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Neil, the 10 and the rest of us

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On five different occasions I told one of the two men who decide the fate of the Celtic manager that I thought it was time for a change.  Memorably, on one occasion, I was told, “Get a grip of yourself”.  I did not always get a response as, despite how I feel about Celtic, a manager’s fate is a private matter.

On none of those occasions did I write on CQN that the manager should be sacked.  If I was an impartial observer, that would be different, but my objective is always to see Celtic flourish and I considered the effect a campaign to sack the manager would have on results, our league challenge and, in on one occasion, the man himself.

The impact of these campaigns falls disproportionately on that individual, often when they are at their most emotionally vulnerable.  It hurts when those once close to you want you out, you look harder for motivation and as for focussing a dressing room!

Those who make the decisions are less emotionally vulnerable.  They usually have years of experience shielding themselves from being buffered by adverse sentiment, if they didn’t, they would not be able to do the job.  They alone know their options and they are never blind to the consequences of failure.  They do not always get it right.

We cannot show our support for the players or the manager at games and they will not be meeting fans in the street; all sentiment is delivered by media, new and old.  This is the only communication we have and I know the players consume what is written online this season.  This sentiment is not to blame for bad results, but it will not help resolve the situation.

Celtic are low percentage bets to win the league and I want the players, manager and board to take whatever steps necessary to change this, it is not too late. Nothing would give me more pleasure than Neil Lennon bringing us 10-in-a-row, it would be the ultimate way to achieve an historic record.  If he gets there, the rest of us will have a role in making it happen.

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348 Comments

  1. Sheep drew 1-1 tonight ffs theres no one but the Huns that are being consistent.

     

     

    We need a win tomorrow night and get some momentum going.

     

     

    COYBIG

     

     

    D :)

  2. For the last 9 league victories we haven’t (always) been an all conquering team. My favourite saying to colleagues in England was “we are not necessarily a great team, we are just better than all the other teams” – the word “just” being definitive. And therefore we didn’t win all our games.

     

     

    This season, we are still better than all the other teams and so are Rangers. Which means it’s a straight fight out between us and them.

     

     

    Plenty of time to get it right. And the same amount of time to get it wrong.

     

     

    I still think we can achieve the former.

  3. Looking and Listening to Neil Lennon on Celtic TV ,he looks very downhearted and very tired looking,I’m one off the many over the years that didn’t want him back at Celtic,I’m still in that mindset,but I’m going to cut him some slack,Neil start with what you and your coaches should be,if things on the park are not working ,then for God sake don’t wait till 70 or whatever minutes before you make any changes,that to a lot off supporters has been a huge mistake,So for god sake listen to the supporters ,and maybe maybe we can turn things around,and another thing if you know who the Distruptive players are if there any,or it’s a media thing ,then talk to the board about replacing them in the January Transfer Window.

  4. SCULLYBHOY on 25TH NOVEMBER 2020 9:54 PM

     

     

     

     

    ‘Gary Lineker

     

    @GaryLineker

     

    ·

     

    5h

     

    Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego’

  5. ernie lynch on 25th November 2020 10:35 pm

     

     

    SCULLYBHOY on 25TH NOVEMBER 2020 9:54 PM

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘Gary Lineker

     

     

     

    @GaryLineker

     

     

    5h

     

     

    Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego’

     

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

     

     

    I think Lineker knew exactly what he was saying – the Hand of God / the Hands of God.

  6. Neil Lennon knows the script with managing Celtic – he knows no manager satisfies all the fans all the time.

     

     

    The issue seems deeper than that – I think his lack of energy, spark, fight , spirit , enthusiasm ……..is because he doubts the playing staff. He doesn’t have the players with the guts for the dirty part of the game and he doesn’t know how to deal with it.

     

     

    His ONLY chance of survival is to drop the feck out of those players – get a couple of fringe players in like Luca , Soro and Turnbull to add some freshness and energy to the side. Get Biton into Midfield to add a bit of height and physicality that we have been lacking.

     

     

    Sticking with the pedestrian Rogic and lazy passionless Ntcham weakens the midfield and playing frimpong right back exposes him and us (he is in danger of destroying the boys confidence).

     

     

    We have the players – nows trust them or you’ll never know the answer!

     

     

    Oh and 2 strikers against every team is Scotland

  7. SCULLYBHOY- strange how guys can read the same thing differently, I thought Lineker’s tribute, was cleverly done, not disrespectful IMO HH

  8. Scullybhoy @ 10:44pm

     

     

    Lineker is and always has been an outspoken fan of Diego. He spoke up for him when Terry Butcher came out with all the bullshit about not shaking his hand over the hand of God goal and was in awe of his ability. His message was heartfelt and genuine. HH

  9. SCULLYBHOY on 25TH NOVEMBER 2020 10:44 PM

     

     

    Whatever.

     

     

    Good luck with your complaint.

     

     

    Do us a favour though. Please don’t identify yourself as a Celtic fan when you do it.

  10. Gary Lineker played at the 1986 World Cup. He was on the pitch when Diego Maradona scored two goals against England, indeed Lineker scored England’s goal. Lineker was the top scorer at that tournament, but Maradona was the greatest player and it was he who held up the Trophy. Maradona played in Lineker’s Testimonial, both played in Spain, both for Barcelona, albeit not at the same time. They were both longstanding friends. Diego used religious imagery and language in an unforgettable way referring to his first goal against England in 1986, it was a brilliant use of a language with which he was very familiar. The Priest at his funeral will use very similar language, language most of us on here have sadly heard all too often.

     

    ‘God our Father, we entrust (Diego Maradona) into your hands’. I know this language, Gary Lineker paid tribute to the passing of a friend, and the greatest footballer of his generation using this language.

     

    It was a fine tribute to a great rival.

  11. The past few days I’ve pursued the Jimmy Ruffin route ie “I’ve Passed This Way Before” in trying tae ascertain WTF is going on at Parkheid.

     

     

    I woke up in the early hours, which is not surprising for my age group, but for heaven’s sake 3:13 am, that’s a bit much. I felt like Marty McFly although it wasn’t 1955 I had landed although I probably would have preferred then but the early 60’s in fact 1964.

     

     

    We oul Tims talk about the years in the wilderness, 19th October 1957 – 24th April 1965 to be precise, but to be perfectly honest it wasn’t all bad, we had embarked on a youth policy and with our former captain in charge we were producing some cracking young players including future Lions.

     

     

    He was also responsible for persuading the board to purchase Barrowfield as a training ground and in 1958 led the reserves to the Second XI Cup with an 8-2 aggregate triumph over deidco; we weren’t just winning but scoring for fun.

     

     

    As I said the first team although devoid of trophies at times played some good fitba under the much maligned James Edward, a true Celtic legend, who actually took a pay cut, although not voluntary, tae stay with the bhoys, as he said at the time “Jimmy McGrory of Celtic sounded better than Jimmy McGrory of Arsenal”.

     

     

    On hearing how the club disparaged him with the wage reduction for NOT going tae highbury he was said to have uttered “Well it was worth it just to pull on those Green and White Hoops”. That’s what I call a Celtic LEGEND.

     

     

    When Jimmy took on the manager’s position we were brutal tae say the least, we had struggled through the war without the benefit of jobs in the shipyards or war effort like other sides.

     

     

    We also unlike other clubs, both north and south of the border, did not take advantage of the “guest” player ruling losing out on the likes of former Denny Hibs player and Liverpool captain Matt Busby, who was desperate tae turn out for us but would eventually end up at Easter Road, applying the Corinthian spirit the club was famous for.

     

     

    We, I have been led tae believe, appealed tae boys guild sides and other like minded clubs for players tae see us through the war.

     

     

    We can’t blame Sir Bob for that it was Tom White who was Chairman at the time although it was the former who would bring Jimmy back fae Rugby Park where he had led the struggling knights templar side tae the SC Final after losing 9-1 on his debut tae his beloved Celts.

     

     

    After saving us fae possible relegation by bringing in the likes of former Hibbee Jock Weir fae Blackburn, persuading veteran Bobby Hogg tae postpone retirement and switching Bobby Evans from an industrious inside left to an international right half and then once more tae centre half.

     

     

    He initially tried this with Bobby Murdoch as well as moving the Bear tae the left wing, although it was not a success at the time he had the vision tae see the potential there.

     

     

    He rebuilt the side tae include such football greats who would pass through the Parkheid gates as Bobby Evans, Bobby Collins, Neilly Mochan, Bertie Peacock, Sean Fallon, Willie Fernie and Charles Patrick.

     

     

    He then led us tae our first trophy since the 1938 Empire Exhibition Cup with a 1-0 SC victory over Motherwell followed up that summer with the St Mungo Cup a one-off tournament, something we are good at.

     

     

    Before that year was out he signed a 29 year old journeyman centre half as an oul heid for the youngsters in the reserve, injuries in that position forced Jimmy tae give him a game in the first team which barring injury he never lost his place eventually becoming captain.

     

     

    15 months later he led us tae the “said lizzie tae philip” cup victory when all hunden was covered in banners of green against a Hibs side whose chairman just over a year before had wanted the tricolour, a gift fae Eamon De Valera, removed and also much tae the disdain of big geordie whose durty big nose was truly a right shade of blue.

     

     

    He followed this up the following season with our first double in 40 years beating the sheep in the final with the Iron Mhan bundling the ball home.

     

     

    This was the same sheep that gubbed the famed iron curtain defence, including the soon tae be sine died willie woodbine, deidco 6-0 in the semis.

     

     

    Not to be done yet under his leadership we won our first LC in a 3-0 replay win over the Maryhill Magyars, as good as that was a year later it was hunden in the sun, the greatest cup final win in UK history.

     

     

    For the rest of the decade although we had some fine wins and playing football the Glasgow Celtic way we only picked up one more trophy, the Charity Cup gubbin the Bully Wee 5-0 in the final with the recently discussed Alec Byrne snatching a hat trick fae the centre forward position while the other 2 came fae recently converted left back Neilly “the cannonball kid” Mochan.

     

     

    This was the game that wee ten thirty, who had been named that week in the touring national team squad, was dropped for receiving a booking against deidco in the semis while up against the thug shearer, it would also lead tae his leaving the club 2 seasons later, but only after Jock had left I hasten tae add.

     

     

    And as mentioned above Jock left the club the following season followed 4 months later by club captain Bobby Evans, Jimmy was truly on his own only 3 years after “I see niven on bended knee”.

     

     

    Unfortunately for this great Celt he was bullied as we sunk to our lowest in my lifetime, we lost a lot of great players, some through injury or father time, others tae pay for the floodlights that guided the Luftwaffe tae Clydebank ffs, and a couple more like Bertie and Paddy Crerand through Bob’s dictatorial policy.

     

     

    He would often appear in the dressing room before the game and at half time overruling the mild mannered Jimmy whose only concern was for the club.

     

     

    It really was downhill after losing the replay against a Jock led Pars when in both games we really pummeled them only for Celtic supporter Eddie Connachan to play the games of his life defying us, one save from Paddy Crerand still sticks in my mind. Those 2 games helped Eddie gain 2 caps for his country.

     

     

    Gubbed 0-4 at Hades in Paddy Crerand’s final game, humiliated 4 months later in another SC Final replay, the terraces cleared as the huns chanted “Celtic ha ha ha”.

     

     

    Once again after a spirited first leg when oul bluenose commentator george davidshun commented “no wonder Celtic played this wee bhoy” as our wee ginger heided winger tormented big lanky davie provan.

     

     

    The same wee mhan was dropped for the replay as Bob decided tae play inside forward Bobby Craig, who would be swapped for right back Ian Young’s brother Bobby who would never play a first team game for us before the summer was out, on the wing, a position he had never played in.

     

     

    3 months after that night we were really “Bob Kelly and the Easybeats”, as the huns called us, losing 3 games in 4 weeks tae deidco.

     

     

    However, for some inane reason, we went on a lavvy cup run managing tae reach the semis only for Bob tae interfere once again losing a 3 goal first leg lead mainly due tae his bizarre tactics of playing attacking football as “that’s the Celtic way” he said.

     

     

    We had got off tae a good start the following season gubbin deidco 3-1 going on 5 or 6 and were favourites at hunden in the LC final only losing once again tae honest mistakes.

     

     

    We spiraled downward after that losing 6 games and drawing one as the New Year approached, crowds were dwindling and players were contemplating moving, Spurs showed an interest in Big Billy and the wee mhan, Bobby Murdoch investigated emigrating tae Oz and the Buzz bomb was contemplating a move tae Brockville.

     

     

    And then in a move that shocked the Scottish fitba world, on the Monday morning of February 1 the daily Express headlines read “Celtic appoint their first protestant manager”.

     

     

    The trains and buses where normally sleeper eyed commuters rarely said a word were all a buzz at this revelation as were the building sites, factories and shipyards.

     

     

    Sir Bob had actually bitten the bullet and relinquished his control, although he didnae know it at the time. Oul Jimmy was given the post of Public Relations Officer.

     

     

    However, don’t forget when Jock came back he insisted on the players referring to Jimmy as Boss like he did.

     

     

    Also when agreeing to join us instead of Wolves as had been rumoured, Bob told him there were situations that occur which are out of our control and we just bite our lip and move on, Jock is said to have replied “aye that’ll be right”.

     

     

    Once Jock returned the whole culture of the club changed, at the first board meeting on the Thursday night when asked what the side would be on the Saturday he replied that due tae a wee cold here and a wee knock there he hadn’t chosen one to which Bob allegedly said “so you’re telling us to mind our business”, Jock seemingly replied “aye that’s about the size of it”.

     

     

    2 month later we won our first trophy since October 19, 1957, while big Jock got all the accolades this was Jimmy’s side, he had led us tae the semis where in Jock’s first big game we struggled tae hold on tae gain a draw in a game where Joe McGoals tore big Billy a new one. We did win the replay comfortably and 9 weeks later Joe was signed.

     

     

    So as I now see it we are at another crossroads, does DD stick or twist it is up to him. As for PL it’s fairly obvious that he’ll move on so will his legacy be the 10 or the lying 55 or should that be 54 1/2.

  12. HJ- I think Barkas has been treated harshly, with the shambles in front of him,coming to a new country etc,I thought Bain was poor with Hibs 2nd goal on Saturday btw.HH

  13. BB

     

    I ve been in a professional dressing room when the gk was the mainstay of the teams confidence. “Hope to fcuk we don’t lose him”.

     

    Nothing much will change in Celtic’s fortunes until we put a commanding gk between the sticks. Wha’s in front of Barkas? “Look behind you!!”

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Spent a chunk of tonight watching Maradona clips.

     

     

    Lot’s said about the goal against England but, for me, his goal against Belgium in the semi final was even better.

     

     

    RIP Genius.

     

     

    I hope there’s a heaven and your up there chewin the fat with Mozart, Van Gogh and Seve.