Five very big games for Lenny

I mentioned it before but these last few results have only rammed home the fact it cant be an easy job at all being our manager.
4 wins in as many games but that has no chance of calming the masses, bringing non stop opinions from every Tim, Dick and Harry about whats wrong with the team.


Has being a special season brought more angst than usual towards the dugout ?
Its hard to say but a perusal of articles and comments this time last year show many of the questions asked now are not new, not one bit.
There was plenty debate surrounding the signing policy which isnt going away until the policy does, however it must be said this was hugely exasperated due to our beloved left backs departure swelling the coffers.
But articles such as ‘Groundhog Day’ ‘Whats the plan’ and particularly ‘Three Points,End of’ show that we in general felt the same way then as now, unable to discern a plan.
Perhaps worryingly, we were banging them in back then. 3 against Cluj at home, 5 against Motherwell and Thistle, which might have served to hold back some criticisms.


Somewhat eerily we faced Hibs end of September last year also and only managed a draw, and big Morris Bauer even managed an assist in that game!
The referee (Clancy) took centre stage but comments after the game show almost word for word what we have discussed in recent weeks.
“ On Saturday, Hibs plan was to bottle up the midfield with a pressing game and a series of fouls. The ref allowed them to get away with this by strangely keeping his cards in his pocket for the early part of the game. With Christie, inexplicably, selected to play wide, this left Edouard to carry the striking position unaided. He was rarely in the game at this point.”


The above was a common feature of our play, and as shown easy to deal with. It was switching away from this formation that won us the league, one reason why we are all galled to see it return.
The intense speculation that we are about to lose our star striker might be true this time after all but that has been no reason not to get partnerships going up top.


While I admit it must be hard to be our manager, Lenny had a fantastic head start in that respect, having the perfect background and temperament. Then in having pulled on the shirt he cemented his credentials to be given a shot, which he excelled at thus got the position.
Then we did see a manager that learned on the job and not being one for self praise it was notable when asked after beating Barca what he had learnt he declared that he was able to manage at this level. Nights like that lead to him being tipped as one of Britain’s brightest young managers at the time.


While theres a lot of water under the bridge since that night, everything that has happened footballing wise is there to be learnt from. What doesnt kill you makes you stronger, you live and you learn, tomorrow is another day are all simple cliches on the one hand, but in the cutthroat business of football management the person who fails to heed their lessons is doomed to failure.
Great managers changed with the times.
The hairdryer treatment just wont cut it in the modern game where the arm around the shoulder friendly but technical manager leads the way.
The game has never stood still, fans cant as the real world keeps on moving, players have changed as mentioned, so its a simple fact that those in the dugout must also.


And they have.
We just seen very much the modern day manager up close in Brendan. Learning Spanish for better and more personal communication was deemed necessary, personalised diet, training methods that the current staff had not seen before.
His relationship with his players and letting them know through training plus in crystal clear terms what he wanted seemed the key looking from the outside in.


Neil once was the newcomer earning praise as mentioned. He earned it properly.
What this Lenny needs to do is get back to learning.
His players aren’t motivated or the system isnt working, its that simple.
Having our superior players produce a moment of magic is not a tactic but its something we have seen much to often, perhaps thats actually the player going sod it I will try something why not.


Every single one of us would love nothing more than Neil to walk up and collect that tenth league trophy, I know that. But his chosen profession entails a huge amount of onsite learning and experience gathering, to be used later. Its now he needs to use what he knows to the fullest extent to begin shaping a formation that brings multiple goals first and foremost.
The window is a distraction yes, but life aint waiting for it to close as another Hibs draw like this time last year would just hand initiative over after their blink.


Following Brendan was never going to be easy for anyone, especially players who were being elevated to another level with these new techniques, but we as a club are in not a position to allow slackness in a historic year. This has been compounded by a loss of the twelfth man I believe, but again we cant feel sorry for ourselves on that front given its an absolute do or die season.
We as a fanbase dont even want to consider the above, we just want a team marching towards the ten with intent.


And its that very intent that needs to be kindled right here right now starting with a better result than we had this time last year. Neil needs to use everything he has learnt so far until this point to drag his team forward and come through what is a defining sequence of games with not only his job but our title aspirations on the line.
St Johnstone
The Rangers
Thats the mini block of five games standing in front of us right now, which would scare some but we are the famous Glasgow Celtic and such a run is just a way of life for a big club.
Each does to a certain extent but this particular block of games will have a very decisive impact on the season on my humble opinion in that without the results and performances to match our manager wont have the fans faith in retaining the title and the pressure will only grow on Neils shoulders.


However the opposite is also true in that these five games offer a chance to slam the doubters, strike fear into the rivals, and get the train on the track once and for all.
We will never have a better opportunity to stake a big claim for the ten, simultaneously bringing the support back onside with a feel good factor than if we go out and put on some statement performances.


These are as big a five games Neil has faced as a manager I dare say.
The man that loves a challenge has a huge one in front of him, but this is exactly what he signed up for.
Its time for the real Neil Lennon to please stand up.


The above by Mahe.

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September 26, 2020 5:56 am

Napsters follow the link

September 26, 2020 5:57 am

Link to score predictor

Noel Skytrot
September 26, 2020 7:34 am

If the Hibees come to play we’ll beat them. It appears to me that when teams come and sit in we struggle with this. Please play Ajeti up with Edouard and lets have a right dash at Hibs. I’d imagine beating a team who are doing well would be good for the oul confidence.

big packy
September 26, 2020 8:15 am

NOEL @7-34 am,hi noel wish i shared your confidence, at the minute im not confident of celtic beating anyone, as frank sinatra sang, an ant cant climb a rubber tree plant but its got high hopes😎

September 26, 2020 8:50 am

Our team at present are having problems , of that there is no doubt . I’m not going to jump on Lenny’s back plenty doing it already , but I have to admit to some strange team selections , I stated on cqn a good while back that he had his wee clique of players who were undroppable , that s still the case today . Our magnificent captain unfortunately is getting slower and imho finding the going a bit tougher ,but not one person can point a finger towards him . Others don’t have that excuse ,we have carried some of these guys for months not weeks ,and that is for me anyway where Lenny has erred . We thought enough of young templeton to wait and go back in for him at a cost of approx 3.5 million ,this lad should be helping broonie , we should also have had a left back in place months ago ,and another winger to boot . I won’t mention the twin towers at centre back we all know about them ,another time I got crucified on cqn for mentioning it . All our ill,s are fixable so get some more business done celtic

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 9:18 am

ATOB. That’s 3 or 4 times you have suggested I just blindly support our manager …pls read my post again … I’m well aware we aren’t playing great and stated it in my post. Celtic haven’t lost a domestic game since 29 Dec 2019! I’m not just happy about that, I’m positively over the moon.

My feelings on this season are pretty simple- win! win and keep winning! Make every enemy of ours in this little shit-hole, absolutely pig sick. If we play shit this whole season and win the 10, I won’t give it a second thought while I am dancing in the street!


I wonder what the Celtic manager in 95-96 would have given for a record like Neil’s?

“Aye, we didn’t win the league but the football was brilliant” I know which scenario I’d rather be witnessing right now.

Just win Celtic!🍀

Hope you are good HH

September 26, 2020 9:22 am

Morning all and Packy.

Mahe, That’s exactly the position we are in at the moment. perfectly put!

September 26, 2020 9:27 am

B.A.D., I remember that season 95/96. So frustrating! If faced with the choice of playing brilliantly but losing the league and winning the league despite playing poorly, I would rather win the league! But learn from it.

I reckon ATOB, you & me want the best of both worlds. Play brilliantly (the Celtic Way) and WIN.
It’s not a lot to ask is it? 🙂

September 26, 2020 9:33 am

Good Morning all. Excellent summary Mahe, and I think spot on re the next 5 matches – win them and we will be on the front foot.

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 9:36 am

Still not a word on the assault on our captain the other night? must still be talking about a young DU player having the temerity to tackle a Sevco player, eh? If that had happened to one of their boys in blue, we’d be reading about it for a month!

A nest of Vipers!

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 9:48 am

Jim, I am just absolutely desperate we win the league this year. I’m sure ATOB & I want the very same thing, it’s absolutely cool we disagree about how we arrive there.

For this one year, I’d be prepared to forego any notion of dazzling football, if it guarantees success in the league. I’m well aware how we are playing btw, I’m just trying to focus on the fact that by the end of this season, we could have won 5 trebles in a row!

In 96, could we ever have envisaged that? If we can’t enjoy this well …😕

I’m not just over the moon, I’ve rounded Mars and I’m now heading for the Kuiper belt! 😉

September 26, 2020 9:54 am

BAD….that better no be DAVIE Kuiper’s belt!!!! 🤣🤣🤣

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 10:12 am

McCaff 😂

September 26, 2020 10:41 am

3 games on today. 3 plastic pitch clubs v 3 grass pitch clubs.
Guess who I’m supporting?

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 10:58 am

Moby – Trouble so hard

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 11:05 am

Moby – Everloving

September 26, 2020 11:09 am


I cannot sleep so I am up for a cup of tea in the hope that I shall settle down later. That is without doubt your best article to date. A very balanced summary of the current situation.

It got me thinking of the contrasting qualities that BR and NL bring to the table. Undoubtedly, BR used Celtic to rebuild his career after the bruising that it took at Liverpool but it was mutually beneficial. If we think about it from the perspective of a young non Scottish player either arriving at Celtic or considering joining the club, BR offered the opportunity to learn and, perhaps, move on to the EPL. Here was a manager who had managed in that league with some success. Such players and agents could see how a spell at Celtic would fit into their career plans and permit them to develop accordingly. Maybe later they would understand what it meant to play for this club, maybe not, but they would develop.

Now consider NL in his second term. Firstly, he took on quite a job when he stepped into the breach after BR abandoned ship. He could only lose when compared to BR’s achievements, yet he won both the league and the cup……no mean achievement. Success brings satisfaction and I am sure the team appreciated the role that NL played in achieving that. Now NL is not BR, and those that have undying faith in him will say BR is not NL, Neil does not have the successful pedigree that BR brought from his years in the English leagues but what he has is a solid appreciation of what it means to play for and manage Celtic. This is important for most fans and for Scottish players like John McGinn who, naturally get what it means to play for Celtic. However, it is not as big an issue for the Ntchams and Edouards etc that are here to learn. These guys will move on and their time here as opposed to anywhere else needs to be one where they learn and develop as footballers. If they are played out of position, or in a formation that makes no sense to them, they are not daft and will realise, hey, I am going backwards here. The motivation to play for Celtic goes and is replaced by a desire to showcase themselves rather than the team.

If the team was full of Scots who “got” Celtic then NLs style would not be such a problem. Go out and play for the jersey would be fine. However, we have players like Barkas, El Hamed, Jullien, Ajer, Ntcham, Klimala, Edouard and Ajeti who all need the kind of professionalism that someone of the stature of BR brought. If even a few of the above feel they are marking time, then there is the reason for the inconsistent and pedestrian performances. Our superior players and the depth of the squad may be good enough for the ten but it certainly won’t be good enough to develop the team.


September 26, 2020 11:12 am

The way things are going, I think talk of the ten is moot. Football will not survive the season. Clubs cannot lose more than half their income and survive.
I can’t see this government bailing out professional sport, although there will be much clamouring and they’ll reluctantly announce a half baked package which will fail.
In all of this, qui bono? There will be carnage all over. Will a number of elite clubs cream off the TV money and form their own competition. What can FIFA or UEFA do to stop it? Contracts are going to be voided anyway, so the clubs will be able to do what they want.
Whither Celtic in such a scenario? Lenny is correct to point out the existential threat to football.

September 26, 2020 11:31 am

Rebus, do you honestly think that Lenny is not up to being a ‘modern’ manager? How do you know how the players interact with him? It’s all an attempt try to explain why we aren’t playing better but based solely on your interpretation of reports and comments by other uninformed or hostile sources.
Many of the players you mentioned may have worrries about relatives abroad, some will be sorting out homes, schools for their young families in a strange, and sometimes hostile, environment during the pandemic. Not easy. Could you give your best for a new team, new tactics with all that shitshow in the background? And Lenny’s somehow to blame for poor displays?
The decision to appoint Lenny has been made. Stop carping about style when the substance, i.e. results, has been very acceptable. Apart from Ferencevaros of course.

Bada Bing
September 26, 2020 11:56 am

Sky Bet offer


Bruno Fernandes Even money to have a shot on target against Brighton.




The Gombeen Man
September 26, 2020 12:17 pm

Morning all,

Really good read this morning Mahe. An exciting few weeks to come. Let’s hope things settle down on the pitch and Neil delivers 5 results.
He usually finds a way to win.


There’s been much consternation on Pedro’s blog about a reported post by South of Tunis.
When I log onto CQN there’s an option to log onto a field called, CQN Blog and Comments. . When I click on that link it brings up old pages. SOT is on there.

So is BMCUWPS. Whatever happened to him?

Just in case anyone posts there…

September 26, 2020 12:29 pm

Excellent read in the glorious Glasgow sunshine this morning.
I am fully behind our Lurgan Bhoy.
He will deliver us 5 trebles in a row, and Gerrard will be gone by Christmas.

Big Audio Dynamite
September 26, 2020 12:58 pm

Really hope you are right, Garry Bhoy!

Noel Skytrot
September 26, 2020 1:15 pm

Big Packy,
I think that we struggle with a team that sits in, whereas if they want to come out, we’ve players that are perfect for that type of game. I know we’re not firing on all cylinders but i’m going for a solid 4-0 victory.

September 26, 2020 1:43 pm

Defiant or doubting?
Guess we shall have to wait till season concludes to see which stance was justified?
Questions could be asked about why our club which has a huge financial advantage created such a schism in the support?
Has the environment and peril of football clubs created by covid been amplified by the poor stewardship of this board?

big packy
September 26, 2020 1:45 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM , noel ill go for 5-0,👍😎

September 26, 2020 1:53 pm


By all means disagree with my assessment of NL but please do not throw at me the old adage that I am relying on secondary information to form my conclusions. Virtually everyone, if not all, on here rely on secondary information and on what they see on the park. So, by your argument virtual all opinions on here are invalid on that basis. That would include your own recent assertions that clubs are losing half their income and that the government will not bail them out. Could I ask you how you know this? Is it based on what you have read somewhere or other peoples’ opinions? I doubt that you have actually surveyed all clubs to determine their drop in revenue, and I doubt you are in government circles that make the kind of decisions that you suggest.

So, you like me, will continue to speculate and throw out opinions in the hope that they receive a reasoned response….favourable or otherwise.


September 26, 2020 1:57 pm

What value does a superiority complex give a football team?
A very poor Man U are leading 2-1 despite opponents Brighton with 60% possession and they have hit the woodwork 4 times.

September 26, 2020 2:04 pm

Packy, in Brendan Rodger’s first season I would firmly believe 5-0 was a strong possibility, nowadays, I hae ma doots! 🙂 But I hope your right. If that turns out to be correct, a cyber pint will be on it’s way to you.

Bada Bing
September 26, 2020 2:20 pm

Crystal Palace v Everton live Amazon Prime at 3pm

September 26, 2020 2:26 pm

Nae luck Packy, your nag was second. If it’s any consolation mine was 4th. 🙁

September 26, 2020 2:37 pm

Man Utd are spawnier than the Huns….


big packy
September 26, 2020 2:38 pm

JIM, another bet bites the dust😎 will you be around in about 10 minutes have a wee story😎

September 26, 2020 2:39 pm

Aye, I will be going out within an hour but fire away, I’ll wait.

September 26, 2020 3:10 pm

Morning troops.
Wonder do we have enough for a quiz tonight.

If interested say aye

big packy
September 26, 2020 3:14 pm

JIM, remember last night you said you had been to our lady of lourdes grotto in carfin ,well that reminded me of this wee story, as you know my primary school was our lady and st josephs, well me and my mate jim cunningham got called up to the school football team only because they were 2 men short, mr riley gave us the strips we said we are not wearing them they are blue, mr riley reaches in to his inside pocket and out comes the belt ok mr riley we will wear it😎 fast forward 35 years later im delivering to the royal life insurance biulding in liverpool, the security guard was called bobby thompson very devout catholic and liverpool, fan but loved celtic they were his second team, anyway i was telling him the story about not wearing the school colours, right away he said to me, you know why your school colours were blue dont you, that was our ladys colours, you know what that had never occured to me till bobby pointed it out👍 another true story from the archives😎

September 26, 2020 3:18 pm

Packy, that is so true. My band’s uniform used to be blue and red. We were told as youngsters that it was Our Lady’s blue and Sacred Heart red.

big packy
September 26, 2020 3:24 pm

JIM that was a true story😎😎 where are you going to, your going nowhere without me😎

September 26, 2020 3:27 pm

Your very welcome but I’m only going to the Co-op then my sisters.

big packy
September 26, 2020 3:30 pm

its ok jim leave me on my own, give my best wishes to your sisters for me please👍

September 26, 2020 3:31 pm

Mahe’s on.

September 26, 2020 3:33 pm

My memory is rubbish for a quiz. However. If it was a multiple choice one! I’m good at those. I know a correct answer if I see it 🙂

September 26, 2020 3:37 pm

It’s a bad day for us Christians. SAINT Mirren and SAINT Johnstone both getting beat!

big packy
September 26, 2020 3:39 pm

JIM,you shouldnt have told me that i wont sleep tonight now👍

September 26, 2020 4:07 pm

Stick your name down for a quiz if interested to gauge numbers folks

September 26, 2020 4:12 pm

I’m in

Bada Bing
September 26, 2020 5:03 pm

Oxford players have had to turn up at there away game in cars & Taxis, because there bus was cleaned by 80% alcohol based cleaner and bus has an anti booze device if detects alcohol in drivers section and can’t move for 6 hours. 😂😂😂

September 26, 2020 5:07 pm

BADABINGBADABOOM!!….no further posts required today, that story can’t possibly be beaten!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

A thing of beauty
September 26, 2020 5:16 pm

Excellent article mahe, trumped only by rebus’ reply. Anyone who thinks everything is rosy in our garden is kidding themselves on. We have been dreadful in all our games, awful. People keep saying that we are winning and then put in the caveat, except for Ferencvaros. Jeezo, aside from them and actually including them if you look at budgets we have played no one. Absolutely no one. Our league opponents have all been bottom six or just above at best and we have struggled. Defensively we are all over the place. No wonder, have we actually played the same personnel two games in a row? I don’t think we have. In midfield we are playing Brown because I assume he tells neil he’s playing because it can’t be for any other reason. Please don’t give me the nonsense about his leadership because if we need his leadership against Ross county, st mirren, Motherwell et al then turn oot the lights.
Upfront we are playing a player who is going through the motions in big eddy. We have another player who has been unable to get himself fit enough to play for us for 2 years now yet people keep talking about when Griff comes back. We have another striker, in Klimala who is doing everything he possibly can to play for us but is clearly not suited to our bread and butter games. Now here is a perfect example of the myth that Lenny can spot a player. If he didn’t see Klimala and have serious flashbacks to teemu pukki then I’m very surprised. He must’ve known that he wouldn’t suit our style, it’s bloody obvious.
That leaves Ajeti. He looks good but not good enough to start every game, even when eddy decides he can’t be bothered playing that particular day.
Rebus talks about players going backwards. Again anyone disagreeing is just in denial. Ask
if they think they’re improving. They’re not and they’ll be off first chance they get.
As for the question posed by Ger57 asking if rebus thought Lenny wasn’t up to being a modern day manager. Ger, you don’t need to ask rebus opinion on this, Neil told us himself. He said there were things in Brendan’s office he’d never seen before and he also told us he doesn’t care much for tactics or shape. That means simply that he believes he has better players and they will win the game. But when you come up against teams with good players who are well organised they can nullify the better players and do damage themselves with the ball. Now I know you have seen that this season alone. Poor teams like st mirren and livi fluff the chances we give them, teams like Ferencvaros and heaven forbid hibs, Sarajevo and the Huns will put them away. What are you going to say then? All this in Lenny we trust nonsense has no basis in football. It is because of his background and the shit that he has had to face in this country that is making people blind to the clear faults in what he does for a living, coaching a top football team. As for Garry saying that Gerrard will be gone by Christmas. He probably will but it’ll be because he chooses. His results in Europe have been top drawer and it’s done by getting the best out the sum of his parts. They are as good as they can be. Can we honestly say the same?

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