Livi pitch an appropriate white flag


Before we get into the meat of the matter, I would like to record how impactful Kristoffer Ajer is at full back.  He is not a full back, of course, this is not even his second best position, but he can get beyond his man and send a dangerous cross into the heart of the penalty box.  This marks him as unique in our full back options.  Of the many lessons from the season, let one be that we need better full backs at both sides of the field.

Conceding fouls inside your own half is not considered a capital crime at other clubs, so we should temper our annoyance at Shane Duffy (or the absent, but often guilty, Diego Laxalt), but we all know Celtic cannot defend set-pieces.  At Livingston’s first goal, it was the otherwise excellent Kris Ajer who failed to track his man, not Nir Bitton, who stuck like glue to his opponent but was blamed by a scapegoat seeking Sky co-commentator.

When Livingston breached the Celtic defence for a second time, I was not concerned, as we were playing well and I expected a 30-minute onslaught towards the Livingston goal.  Instead, Livingston consolidated their position, aided by four substitutions in 17 minutes either side of the goal, which finished Celtic as a threat.  Credit to David Martindale.

Scott Brown’s ‘Get stuck into them’ cameo might have worked in a different era.  We have seen similar flailing arms go completely unpunished against us, but it was the last thing we needed last night.  By full time, the Livingston pitch resembled a very appropriate white flag.

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  1. Worse still……the board can see we’re shit and in a bad place…..and they’re doing absolutely nothing about it

  2. Top and even close to top managers in the EPL etc all look to manage their careers. Even when out of a job now really good coaches will go where they think they can succeed and be seen to be making a difference to their potential next employer.



    Hence Gerard to Rangers was not a risk as any success would be viewed positively. They have even allowed him 3 seasons and substantial funds to get there.



    The issue with the Celtic job is that it carries limited upside and huge downside for anyone taking it. It also exists in an exposure vacuum as our game is not even in the top 10 leagues visible across Europe.



    Anyone doing research would know we have a fan base who expect / feel entitled to win the league each season. They feel champions league is a minimum requirement each season and that same fan base has just turned on a man who had lost one league game and drawn 2 back in October despite his winning 4 and now 5 previous domestic trophies in a row.



    They will know the Celtic is not favored by establishment / officials and indeed media and so their ride won’t be smooth. They will have noted the fate of Mowbray Barnes Dalgliesh Venglos and of course others such as Ronnie D Gordon and Neil who actually did win the league several times, All hounded out and leaving against a background of negativity.



    Against that Brendan and Martin left with reputation in tact or indeed enhanced. Brendan’s record speaks for itself and MON although winning only 7 out of 15 trophies did stop the ego ridden largess of Advocaat and Murray and so will be forever deified.



    Most ‘career savvy’ aspiring managers of a top level would be better placed waiting for a Villarreal or a Rennes or a Wolves or a Southampton or even a West Brom or a Stoke or a Middlesboro where they could get 2 years and achieve modest growth and enhance a reputation rather than risk being hounded out after the first failure.



    Brendan won everything and got Leicester. He was never going to get anything bigger. The list of failures show the odds are against anyone taking the Celtic managers job. Following Sinatra makes this even harder.

  3. Following Celtic is very instructive at the moment.


    We are getting an insight into what it must be like to be a fan of a ‘ diddy team’.






    The Onlooker

  4. The lack of urgency when we are chasing a result is alarming and becoming a permanent feature. It started at home in the 2-0 defeat to sevco but even in injury time recently we are knocking it around at the back, with very little intention of getting the ball forward.



    Lack of crowd is one reason for this but it should have been addressed long before now.



    And ideally we wouldnt be chasing games in injury time v Livi, Hibs, St Johnstone etc but that seems to be our level just now.




  5. Rock Tree Bhoy


    If you go onto Radio Shortbreads highlights and stop it at 9 seconds it is even worse than you think. Duffy jumps for the ball, no-one is marking anyone else and Ajer just leaves the guy to run and score. If I was in charge I would be sitting them down in front of that and saying ” can you see what you are doing wrong ?” because at a completely molecular level this is the problem. The second goal isn’t as bad Ajer lets the cross come in and Barkas should be closer to the guy who scores but that was all.

  6. glendalystonsils on




    Brendan won everything and got Leicester. He was never going to get anything bigger




    He didn’t have to . Brendan has grown Leicester into something bigger and has been allowed to by the Burnley board.



    I am extremely jealous of what Leicester are doing for their fans .

  7. Jamesgang




    We can talk about owners and boards all we like but if the guy playing full back cant run with the opposition player nearest to him we are in serious trouble. I used to coach a girl’s under 11 team who wouldn’t have conceded that goal. They were better organised than that. Either our coaching is terrible or a guy who plays internationally for Norway is the best confidence trickster ever.

  8. CVELTIC40ME@12:22pm



    Very true but i would like a coach who has a chance to secure 2nd place,i don’t know if NL can.

  9. squire danaher on




    Leicester being as good as BR could get is a not unreasonable argument in itself.



    However, are there not now grounds for concluding that BR maybe could’ve hung about at Celtic a while longer but decided that he was prepared to take the job he did, when he did, to get away from PL?

  10. Old tim 67



    David Martingdale is certainly an interesting character.


    I asked about him at the weekend to an ex Livi player.



    His reply was staggering.



    “Not got an absolute fin clue”.



    “Will get found out ”



    Sometimes you don’t need to be a tactical genius, you just need to have the players behind you and all pulling in the right direction. He certainly has that for now.



    Celtic job for a 9 game rookie, no way imo.

  11. squire danaher on

    Celtic in SPFL



    Last 13 matches.



    5 wins, 6 draws and the two defeats.



    That’s Hampden season and post-Dalglish season levels of mediocrity.

  12. MARKIEBHOY on 21ST JANUARY 2021 3:36 PM





    I viewed the weekend defending with similar horror….letting the ball bounce like said under-11s!!!



    HH jg

  13. Jamesgang


    You and I know it’s not that complicated. It’s about people knowing their jobs. I never had anyone running round cones. When asked why I would say ” the cones don’t have a team in the league”. Drill drill and drill again and stop changing the defence every game. He could have left the defence on from Saturday. But he can’t help himself. He has only fielded the same team twice this season. I despair.

  14. We will never know……………..but i doubt if FF could do any better with what is in front of him.



    We used to be reactive instead of proactive now we are neither.

  15. Get Damien Duff and Shaun Maloney and allow them to pick their backroom staff.


    Let them build a team for next season.



    Do nothing and we’ll be fighting with Livingston for 3rd place

  16. I can’t remember the last Celtic game I enjoyed watching. Even the cup final was too stressful to enjoy. Didn’t even bother to watch yesterday. Possibly the first game I’ve missed for several years.

  17. MNCelt- I have enjoyed 2 halves of football all season, 1st half v Aberdeen, and 1st half v Hearts,both in the Scottish Cup, that’s it….

  18. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 21ST JANUARY 2021 1:48 PM





    So you want him to resign so that those who won’t sack him can appoint his replacement?



    Can you see the flaw in your argument?






    No – that’s not the reason that I want him to resign.



    I want him to resign because he, self-evidently, continues to preside over a dramatic decline in team performance, squad cohesion, player development and player value.



    I also – as it happens – want him to resign because I think it will probably be best for himself (not financially) in the long run.



    I accept that a consequence of him resigning might well be that those who won’t sack him will do then go on to appoint his replacement – but that’s not my argument.



    In fact, I think those who appointed him should not be trusted to appoint his replacement; their history of appointing managers – based in large part on little more than having a Celtic connection – is pathetic. Only BR has had the appropriate level of skill and experience. Their one shot at someone not from that mold (Ronnie) also doesn’t fill me with any hope that they would get it right this time either.



    And Squire – I understand that Celtic over the years have screwed players – McGrory on £8 a week is a good case in point. My preference would absolutely of course be that the Board / CEO do the honorable thing and pay Neil’s contract up, and I’m not at all giving them a pass on that – my thoughts on them will have to wait till I have more time.



    I was taking into account, though, that times – and the financial security that managers and players (at a club like Celtic) now enjoy – are markedly different; Neil wouldn’t be a poor man.






  19. Squire @ 3.43



    Those stats make for grim reading indeed.



    And we probably played better, for 60 mins, in one defeat than we did in all 5 wins.




  20. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    MNCELT on 21ST JANUARY 2021 3:55 PM



    I can’t remember the last Celtic game I enjoyed watching. Even the cup final was too stressful to enjoy. Didn’t even bother to watch yesterday. Possibly the first game I’ve missed for several years.






    You made the right decision, it was torture, watching them hang on for draw against the Livy B team, painful.

  21. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    …and I should add, I’ve swung to-and-fro on this for months…

  22. !!Bada!! – Yes, the first half against Hearts was very enjoyable, but it was soon forgotten with the second half performance, extra time and penalties. It took more than a day for my stress level to come down even though we won. I think I’m far too invested in Celtic – I blame my parents :)

  23. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve ;- As I have posted before I do not think Lenny will be replaced this season, nor do I think you will see any new signings. I think that Dermott is in the process of selling up if he can find a buyer, who knows? he might have one in the wings. Football in Scotland is going to change and not in a good way, this pandemic will see clubs out the door. Add the economic effects of Brexit and the possible spearation of Scotland from the rest of the UK then football here will find itself at the level of the game in Ireland (or even Malta). So no, there is no one riding to the rescue.





    Historia magistra vitae et testis temporum.

  24. notthebus on 21st January 2021 1:05 pm



    You’ve answered your own question there. Point is the total lack of any plan for the footballing side of the business by the board, if we did not start looking for a manager after the two defats by Sparta then we never will.



    Its a shambolic disaster that they deserve 100% of the blame for, although I would like to see NFL replaced the blame for this fiasco lies 100% with the board, this is not NFL’s fault.

  25. !!Bada Bing!! on 21st January 2021 4:03 pm



    We had a good 30m spell against Hibs earlier in the season.

  26. Go tell the Spartim on

    Who’d have thought we get quoted Cicero.



    Football will be about brands as opposed to borders

  27. JAMESGANG – how do your Hammers fans feel this season?


    Not saying that Moyes is a great coach, but he would have been a better appt than Lenny if that was the only option on the table. Fergie thought he was his natural successor to the biggest job in England. Didn’t happen for him but he would have been a safe, if uninspiring, appt for us.

  28. I try to post my top 3 players to Jobo after each game (apologies to Jobo for when I haven’t).


    Our current standard of play is so poor that it’s getting harder to pick 3 players who have played well for the entire 90 mins. Even our better players are making chronic errors that prove costly.



    For example, and these are only MY thoughts…



    Last night – Ajer was one of our better players…but was arguably culpable at both goals we conceded.



    Against Hibs last week, I remember (around the 85th min mark) pondering who I thought I would vote for. My first 2 would be Hazard & Duffy as I thought they contributed well in keeping the clean sheet up til that point…then they both looked culpable at the goal conceded from the free kick.



    At Ibrox, I thought Bitton was immense…until the red card.



    When we struggle to get 3 out of 11 players to play well for 90 mins…



    Anyway…just a random contribution.




  29. T7- we probably did mate,it highlights how few and far between decent performances have been.

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