, Staff and Fans, and The Club ?


    No fecking chance of Jock, Big Billy, MON, Tommy Burns, Lennon…allowing THAT Game to go by and NOT question the Thuggery and the Ref…So why did Rodgers ?



    I can NOT cl;aim that he DID Sabotage Celtic that day, but on the Balance of Probabilities …he probably feckin DID ! Just to get HIS Point over to Celtic and Lawwell….and to hell with his Players and the Celtic support.


    Apparently, Rodgers felt “Cheated” by Lawwell last Summer ( Rodgers Bonus/Shares, Transfers etc), he did NOT Fail to let the world know that he wasnt happy in ANY Interviews at that time, why stay feckin Silent after the huns game ?



    Also, for years after we were beaten by Feyenoord in Milan in 1970 in the European Cup Final…it took DECADES until ANY Celtic Player/Squad member from that night, to feel the need to tell the Celtic Support of how Big Jock completely underestimated Feyenoord PRIOR to the Final. My point being, that maybe NO Celtic Employee/Player is speaking badly about Rodgers right now….but maybe in a few years ?

  27. We still talking about the Rat?



    Big game tomorrow. Potential banana skin – same team as Tynecastle but hopefully Eddy starting, Burke out wide and Jamesey floating around in front of Brown and Bitton?



    Looking forward to it.



    Who have Leicester got? CGAF….

  28. AN TEARMANN@8-28


    Thank you for sharing that.


    The press narrative has been so deceitful.


    Wake up Everybody.