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Ajax, Strachan and Rodgers

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As Ajax contemplate the impossible (winning the Champions League the season after being knocked out of the Europa qualifiers by Rosenborg), it’s appropriate to note the stark European facts of Brendan Rodgers’ tenure.

Excluding qualifiers, Brendan’s Celtic played 6 home games in the Champions League and 5 in the Europa, he won three, all in the Europa, drew 1 and lost 7.

Gordon Strachan also played 11 home games excluding qualifiers, all in the Champions League, 2 in the knock out rounds.  Gordon won 7 of those games, drew 3 and lost only 1, a 2-3 defeat to Barcelona.  Among others, the wins came against reigning champions, Milan, as well as Manchester United, Villarreal and Benfica (twice).

While Gordon Strachan’s Celtic never came close to what Ajax have achieved this season, they were eye-wateringly good compared to our recent seasons in Europe.  And for what it’s worth, I don’t think Periier Doumbe, McManus, Naylor, Hartley, Donati or Jarosik, players Gordon started in that win against Milan, would get near this Celtic team.

It is possible to do much better in Europe with our existing resources.  We will always love what was achieved under Brendan, but his stubbornness in Europe is irrefutable.

And a big thanks to Kevin (brother) for throwing this comparison at me after the Valencia defeats.

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  1. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    How does Neil’s record compare to WGS?

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  2. BIG WAVY on 17TH APRIL 2019 1:09 PM

     

    Have they Huns suffered more today ?

     

     

     

    That’s the update I’d quite like…..

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    And there you have it, Celtic 2019 in a nutshell.

  3. Wind yer neck in David17…

     

     

    Only a fool would jump to that sort of conclusion.

     

     

    Mon the Hoops….

  4. mullet and co 2 on

    The question has to be how do Ajax attract Daley Blind from Man U and Dusan Tadic from Southampton, pay their wages and a combined transfer fee of £26m and we won’t?

     

    Their wage bill is just over half hours and they have a similar turnover.

     

    Yes they have De Ligt and De Jong and a handful of other home grown talents but would they have prospered without bringing in expensive talent to support?

     

    Ajax have speculated on the worth of their young talents to risk manage the costs of the experience they bring in.

     

    Btw Ajax game isn’t the same as Rodgers had us playing. There were plenty of clearances and no magnetic desire to play along the back 4. It was sometimes straight to a very good centre forwards who held it up for a number 10 who squeezed within 10 yards of him. The ball was then quickly out to the extremely quick wingers. Juventus didn’t have an answer. Ajax are also aggressive at corners and set pieces this wasn’t total football though they were extremely incisive with fast paced passing when they had the ball.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Interesting take, Paul, but comparing Rodgers’ era to Strachan’s is probably like comparing Strachan’s to Stein’s, given how much the financial gap to the top clubs has widened.

     

    Under Strachan we made the top 20 “rich list”. Would we even be in the top 50 now? We signed first team players from Real Madrid and Chelsea. No way we could do that now.

     

    Take nothing away from Strachan, but I just don’t think his methods would work today. “Bus parking” has had its day (although I am sure it will come back some day). Football has moved on.

     

    Ajax have shown the way with their fast-paced, fearless attacking style. We should continue with the BR style, but learn to defend better and develop a proper counter-attack.

  6. The top teams weren’t as strong in the WGS era as they are now – making Ajax’s performances all the more laudatory.

     

     

    Mind you, the Celtic team that drew 0-0 against AC Milan and could have sneaked a win was –

     

     

    Boruc, MWilson, McManus, O’Dea, Naylor, Lennon, Nakamura, Sno,McGeady, K Miller, JVOH.

     

     

    Subs – M Brown, Telfer, J Kennedy, Gravesen, Jarosik, Pierre Doumbe, Riordan

     

     

    Some very less than stellar names there.

     

     

    AC Milan then went on to defeat Bayern, Man U and Liverpool much easier than they did with us.

     

     

    FWIW, their big names then included Maldini, Pirlo and Kaka.

  7. mullet and co 2 on

    Nothing wrong with Ajax lining up players for sale because they will double their turnover and have large amounts of cash and plenty of youth to bring through in their place.

     

    It’s almost as if that is their plan!

  8. Go tell the Spartim on

    Do we have a plan that i could consult and then benchmark our progress?

     

     

    We dont do succession management at all, never mind well.

  9. MULLET AND CO 2 on 17TH APRIL 2019 1:40 PM

     

     

    Ajax have made over €250m in the last 15 years from sales of players from the Netherlands who have gone through their academy. That’s not including de Jong who’s already on his way for €75m and De Ligt who will probably go for the same. That doesn’t include players like Davidson Sanchez and Christian Erickson

     

     

    They also seem as being a direct route into the top European teams – we’re still seen as being a stepping stone to into the epl.

  10. I couldn’t believe what specimens their two young stars were – De Ligt and De Jong at 19 and 21 are big lads

  11. CELTIC40ME on 17TH APRIL 2019 2:23 PM

     

    MULLET AND CO 2 on 17TH APRIL 2019 1:40 PM

     

     

    Ajax have made over €250m in the last 15 years from sales of players from the Netherlands who have gone through their academy. That’s not including de Jong who’s already on his way for €75m and De Ligt who will probably go for the same. That doesn’t include players like Davidson Sanchez and Christian Erickson

     

     

    They also seem as being a direct route into the top European teams – we’re still seen as being a stepping stone to into the epl.

     

    _____________

     

     

    True. But Ajax have a habit of going deeper in European competition. Since Larsson left Celtic how many players have we had worthy of the top European teams?

     

     

    Van Dijk – Certainly

     

    Dembele – We’ll see

     

    Robertson – We can’t claim him

  12. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Mullet-There was a brilliant 2 part documentary on Ajax on BBC about 7/8 years ago.It was fly on the wall stuff,and showed their training camps in Africa.The model then was they would have 2/3 guys on top money,10/14 in a middle bracket,and the rest were basically youth contracts.Like a lot of Dutch teams,they let their players go to big clubs,make their money,then return as a senior pro on top money.Probably best football documentary i’ve seen. Wouters ex Oldco is head coach i think,Averladze,and Dani,who we had on trial are in it.

  13. Paul67 et al

     

     

    Well of course the midfield that wet Glasgow night against AC Milan was;

     

    McGeady, Brown, Donati, Hartley and Jarosik, at least as good as that against Aberdeen on Sunday.

     

    And, Gordon had Nakamura on the bench. Nakamura!

     

    As for Brendan, despite the fact that Leicester were in the CL quarter-finals this time two years ago I doubt they will see European football now, or at any time in the near future. Not so much a different time zone, more outside his comfort zone.

  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Celtic Mac-Jarosik was a top player ,we never got the best of him,ended up in La Liga playing CB,I watched him cope admirably against Messi and Zlatan one night.

  15. Bada Bing

     

     

    Agree about Jarosik.

     

     

    He was pretty good in Europe when called upon – i remember the Shaktar Donetsk 2 1 game in 2007/8.

     

     

    He wasn’t interested when it came to the SPL.

     

     

    Gravesen, though – what a disappointment !

  16. Interesting lead, though as some have said comparing Gordon’s record with Brendan’s is in no way comparing apples with apples…

     

     

    I remember stating that our Man U result was due to a world class free kick and a world class save. We had players capable of that then.

     

     

    Maybe more relevant comparing Gordon’s teams performance against AC Milans with Lenny’s as he’s our Manager.

     

     

    GS 2-2, AC Milan go through on away goals rule

     

     

    NL 0-5, AC Milan go through on every conceivable rule

     

     

    The fact is last Summer we had a chance to build on a reasonable team.

     

     

    BR had a plan that included buying 4 players in crucial positions.

     

     

    We would have been much stronger defensively and had Dembele and Edouard up front. We could have had a great team, competitive in Europe.

     

     

    Instead we decided to sell our best player and apart from Edourd we didn’t support BR in his choices instead a smattering of projects and loanees were brought in.

     

     

    We decided for whatever reason the money would work better in the Bank than on the pitch.

     

     

    Subsequently we are performing financially better than sporting wise.

     

     

    My feelings is we would have done very well in Europe this season if our management team was backed. And we would still have said management team.

     

     

    Last June our squad was worth £120m+, this June it will be worth 2/3rds of that and it shows.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  17. I wish I could find the one where he put a shot through the open moving bus window. that was a touch of class.

  18. CHAIRBHOY on 17TH APRIL 2019 4:06 PM

     

     

    I remember stating that our Man U result was due to a world class free kick and a world class save. We had players capable of that then.

     

    ____

     

     

    Point is, Celtic were able to remain competitive for 90 minutes. That meant that those individual moments of brilliance made a difference.

     

     

    If Celtic scored a world class free kick when 5-0 down to PSG… who would care?

     

    ____

     

     

    “BR had a plan that included buying 4 players in crucial positions.”

     

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    BR’s plan this summer was to leave Celtic to further his career and enrich himself.

     

     

    Rodgers European campaign at Liverpool was woeful with better resources than Celtic could ever supply.

     

     

    I am very skeptical he could have done much better. No lessons were learned from our previous failures.

  19. DOWNFORSAM on 17TH APRIL 2019 2:53 PM

     

     

    I read about that study the last time we had this discussion, which wasn’t long ago.

     

     

    What also struck me about De Ligt last night in the post match interview was how confident he is; when the female interviewer asked him about how amazing it must feel to beat Juventus he looked at her like she was nuts and said not really.

  20. oldtim67

     

     

    Thanks for that! Great collection of goals there. And some terrific players alongside Naka.

     

    Maybe our new Ukrainian winger will bring with him some of that type of ability.

  21. Celtic didn’t need tens of millions of investment to beat a rank rotten AEK Athens.

     

     

    Rodgers couldn’t get past the first hurdle and I’m glad the board didn’t give him and Lee Congerton megabucks to spend. Would surely have been wasted.

  22. oldtim67

     

     

    You know, for a red headed Scotsman, wee Jimmy looked awfie like wee Naka.

     

    Or maybe it was the Hoops!

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