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. Henrik Dylan


    13:01 on 23 October, 2013



    Biton tackle was right in front of Lenny so he knew right away he was off. I think he didn’t see what Brown did until after the game as it was on the far side.

  2. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    Further to my above post I can state with a lot of confidence that I was in Amsterdam on the day when Dutch football hooliganism was born. My mate and I went to Germany for a holiday in 1976 but stayed for a few days in Amsterdam on the way. We decided to go and see the Ajax pre season tournament which had Ajax, Borussia Munchengladbach ( jupp heynckes) and Anderlecht (Duncan McKenzie). The Leeds fans who were the worst hooligans in Britain had caused trouble in bars in the city before the game and were basically a drunken rabble. In the stadium, they formed a mob and charged the Ajax fans who were there to watch the football but had to run away several times to areas of safety. We could see the bemusement on their faces. Finally, late on in the game, they clearly had enough of it and formed a huge mob of their own and came round to the Leeds end and knocked he’ll out of the Leeds supporters. On their way back to their own end they looked quite pleased with themselves and as if they had enjoyed this new experience.

  3. The Battered Bunnet,


    I wrote last week about this post you made on Pukki.For Iceland he looked and played exactly the same.I think its just the boys style.I would just like the majority of posters on here to realise that the boy does NOT possess the pace we were led to believe.He is not a striker as we were led to believe,no matter how much you would like to believe,and he cannot play the loan striker role.Play the boy were he is comfortable,we saw enough flashes of this last night,and buy a bloody real striker in January.With our squad fit this is the only missing piece.Would improve us greatly.


    Our tactics in Amsterdam will be totally different.We have shown we can contain teams.Ledley will be fit,so I am sure Lenny will play a 4-4-2.The 4 in the middle being a more defensive 4.

  4. BMCW



    From last thread – Fleg!



    Hope ACGR doesn’t upset El Neighbours – we are sharing a flat in Barcelona + I believe there’s a rendezvous with OldTim!




  5. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts on

    Add Ajax to the ever growing list of teams who have left celtic park defeated and question how:))



    I fear no team at home, a mixture of players, coaches, fans and a sprinkling of mystical magic is an answer to any defeated managers question.

  6. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts on



    A fine night all round sir:))

  7. Auldheid


    13:04 on


    23 October, 2013



    that was a good story, ta for sharing.



    they say strikers can remember all the goals they ever scored, well i can, all 6 of them.

  8. Kayal33


    That’s a good point but underlines why he should wait until after the event before commenting – mind you he is still adamant that Brown has been hard done to – I sincerely hope that behind the scenes he has told Brown that his petulance is not acceptable in a Celtic Captain

  9. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers forza oscar and mackenzie



    13:05 on 23 October, 2013



    The sooner the better




  10. I am delighted that we won.



    Paul67 – disagree with your analysis. Ajax created a lot more chances than we did – a combination of poor finishing and Fraser ensured a flattering result for us.



    One more point that has been bothering me all day – is all the negativity towards Frank de Boer because he disagreed with most Celtic fans’ analysis of the game ? Or because he played for Rangers? Or some other reason?

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




    ACGR is always the soul of discretion,a born diplomat,and the last person likely to upset anyone.



    Keep him aff the drams!



    Enjoy the occasion,mate. I wish I could be there. Nae holidays left though.

  12. Henrik Dylan



    13:01 on 23 October, 2013



    Were you at either of the matches?



    Did you see the Brown kick from your seat?



    If you did you would have been the only one in the stadium who managed to see it.



    The foul last night was utterly unnecessary, could have caused serious injury (unlike the Brown one) and was very, very obvious.

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




    It may be because he displayed a total lack of grace in defeat.

  14. Henrik Dylan


    13:14 on 23 October, 2013



    Brown himself knows he was stupid. He didn’t even question the referee when he sent him off. I’m sure the manager has had more than a word but I think the captain knows he deserves a bollocking

  15. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie – he answered questions in a typical, direct, honest (Dutch) way. What did he say that is ‘graceless’?

  16. Kayal33


    12:53 on


    23 October, 2013


    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.



    I agree totally with this.We cannot afford any more injuries while still involved in the CL.We have a squad,lets use it.Fisher,Rogic,Atajic,should be getting playing time,also Forster should be put in cotton wool.We will win this league in a canter.Lenny said yesterday we were down to the bare bones,so no chances please.We saw what happened last week at Easter Rd.

  17. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    Cubist funk



    To clear up the doubt for you as it is obviously troubling you and causing you some consternation, we Celtic fans don’t like Frank De Boer purely because he played for Rangers. That will condemn him to a lifetime of vitriol from us whenever our paths cross. Simples.

  18. Auldheid



    13:04 on 23 October, 2013



    I noticed team mates happy to nick the ball to Pukki when they or he was in a tight situation and his ability to football the way out.

  19. Token Tim, good to say hello yesterday, sorry to hear about your experience in the pub, outside the atmosphere was pretty good, I spoke to a few Ajax guys and all were friendly, with one guy spending quite a bit of time at our table talking to No2 son.



    No1 son was working with G4S and was at the separation area between the fans, thankfully on the Celtic side and he was not caught up in any trouble at his section. He did witness coins and seats being flung and a lot of scared kids which is not acceptable. It would appear the police tactics are to contain them in their area rather than risk inflaming the situation by trying to remove the culprits.



    Hope the bhoys of the old grey brigade made the game in time , all were still munching and drinking when i left for the walk to the game. good to say hello to old and new bhoys.

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    He also played for them at a time when they were reaching new depths of unpleasantness.



    And history shows that the experience of playing for them is rarely nourishing for the soul; even for players whose previous demeanour had been completely inoffensive.

  21. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    It’s wonderful, basking in the afterglow of a CL victory. It makes you feel EPIC – as a certain advert likes to inform us.



    Aff oot.

  22. The Battered Bunnet




    12:46 on 23 October, 2013



    Funny I should mention bulk in my post without reading your post first.



    Celtic have to buy unfinished products then polish them and your explanation of conditioning fits into my point about improving bulk (but without losing other attributes.)



    I wonder though (and its not about Pukki but generally) can you coach a player into becoming a penalty box predator? The guy who the ball bounces off and goes in or just arrives at exactly the right time to connect? Is that something that some players just naturally have?



    In my youth, my St James Calton Boys Club team were trounced 7-3 by a team from Greenock. They had a wee bulky guy who was playing out wide but was in our box a lot and gave our full back, one of our best players, a torrid time.



    When I asked an opponent who the wee fat guy was (bulk was not a term in common Calton usage at the time) I was told his name was Joe Harper.

  23. Cubist Funk



    I agree with you that F. De Boer is pretty honest in his post-match reactions. However, was he a beneficiary of the EBTs, like his brother? Neither of them has said a word about the financial doping at the toxic club. A bit of Dutch honesty about that would not go amiss.

  24. Afternoon all



    RIP Gypie Mayo who replaced Wilko in the Feelgoods.



    And Happy Birthday to Edson Arantes do Nascimento.



    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

  25. A point for FARE to bear in mind.



    Did der hun not bring out an orange shirt in honour of their Dutch contingent and would that not in itself justify the description of members of that contingent as SOBs?

  26. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy – sad. He is a young manager who tries to get his team to play good, attractive football. “We did it by playing football. Pure, beautiful, inventive football.” said another young manager who succeeded in doing the same a few years back.



    Dontbrattbakkinanger – I presume that was intended to be funny.

  27. I was working in my taxi last night, a couple of messages we received were “a group of Dutch fans at Lauders, DO NOT PICK UP” also “a running battle ongoing at Morrisons in the Calton”. In all my years doing my job I don’t think I’ve felt so uncomfortable.


    I got to Bell at High St just as the Dutch fans were getting their police escort (I don’t think one of them was wearing a scarf) and picked up 5 Ajax fans. I headed up the Gallowgate. They asked why so many police and I said it was because of the trouble, they were loud noisy and a pain in the arse. They asked me to take them to the away end. I said everyone got dropped at the same place (I wasn’t taking them to Springfield Rd) and papped them oot on the new road across from the superstore.


    I listened to sportsound at half time and both Chick Young and Richard Gordon were commenting on the disgraceful scenes from the Ajax end. I decided not to go near Celtic Park after the game in case I had the misfortune of picking any Dutch fans up. Apologies to any fans waiting on transport cos I’m sure a lot of drivers felt the same way. The worst set of fans I have came across.



    I’d also like to say well done Celtic. I think it was your worst performance of the 3 so far in the Champions league but end up with all 3 points. Go figure ?

  28. Paul



    It was a bad tackle pure and simple. Feet off the ground, studs showing at speed – red card.



    We are watching a football match you must accept the fans will react. If that tackle was met by utter silence then it would be just as damning. The boy is inexperienced at this level, first game etc but still bad tackle. Hopefully he will learn from it.



    Not sure what Glover means about south stand fans and sending offs. I as I see it is usually players that get themselves sent off. As with the Brown incident and last night if you give the referee a decision to make then he might call it red.

  29. 79caps – no idea but let’s assume the answer is ‘yes’. He is no more guilty of wrongdoing than Juninho. The players and staff will have been advised that all that stuff was perfectly legal.

  30. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    C.Funk- funny , informative, cogent.



    With good spelling, punctuation and grammar.



    Same ole same ole really.

  31. Steinreignedsupreme on

    I thought the Ajaxshhhhhhh fanshhhhhhh were brilliant last night. They really added to the atmosphere, and were the loudest away support since Rapid Vienna.



    No denying they have a horrible hooligan element among their following though – I remember seeing them setting about some middle-age Celtic fans outside the ground before we beat the 3-1.



    Anyway, the really good news is I received my ticket for the game in Amshhhterdam this morning.

  32. Toor A Loo @ 1258,



    yep TTT Jnr is fine, was more shaken up than anything.



    never seen that side to a game in his young years.



    Mrs TTT less impressed with yours truly for “putting him in that situation in the first place”!!






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