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. ST TAMS on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 4:09 PM


    ‘One consolation from last night, I got premier sports for £1’








    Ther was a time when you could buy a whole football club for that.

  2. One fact about Broony and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions …


    o in 10 games Celtic have picked up 12 yellow cards


    o 6 players have picked up 1 each


    o Broony has picked up 6

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    CORKCELT on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 4:17 PM



    Apologies. I should have qualified it as you correctly stated with, happy with result, pissed off by performance.



    I am exactly the same as everyone on here. I want to see us play the Celtic way, this has been distinctly lacking this season so far…

  4. TIMALOY29



    We must be throwing money down the toilet.



    EL is a good barometer and right now it’s not great regarding 10iar. This could change very quickly and Sunday would be a good start.

  5. Excath ( ages ago )



    Hope you’re well.



    There would be no Celtic if everybody just bumped their gums on the internet, this place normally becomes more for the avoiding when the whinging starts, after a poor result, now its purely because they don’t like something, anything. Tony Mowbray, Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and now Neil Lennon again. It began before, and didn’t end after Neil Lennon stepped in to save the title run when BR jumped ship . It’s not a case of short memories, its grade A denial from some.



    The common denominator is moaning about a winning club and the abject failure to enjoy Celtic with whoever is in charge, so long as its not their favourite, they will queue up normally after a reversal to put the boot in, now they’re queuing up because they don’t like the way we won a one off Cup Tie in Latvia they watched on Hesgoal dodgy linkage.



    It usually starts “ I love Neil Lennon……………….but. He can’t win with some of the Celtic support, the other week he gave a massive clue that some players weren’t performing because they wanted away, he copped it, this week the focus is back on him and he gets slaughtered for selecting his side,


    a side that couldn’t possibly coincide with all of the rest of the internet.



    They’re all on CQN the Brendan disciples, the Lawwell haters, the football experts, the my favourite player isn’t playing brigade, all of them. So comforting to know that come the day they could all do a better job



    Gies Peace CSC

  6. Chairbhoy,



    we do live in the 3rd great Celtic Era, I never really wanted to believe in Generation of Domination, but it is a fact. 19 trophies in 10 seasons.



    3 trebles, hopefully to become 4.



    so many things go against us to compete in Europe,

  7. Bada Bing 1.50pm



    Hi bhuddy , hope all is well & thanks for the reply.


    Broony won’t lose fitness from one week to the next. If he plays in one full game & used substitute in another. Or as a used sub in 2 games .


    Asking him to play the continual 3 games in 8 days , in central midfield is negligent.



    As already asked . Name me one 35 years old central midfielder asked to compete in 3 games every 8 days throughout the season ?



    His best game was at Riss County after having a rest in the international break .



    The bookings tell their own story, imho

  8. great post –



    They’re all on CQN the Brendan disciples, the Lawwell haters, the football experts, the my favourite player isn’t playing brigade, all of them. So comforting to know that come the day they could all do a better job



    Gies Peace CSC






    Dont forget the sleekits as well though.


    I find it hard to believe some of the moaners are not from the dark side.


    In real life I dont meet many Celts who are not thoroughly enjoying all this.


    Even with the Euro pains.

  9. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on





    Yes, appreciated, but we did play incredibly well with him in the team also.





    I don’t disagree with that at all Mick, and that’s specifically NOT what I’m saying – I accept I might have made the point in a clumsy way.



    My point really is that playing well doesn’t depend on him being there as the on-field ‘line-manager’ – that creates too much of a dependence on one man.



    We can play well with him, but we can also play well without him – that should go for any individual player – well, apart from Wee Jeremy of course :-)))



    What we need to avoid is being overly dependent on any one player in any position – including Broonie’s position (both as player and on-the-field captain).








    Agree with your comments on the game, would like to see someone carry the ball through the middle to change things up.We are to predictable with our side to side passing.


    Good win roll on sunday should be a good game.

  11. In every match Broony has played and got booked in, we see similar or worse fould committed by the opposition, and que suprise no bookings given.



    He is reffed different than anyone else.



    Compare and Contrast Morelos already this season,

  12. There was a time when you could buy a whole football club for that.






    some ragers will be on in a minute

  13. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    SAINT STIVS on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 4:34 PM


    **Compare and Contrast Morelos already this season**






    Now THAT is a very good point. That wee greeting faced moaning, diving nyaff should be off in almost every game I’ve seen him in. Worse diver than Neymar and Suarez combined (and he’s not even good at it). Refs see it all the time and usually do nothing.



    He does get booked on occasion, but refs apply a much higher threshold when judging him than others.






  14. the biggest percentage of broonies booking are for mistimed needless challenges and usually when he has been out muscled and he didn’t like it.

  15. BSR


    It’s not just Celtic fans i think all football,hockey,nfl, nba etc are the same.



    I have been a fan of the Cleveland Browns for over 55 years and Toronto Maple Leafs for 52 years…………


    Needless to say i have stopped moaning long ago for the sake of my health.


    Good debate like we are having because we love our team so much is healthy the first couple of hours after a poor game is not.(not for my ticker anyway).

  16. Wow…just caught up reading back from last night. The frustration being expressed was understandable to a degree…but the vitriol being aimed at some of our players and manager was/is out of order.



    Personally, I thought we played very well in spells…my frustration was that, due to the way Riga set themselves up, we didn’t put enough crosses or early balls into their box. If it was cleared we were certs to retain posession…and could then start to build again. But the constant left to right, right to left posession with zero penetration was annoying.



    We’re into the next round…which is all I really cared about pre-match…so job done ;-))



    Big Jimmy…great news with re-connecting with your family…hope all goes well




  17. I should add that i would not want the managers job this year of either team.The pressure must be unbearable.

  18. Chairboy



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





    You replied-



    “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.”





    It is much more soft to highight one off good performances and ignore the sea of disappointing ones to make this seem an acceptable era.



    You can highlight 1980- Beating Real Madrid 2:0 at CP (we still went out), or the 2:1 win in Amsterdam in 1981 that got us all the way to a knock out in round 2 of the EC, the Sporting Lisbon 5:0 in the UEFA Cup in 1983 which got us as afar as a 3rd round knock out, but apart from those 3 results in the first 3 years of the 80’s , we never got any creditable results other than a first round win over Cologne in 1992 and our unlucky exit on away goals to Liverpool in 1998.



    Against that small sample you have to balance losing on agg to Sachsenring Zwickau in 1976, Timisoara in 1980, Partizan in 1989, losing to Neuchatel 5:1 in 1991, Zurich in 1998 etc;.



    We were perennial exits in the First or Second round of whatever competition we were in during 1975 -2000. We were only in the EC on 7 occasions, then so we were a Europa equivalent level (or lower) team then but never a last 32 Europa team.



    Apart from 1980- Losing q-finalists in the EC, and in 1983- last 16 of the UEFA, and all of this at a time when there were 3 tiers of European competition. The prestigious EC, the 2nd level ECWC (Cup Winners Cup) and the 3rd level UEFA Cup, so the Forest knock out might not be seen as equivalent to a Europa last 32.




    The “soft” analysis, is over-egging our Euro prowess during those 25 years on the back of 3 or 4 semi-decent years where we at least beat someone good before going out at the usual stages.



    We could just as easily exaggerate our recent 7 years in Europe on the back of



    2014- beating Ajax 2:1 at home (still finished bottom of our CL group)


    2015- a 3:4 agg defeat to Inter Milan at last 32 Europa stage under RD


    2016- a 2:2 draw in Amsterdam (as we finished 4th in a Europa Group)


    2017- CL Group draws with Man City (H&A) and M/Gladbach (A) as we finished bottom of CL Group


    2018- 3:0 win over Anderlecht and a 1:0 home win vs Zenit in CL Group and Europa last 32


    0r 2019- Home and away wins over Lazio and home wins over a French and Romanian club



    That’s a longer list obtained from the underachievment last 7 years than we can produce from the last 25 years of the last millenium.



    The main difference is that we loved the team more then than we do now (with the possible exception of some very bleak years in the 90’s). We are now just grumpy old men with rose tinted specs for the past and a beady eye for the present.

  19. Ah miss the olden days so ah dae,


    remember when the MSM used tae have turns aboot sticking it tae us when we were competing wi` some Greek team fur the wurst away record in European history?


    Ah think the Greeks beat us tae that as well,


    noo they jist leave it tae the Cellick blogs tae dae the dirty work while their polishing a turd coming oot ae ipox




    ah used tae call it parkheed CSC

  20. lets all do the huddle on

    so many things go against us to compete in Europe,





    including continuously picking a few of the same players who arent collectively good enough to all be in the same european team and expect to achieve things

  21. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    SFTB @ 16:03 – brilliant post.



    Chairbhoy @ 16:18 – thanks for coming back to me.



    You make very a good point about the European competition now being broader and, therefore, not as consistently strong as before.



    Like you I am also torn by the current paradox of totally unprecedented domestic success alongside relatively weak European achievements …



    … it is frustrating.



    As to the cameos since 2000 – yip I did think about these even as I typed my previous post.



    To be fair though, we’ve competed (from memory) four times post-Christmas during this era?



    Now I’d prefer it was every other year but four in twenty is an improvement on 1 in 25?






    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  22. lets all do the huddle on

    a lot being said about 1 particular player



    but this is about a group of players not just 1



    the quartet of forrest brown mcgregor and christie is patently nowhere near at the level required in europe to allow us to be any more than an average europa league



    you can argue the toss all you want about whether any one or two of them should be in a euro starting 11



    the heart of the team is so feeble and lightweight with them all in it at the same time

  23. Correction- we wre in the EC (or CL) competition on 8 occasions during those 25 years, not 7 as I stated.



    My point still stands- we were in the 3rd tier UEFA competition for 10 of those years and in the ECWC on 6 occasions. There were 3 seasons where we did not qualify for any of htese 3 tiers of European competition. I think i can stand by my point.




    Moaning our way to 10 in a row?



    Not for this bhoy



    I’ll celebrate every success including the banana skin of a ‘one off’ away tie in Latvia, which in normal circumstances would have been two legs and a 0-0 draw away, not unacceptable. There will have been CQNegatrons raging we scored denying them 30 minutes of extra time moaning.



    I’m happy with my lot as a Celtic fan nine titles, a treble, treble and a secure club that will withstand whatever the cruel world throws at it. Not to mention millions spent, with more to come, on new players



    By all means critique the players performance but back a ‘better man’ in the job, who has won more titles than BR, to do anything else is the devils work.

  25. This place makes for depressing reading. I don’t think many of the posters really understand why the vast majority of Celtic supporters do just that, support Celtic. The reactions to things that these malcontents see or hear but don’t like, on the filed or in the boardroom, is ridiculous. Paul67 provides a platform for these folks that they will never find anywhere else. It’s an opportunity for them to feel important for a minute.



    One did try to create his/her own platform but constantly comes back on here to let people know they’re still out there, I assume because they’re not getting enough attention at their own place.



    I often wonder why Paul keeps this thing going.





    Cheers mate. Yes it was great to have my auld Auntie ” track me Doon”…and to discover that my Da is still alive.


    I am taking this old Auntie and my other favourite Auntie ( both were like big sisters to me all my days) for some Tea and Cakes in my local pub next week…health permitting of course…and those two Aunties are much older than me…but probably fitter LOL !


    Stay safe young man.



  27. Majestic Hartson – thanks for that link. Scrolled down the first page of comments, a few familiar names. Those were the days when Paul participated in the blog and would answer comments if directed at him.


    The good old days :)

  28. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on




    Good points – wee certainly haven’t been near to ending in 5th anytime recently – 10 wins and 12 losses from 36 games (with Big Handsome Dan Jacki Dziekanowski in the team too!!)



    Always remeber the game he scored four goals against Partizan Belgrade (and we went out to a pishy goal near the end – Bonner in goals I think?) I was a steward on the centre steps in the Jungle that night – mental !!! Chucked it when we went – I think – 4-2 up – ripped my bib off and jumped in with my pals (never got my £11 cash in hand fee that night either).



    One of the craziest nights ever at the old Celtic Park.






  29. SFtBs @ 4:46 PM,



    European competition was very different in those days and Celtic were often domestic also rans, as of course you know.



    Just qualifying in those days was the equivalent of European Football after Christmas. Three or four rounds saw you in the quarter final, so yes most Seasons saw only one or two draws but they were relatively speaking a very high standard.



    Also you could only enter one competition per season. Getting knocked out of one competition was it, no second bite of the cherry or league stage.



    Let’s look at what we achieved in the dark ages…



    We beat Boavista and made the UEFA Cup quarter final



    We beat Real Madrid at home in the European Cup quarter final



    We beat Juve at home



    We beat Ajax and beat Real Sociedad at home and went out in Spain



    We beat Sporting Lisbon at home twice



    We beat Gent and was cheated out of progressing that season by Rapid Vienna



    We beat Partizan Belgrade at home, going out on away goals



    We beat Cologne



    We beat Young Boys Bern



    We beat Innsbruk, Austria’s top side



    We went out on away goals after drawing to Liverpool home and away



    We beat Dinamo Zagreb at home.



    The current UEFA format is:






    League Stage






    I think the old knock-out competition is the same standard as the current knockout stage. How often do we get beyond the last 32 or the last 16, that’s the equivalent. On that basis, during the “dark ages” we made a reasonable account of ourselves relatively speaking.



    To write off a generation of European football is to re-write history, of great wins, tough draws and narrow defeats.



    Hail Hail



    Excath ( ages ago )




    Hope you too are well.



    Your right, its a crazy situation when its our own supporters who are providing information for our ” friends” in the press to utilise.



    Of course NL makes errors,we all do,of course SB makes errors,but as I said earlier for two people who are so “ineffective” there is certainly a ground swell to have them removed,again I wonder why.



    If as rumoured some players want out,and the Manager is having to both Manage the ” I want away” plus put a team on the park to perform,then if any player is not 100% motivated don’t play them,call it out why they are out,NL should not be risking his own well being trying to placate truculent players who when picked leave him at the mercy of the tv experts,who couldn’t find an away ground with a guide dog.



    Get behind the team and the Manager.




  31. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Oh – that list reminds me of some great night – Cologne away with the Airdrie Wayside bus.



    Left at about 8:30 am – bus full of pissheads who hadn’t slept. Stopped at Carlisle 90 minutes later because the bus toilet was blocked with vomit.



    What a smell driving across and back through Europe that was !!!!



    Always remember draping Celtic scarves around the necks of the bemused-but-pleasant machine gun bearing German Polis outside the Cathedral :-))))






  32. SAINT STIVS @ 4:28 PM,



    Agreed it is a golden era for Celtic domestically and has been for twenty years. The first twelve tarnished by the cheating of the competition, the rest tarnished by lack of competition.



    Yet we can only beat what’s in front of us. Now we have regressed and Rangers Mk II have progressed. So let’s see how we do.



    That old firm competition is not enough for me though, it’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s not that I don’t want us to win everything domestically, my beef is the umbilical cord that ties us to Rangers. We should cut it and aim to be better than our European peers.



    Hail Hail

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