The Talismanic Trip and the Holy Grail


Celtic’s world has changed greatly since that moment during the first half at Ibrox on 2 January, with the team well on top, the commentator mentioned they were off to Dubai after the game.  Celtic’s dominance did not produce a goal and the game was lost.  In the days that followed, a second lockdown was announced, Dubai’s status in the Green Corridor was rescinded, Christopher Jullien became infected and 13 players were forced to isolate.  The dominoes continued to fall with Hibs added-time equalise, while we await the outcome against Livingston.

We knew Celtic were off to Dubai for weeks before the post-match flight.  Personally, I did not bat an eyelid at the prospect.  Very few of us did, remarkably so, considering the angst expressed post-defeat, post First Minister’s “I don’t know, but…” innuendo.  After event-ism is often fertile.

I have always thought it is the manager’s job to ask for what is in the interests of the football department irrespective of wider consequence.  Of course Neil wanted to go to Dubai, last season’s trip is seen as crucial to winning the title.  Similarly, it is Peter Lawwell’s job to ensure that what the football department gets is only what is in the best interests of the club, and on occasion, wider society.

A public apology from Peter is a rare thing, so we can be sure where responsibility lies on this matter.  He should have said “No”, but like so much of what has gone wrong recently, wider considerations were set aside in pursuit of the Holy Grail.

With Celtic playing well and the title still in their own hands, Peter was never going to stop the Talismanic Trip, not this season, anyway.  Would I have said “No”?  Would you?  It is an easy question to answer on 14 January.  Reality is, I am as confilcted by pursuit of the Holy Grail as much as anyone.  I know I would cross lines that would normally be observed, so would we all.  Maybe this would have been one, who knows?

Leadership involves making difficult calls and apologising when you miss them.  This is not Peter’s first mistake and despite the political grandstanding it permitted, it is not remotely his most onerous.  History may regard blind pursuit of the Holy Grail as more consequential.

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  1. CB @ 10.57



    Sorry for the bullet points — lunch to make.



    After 18 years out — TB / Labour did not have the confidence to take it to the RW media / “Con” estanblishment.


    Did lots of good / major changes / social investment as long as the papers didn’t complain.



    Similar stuff in the US — comprehensive medical coverage …


    Thinnest possible system / implementation just to get it into law.


    Again lack of confidence to make a real impact.



    Now — JB = Boring but possibly boring is what the US needs.


    Some gentle words to calm people down and regain some sort of normality.


    He — to me — will forever be NK of NA so I hope he manages to get things moving / get things done.


    To think that he was in the mix for the nomination in 88.


    To think that the UK passed up on change / NK in 92 for 5 years of Tory civil war and JM in charge.


    To be fair he was by all accounts a quality *hag*er / a real polititian after Maggie but a hopeless leader.



    Now — we are in big trouble all over the UK.


    KS seems to have a similar lack of confidence and drive to TB.


    Hopefully it will come but he needs to sharpen up his act and oppose.


    I do appreciate that he is scared of the media / Bojo’s TV booster club / facebook lies.


    But he needs to up his game — the UK CoViD19 response has been shocking at nearly every level.



    Scotland — Haggis republic.


    Too many people in politics / media know each other.


    This has allowed us and our parly investigations to become a laughing stock.


    We are still the land of the Edinburgh jury.


    And yet no one complains.

  2. Paul.


    You actually saying that within the confines of Celtic. That they thought that they could still win the league. Even before the huns game .




  3. Dubai certainly has shifted the focus away from our failing manager.



    I look forward to the outcome of the January review.

  4. If pursuing the holy grail was a mistaken belief in a mediocre manager, a failure to see the rise of Rangers over the lasrt few years, cronyism hiring across all fronts and a contempt for the fan base, then forgive me for raising a cynical smile for the thought process behind this one.



    Dubai was wrong. We waited too long to put right the apology whihc kind of tells us everything.



    Yesterday was a time to address the matters that the support really want to hear about namely the January review and the plans to rebuild from our self-imploded position of weakness.




  5. P67 — the trip to Dubai was / is not the main issue.


    The issue is the lack of leadership and coaching leading to crap football on the park.



    We are rank rotten.


    The TFOD2 are probably not as good as last season.


    However they have a plan and every one is engaged.



    We have a absentee landlord in the Irish Raj that is DD.


    We have a completely useless property bean counter at the top — in charge but totally out of his depth.


    We have a coaching staff that are demonstrably not up to it.


    We have a stagnating squad in open revolt.


    We have a captain who is three years past a start.



    Dubai is the least of our worries.


    All it shows is that we are living in the past.



    We need change.


    We need a new CEO.


    We need a new coaching staff.


    We need new leadership on the park.


    We need new blood in the squad.



    Currently none of this happening.


    Dubai is the least of our worries.

  6. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Very fair and enjoyable leader Pablo.



    I am personally guilty of short term thinking when it comes to the 10.



    This has been Lemony Snicket stuff.



    If Jullien hadn’t contracted Covid-19 we wouldn’t be having this debate.



    Minded of Napoleon’s alleged response to


    “What kind of generals do you like?”



    Anyway all the couldas, shouldas and wouldas combined are worthless.



    This is where we are.



    One question Pablo ….



    In your opinion what was Peter Lawwell’s “most onerous”?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  7. Madmitch,



    Spot on. Dubai isn’t even in the top 20 of issues we need to address as a club now.




  8. Pingback: The Talismanic Trip and the Holy Grail | Celtic FC News Now

  9. So we are to recognise PL is taking responsibilty for Dubai and its unusual for him to apologise, I think we all know that, curious about the more onerous mistakes we dont know about, or, maybe we do.


    Has the January review taken place and its a case of keeping NL, I saw him on a TV interview and he spoke about wanting success in the future, so the was no sign from NL he is anticipating anything other than being the manager next season at least, that in my opinion is a huge mistake that will damage the prospects of success, player development and standards at the club further.

  10. Dubai is a symptom not the cause.


    PL fidgeting like Prine Andrew on Newsnight tells you all you need to know.



    He was never good enough to be CEO.


    However now he is a real empty shell of a man — busted flush in plain sight.



    DD needs to do something quickly — he / we have a duty of care.


    Both PL and NL are both not now up to the responsibilities we have given them.


    It is harming us and it is harming them.

  11. And we are only beating our own record by achieving 10 as Rangers are in Liquidation.


    My point is we have regressed and markedly and thats what is annoying me.Totally self inflicted.

  12. If I was Peter, I’d have said No, not in the current circumstances, the risks are too high. I would have then made sure my lapdogs in the media clearly conveyed the message that Celtic were not willing to take this break in the current circumstances and we are more than willing to give up this important intensive team training exercise as player and public health and wellbeing is far more important. We recognise the risks from COVID due to any travel is increased and so it is necessary to reduce the amount of travel our players and staff take.

  13. I cant think of any circumstances where a long haul winter training camp would have been appropriate in the midst of a pandemic.

  14. lets all do the huddle on

    dubai is the least of our worries



    there has been a remarkable lack of foresight about the future of the squad



    i sure dont envy the next manager’s job of trying to get the title back quickly



    i think we can say for certainty that on the day of our first competetive game of next season (euro qualifier june/july) that there will be a million posts on here saying something along the lines of “its our first competetive game of the season and i cant believe we havent signed a right back/left back/centre half etc



    there is no way the manager will be given all the cash he needs so look out for more obscure signings who are injured for a few weeks before we see them play

  15. ‘With Celtic playing well and the title still in their own hands’ seriously? We have never had this title in our hands,since the day Bolingoli got caught, and we had 2 games cancelled IMO, this looks like Part 2 of the video from last night.

  16. If we were serious about this season then we would have brought in new players.


    The current situation means that clubs are open to offers to reduce their outgoings.



    The silence would suggest that we are not trying a leg.

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Holy Grail”, Paul? Errrr, we got knocked out of the Champions League months ago by the mighty Ferencvaros. Getting wrapped up in one-upmanship bragging rights that mean nothing to anyone outside Scotland (or even Glasgow) is what has led to our decline. Seventeen years and counting without a knockout win in Europe.


    Thought the interview lacked a bit of contrition and self-awareness. Came across more as ‘sorry it worked out badly ‘ than ‘we shouldn’t have gone’.


    As for the bit about maximising the club’s potential – do me a favour! Seventeen years and we can’t get beyond Neil Lennon and the old firm!

  18. Pedro looks haunted in that video a shadow of his former self. The Emporer’s new clothes laid bare for all. The man is a spoofer and a faker and has lost all sense of credibility.



    No more can he be the face of Celtic. The game is up and everyone but Pedro knows it. He’s been found out big time.



    The Madness song comes to mind:



    ” And when you’re told to stop


    How far will you go?


    When your race is run


    And you already know


    Yesterday’s men hang on for today..”




    The desision to try and be clever with mcginn/Hibs


    This probably finished BR … Has there been a bigger football mistake in the last 10 years

  20. I agree P67 as regards the trip.



    In terms off the responses it reads like you want to Celtic to give up on the League now?



    Sorry that’s the Celtic I know….😉🍀

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

    So – PL doesn’t apologise for many things – same as my wife then (I’m estimating two apologies in about 25 years along the lines of “We’ll, I’m sorry you feel that way”).



    Agree with much of MADMITCH’s second post.



    I can’t decipher the first one I’m afraid, MADMITCH – sorry – I’ll try this evening when I have some time :-))



    (Only part I got from an admittedly quick read was the “Joe Biden is boring” bit – which I absolutely disagree with).



    Thanks for posting – much appreciated.






  22. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Oh, and the “Holy Grail” would be more likely achieved with a quality manager than a trip to Dubai!

  23. I’ve worked in a few large businesses and one thing is a consistent feature – if a manager continues to fail they are replaced – otherwise the CEO is next.

  24. Any sign of as signing a CB. No thought not. Talk in the media of Duffy going to Nottingham Forest. But never mind good news is the return of Scott Robertson. A midfielder, great so he can play CB,RB,LB in our current fantasy football world. Anticipate a last minute loan signing at the end of the transfer window by which time we mght only be able to se Sevco through a telescope.

  25. Was the Willo Flood transfer window in the best interest of the club ?



    Did our non executive directors even question the implications of going to Dubai.


    When was it too late to cancel ?



    The most obvious danger was a positive test.

  26. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on



    I always read your posts with great interest, I always enjoy them.



    Lately you’ve posted a bit about covid.



    Can you tell me if you know, is there an incubation period where a person could have covid, be tested negative but be positive a few days later?




  27. MADMITCH on 14TH JANUARY 2021 12:11 PM




    It’s all very well saying that a new CEO is needed, but it’s clear that the club’s owner has full confidence in the existing CEO, and it’s the club’s owner who will select any replacement and determine what their role should be.



    The problem is structural/systemic and stems from having an absentee owner.








    I always read your posts with great interest, I always enjoy them.







    Lately you’ve posted a bit about covid.







    Can you tell me if you know, is there an incubation period where a person could have covid, be tested negative but be positive a few days later?







    The incubation period varies between about 2 and 15 days I think. So, yes.



    And of course they might have acquired the infection during that few days.

  29. lets all do the huddle on

    a horse called Neil The Legend about to run at Bangor



    lump every penny you have on it if you are a NL fan




  30. P67; tell them we’re mourning the loss of a once realisable dream that will take at least another decade at min, to be on the cards again. That’s a grief and anguish point for many on here.


    Many fans will sadly die before that happens and I guess a heap feel heartsore about being cheated of that joy.



    But what we learn is that hard-nosed, Mr Integrity was just too nice, too pandering to Neil and crew by allowing them a wintersun break? Give me a break pls. Rudimentary risk management shoulda kiboshed the trip.



    BTW. Brighton goalie Matt Ryan is a Jan freebie; bit short but a cocky acrobatic keeper not afraid to put himself about; wonder if he can play CB too?

  31. The FOD went bust chasing the dream of matching Lisbon.



    Peter’s World has crumbled pursuing the Holy Grail of 10, on the cheap, with the en vogue ‘just enough, just in time approach.’



    Had we got ourselves to a position of being fit for purpose for Europe (either competition!), we’d have been far better placed domestically.



    Deidco’s 1IAR began in the Hampden showers, with subsequent European ignominies acting as waypoints in our rapid deterioration.



    PL’s appearance yesterday, in front of Celtic Tv’s own Paxman, simply highlighted that our club’s comms has a malaise similar to other depts.



    Haplessness + complacency ➡️ Hubris.



    HH jg



    HH jg

  32. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Remember those halcyon days when P67 assured us no-one but Celtic would ever win the league again? I don’t recall the words holy and grail in those posts.

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