Paradox for Celtic as Lazio and Rennes both sit third domestically


Lazio won their ninth successive Serie A game at the weekend, a club record.  Currently, the second longest winning streak in the league is two games.  They are third in the table, three points off top.  They have not dropped a point since before their first game against Celtic in October, and in that time they beat Juventus in the league and Supercoppa Italiana.

Apart from the two defeats to Celtic, the only other game they have failed to win in this sequence was the Europa dead rubber in Rennes.

Not that Rennes are a pushover.  They have not dropped a point in five Ligue 1 games since their loss at Celtic Park in November, a run that puts them in third place.  By contrast, Moussa Dembele’s Lyon, who are twelfth in Ligue 1, qualified for the Champions League knockout stage.

Were it not for one horrible performance we would be glowing at the halfway point of the season.  We won a remarkable Europa League group, picked up our customary League Cup and sailed through the league campaign until a December, when a few narrow wins were a portent to a painful defeat.  This does not make achieving the improvement that is required easier.  Paradoxically, revisions need to take place on the side that won their Europa group to ensure we improve in the SPFL.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9

  1. No Póg nothing yet & Turkeybhoy Afolabi is definitely a project. A strong raw lad who has promise bt nothing more than that. Luca has talent to burn but I heard that Celtic were shocked when they saw how slight he was, my understanding is he is spending this year in the gym and will be challenging for game time next year.


    O’Connor is just unlucky that Frimpong emerged ahead of him and with Elhamed & Bauer still knocking around he is well back the pecking order.


    p.s, Turkeybhoy be sensible lad don’t leave all the negativity get to you.


    Celtic are in a good place, we will be fine. Keep Posting.

  2. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    CORKCELT on 6TH JANUARY 2020 12:57 PM



    I find it hard to believe we were shocked by how slight Luka Connell is – the depth of background checks that go into each deal makes it improbable that something like that would surprise us when he turned up!



    Though when you look at some of the signings/projects down the years maybe its not such a surprise.



    I heard when Jack Hendry turned up they weren’t surprised by how slight he was, but it did rhyme with that…




  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Hard to get real perspective on the state of affairs aboard the good ship Celtic.


    After a significant shot across the bows , some of the lower ranks are panicking and calling for a replacement for the first officer or even the captain .



    We are a successful side with better players than any of our domestic opponents.


    That has not changed on the basis of a single , admittedly painful , reversal .



    Hail Hail and Happy New Year to all , particularly those who have the thankless task of providing us with this marvellous site.

  4. Siempre, I honestly think Luca was an impulse buy, he was playing first team for Bolton, Mick McCarthy was on the verge of giving him a full International Cap and with Bolton in administration they could have picked him up for zilch. As it happened we were gentlemanly and paid Bolton a small undisclosed fee.


    Apart from his physique he did pick up a nasty injury, not sure where he is at now but he is another along with Afolabi & O’Connor who could do with going out on loan.

  5. Our main problem is that we have been out coached in the last couple of Glasgow Derby games. Nothing seems to have been learned from the League Cup final where we won despite being outplayed. We played right into Rangers hands again on 29th and let their narrow 4-3-3 harry and press us out of of our game. We seemed to have no clue what to do and fell apart. This needs to be addressed for the remaining league games against them.

  6. If we sign Sporar this window that would do me.



    We need a striker. A CB would be nice too but I’d not be too panicked if we go on with Bitton, Jullien, Jozo, Ajer & Elhamed til the end of the season.



    Benkovic seems to be injury-prone. I’d only have him back as a loan to buy deal.

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    BARRYBHOY on 6TH JANUARY 2020 1:23 PM



    Agreed .


    Apart from the last 10 / 15 minutes when they were hanging on for grim death .

  8. CORKCELT on 6TH JANUARY 2020 1:16 PM



    Luca has played relatively well for the development side.



    A loan for any of our young players would be helpful.

  9. I don’t think Lazio or Rennes took the Europa League as seriously as us and Cluj. Had the group been a Champions League one the outcome would have been different, imo.

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    David 17



    The heads down reaction of the Lazio players to our winning goal suggests otherwise.

  11. A couple of criticisms at the half way stage of the season.


    Not utilising our pool of players enough and not learning from the League cup


    final performance until the 68th minute of the league game. I find that baffling management



    We also had a horrible performance at Livingston away

  12. glendalystonsils on

    DAVID 17



    Disagree. Did they field weakened teams? Did they appear to be not trying? Was their attitude at full time one of indifference?

  13. David17,



    You might be right, the refereeing would certainly have been different.



    Not a big enough audience in Scotland/Romania.

  14. We did well in the Europa Cup and deserved to win the group. Lazio and Rennes didn’t perform well but this could be a result of priorities.



    I think we ran out of puff in December with the amount of games resulting in tired performances evidenced by the small amount of goals scored against chances created.



    In the last Derby game we looked tired and were outworked by the sevco players

  15. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    BHOYLO83 on 6TH JANUARY 2020 1:08 PM






    We can say things like that without offending those of a sensitive persuasion now that he’s probably on the way oot. And especially since Hearts are strongly linked!




  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    The Celtic paradox is a curious thing. This season:



    We have accumulated more points at this stage than all but 4 seasons in the past 20 years.



    We are trending to achieve 99 points by the end of the season – no team has ever failed to win the league with more than 97 points.



    We have won a group in European competition for the first time, winning home and away against the team currently third in Serie A – also the first time we have beaten an Italian team away from home.



    We have won the first available trophy of the season, and are (currently) top of the league.



    We have a squad containing some of the most gifted players in the UK.



    We have unprecedented cash resources available to us.



    An yet…



    We will not be top of the league if the opposition wins their game in hand.



    They are trending to 100 points.



    It is apparent for all to see that Celtic’s preferred formation is inadequate against their tight 5 midfield.



    It is likely that the outcome of the league will turn on the two remaining derby matches.



    In all of this, Lenny has a major decision to make: does he stick with his tried but now untrusted team shape? Or adopt a new shape better equipped to beat our closest competitor, and recruit new players accordingly?



    Lenny’s decision won’t be rushed, but it needs to be made this month. And, of course, if he elects to change the shape of the team the club must succeed in acquiring the players he needs to effect the change.



    And the change needs to work!



    I do not doubt that the opportunity to win 10 titles in succession is the central motivation of all at the club, top down. Few get the chance to make history, and history beckons.



    Equally, I don’t doubt that the commercial impact of 9 and then 10 in a row has been analysed by the senior management. A ‘prominent’ CQNer considers that the legacy commercial impact of The Ten will be the biggest since Lisbon, and that does not factor the more mundane aspects such as simple prize money, two more chances to qualify for the Champions League, and a sold out stadium. Nor does it factor for the enhanced status and reputation of the club more widely.



    On the toss side, failure to win this season is a commercial disaster. Setting aside the gifting of a UCL opportunity to the competition, the likelihood is that season ticket sales for the following seasons will be significantly impacted. By how many? Perhaps look at the Mowbray season following the Willo Window for an analogy. But worse.



    From this perspective, it seems axiomatic that everyone at the club is singularly focussed on the prize, and that the unprecedented resources of the club will be deployed to deliver it.



    As expectations go, that’s pretty ordinary.

  17. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    CORKCELT on 6TH JANUARY 2020 1:16 PM



    An impulse buy – possibly yes, but hes playing at a decent level in England, theres no way we wouldnt have been aware of him and had a file on him IMO, even though hes very young…in fact especially since hes very young, since thats our preferred signing model these days.




  18. McNut @12:08



    “Alistair James Johnston, and is his recent “Rangers never died, and Celtic fans are deluded”, his opening gambit? ”



    He was actually a bit more sneaky than that. He said that `most` Celtic fans did not believe that Rangers had died.The effect of this was to make it seem that anyone who believes otherwise is a bigot and an idiot.Unfortunately, there may well be some who will respond as he hopes.

  19. Paul67 et al



    In the first match against Lazio we lined up;




    Elhamed Jules Kris Boli


    Forrest Brown McGregor Christie Elly





    In the second Johnny Hayes played back left.


    We also used three subs in the away game, Bitton, Bauer, Ntcham


    In short, a lot of our best/more experienced players available, bit o’ nous and a good balance to the side. The latter an elusive quality, bit like an elephant, difficult to describe, but you’ll recognise it if it comes running down your street.


    And interestingly enough, Frimpong and Johnson nowhere to be seen. Not even in the shop windae!

  20. Fixture imbalance could be an issue. Sevco have played circa 25% more away games than us. If we take this as a halfway point of the season, they have the easier second half / home fixtures to play. No doubt about it.

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Great assessment.



    Unemotional . Considered.

  22. ” DAVID17 on 6TH JANUARY 2020 1:48 PM


    I don’t think Lazio or Rennes took the Europa League as seriously as us and Cluj. Had the group been a Champions League one the outcome would have been different, imo.”



    That might ( or might not ) be true but do supporters of any other clubs respond that way to victories?


    The inferiority complex bred into Celtic Supporters over a Century is still with us.*


    Mind you, the Ten in a Row merchants are more representative of the sueriority midset I`d associate with the Huns.



    * That is a general comment.




    If nothing else, perhaps self preservation will force the hand of the Board in this transfer window.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9