Vanity tactics


Efe Ambrose looked a tad nervous at the start of last night’s game.  He wasn’t the only one.   Adam Matthews was pressed into an early return from injury, a forced change, but Celtic’s decision to deploy a more adventurous line-up than in previous encounters with Barcelona was by choice.

The result was 36% possession, heady heights compared to last season’s win and narrow defeat, but oh what a price.  When Barca went 4-0 up early in the second half I suggested “This could be our record defeat”.  My Dad said “Artmedia was only one more than this”.  I meant THE record defeat, not the record European defeat.  We were a few bounces of the ball away.

Results like this are always possible at this level if the game plan is wrong.  In the minutes before kick off on Champions League nights, when the stomach knots with tension, I tell myself there is no shame in defeat, but “let’s make sure it’s not 3-0 again”.  This must always be the priority.  There seems to be a couple of rules:

If we defend the 18 yard line, in numbers, we have a chance of winning Champions League games, but beauty will very much be in the eye of the beholder.

If we chase vanity marks, as we did at home to Juventus and Milan, and away to Barcelona, we’ll lose heavily.

Last season’s Champions League campaign was a textbook lesson on how pot 4 teams from weak leagues should tackle the tournament.  Spartak Moscow had more possession at Celtic Park than Barcelona had at the Camp Nou last night, but Celtic won both games against the Russians. There is a shout out loud lesson here.

Between now and the beginning of the next European campaign we have a great opportunity to build upon the type of football we saw in the last two domestic games.  If we do this well, we can prepare for next season with a more mature model, but venues like the Camp Nou should only see our bedrock tactics for the foreseeable future.

The Celtic Graves Society are commemorating the life of Peter Scarff, who died of TB 80 years ago this week at the age of 25. Peter, a teammate of John Thomson and Jimmy McGrory, scored 54 goals in 112 games for Celtic before contracting his fatal illness at 23. A short service will be held at Peter’s grave in Kilbarchan Cemetery at 11:30 this Saturday, 14 December. You are all welcome.

There’s a Celtic shirt signed by the first team squad available for auction on ebay in aid of the Wellburn Care Home in Dundee, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. It’s currently going for a song, so get there and fill your boots.

“The centre of Astana very much had a western feel- vibrant, affluent with a splattering of large video screens on the buildings advertising top of the range cars to luxury apartments. With skyscraper office blocks and top-end hotels with marble kerbstones, this very much is one side of Asia.

“The stadium itself looked fairly new, the shape of it reminded me of Tyncastle, thankfully we were made welcome here though!”

From a trip to Kazakhstan page 136 of the 2014 CQN Annual, available here:

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Sean Fallon, Celtic’s Iron Man:

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  1. If John Collins is a possible answer.. I can only imagine that the question is..



    Who could possibly depress us even more after last night’s result?’



    Sorry he ( unlike Siw Awex) is totally humourless and suicide inducing.

  2. Marrakesh Express on

    Livibhoy and Sipsini.



    ‘Collins is a Celtic man. He is no Paul McStay but when we win you can see it in his face’.


    How very true. Paul McStay is in the Lennox, McGrain, Hay mould, a real Celtic man. To an extent you can tell how a pundit or show host is feeling about a result/performance. The obnoxious Tanner, like his idol and mentor Jim White, couldnt hide his joy at last night’s doing. Collins was hurting.


    Its good to listen to a pundit who knows what he’s talking about, and he’s one, WGS is the same. Collins and WGS are two of the most pro-Celtic men on TV, much more so than born and bred tims like Nicholas, Walker and Nevin.

  3. Adi



    Agree. If there was a better manager out there chomping to take us to a higher level I’d be all for reviewing NFL. However there isn’t and I’m happy with where NFL is taking us.



    I relate to him as a Celtic fan as well as a Manager. My guess is he’ll leave us before we leave him.. So I’d hold on to him as long as we can.

  4. Steinreignedsupreme on

    weeman67 15:16 on 12 December, 2013



    “Celtic are too big a club to be breaking in a “rookie” manager, see Brady/Barnes/Maccari/Mowbry/NFL.”



    Macari and Mowbray were not ‘rookie managers’. Neither were Burns, Jansen, Venglos or Hay and Lennon has a better record than any of them.

  5. Mountblow tim supporting wee oscar on

    Good afternoon CQN



    Winning Captains


    CQN Annual delivered today thank you





    Hail Hail

  6. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    15:16 on 12 December, 2013



    Oh dear…what a silly statement….

  7. savo01,



    I would agree with most of your post, especially the bit about giving the youngsters a run and our main players a good rest, when we’ve won the league (if that isn’t tempting fate too much).



    I don’t know why our manager was angry with the players. As my Dad said this morning, “we are playing in Scotland and it is poor”. To me, that is the conundrum we have to deal with: how do we improve playing in the SPFL?

  8. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    15:16 on 12 December, 2013



    …and just in case you wonder why I said “silly”, read this part of your post again…..



    “We have the nucleus of a very good team in the making, we need an experienced manager/striker/creative midfielder to nurture them along.”

  9. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    One last thing mr mourinho.


    You’ll have to open your letters behind a blast shield.


    Oh nearly forgot


    Watch out for cars barging you off the road on your way home.

  10. Goata Len o a Lap Top…



    Hiya Sir Paul…



    You said it.. n….Ah said it..



    Only, Ah said it ..STRAIGHT UP!



    Lennie..Shoulda… Mucked up his Cards..oan this Wan!



    He Sold the Jersies..






    By His Stupidity in Playing the kinda Cards…. he had dealt.. tae…. himself…



    in makin’ his Team Selection.



    Sammi.. up front.. Ledley… A guy who Never has Done anything agin Euro Competition..



    Ah could Name a Few ithers ,who show themsels Up..as well. when the Competition.. Hardens..But.. Ah Wullnae!



    N… tae Mac Matters Woise..?




    Neil’s Very Own Insistence. in carrying oot his COCK-EYED.. Belief..



    That Celtic could.. Play an Attack Minded Formation agin..



    oor..well.. BETTERS!



    That kinda Thinking..is jist NOT OAN!





    Sammi, is Finished..



    The Euro Guys hiv figgered oot how tae Stifle Him..



    And that’s That..



    His Fangs hiv bin Drawn..n.. his Nails hiv bin Clipped..



    He is No Longer the Bogie.. fur the Continentals..of Yore.



    We should Thank him , very much fur past services..and



    Usher him Quickly oot the Door.. as we should dae wi’ Ledley ,as well!



    Look…Ah Am no Feart.



    Ah wullnae Cushion Ma Criticism.. wrapped up In a Velver Pillow..






    Ah pit the Blame fur oor Embarrassment..



    Squarely,and Heavily oan the Slumpin’ Shoodders o






    and.. THERE ..is



    Where it Soitenly Belangs.






    Whit’s the Use?



    Too Many Folk oan Here.. Wull Disagree wi this Summation






    Neil, wull Continue tae be Daft as a Brush ..an Continue making His Team



    Cockamamie… Team Selections..






    Naebuddy , wull Say.. Boo~






    Fur A Shullin’!






    No a Happy Camper,,this Morn..


    Ah kin Tellya!

  11. 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors



    Looks like it is onwards and upwards with NFL, I hope it pans out……???

  12. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    Rocket Man



    As I have said before I think we need smarter coaching. We are not a million miles away. I read Clough’s book. One of the best I have read on the subject of football. he believed in a spine. never upset the spine of the team. Build a strong spine and the rest can be slotted in and moved around from time to time. We lost our spine in the summer. It was a hard thing to try and replace. There was a lack of application last night though. Neil has admitted the players didn;t seem to be up for the game. The players must take a huge slice of the blame for last night. I expect some to not play on Saturday. People travelled a long way for that game and not trying is not acceptable.




  13. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar




    Marrakesh Express



    Thanks Ghuys, may all your football wishes come true, if so I am sure I will be a happy Mhan……..HH

  14. Correct me if am wrong, but were people not calling for wgs to go after artmedia calamity?.


    As they say the rest is history!. (Intact by the way).



    Hail Hail.



    Big sean.



    Roll on sat.

  15. Off topic for a minute but was up visiting my old uncle yesterday. As cynical when it comes to the SMSM as they come.


    Anyway his question to me was what’s the scoop on the burnt-out bus?


    Have to say I had forgotten all about it. He hadn’t.



    Anyone got any ideas or heard anything recently. Surely those horrible Greenock bus men could not have been involved? I thought I heard Swally say it was one of us……to be honest with you. Absolutely.

  16. Livibhoy,im with you regarding John Collins, he like other ex celtic players should be on the payroll at Celtic, them 2 guys who had nothing good to say aboutJohn Collins ,well probalbythey were on the drink and being pests ,when they were talking to him.just read some of the comments tony gets from some punters on here,says it all about him. the other guy,well he after all is entitled his opinions is suppose.

  17. Steinreignedsupreme on

    jimmci 15:43 on 12 December, 2013



    It has gone very quiet on the super duper bus inferno.



    Anyone would be forgiven for thinking the whole mess was being covered up.



    Which is a shame as that would mean no insurance pay out.

  18. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on

    I don’t really want to become embroiled in the debate about what went wrong last night.



    Suffice to say that the manager got his team selection horribly wrong and not for the first time. He has his favourites, as does any manager, but they’re favourites for a reason and that’s because he rates them; whether we agree or not.



    Neil Lennon didn’t pick Sammi despite him playing poorly recently. No he picked him because irrespective of recent domestic successes he believed that Sammi would do a job for him on a different stage.



    MON consistently played the same team and the same tactics if all of his players were fit. The current manager would do well to remember that.



    Ps nobody of any worth or note would take the Celtic job and that’s what we need to remember.

  19. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on

    Just writing out Christmas cards and helping wrap some prezzies,


    My God I miss my Da the most at this time of year but I know he will be looking down smiling at me doing what I used to noise him up for:))


    Ps His favourite to me after a defeat was “They dont put your dinner on the table,and you will be ok after we play again ” as he smiled at me greetin :)) it used to drive me to distraction but the older I get the wiser I realise he was:)) Hmmmmmmm.



    Bring on the Hibeeeeees csc

  20. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    Received an email earlier re Martin. I’ll due my duties later tonight.

  21. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    And I’m sure that he’s looking down pissin himself at your wrapping skills :-)

  22. Sean



    Ah am Not calling fur the Heid of Lennie..



    Na.. Perish,that Thought!



    Neil..is Just a Daft Laddie.. At this Time..!



    He must Get Bettah…






    In Ma Book.. we must be Honest wi oorsels..



    and First of Awe..



    Find oot .. Who is Sabotagin’ us..



    And Ah Say..






    It’s…. Oor Manager..






    The Players ,are jis the Plasticine..



    The Manager..is the Sculptor!



    And.. Lennie..is ..at this Time.. No a very guid .. well. Sculper!



    He needs Further INSTRUCTION, oan How tae MOLD A Perfect Fitba Team!



    Ah suggest Now. Whit Ah hiv bin . Suggesting fur Months..




    N that is..



    Neil. Needs .






    We need tae bring in a Guy who KNOWS THE GAME..



    No a Guy ,who his Jist..



    PLAYED, the Game..



    There is a Big Difference.. ye Know.



    Ah wid bring in.. wanna those.. Auld.. Retired?



    But , WISE



    GERMAN FUSBAL.. COACHES… tae assist Neil..in his Sculptin..well.. endeavours!



    Ah suggest.. A German. because. Ah happen tae Admire.. The Usual



    German.. CLINICAL… Approach, tae Playin the Beautiful game.






    Ah widnae tak offence.. if Celtic brought in … An Artful Coach of … Anither Nationality.. as Neil’s



    new .. Mentor.



    Jist Bring In Sombuddy… Celtic..


    Fur oor Lad…needs. Guidance



    He kin Handle the S.P.L. Cluggers..Nae Bother..






    Agin .. European Opposition..



    He Needs tae be given a Helpin’ Haun.. or Foot.. Withevah …




  23. Steinreignedsupreme



    Sadly I don’t think Neil Lennon does learn from his mistakes ….in fact he constantly repeats the same mistakes.

  24. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Moonbeams WD. Kano 2000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. Champions. C’mon Wee Oscar. 16:01 on 12 December, 2013



    “How feckin happy did David Tanner look last night?!!!”



    Tanner’s always happy to get out of the heels and get the brogues on.



    Has anyone ever spotted David Tanner and Hazel Irvine in the same room?




  25. Haven’t read back just in but I’m sure this point must have been made earlier. Team Selection. My heart sank when I saw the team Neil had selected. What was he thinking about? Why make so many changes to what had been the two most impressive back to back results all season. IMO that team would have struggled to beat any of the SPL top six teams away from home, and here was Neil sending it out in the Nou Camp. What a risk. What a blunder. A rookie manager type blunder. At some point in the near future Neil has to stop making rookie manager type mistakes. He is repeating the same errors way too often.

  26. bigrailroadblues on

    Leftclick. Good post. My Dad is 80 and always told me that when I was kid. BRB on memory lane ( late 60’s variety).

  27. glendalystonsils on

    tanner couldn’t keep the smirk off his hunnish coupon.


    After the game, the first thing he mentioned was the trouble at Motherwell…..totally irrelevant to last nights game. Fud.

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