Time to circle the wagons


We all needed to get Tuesday night out of our system, but we must also put the result behind us and not allow it to bleed into the rest of the campaign.  Every game is important in the coming weeks, even the home cup-tie against Dunfermline, which in different circumstances would be viewed as an opportunity to exercise the squad.

Dunfermline, presumably AIK Stockholm, Hearts, AIK and Newco await.  We cannot afford to wallow in permanent introspective.  We need to get our act together and get on with it.

Five days ago, I was feeling good about the start to the season.  We had scored 12 goals in two league games, last season we scored seven in seven.  For all Neil made mistakes on Tuesday, he is not plotting behind our backs.  The manager, players and board will feel this as much as we do.  If things go against us in the coming weeks, you will know how alone we are.

Time to circle the wagons.


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  1. Fred – I’m in Baltimore – just about to get on a boat – rather unsteadily!




  2. Quad



    I think the first 2 things we need are a LB not a LWB as Boli seems to be


    Then pref someone like Toure who could play both CB and DM


    A further body who can play CB/RB would be handy



    Prob I see with your assessment is I dont think JH is top quality LB material – against lower level spl fine but apart form that …. and 2 of your 4 cant be counted as reliable CB’s – jozo has repeated injury issues and can we play him on plastic yet? NB is not a CB and shouldnt be counted as such

  3. HeknowsWHOknows on




    Good post. As you say transfer expectations year on year we dread. Nothings gonna change.

  4. DELANEYS DUNKY on 15TH AUGUST 2019 2:32 PM



    If he wanted first team football, he may just be up for a paycut. We have millions in the bank, after all. We should ask the question.






    We should be asking.



    The fact that he’s still there after the English window has closed suggests he is happy to be 3rd choice and picking up his massive wage. If Southampton are happy to get half of his wages off their backs then maybe there’s a deal to be done.



    The same applies to Victor I imagine.

  5. How did we manage to go from total dominance to a position where we exit against a frankly average Club.



    Answer is of course Competence at all levels of the Organisation, not just the football side as they are only there as a result of approval from the Business side.



    In the big scheme of things a £100m turnover Organisation is NOT a big deal when compared to Industry, I know for a fact there are people reading/posting on this site that Managed amounts far in excess of Celtics as part of Multi National Corporations,and are bewildered by the handling of same.



    So how competent are the Board,who then make decisions to appoint people to positions they don’t understand,and subsequently when appointed how competent are the incumbents.


    Too much gut feel and emotion not enough practicality.



    That’s the circle which needs addressing.I think we have lots of No.1s but not in a good way.



    1.Unconscious incompetence. I don’t know what I don’t know


    2.Conscious incompetence. I know what I don’t know


    3.Conscious competence. I grow and know


    4.Unconscious competence. I go because of what I know.



    Old Arabic Saying:


    “He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool – shun him;

  6. BANKIEBHOY1 on 15TH AUGUST 2019 2:50 PM


    The only thing a hun loves is a good calamity in Timdom.






    It’s all they have to cheer for.



    Don’t worry they will be beaten by poorer teams than Cluj.

  7. BELFASTBHOY0 – BB played over 60 games at LB in Austria. 20 odd in mid left.


    I didnt say JH was top qual; he’s SPL level.


    Anyway, KT was a LWB in every sense; a fwd forager and great tackler.


    Contrao can do LB and defensive mid. Has even worn green+white hoops before. HH

  8. traditionalist88 on



    Left back.


    Right back.


    Stuani £4m


    Left winger otherwise reintegrate Sinclair.






    No more square pegs in round holes.


    Play players based on ability.


    Review use of substitutions.


    Settled team where possible, especially at the back.



    9IAR done.




  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    For over a century, Celtic was run by what was, in effect, a committee representing the families who owned most of the shares. There was a diminishing pool of talent with each passing generation, and the club badly needed contemporary, professional business management.



    The first Executive Director appointed to the board of Celtic was Terry Cassidy. One rather got the impression that Terry got the gig on account of him being even less competent than the folks who gave him the job. He lasted 2 years before hotting the Court of Session following getting his jotters.



    Following Cassidy, the board brought in “…the boldest and most imaginative appointment ever made to a Celtic Board.” Cue David Smith who, although non-Exec, was given the job of raising the money to replace the then crumbling Celtic Park with a stadium that complied with the legal requirements of the Taylor Report. He was made Vice Chairman.



    When the stadium of cards that was Smith’s Cambuslang project collapsed, David was mutually consented, along with then Company Secretary Chris White, coincident with the cash crisis, insolvency and the arrival of Fergus.



    Fergus was the last of the Owner-Executives. Acting as CEO and major shareholder, over the course of 5 years he scattered the ownership of the club across the Celtic diaspora with a public share issue, rebuilt the stadium with the proceeds, then skyed the park with a stuffed suitcase and little thanks following his exit share issue. It’s fair to say that recognition for what the wee squinty bunneted guy did for the club was late in coming, but largely now acknowledged.



    Following Fergus’s departure, the club appointed Allan MacDonald as CEO. Allan was a great pal of Kenny Dalglish, who in turn was a great pal of John Barnes. MacDonald gave Kenny a job as Director of Football with a £20 Million budget. Kenny gave the dough and the manager’s job to John Barnes. This was Barnes’ first management job, which following some underwhelming results from the whelmed players he signed with the overwhelming dough, proved to be his last.



    MacDonald managed to stay on a full 6 months longer than the Barnes/Dalglish fiasco, showing that brass neck is general issue kit in the CEO game.



    If that episode was a footballing disaster, it was also a financial disaster, and the club issued a chunk of new shares to recover the lost cash. MON showed us how £20M ought to be spent, and for a while the new CEO Ian McLeod had a greatly lower profile than those who preceded him.



    McLeod left after two years of management mundanity peppered with the odd parapet-peek, Eric Riley the remaining Exec taking up the reins temporarily.



    In a change of tack, Celtic replaced McLeod with an Executive Director, but not a Chief Executive; It would be two years before Peter Lawwell was allowed that status. A former Financial Controller (accountant) under – of all folk – Terry Cassidy, his first task was in reversing the cycle of fund raising and spending that had characterised the club’s operating model in the period post-Fergus.



    Needless to say, this didn’t play out well with the then football manager – MON – or the wider support. It took newly emerging websites like CQN to make the case for self-sustaining models long before the football world generally, clubs specifically, and UEFA purposefully did so.



    Despite the periodic “Lawwell Out” tide that flows over the support, he remains as Chief Exec, 16 years after first being appointed an Exec, and 14 years since his promotion to CEO. In that time the football world has been transformed at least once, arguably twice, and still he remains.



    Folk these days demanding his resignation should note that, while being papped out of the Champions League by Cluj is an embarrassment, it can’t hold a candle to the professional humiliations that were, amongst others, Artmedia, the Willo Window, Big Tony Mowbray chin, or the Three Ms; Maribor/Malmo/Molde, all of which barneys ‘Pistol Pete’ walked out of, his sharp suit unsullied.



    On the toss side, during his tenure the club has been consistently profitable (despite declining TV income), no longer relies on shareholders or bank debt to maintain solvency, has broken transfer fee records for players bought and sold, accumulated a ridiculous amount of cash, and won three successive Trebles. All that PLUS Amido Balde and Mo Bangura.



    It’s inevitable that Peter Lawwell will leave his role in due course, perhaps on the last stage out of town if Celtic fail at 9 or 10, but in the thirty year history of Executives/CEOs at the club, he is probably the only success. Oh, and he’s a mad Tim.



    On a balanced score card basis, PL gets “surely can do better in a difficult job”.



    On that basis, Lawwell Out! (Insert smiley thing)



    PS I have no view on the matter atm, and no skin in the game. There are many successful business managers running larger projects than Celtic, and many more duff ones running larger projects again. The Board design the business model and write the plan, and the CEO delivers it. I expect PL has more influence on the model and the planning now than he did 15 years ago, but equally I expect Celtic’s conservative approach to business is a characteristic of the Board more generally. If you really want change, sack the board. But before you do that, ask yourself if you really ought to.

  10. Quad



    Maybe im old school but most of the time ive seen Boli ‘defensively’ the guy he should be marking is 5-10 yards goalside of him – too me thats wingback behavour


    Now thats not too bad if you are playing 352 as there is still 3 CBs and pref at least one of the 3 CM coming back for support – ps ive said a few times now i think he will be good but only in certain formations against certain opposition


    What you cant do is play 4 at the back and have your 2 “full” backs bombing forward together – and the closest thing you have to a DM is an older CM Harrier prone to mental irregularities…..

  11. Ruggy



    that in and off itself isnt an issue – in fact given our financial clout is now closer to league 2 than lower epl its actually a sign that the overall strategy is working



    The really weird thing is we’d have been really happy with most of our last couple of windows if literally one or two more signings had been made to fill longstanding gaps is the Squad



    To paraphrase – most of our recent managers seem to have let looking for the perfect signing interfere with the pursuit of good signings

  12. we are basically playing RDs team that tells you all you need to know about last 6 transfer windows Ayer Jozo, SB, Calmac, RC, JF

  13. you should buy players better than you one you have for that postion. or equally as good but younger

  14. This may be an unpopular opinion but anyone looking further than Neil Lennon and Scott Brown are mistaken.



    Lennon’s team selection and set up was absolutely wrong and his inability to see this and change it was even more concerning. He weakened the left back position and the midfield with his choices.



    His subs were equally incompetent. We lead twice and had the opportunity to beef up the midfield and close out the game and he took neither. Then he brings on Lewis Morgan? I don’t know the question but he wasn’t the answer!



    Ntcham was, for me, man if the match do why take him off? Incompetent again.



    Then we look at Scott Brown. He was caught on the wrong side all night lunging in. He did this for their first goal and that was the start of it. His positioning and passing was off all night. Then he has a brain fart and lets them in with a penalty! He should have been replaced earlier.



    Before anyone speaks about Lennon not fancying the left back or centre half -if that’s the case he should go now. A manager who doesn’t get the players he wants is a dead duck.



    We have better players than Cluj and I struggle to see any of their players making our team. The club have brought in players but the manager didn’t pick them. Our squad was more than capable of disposing of Cluj. It wasn’t the boards fault we didn’t.



    No one praised the board for the first two rounds so they can’t be the scapegoat for the failure.



    I’m not giving the board a free pass on their performance. That’s a separate issue. The bottom line is that Tuesday nights shambles lies squarely at the door of the manager and the captain.



    Should we have done our business early in the window? Yes. Are we weaker? Absolutely because we have lost Dembele and Tierney within a year. Are we good enough to qualify for the ECL? Yes we are. Will we win our 9th title? Yes we should because we have the best players in Scotland. Should we spend more and strengthen before September 2nd? Absolutely.



    The measure of the boards performance was always going to be at the end of the window. Last nights capitulation has brought it forward for some. For me it will still be September but Lennon’s incompetence on Tuesday night has allowed the debate to happen this week instead of after the Slavia Praha tie we should be playing in.



    The bottom line is that Neil Lennon has shown astute management in Europe previously and on a number of occasions got us much better results than expected. That is why the self-inflicted shambles of the other night is so hard to take.



    Poor team selection, poor performance in the first half, Brown had the worst game I can remember seeing him in, bizarre act for the penalty. We created enough chances and had a little bit of bad luck. However, taking the lead twice in the second half and not stiffening up the midfield (either bring on Boli and and put McGregor into midfield or bring on Bitton) was the last poor decision on a night of poor decisions from Neil Lennon.



    Circle the wagons? We don’t need to we need to put our big bhoy pants and and start by mauling Dunfermline on Saturday and taking a comfortable lead to Sweden on Thursday.





  15. McGinn and Turnbull good examples ..one we thought we get get on cheap.. the other just unlucky after seeing sense and putting in a proper bid

  16. JamesForrestsLeftFoot on

    QUADROPHENIAN on 15TH AUGUST 2019 12:08 PM



    Personally, I think Paul was aware of the metaphor about horse drawn goods vehicles and chose his words deliberately.



    Your point is right though – what do we do at this stage where Celtic fans are scattered across the whole range of the Kubler-Ross landscape.



    For me, the answer is the next game.



    Unless of course there are some who ran off the edge of the KR flat earth & are still falling into the abyss.


    I read yesterday on here of one poster who actually wanted my team to lose in the League Cup to teach the board a lesson.



    A series of errors, on and off the field, means that we are in exactly the position we were in this time last year. In fact we are better placed because this time last year we had been soundly beaten at Hertz.



    Ultimately NFL is bound to admit that his selection on Tuesday was wrong, either explicitly in an interview or implicitly when he never again puts Callum at LB.



    I detest the PhilMacG gossip about alleged situations at Celtic. Some players may resent the addition of new players for their position which is simply an extension of the competition for places, but the stuff about NFL not signing players worth 10 million serves only one very negative purpose.



    Boli & Jullien are good footballers and we have all seen enough of them to know that. It seems to me that they lack a level of fitness (Jullien) and an appreciation of the pace & expectations in the game in Scotland (Boli).



    As for the players errors, Scott Brown himself will never understand why he chose to handball when he did. Caught underneath a deep cross heading to Omrani (I think) he instinctively threw up his left hand. That was the real turning point in the game for me.


    But the third goal was a catalogue of errors & slack play by many players. Edouard didn’t close down their centre Back, Morgan was ineffective when he closed down their winger, Brown slept as his man ran onto the flick from their #29 and Elhamad also slept as he let Omrani run away from him to get in for any possible rebounds. Only Bain and Ajer did what they were supposed to do.



    That collective failure on 80 minutes when we had hauled ourselves back in front proved terminal. Had some or all of those players done their job it’s very likely that we wouldn’t have conceded a goal. We’ll never know obviously, but despite the flawed team selection and the generally poor play in the first half we might have been able to scrape through.



    I cannot support any campaign to sack anyone at Celtic. Leaving the club without a manager and/or CEO at this time is worse than daft. Mistakes were made and it needs all of those involved to work through how all of that happened and come out stronger at the other end. That includes supporters.


    And so we’re back to Kubler-Ross and that odd tuning for his 5 string guitar.




  17. Joe at VideoCelts has lost it.



    The talk of plotting behind backs was a reference to the rat who now resides in Leicester. He was up to no good and disrupted the squad. See KT’s old agents comments about him.



    Joe has recently suggested that Julien & Boli were signed by Peter Lawwell over Neil Lennon’s head.



    If you believe it’s time for a change at the top, I’ll respect your opinion. If you believe the stuff Phil Mac Giolla Bhain puts out then I don’t.

  18. MARADOMINIC on 15TH AUGUST 2019 3:29 PM



    McGinn and Turnbull good examples ..one we thought we get get on cheap.. the other just unlucky after seeing sense and putting in a proper bid





    When John McGinn signed on the dotted line at Villa he had the option to sign for Celtic. A bid was accepted by Hibs.



    He made his choice. I doubt he regrets it.



    Take KT as a cautionary tale, every player will leave given the change. There are no more McStay’s.

  19. VFR on 15TH AUGUST 2019 3:26 PM



    I agree that we had enough in the squad to comfortably get past Cluj.



    It rests on Neil Lennon’s shoulders but he was appointed by the board. No other coaches were considered. If he fails the board will shoulder the blame.



    Maybe Neil Lennon learns from this and we have domestic success & a good Europa League run. But make no mistake, that Cluj game was a massive failure.



    The starting 11 was bad enough but he never reacted to change it at 2-1 or 3-2.

  20. HeknowsWHOknows on




    Maybe spend tens of bobs in a row…




  21. NFL made a total cant of it. Took our best player out of midfield and put him at left back, where he’s shite.


    2 men doon before we kicked a baw.


    Anyway it’s done now.


    Aw that money from the Champions League is over rated. So is European football on Tuesday nights then domestic shite on Saturdays. Thursday and Sunday’s is much better. And that anthem gets on yer tits after a while..


    Life is way too short to keep up any hostility, there will be none from me.


    I hope NFL is determined to be remembered as a winner and get’s it right up all the assimilated tims in our fan base, along with their fellow huns, that despise him and want him to fail.



  22. onenightinlisbon on

    VFR on 15TH AUGUST 2019 3:26 PM



    You say that Lennon may be a dead duck for accepting inferior players. H knew the gig when he was given the job offer after the cup final. He agreed to be Lawwells lapdog and a lapdog does what it’s told. A dead duck? More like a dead man walking when the suits start to feel some heat.

  23. Understand price for EUL play off game likely to be in region of £20. Much less than the rumoured £35 and a much more realistic cost.



    Less than a normal league game and a slight compensation for the huge let down of Tuesday I guess.




  24. VFR



    I agree 100% re your Scott Brown sentiments.



    His play now, reeks of someone desperately trying to compensate, desperate to be at a level that is no longer there. Physically no longer capable of.



    He is a mile out in his positioning, his reactions, …. the lot.



    I don’t want Scott Brown’s legacy, to be diluted or any way adversely impacted by an intent to overstay his welcome. And I mean that in the most respectful way.



    Greats like Xavi, Iniesta etc… reached 34, and knew it was time to step aside / move on. There is no disgrace in it.

  25. NFL said that if KT left (this was after Boli had been signed) that he had contigency plans in place – Oh my God I thought he was going to sign a top class left back – now I realise he actually meant moving Calmac to left back.

  26. ONENIGHTINLISBON I wanna referring to the “rumours” that Boli and Julien were forced on him and he doesn’t rate them. If that’s the case he should go.



    Personally I think he was reacting to the fans and press criticism of Boli. That clouded. His judgment on Tuesday.



    He should man up, accept the blame and move on to show us that he can do the job. Starting by starting both players on Saturday to get them ready for a big game on Thursday. IMHO his team for Thursday should start on Saturday.





  27. onenightinlisbon on

    VFR on 15TH AUGUST 2019 4:16 PM



    I would not be in the least surprised if he didn’t have the final say on transfers. Perfect for the board, a man who will do as he is told.

  28. John McGinn never had any intention of joining Celtic once England came calling. He felt compelled to own the narrative so let his Da’s pal Keevins do the rest for a grand. Keevins settled for £500.

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