Tactical victory for Lennon over The Bore


Celtic were overflowing with fine performances last night but mostly this was a tactical victory.  Ajax dominated possession against Milan and enjoyed lots at the Camp Nou, so Neil Lennon knew what to expect.

Despite playing at home against our lowest-ranked opponent, we never chased the game, allowed Ajax time on the ball, and waited for the opportunity.  We had the intelligence across the field to outsmart Ajax, with agility (Forrest), combativeness (Mulgrew, Kayal) and experience in the box (Stokes) to get the job done.  We also have perhaps the best keeper in the competition.  Shhh.

At some point before the return game in Amsterdam, The Bore may consider that his team deserved to lose, just as Nir Biton deserved his red card.  Lunging into tackles inside the box is a recipe for defeat.  Take the ball or you take your opponents leg.  The noises from Ajax after the game suggested some bewilderment at the defeat; a well-worn track for teams to leave Celtic Park after Champions League games.

I hope de Boer carries that sense of entitlement into the next game, if he does, he’ll have learned nothing and his team will lose again.

Celtic’s area for remedial action is also clear.  Over three Champions League games they have not conceded in the first 75 minutes but conceded four times after that point.  This is not a complaint, it’s hard to maintain the levels of concentration, not to mention the physical effort, late in a game, but the stats suggest that, at this level, we wilt before our opponents.

The Dutch are known as progressive and tolerant people but the behaviour of Ajax fans (I hear from the moment they arrived at Schiphol Airport) was deplorable, without question the most violent European fans in all my time watching Celtic.

Football hooliganism is nothing like it was in the 70s and 80s but it is on the rise across Europe.  Remain ever-vigilant.

On a more prosaic fan issue…. We were not at a pantomime last night.  The moment between Nir Biton lunging forward with his studs up and the referee producing a red card was filled by a “Oooh” from many in the home support.

As soon as I heard this I knew the card would be red.  Biton may have gone without the sound effects, but we don’t need to authorise the ref to make a big decision.

All this and the Big Glasgow Derby coming up!!

Between now and Sunday you are going to hear lots about the collection on behalf of the Greater Maryhill Foodbank, taking place before the Thistle-Celtic game on Saturday.  What a great cause to be a part of.
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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    It takes some genius to operate a hi-tech and previously profitable plant at a loss of around £100k per employee.



    Even if that number does include white collar staff.



    I would think that a comparison of operating p/l and staffing levels in the five years previous to INEOS buying the plant,and for the time since,will make very interesting reading.



    IMO,they are trying to hold the Scottish Govt to ransom over this via operational subsidies.



    No idea why,as they are illegal in The EU. However,were we NOT in The EU…..

  2. Interesting how opinions can differ.



    I didn’t see Sammmi as one of our top performers last night. He failed to retain possession far too many times.



    A midfield player would not be keen to push on when Sammi has the ball, as chances are he’d not get the pass, and the ball would end up with the opposition.



    That said, totally agree with the plaudits directed at Charlie Mulgrew. I’d have him at CB every week, with Efe in midfield.



    Neil, however, is doing quite well without my advice…..:)



    Overall, another fabulous Celtic memory created.

  3. Oldtim…….good to meet you yesterday..and the rest of the fellas in BV and BB.Posted as promised.Special thanks to GlasgowDave

  4. Leftclicktic



    Anyspare Tkts‏@anysparetkts11m


    Celtic hav pickd up more CL points than old Rangers did,having played 15 games less,..but u wont read about it!




    You will read about our terrible away record though..

  5. “All this and the Big Glasgow Derby coming up!!”



    Oh you are awful Paul



    But I like you.

  6. Paul67,



    Long may De Bore’s arrogance and overconfidence continue!



    As for their fans, as I posted on the last article, what a shower of scum a large minority of them were.



    Lets just say that my son’s first words this morning were not re the victory, but about the walk up to the game.



    Hope we stuff them over there!






  7. In this day and age Paul we shouldnt need food banks,shameful that we do- in the week that Tesco released information that £30m of food was wasted/disposed of last year by them.Something is out of kilter


    Well done to the good folk associated Maryhill Food bank and the very good work they do.



  8. Good afternoon all. Feeling just champion today. Great, professional performance last night. Chas Muldini is really growing into being some player. Whole defence was terrific.


    Great to be a Tim.




  9. Johann Murdoch,



    was good to meet you, your bhoy, kikinthenakas and a certain ex-player again last night.



    Sorry couldnt spend more time in your company, hope you enjoyed the game.






  10. Paul 67



    From where I was sitting the tackle by Nir drew a collective intake of breath as it looked really bad.


    Thank goodness the Ajax player was able to jump out the way as it could have been career threatening .


    I don’t doubt the young Lhad will have been trying to make a good impression and that he will learn from this.However, red card merited .


    Liked Lenny’s comment that it would probably been yellow at Easter Road though tend to disagree slightly for if it had been a Hibs player I’m sure it would have been unpunished!



    Having watched it in tv it didn’t look as bad but in real time it looked a shocker!



    Hail Hail

  11. The Battered Bunnet on

    I posted last night that I thought Teemu Pukki was disinterested and indifferent. I’d like to apologise to him for jumping to conclusions.



    There are of course two other explanations for his performance last night:



    1) He was suffering from some unreported illness/virus or another.



    2) Celtic’s coaching staff are putting him through a physical conditioning programme designed to provide him with more bulk, power and speed, such programme compromising short term match effectiveness over medium term performance improvement.



    Would the real Teemu Pukki please stand up. For the Champions.

  12. Thought that Neil’s inexperience cost us the goal. Why move 3 players to accommodate one change. Ambrose and big Virgil had another exceptional night. He really needs to find a way to swap a player with re-shuffling the team.



    I also think those in the back of the South Stand are responsible for the sending off. Not the first time this has happened during my time at Celtic Park.

  13. Auldheid, :-) Email later.



    Token Tim, which is a great pity.



    johann Murdoch, agree.



    bognorbhoyle, oops!



    Burghbhoy, a collective intake of breath is overrated. Objection denied.

  14. I was critical of Lenny for not settling for a draw after 75 minutes in Milan, so I must praise him for last night’s tactics. I expected Celtic to start the second half defensively, but the team really went for it and got their reward.

  15. De Bore’s comments, see Souness’s ‘men v boys’ comments 2002. Ram them back down his throat in a fortnight.

  16. Lustig needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool until Amsterdam. Like the whole defensive unit (keeper, back 4 and Mulgrew just in front) Mikael was magnificent and we need another performance like that in a fortnight.


    Young Darnell can deputise in the two league games coming up.

  17. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    I hope yer not saying that in a “crafty” way.

  18. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Modren programme compromising short term match effectiveness over medium term performance improvement is rubbish.

  19. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on




    You seem to have had a totally different experience from my mates and I when Celtic played in Amsterdam in 1971. I do remember in the build up to the game that some of their fans would foolishly try to wind up Celtic supporters by shouting ‘Rangers’ and expecting it to raise a laugh when they actually ended up getting a punch for their troubles.



    Inside the stadium, I was in the main group of Celtic supporters and we were surrounded by Dutch fans. They paid us absolutely no attention whatsoever and backed their team throughout. What was very alarming though was that 500 British soldiers had crossed the border from Germany to ‘support’ Celtic. Just before the game kicked off these troops arrived in the ground and took their place amongst us. One of them – a certain Bomber Brown from Brigton was wearing a Rangers scarf and there was a crowd of Celtic supporters ready to lynch him, only for him to announce that ‘the scarf stays on. I’m here with my mates to support Celtic’ and they did. After the initial nervy stand off, these guys from all over Britain supported Celtic and shared their drink with us. They had bottles of whiskey, gin, brandy … You name it and they passed them around. There was no trouble at all from them. Brown chatted away to us and said that the troops based in Germany travelled within reasonable distance to support any British team playing abroad even though they all had their own teams. I was impressed by him.



    A few years later I watched a news report during the Troubles and there he was on my screen. He had been given some commendation for heroic action on the streets of Belfast. I wasn’t too impressed with him for that.

  20. Replica wall and paving bricks



    For home use only. If you already have a brick here at the stadium you can now take home an exact replica of your very own piece of Ibrox to proudly display in your home or garden.From only £20 for a wall brick and £25 for a paving brick a replica brick would make the perfect present for any Rangers fan. If you do not already have a brick at the stadium but would still like to order a replica brick to take home with you, you can do so as well!






    Ayrshire is Green and White.


    There’s a few bricks in it too….!




  21. Kayal33



    Young Darnel could also have slotted into Lustig’s position when Mikael was substituted last night. I think it would have been better than rejigging the defence. I don’t think Fisher would have let us down.

  22. antipodean red on

    Isn’t it great how a big victory in Europe can give you an added skip in your step the next day, up early here in Oz this morning to watch these Bhoys perform more miracles and up into Perth today with the chest puffed out and the Celtic cap on, willing some Sevconian to take a bite, alas no luck!


    A truly excellent team performance and a very tactically savvy backroom group who have given us a confidence in amongst the elite group of European clubs not seen since the 70’s.



    I was at the two Ajax games in 1982 and the football and the team was great but after beating a team like Ajax, we succumbed to Real Sociedad a few weeks later. This present group may not have the same stars but boy do they provide us with some thrills and 110% effort on every Euro night.




  23. Just an aside on last night’s match – we have had players sent off in two consecutive CL ties – the first was our Captain for aiming a kick at an opponent while the opponent was lying on the ground with his back to him – he was greeted at the touchline by the Manager who gave him a cuddle and a pat on the head



    The second was one of our youngest and most inexperienced players who made a wild tackle that was surely as a result of adrenaline and naivety – he was greeted at the touchline by the manager pointing at the tunnel and leaving 60,000 fans in no doubt as to how angry he was



    I wonder if Biton will be sent to his Captain for lessons on how to conduct himself

  24. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Us Kilwinning BHOYS know a bit about these things….

  25. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts on




    Thank you



    Sammi in front of GB


    and the words



    “Any CELT who is viewing this in need of GOOSEBUMPS!! Just press play HH CELTIC FC – BRAYBHOY!!!!”


    Is the video i’m talking about

  26. I look for things in players that make them a bit different and give me hope that they will make it at Celtic and perform well for us.



    One of the new lads under the microscope is Pukki. When he failed to give the Lustig cross just enough angle to put it on target, everyone in the Cunard Bar voiced the same thought “Hooper would have scored that”.



    That of course comes from at least one if not a number of goals in a similar position that Hooper scored. It is a perfectly natural thought.



    But Pukki is not Hooper and does not have his bulk, but what he does have is quick feet and quick feet in a player is to be prized and used by his fellow players.



    Years ago on the black ash wasteland that was the 50 pitches in Govan. I remember watching a team mate meander into the corner in the opposition half as he chased and caught a long ball. He had his back to goal with the full back right behind him breathing down his neck. A throw in or by kick was the most likely outcome or if we were lucky a corner..



    But I knew this guy was very good at delivering excellent crosses from the poor position he found himself in. (Our captain did not.) So I started to run from midfield to get into the box and I arrived just as the ball did, for sure enough the guy had whipped round and got a cross in. I took it on the volley just inside the box and smashed it home.



    I turned and ran up the park in celebration and our captain who had just turned around from his walk back towards our goal because he thought a by kick was on its way had to ask “wtf happened there?”



    The point of this tale is that is not only about the guy under the microscope, but the other guys being intelligent enough to know what their team mate is capable of and using it.



    That of course can take a bit of time, which is why we should never be quick to rush to judge. Its a team game and teams win matches not individuals.



    So my hope is that Pukki’s quick feet in tight situations will be used by team mates to advantage and the lad settles in just as the likes of Sammi or Charlie or Broonie have after taking time to now become players that team mates thrive on.

  27. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    I told one if my mates a few years back,when he was considering buying a brick at Ibrox,to wait a few years and he could have as many as he wanted for eff all.



    That still stands. Hopefully their pigsty won’t,shortly.

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