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AEK complacency ahead of Celtic

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AEK Athens have played only four friendly fixtures since losing the Greek Cup Final on 12 May.  They failed to score in three of those games, beating Galatasaray 3-2 at home in the more recent game.  The fixtures have been spread out: with 6 days, 8 days and 10 days between them.  There will be a gap of 8 days between the Galatasaray game and their visit to Celtic Park tomorrow, so there has been no intensity to their efforts.

AEK needed to prepare an entire squad, not just a starting 11, during these games.  This is not appropriate preparation for one of the most important ties of the season.  It feels like an inexplicable oversight, I would be livid if this was Celtic’s preparation for this tie.  Such complacency deserves to be punished.

By contrast, Celtic have played five competitive games and five friendlies since our 12 May Cup Final.  The fitness strategy contrast between our squad and AEK’s is stark.  As a consequence, we have to make tomorrow’s game a multi-ball, unrelenting, occasion.

Even if the game is tight at 80 minutes, how we finish the match could have a significant bearing on who progresses.  This is when you would expect AEK’s lack of fitness to be most telling.  Players lose concentration and coordination when tired.  This is when we should look to push the tie over the edge.

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  1. Davidopoulos

     

     

    As that is my selection as well, I will be disgusted if Brendan does not select the team I want. So much so, in fact, I will demand his resignation as I and everyone else ( well you and I ) know which players to select for this game.

     

    Incidentally, I have no qualifications ( nor experience_) as a manager of a Professional football team. I hope the same is true for you as it is obvious ignorance is a far better platform from which to offer assertive views than actual experience.

     

    JJ

     

    JJ

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    “Can you justify our transfer policy to date or provide a rationale for it?”

     

     

    I’ll give it a go…

     

     

    We have created a self-sustaining model predicated upon buying players who can at once deliver winning football (within reason), and be improved to deliver subsequent gains when sold on. There’s a long list starting with Ki, through Forster, Wanyama and VVD, and onto the likes of Ntcham, Dembele, Edouard.

     

     

    We’ve got to a point where we are cash rich, but quality constrained – we can continue to run with the current model, and it’ll continue to perform as it has plus or minus; winning domestically, inconsistent in Europe, and generally generating cash.

     

     

    To improve – the “next level” – we need players who can perform at the “next level”: Brendan’s “quality” objective. That means both spending (some of) our cash on transfer fees, and increasing the wages bill beyond the boundary of the current model.

     

     

    Doing so reduces profit and cash. As things stand, unless the “next level” is UCL quarter finals and it’s prize money, there is no financial return to spending the cash we have and increasing the wages bill. We end up with less cash and reduced profit (significant loss if the football performance reverses).

     

     

    In short, there’s a tension between the success of the current model, and the limitations of it on the pitch. It’s generating a huge amount of cash, but we are reluctant to spend it on increasing the cost base. Hence perhaps why we’re planning so much investment on capital projects. I sense that we literally don’t know what to do with all the cash.

     

     

    Over to the leadership of the club to find a new model, create a new plan, or adapt expectations of staff and fans alike.

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    North Cyprus bhoy

     

     

    Assuming it’s on Greek tv although maybe not in the north where you are

  4. It’s also quite possible that Brendan wanted Lenny to get big bucks for McGinn and knows we don’t really need another midfielder. Don’t take press conferences at face value.

  5. So Arzani is over the line. If Roberts to come in we would need to see Christie and Allan to move on.

     

    Contrary to reports, McGinn to Villa not a done deal, Celtic still hopefully.

     

    Keep the Faith!

     

    Hail Hail!

  6. North Cyprus (Baku no more) Bhoy on

    Thanks BT – I’ll get in touch with anyway, just to make sure.

     

     

    HH

  7. mike in toronto on

    Negs2 … seems I missed your post, apologies. Seems congrats are due to the Anon family.

     

     

    WITS … I think your reference to the Treasure of Sierra Madre needs corrected/updated …

     

     

    If it had been the Treasure of the SPFL:

     

     

    ”trebles? We don’t need no more stinking trebles. It is bad for the game when one team dominates …”

     

     

    Or the Treasure of Sierra Pedro (a documentary):

     

     

    “Trebles? We don’t need no more stinking trebles. What seems to in short supply is integrity, which it appears, we traded for the trebles.”

  8. WEEBOBBYCOLLINS on 8TH AUGUST 2018 11:46 AM

     

    But of course it has, did you not hear Stevie G, the world is against them.

     

    Keep the Faith!

     

    Hail Hail!

  9. Hot Smoked

     

     

    I can’t wait for the first EPL managerial sacking of the season. We will lose Brendan because we didn’t sign McGinn, but equally we will be well shot of Brendan because he didn’t sign a quality centre back.

     

     

    It’s confusing.

  10. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    THEBATTEREDBUNNET

     

     

    “Starting with Ki…”

     

     

    Well,that was NINE years ago,and you reference another six since.

     

     

    I’ll spare everyone the long list of failures in that time.

  11. THE BATTERED BUNNET

     

     

    Very good post of where Celtic find themselves in the bigger picture.

     

     

    What really brought the line clubs like Celtic walk into sharp focus was seeing PSG spend so much last season to only go one round further than us in the CL.

     

     

    What would the new model look like in your opinion if we are aiming at the moment to bring in players to raise our game in Europe?

     

     

    Pot 3, would that be our glass ceiling considering where we play??

     

     

    Or would we be looking at the same model until the Euro shake up PL was talking about a while back??

     

     

    HH

  12. LENNYBHOY

     

     

    I think Christie and Allen should move on for the sake of their own careers, can’t see either of them making it at Celtic..

     

     

    KTF

  13. CL qualification every year finishing third and dropping into the EL and getting a run in that would be success, problem is it is harder and weighted towards big leagues, UEFA do not want small nations in the CL, if they did this abomination of four qualifiers from big leagues plus the EL winner which usually comes from a big league set up would not be allowed, it is all about money .That is the reality after the groups the last 16 is a complete bore fest as it is the same clubs year after year.

  14. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    whoever said earlier they were looking forward to the transfer window closing, I’d like to second that motion !

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