The manager, captain, fans and successful teams


Anyone who has watched Celtic in recent weeks knows the impact Jeremie Frimpong has on the team.  He alone has the ability to run at and past defenders, without him, Celtic are significantly easier to defend against.  This has been clear from recent performances and his absence from the starting line-up against Riga was my principle concern before the game.

He did not start last night because when we go three at the back, it is Jeremie or James Forrest on the right.  After the game Neil Lennon told us James has struggled with an ankle injury for a couple of weeks, leaving us with the classic ingredients for recency bias.  James’ recent injury-affected form has been below the standard or Jeremie’s.  But of all the occasions you could make a case to start James Forrest, European qualifiers will be the easiest.  He scores and creates goals in qualifiers at a prodigious rate.

Also, watchers of Celtic in recent seasons will know that Injury is the Mother of Invention.  Where would Ryan Christie be without Eboue Kouassi and Olivier Ntcham picking up first half injuries at Murrayfield?  Jeremie is now likely to get a run at Hibs and Sarajevo.  What happens in the middle of the park is more intriguing.

Scott Brown took a knock that will keep him under observation between now and the Hibs game.  That clip on Scott’s Achilles’ gives the manager lots to consider.  After Hibs, we have four hugely important games: Sarajevo, then after the international break: Newco, Aberdeen away and Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final.  The roster becomes significantly trickier if we overcome Sarajevo, as we would have two Europa League games before next month’s semi-final.

I read many asking, why does Scott Brown play practically every minute of every game?  It is clearly not that you have spotted something that escaped the manager’s attention, Neil Lennon does not have a blind spot that tens of thousands of Celtic fans can see through, so let’s not pretend otherwise.

You have been watching football all of your life, so you know by now that what you see on the field is only part of the story.  Any team: footballers, salesmen, network engineers or shop staff, need a common culture and leadership to reach their best.  What a boss gets from his or her line manager in frontline performance, in any walk of life, is not the entire contribution.

I have a friend who is also a customer.  He tells me what I need to do with my staff and I tell him the same about his staff.  Neither of us take the others’ advice, because I am using the resources I have to keep my team focussed on our objective and he is doing the same.  I talk to him about practically every personal aspect of my life, but I don’t even go into the detail of this stuff with him, because it involves personal details about others.  In very simple environments like mine and his, teams are complicated things.

I would like to see Jeremie start more games and I am really keen to see central mid re-jigged.  From my seat on the couch, both are crucial to our outcomes this season.  But I know there’s a ton of human dynamics in every team that outsiders are clueless about.  The manager needs to keep this indoors while suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous opinion.  It can be a tough gig.  It is good that we have all ‘been there, done that’, when it comes to building a winning football team, so none of us exist in a fantasy that we are the true fonts of wisdom Neil Lennon really has to listen to.  I mean, can you imagine thinking like that?  Jeez.

Have a great weekend.

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  1. I take P67’s point to an extent. However, starting for Celtic has to be first and foremost based on your on field performances.



    Scott Brown being a leader and a character in the dressing room will matter little if he gets skinned against NewClub in October.

  2. The lack of trust in new signings is baffling, Soro,Turnbull, Klimala recently why sign them at all? Better putting youth players on the bench, they have the same chance of getting a game.

  3. Playing against a team with a very good defensive record,and a wee bit of a reputation for very good results at home,we go there and dominate them for around 75% of the game,our keeper has not a save to make,yet somehow,being a bit careful,is a bad thing,and we were rubbish.Away and give me fekin peace.


    So many just desperate to get on here and moan,and gloat.


    WE WON,FFS,is that too difficult to take.Seems so.Picking out players that don’t take your fancy,to barrack,seems to be the new way of supporting the team,its so prevalent.Slaughteri ng the manager,because he does not pick your selections,but still manages to win.Fekin Internet has turned so many into being able to run a club like Celtics,finances,manage the team,and tell those at present,occupying the jobs,where they are going wrong.FFS.

  4. from what Paul is saying broonie has an injury and Lenny now has the ideal opportunity to leave him out other than saying he is dropping/resting him , a win win situation all round.

  5. CELTIC BY NUMBERS @ 12:11 PM,



    Thank you for a sharp focus on reality, the amount of fholk describing the “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, in all it’s finery is quite staggering.



    SFtBs @ 11:02 AM,



    …the difference is Europe. Having suffered the period from 1975 to 2000, and put up with it with less moaning,



    You have repeated this myth on several occasions, it doesn’t become less of a myth by repeating it.



    You do a great disservice ti great Celtic Players and Legends by wiping out their European endeavours…



    Look at the team that beat Sporting Lisbon 5-0 at Celtic Park, to erase these games to make a “soft” point regarding our underachievement is ridiculous.



    At the start of this season we were a Tier 3 UCL team… we needed to perform like one.



    Hail Hail

  6. Paul67 .



    May I politely disagree.


    My own eyes tell me Broony shouldn’t be playing in 3 games every 8 days.


    Celtic by numbers & JucoJames both confirm with stats that at some point in life , age catches up with us , and Broony.


    Getting booked in both Europe and the SPL in nearly every game , also tells it’s own story.



    Play him less , get more .


    His upcoming suspensions will will mean this can’t be avoided.



    Finally, can anyone name another team that continually plays a 35year old in central midfield, for 3 games every 8 days ?

  7. 67 European Cup Winners on

    The view that follows is not mine – but I understand it



    When Liverpool under Rodgers were battling for the league, Rogers was aware that Gerrard was not the player he was – still capable and worth selective inclusion in the team but he was not the Gerrard of old. So he benched him now and again and got a bit of stick. What Rogers knew, Gerrards teammates did not


    Liverpool players, playing under pressure for their first league title in nearly 30 years still used Gerrard as an out ball if they were in trouble (Stevie is here all will be OK) he had been dependable for 15 years, in liverpool’s hour of need, no one could see (apart from Rogers) that Stevie was not the colossus he once was Under pressure Rogers played Gerrard against Chelsea he slipped Chelsea won, Liverpool were about to blow the title Their next game was against Palace away he played him again they went 3 nil up Stevie blew up and Palace scored 3 Game over League over Gerrards time at Liverpool over – ironically Rogers time was up too



    The point is every player has a time – the secret is to use that player as best as you can – that can include leaving him out and using his verbal and personal influence on the training pitch, in the dressing room



    If Rogers was in charge of Celtic today I do not think he would make the same mistake again


    Scott brown would not play every game but we would be in the thick of our team



    For clarity Scott Brown is a hero a legend and our Captain




  8. Paul67 et al



    Not sure what is the most concerning part of that leader but I’ll go with James Forrest. I missed Neil’s post match interview but to discover that Jamesie has been playing with or played with an ankle injury is simply unacceptable, not to mention unprofessional on both the player and manager’s part. Nothing new of course, was long after Bobby Murdoch retired I discovered he had been playing with an injury since 1962. Maybe that explains why Thistle are called the Jags, I don’t know. Or maybe why James was playing out on the left, that would take the weight of his bad ankle. No? At least he didn’t end up like Tyrod Taylor, the LA Chargers Quarter Back, given a pain killing injection to enable him to play with two cracked ribs, ended up with a punctured lung. Laugh? I did. He didn’t.

  9. AngelG- I think the problem is Scott needs to play, to keep his match fitness up,if he misses a game or 2,his levels drop and he’s back at square one,becoming a bigger issue as he gets older.HH

  10. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Can’t believe we’re out of Europe again, and there’s the


    hun molicating everybody, and so much for the ten, we’ll


    be lucky if we don’t get relegated.


    What a load of Fannys on here now, Celtic supporters my


    erse, professional feckin whingers in my opinion.


    Sure they’re paid to disrupt the blog, I mean any normal


    person would have a moan or two, but I’ve counted one


    twat who is constant, have a guess.


    H.H. Mick



    continually plays a 35year old in central midfield, for 3 games every 8



    Steven Davis ?





    Being used in the last few games due to Jack being injured but previously on bench as a sub.



    Huns appear to be using him sparingly as the norm.




    Maybe. Difference being that looking at Sevco’s bench yesterday, I don’t believe they had one senior option to play in midfield; there are two youth player names that I don’t recognise.



    We had Turnbull, Sorro and Rogic. We played three other CMs in addition to Broonie and had 2 strikers on the bench.



    We have the strongest bench in our recent history but are persisting with players underperforming. It’s mismanagement.



    Playing an injured Forrest with Frimpong, a more than adequate replacement on the bench, is just another sign of mismanagement.

  13. !!BADA BING!! on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 1:32 PM


    The lack of trust in new signings is baffling, Soro,Turnbull, Klimala recently why sign them at all? Better putting youth players on the bench, they have the same chance of getting a game.






    Turnbull still has a chance but I’m not convinced the other two will make it at all. They’ve been here for 6 months and have had zero impact.

  14. RS



    As far as I am led to believe NL doesnt rate Klimala hence limited game time.



    I like Sorro & would give him more games.


    My biggest issue is 0 fans at games. Think pressure will bear down on govt to do something.

  15. My biggest issue is Neil Lennon not picking the players that I want him to pick


    Then not being able to win games while playing the fast all out attacking football we are famous for.


    He also doesn’t know what formation to play that suits me.


    Everybody can see he picks his favourites.



    No wonder no fans are not turning up.



    So there.



    Just cos you have won 62 matches from 80 since returning does not make you a winning manager.




    Yes, and why isn’t he screaming at referees or going mental


    on the bench?


    Never a Celtic manager.


    H.H. Mick

  17. I stand corrected, his record for winning matches is even better, but my point stands, he would win more if he just picked the team with the players I want.



    Neil Lennon


    From February 2019 to Present



    Played 77


    Wins 61


    Draws 9


    Defeats 7



    % of wins 79.22

  18. TIMHORTON on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 2:20 PM









    Good news indeed, family is precious




    Cheers mate. I didnt know whether my Da was alive or dead for the last 3 years or so…until Today.


    My 80 odd year old Auntie went into my local pub, and my Mate ( The Owner) gave her my phone number.She told that shes been trying to contact me on Facebook….but I dont do facebook.


    I dont know how I can see my Da cos of this Pandemic…I will probably have to wait a while longer ?


    Thanks again.



  19. Considering where we are now, where woulde we be if we had a manager who-



    Played players who were fit



    Played players in their right positions



    Played players we spent millions on



    and had a bit of tactical skill.




    Probably going for ten in a row, but that’s just a fantasy.


    Oh ! wait.


    H.H. Mick

  21. NFL Mark 1 –



    Too emotional, over reacts, snarling , greetin faced , no wonder the players dont respect him, and this is why they are out to get him, because he brings it on himself, conduct unbecoming of a Celtic Manager



    3 league titles , 2 scottish cups, the scalping of Barcelona



    NFL Mark 2


    No emotion, just sits there, looks disinteresed, indesisive, doesnt want to be here, lost the dressing room, players dont respect him, they dont evemn look at him when he finally makes a substitute, Forrest will get him the sack, cant see Broon is finished. never a Celtic manager.



    2 leagues, 1 Scottish , 1 league cup, the conquering of the romans in their own coliseum




    aye, he is going backwards. .

  22. Forrest is not the first player to up his game when his contract is up for renewal or to drop a level or two once he has a long-term, lucrative deal. He was rewarded with a bumper contract not so long ago. He deserved it. Maybe now, even just subconsciously, he doesn’t try quite as hard, doesn’t push himself as before.


    Frimpong is now key to getting JF back to his best. They can push each other on the same way Roberts did before with JF.


    This is assuming Frimpong is seen as an attacking player and not a RB. Whoever made that decision at his previous employment must have been on the buckie. Would be a huge waste of his talent.



    Neil picks the team. When it performs well he receives the plaudits. When it is underperforming he will be criticised. It was ever thus. All over the world managers are sacked, few get more that three seasons at the same club. It isn’t referred to the managerial merrygoround for nothing.

  23. One of the great things about fitba (and forums like Paul’s) is that they engage not just our hearts but our minds too (well at least some of the posts manage to). We all have posters we like, loathe or simply ignore,


    For me, if I watch a game and am puzzled by this or that players’ performance or can’t fathom why our setup seemed to be easy stymied or rebuffed by this mob or that lot, I find entertainment in attempted analytics or banter with some of you that wonder the same, or think entirely differently about the team we all love.


    I try and credit where credit’s due but fugg, just becos I have said he or they seemed off or our energy was low or the shape was shite, it doesnt make me disloyal to Celtic, Lenny, Eddy or other. When I’ve defended GT or KA or other I’m just offering an opinion on what I saw and thought might be going on. When I criticised our past mean-ness with transfer deals, I still respect that the Execs are running a great club to be proud of. I let myself be grumpy when it strikes me and yet happy at other times. That freedom feels authentic for me.


    Reasoned critiques don’t make me, you, any of us disloyal or ungrateful for a stuffy win nor does it mean we’re rubbishing players’ entire careers or want them hung high for a misplaced pass or gantin’ game; Conversely, endlessly accepting results above convincing performance doesn’t make embdy a better or more mature supporter than the next one.


    This diversion is all just a wee bit of cortex entertainment – between games – about a team we like to follow.


    Just my personal opinion.


    Thanks for your vastly differing contributions. HH

  24. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Chairbhoy @ 1:41pm ….



    Re the 1975 – 2000 European record, respectfully, isn’t Paul’s observation valid?



    Other than a single tie – Real Madrid – in March 1980, I cannot recall another instance during that period when Celtic troubled UEFA’s post-Christmas match schedulers.



    Admittedly, there were some wonderful one off cameos …..



    Sporting, Ajax, Juventus, Cologne …



    But no decent runs?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  25. The lack of trust in new signings is baffling



    as well as the millions spent and lost on signings over the last 2/3 seasons on ‘scouted players’ only for them to warm the bench and then get released because someone didn’t rate them at lennoxtown

  26. TURKEYBHOY, we were playing a team that motherwell or hamilton accies would have given them a good game,,we are celtic, we should have beaten that mob by at least 3 goals IMHO.H.H.

  27. Great wee post Quadro.



    Now don’t try to talk sensibly like that to me and Paddy


    down at the beach BBQ. lol.


    H.H. Mick

  28. why are we celtic supporters because we were born celtic supporters, our fathers our grandfathers and our greatgrandfathers supported celtic, its in the blood, although i have lived down here in englandshire for over 40 years celtic is still in my heart, just as much as it was when i lived in lanarkshire, but also if you watch celtic you want to be entertained, as i was going to watch the lions, that last night was not good entertainment, in fact ill go as far as to say if i had paid money to watch that like a lot of good decent celtic fans did and probably scrimped and saved to do it ,id want my money back, that was a poor show,,there is something not right at parkhead at the minute, dont know what it is, but it better get sorted sooner rather than later, ok rant over,H.H.

  29. RC – the result of which is players will be reluctant to join us if they think they will not be giving a fair crack of the whip regardless of their talent. As an example, and without wanting to reopen the McGinn debate, he said he went to Villa because they told him he would be a first team regular and he didn’t think he would be at Celtic. He knew Scott was not going to be dropped for him. If he had come, he would have been on the bench for the last two seasons (using the logic of Paul’s leading article).


    Players with ambition want to play football. Lots of it.



    It is actually the “faithful through and through” who question any critical thought who provide opinion without basis that jump on any perceived criticism of Lennon or Brown.



    Thats not true.




    That was a good and valid post.



    If I may though, there were posters last night wanting Neil to be sacked if we went out of europe.


    During the game some seemed happy that a celtic player getting injured forced the manager to play another player. Same posters citied Browns boookings this year as a reason to drop him, and a blessing when he will be suspended. Others openly question what qualifies Lenny & John to be in their respective management positions. Someone commented thanks for the updates lads, given the comments it must have been a really rubbish game. Watching from behind the couch is the new standing still slowing down.



    Now as I do often, I watched back the match later. When you rewatch and scroll through the comments that were made, a lot of people just look silly. The baiting of Taylor in particular, even when the bhoy often did something right it was decryed in some way.



    I personally couldnt give a shit about european football this season. And I do know how important it is to the finances, but I feel it is all a distraction.



    The wailing and knashing of teeth is tiresome, we should let the experts do their jobs, it is more likely to come good than it is to fall apart.



    I know right?



    If only we had some data by which to shape and inform our opinions…….





    Data helps. But the point is, Neil Lennon is basing his decisions off so much more. A lifetime of experience in professional football. Spending time with his squad training etc.



    He has a deeper understanding than anybody.



    Some qualities are intangible.

  33. SS- can we get a Mark1.5 version of NL? I think players react to a bit of emotion from the bench,and call out shocking tackles and referees for not applying the rules.

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