Lurgan Lion, the loyal thugs


Before we get into some proper reflections on yesterday’s game, can we pay a moment’s respect to the passing of the careers of Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe, who respectively spent 15 and 20 years in professional football.  I know we will all wish them the very best on their lives after football – starting today.

Without a word of a lie, when I sat down to write this, I had to go back and confirm that Glen Kamara started the game.  Scott Brown has seen them come and go in his 12 years at Celtic.  When any of them win against the champions, he’s often the man opponents delight at getting the better off.  Kamara did just that on social media in May after the Ibrox club’s win over Celtic.  You could set your watch for Scott dominating the former Dundee player.  Yesterday, Kamara looked like what he is, a £50k signing who cannot cast a shadow on the Celtic captain.

On Friday we talked about the bedwetters who were worried about the challenge from Newco this season.  They added a load of duds, mostly free transfers, to a squad that won nothing and they had people, who should have known better, worried about the Treble Treble winners facing them.  Newco signed 10 players this summer, 10 PLAYERS!!  Nine of them were not good enough to get into that pathetic starting line up.  Gerrard has not signed playing assets, he’s added financial liabilities!

I don’t remember the last time we saw such a makeshift Celtic defence start a big game.  Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer both failed late fitness tests.  Hatem Elhamed missed the previous three games through injury, and had only made five appearances for Celtic, but he was patched up and played at right back.  His fellow Israeli, Nir Bitton (new contract please), was asked to fill in at central defence alongside Christopher Jullien.  The latter is beginning to look like a £7m euro bargain.

Newco fans thought they would rip Boli Bolingoli apart (perhaps they had CQN comments pages).  Boli absolutely bossed the left flank.  On several occasions, he took an extra touch under pressure, showing the kind of composure you get from someone who turns up ‘ready’, as Oldco were fond of saying.  He and Christopher Jullien are yet to experience defeat at Celtic.

Defending well will get you a point, but if you want to win a game, you need to put the ball in the net.  With 32 minutes gone, Celtic were well on top, but the game needed a chance.  Fortunately, Newco defender Connor Goldson (soon to be found playing golf at the weekend with Davis and Defoe) was in possession to play an immaculate pass onto the toe of Mikey Johnston.  Mikey took the ball from the halfway line before releasing Odsonne Edouard.  From that moment, the whole of Ibrox knew the outcome.  The French striker closed in on goal before slipping the ball below the keeper.  We have so many match winners just waiting for an opening.

You, me and just about everyone else criticised Neil Lennon for his tactics against Cluj, but what a masterclass from the Lurgan Lion yesterday.  He sent players into a hostile environment with a coolness not seen in Glasgow, since Barry White last crooned into the microphone around these parts.  We dominated the game, could easily have scored more, and did not concede a chance worthy of the name.

The front four: Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest, Ryan Christie and Mikey Johnston were scintillating.  Olivier Ntcham was at his incisive best when he replaced James.  He linked with Odsonne and Johnny Hayes to create the clinching second goal.  I have been critical of Olivier, but when he turns up, he is unplayable.

All that was left was for Jordan Jones, Ryan Jack and Alfredo Morelos to demonstrate that Steven Gerrard’s talk about improving discipline is a mirage.  It is disingenuous of Gerrard to criticise Jones, but overlook Morelos stamping on Jullien, and elbowing and kicking Scott Brown, and Jack’s studs-to-the-knee lunge at Bolingoli.  Referee Bobby Madden did not see Morelos’ attacks, so you would assume the SFA Compliance Officer will be involved.  Surely?  The tifo display, showing a Celtic fan on the ground with a figure holding a bloodied sword over him is more sinister than I can remember at any football game.  Is this acceptable to Newco, never mind the SFA?

They remain loyal thugs, but now they know the reality.  This is the 9-in-a-row season and there’s nothing they can do about it.

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  1. “This is a period of unprecedented success and we are wishing it away in our desire for some imagined level of easily achieved improvement.”



    I wouldn`t say that `we are wishing it away`but many, too many, don`t seem to be enjoying it as much as I would have expected .


    I understand the reason for negativity in human beings but this really is, as SFTB said, ` a period of unprecedented success ` and I would recommend trying to enjoy it. I also understand how some ( many?) are very unimpressed with Celtic`s response to the death of Rangers . I am one such supporter but I manage to separate the two when it comes to supporting the players on the park. Cognitive dissonance right enough !




  2. traditionalist88 on

    So many positives from yesterday its hard to know where to start!



    But defensive strength must be near the top of the list, especially the new bhoys who have been pilloried after a slow start to their Celtic careers. But Julienn is growing into the role quickly and Bolingoli was dynamic, looking comfortable on the ball and with an incredible engine helping keep them pinned back. Took a few sore ones himself and thought he was a real contender for MOTM.



    Like everyone else was bemused by our kick off but it worked a treat and it set the tone. Kill their momentum and take the intitiative.



    Feared the worst when Broony miscontrolled a ball in the centre circle after 8 mins and thought that our good start was going to be undone, it handed Rangers momentum for a couple of mins max but we rode it out and Broony came onto a game after that and showed his leadership qualities as well.



    So lots of brave tactical decisions and not least to play Mikey after a couple of poor displays at Ibrox(albeit out of position).



    Btw – for all the comment that Rodgers is a great tactician, if he was our manager we’d probably have lost yesterday. Forster didnt pass the ball to the back 4 too many times, it is the right idea to get it up the pitch and reduce the risk of an error from our back line. Doesn’t mean you can’t play good football, just do it in the right areas through your best technical players! There are no extra points for each pass from your CB to your LB and back again.



    Remember saying last week during the meltdowns that if we seen the AIK tie through and avoided defeat at Ibrox we’d be motoring. Well here we are, we’re more than motoring now and with a couple more signings to come and the best firepower we’ve had in a long time we have a lot to look forward to.




  3. Rather than referring to Nir Bitton as a stand in CH we should just refer to him now as a CH. If we had signed him as a CH earlier in the summer for say £3m we’d be saying what a bargain he is.

  4. Paul



    A well structured article not missing the bedwetters and critics among our support. A section of our support still take their lead from The Record and the Sun and were taken in by their favourite tag without any evidence. The fact that Rangers started with only Aribo from their 10 signings is a demonstration of the quality of their squad. The criticism of Neil was over the top and was so proven.



    We should have more faith in our club and less what the Scottish Media say

  5. Tremendously controlled performance yesterday, no failures. Our creative guys worked their socks off against five defensive midfielders and managed to set up two great goals into the bargain. Edouard is coolness personified.



    Jonny Hayes will remember his moment for the rest of his life.



    AULDHEID paperwork signed and e-mailed.

  6. 67 ECW 12.18pm



    Previous article … nice response



    We can all be happy today (and also want more from the suits :-)

  7. It is possible to love the result and performance yesterday but still acknowledge that nothing has been won yet.



    In reality, that was a very poor standard of football. Sevco managed to manufacture 2 shots at goal, neither of them likely to produce a goal. When they did fashion a chance through a break of the ball, our defence was solid and packed enough to snuff it out (Abd Elhamed beat a slowly reacting Defoe to a good chance and Nir snuffed out one of their players shots on the turn too).



    We were not at our creative best yesterday either but what we lacked in quality, we made up for in fight and running, even our less stellar performers (JF and Calmac) kept running and closing space. We blew a few good chances to extend our league before Jonny Hayes delivered the coup de grace but it would have been an injustice if we lost.



    We won a low quality game and we have a 3 point lead. Much of the momentum gained will be washed away by the International break (and disappointment that we won’t be getting Big Vic or Melling).



    When the league resumes, we will have to be ready to go again and re-start the process of winning this league.



    To be fair to everybody who predicted we would lose yesterday, there were good grounds for pessimism. Sevco had been better than us in the last 2 fixtures of last season and they have had 2 decent seasons of Euro performances. Their defence was more settled than ours (Choosing Flanagan over Barisic was the only choice Slippy had to think about).



    The sad fact is they did not turn up. They are a better team than they showed yesterday.



    Unfortunately for them, so are we. When our new players get used to each other and what Scottish refs allow, we will improve more than they can.



    We just need to defend against Lighthouse thinking. We were not as bad as we painted ourselves after Cluj and we are not a great team because we won at Ibrox.



    We will face harder games than the one Sevco gave us yesterday, including their next visit to CP, I’d guess.



    So, let’s enjoy what unfolded but keep our guard up.



    They are not as bad as we made them look and we are not as good, yet, as they made us look.



    We return to a match on Hamilton’s rotten plastic, which we should win, but where we rarely win well. The we (and them) are into Europa season of Thursday-Sunday fixtures. If we can retain or extend our league through Europa season, we will have laid down a marker- no more.



    Leagues are usually won in the January to March period; we have a long road to go and many more battles to win before we achieve what we want.



    Enjoy the warm glow till the Hamilton match.

  8. Is someone new writing the daily blogs? Having read this site since 2006 I think I’ve grown to know Paul67’s “voice,” and something seems different in the last couple of main articles.

  9. Malorbhoy, Robinbhoy,


    Also proud to be a Requisitioner, along with my Bhoy too.


    Wonderful day yesterday, life is good!



  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Logged in to see a huge number of comments and thought we must have signed Eriksen from Tottenham. Then I remembered how excited everybody gets about beating a seven year old club who have never won a competition Celtic have been in.


    Pretty decent start to our campaign for a 23rd consecutive by-the-rules league title. Should be looking to get 100 points against the level of opposition in this league, so that’s twelve in the bag heading into the break.


    Hopefully the clean sheet is a sign of things to come for Europe which is where we should be benchmarking ourselves. Huge scope for upside here but will require ambition and vision that is seriously lacking at the moment.

  11. 40 goals by 01/09/19






    Mikey Johnson 3


    Odsonne Edouard 6


    Scott Sinclair 1


    Ryan Christie 8


    Calum McGregor 3


    Krisstopher Ajer 2


    Marian Shved 1


    Leigh Griffiths 3


    OG 4


    Olivier Ntcham 1


    James Forrest 5


    Jonny Hayes 1


    Christopher Jullien 1


    Lewis Morgan 1

  12. FRIESDORFER on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2019 12:47 PM


    Malorbhoy, Robinbhoy,


    Also proud to be a Requisitioner, along with my Bhoy too.


    Wonderful day yesterday, life is good!






    I was a Requisitioner last time and I’ll be a Requisitioner this time. Printed off the paperwork for signing but oldest daughter and grandkids are visiting so they take top billing until tomorrow, then I’ll do the necessary 😉


    Not long until our CQN visit to the 2019 München Oktoberfest so see you soon 🍺🍺🍺🍺😄😄😄🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

  13. Kent for 7 million lol…. I can see the headline now. Superman signs on D day lmfao.




  14. Great performance by team and manager yesterday, i was hoping NL would question the 6 minutes added, blatant cheating, Jones needs to get more than a 2 game ban for his assault, hope his injury is a bad one.

  15. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ !!BADA BING!! on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2019 1:01 PM



    I think they are all in if they go for Kent.



    C’mon Celtic, get big Vic back.

  16. Bob Loblaw



    I emailed VFR some time ago to ask him if he was now writng the articles.


    Their is a definite change of style.




  17. Frustratingly didn’t record the game.



    Keen to judge if BBC possession of 60:40 against looks accurate.



    If true, was this a tactic? Not playing out from back too much and giving Rangers chances to make mistakes to capitalise on?



    Great article Paul, I think you enjoyed the day as much as me!

  18. Haven’t been on CQN until now as been too busy celebrating but I do notice quite a bit of lording over other Celtic fans or ‘bedwetters’ as Paul refers to them. Shame to see that. Many of those with concerns have been more worried about the length of time it has taken to sign players and gradual planning at the club. Quite reasonable in my view.



    Brilliant result yesterday and a great day for the club however it doesnt change the fact we blew it qualifying for the Champions league two seasons on the bump. That was not NFL’s fault or BR’s last season but the board so whilst people are point scoring amongst each other the facts remain. If we beat Cluj 10-0 over the two games it doesn’t change that.



    Just enjoy the here and now as the Champions league is gone but lets end the Lenny is King/Peter is perfect stuff as when we eventually lose a big game it gets flipped on its head.



    Football and Celtic is about extreme opinions because it matters so much. Sometimes people lose perspective but because we beat the shame doesnt mean that eveything people said before was wrong or not reasonable.



    Enjoy the win and be happy as a club and a support.

  19. 67 European Cup Winners on

    GFTB on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2019 12:32 PM



    Yesterday taught me something – what do I know ??



    Hail Hail




  20. traditionalist88 on

    TANGBHOY on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2019 1:12 PM


    Haven’t been on CQN until now as been too busy celebrating but I do notice quite a bit of lording over other Celtic fans or ‘bedwetters’ as Paul refers to them





    Article writing outsourced partly or fully for a while it appears,




  21. Doubt very much we’d be in for Vic and have Ntcham at the same time, Olivier looked back to his best yesterday, and if we hold onto him today there’s no room for big Vic IMO.



    Think the Taylor deal Is hinging on outgoing players, and whether they’ll accept moves, Hope it comes off for the boy today and we’ll have adequate cover for Bolingoli.



    Always room for the surprise signing.

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