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. This a long post but I feel that this is a very serious issue concerning justice in Scotland. (I am going out a cycle ride soon but will pick up any responses later)



    25 September 2020



    Malicious Prosecution



    Earlier this month I posted about malicious prosecution of various people involved in the administration of Rangers which included Paul Clark, David Whitehouse and David Grier of Duff and Phelps, Charles Green and Imram Ahmed.



    All the charges have been withdrawn and the Lord Advocate has admitted that the charges were malicious and without sufficient evidence.



    My earlier post is reproduced below. The Sunday Post article referenced in that post mentioned that the costs and damages could be as much as £100m to the Scottish taxpayer. I called on everyone to support an independent inquiry into the conduct of the Police and Criminal Prosecution Service in Scotland.



    I approached my MSP, Rona Mackay on 8th September and spoke with her Senior Caseworker who, quite appropriately, wanted to know that I was not asking for Ms Mackay’s intervention into an ongoing police case involving myself which I was happy to confirm om 10th September with a synopsis of the issues involved in the administration and liquidation of Rangers – very similar to my post on CQN. I asked for Rona’s advice on how an independent public inquiry can be petitioned to investigate this likely large loss of public funds.



    On 15th September I received a reply:


    “I am sorry but Rona is not able to comment on any of this.


    If you want to make a complaint yourself regarding Police Scotland, the Lord Advocate or the Crown Prosecution Service, they can be contacted:





    On 15th September I discussed this response with a well-known CQNr who is very knowledgeable about the cases. On 18th September he sent me this link of an article on the Glasgow Evening Times on 17th September.






    “An MSP has asked Nicola Sturgeon to support calls for a public inquiry into the wrongful prosecution of two former administrators of Rangers FC.



    David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of administrators Duff and Phelps are suing the Lord Advocate and Police Scotland for their wrongful prosecution.



    Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP asked the First Minister about a statement by the Lord Advocate last month that Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were the “victims of a malicious prosecution by the Crown Office.”



    During First Minister’s Questions, Mr Fraser said: “That is unprecedented in recent Scottish legal history. They have already been paid £600,000 in costs, and are claiming another £14 million in damages, which will have to be paid by the Scottish taxpayer.”



    He asked: “Does the First Minister agree with me that that scandal demands a full, detailed and public inquiry, on conclusion of the litigation, so that those responsible can be held to account?



    Ms Sturgeon said “I agree” but she said that she would be “limited” in what she said as the matters were still “live before the court”.



    She said: “They also involve issues that relate to the independent prosecution functions of the Crown Office, not to functions of the Lord Advocate as part of the Government. Again, those are distinctions that members, particularly those who have a legal background, should probably understand.



    She added: “I will say, in general terms, because of the caveats that I have just had to insert, that, of course, for anything of that nature, in the fullness of time and when no live proceedings are under way, it is appropriate that there would be full, proper and appropriate inquiry into what gave rise to those circumstances.



    “That is probably as much as I can or should say at this point. I hope and expect that Murdo Fraser will understand.” ”



    This response by Nicola Sturgeon goes against what Rona Mackay relayed to me (she never actually agreed to speak to me) and I am pleased that the First Minister seems to support an inquiry in due course once current legal proceedings are completed. I will be going back to Rona Mackay to ask her comments on this statement as it is contradictory to what she told me.



    My call to all people who are concerned about the actions of the Lord Advocate and the Criminal Prosecution Service is to raise these issues with your representative in the Scottish Parliament and keep up pressure to ensure that an investigation is called in future





    My earlier post:





    Police Malicious Prosecution in Scotland.



    One definition of malicious prosecution is:



    “A person who had been prosecuted without sufficient evidence and maliciously had a right to damages. The court ruled that an action could also be brought under human rights legislation. Malicious prosecution cases are complex and difficult to prove.”



    So, 3 key points here, at least two of which set a high bar to prove:



    1 “without sufficient evidence”



    2 “maliciously”



    3 “cases are complex and difficult to prove”



    Yet, within the past week, there have been 2 admissions by Police Scotland that parties involved in the administration and liquidation of Rangers were maliciously prosecuted.



    Case 1 David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of Duff and Phelps



    Both were arrested following events surrounding Rangers’ financial position in 2012. They allege the Crown Office and Police Scotland subjected them to wrongful detention, arrest and prosecution. They are seeking a total of £14m in damages.



    Crown lawyers admitted much of the prosecution against them was “malicious” and conducted without “probable cause”.



    Judge Lord Tyre ordered interim payments of £350,000 to David Whitehouse and £250,000 to Paul Clark.



    Case 2 Charles Green



    He was charged with “alleged fraudulent acquisition” of the club in 2012. The charges were classified as serious organised crime.



    Prosecution was later withdrawn. He is claiming £20m in damages.



    He will now receive a public apology and damages based on confirmed losses to date plus a compensatory sum for damages.



    Comments re both cases by lawyers indicate that the admissions by the Lord Advocate are unprecedented which emphasises how unusual and serious these cases are.



    If the claims are paid in full the bill will be £34m to the Scottish taxpayer on top of internal police/legal costs



    So, why did these individuals end up under arrest? Why did the police embark on raising charges without sufficient evidence to support them?



    Was the fact that it was Rangers which was the object of the financial dealings which attracted so much interest by the police? Has similar charges been made maliciously against administrators of other businesses? If not, what is special about Rangers compared to any other business?



    These are serious issues involving a lot of public money and, at the heart of it, a suspicion (at least on my part) that the police in Scotland effectively “lost their marbles” when investigating the initial allegations and acted maliciously as they could not accept what was happening to Rangers and wanted scapegoats.



    The Scottish Government must call for an independent public enquiry into this case and into the reasons why a police force acted this way.

  2. We haven’t regressed in Scotland where we play against the Huns



    Our last 21 games against Scottish opposition: w19 d2


    Our last 7 games: w6 d1



    We’re ahead of the Huns net, and we’ve just had equal third best start in twenty years and the best start in ten years



    And there’s room for improvement as well

  3. SFtBs @ 4:56 PM,



    Let’s look at another way then, in the 25 years we were last Sixteen in 11 Seasons and last Eight (quarter finalists) in three Seasons.



    Hail Hail

  4. In the pursuit of the truth and to help me understand a little better, can anyone confirm if Neil attends the team’s daily training sessions or not? I assume he does but there seems to be a growing belief that he does not.


    This idea of him not being involved in the coaching and tactics is often raised and it is difficult to get my head around. He may not lead the sessions but surely he oversees them? He may not stand at the whiteboard when discussing tactics but he must know what is being discussed, no?


    MoN was famous for only coming up for part of the week and leaving the training sessions to Robbo and Walford, but that was a one off, no?


    I would imagine Neil loves to be involved with the training, there is a reason he is still in his tracksuit on the touchline (even if it doesn’t fit him any more).




    Hope you saw my replies to SFtBs…



    Now we are comparing apples with pears, yet we readily admit that was a poor generation by Celtic standards and this is a Golden one.



    So we must ask ourselves why is there a European equivalence between then and now.



    Hail Hail

  6. I’vehadtochange….






    …Aye, however they spell it, they’re a very good band.



    They say they use simple language in their lyrics to give a universal appeal (I know…) and then give themselves a name like that. Clowns! 👍🏼




    How very dare you suggest that Lennon does not attend training!



    ST STIVS will be bealing with you when he’s on next!



    Had a holiday in Denia a long time ago.



    We went to a restaurant called MAPA MUNDI a few times.



    We stayed in a villa about 10 minutes walk from the front.



    Restaurant was near the villa. Do you know it?



    Also remember a bull ring at the front where the bulls were “encouraged” to jump into the sea.



    Loved the place!



    Hope you are good and coping with the pandemic as best you can.



    Take care!

  8. Hrvatski…



    Thanks for posting this again.



    Can you, or anyone else, give a basic breakdown of what this means, or what it suggests for simpletons like me? 👋🏽



    With my basic grasp of this it feels more than a tinfoil hat theory but any more (simplified) knowledge would be great.

  9. i would be suprised if Neal attends every training session. Why would he need to ? Surely the coaches coach, and they discuss with Neal what he needs worked on, and they feedback how it went, and the sports scientists give him data, and the video crew review performance of indivudals.



    But then again, I have often seen pictures of him at training.



    So that is good enough for me.



    I trust him.



    There are 2 people that the huns would hate to pick up the ten, I will give you two guesses.

  10. Chairbhoy



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



    Ah!- the old “when did you stop beating your wife” question.



    Let me fall for that trick with my eyes open_



    I have never written off that generation of players- I merely sought to put them in perspective. All of our Celtic teams have , at different times, given me great pleasure, and at other times great sorrow, as did the Lions era team. They were all versions of Celtic and I loved them all with my heart.



    But, with my head….. they went backwards fast in European terms.



    Nice try with the last 16 and q-finalsts line. I doubt you even expect to convince yourself with that.



    In order of eras, in my lifetime, I have



    1) 1966-1974


    2) = 2005-13 & 2000-2005


    3) = 2013- present & 1975-83


    4) 1984-1999


    5) 1956- 64



    Yes- they are comparing different eras with differnet challenges and rules. We forget too often that we are trying to better or emulate a period of time where player contracts were a form of indentured service, before wage differential grew too great between ourselves and other leagues, and before TV money and the new CL format raised hte bar higher for current era players and teams.



    There are many Forms of O** F*** thinking that exist. The common accusation is that those of us who continue to support emotionally or financially are guilty of “needing the Ibrox club as a rival and a benchmark”



    The other form is the one shared by supporters of both clubs during successful periods. I have talked before of how my default in the 90s was to have to go to John Beaton’s Crown Bar in Bellshill after their old team/club beat us. I got on well wit those guys and we had each other’s back when we played together but it was easy to see their other side when they were in tribal company, and it was not so nice. I remember trying to persuade them that Collins & McStay were better than anything they had and that now we’ve got Galloway and McGinlay- you are going to face a harder challenge- it was a thin argument and they knew it. I got treated with a withering and patronising response- They would tell me when I asked what they though of the current Celtic team that “Sorry, we no longer compare ourselves with you- we have left you and Scottish football behind- oly Europe matters to us- it would be best all round if we just left the SPL and let you and the other diddy teams win those tinpot trophies.”



    I dare say that those of you who spoke with friends, workmates or teammates who were fans of the Ibrox club will have had similar experience. They all had “Mary Hopkins” thinking- those days will never end. Even after Tommy Burns team ran them close , they were still supremely confident of the 10 and of being on a different level to us. It wasn’ just banter and put down; they believed this implicitly. That was the 2nd form of O** F*** thinking



    The same guys these days state- your 9iar does not count because we weren’t there for a lot of it and it’s only the hatred of their club and the bent referees that all dance to Lawwell’s tune that have given you these tainted titles- look how you are doing in Europe when you don’t have the bent refs and you can see the truth in what we’re saying. That is the 3rd form of O** F*** thinking.



    The sad fact is that many of our own buy into this hun narrative too. The 9iar is no great feat because they wurnae there and it’s a poor era and nothing to be proud of because your/our team can do nothing in Euriope.



    I reject all of that hun narrative. We can only beat what is put in front of us. Any period of domination is a periof of domination and our dominance over Ibrox, Pittodrie, Tynecastle and Easter Road is a true dominance and we’ve beaten all comers during htis period. Celtic losing to Ferencvaros or Legia or Maribor does not diminish that domestic achievement. It was hard won and honest and I have sung and danced through all of it, Euro disappointments too.

  11. Hrvatski Jim



    I think you pronounce marbles as bools ;-))



    Seriously…the Judiciary’s actions and mindset here deserve to have a light to shone on it…not that am gonna hold my breath. To me it’s all a nice distraction from the actions of SDM…which should have been investigated and prosecuted




  12. Stivs



    Only 3rd behind Big Jock and John Barnes…that’s not anywhere good enuff ;-))









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






    back to the these days, a strong narrative when they started as something else , Celtic should be winning all the trebles cos we aint there, …………… aye we are now.

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Chairbhoy …



    “So we must ask ourselves why is there a European equivalence between then and now”




    Regrettably I’d have to conclude that the standard of Scottish football has dropped while other countries have improved (some significantly).



    Don’t get me started on the SFA !



    Interestingly, by modern “coefficients” Scotland was the top footballing nation in Europe in 1967.



    How times change.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  15. The weight on everyone’s shoulders connected with the club this year is massive, to do the 10 would be the best thing in my life time. Having been born in January 1967 my recolection of European glory is thin on the ground. Seville being the exception , I personally think the domestic scene is far more important . Is there 1 record any current bun could throw in our faces if/when we do 10 air?

  16. P67 — you have made more sense talking about amortisation.



    17 years playing team sports — egg chasing / wider emotional spread than football / 5 GK types instead of 1 — and I know too much about underperforming squads and limited coaching to consider the current situation at the club to be anything other than a shambles.



    The gap between player talent / capabilities and the performance of the team on the pitch is a chasm that goes beyond NL and the coaching staff all the way to PL .



    Most talented squad of the past 20 years and yet we are honking on the pitch.


    Regarding SB — we need to work out an exit / transition plan pronto but we are 3 years too late.


    Leadership is more than wearing a T shirt at training in the winter.

  17. CONEYBHOY on 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020 1:42 AM


    Name the 10 worst ever talented players you have had the misfortune to pay to watch







    1. Brown





    2. Bailie





    3. O’Leary





    4. Blackman





    5. Scheite





    6. Shepherd





    7. Edvaldson





    8. McGugan





    9, Smith





    10. Muggleton






    this poster has to be from the dark side surely 🤫

  18. ST STIVS



    Broony is not getting any younger, therefore his athleticism is on the wain.



    He cannot defy father time unless he is God almighty.



    And he aint.



    With Lennon I feel he has stopped learning. Stopped improving.



    It happens and sometimes can’t be helped.



    The only real competition we have is in Europe and the huns recently.


    You can be the judge about how he is leading us in Europe where in my opinion and with our budget we should be CL Group Stages more years than not. This year we were a Pot 3 team if we’d qualified.



    Both are Celtic Legends for what they have achieved and that can never be taken away.



    And to both I will be eternally grateful for all their efforts, sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances.


    I will remember them both fondly.



    However, at this level of football and particularily with CELTIC their is no room for sentiment.



    With Broony I would reduce his playing time but retain him as club captain. He deserves to be our captain for the 10.



    Lennon worries me.



    Hibs up next will be a big test for both club and manager.



    I hope he passes the test.



    We’ll see.

  19. I too cannot understand why we sign players, who get a fanfare of trumpets, yet few are in the squad never mind the team, strange that one.


    I sincerely hope I’m wrong but I feel we are going to get a doing on Sunday, which if it happens, will be a massive wake up call.


    the team has struggled all this season, OK we have won but not in any way, convincingly.


    Either we get our act together, or I don t thing we will do the 10 in a row.



    We have some fabulous players,but it’s pretty obvious to wee me that a few are for the off in the coming weeks, hence lack of effort and comittment,.



    My opinion obviously and I am not a glass half empty either, more of a realist







    In that photo, is that a very young George Connolly is the very back row at the end on the left hand side?



    I can name most but there is one or two, like a couple of the goalies I can’t place.

  21. Philbhoy…



    Am sure it was in error…remember the times I’ve had conversations with people on here who think am someone else lol…please calm down ;-))







  22. ST STIVS



    I was at that game.



    Big Jock dropped TG because the Saints manager said his wee winger would run rings round Tommy.



    I was in the North Stand. Great view.

  23. mad mitch



    “I’ve coached a lot of players who have improved the length of their throw ins with the help of technical training. Andy Robertson couldn’t throw past 19 metres when I met him and when you throw that short, it’s very, very easy to put that throw under pressure. He managed to extend his throw by nearly eight metres. and although he’ll never have the longest throw, with training we’ve managed to improve the radius of his throw-in by more than five hundred square metres.” (Thomas Gronnemark; the Guardian 24 Sept 2020)



    (nb closer to 600 than 500) Shows the benefit of coaching just one skill. Thing is if we had a player who could throw the ball even 19 metres he would be the Ryan Christie of throw ins.

  24. Stivs…Us, Dundee, Dunfermline and even the original huns were all doing well in Europe at one time…



    There is absolutely no equivalence between then and now….society, fitbaw tactics, nutrition, science and technology, competition structure, tv contracts, wages…have all changed that. Not that am complaining…like ESB, Seville is my personal European highlight ( so far…ed )




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