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I just dont understand..

Anyone remember a piece I wrote on August 10th…basically only just over 2 weeks ago..

It began..

First of all, a warning…I was tempted to just leave this article.

I told myself “Let it go..its just the 2nd game…it will pass..breathe..move on”.

12 hours later and Im still just as angry so here it is.

Now if you don’t want to read a rant that’s just going to  go all over the place, then just feel free to close and ignore.

Still here?

Are we sitting comfortably?


Ok?…lets begin..”


Well who knew that toothless Killie draw would be just the start of a pull your remaining hair out session.

If you’re ready for another rant, well here it comes, but this time Im just gonna throw out questions and please feel free to add your own questions, thoughts and disappointments in the Comments section below.

Ok?…lets begin


Last night we exited the Champions League at the 2nd Qualification Round.

We exited in a shambolic, pathetic manner and everyone at the Club BAR the fans ( although I may come to us later) should be ashamed of their involvement.

Im not gonna go over the players ( or lack off!) performances in a report or individual rating as I think its the big picture that needs addressing more than this dreadful showing.

The players to a man were shite, the Management decisions, tactics, substitutions and post match interview were even shiteier(!) and the goals that put us out were avoidable and the defeat entirely self inflicted.

So to the questions, or more to the point, things I just dont understand…

I just dont understand how Lenny can repeatedly make the same mistakes in these games. Saying its “individual errors” is nonsense. There was no need for El Hamed to be 1 on 1 ( Jullien getting back to cover was as slow as a week in the jail if you watch it) with their main danger man. There was no need for so many Celts to be up the park. Once again we over committed at a time of comfort in the game and left ourselves exposed for no reason other than managerial error. We have now lost 3 games to European opposition where the Manager has come out and said “We have to learn”. Not we Neil, you.

I just dont understand how, even with the irony or no striker, we can still shoot ourselves in the face, let alone in the foot. Every year the fans step up and give their all. The Board and Management then fuck it up. No quality signings in early enough to be ready when needed. No thoroughly prepared and peak fitness team in full readiness. A Complacent attitude against the opposition alluding to arrogance, incompetence and negligence.

I just dont understand how we can find ourselves in the same situations year on year. Remember Lewis Morgan as Centre-forward anyone? Do we actually have a Planning Committee at Celtic Park that looks beyond 2 weeks into the future?

I just dont understand how we can have 4 strikers on the books and yet have none ready for a game in late August.  With Eddy “injured”, then Klimala or Ajeti should have been in place ready to go. The fact they werent says more about Neil Lennons Management Team and Fitness preparation and Peter Lawwells purchasing policy than it does about the players themselves.

I just dont understand how Patryk Klimala cant be ready for that game last night. He has been at the club since January. He scored against Ross County. How can he not be fit enough for that game? How has he not been given sufficient game time to ensure he is match fit?  If Klimala is deemed not good enough to start a game or even get early substitution appearances in league games then who is accountable for another expensive benchwarmer?

I just dont understand how Lenny can criticise Leigh Griffiths one week, then salute him the next and then 2 weeks later we are back to Griffiths out in the cold. The Club have to sort this out once and for all as we can only have people we can depend on.

I just dont understand how the players can seem so unfit. Might just be my untrained eyes but they are slow, ponderous and look weary. Has Gavin Strachans ideas burnt them out or taking a long time to come to fruition? Are all those rumoured days off having an impact?

I just dont understand how Lenny thinks substitutions are a luxury. It was plain for all to see that players were toiling out there last night yet his only instinct is to watch on and then freshen things up when its too little too late.

I just dont understand how so many of our players are shadows of the players they should be. How can Jullien can be so tall but have all the defensive presence of an empty crisp poke in the wind. The guy should be commanding and in charge of all around him. He should be ensuring adequate cover is in place across the back line. On the right, I just dont understand whats happened to James Forrest this season, he is almost invisible out there. In the middle, Callum MacGregor just seems to restrict himself to one area as if held in a force field of containment. There’s no Calmac swagger,  no injection of Calmac pace,its now just slow safe  short passes to Broony. Broony to be fair is trying but he knows he should be getting subbed for fresh legs and talent by now. Where are the personalities to rally alongside Broony?, nowhere to be seen at present!

I just dont understand our mind numbing attacking tactics. The premise seems to be..get it down the wing and cut in. No hitting the by-line and cutting back. No.  Its get it, and if on the left, Greg Taylor fails to cross it beyond the first man or on the right, James Forrest simply plays it back to a central midfielder. We face 6 guys across the 18 yard line in every game and continue to just run up and hit a brick wall. No invention, no adoption of different approaches, just same old  blunt crowded area blindness hoping an Eddy or Mo can do us a twinkle toe turn.  Lest we forget, our goal last night needed a deflection!

I just dont understand how we can see clips of Greg Taylor in training doing spins and dribbles yet when he gets on the pitch, he never takes a man on directly. Its always give and go. Is he lacking confidence to play like that or is he  instructed to play that way as the Management dont have confidence in him being so direct. Something needs to be done one way or another as the crossing approach just isnt paying off…especially when no striker in the box.

I just dont understand how apparent top quality footballers need to take 2 and 3 touches on the ball. The play is so slow that the opposition just regroup and wait while we play it across the middle of the park going nowhere.

I just dont understand how James Forrest and Jeremie Frimpong cant play together. Surely these thing can be worked on in training? If we need El Hamed in defence then why not promote Frimpong up the park and have him genuinely challenging Forrest for a start rather than a desperate late substitution.

I just dont understand how we now seem to have purchased  a Keeper that wants to play it out from the back with scary 6 yard box passing. Wasnt that why we got Fraser Forster to get away from the Brendanesque style of play? Is this keeper one that Lenny had any decision making in buying?

I just dont understand what John Kennedy does. If he is the main Coach then clearly something lacking there and if he is a Defence coach then clearly something lacking there. We left men exposed and conceded 2 goals. Where is the coaching there? We now have Kennedy, McManus and O’Dea at the club in coaching roles..I really dont know if thats a good thing or not.

I just dont understand why Lenny would do that Press Conference and state that players who dont want to be there should leave. Was it throwing them under the bus? Was it an impassioned plea for unity? It just raised everyones eyebrows, including Broonys and raised so many questions. The most obvious question of all being “Why fucking play them then Lenny?” but the big worry was the hint that there is a major lack of harmony in the dressing room and possibly at the Club.

and finally

I just dont understand when we the fans are going to decide enough is enough. We stick with the Club through thick and thin. We have no real say in who is accountable for those who repeatedly let us down. At what stage does the final straw come? The Ten is the totem that is protecting Peter Lawwell for now, come May and next summer, it could be a very different picture once that goal is laid to rest one way or another.

Thanks for listening – please add your thoughts below







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3 years ago

I agree Lennon should never have been appointed this is the guy who since leaving Celtic first time was sacked by Bolton & “released” by Hibs having achieved square root of middle of a doughnut. He has been in charge long enough to have successfully undone any changes BR introduced in an effort to modernise the training player’s health & tactical planning no BR didn’t always get it right & behaved badly in his departure but at least he had some clue Lenny has none & the players know that hence why they are lost & ineffectual

Kathleen Brown
3 years ago

I think James Forrest has been awol since coming back. But starting with no strikers when everyone knows we play better with two up front. And don’t get me started on Julien. That said what’s done is done but if they are serious about 10iar like the support is then a clear the air meeting is urgently needed before the weekend. Come on Celtic you are better than this. ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️

San Miguel
3 years ago

Well said Desimond,
Something (or someone (s) need to change.)

3 years ago

Very good article. You outline a lot of the frustration that we are all feeling today.

3 years ago

I never renewed my season book this has been coming since last summer. Weaker all over the park. Forrest steals a wage, midfield looks unfit. Defence look nervous and don’t communicate with each other. Griff is finished with Celtic let us down far to many times. A season that should be the most exciting in years is starting to fall apart but Im sadly not surprised.

Mark McDonagh
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen

When ST sales start to fall back to Ronny Delia levels and sevco start to pick up points, then changes will be made, SPL is too easy and we have a complacent board, HH!

3 years ago

Problem Statement
1 – Manger not getting the best out of the squad
2 – Team no clear tactical identity other than ‘have better players than the opposition and shoot on sight’. Resulting a team that is easy to predict and even easier to defend against and counter
3 – Players not at peak fitness
4 – Players discipline is lax
5 – No youth players progressing to First Team (the last to come in and cement a place was Tierney and that was 4 years ago. Even one of the most feted young players in Europe can’t get a game – Dembélé). And so relying on recruitment to populate the first team
6 – Club with limited investment in data analytics and squad/ recruitment tooling – being left behind by our European peers – meaning that we rely on the manager having ‘an eye’ for a player with all the reliability that this brings
7 – Revenue/ Income stifled due to early European exit; restricting budgets in all departments of the club and forcing player sales
8 – Discontent with key squad members due to a perspective that they can learn more, get paid more and gain a higher profile elsewhere
9 – Our coaching team is made up of former players newly qualified and with no desirable track record of elite coaching credentials – it’s not like any of the Red Bull teams will be coming to pick Gavin bloody Strachan anytime soon!

All of the items above have been the same for the last 2 seasons (some even longer than that).
We got away with it last year because ‘they’ collapsed at the first hint of pressure. We might not get away with it this year but I wouldn’t be willing to take the chance – and more importantly, our measuring stick shouldn’t;t be ‘them’!

Four of the items above are in the direct control of the manger and so he, and his support team, must take the fall.
The remaining are owned by the CEO and so he has to go too.

Nothing changed last year and nothing will change this year.

It’ll continue to be Jobs for the boys – Strachan, O’Dea, McManus (only a matter of time before Brown gets a coaching job) – that in itself is a damning indictment of our staff recruitment approach.
We’ll continue to get the same sort of results if we continue to employ the same sort of people with the same sort of mindset and approach to ‘football management’
We seem to have forgotten that the one time we employed a top level (snake) manager our performance both on and off the park was boosted massively.

I’ll predict that when PL retires he’ll step up to Chairmen or NED and we’ll recruit from within for the CEO role ensuring that nothing really changes.

We only need to look at Barcelona and Man Utd to see that football at the elite level is moving an a rapid pace – no matter how good your players are or how much money you throw at recruitment if you fail to move with the times you get left behind

Yoker Bhoy
3 years ago
Reply to  DGC

Excellent post. Covers practically the whole shebang.

The Cha
3 years ago
Reply to  DGC

Agree, excellent.

wrt “7 – Revenue/ Income”, whereas this is true and should impact on our competing with teams farther up the food chain, it shouldn’t be affecting us to beat the teams we’re losing to, as they have far less income even with our depleted income.

We earn between £75-90m pa and apart from the big leagues and a few individual clubs, we will comfortably earn more than the vast majority of our European competitors.

In qualifying, do we ever compete against a team with more revenue?

3 years ago
Reply to  The Cha

100% agree chief. At no point over the last few years have we come across a team in qualifying that matches us in this field – I think the last time would have been Arsenal under Mowbray.

I suppose the point I was trying to make (poorly) was that the stewards of the club are failing and as a result, across every department, we move from a position where we have extra headroom and flexibility to one where we have to make compromise – the failure to prepare adequately over the last number of seasons has resulted in a drop in income which means that budgets are cut and player sales are forced.

I’m also assuming this is why our website looks like a teenage girl’s Bebo page rather than that of a £100m company – budget compromise and re-prioritisation

The Cha
3 years ago
Reply to  DGC

I wondered about AEK but can’t find the figures.

Their ground holds 70k and, I assume, they get a lot more than us from a TV deal.

I don’t know if they fill the ground and if merchandise sales are commensurate with this but I imagine they’ll be the closest to us recently and far ahead of Cluj, Copenhagen and Ferencvaros.

3 years ago

To start a match of that magnitude with no striker is criminal!
Lennon looks ill, time for change!

3 years ago

Last nights team selection, performance and tactics was abysmal. We have been papering over the cracks at celtic for several years but as long as we can laugh at r****** problems no one seems to be bothered. We have spent millions on 2nd rate players, whoever is scouting them should be sacked, goalie looks bang average, a West ham reject. Celtic need a massive change from top to bottom or never mind europa we can forget 10.

Raphael D
3 years ago

Agree in all you say ,I don’t understand either,!!!!!

3 years ago

Having a striker’s mentality, especially in the box, is completely different to players who score from midfield. That’s the reason that EVERY other team in the world plays with a striker or two. Not us though. Millions spent this year on strikers but none good enough on the night.
Frimpong could have caused havoc if he’d have started. Subs ALWAYS too late to make a difference.
It would be a shame that such a solid servant to the club should miss 10IAR but Neil isn’t European tactically savvy enough to manage Celtic.
No one can say that we aren’t consistent, though, with every shot straight at the keeper and the usual shite crosses with no one on the end of anything. Having said that, we played some lovely football where it didn’t matter.
At the end of the day and money apart, I’m half glad we aren’t going to be on the end of some humiliating hammering from the big boys out there. Europa, unfortunately, is our true level.

The Cha
3 years ago
Reply to  John

Nope, we qualified for Champs League 2 out of 3 times under the last manager and probably would have been 3 but for Lawwell’s dick about on transfers.

What happened 8 years ago is irrelevant to what’s happening today, football has moved on enormously since then and Lennon hasn’t, in fact he’s regressed badly.

Are Celtic fans entitled to expect us to beat teams with a fraction of our resources and tactical competence form the manager (not a masterclass, just not a disasterclass)?

Yes they are and they’re right to express their disgust when that doesn’t happen due to incompetence rather than bad luck.

Of course, you’re the guy that hated every bit of the Invincibles, so you know all about short memories and knives.

3 years ago
Reply to  John

How happy were you with the Cluj, Malmo, AEK, etc performances? Oh, and I was over the moon with the way Rangers ripped us apart last year. We can’t handle teams that press us. It’s not our fault. £3 million players are good but they aren’t £30 million players. To say that Klimala isn’t match fit is a joke. I suspect that it’s just another desperate buy same as the ‘wonder kids’ we sign every year who never get a kick.

3 years ago
Reply to  John

To be fair, Rodgers for all his renowned expertise (some of it in his own head probably) was one of worst managers I’ve seen when it came to tactics in Europe. Always, always played the same way, you could predict a week before the match how the team would set-up.

3 years ago
Reply to  John

well said. Completely agree with you. We were absolutely embarrassing in Europe with Rodgers in charge and had some of the worst results in our history. Yet certain people wouldn’t have a bad thing to say about him until he slunk out the back door.

Patrick Dunion
3 years ago

Lenny has lost the dressing room with his talk he is the one to blame he picks the team and asked players to play in different positions

tam brogan
3 years ago

Excellent article loved reading and agree

3 years ago

What about Christie’s corners fucking terrible mix it up a bit ffs let somebody hit a few so predictable

3 years ago
Reply to  Sm85

Makes a change from Griffiths taking our corners. Could never get my around a striker taking corners.

3 years ago

Brilliant I could not agree more.

Raphael D
3 years ago

Not a fan of Lennon,was very disappointed when he got the job ,again,!!!!!! But he was appointed,so we have to support him as Celtic fans ,remember he delivered the treble last season ,and the possibility of the same again ? We have two games to do the treble again ,however ,the situation could get out of control if he and his staff do not get their act together,we are only a short time away from a total mess ?,
The fact he came out and made public his feelings ,to me shows the pressure he is under ?self made I believe, now is the time to show your ability ,of being a top manager ,hh

The Cha
3 years ago
Reply to  Raphael D

He didn’t win the treble last season, as the Scottish Cup is still to be concluded.

Finbar Muldoon
3 years ago

Brown, Forrest and Taylor should be no where near first team picks in “big games”. Brown’s legs went 3 years ago. Taylor isn’t a Celtic player. Forrest hides when going gets tough. HH

3 years ago

Forrest couldn’t run round scott’s monument with a ball, frimpong beats more men in 10 minutes than he does in 10 games, and i would rather have julian clary than the big bomb scare

3 years ago

Absolutely spot on in everything you say , and thank you for expressing something I have felt since BR left . One thing I have thought about for years , but never seen it discussed , is Lawwells part in the 5WA , his obsfucation on this is disingenuous and sinister in the least . It would not surprise me at all , that 9iar for us might have been part of the deal !! Only this in my mind would/ could lead his complete avoidance of Res12 ! Lennon left years ago .. for whatever reason ( s) . As pointed out by other posters, he failed miserably at Bolton , and almost equally at Hibs , he seems to have the tactical house of a used teabag , ( Calum McGregor at left back ) and should never have allowed to return. His first game after returning , last minute goal at Dens Park , has been par for the course ever since , stagnant stale and devoid of any invention . The cup final last Nov was our luckiest win in my 55 years of supporting Celtic ( only superseded by perhaps the coin toss against Benfica )with big FF saving the day , and Lennons job .., proving pivotal as , if the Hun has won , the dynamic of the season would have changed . From there on , I don’t doubt that we would have won the league last season should it have been completed as normal , but mainly through the complete incompetence of the Hun . Our board seemingly are no different from those over at I brokes , but it makes no sense . Our sole competitive targets should realistically be Champions League groups , being that we have to win our domestic league first , but a group stage Champions League team should never have a problem doing so . … anything after would be a bonus .
Our “ success “ in treble trebles etc is being used to blind us from the magicians trick , we are where are domestically , but should be far far superior and completing at a much greater level in Europe .
It will never happen , but Lawell has to go , and can take Lennon with him , his team selection and tactics are that of an inebriated clown , with only the keeper seemingly aware of his positional responsibilities.
If anyone has managed to read this far , I would like you question the possibility of our 9iar being part of the 5WA .. it makes sense to Lawells business plan , a continuation of an OF and his bonuses , the fact the Hun has been “ allowed “ to function through their blatant economic criminal activity. I was at Brockeville when we won the first 9 .. only later understanding the full significance of this with Masonic influences beaten also . I’m very much afraid we have now reached the point of success which we are allowed… after all , Lawell has agreed to this years ago ….

The Cha
3 years ago

Disagree with the last point.

10IAR is simply the latest in the wee boys pissing competition with the Huns.

If and when that’s done, they’ll be something else; 11IAR, Going for 55 or world record trophy wins, whatever noises up the Huns, that’s all what matters.

Sadly, you’re deluded if you think Europe is going to be prioritised. The gut-wrenching feeling we all have today will be forgotten by next May and then the cycle will begin again next July.

3 years ago
Reply to  The Cha

I didnt say I thought Europe would be prioritised.. my final point was about fans saying No more.. we are all behind The Ten and no one wants to endanger that BUT 11 wont mattter or Going for 55 and the Club wont have that protection anymore come next season if they fuck us over again

3 years ago

So many questions, however is there only one answer? A change in the dugout? Top man is not up to it.

3 years ago

therecis obviously players who want to go. Fine, get rid & bring in replacements.
Lenny obviously doeznt fancy PK. Bit of a worry

3 years ago

Killie , Dundee Utd ,Ferencvaros . A pattern of flat performances . In fact ,if Dundee U had a forward as speedy as Ferencvaros second scorer, we wouldn’t have been walking away with 3 points there.
Something not right at the club as a whole . No direction , no plan . Paying millions for players who don’t get a game or are not fit enough ? Players played out of position while players who could fill that position are benched or not even in the squad? Forrest has done nothing for weeks , Frimpong did more in the short time he was on but zero chance of him replacing James . Recruitment is baffling , coaching is ineffective . Board , coaching staff and players need to sit down and thrash out some kind of repair job that will get us to 10 in a row .then some BIG decisions need to be made to stop our club wasting away.

3 years ago

Des I , excellent piece asking the questions which need asked. The board have done very well in some aspects of our business but need some fresh ideas in others . I can’t comprehend the PLC ‘s Tunnel vision with regard to transfers. Looking at our games so far this season , the players don’t appear to know what their jobs are on the pitch. I’m looking forward to chatting to you in our seats , I’m that idiot that always shouts out don’t dive in and wan of ye lol

3 years ago
Reply to  JVR

Desi, You’ve spoken for many of us. Nothing to add. Excellent work!

3 years ago

Don’t disagree with much of what you are saying Desimond. I would add when are we ever going to threaten at corners and free kicks. Remember the tales of great players who would stay behind after training and practice set pieces. I don’t know what our bhoys are doing.
And James Forrest it has been decided is once again going to be the whipping bhoy. Honestly I think the lad would have to score 3 in every game to be given a fair crack. We are probably paying Moi a small fortune and what is he adding? By my reckoning of the small amount of dangerous situations we created Forrest was involved in 33% of them. My arithmetic might be slightly out but not far off. And what do you expect the wide men to do when they don’t have a striker to hit?

3 years ago
Reply to  mcklintop

James Forrest is no whipping boy. He is in a Testimonial Year and is a team veteran. Players like him should be stepping up and taking charge and control in games.

His contribution so far this season has been one run just before being subbed. Its not good enough for a player of his talent, standing and calibre.

Mo is at least present in games and making a contribution like setting up the goal chance.. Forrest needs to start doing the same.

3 years ago
Reply to  Desimond

So because he been there longer he should get more of the blame. Nah nonsense. And Moi did exactly the same as Forrest has been accused of, all night….cut inside. Same as for the goal. Jamesie hit the by line more times than Moi. He flashed the ball across the 6 yd line on a couple of occasions it wasn’t his fault no one thought to attack the 6yd box. Guess when you don’t have a striker…..

3 years ago

I don’t understand either!

Well that’s not strictly true I think we all know how we have got to this position and not only that but how we keep reaching this position!

Complete and utter mismanagement and ineptitude at both corporate and football levels and I cannot see that changing with a little tweak here and there. We need a full analysis and review of our on and off field activities and how they match up to achieving our short, medium and long term plans/ goals because currently neither are fit for purpose.

I sense we are not at the bottom yet and just I hope that we can get it back on track PDQ regarding the league and get into the EL group stages. I know this is only likely to paper over the cracks and that with PL/NL in charge we are unlikely to get the required change in mindset to help the club/supporters achieve its financial and footballing goals!

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