Celtic 3 – 2 Lille



In the spirit of the season,I bring you tidings of gladness and joy. Yes,that is correct,a match review from me with a smile on my face. Or even me having a smile on my face,both are rare events. But last night may actually have been something special.


Now,don’t get me wrong,there are many problems at our club and they haven’t disappeared on the back of one result. But last night saw us put out what was effectively the stiffs,and against a team who are pushing PSG hard in France and who needed to win to top the group,and we beat them. But this wasn’t a 2-1 v Barcelona type result,this was a case of matching up against them in every area all night.


And that is what the most pleasing aspect of it was.


Conor Hazard told his defenders what to do all night,even to the extent of telling them to cover a small area of the goal at a free kick as he was confident of the rest of it. Our back three,with Duffy back,looked a lot more composed-even if not all of the time. We played with an initial middle three of Turnbull,CalMac and Soro-and they looked as if they had been playing together forever.


Bit strange up front,as both of our strikers come in from the flanks-and so do our wing backs!-but Laxalt dropped back,Frimpers got one kick too many and Klimala finally ran out of steam.


The removal of our wee punchbag saw him being replaced by Ewan Henderson,and he certainly didn’t let us down. That midfield four of Soro CalMac Ewan and Turnbull looked balanced and primed,and they certainly delivered. I hope it gave NL food for thought.


And David Turnbull it was who provided the assist for the first goal in a frantic five minutes halfway through the first half. Plum onto the napper of Chris Jullien,and some of us crept out from behind the couch. Terrific corner,great header,I wonder why we hadn’t thought of it before. But just as we were rubbing our eyes in disbelief,well…


CalMac frankly selt the jerseys-and I’m rarely critical of him as you know. I do not know what he thought he was doing,but he left the defence up shit creek. Heyho,we are used to these things. Down go the heads.


Not a bit of it! Straight up the park,Frimpers gets done from behind in the box! Great play from the wee man,and the worst thing that happened to Lille all night. Not only a goal down to the penalty-with CalMac atoning a tad for his earlier error,which must have still been fresh in his mind-but also led to the introduction of young Hendo.
(Now,many of us have witnessed this young fella in the past and wondered why he cannot get a game. And many of us have a valid point. But it’s a fact that he is still only 20yo,and the likes of CalMac,Christie,Rogic weren’t regulars until a few years older. About the same age as Soro is now,in fact. Which might be a point to ponder,Neil,given how many gifted youngsters we apparently have)
And so it went on for the half,with us holding our own,playing with much much more fluency than normal,playing with a belief which has been lacking for way too long. And dare I say it,with a joy as we did so. Or maybe that was just me!


The second half was what European nights at Celtic Park have been like so often over the years. Tense. We knew we needed the next goal,we also knew we didn’t want to concede the next goal. And just as maybe legs were understandably tiring from players unaccustomed to a match night,we fell asleep at a corner. Of all people,it fell to Timothy Weah. No harm to the lad,but he did eff all else all night. So job done then,that’s not a bad return for a striker!


So that’s us back to another Celtic Park standard of biting the fingernails-except not so. Last night was about a lot more than the result,and even if we had lost after that,I think we had got a lot more from it than in the last two months or more. I had seen a back three that seemed to be working at last,some pace up front and some positive link up between the departments. Not to mention some superb performances from so-called fringe players. Quite honestly,even a hardened and dyed in the wool mineshafter like myself would have been enthusiastic about last night had Lille scored the winner.


They didn’t. The Man of the Match did. David Turnbull,after a great run down the right from Ajer and a lovely ball into the centre of the box. I’d say he made himself undroppable last night. That remains to be seen. But those lads did us proud,but more than that they did themselves proud.



Above article by BMCUWP


Btw,the pitch is in a shocking state. Just saying.

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Can a leopard change its spots, now that is the question!

The Star Above The Crest

Turnbull, Soro & Hendo all excellent last night. Thought Laxalt was great too & Paddy put in a shift. Duffy is a weak link. He gets in other players way, he can’t pass a ball 5 yards and gives the ball away under no pressure.



Great to see an upbeat match report.

That’s much more like it Celtic!!

I’ve noticed a concerted effort by the Celtic organisation since our woeful display against St Johnstone.

Briefing smsm, social media, statement o’clock, pressers, all to get the message across, we are all in this together, we can turn this slump round.

Nice of them to wake up and smell the coffee…

How did the meeting start…

– Look guys, it’s now December, it’s about time we made a start to the season!?

Yet whatever it was, whose ever hand was on the tiller they made sure it was in unison. It wasn’t just a PR message on smsm, it wasn’t just a managing expectations on social media. It was a banging of heads together. Notably Lennon’s and Kennedy’s for the first time working together.

Also the drift wood that are professional footballers going through the motions… someone’s said take your motions elsewhere.

How good was Turnbull? What made you so shocked at the corner Jullien scored from, the pace of the ball in, the accuracy of the swerve, a combination that means it’s hugely difficult to defend against. Or the fact we have someone who can deliver a ball with such pace and precision and we’ve been looking on in wonderment and shaking our head at Ryan “Beckham” Christie all season!?

Soro, what dig, what passing, what we’ve also been missing. Several seasons ago it was suggested that Brooney should be used sparingly, get his coaching badges as he continues as Club Captain. It is now as plain as the nose on your face, our talisman became our liability some time ago…

Wee word on CalMac, that lazy, crazy, pass that was easily intercepted for Lille’s first goal was in marked contrast to our overall play yesterday a standout. Yet has been typical of errors up until now, questions must be asked. Took his penalty great though.

So what happens now!?

Well, it was obviously an experimental set up, yet the experiment worked… did the head banger tell Lenny he had to listen to JK? He certainly seemed to have more involvement and we were told when Brendan Rodgers left that this would be JK’s role.

Yet as others have mentioned elsewhere, you could almost feel the sparks between the two men. A lot of friction in there I would suggest. Both mens jobs depended on working together and getting it right last evening, the stakes were high and they pulled it off but.

Will we see the experiment continue, will we see what obviously worked utilised to the max.

Or will we return to what we’ve endured so far this season? Time will tell.

Hail Hail


I am glad it was us that scored the winner, it gives us something to build on
The young guys were great but that Laxalt is becoming my favourite player

Noel Skytrot

Confidence boost for the players.

big packy

MORNING ALL and JIM, thats the first game i have enjoyed for a long time, please lenny keep this team from now on, and we just might get out of this mess,,soro and turnbull excellent, the rest fantasticπŸ‘ I really fancy us to beat that mob from govan with this teamπŸ‘

Morning Packy, agreed. Hope Lenny has learned a lesson. The must play combo of McGregor, Brown and Christie is redundant. (Retired in one case). The ‘fringe’ players were a breath of fresh air.

It was brilliant to see our possession drop to 35%.
The lack of hellish backwards & sideways passing for no purpose other than fear and possession for the sake of it was a joy to behold.

Big Audio Dynamite

Auldheid from last night.

There is a LOT I’d like to say in reply, but I think it only right that the blog gets to enjoy our victory, without reading all day about the evils of our board.

A day off!


Was definitely improvement evident last night.

Home to Sparta – 59% possession in a 4-1 defeat.

501 passes, 93 astray (or intercepted) 43 dangerous attacks.

8.6% conversion from passing to dangerous attacks
Milan away , 47% possession. 393 passes. Again, 93 went astray and we ended up with 58 dangerous attacks. 14.7% conversion to dangerous attacks
Last night. 39% possession. We only had 287 passes. 75 went astray. 43 dangerous attacks. That’s 20% converted to dangerous attacks.
So last night, from less possession we were more effective. Higher % of our possession being turned into dangerous attacks, and of course a higher % of our chances were converted to goals.

Something for Neil to take encouragement from. You’d expect our passing completion rate to improve with more match time with these players who were playing together for the first time.

Very interesting stats Twisty. I hear Lenny is not into that modern type of analysis but I hope he can at least see it on the pitch and take action.

By action I mean influence his team selection and formation. I will leave tactics aside as that is a controversial topic with Lenny.


Good match report and will be interesting to see in the next few weeks if our coaches have the ability to learn?
For me McGregor should be dropped for Henderson.
I have long stated that he is not capable of playing the role he is assigned and i think he is actually getting worse.
His forward passing and running has declined at an alarming rate and his refusal to take responsibility shows.
He also usually just stops once he had made the pass offering no outlet to teammates.
As a vital cog in our engine room he is a huge reason it often fails to run.
Their first goal was typical of his mindset with another lazy backward pass when he had a few options.
The contrast to young Henderson who took time and responsibility on the ball and kept trying to move us upfield his bravery was refreshing.
Soro and Turnbull both played their midfield roles as they should be played.
Turnbull was constantly moving and attacking space with skill and belief.
His dead balls also caused problems.
Soro played his role as it should be.
No headless chicken impersonation and showed patience and positional sense which has been a distant memory for us supporters.
Hazard had an assured debut and like you said his communication and distribution was excellent.


Morning all, and Jim the Tim and Big Jim Packy.
Twists…not a great fan of possession stats since the days of TB’s team running amok against Wattie’s Huns only to be picked off with a counter-punch! The pleasing aspect of our forward play last night was the sharp direct passing into feet to turn the play. Every player in midfield was brave in this respect, and the front men were tuned in to the pace of the play both physical and mental!!
A thoroughly enjoyable game!!

Big Audio Dynamite

Anyone notice during Timo’s tv interview he said “WE” instead of Celtic? He quickly corrected himself, but made me chuckle.

Seems a lovely young guy.

Ayrshire Bhoy

Thank god for some positive thoughts at last 😁. Scott needs to stay on bench team much more dynamic without him.

Big Audio Dynamite

Keep imagining a 25yo Scott Brown in THAT midfield.

Timing really is everything!

B.A.D. Unfortunately we all grow older! Broonie too πŸ™‚
Listen to me! I’m getting that old that I’m afraid I will wake up one morning and find a birthday card from the monarch. (Eughhh!)

Big Audio Dynamite

John Kennedy looks like he constantly has toothache and piles at the same time!

Big Audio Dynamite

Jim, you’re a long way from getting the telegram from old Lizard …sorry, Lizzie! πŸ˜‰

Sol Kitts

As long as you wake up healthy each morning, doesn’t matter who sends you a birthday card.😎😎😷
Big Packy got one from Donald Trump, and he’s still going strong. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Sol Kitts, B.A.D. LOL πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


Sol Kitts
Not quite true about Big Packy getting a birthday card from Donald Trump.
It was actually a pleading letter asking Big P for advice on how to do the perfect combover?
Joan took over from there and gave Trump detailed instruction on how she teases Big Packy’s three hairs into a perfect Bouffant.


Great review of last night’s events.
I agree that even if we had lost we could still take lots from the game.
I hope Lenny takes the lessons on board.
In some ways you could argue that the performance makes Lenny look even worse. We have struggled for weeks/months and the new guys, who have been sitting about waiting for a chance, turn it round straight away.
Why why did we have to wait so long to see them.
Anyway, hope Lenny has learned something and we can kick on.




B.A.D., confession to make.
I’ve made a very modest donation to the Celtic Trust. Not a subscription yet. I recognise all the fears in the running of an organisation like that, that you have. It’s always a danger. Getting their feet under the table. Politicians have been guilty for years.
And yes their track record on the major issues is yet to happen. But I think it is their intent. And the members can begin to influence policy.
They have a comments section on their site to express your views. I have made my first comment! πŸ™‚

I think it is a gamble worth taking. For one thing they are democratic. Naughty or incompetent individuals can be voted off. Ask ex MPs.

But we need a fan’s focus group. To be influential in several ways. By sheer numbers and/or shareholding. Not necessarily having a seat on the PLC board. Fan ownership is another matter entirely and probably further ahead, if wanted.

Sack the Board
Back The Trust.



Sol Kitts

Those adverts always make me laugh.
Here’s Big Packy on the golf course 😎😎




And here’s why I wrapped that game years ago!



Nip roon and waken up BIGPACKY,please. He lives just round the corner.

Sol Kitts

He’s seeing his lawyers, Norfolk & Chance, at the moment. Should be on soon.😎

Big Audio Dynamite

Jim, you have no idea how much I would love for me to be wrong and you to be right! Believe me mate, I know how sceptical I sound right now, but you have to try and be true to what you believe.

As I said earlier ..let the blog enjoy the current mood ..plenty of time for moaning. Today isn’t the day to lower the tone.

Awe the best, my friend πŸ‘



I hear you have lined up their competitors as the defence-Suffolk & Watt.


B.A.D. you’re right we can talk about it another day. πŸ‘



When you’ve been let down as often as we have,booted in the baws by people you should be able to trust,disillusionment and scepticism is a natural reaction. But tomorrow is another day…

Wish we had another game on tonight! πŸ™‚



Not me,not sure my heart can take that again so soon. Plus I need some time to let my fingernails grow back.

Bobby, you might catch a stream for Ayr Utd v Raith Rovers. You being an Ayrshire lad!

According to the BBC Fixture list on line, Cwmbran Celtic in the Welsh League Cup are playing at midnight! Might be a mistake! Although with Celts – you never know πŸ™‚

Garry will be pleased, Leeds are playing. If he gets home in time.

Sol Kitts


I was astonished when I saw the lappy out last night,must be the first time this season. In fact,I’d assumed PL had cancelled the wifi since the fans wouldn’t be needing it.


Bada Bing @ 11:32 am,


Hail Hail



Nip roon and waken up BIGPACKY,please. He lives just round the corner.
Well spotted. Having lurked for a long time I did think he would be fairly nearby

Big Audio Dynamite


Old lorry driver memories,plus I’ve two mates down here from Runcorn. Brothers-one a red,the other a blue. Fun city on derby day when they are watching!

Ayrshire Bhoy

Celtic State Of Mind doing a 24hr quadruple treble charity event on 20th December. 24 x 1hr shows and loads of other Celtic podcasts taking part (The Cynic, Celtic Down Under, 4 Tims and a podcast, Kano Foundation, Celtic Underground, Homebhoys etc). Should be a great event and hopefully a cup final win! They tried to get PL on but he refused until the new year


David Low on ACSOM


Morning troops,
And a big happy Friday.
God bless all those with health issues and those less fortunate than ourselves.

Anyone know who runs ACSOM? That’s some going for them. I do like a podcast.

I think it’s good BAD airs his misgivings about the Trust. Many will be thinking the same things. I believe their hearts are in the right place (lets hope later in the months we put the Hearts in their rightful place and all) but they are human so therefore not perfect.
But as Jim says the members can influence things.
It’s free to join BAD so if you don’t like what you see just bail out and nothing ventured nothing gained?
It would be nice if they had a rep to go online and interact with people.

Still buzzing after the game. Not stsrtting Turnbull and Soro now should be a sacking offense. Actually makes me wonder why we haven’t seen Soro at all. He is newly married as well, in a good mood I presume. Most Africans are happy I have found and the Cote D’Ivoire ones I know certainly are. Where has this kid been? What a player.

Hail Hail



That was a good summary of the game and the major learnings that should be derived from it.

I feel scooped but I shall add my twopence worth!

I have watched the game twice and I am still amazed that we beat a team as good as Lille. Their ball control and cohesion was superior to ours. However, we took our chances.

First, the negative……. when 3-2 up with 10-12 minutes remaining we used two attacking subs……Ajeti and Rogic. Lunacy! Put on midfielders or defenders to close the game out. Lille should have equalised when their forward was clean through on Hazard but fluffed his shot. The limitations of the management team are still to be seen.

But enough of that, the positives far outweigh the downsides. Going through the team.

Hazard……largely untested, so difficult to judge but he did what he had to do.

Ajer…outstanding, showing what happens when you play a right footed player on the right, rather than the left.

Julien…..also a fine performance, especially given his long absence. He will get better if played.

Duffy….remains an enigma. Easily lobbed by the high ball. Will give away many fouls.

Laxalt……a fine performance on the ground, less so in the air.

Frimpong…..looked lost but he was being savaged by their left wing back. His most important and final contribution was the penalty. Hendo contributed more but he needs more game time to assess. He needs to adapt to both the pace and physicality of the game. Good vision, tho.

Turnbull….all has already been said. A breath of fresh air! Why oh why, did they wait so long to start him?

Soro…..a pocket dynamo. Good in the tackle, good on the ball, good positionally. Please do not waste him!

Calmac……can you critique someone who scores a vital penalty? Of the three midfielders, he was the weakest. On a few occasions his poor passing or loss of the ball caused dangerous situations for the defence.

Elyounoussi…….his usual……in and out of the game. He seems to excel when the team is playing well.

Klimala….ran his heart out. Had one excellent shot on target and laid the ball off a few times. Another who needs game time to assess. Also he needs to have support from the midfield in the form of passes to run onto, not just to feet. Both Soro and Turnbull are capable of that.

The management team? Clearly, a divided bunch. JK’s face at the end said it all. Was he disappointed with at the result? Was he sick that his advice had finally been taken? Who knows! There are still severe problems in the camp.

Congrats to the whole team. Now they know how the Sparta reserve team felt after blowing us away recently.

Enjoy your weekend.


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