Rebuild job, resources and appetite


Newco scored from a free kick they won after 67 seconds, but even at that early stage, the pattern of the game was already evident.  When the home team pressed, they pressed together, and Celtic were unable to pass through them.

Week after week, we bemoan playing against teams who refused to come out, then when given the opportunity, we cannot pick a pass through a press.  It is clear the recruitment job for next season needs to replace Boyata, Benkovic (probably), Lustig (whether he actually goes or not) and Dembele, but the mix is not right in central midfield.

If yesterday was a Champions League qualifier, we would have the luxury of blaming whatever financial, recruitment advantage, or more competitive league our opponents had over us that enabled them to close us down so comfortably.  The reality is we were mugged by an average team and if we go into the qualifiers with the same central mid, we can expect the same outcome as we experienced against AEK in August.

I am fond of all our central midfielders, including Olivier Ntcham, who for various reasons has not had a great season, but this is the most crucial area of the team and the one I am most concerned about.

Back in the 90s Celtic were world class at winning late in the season when it didn’t really matter.  The Knicker Wetters should know that nothing that happened yesterday changes the fundamentals in Scottish football, which remain as they were.  We have a big rebuild job to do, but we have the resources and appetite for the task.


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  1. mullet and co 2 on

    There isn’t just wilful ignorance at play among some of the Celtic support there is also a destructive ability to make up stuff about Celtic employees and then also pass it on as though it were fact.


    Eg Mikael Lustig reigns injury against Rangers. Back that up with any facts? Know better than the Celtic medical staff?? Contemptible lies are fine apparently.


    Or the smear campaign on Lee Congerton – what did that guy do wrong to attract horrible rancid social media comment. Judged to have been a bad scout but on what basis? He didn’t sign the players all he did was identify targets. John Park attracted similar weird comment now all seems forgiven despite Pukki, boerrigter and Balde.

  2. mullet and co 2 on

    We had the chance to fix the midfield last season but took the same approach as Man U and ignored the football people.

  3. Traditionalist 1888



    Followed you discussion with interest.



    There are factors in player recruitment and retention for which you gave an example that Celtic have control over.



    Being Celtic means nothing when those factors are encountered.



    There comes a point when not spending is counter productive so there will be situations where spend is a no brainer in terms of it will more than pay for itself but the target isn’t interested.



    That’s life.

  4. traditionalist88 on




    Around 10%.



    Did you pluck that figure from out of your head or did you conduct a survey?





    Yes, an estimate straight from my head, which wis why I said ‘around’ 10%, and based on my experience of reading Celtic supporters comments online and talking to fellow Celtic supporters at matches and in bars. Hope thats alright!



    Not sure where your post came from but I’d hazard a guess it was a hole somewhere else.

  5. MULLET AND CO 2 on 13TH MAY 2019 1:56 PM



    “My worry is what happens between now and our first Champions League qualifying game.”



    I agree. What happens in the summer is a million times more important than that game.



    “Will Celtic have a manager in place by then or will we see some managed PR exercise after the Cup Final and a climb away from Lennon and a hodge podge recruitment process running to mid June?”



    There’s really no benefit in handing over the job right now. Neil Lennon is acting manager and is planning for next season. At the end of the season a few managers will be reconsidering their futures and the field of candidates will be clearer than mid-season.



    “Lennon is without doubt Lawwells candidate but Desmond is away going through his happenstances with Alex Ferguson/ Irish connected candidates. Golf, Horse racing and property play a large part in these meetings and connections.”



    I’m surprised you say this. I have heard things to the contrary. I understand that Desmond thinks higher of Lennon than Lawwell does. Ultimately it’s Desmond’s decision.



    “When we should be looking at Erik Ten Hag and doubling his salary we are going for the Lawwell or Desmond options.”



    Erik Ten Hag has been linked with Bayern Munich and Barcelona. He wouldn’t leave Ajax for here.



    Get real.

  6. mullet and co 2 on

    At the first training session back after the holidays our squad will be as follows –







    Tierney (if fit but likely not)






























    Griffiths ( if fit)






    Kouassi (if fit)






    The two Americans?




    Lewis Morgan



    Remains to be seen if McGregor, Forrest, Rogic Ntcham or Edouard attract interest. Tierney will likely not until fit again or close to end of the window.


    Try making a first 11 out of that lot you would be happy with.

  7. As for the midfield, Ryan Christie transforms it when he’s fit.



    We’ve missed him dearly.

  8. traditionalist88 on

    AULDHEID on 13TH MAY 2019 2:08 PM



    Yep, too many living in dreamland and totally unwilling to factor in anything else when it comes to recruitment… they seem to think there is an abundance of successful managers on the continent just waiting for our call!



    As I said, I’m open to that too but suggestions very thin on the ground vs the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth thats going on.




  9. So if it is accepted that everyone knew Rodgers was leaving, albeit a bit quicker than expected, surely Big Pete had identified, if not his man, surely a short list.


    Does anyone think the next boss has been selected?

  10. BURGHBHOY on 13TH MAY 2019 2:36 PM


    So if it is accepted that everyone knew Rodgers was leaving, albeit a bit quicker than expected, surely Big Pete had identified, if not his man, surely a short list.



    Does anyone think the next boss has been selected?






    Shortlists depend on who’s available. For example, a new EPL vacancy opened today. Loads of managers will be throwing themselves at that ahead of Celtic.

  11. Which possible manager candidate knows about the club and the league we play in. Lennon, Clarke and Moyes have some knowledge. If they don’t have knowledge then we are risking the 10

  12. Paul67 et al



    No point getting too upset about a game that was meaningless right? It’s all about the fundamentals. The English have another word for it but never mind that. Looking back, to the last actual Old Firm game, in 2012, which we won 3-0, we had Forster, Izaguerri, Matthews, Ledley, Wanyama, Commons and Hooper in the team. All Lenny’s players. It was a superior team to the one we put out at Ayebrokes. Now whether Lenny has advanced as a coach since then is open to question, but I know which end of season line-up I would prefer, and it wouldn’t be yesterday’s. Or not the starting line-up anyhow. Let us finish the season on a high, and build on our strengths, all of them.

  13. mullet and co 2 on

    My greatest fear for any manager taking the job is the feeding frenzy from Celtic Supporters. Some would chew their own leg off at the hint of infection rather than wait.

  14. Eyes on the prize..



    Neil’s on point until we hopefully capture the treble.



    From that point we need to move rapidly given gaps identified…

  15. quadrophenian on

    The same midfield cohort who couldn’t ‘pass thru a press’ were involved in playing some our silkiest, most progressive fitba under Brendan; clearly – vitriol or not – BRs picks believed in him and played for him.


    Recruitment will help, sure, but as Ranieri, Espirito Santo, da Silva show, you coach a squad to achieve better.


    And P67; when you mention ‘knicker wetters’, you’d surely include several of our starting 11 yesterday?

  16. Paul67



    Good article



    Neil Lennon came into a job when we desperately needed someone to get us over the line, where were the CQN detractors when we won the SPL at Pittodrie? A blind man listening to the Celtic commentary since December could have told you that the Celtic midfield would again be swamped, at the Dome of Deceit, so why didn’t he change it, when the internet clearly would have?



    He was in lose, lose situation and still is, he inherited a rapidly degenerating squad of players regularly mauled in Europe, but now still marginally too good, over the course and distance of our much maligned SPL. Bizarrely, our support sits on the verge of a treble, treble despite a season of too often tepid Celtic



    With 12 games to go brass and crystal balled Rodgers seen it all coming, a door was closing, so he doubled his money, and ticked his CV , but lets be honest, got out of Dodge, at the first opportunity. NFL wins the league, it was really Brendan Rodgers, win the Cup? it was someone else’s side, and he’d receive underwhelming appreciation.



    What Neil Lennon hasn’t done is magically spark a misfiring season long weary squad to win at Ibrokes, on a hiding to nothing from a support as entitled to success, as the EBT floating pitch Rainjurz once were. Blame, Neil Lennon for yesterday’s reverse, not for me, or any reasonable Celtic supporter on the verge of the treble, treble, he’s completed the eight that he started, and a Cup win, will place his name in Celtic folklore.



    I hope the board have learned from past mistakes, and have gathered the knowledge of what is required to match the disco lights, spend the Dembele money, and appoint the right men in our staff, if they subject the Celtic support to another bookies diddy list or roadshow , they are in position untenable .

  17. Mike in Toronto on

    so,is Knicker Wetters now the offical CQN term for those who actually question anything in Scottish football?



    It is sad to see what this once good blog has become.

  18. R.I.P. Doris Day.



    I dont know If she won an Oscar for her performance in Calamity Jane, but if not..she should have…great singing, great energy etc !


    My peronal favourite was when she starred with Frank Sinatra in the Film “Young at Heart”.


    Yes it was a rather “Sugar Coated”…but what a great Performance she delivered matched only by Frinkie singing the Title song, which has been one of my Sinatra favourites for years…”Young at heart”.



    the opening line is…” FAIRYTALES can come True…it can happen to You…”



    Maybe the DJ at Celtic Park should play this before we play Hearts in the Cup final…..and I hope that Calamity Jane isnt the new Celtic manager next season ?



  19. quadrophenian on

    MIT – ask Paul, it’s a derisive monicker from his article.


    For me, I’m just concerned by a trending decline in our on-field play.


    But I’m not touching cloth either end just yet. HH

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Who would win a fight between the Mineshafters and the Knickerwetters?

  21. NL has said he wants to build his team around broony who at 34 in his next birthday should be a good squad player next year if we do things right in the transfer window. I fear if we start building a team around broony.

  22. MIKE IN TORONTO on 13TH MAY 2019 3:05 PM



    so,is Knicker Wetters now the offical CQN term for those who actually question anything in Scottish football?






    No. We should always be questioning what’s going on even when winning.



    However, we shouldn’t panic over losing a game with nothing tangible at stake.

  23. Celtic have won the League Cup and qualified for the Scottish Cup Final without conceding a single goal.



    Celtic have won the League Cup and qualified for the Scottish Cup Final without conceding a single goal



    NotTheDailyRecord CSC

  24. eddieinkirkmichael on

    I went out for a walk with my brother and our dogs after yesterday’s game. We both mentioned that while we were gutted with the performance and result it didn’t hurt as much as the New Year game. Understandable really as there wasn’t anything other than pride at stake.


    Looking back at the game it doesn’t take an Einstein to work out Lenny got most decisions re tactics and team selection wrong. I think, as Paul67 has stated, his decisions were forced due to our injuries to key players.


    For me the biggest concern is out with most of our 1st choices we seriously lack capable replacements. Hayes being the exception, this has to be addressed as for whatever reason we seem to always have an injury crisis. I’m not sure but I seem to remember only during BR’s first season did we have a settled team that picked itself week after week. These forced changes have contributed to days like yesterday all to often over the previous two seasons, fortunately when it mattered we were always able to overcome the opposition due to our large squad and our previous managers tactical abilities, domestically at least.


    So while I acknowledge that a large squad is necessary my concern is that there is not enough quality outwith our 1st choices. We need a squad where those don’t start every week are putting pressure on the 1st choices. Bain and Christy are 2 examples of the kind of quality we need in reserve. It’s just a pity that the likes of Rogic don’t really have a serious threat to his position with Christy being injured.


    I don’t have any idea who our new coach will be though I would be surprised if Lenny was offered it. Great servant who has done a great job considering our injuries this season but his time has been and surely if we want to grow as a club we need to set the bar higher than someone who was at a very average Hibs team prior to coming back to Celtic.

  25. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    Every team has a sell by date. In a ten and a row run how many iterations must a squad go through? We have the nucleus of a squad, Bain, Ajer, Tierney, McGregor, Christie, Forrest, Edouard. Broony is coming to the end of his time but can play a part to get us to 10. A few quality additions should be good enough to get us over the line. Quality Peter not prospects.



    Is Bayo worth persevering with, pre-season should tell us. And what about the new Ukrainian winger? Is he ready to play?



    If I’m being honest I want to beat that mob every day of the week but I honestly could care less that they won the last derby game of a season where we are in pole position to win the 3 x 3. Get it done Celtic and then bring in the quality we need to secure 10 in a row.

  26. Big Jimmy



    great movie and great song. I remember a slightly darker theme but i know what you mean by ‘sugar coated’.



    they might play that song; they may not.



    que sera , sera and aw that

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

    @ BIGBHOY on 13TH MAY 2019 2:42 PM



    Was Brendan aware of the club? I’m not sure why this is such a prerequisite. Fair enough, a Spanish manager and style of play may not translate seamlessly to Scottish football, but that shouldn’t rule out those who are not ex-Celts or Scots.



    It’s a bit of a parochial outlook to think we need someone that “understands the club”. I’m not sure what the arbitrary reason is for extending that logic to managers but not players.

  28. Knicker wetters of the World Unite


    You have nothing to lose but your er …….

  29. ? Oh, the Deadwood stage is a-rolling on over the plains


    With the curtains flappin’ and the driver a-snappin’ the reins


    A beautiful sky, a wonderful day


    Whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away?

  30. traditionalist88 on




    It’s a bit of a parochial outlook to think we need someone that “understands the club”. I’m not sure what the arbitrary reason is for extending that logic to managers but not players.






    Well, managers and players have very different responsibilities. A player has to understand his function in the team and a manager is responsible for the function of the whole team, often when its not even players he has brought to the club, like yesterday.



    Also, I gave an example earlier of Quique Setien, regarded as a progressive coach in Spain and (certainly last season) Betis were almost regarded as the team to watch in Spain for the amount of goals scored in their games (for and against!).



    However, I don’t think he speaks any English, and as far as I know I don’t think any of our Scots players(or many others) speak Spanish, so there could be a few communication issues there involving the guy who is supposed to be the organiser of our team!



    I am glad we are at least now considering that there are many other factors to consider in the hunt for a new manager.



    This all before we even get to the question of whether he’d even be interested in coming to Celtic, which would be highly unlikely, even for a modest wage increase. Not sure what hes on at Betis but modest wage increase vs incredible lifestyle and no trip to NI in July…you could see his point.




  31. BIG JIMMY on 13TH MAY 2019 3:07 PM



    R.I.P. Doris Day. I dont know If she won an Oscar for her performance in Calamity Jane, but if not..she should have…great singing, great energy etc !



    *my first crush Jimmy, well before Bobby Evans that is, even back then before I had made my First Holy Communion.

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

    @ TIMALOY29 on 13TH MAY 2019 3:18 PM



    It’s not really just one game though. We lost at Ibrox in December and have limped over the line. We also have a massive summer in terms of rebuilding the current squad, with a need to confirm a manager, backroom staff and head of recruitment. Sevco are a mere 6 points behind us now.



    We shouldn’t be flippant about the game at the weekend. We are not as good as we think we are and our financial strength has not translated to strength on the park.



    It would be a significant downgrade to go from Brendan to Neil. While we may be unable to get another manager of Brendan’s quality, I think there is at least a happy medium inbetween.

  33. Go tell the Spartim on

    i generally ignore a lot of bickering in the page filling parts of peoples posts and get that people get anxious, worried etc, however its the dismissive tone by some, notably those more concerned about saving for a rainy day i find contemptible and derisory.



    IMO NFL has had his turn at managing and it got too big for him, mainly down to the abhorrent victimisation that was given plenty of lip service but little in the way of action (i think we can narrow it down as to why that was). He has carried us over the line so far and is geared up for one last hurrah on the 25th. After that id be all for keeping him but not as the manager or coach.



    In a nutshell, we need a better coach, better players (mixture of first teamers and young squad players) and to let more than a few go.



    How we get there and who they are, then my views are moot as i cant implement them, but someone better have a damn good plan .



    We’re all in this together

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