Lost In France


So what did we learn from our trip to France? Hmmm,now there’s a question… Pre-season matches should never be judged at face value,nor should we read too much into them. Our players were playing their first matches in 132 days,and for a lot of that time there had been no formal training,so the major point of the trip was really just to blow the cobwebs away and get us used to kicking a ball about again,get us settling down to our usual rhythm. 

We certainly did that at times,with our usual defensive frailties rearing their ugly heads and allowing Lyon and Paris St Germain a virtually unopposed after you Claude run on goal whenever they felt like it. The enormous gaps posed between our defensive and midfield lines were constantly exposed,with teams breaking at will,four or five passes moving the ball from the edge of one box to the other,theirs to ours. 

We are shockingly vulnerable to teams hitting us on the break,and the policy of pushing the full backs up could do with a rethink. In addition to that,what Neil Lennon would give for a,well,a Neil Lennon in the middle. Our midfield lacks balance,that’s for sure. And it seems to lack too the discipline required to shield the defence-which against the better opposition teams is a more vital part of the game than to provide the bullets for the front men. 

And speaking of which,they didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either. Some really disappointing displays over the extended weekend of three games. 

In addition,our squad players didn’t show much when given the chance,albeit against some quality opposition. I’d say that might be more of a worry than the aforementioned. 

Overall,the trip,was a damp squib-on the face of it. So we have to take what we can from it. And that seems to be the knowledge that we have a lot to do in the next ten days and in the forthcoming weeks heading into the qualifiers. We clearly need to get some proper coaching into the players in terms of defending against breaking teams in particular. It’s not good enough to say that the players are good enough,or that they know their role in the team. I’m increasingly concerned about the former,and I’ve yet to be convinced of the latter. 

For instance,do we really need two wingers and two overlapping full backs? That’s a lot of width,and that leads to a lot of gaps in the middle. And while our first team is probably good enough against most domestic competition,it’s becoming increasingly clear that our much-vaunted and frankly bloated squad isn’t of the quality we’ve been told,and certainly isn’t of the quality we need. Hell knows,we’ve been crying out for a clear-out for years but we’ve got away with it. Quality not quantity has been the refrain. It’s one that has been long ignored. It will be ignored this season too,unfortunately. But it certainly needs sorted


One positive to come out of the mini tour was the solidarity shown to the Black Lives Matter campaign,one which clearly had the full and unquestioning support of the players and of the fans. We are a matter of weeks away from The Million Man March on Washington in 1995,and it is appalling that The Land of the Free still treats a significant number of their citizens as shooting practice. This cause has our unanimous support,I suspect,as do all campaigns which have the target of equality as their goal. I find it absolutely incredible that the Rangers players who showed their solidarity with the movement have come under fire from their own fans for doing so. 

They should hang their heads in shame,in fact every one of them who tweeted or posted their disgusting racist filth on various of their websites should be under arrest for  race hate. The SMSM should also be taking a bloody hard look at themselves over this. Did they do their best to report these far from isolated acts of racism? Did they ‘eck as like,they ignored it all. Can’t report any bad stuff from that lot,nothing that shows them in a bad light. 

It is to the credit of the players that they didn’t back down,and came out fighting on the matter. And it is to the credit of the Ibrox club that they too eventually released a statement on the matter,which although it could perhaps have been more damning,still hit the spot. 

2020 and people still need reminding that there is a zero tolerance approach to racism? There’s your billy boys for you. Time for that club to back their words with action with a few banning orders. And time for Police Scotland to enforce the law. 


Above article by BMCUWP. It’s nearly time for the fitba’ so get yer pencils sharpened and write us an article. Mail it to Mahe


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July 22, 2020 5:34 am

Above should read

We are a matter of weeks away from the 25th Aniversary of The Million Man March on Washington in 1995.

Apologies for not noticing that at the time.

July 22, 2020 5:48 am

Good morning, fine and balmy the day…

Good leader BMCUWP, didn’t see the game last evening and don’t have time to do your very salient points justice but… agreed!!

Read a bit on the last thread, just time for a quick comment, as someting caught my eye…


We all want the best for our team, that is something we do agree on. How to achieve it is the source of difference and consternation. But realism is required. My hope for this season is an historic Tenth Title in a row! After that, I’ll take progression in Europe, preferably in the CL.
What we shouldn’t forget is we are in pre-season games against quality opposition!
Squad Values
Nice €150m
Lyon €330m
PSG €730m
CFC €75m.

That’s interesting as I was totting up the “new first team squad” published on the official site t’uther day.

Although my figure was a wee bit higher, it points to a very interesting phenomena…

The double, treble winners squad was worth €150m.

In my opinion, managing that squad correctly would have given us two seasons UCL and maintained the squad value.

That’s an extra £60m in revenue and a squad worth double what our current one is worth.

As of now we’d have a great chance of UCL again and be dead certs for the ten…

The reason we are not in that position is clear, the decisions taken by the PLC Board at that time, including the one to down size the quality and “take value” off our coaching team and playing squad. I believe it was both deliberate and calculated and wrong.

Have a great day Celts…


I’m aff oot…

Hail Hail

July 22, 2020 5:54 am


Yer up sharp today!

As you know,this site was set up as a response to the dead rubber transfer window in 2018. So I agree 100% on your point about the reduction in quality of playing and coaching staff.

July 22, 2020 7:33 am

Good morning all from rain soaked Govanhill. Good article Mick, but I do wish you wouldn’t make me think at this time of the morning. My brain hurts. ?

July 22, 2020 7:58 am


You are gonna get your wish,unfortunately. I post the articles at the time I do as I’m returning off night shift. Being made redundant after my Saturday shift,so hell knows when my articles will go up in future.

Shame really,I’ve been there since 2003. But while I’ll miss the job I started in 2003,I doubt I’ll miss the one I’m leaving. Become quite stressful,what with one thing and another. Dropping about a third of my wages in the last five years,driving clapped-out vehicles,seeing colleagues ushered out the door.


Them’s the breaks. No sympathy cards please,I’m not dead yet. Still plenty of work around,so I’ll be fine.

(Crosses fingers and touches wood!)

One thing for sure,there’s a whole lot of people in a worse place than me,and I won’t be saying woe is me and crying about things. I’ve been in some crap positions in life,but this isn’t one of them.

July 22, 2020 8:10 am
July 22, 2020 8:13 am

Mick, I’m glad I retired when I did. You will be working again soon, no doubt. Good luck young fella.

big packy
July 22, 2020 8:15 am

MORNING ALL and JIM, BOBBY, sorry about the redundancy mate,been there myself and its not nice, im sure you will find another driving job, up here they are crying out for parcel delivery drivers, best of luck anyway? wont mention the game last night im still hurting?

July 22, 2020 8:20 am


I’m certainly no stranger to it,lads. I’ll be fine,and thanks for the best wishes.


July 22, 2020 8:25 am

Just been announced that we are playing Derry City, this Saturday at Celtic Park. Will start to worry if we don’t win that match. Not bothered by the results in France.

Noel Skytrot
July 22, 2020 8:37 am

The result matters not a jot for me. I thought Frimpong had a good game considering who he was up against.


Good luck mate in whatever’s next.

July 22, 2020 9:09 am

I’ll be worried if I can’t get back to Derry. ?

Bada Bing
July 22, 2020 9:09 am

Best of luck M,hope you get something soon……with better hours…

Bada Bing
July 22, 2020 9:09 am

I think a lot of the moans happen when we unnecessarily put ourselves against one of the world’s best teams, there was only going to be one outcome, as for working on a defensive shape,and a team formation to develop? Play opposition you can do this against, not football’s equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, where we don’t get time or space to string 3 passes together.

July 22, 2020 9:29 am

Hey Mick.
Hopefully something will turn up soon.
I wish you well.
Are you still going to stay where you are?
Or are you thinking of moving north?

July 22, 2020 9:46 am

Honestly not looking for sympathy,folks-but,of course,thank you. Been in worse places,and a lot of people will find themselves in worse places than mine.


Not long got a new place sorted out,and should be more chances down here. See how it goes.

July 22, 2020 9:48 am


ATHINGOFBEAUTY and her long-suffering non-football loving husband!!!!!

And a HAPPY HOOOOOPY trip to Rome for PADDYSMAW and my niece!!!!!!

Hope y’all have a lovely time.

July 22, 2020 9:49 am

Good analysis Bobby, and much food for thought.

Sorry to hear about your redundancy, best of luck M with the job hunting, I hope you find something that suits you very soon.

July 22, 2020 9:51 am

Happy Anniversary to ATOB and her husband – lang may your lums reek.

Have a great trip to the Eternal City Paddysmaw.


July 22, 2020 11:03 am

July 22, 2020 11:18 am

One of my favourite fitba songs, is a Bonnie Tyler song, sung by Jags supporters.
“It’s a heartache,
Following the Partick,
Standing in the cold and rain,
Watching Jags get humped again.”

July 22, 2020 11:26 am

Very Happy Anniversary. From what I hear, your hubby deserves a medal. ??

July 22, 2020 11:30 am

Good one Garry! 🙂

July 22, 2020 1:14 pm

Here in the USA we have now entered phase 3 of Trump’s reelection strategy.
The brutalization of legitimate protestors was a disaster.The public was revolted by Heelspurs Bunker Bitches stormtroopers attacking innocent citizens.Even military commanders refused to join his junta.
Phase 2 was to ignore and hope that apathy would destroy momentum.The press were willing accomplices.
With the passing of bogus statues act he has now sent unaccountable jackbooted troops into Portland to attack and intimidate people under the cover of darkness.He is attempting to provoke a violent backlash so once again he can been seen as a strong leader against the revolting people by justifying brutalization of the populace like he did in his first failed attempt.
He is using the well worn tactic of fear to gain support and portraying his draft dodging, bunker hiding self as a strong leader would be hilarious if it wasn’t for the death and destruction he has wreaked on innocent citizens.
In the absence of leadership on the covid pandemic and the much vaunted USA jobs returning rhetoric he has failed.
His best chance of reelection will be as the protector from the bogeymen in the world’s most fearful country.

July 22, 2020 1:33 pm

Yesterday Ntcham proved his quality against top class opponents.
How he is behind so many average midfielders in our pecking order is a mystery?

July 22, 2020 2:19 pm


big packy
July 22, 2020 2:20 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, happy anniversary to ATOB, bet your hubby is glad to have you? I once shot an elephant in my pyjamas, how he got into my pyjamas ill never know,,GROUCHO MARX?

big packy
July 22, 2020 2:24 pm

FAN, ntcham has definately got talent, but sometimes i think he seems to get caught ballwatching.

July 22, 2020 2:28 pm

Fan a Tic
Think Olly’s problem, and ours, is his inconsistency and attitude towards football. Starting to get a few doubts about Calmac now too. Another poor show from him last night again.

July 22, 2020 2:47 pm

Good morning Vietnam.

The Gauls would never have beaten the Picts. Just saying like.

ATOB, happy anniversary.

BMCUWP, full time sports writer now I’m thinking.

Little one tells me her hair is cold and she bit her nose?

July 22, 2020 2:56 pm


Best of luck Mick.


Happy Anniversary to you and your other half.

big packy
July 22, 2020 2:59 pm

AFTERNOON MAHE ? talking of midfielders or halfbacks as we called them, ill bring you back to november 1969, went to parkhead with my father and my uncle packy to see the great eusebio under the parkhead floodlights, john clark never gave him a sniff, i remember him shooting from about 30 yards and just skimmed the crossbar, apart from that john was in control a masterclass,,so much so he did not come out for the second half,now thats what you call a midfielder?

July 22, 2020 3:05 pm

We could at least work on organizing ourselves when we don’t have the ball. PSG’s B team put us to shame in that regard. The passing channels between Frimpong and Bitton were like the Grand Canyon.

July 22, 2020 3:09 pm

Hi Big Packy.
Jim the Tim and Paul the Tim in the middle of the park, Calmac sitting ahead of them. That’s a winner.

I’ve nay time these days for 22 legs and a bit of leather. Keeping you lot in order taxes me enough.

Anyway the firefighter bro in law has came down with the Covid19 virus, which isn’t surprising as firefighters live together for 4 days at a time.
Woke up sick, called the boss who said one of the guys tested positive so everyone is quarantined and if sick yeah you have it.
Two days of flu like symptoms, now he is feeling better, but wife and new born have zero help so we are having them dinner delivered tonight. It’s his bday on Saturday and he will miss the party now. It’s still on yes.

Walk dog time.

Hail Hail

Mike in Toronto
July 22, 2020 3:10 pm


I also thought Ntcham looked like he could play at that level … one of the few Celtic players who did. (I also thought Elynoussi showed some glimpses of the player I think he can be … )

But to be a good passer, one needs a good receiver … like in the NFL, it doesnt matter if you have a cannon for an arm, if your receivers dont get open or cant catch a pass ….

similarly, the passing game that Ntcham can play requires players to know where and when to move to as soon as we get the ball … which, preferably, is into space …. but it seems that most of the time, our guys run forward until they hit a defender, then stop (with the defender between them and the goal), and turn their back to the goal.

as I said the other day, watching those games one could be forgiven for thinking our defenders are coached to find space (away from pesky opposing forwards), while our forwards are told to stick right on top of the defenders and not let them get away.

My sense is that we probably run as much as most teams, and make more passes than many teams, but I would love CBN (whose work I really admire) to compare those stats with other teams.

Although I’m not sure that would necessarily be telling … as I said, I suspect that Celtic players run as much as most teams, and our passing percentages are probably high … but if 4 out of 5 passes are safe passes backwards, or sideways, the percentages are going to be high, but they aren’t going to be very effective.

In the boxing parlance, they measure both punches (how many you throw, including useless ones that miss, or into shoulders, etc.) and also power punches (those punches that connect and make a difference). I suspect that our ratio of meaningless passes to meaningful ones has to be amongst the highest among the better quality teams.

big packy
July 22, 2020 3:21 pm

MAHE, sorry to hear that,hope your brother in law gets better soon ,hail hail from all in cheshire.?

Mike in Toronto
July 22, 2020 3:40 pm


Calmac is one who sometimes confounds me. I think that, along with Ntcham, he is one of the best passers oif the ball. Same problems apply.

Also, Calmac suffers, I think, from a bit of the same problems that Scholes had at Man U. They are hard players to put into neat little boxes. Neither were great defensively, so wouldn’t describe either as box to box mids, but neither were they wingers, or even false 9’s. They were sort of hybrid mids that are more common today (can do a bit of everything, but more offensive than defensive, without being out and out attackers)

I dont think Scholes always got the recognition that he deserved because he wasn’t easily put into one hole or another. I think he was the best midfielder United had in my time (just edging out Keane, which is high, high praise).

July 22, 2020 4:21 pm

Garry Mike in Toronto
I think Calmac in his present guise is more myth than reality.
He is a good pass and move player but not suited to his present role.
Our system, shape and teammates are not flexible enough to enhance his ability.
His best moment in a Celtic jersey for me was when he passed the ball into the huns net after a great layoff from Moussa.
In his present role he would have been nowhere near that area for Moussa’s pass.
He can strike a ball well but is rarely in a position to do so.
I also think Ryan Christies headless chicken act is also becoming a problem.
Also in fairness to Ntcham’s inconsistent form he never had an extended run in a settled position last season.

big packy
July 22, 2020 4:22 pm

now this story might be true or might not be true ,JIM will officate ? in the 1960s i was a feared goalscorer standing at 6 feet 4 inches i scored 100 goals with my head for our lady and st josephs boys guild team, then shotts bon accord offered me a contract 10 shillings a week, i accepted only because it was a tim team, then calamity enthused, linlithgow rose and kirkintiloch rob roy wanted me on double the wages, remember the boss of kikintiloch, big rab sanderson asking me to take off my crucifix which i wore proudly around my neck, i wont tell you what i said to him ,but i had to go to confession the next day?

Cosy Corner Bhoy
July 22, 2020 4:34 pm

Nae back of the bus for you, Big Packy.Hail Hail.

big packy
July 22, 2020 4:40 pm


big packy
July 22, 2020 4:49 pm

COSY CORNER BHOY, just like to say BMCUW is a joy to behold,, when i was in my darkest hours i was on the phone to mick,/bobby, and he helped me through it ,he will find a job im sure and if not, i will bring him up here to cheshire, and he can stay with me i will get him a job dont you worry?

July 22, 2020 4:54 pm


Sorry to hear about your job. A new chapter in your life awaits.


??? Celtic plc hun lovin criminals
July 22, 2020 4:56 pm

So Neil Lennon is a tactical numpty Cal mac is over rated & Ryan Christie is a heedless chicken ?
Been some belters on here ?

big packy
July 22, 2020 5:03 pm

AFGHAN i never said any of those things?

??? Celtic plc hun lovin criminals
July 22, 2020 5:07 pm

Oh & by the way Ntcham is the biggest culprit for ball watching & not tracking any runners never mind his own man.
Ollie Ntcham is Ollie Ntcham’s biggest problem has it in abundance but his application is sadly lacking.

big packy
July 22, 2020 5:11 pm

AFGHAN, luv ya to bits, hope you and the wee dug are are ok?

July 22, 2020 5:15 pm

Re:the pre-season and the relative performances of Celtic and Sevco.

We have all become familiar with false positives during the pandemic. We saw it again in France with Sevco’s results against Lyon and Nice. Sevco played their top team for most of these matches, with the objective of winning. They achieved their goal but does it mean they are a threat to us? IMHO, these results prove nothing…they are false positives. Although if Celtic had achieved them, we would have celebrated them! What their performances show is that they have a system that suits the quality of player that they have but there is little ability to shift to a new formation if it does not work. Further they lack depth in their squad. Attrition will have an effect throughout the season.

So the advantage is still with Celtic….better players, stronger squad. However, they can beat us on a given day. Why? The answer lies in the actions of the coaching team and their experimental approach to formations.

That uncertainty gives an edge to the upcoming season. I expect us to win the league but there will be wobbles that might need adjusting through the extended transfer window.


??? Celtic plc hun lovin criminals
July 22, 2020 5:28 pm

Hope you & Joan are safe well & healthy B P?

We’re good pal I am actually heading home with the bhoy now after a long stroll, thank feck for waterproof gear?

I heard there was an incident over Govan way last night a wee cockney dug was wrestling wae it’s owner over a fish supper.

Both were later found in a row boat with no oars a massive cargo singing there’s only one Neil Lennon, here we go 10 in a row heading towards the north sea ?

??? Celtic plc hun lovin criminals
July 22, 2020 5:41 pm

So Neil Lennon’s lack of tactical knowledge had Mikey Johnson playing up front not once but twice at ibrox even when Brenda was the manager?

Cal mac playing full back twice?

Sorry Pedro playing champ manager & the obsession with a balance sheet, covering your sleekit tracks as you are found out for what a C u next Tuesday you are. Football dept secondary always to the balance sheet.

There’s the problem a C u next Tuesday playing fitba manager.

Like previous i back Neil 100% he has never let me you or Celtic down.

Same prediction from me give him the tools & he will deliver.HH?✌