Time for the real Celtic to stand up


Time for the real Celtic to stand up.  Was it 45 minutes of madness against Cluj in August?  Did the manager and captain get everything wrong?  Or, were we outplayed by a better organised unit?

Walking away from Celtic Park that night the disappointment to lose out on Champions League qualification in such circumstances was overwhelming, a fear which first manifest on hearing Callum McGregor would play left back, meaning we would be without our midfield metronome.

Boli Bolingoli had endured a harsh opening few weeks to his Celtic career, none of us were sure he was going to be the answer.  Christopher Jullien made a modest start to the season but was outjumped late in the game at Motherwell a few days before, leading to the loss of a meaningless goal.  Celtic were 1-5 ahead at that point but Chris looked tired.  Would a similar incident prove crucial in Europe?

You could see the rational for Neil leaving both on the bench when selecting a team for Cluj, even if you did not agree.

This is not a ‘do over’.  We cannot put right what went wrong, the Champions League, with all its glitz, glory and money is gone for a season at least.  Instead, we can answer some questions that only we care about.  Did we simply have a bad day at the office, or are Cluj better than us?  Tune in tonight.

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  1. Sutton & Walker did such a hatched job on Bolingoli & Jullien it put doubt in our Managers mind…IMO.



    They would never ever attack a Hun player with such venom.



    Neil has come back strong since that setback. Hopefully we keep it going tonight.



    Hail Hail.

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    Yip, it’s a fascinating match for that very reason; What is the standard of the real Celtic under Lenny 2.0?



    His first team started to cohere during the Europa League campaign of 2011. I’m interested to watch what happens with this iteration.



    Also; Check out Celtic By Numbers for an interesting take on Boli and Jullien: https://twitter.com/Alan_Morrison67/status/1179448688713900035?s=20



    Alan Morrison is a great addition to the Celtic web.

  3. Cork Celt





    You are entirely correct about retirement, just finished my Synergy Class at the gym, and b(h)oy was it hard work this morning. Now enjoying a double espresso revitalise before contemplating lunch and forthcoming trip to Paradise on the Arbroath Emerald Express along with JJHS. Have a grand day.






  4. We are a Club for Europe, tonight might let us all see if Neils bhoys are a Team for Europe.



    I think Europa league is our level currently but I also think we should be aiming to display something more within us than the other Europa teams have.




  5. I still believe that management decisions lost us the match last time we played.


    Whats done is done. We must rise to the occasion.


    If Lorenzo continues on it’s merry way, it will have an impact on the game (it is starting to have an effect in West Clare as I type).


    One thing we have to do is watch for the counter attack. It is the most important weapon in their armory.


    However, we should be good enough to claim all points.


    C’mon the Celts!

  6. Paul 67,



    Yes, this game tonight is the acid test.


    This is the game we wanted, the chance to show that that was indeed an off night; the chance for NFL to put a wrong,right.



    I am soooooo looking forward to it , with a non entitled optimism.



    Tottenham’s light show the other night was poor and a prelude to a dismal performance.


    Our show tonight will be loud , spectacular and the prelude to a sparkling and proud performance.



    Metaphorically speaking let Neil’s thunder boom.



    COYBIG .

  7. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    I think tonight will be a hugely frustrating game.



    Cluj will commit petty fouls, stand in front of the ball, get in our player’s faces and generally try to noise us all up, crowd included.



    Expect some play acting and intimidation from their bench too. Petrescu badgering the fourth official and drawing the ref’s attention.



    Then they’ll try to sucker punch us with a break away goal.



    We need to have calm heads, not get involved and score. Then score again.


    Keep it very tight at the back.

  8. Tonight is the type of European game we must win at home if we’re to start progressing in the Europa League

  9. Paul67



    We scored four great goals against Cluj in the last tie, no reason not to again, whilst keeping the back door closed this time.



    Only a fool would predict the team selection? So,….





    El Hamed





















    Ntcham being the current ‘escape goat’

  10. BSR


    I think there are many `fools` who would go along with that selection.


    Unfortunate fot Ntcham but Christie is more reliable,Mcgregor is more important and Broonie is remarkable.

  11. The Sutton & Bolingoli stuff is actually beyond parody. You can see Boli do two to three good things and hear nothing.



    He then makes a poor clearance and you hear “Urgh, Boli has GOT TO DO BETTER there”

  12. !!BADA BING!! on 3RD OCTOBER 2019 1:03 PM



    Bayo suspended, LG is where?….Afolabi will be a sub tonight






    Heard via 90-minute cynic that Afolabi isn’t on the B list so can’t be.

  13. I think the crux of the matter is that Neil wants his cake and wants to eat it. In my opinion, he is not decisive/ruthless enough. The problem with the last game v Cluj and the Hibs game at the weekend was that he wants to accommodate Olivier N’tcham in the midfield but doesn’t want to sacrifice another midfielder to do so. This leads to a reshuffle of our other players and thus weakens the team. He wants to play both Callum and Ollie whom he regards as ‘technicians’. Fair enough, but that should mean he then omits another midfielder from the league lineup or he needs to change the shape of the team.



    It may be sacreligious to say so but I would leave Broony on the bench to be brought on as required. Our best period last season was when Broony was out and Callum dropped back and had a better view of the pitch in front of him. He was able to open up the opposition with a brilliant range of passes. Neil doesn’t want to upset the fans by leaving out Broony who is a great captain for us but if he doesn’t make tough decisions then he is in the wrong job.




    As I’ve said before, we only have 5 established players (Ntcham, Brown, McGregor, Rogic & Christie) to cover 3 positions.



    Neil Lennon should have been rotating these five over the season. Playing Ntcham, Brown & McGregor means you don’t have an option off the bench. It’s mad.

  15. HS



    Think Callum Broony and Christie will all play, spare place filled with Sinclair, El younoussi, or Ntcham



    NFL does want Ntcham in, but it’s whether he fits the role as opposed to the other choices?

  16. Paul67 et al



    What the Celtic Board needs to do is change the accounting year end from June to December and link any and all bonuses/dividends to our relative performance in Europe by that time. (as to the CEO/Major shareholders) What this hopefully will achieve is a team and a club ready at the start of the season and not sometime after it. After which it is all down to the management and the team, no more reading about players looking a bit tired after a game against Motherwell. And no more drinking in the Bon Accord.

  17. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    CELTIC40ME on 3RD OCTOBER 2019 2:25 PM


    Patience needed from everyone tonight.



    8-0 Celtic





    What about the 2nd half? ;)




  18. I think N’tcham will lose out on the starting LINE UP. I read on one site that Ajer would be dropped in favour of Bitton.



    I reckon Neil will pull a surprise, will Sinclair start



    I think we should forget about Griffiths. He seems to be rarely available.

  19. European football night at Celtic Park is the highlight of the season for me and a lot to look forward to with the Hoops there ’til the end of the year at least. I did not see the previous match against Cluj but from all accounts not only did we throw the match away after being in a winning situation but Lenny got his selection badly wrong to start.



    Good to see a quality player and goalador like Scott Sinclair back in the fold and a class ‘keeper like Fraser between the sticks again with great European experience. We know the cunning Romanians are no pushover and this time we are not fooled by Petrescu’s talk of his aging side. Wont make a prediction but if the lads play to their potential the job will be done.

  20. T29- didn’t know that about Alfolabi.



    Early rumours- Elyounoussi in for Ntcham, El Hamed in for Bauer

  21. Hankray



    The selection was wrong but you can adjust to that as you go along



    Major problem was the lack of game management by the midfield and manager. Captain was in central midfield but was culpable for 1st , 2nd and 33% of 3rd. 100% culpable for not reigning in the team every time we were ahead



    He will be in the team tonight, hopefully to make amends

  22. Tonight will feel like a CL game. First game this season where the lights are necessary from the statr makes a difference to the atmosphere.


    Cluj are no mugs but, IMO, we were the better side in both EL games against them but mad moments ( rather than Lennie`s selection) cost us the game.


    Time to go for the Emerald Express from Arbroath.


    Cheerio and Hail ! Hail !

  23. I will be viewed as a Cynic..but I just dont believe the following “Story”…..



    Rangers legend Gazza flew homeless man across the world for night of his life


    Former Gers No2 Knox lifted the lid on Paul Gascoigne’s outrageous act of generosity during a talk in Irvine, Ayrshire on Wednesday.





    ByEric McGowan


    15:42, 3 OCT 2019UPDATED16:13, 3 OCT 20


    Daily Record…




    Archie Knox has told how Rangers legend Paul Gascoigne once flew a homeless man halfway across the world for an all-expenses paid night out – then booked him on a flight home the next day.



    Former Rangers No2 Knox lifted the lid on Gazza’s outrageous act of generosity during a talk in Irvine, Ayrshire on Wednesday.





    He said the incident happened in America back in Gascoigne’s Rangers heydey in the 1990s.



    Knox, 72, revealed: “He was staying at the Waldorf hotel, just himself.




    “There was a guy begging just along the street. He got a hold of that guy and took him first of all to get clothes.



    “He kitted him out, the whole lot. He took him back, booked him into the Waldorf Hotel then took him out for a meal at night.



    “The next morning he took him back to London for the night again. Took him out and put him on a flight back the following day.




    For this to be true..The “Homeless Guy”, would have to had a PASSPORT on his person…I cant be 100% obviously, but it leads me to wonder how many Homeless People walk about with a Passport on them ?


    Why not just give the homeless Guy some Dollars for a Bed and a few Meals etc ?



    Over the years we have had to endure all these great stories about Gasciogne doing nice things for others etc…its Funny how the media like to IGNORE the disgusting stories about Gasciogne ( and others), such as Him..Emptying his Bowels in the BATH at Celtic Park for the Cleaners to clean up, Pissing on a Team mate ( Erik Bo Anderson), during “Training”, and didnt he get Fined by The English FA, for his Drugs and Alcohol binge on a Plane after a International match, not forgetting his obscene gesture on Italian TV etc ?


    Also …isnt he still to Face Charges of “Sexual Assault” on a Female in Public ?



    Aye, right…Gazza must have been great Fun to be with ?



    CHUMP !



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