On writing Celtic, or their manager, off


Sentiment this week is all so familiar from nine years ago, almost to the day.  15 October 2011 was when Kilmarnock established a three goal lead over Celtic, only for Anthony Stokes (2) and Charlie Mulgrew to save the blushes with a draw.

When an opportunity arose that week I felt I had to tell a ‘senior source at the club’ that his manager was not up to the task and that Rangers were on their way to winning four-in-a-row.  The response included “get a hold of yourself”, “Emilio will be back shortly” and “we’re going to win the league”.

I was wrong about Neil Lennon and the league, it was a lesson.  We have made mistakes every season since, as has Neil, including several this season, but some perspective, Odsonne, Ryan, James, and Christopher will return, as will Hatem, Nir and Mikey, whle Albian and Leigh will reach full fitness.

What you saw at the weekend is not the team who are going for their fourth consecutive treble, or who topped a difficult Europa League group a year ago.  We will improve significantly and I’ve no appetite to be told to get a hold of myself again.  There will be no need for a towel retrieval service.  If you write this Celtic team off – including the manager – you have not been paying attention.

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  1. EL @ 12.00’ish



    The Grauniad article is not journalism it is lawyer’s PR.


    The Long Read should have been about the history of the subject .


    Not a heartstrings job full of cliches and bigoted tropes.

  2. imo thems one and only concern this season is to stop the 10 , thems haven’t won a major cup comp in donkeys years so another season without a cup won’t make any difference but fail to stop the 10 is gigantic to the extent they could implode and not come back from it .

  3. Have Celtic got anyone doing the role of what Beale is doing at the huns?



    I suspect that he is the key to them making the most of what they’ve got.



    I also suspect he’s more likely to end us as Liverpool manager that Slippy.

  4. I’m sorry Paul, but that is one load of garbage.


    Have you been watching us this season.



    What are we going to do. Wait until January before we sack him.

  5. Pingback: On writing Celtic, or their manager, off Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  6. P67 — I’m sure the Maginot Line was the future once.


    History is not going to repeat itself regarding our hoped for improvement.



    In 2011 SB was mobile.

  7. The problem might be Paul that it is our coaching and management structure, perhaps having lost focus from the lockdown period beginning back in March, since never regained, who have not been paying attention and not those of us on here, whatever our views, who most certainly have.

  8. That feels strangely – to borrow a Phil-ism – stenographic.


    And while that may not have been the team, I thought we’d win over a season due to the depth of squad we’ve so expensively assembled? if it’s all about the team, what are we doing with 12 other, never-playing bodies??


    We’re not – Paul – concerned about which ‘stars’ we have coming back, but the lethargy and predictability of the performances and formation since the CL quallies and culminating in last Saturday’s flag and skirt raising combo !

  9. ERNIE LYNCH on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 12:10 PM


    Have Celtic got anyone doing the role of what Beale is doing at the huns?



    Yes, Ernie; he’s called Peter Lawwell ;)

  10. Has the lennon haters actually bothered to check his domestic record since his return? Its nothing short of amazing.



    His overall win rating is almost 80%


    Slippy G is almost 60%

  11. By the time the players on this list are back and up and running it may already be too late. Sevco are not dropping many points and not conceding many goals. Not many refereeing decisions are going against them and not many, if any, will go against this season. Like every other season.

  12. said it before and will say it again , Neil should be banging on the door of the person who hired the current coaching staff that he inherited with the ultimation either they go or I walk

  13. Notthebus.


    That is in the past.


    It’s the current season that counts.


    Being critical of Neil doesn’t mean you hate the man.

  14. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    On balance I think you’re right… but it’s close. We’ll know one way or the other by end-Nov. Lenny doesn’t look right at the mo.



    Wanting the best for our football club, does not make you a Lennon hater.


    Look at the bigger picture

  16. We should be playing against Barca this evening.


    Lenny said we’re a better team than Ferencvaros.


    So why did we lose, just as we did against Cluj?


    I am not a Lenny hater. I love the guy. But a club with any ambition would have sacked him straight after the Ferencvaros game.

  17. Thinking back on the weekend defeat.



    As well as the inability to create chances and lack of spark there is another aspect of the game which sticks in my mind.



    The inability to defend the one-twos that they used. I’m not talking about Iniesta/Messi interchanges. Just simple give and go. Which invariably our players didn’t go with the player, or even pass him on to another.



    Very basic stuff. And indeed something we didn’t replicate in an attacking sense.

  18. P67


    Timely reminder for some ‘supporters’ , fully agree with the sentiment of the article, cheers.




  19. onenightinlisbon on

    PAul. Really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog however you are starting to sound like one of Trump’s advisors. Our perfomances this season with a full squad including Jamsie, Eddy, Ryan, Nir etc have been shocking. Your rallying call is noble but based on hope rather than fact.

  20. I’ll admit to being very worried and if there was an announcement today that Lenny was leaving by mutual consent, I think I would be relieved both for the man & the Club.


    However I am not writing off Lenny, the team or the Title this year.


    It is a fact that this was a particularly grueling International Break with in most cases 3 games scheduled.


    It is a fact that Celtic had the most players on International duty. It is also a fact that we were missing 4 first squad players due to Covid.


    It is also a fact that we were hit particularly hard in defense, with Julian, Bitton & Elhamed out.


    None of the above excuses the totally lack lustre display but we were definitely going into the game seriously handicapped,


    There are unfortunately persistent rumours circulating of background problems , I have no idea of their veracity but we could certainly do without them,.


    We are one bad result away from mayhem but by the same token a few good results away from redemption,

  21. “thats in the past”?..that’s is his current record . This season his stats are similar. Its the ONLY fair way to judge him.



    What criteria would you lay out for a ne manager? Can you imagine the conversation ” You must achieve a win rate of more than 80% cis the last guy lost his job for hitting that number”

  22. Sorry Paul67, this is typical of lots of contributions at the moment – birthday card pish to be honest – “In Neil we trust” mantra, like some medievel leach that we can apply to our skin and all will be alright.



    Our problems are a bit more systemic than some Braveheart-like scream that musters old battles and records like it helps us now.



    I’ve wrote him off because he has continuing to stick with old techniques and strategies across the piece that just don’t work. If we start to see real systemic change then maybe but to be honest I’ve no confidence he knows what to do next beyond the tried and trusted “sticking all the technicians on and hoping for the best.”



    The slow car crash won’t be cured by glib statements.




  23. Not sure that our performance in 2011 is relevant.



    Unfortunately, our performances of this season are a more accurate comparison.



    Whilst I applaud the positivity, it appears to be based more on hope that actuality

  24. I wish I shared your optimism Paul .


    The best players ( if available ) don’t always make the best team.


    See Leicester City a couple of years ago .



    Injuries are part of a game that now includes Covid . The stars have aligned for the sticky’s and not for us . However, the lingering doubts remain about how well we adapt to the game flow , team selections, shape and the issues with tactics.


    Thursday and Sunday will tell us plenty.

  25. Realist options at the moment, none of which might be enough.



    1. Do nothing and hope for the best.



    2. Sack the manager and replace him. The people who appointed him to chose his replacement.



    3. Speak to the manager, ask him what further support staff he would like to bring in, or changes he would make if it was up to him, and do it if at all possible.

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