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. As i stated on last thread . It was a great result , just the boost we needed, but i still think our ball retention could be a lot better . But hey ho .weve got the points on the board , and as someone posted earlier , some of us have been spoiled watching the tic team from the mid sixty,s So its a big well done to neil and the bhoys .



    Bmcuw . Cheers for the internet explorer advice .

  2. BoscoBhoy02



    13:32 on 23 October, 2013



    ‘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 ?’







    It’s because the players raise their game for these matches. They seem to raise it just to the level required but no higher.



    If we played Ajax the way we played against Barca it would have been 4 or 5 nil.

  3. Cubist Funk


    Fair enough. But they might have seen some connection between the demise of rangers and their own remuneration arrangements. However, we can’t expect them to react differently to other players. I have no animosity towards either of the brothers, but Celtic supporters will always give ex-rangers players a hard time.

  4. 79caps – understand that and have no problem with a bit of stick to ex-Rangers players. But there seems to be something extra for de Boer and I don’t understand why.



    Before the game he is quoted as saying :



    ““Our players have to enjoy this game.



    “When you are young you want to play in this kind of stadium with this kind of atmosphere. It can only give you more adrenaline in your body to perform. If you are worse than your normal level then maybe you’re not good enough to play at this level.



    “Of course, you can be nervous when the referee starts the game but you must get rid of all the nerves and enjoy a great stadium and great pitch.”



    De Boer knows Celtic are weakened by the absence of the suspended Scott Brown and injured Kris Commons, but he has identified Georgios Samaras as the Hoops’ dangerman.



    He said: “Kris Commons and Scott Brown are key players for Celtic.



    “Brown is the leader and Commons is the technical player, so they are very important. There is still quality players left, so we’ll concentrate on our own game.



    “The most important thing I tell my players is to play their own game and show guts.



    “Samaras is one of the key players with his strength and height.



    “He’s very important. If Celtic can’t build the play from the back, the first option will be to go to Samaras and then fight for the second ball.



    “He’s so strong at that, it’s almost impossible to beat him for the first header.



    “Celtic are then good at winning the second balls and you have to be in the right places for them.



    “The goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, is also very good of course.””

  5. Ernie Lynch



    It wasn’t a criticism, just an observation. Sometimes football can be unfair.

  6. Auldheid / Battered Bunnett


    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?






    I think the answer is yes, Henry and Larsson stand out as guys who were not particularly prolific at previous clubs, but benefitted from the coaching of Wenger and Dr Jo respectively.


    Closer to home, in his last 18 months at Ibrokes, Kenny Misser went from an 12/13 goal a season player to 20/25.



    Having watched Pukki a few times, I think there is a player there – good first touch, composed and quick over 1/2 yards, although less so over 7/8 yards.



    I wonder if we have seriously considered getting a striker’s coach in for 1/2 days a week to help, as our recent track record in this area isn’t so good.


    I see John Hartson doing some part time work for Wales, maybe he could do similar for us?

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    Noising up Frank de Boer, the manager of last night’s opponents, is fair game.



    Referencing him as a “sad orange b@stard” is wrong on a number of levels:



    1) It is clearly unlawful, expressing negative and derogatory attitudes towards a person with an inferred (assumed) Protestant (or National) identity.



    2) It reflects an element of our support who hark back to the good old Old Firm days, those poor souls among us who feel a genuine loss at the death of Rangers and the associated rivalry so dear to them. (Interested persons might wish to reference the impact on season ticket sales at Celtic Park)



    3) It was a funny song when the Hibees sang it for Craig Levein back in the day, Hibees clearly having a grasp of rhyme as well as a sense of humour. The rhyme and humour clearly don’t translate into the ‘Old Firm’ vernacular. NB ‘Jambo’ is not a protected human characteristic.



    PS Any Hibees looking in, I probably still have your hubcaps.

  8. whitedoghunch



    Thanks – will bookmark your post.



    Still to cross t’s dot i’s (waiting on TET getting back to me) but it looks like we will be staying approx halfway between Camp Nou and La Rambla.



    Plans to be finalised late November – all 4 of us will be arriving from different directions and getting in to the city between mid-afternoon and Tuesday evening (10th).



    Have your email address – will copy you in. H!H!

  9. steinreignedsupreme



    13:30 on 23 October, 2013



    Do bald men suffer vertigo more than people with hair?



    Science Quick News



    Dunno, but I saw one last night..




  10. Auldheid agree on Pukki, he has quick feet and needs time to get up to speed playing now he is at a club where he is playing every week. We also need time for his team mates to learn to play with him, supporting what he does with the correct passes and off the ball movement.



    if only he had been signed earlier but that is an argument that has been covered more than once on here.



    Looking at our 3 games so far there, is little margin between winning and losing. Last night we took 2 of our few opportunities and they didn’t, in the previous games we again had a few chances at critical times in the games and failed to convert any of them.



    We are capable of winning our next two games with a solid defence and converting chances or we could quite easily loose both , that’s the joy of playing top teams ,



    loving the champions league.

  11. Steinreignedsupreme on

    The Battered Bunnet 13:49 on 23 October, 2013



    Very good points.



    This is no more than a variation of a Huns song about Tommy Burns.

  12. Beebawbabbity.



    Welcome to CQN,I’m glad you decided to start posting rather than lurk,It makes sense.It was nice to meet you yesterday.Again welcome.

  13. Cubist Funk,



    can I ask why you are so fired up about a lot of Celtic supporter’s reactions to De Boer?



    What is it about him in particular that has you so defensive on his behalf?



    I dont like him, never have, way before his time as a hun. Came across to me anyway as overpreeningly arrogant – as many Dutch can – and ive seen nothing to convince me otherwise.


    A very good player though, and even though I dont like him, I respected his ability as a footballer…….but still a tosser!



    Incidentally, i dont know if it was mentioned her or elsewhere, but can anyone else confirm that the same De Boer, booted a ball at one of the ball bhoys in front of the Main Stand during the 2nd half? I didnt see the full incident, only some it it, but it certainly looked that way to me…..and also judging by a lot of the supporters’ reaction in that area of the Main Stand that would indeed seem to be the case!






  14. How good does it feel to be part of the Celtic family these days?


    I had a wonderful day yesterday, which was shared by my wife and daughter, both of them experiencing a European night at Celtic Park for the first time.


    I have tried in the past to find the words to explain to them how special these CL nights are. I will never have to struggle in future to convey the sense of anticipation, YNWA, the sheer volume of the Celtic support as they lift the team, the way the players respond in effort, and the overall feeling of warmth and camaraderie you can’t help but feel at Celtic Park as we take our place in the world’s top club tournament.


    They both caught the bug last night and I have a feeling things are going to be quite different from now on.


    We are progressing, make no mistake. With Fraser behind that back 4 and Charlie in central midfield covering his team mates tirelessly when needed, we have a solid defensive formation. We now look comfortable playing at this level.


    Who knows how the European adventure will pan out this season. Before last night I was happy we were part of this competition. Today I’m dreaming.

  15. steinreignedsupreme



    13:55 on 23 October, 2013



    The Battered Bunnet



    13:49 on 23 October, 2013



    On that, I noticed a lot more not singing it than… In bye gone days of yore, most of the crowd would have..




  16. Turkeybhoy,



    I said the very same last night. Lustig is too important just now with Adam Mathews sidelined. He and Foster should not be played again until Amsterdam. I would rest Sammi too.

  17. FF on mescaline:



    “When allys tenure ends whenever that may be would Frank de Boer be in the running or a candidate to be our next manager?


    I like the way his team plays football but they seemed to lack a cutting edge but i think he has potential to be a very good manager?


    Would we go foreign again?




    “It would be a sideways move for him.”

  18. Steinreignedsupreme on

    MickTT 13:50 on 23 October, 2013



    It was your post on the last thread that got me thinking about it. But it sounds as though 100% of the bald men you have spotted leaving the ground before kick-off do in fact suffer vertigo.



    Next week on Science Quick News; How many chins does the average Sevconian have?

  19. ubist Funk –



    I’d just like to remind you:



    ‘One’s called Ronald,


    One’s called Frank…’




    For a reason.

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ECL group stages to Ramsden’s Cup is the kind of sideways move that rips the guts out of the ole TARDIS.

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

    The song “Cheer up,…..”



    It is a parody of Daydream Believer,and was originally done as a tribute to Peter Reid by the Sunderland fans.






    Hit the Top Fifty,too.



    Rangers fans adapted it towards Tommy Burns-though not in a tribute way-and it has been sung at countless football grounds ever since.



    Anyone finding offence in it is simply looking for offence,and should be part of FOCUS or the Scottish Government.

  22. The Battered Bunnet on




    Joe Harper? Gen up? Ha!



    “can you coach a player into becoming a penalty box predator?”



    A good Coach can coach a good player to do most things well, a good player being one with the relevant attributes. Hate to bring it up, but Mo Johnstone was a far superior player for his short time at Nantes, for example. Better example perhaps, Paul Lambert from his time at Dortmund.



    Questions really are:



    1) Does the player have the wherewithal to play the position?


    2) Does the Coach have the ability to teach him?



    Celtic, by virtue of our financial constraints, buy players generally who have the attributes but haven’t had the finishing. Big Amido Baldé is a case in point, huge fellow, very athletic, in need of some considerable football development.



    All professional players can play in most positions, but without the development of a special ability, are essentially jacks of all trades. That’s the trap Celtic need to avoid – that we end up with a team of experienced pros who have nothing special beyond being pretty good at most things.



    Pukki? I think my frustration is exacerbated by my hopes that we might be able to draw out the ‘special’ in him, but without the player’s commitment to that excellence, it won’t happen.

  23. Dontbrattbakkinanger




    13:50 on 23 October, 2013




    Gerd Muller , the ole meister poacher, started his career as a fullback.



    *and played against us in that position in the 1966 NA tour.

  24. Joe Harpers biography is a good wee read.



    his early years are interesting for anyone with a greenock connection.



    he mentions playing for BB, the school and two youth teams in the same year group, and I am sure he says he scored over 100 goals in one season.

  25. Bobby Murdochs Curled at 12.36



    the previous figures would indeed be interesting. I know that in recent times, INEOS have been poaching nearby workers with offers of improved pay and of course the holy grail, final salary pensions. INEOS know the Nats cannot let this plant die and this is all part of a ruse to extract the £150 million public money investment. To top it all, they use the smokescreen of the fall out with the union to paint this picture of it all being someone else’s fault. They truly are a nasty bunch (or is it just the man on the deck of the squillions’ worth yacht) who demonstrate everything that is wrong with free for all capitalism.


    Separately, I see references to the petition for disclosure mentioned with some even incorporating into their name “masonic judges”. Can I say the naiviety is astonishing. If there has been one area where catholics, no let’s just say “non-masons” have made progress in recent times, it is the law. As soon as judges are forced to disclose their Catholic “tendencies” and season ticket purchases, the cry will be that there’s a timmy conspiracy….think about it.

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




    Apologies to the blog for the sweary at the end of the lyrics!

  27. The Battered Bunnet



    14:04 on 23 October, 2013



    Pukki? I think my frustration is exacerbated by my hopes that we might be able to draw out the ‘special’ in him, but without the player’s commitment to that excellence, it won’t happen.






    Jeez, give him a chance TBB.



    He’s hardly completed a handful of full games since he joined and doesn’t look 100%, particularly in his pace.



    Let him get fully fit and show what he’s got to offer.



    He might not have had a stormer last night but he did not hide.

  28. Steinreignedsupreme


    13:37 on


    23 October, 2013


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



    Apparently from family section, they came over as a pretty frightening lot.

  29. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Gerd Muller 398 goals in 453 league starts for Bayern, 68 [!] goals in 62 starts for W. Germany



    Some of this is the result of coaching, but a lot must be just natural ability.



    What I didn’t know was that when Muller joined the likes of Maier and Beckenbauer in 1964 Bayern weren’t even in the Bundesliga, they were in one of the regional leagues.

  30. two goals at home from a team with no decent strikers and outstanding performances from a spine that was apparently destroyed by negligence during the recent transfer window



    who’d have thought

  31. The Token Tim – I am not fired up or defensive – just struck by the vitriol for Frank de Boer.

  32. The problem is that in CL a team like Celtic simply cannot afford to field players who are not yet up to speed.



    I am sick of preaching that Celtic’s major annual recruitment should be done and dusted in January and not the dying days of August.

  33. johnnyclash



    10:02 on 23 October, 2013


    Big congratulations to Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Emilia Jardine-Paterson and William van Cutsem who have been named among the godparents for today’s christening of wee Prince George.



    A wee bit disappointed though that Hoops fans Nick Witchell and Jenni Bond have again been overlooked.








    Oh Shit! With me having 3 names in my moniker, they might ask me to step in!

  34. Lot’s of different opinions of the MOTM and all valid but for me it was the Ref, he was like a breath of fresh air to what we are used to.



    When he first produced the red card I thought it a bit harsh but on reflection he was just following the rules.



    Unlike the MITB’s we have to endure. The big man’s tackle was no worse than the thug’s that has put Adam Matthews on the sidelines for a while or the other thug who stunted Beram’s career for a few years.



    BTW delighted for BK last night his tackle and goal will have vastly improved his confidence and while he had other shots on goal that didn’t bear any further fruit at least he tried.

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




    Glad I’m not the only one wary of this guy. His tax affairs certainly suggest he is not averse to sharp accounting practices. I doubt he would baulk at using similar in adjusting short-to-medium term P/L figures,though that is purely an opinion.



    Personally,I would call his bluff and nationalise it as a vital economic asset.



    He’s losing £120m a year on it,surely he’ll be grateful,no?

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