Pressure applied successfully by Celtic


Ryan Christie is back to his very best.  His movement, vision and assists are a significant reason Celtic have scored so freely in recent weeks.  Added to the form of Callum Mcgregor, Albian Ajeti, Jeremie Frimpong and Olivier Ntcham, and Celtic have the basis of a dangerous team.

I had no complaints about Livingston’s penalty, defenders tuck their arms in when blocking inside the box and Kris Ajer could have done likewise.  No complaints either about the penalty Christie claimed 40 seconds earlier; no player tucks their arms in after they are on the ground.  Responding to going behind by scoring twice in six minutes is the mark of champions.

The second Livingston goal and the surrender of territory in the closing moments of the game were more troubling.  There was a bit of movement on the ball but it did not get close to Vasilis Barkas’ post.  It was saveable.  Still, the keeper would be entitled to ask why Serrano was given so much time and space.

Having conceded an unfortunate goal that brought Livi to within another pot shot of taking a point, a team at the bottom of the league should never have got near our six yard box in the closing stages of the game.  Their chance in added time would have been a goal were it not for the fact that this was clearly substitute Pignatiello’s first time attempting to header a football.  So far, defensive fragilities have ‘only’ cost us Champions League qualification but the bill will grow if we continue to offer up so much space in the final third.

Friday’s article, Applying and Coping with Pressure, discussed what impact the potential of Celtic going top of the table on Saturday would have on Newco ahead of their visit to Easter Road on Sunday.  Having given themselves a chance to ‘go 11 points clear of Celtic’ last month, Newco are only a point ahead having played one game more after yesterday’s draw against Hibs.

Neil Lennon and the Celtic players have seen this movie before.  They know how to win leagues, uniquely so, in Scotland.  Coping with reversals and exploiting opportunities is the attribute of the aforementioned champions.

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

    As I said a second ago on the old article…



    …the fouls to yellow count over the past few weeks is really interesting reading.



    Any one game – e.g., yesterday’s Hibs vs Thems game – clearly it may be the case that Hibs had many brutal fouls (I mean, poor Alfredo nearly had his head knocked off – the challenge crashed him to the ground and sent him rolling and crying and rolling and crying and rolling…), and the Thems ones were all powderpuff.


    That can be the case in a single game – an outlier of you like.



    However, over the longer term, it should reveal any underlying true differences in how individual teams are being refereed from the perspective of application of punishment.






  2. Hail, hail!


    Must disagree with one of your points Paul, if the Livingston one was a penalty then so was the Celtic one 40 seconds earlier. I would not award either a penalty, but you can’t apply one rule in one end of the pitch and then another at the other, well of course in Scotland you can if that team plays in green and white hoops!

  3. Wow…1st (and last?) ever Podium…



    Paul, there’s a shedload of opinions about how we have managed to keep harvesting the points…not all favourable….;-))




  4. Pingback: Pressure applied successfully by Celtic Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  5. We could do with no clangers on Thursday – a straightforward 0-2 win will do us good.



    Important we don’t hand back the initiative when we play Hibs – they’ve pace and we’ll need to be near our best to keep this winning run going. Relentless, Celtic.

  6. Thanks Aipple…I’d like to thank…blah blah lol …canny believe I took a screen-shot to treasure the moment ;-))







    The months of training paid off, well done!



    New articles tend to post as I sip my morning coffee (5hrs behind) so I have an unfair advantage!




  8. My friends in Celtic,



    Over the past few weeks a stranger would not be criticised if he thought Ajeti was our £30m forward.



    There is a story there somewhere.




  9. Ryan Christie looked more the assured player we know he can be and less of the ‘shoot on sight’ Kris Commons clone of previous weeks. His pass to Ajeti was sublime. More of the same.



    Get our ballers like Callum, Ryan, Tom, Ollie, Moi, and (probably) David T involved in their best positions. Do something constructive about our 2 weak links Scott and Greg soon and let’s blow a few teams away.




  10. Greenpinata,



    The injury | tiredness | play for France and not us has me worried that Eddie is for the off. I wish it was settled and not on deadline day like Dembele was.



    Loving Ajeti’s work but don’t want us back to 1 forward up front again.




  11. 3-5-2 has seen us with variable results and the constant theme of losing poor goals, so its a back four for me


    El Hamed Duffy and Ajer were wide apart and opened up against Livingston, time to batten down in Latvia.



    Protection from the midfield doesn’t materialise and there’s at least one player not performing to a standard


    normally achieved.






    ..El Hamed..Jullien..Duffy…Ajer









    One game at a time and get Turnbull on the pitch and Frimpong and Ajeti early subs .

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

    BIG WAVY on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2020 12:20 PM




    The injury | tiredness | play for France and not us has me worried that Eddie is for the off. I wish it was settled and not on deadline day like Dembele was.


    Loving Ajeti’s work but don’t want us back to 1 forward up front again.





    Agree with every word of that. Something doesn’t feel right. Hopefully we’re just worried about nothing.



    That said, if all our worries do come true, we’ll be losing Eddie, Ajer, Christie, Ollie, Calum, Leigh AND Big Tam Rogic.



    I expect we are probably just being impacted subconsciously by the negative drip-feeding we get from the press.














    Agree on the lack of defensive protection from the midfield but the attackers do not work defensively for the team either. We do not press as well as we should, neither up front, nor midfield and this contributes to the ease in which teams can very quickly get to threatening positions against us….to get crosses in or take shots.



    I believe we should be working a lot harder on pressing throughout the team.

  14. Jesus Fuck BGFC…prescribe yerself some opiods…those 7 lost at one time is inconceivable…never mind a couple of transfers and injuries…

  15. BGFC,



    True that fella. Wish the bloody window was ‘slammed’ shut by now ansd we had our squad baked in.




  16. If places are awarded on merit then, right now, Ajeti has to start ahead of Edouard and Klimala. Christie playing behind him.


    With Griff ready to play a role, we have excellent options. If Edouard is sold it will be sore but we will survive. A month ago I would have said it would cost us the league, not now.


    Much bigger problem is figuring out how and who to play at the back. Tavernier, Kent, Kamara, Hagi and Morelos will exploit the obvious weaknesses we have which is giving up far too much space. Not because they are brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, simply because they attack with pace and if you give them wide open spaces they look effective.


    We have the personnel, I think, but we need to find a better way of using them.

  17. Apologies in advance — bit of recycling.


    Not happy with some of the tackling by the opposition and our response to it.






    SPL matches — response to targeted overly aggressive play from the opposition …


    We seem to be back to 2009/10 and BTM’s taking it on the chin.



    Not sure where it is coming from but too many opposition players seem to be playing “Buddy-ball” at our expense with a series of heavy tackles / late tackles / dangerous tackles on certain of our players.



    First it is bad that there would appear to be too many in the SPL who use our players for target practice — every game seems to through up 3 / 4 / 5 individuals who leave something on our players on a regular basis with the MIB happy to indulge them.



    And then you have our response — meek to the point of Bible study.


    To me it is another chapter in the growing book relating to our on-field Wizard of Oz addiction.


    No heart / no brains / no courage — we are easy targets.



    The RC tackle highlighted elsewhere from Saturday says it all — no remonstrations with the culprit / the referee / the linesman — just dust yourself down and get on with it while waiting for the next incident.



    We need to be active in response to this aggression because at the moment our silence is providing the environment for repeated career ending tackles. A kick at someone’s knee cannot be seen as anything else.



    Every team has a few players winding themselves up for a Ninja tackle or 2.


    We need to call it out and we need to respond to it to make sure it stops

  18. The Manager obviously knows more than we do about the players and rightly does not share this with the press. Lenny knows what players are fit and which players want away, he knows who we are looking to sign and also who is receiving possible bids. He is aware of data on players performance indicators and has a big sports science team. He also has coaches who are watching future opponents and team selection and tactics are a result of input in all these areas.



    Lenny has big experience as a player in England and Scotland and Internationals. He has coached at many teams as well as at Celtic. As a manager in a results business is top drawer. His tactics and team selections are based on many variables and Lenny considers all these factors in setting his stall.



    Remember. the Media are not our friends and he rightly does not reveal his “hand”. So we must caution what is reported in the press as truth and without spin. Lenny tells them what he wants to promote and they spin it to meet their agenda. I don’t believe what I read.



    I think its a good thing that Celtic fans debate all the issues online but crucially we should not think we know better than the Manager and his team. We dont have the information available to be able to criticise Lenny.



    He may get things wrong but deserves to be supported by us in success or not.



    In Lenny I trust

  19. Big Wavy,



    Agreed. No smoke without fire. Odsonne Edouard is without doubt a magnificent player with unlimited potential, but for one reason or another we are not witnessing it.



    We are Celtic, we should always play two upfront domestically.




  20. P67 — the mark of champions is not taking your foot off the gas when you have scored 2.



    When the second goal went in we lost a bit of focus.



    We should have been worth more than 3 goals.


    Unfortunately we gave away more than three chances to Livi.


    Very disjointed.



    However Riga and Hibs will be good tests to see if we can shake of the rust.

  21. What type of midfielder was Ajer? I ask because much as I like the big guy he really is the weak point of our back line. Could he play in front of a three? His bursts forward are brilliant but he is not the towering defender he should be. I thought his weaknesses were on display on Saturday; a lack of positional awareness added to a missing robustness in his general play, to say nothing of his aerial frailty…but he has something about him and that’s why I ask about his midfield abilities…


    Sorry big man…still love you!

  22. The hand ball rules?



    Penalties given where there clearly was no intent to touch the ball are


    making a mockery of the game IMO.



    Ball to hand or arm, should not always be a penalty, and accidental hand ball should be


    decided by the referee alone using common sense and not the infinite rule which sees


    any contact mean a penalty.



    The various incidents in one weekend of football, show the law is an ass.

  23. BB @ 12.50



    The problem we have is that the manager does not know.


    He is a not a details man / he is not a coach / he does not have his finger on the pulse.



    Players going out — it is a matter of who and when.


    We have spent money and that will need to be re-paid — hence the upcoming sale.



    Long term — we are a selling club due to PL’s uselessness and DD’s partial interest.


    Short term @ 20-21 — the best we can hope for is player trading.



    If NL’s secret mission is to make the SPL more competitive then he is succeeding.


    Too often we are being handed football lessons from the bottom half of the table.

  24. Bigbhoy,



    I hear you but repeated mistakes that for us simple laypeople look like not being addressed is baffling. I love Neil and everything he has done for us but I don’t see him fixing a few things that has cost us in key games ( as per ECL already) and feel likely to do again.



    All we can do here is vent and chat and hopefully not lose sight of your message about what Neil has and still brings to the party.




  25. WBC @ 12.55



    KA’s issues all stem from a lack of coaching.


    We are seen by his NT coach as a footballing backwater.


    My issue is that we are doing nothing to prove him wrong.



    BR needed to up his game regarding coaching for KA.


    NL does not know that the issue exists.

  26. WeeBobbyCollins,



    Ajer won more heading duels than Duffy on Saturday.



    I think there are common misconceptions about some of our players that keep getting repeated and therefore become norm. Ajer is a very good player prone (as they all are) to mistakes. He’ll leave and we’ll miss him.




  27. BSR- I would go with the following:






    ..El Hamed..Jullien..Duffy…
















    D :)

  28. Bournes n Tully



    I watched Brighton yday and was most impressed. Very disciplined positionally when they lost possession..


    We could do well to copy.

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