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. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    In his book “Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football”, David Winner writes, “Müller was short, squat, awkward-looking and not notably fast; he never fit the conventional idea of a great footballer, but he had lethal acceleration over short distances, a remarkable aerial game, and uncanny goalscoring instincts. His short legs gave him a strangely low center of gravity, so he could turn quickly and with perfect balance in spaces and at speeds that would cause other players to fall over. He also had a knack of scoring in unlikely situations.”



    The impression that Gerd Müller was not very fast may stem from his short appearance. He did not run very much, but this is rather typical of people with fast-twitch muscle fibers – they rely on short bursts of speed. Speed and agility were always Gerd Müller’s greatest assets – and this enabled him to reach an extreme acceleration and be first to the ball. He also regularly soared higher than much taller defenders while jumping for the ball.His team mate Franz Beckenbauer has emphasized Müller’s unusual speed: “His pace was incredible. In training I have played against him and I never had a chance.”



    -lifted from Wiki/EWLM/EWTB

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    St Stivs



    Did Joe, in his book, refer to an Auldheid on young shoulders?





    My concern, watching last night, is that if he wasn’t hiding, he’s either suffering from some physical constraint, or he’s a natural Marcus Brody.

  3. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Shane Long out of contract this summer. Pre contract in January?




  4. Leftclicktic



    This one???



    Wearing the hoops top with honour. | Facebook




    HH ~Pedro~. Any CELT who is viewing this in need of GOOSEBUMPS!! Just press play HH CELTIC FC – BRAYBHOY!!!! 17Like · Comment · Share …




  5. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts on

    Didn’t like De boer


    before he was a player for the dead club,


    when he was a player of the dead club and still dont like him now he is a former player of the dead club.



    did they (De Boers)”play for their bus fare” for the dead club?


    AYE RIGHT!!!!!!!

  6. Steinreignedsupreme on

    quonno 14:12 on 23 October, 2013



    I have noticed a few comments on their behaviour.



    From 106 they looked impressive – as did the thick cordon of polis around them.

  7. I once asked a journo why they never wrote a story about Ronald de Boer when everyone knew of the story but did in fact feel the need to write one about Craig Bellamy beating someone up in a Newcastle nightclub. Even though he was hundreds of miles away in Inverness. He admitted to knowing the de Boer story and his response was “you don’t bite the hand that feeds you”



    Sums those journalists up to a tee.

  8. Does anyone have the OPTA stats for ground covered by players during the game?



    From my vantage point, I saw little difference in the effort made by Pukki and Stokes to close down the Ajax back line passing. They both worked hard, for little return, in this thankless task.



    I am willing to be persuaded that my perception was mistaken if Pukki’s “distance run” stats are significantly weaker than the rest but that’s not how I saw it.



    Anyway, TBB, Pukki cannot be disinterested, as you said, unless we are not paying him or he’s the only one not on a bonus. He might be indifferent and uninterested but I cannot read those signs in body language and he sure as hell has said nothing to the press about it as I’m sure it would have made headlines. :-)



    P.S. One of the players with the poorest body language and appearance was King Kenny. For most of the game he would be red-faced, puffing as if he needed to be subbed, and a bit of a torn-face altogether. Then, he would score or give a team-mate a scoring pass and you would see a smile from KD that could have replaced the Parkhead floodlights.

  9. malceye



    14:07 on 23 October, 2013




    ‘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.’







    Don’t think any Catholic, or Celtic supporting, judges have ever hidden their allegiances.



    So the opportunity for corruption on that score is lessened.



    And no one is suggesting that masons can’t be judges, just that their membership should be known.

  10. Tontine Tim



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



    You mean, when it turned out it had no bearing on the result your opinion changed?



    Or was that just me? ;)

  11. Cubist Funk,






    He’s an ex-hun, what else did you expect???



    Strangely naive if you expected anything else if you ask me.



    Separately, have to agree that whilst I was surprised and not in a good way, at the return of the “Cheer up….” song, i was more pleasantly surprised at how many did not join in with it, albeit plenty still did.






  12. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts on



    Thank you again


    Yes thats it


    the video from 23hrs ago which features Sammi on it.



    Give it a watch Bhoys and Ghirls

  13. Beebawbabbity


    ‘ The Lurker who came in from the cold’


    Came in to piles of work today so just catching up on here


    Welcome to the blog, I’m glad you came over and said hello


    and now that you’ve made your first post, the rest is easy.


    I enjoyed our day, and really enjoyed the game.


    there are no Prima Donnas in that team of ours


    Everyone plays for the jersey.


    It’s always great being a Celtic supporter, but a little more so on days like yesterday.



  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    TBB- is Pukki not just another in the long line of flawed footballers who land at Celtic as a result of our signing policy?



    If you pay less for an ole packet of broken biscuits don’t be surprised when you sit down with a well earned mug of Rosie Lee to find your lap full of crumbs.

  15. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Dontbrattbakkinanger 14:16 on 23 October, 2013



    Wee Gerd was some player.



    He almost lost everything. I think he was a jackey for a wee while after his career ended. One of his former team-mates spotted him sitting in the street, and Bayern took steps to help him out.

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




    Petrol money. The Record ran a huge spread about it in 2000, wi Murray decrying the naysayers that he was there for the money.



    That was when I first cottoned on to secondary,nod and a wink,contracts.



    Top players don’t play for petrol money,or anything like it.



    Always confused me too,why Artur’s Numan simply chucked it when he saw his new contract a year or so later,btw.

  17. the token tim



    13:56 on 23 October, 2013



    De Boer did kick the ball back at a ball boy, I think he missed the ball boy and got someone in the crowd, with a fair bit of venom, two balls were introduced into play, he embarrassed himself, not for the last time last night.



    His brother missed a penalty.



    Cubist Funk, did you take any positives from last night?


    I mean from a Celtic point of view.

  18. LiviBhoy – God bless wee Oscar


    14:17 on


    23 October, 2013





    I leave specific signings to others.


    I simply think that a club like Celtic, who will almost certainly have play qualifying rounds in July, should have a forward planning recruitment strategy.


    It should not forgotten that we only qualified this year due to an injury time winner.

  19. BoscoBhoy02



    13:47 on 23 October, 2013



    ‘Ernie Lynch



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






    Didn’t take it as a criticism. But the point remains, when it’s going well we raise our level to deal with whatever we’re facing on the night. I suppose progress will be when we can raise our level just a wee bit higher than the opposition.

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger



    In fairness to PL and DD (did I really write that?), they have made it plain that they will not spend big money or make exceptions to the Celtic Park wage structure.

  21. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy:



    Then you sat no where near me in the ground and I l know nothing about fans coming from Germany, I only know about the flights organised by the KOSK.

  22. The Battered Bunnet on




    I think the fellow has got something to offer. He ought to be a very good Celtic player but he’s got some work to do.



    I don’t think we’re at the crumbling (cookies wise) stage yet though.

  23. Steinreignedsupreme on

    One the way to the game last night the wireless was on in the car.



    Some Zombie phoned the show claiming two bookies refused to take his bet on Celtic not winning any points in the group.



    Aye right.



    No idea if he’s backed Sevco for the Ramsdens Cup right enough.

  24. leftclicktic oscar in our thoughts



    14:24 on 23 October, 2013




    Thank you again


    Yes thats it


    the video from 23hrs ago which features Sammi on it.



    Give it a watch Bhoys and Ghirls






    Great, glad I could help…..bedtime now 19hr shift over.



    Happy Bhoy




  25. BMCUW



    I always found that one odd as well. Numan chucked it altogether rather than take a pay cut. Very strange. Surely someone in England could have met his wage demands.

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




    Strange things happen at Ibrox Park.



    To paraphrase,with suitable apologies.

  27. Willie Wallace told us to get behind James Forrest as he could be a superstar for Celtic. After a difficult start to the season – where he scored the all important goal that got us through to the Champions League – he now looks back to his best. Delighted for the bhoy!

  28. Cubist Funk



    They we indeed positives.



    You mention the support as a positive and yet express disappointment at the supports treatment of an ex Hun, wee bit contradictory there buddy.



    Last night you were saying we were lucky.



    Fraser Fosters performance, the managers tactics, all positives, what about the performances of VVD, Efe and Charlie?



    My point is that you seem to have concentrated on some negative aspects of last nights game, I’m just trying to point out how many positives there are to be taken.


    Take the good times when they come along and enjoy them, don’t look for the negatives, there will be time enough for those when we loose.

  29. The Battered Bunnet on




    We could try, but then we’d be attempting to hold back the tide of language evolution, nomean?

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