Breaking down packed midfields


Celtic faced a familiar problem yesterday.  Hearts packed the midfield, which sat close to their defensive line, making it difficult for Celtic to get through, over or wide.  Their best chance in the first half actually came from a Hearts corner kick, one of the few occasions the visitors ventured forward.

Sure, we need to beat Rangers, but dealing with the challenge of teams sitting tight and packing midfield will be key to winning the SPL, and that starts at Perth on Sunday.  St Johnstone will not be in confident mood after their 0-3 pasting at home yesterday, so you can expect them to sit three central midfielders in front of the defence.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 17

  1. Mugubi dedicates goal to sister


    by Collins Okinyo 11 December 2011, 13:51



    Kenyan midfielder Victor Mugubi Wanyama continued with his rich form for Celtic bagging his first goal for his side in a 1-0 win over Hearts on Saturday.



    Mugubi who scored the winner on 72 minutes with a 25 yard shot dedicated the goal to his sister.



    Last week he earned the man of the match award after a sterling performance when Celtic beat Dundee.



    “I want to thank God for the goal I scored as I dedicate it to my sister Patricia I love her so much. Things have been positive for me and my team mates and I am optimistic we will continue with the same momentum,” a delighted Mugubi told SuperSport.com.



    Mugubi who joined Celtic in the summer from Belgian side Germinal Beerschot has slowly established himself with solid performances repaying coach Neil Lennon’s faith

  2. tommytwiststommyturns Kano 1000 on

    Gordon_J : you forgot about movement and quick, accurate passing – both sadly lacking yesterday.




  3. coorslad is Neil Lennon on

    the hooped crusader says:


    11 December, 2011 at 14:13


    Podium chasing is childish.


    No I’m not annoyed that Bada Bing beat me. Much. :-)







    I agree,I would never even try..

  4. Two easy questions and one to ponder:



    Is the away support at Easter Rd yesterday to be pulled up by the SPL for illicit chanting?



    Is Sawlly to be pulled up before the SFA for his rant last Friday?



    Is Victor better in defense, midfield or up front?

  5. Packed midfields? Well, horses become important for these courses.



    Sammi likes a wide open space to run in to. Paddy McCourt prefers to take men on with his trickery – he may have a role to play in a packed midfield.



    The other key thing, for me, is that someone, whether it is McCourt, Forrest or A.N. Other plays between the opposition midfield and defence. The rest of the midfield need to just keep possession and avoid hopeful punts from our own back four.



    A packed midfield should also allow our full backs to play almost as midfield players too.



    And every now and then we need a centre half to run up the middle of the field to create a bit of confusion – no one knows who to mark him, whether to go to him and leave their own man – Big Dan had 3 players round him 20 yards from goal when he won the ball to pass to Brown who slipped it in to the space two of those three men should have been occupying when Wanyama found space for a great shot at goal.



    Beating packed defences is about variation and a little bit of patience.



    By the way, really thrilled with Barca last night. Good to see the not so special one bested yet again by a football purist with a cheaper, smaller squad.

  6. No




    CB :)



    Anyway my team for Hun game….





    Matthews Wanyama Dan Izzy (if fit if not Charlie)




    Forrest Brown Ledley Samaras


    …………… Hooper/Stokes

  7. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    From last thread.



    By the way, don’t think for a second that Puyol was alone in playing in nearly every position in the team.



    We used to have our own star in that department and no doubt there are some who remember him playing.



    Step forward the Celtic legend that was the great Malky MacDonald!



    He played for Celtic on 325 occasions and scored 50 goals and in that time he played in every outfield position except centre forward. In his recent book John Cairney describes MacDonald as supremely gifted and was along with goalkeeper Willie Miller on of our real stars at the time — when we were not very good.



    So good was MacDonald that no one really knew his best position and he just had to be accommodated in any Celtic team of the time “somewhere” in the side. He was a really classy ball player who could put his foot in when needed.



    Perhaps what is often forgotten by many Celtic fans is that Malky became the manager of Kilmarnock twice and in the same year that we won the European Cup, Malky steered Kilmarnock ( who he had played for as well ) to the Semi Finals of the Fairs Cup beating some really good teams on the way.



    He was also briefly the manager of Scotland in 1966.



    Originally from South Uist, when asked how he would liked to be remember Malky had no doubts:



    ” I just want to be remembered as Malky MacDonald of Celtic!”

  8. Fast, accurate, one-touch passing breaks down any defence.



    The problem yesterday was that Celtic had two full-backs, neither of whom can do the above. That’s not to say they aren’t good players, just that they aren’t the best passers of the ball. If we’d had any one of Izzy, Matthews or Ledley we would have created better chances.

  9. met Estadio last night in Sharkeys he was in good form. Wanyama has to be the steal of the season, very impressed with him. Hail Hail Hebcelt.

  10. Clashcitybhoy says:


    11 December, 2011 at 14:23


    Delighted to see Fraser Forster finally getting a wee bit of praise on here.



    Since he joined us 14 months ago, he has come on enormously, in particular his kicking and distribution.


    I am not claiming , he is another Valdez or Reina, but, given he is still only 23, and has had no pre-season in last 2 years, and was effectively dropped in 20 minutes before the season started, I think he has performed well.



    There is still a bit of work to do in commanding his box, and he needs to learn to use his size to intimidate the opposition – would you go for. 50:50 with a guy at 6ft 7 ?



    One last thought – how many British goalkeepers are better than him ?


    Certainly there are Spanish, Dutch, American & Irish guys who are better, but as for British , I struggle to think of more than 4 or 5 ?



    ps the way to beat a packed defence is either hit the byeline and attack the front post, or, to shoot on sight , and hope for a rebound , deflection, or a Wanyama wonder goal



  11. TopCorner ♥ Kano1000 on

    2 q’s re Hibs v Rangers…



    Did Lee Wallace push Martin Hart in the back at the penalty incident ? (RFC first goal)



    Pat Fenlon says that he thought Hibs at one stage should have had a penalty – what happened ?

  12. voguepunter 1- Kano 1000 on




    BIG MOOTH!!!!



    Means I’ll need to buy Bada a drink.


    Need to learn the WAN YA MA song ,it’s a tongue twister.

  13. Pace on wings is required. Once Emilio and Adam are both fit I think we will be very exciting to watch! And of course Paddy & KC will give us a wee bit of something different.

  14. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    Paddy G



    You’re a bad bad man. That puts me in the mood for a pint of the Pure!!!

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 17