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State of the Club Report, December 2020

434

My friends in Celtic, this is not a happy read.  Not since Tony Mowbray was in charge 11 years ago have we been under pressure like this at the end of the year; second favourites for the title by a significant margin.

A 12 game period saw us eliminated from the Europa League at the group stage with only one win and one draw to our credit, our first defeat in the League Cup in almost five years and a number of grim performances in the league that sees us 16 points adrift with three games in hand.

Unaccustomed as we are to defeat, the shock drew protests against the manager and board and worse for players leaving Celtic Park after the Ross County defeat.  Neil Lennon looked beleaguered as the board came under pressure to sack him but that campaign was itself undermined by an unexpected win against Lille, helped in no small way by the arrival of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro in the starting line-up.

Crisis on the park added to pressures off it as the club had to cope without fans at Celtic Park since March.  Whatever sporting advantage was lost due to this is nothing to the commercial consequences, that will see the club plunge into debt.  Chasing their own Holy Grail, Celtic declined to sell their most saleable assets and pressed ahead with purchases in the summer.  It was a gambler’s play we have not often seen from Celtic.

Champions League income was a potential salvation that Ferencvaros extinguished in a pitiful manner.  Early season league form gave an indication of what was to come, then the music stopped with the visit of Newco.  Celtic did not record an attempt on target and were relieved of the points by a superior opponent.

2020 was the year Celtic won 9-in-a-row for the second time.  They started the year smarting from a home defeat to Newco but form after the break was imperious, while Newco did not have the legs for the race, or as their manager put it, did not have the “bottle”.  The Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen was held over until November, the final, 11 days ago against Hearts, will live long in the memory.

It was a classic Celtic performance this season.  Two goals ahead at halftime, Hearts bossed the second period and took the game to extra time.  Again we took the lead, again Hearts levelled, but as Tommy Burns once said, “there is something about this club”.  The Scottish Cup was won for the fourth consecutive time, a new record, also securing the fourth consecutive treble and Celtic’s seventh overall.  We celebrated history in our homes.

That defeat to Ross County means another club will lift a trophy in 2021, the first apart from Celtic since 2016.  More importantly, the record we have tracked for nine years is in trouble.  Celtic’s form has improved significantly since that win over Lille, we are now back to playing the way we were early this year, but the gap at the top of the table is significant and we are up against an opponent that has lost only one game in all competitions this season.

You and I have seen Celtic come back from more difficult positions than this against original Rangers in 2007-8 and form at the corresponding stage of season 1978-9 gave no indication of how that title would be decided.  But having read the story of each of our 51 league title wins, I don’t think any would match a league win in 2021 – and I include 1998 and 1966.

We are only here because we know there is something special about this club, so ‘hope in our hearts’ is not easy to extinguish, but we will find out more about our chances on Saturday.

I hope you each have a safe New Year and a healthy 2021.  Take care, Paul67.

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434 Comments

  1. Won’t be on later- So please accept my best wishes for the New Year now.

     

     

    We won our9th iar title and also a quadruple Treble this year but , in all other aspects, i will be happy to see the back of it.

     

     

    2021 will be slow to start and much like this but, whatever way the football goes, I hope kife goes better for all of you.

     

     

    I’ll look forward to a belated Christmas present at lunchtime on the 2nd

  2. Rangers’ Steven Gerrard “can’t wait for the whistle to go” against Celtic on Saturday after his Scottish Premiership leaders gained revenge over St Mirren.

     

     

    When you are scared you repeatedly tell people, and yourself, that you are NOT scared.

  3. Docherty started his career as a right-half at junior side Shettleston before joining boyhood heroes Celtic in 1947 after leaving the army, making his debut in a 1-0 home league defeat by Rangers.

     

     

    He left for Preston in 1949 – the year in which he married his first wife, Agnes – after failing to pin down a first-team spot and said years later: “When I was a youngster, it was my one and only ambition to play in a green and white jersey. When I was transferred, it was one of the great disappointments of my life.”

  4. Scullybhoy – Well I’m like Mr Slippy G in that I cannot wait to the first whistle on Saturday and 3 points and their “erses will make buttons after that” because we will be hunting them down.

     

    COYBIG

     

     

    The Huns hearts are broken Soro, soro. We will be singing that on saturday mark my words.

     

     

    D :)

  5. prestonpans bhoys on

    SCULLYBHOY on 31ST DECEMBER 2020 9:07 PM

     

     

    They were shite against; Motherwell; Hibs; and twice Saint Mirren

     

     

    Time to burst their bubble💪

  6. *CQN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2020-21*

     

    RESULTS FROM GAME #31 – CELTIC 3 DUNDEE UTD 0 (SORO, TURNBULL, EDOUARD)

     

     

    Make no mistake, Dundfee Utd at home was a pressure game. So many folk were already looking ahead to the subsequent fixture but fortunately Neil had the players focussed on the job in hand. An outstanding first half performance and a not too shabby second half saw the reigning Champions secure all 3 points.

     

    I’ll again keep it short as no doubt many of you are about to settle down to watch the last ever Only An Excuse. So, a Big thank you to the 73 who voted, the 3rd highest turnout of this season. The votes cast for each player (with my own choices asterisked) are as follows –

     

    Barkas: 0

     

    Frimpong*: 51

     

    Jullien: 1

     

    Ajer: 19

     

    Laxalt: 3

     

    Soro*: 70

     

    McGregor: 8

     

    Christie: 0

     

    Turnbull*: 61

     

    Griffiths: 5

     

    Edouard: 1

     

    Bitton: 0

     

    Ajeti: 0

     

    Brown: 0

     

    Elyounoussi: 0

     

    Rogic: 0

     

     

    So, the players receiving points for the Dundee United game are –

     

    Soro – 5 points

     

    Turnbull – 4 points

     

    Frimpong – 3 points

     

    Ajer – 2 points

     

    McGregor – 1 point

     

     

    And the overall table is now –

     

    1st – Laxalt – 49 points

     

    2nd – McGregor – 47 points

     

    3rd – Ajer – 45 points

     

    4th – Christie – 44 points

     

    5th – Frimpong – 40 points

     

    6th – Brown – 29 points

     

    7th – Turnbull – 24 points

     

    8th – Elyounoussi – 23 points

     

    9th – Soro – 20 points

     

    10th – Rogic – 19 points

     

    11th – Edouard – 18 points

     

    12th – Duffy – 17 points

     

    13th – Ntcham – 16 points

     

    14th – Griffiths – 14 points

     

    15th – Bitton– 12 points

     

    16th – Taylor – 11 points

     

    17th – Barkas – 9 points

     

    18th – Ajeti – 8 points

     

    19th – Elhamed – 7 points

     

    20th – Forrest, Jullien and Klimala – 5 points

     

    23rd – Bain and Welsh – 4 points

     

    25th – Hazard – 3 points

     

    26th – Bolingoli, Dembele, Henderson and Johnston – 0 points

     

     

    *Player Of The Month*

     

    During December we played 8 games, winning 6 (Lille, Kilmarnock, Hearts (AET and penalties), Ross County, Hamilton and Dundee Utd), drawing 1 (St Johnstone) and losing 1 (AC Milan). We scored 19 and conceded 10 (6 of them in Europe). We finished the month with 3 clean sheets in a row. Our top goalscorers this month were Edouard with 4 and Griffiths and Turnbull with 3 each.

     

    Only 3 players featured in every game. Frimpong had 7 starts (in 2 of those he was substituted) and once came on as a substitute. Ajer started every game but was substituted twice. Only Callum McGregor played every minute of all 8 games.

     

    Based on the total votes across all 6 games, in 3rd place we have Kristoffer Ajer on 260, in 2nd place it’s Ismaila Soro on 262. But, the PLAYER OF THE MONTH for December with 277 is DAVID TURNBULL.

     

     

    Our next match kicks off in 38½ hours time when we travel to Ibrox with the aim of reducing the gap at the top to 13 points. Kick off is at 12.30pm.

     

    Hail Hail!

  7. Heard it on guid authority that the Scouse Ned is being offered the top slot at Port Vale ( colts) an’ Murts is set to answer the call agin……….

     

     

    Aye!

  8. Also heard that Fat Charlie hud another run-in wi’

     

    Inch High Private Eye over a dug from Coocaddens……………

     

     

    manila envelopes?

     

     

    Aye.

  9. Best wishes to all CQN’ers for the New Year!

     

     

    Hope you all stay healthy, safe and VERY HAPPY!

     

     

    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. What is the Stars on

    Watched the Tommy Doc documentary on BT…swampy pitches,violent tackles and football hooligans..All now tragically lost to the game 😀

  11. Happy new year when it comes !! Good riddance to a shite year !!! Hopefully batter that mob on Saturday!! Only an excuse done a good sketch, with the lark hall flute band ! ! Bankie willl save you the smileys 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  12. A Hoopy Happy and Prosperous New Year to you animals 😂🍾🍻

     

     

    10 ain’t gone…till maths (or covid) says it is…keep hope in yer hearts

     

     

    It’s a pleasure being part of this wonderful community…mostly 🤔🍻🍾

     

     

    For those that need it…sending love ❤

     

     

    Hail Hail Ghuys n Ghals

  13. The hand of God on

    As Zebedee used to say..”Time for bed” so happy new year to everyone and thanks Paul 67 for CQN.

  14. Happy New Year all.

     

     

    Still have to wait 5 hours over here so a few more wee drams to go. I miss Scotland at this moment every year more than any other.

     

     

    HH and bring on Saturday.

  15. Paul67: Ádh mór to you and your family for 2021.

     

     

    Happy Athbhliain to all Tims on here & ar aghaidh go dtí an deich.

     

     

    🍀💚🇳🇬🇮🇪🍀

  16. Happy New Year to all from the Good n The Bad. 🇮🇪🥂🇮🇪

     

     

    Let’s all put a shitty year behind us, think of loved ones who cannot be here and win this TIAR for them💚🙏💚

     

     

    We start on Saturday.

     

     

    Lenny unleash HELL on these CNUTS.

     

     

    D :)

  17. A very good new year to everyone both in footballing and non-footballing terms.

     

     

    We’ll find out soon if the footballing part of that wish is likely to come true.

     

     

    Thanks to Paul for all the efforts you put in to enable us to share our thoughts and experiences on this sacred place.

  18. Yes a thanks to Pauĺ and the MODs who run and govern this wonderfull meeting place.

     

     

    Happy New Year ghuys and thank you.

     

     

    D :)

  19. Happy New Year to Celts and Tims all over the world! Let’s hope 2021 is a great year for all of us. Paul 67 a special thank you to you for giving us CQN for all the things we say and do on it. It’s quite easily the best blog by a distance.

  20. Heard Robinsons goin to Ibrox n Slippys bein lined up as assistant to Klopp then takin over when he chucks it. Rumours r us

  21. glendalystonsils on

    Happy new year to all on CQN , even the moany ,argumentative wans , and even the hun lurkers (as long as none of your happiness is fitba’ related !

  22. Happy New Year to our host, the Admins and all who frequent and make this place the Go-To Celtic Internet Site! 😊 🍾🥃🎆🎇

     

     

    I wish you every good Health, Happiness and Prosperity for you and your loved ones in 2021! 😊

     

     

    Oh, I almost forgot, I am hoping/praying that Celtic have an amazing year of successful football, whatever that looks like at the end of 2021! 😊 🧣🍀

     

     

    Most importantly I hope/pray that the less fortunate among us are Blessed with what they need in 2021! ❤️

     

     

    Take Care, Keep Safe, God Bless and Hail Hail,

     

     

    Yours in Celtic, 😊 🧣 🍀

     

     

    TB&F. 😊

  23. Happy new year to all even though my Connemara Grandad always referred to it as a Heathen festival