Celtic again fail to impress on plastic


This is the third season in a row Celtic have lost a league game, a situation unimaginable as recently as May 2017.  How will we cope?  We could always console ourselves with a _vincible treble, or maybe a late run in the Europa League.  What I can assure you of is that yesterday’s abject performance will be inconsequential to our season.

Celtic recorded a narrow win on Hamilton’s plastic surface last month, when their natural quick-passing game looked ineffective.  I suspect that informed Neil Lennon’s tactical choice ahead of yesterday’s game on the Livingston plastic.  In the 26 minutes before Ryan Christie’s red card, the champions threw the ball forward as we did in the pre-Martin O’Neill era.

This was no more effective than our natural passing game at Hamilton.  Ball retention was dreadful and we were unable to construct coherent attacks.

The Christie incident was as clear-cut a red card as you can imagine.  Ryan has a bit of bite about him and I generally like the way he throws himself into challenges.  It is not clear what went through his mind as he launched himself, studs up, but at that moment, we all knew we were in trouble.

The goals were defensively poor.  The central two stepped forward while the two full backs stayed back at the opening goal, allowing a team who had lost their previous four games to pass through the defensive line to great effect.  A clearance from the league-debutant goalkeeper, Sarkic, was not defended and bounced at the edge of the box, leaving Fraser Forster stranded and beaten by a delicious lob.  Sarkic enjoyed as stress-free an afternoon as is possible for a goalkeeper.

Christopher Jullien was dragged into a game of attrition by Dykes, it did not do the Celtic defender’s concentration any good.  It will be a long two weeks before the next outing, against Ross County.  In the meantime we will have to suck it up and live like the others for a while.

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  1. Garngad to Croy on

    We will see how the League looks on the 24th November by that time we will have played the same amount of home games as the Huns. Feckin pesky computer !

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    I didn’t see the match, so have no comment to make on the performance, but I do dispute that the result is/will be inconsequential to our season.



    5 points dropped in successive matches away from home, irrespective of performance or other mitigations, is 5 points we will never see again.



    We’ve lost leagues by fewer points, indeed, by lesser goal difference. The consequence I’d like to see from this result is the kick-in-the-butt type, hopeful that the players and management team understand that reputation counts for nil when they cross the line onto the pitch.



    Every point this season, every goal, needs to be earned, and earned against the head.

  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Has Willie Collum reffed a Rangers game since they complained about his performance ?



    If not , is that not in essence , by eliminating him , permitted Rangers to choose other refs for their games ?



    If so , how is that ongoing scam being permitted ?






    ” Moggi was somehow able to select referees for games, influence the selection of other teams, have games postponed or cancelled and influence the media coverage of football in a country in which football is a kind of secular worship.”

  4. One thing for certain after yesterday, we have an almighty challenge on our hands this season. Sevco have improved and officials have gotten worse (predictably so).



    Nonetheless, it’s all in our own hands. As such, we cannot afford to have our top players deciding which games they will show up for. It’s all good an well to be playing out your skin in front of 60k one week and decide to give a ‘lesser’ away games a bye. The attitude stinks and needs rooting out immediately.



    Squad rotation is also a concern. So much talent in the squad but Lenny sticking by his favourites will not a league win. Time for a re-think on that front Neil.



    The good thing is, it’s the first week in October and there’s a long way to go in this race.

  5. I wish I shared your confidence Paul. I’m also not convinced that we have improved our goalkeeping situation with


    the addition of FF

  6. 3 games agains botton 6 opposition



    2 goals, 4 points from nine.



    This isnt a bad day at the office .

  7. As for plastic pitches, we will have to play at least 3 or 4 more times on them- so plenty of points to be lost if we don’t get our attitide to plastic sorted.

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

    “…What I can assure you of is that yesterday’s abject performance will be inconsequential to our season…”



    Thanks – I know that might not be true, but I was needing that wee cyber-cuddle to make me feel better :-)))



    I will still worry until we are not looking up the way in the league table, though, and that might not be until the new year.



    Our new league leaders took three points away from Livingstone a few weeks ago – aided as they were by a blatant piece of official cheating when neither Referee nor Assistant Referee admitted that they saw what everyone else at the game or on the TV saw – the The International Rangers Swedish defender coming through the back of the Livingstone striker as he ran through clear on goal.



    Last man – a blatant and obvious straight red card offence – but one that was not acted upon by the officials. Had Collum yesterday conducted his duties with the same bias to our benefit yesterday, and decided not to see Christie’s challenge, we may also have left with three points.



    That, however, would have been no more deserved than the the points gained by the SPFL leaders, which were abetted by the officials.



    Anyone who doesn’t think our SFA Referees have a huge influence on league position just needs to look at the table for evidence.






  9. Paul 67,



    I watched the full game in front of a great quality big screen in a popular Glasgow boozer. ( Much to my misfortune)



    It was a shocker and it will have consequences. Yes plastic pitches seem to be a problem for us as with the rest of the league who play on grass. What about the Hibs game though?



    Put simply, Thursday was magical, yesterday was diabolical. We can’t dress it up.


    We outresourse Livingston by thousands to one, so we can put the anti PL arguments to bed in that respect.



    However, it’s still early in the league and undoubtedly we have the best players by a country mile.



    We can and will rectify this reversal, but undoubtedly we have brought some pressure on ourselves



    HH to all.

  10. onenightinlisbon on

    “…What I can assure you of is that yesterday’s abject performance will be inconsequential to our season…”



    This smacks of the arrogance of the Sevconians.



    It should be inconsequential, let’s hope it is…..

  11. What The Shabby Chapeau said………….




    The consequences of multiple defeats or multifarious cheatin’ is points dropped.


    The prize this year and next is so great and of such consequence that no such complacence should be facilitated.



    Whatever It Takes, Whatever It Costs.




  12. “…What I can assure you of is that yesterday’s abject performance will be inconsequential to our season…”



    It has already had consequences. We are now second in the League. Furthermore, in isolation, your point might have some valididty but combined with the bias of Scottish Referess and the feel good factor generated by the MSSM re everything at Ibrox ( whilst creating as much negativity as possible amongst our support), any dropping of points could have serious consequences for us.



    If Colum is given our next game against Sevco, he will be desperate to appease his masters. This League title is far from a foregone conclusion.

  13. Yesterdays match was a shocker in several ways. To put a positive spin on matters, our recent additions will now realise what were up against.



    Agricultural teams who are allowed to persistent foul and crash into our players without the referee taking any action. The petty actions of Collum breaking play up, to talk to players , to make free kicks are taken at the exact spot , inches away is not acceptable. This break up in play is deliberate with Collum “Look at me, I’m in Charge”



    Julien and Eduoard will be sore today as numerous Livingston players were allowed to crash into the Celtic Players with no action unless Collum offered a foul to Livi. Edouard has continually dominated teams in the air without having to foul, so why would he start against Livi.



    Bauer and Boli looked shocked at the decisions as play went on with no sign of fair treatment.



    If Neil is as shrewd as we think he will be stressing that there are times when we don’t get fair treatment by refs. Last 2 weeks. They need to take this message on board for the rest of the season.



    Several players were shocked and some seemed to feel sorry for themselves,



    The MIB issue is real and we need to be ready for it

  14. Brown is past it, Bayo is not going to make it, Lennon is looking a bit like Gerrard….



    I’ve seen it all from the bedwetters on Twitter in the last 24 hours. Time to log off and take my mind off Celtic for 2 weeks. At least the Packers won.

  15. Paul67,



    CQN leaders downplayed the game before and after the result.



    NFL picked his strongest possible team, the players let him down some of our ‘thoroughbreds’ didn’t like it, and folded.



    By all means play your best players AND play the plastic.

  16. BIGBHOY on 7TH OCTOBER 2019 1:16 PM


    Yesterdays match was a shocker in several ways. To put a positive spin on matters, our recent additions will now realise what were up against.






    I didn’t think of that. Hopefully Elyounoussi & Bauer etc. will have learned something at least.

  17. Forget whinging about refs. Big Jock made it clear that we should be good enough to get over that hurdle.


    And we should. With our financial and live assets, we should be wiping the floor with the likes of yesterday’s opposition. But we are not!


    With the squad we have, we should be rotating enough to win games like this, especially after Euro efforts.



    NFL and his assistants need to get a grip or we may well lose this league title.




  18. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Turned on Radio Shortbread yesterday having forgotten about the early kick off and was greeted with what sounded like an out of control over excited Neil McCann, couldn’t quite catch what he was saying but the football crowd noise in the background merging with McCann sounding as if he had just won the lottery told me immediately we’re getting beat. That’s really rubbing our noses in it, a rabid sevconian commenting on live Celtic games and being allowed to ramble on whilst unable to contain his excited happiness, what was I thinking about, turning on Shortbread during a Celtic game, lesson learned.

  19. N.L picked practically the same team as vs Cluj Thursday night. Only change, Bauer for Elhamed.



    Without having intimate details of team-talks etc, it would seem he simply viewed the Livi encounter, and put it to the same group of players : “same again please”. “Go again”


    Whilst offering an acknowledgement to the tight plastic, he also maybe offered an instruction to play direct. Get ball forward quickly.



    Now if these assumptions above, are remotely accurate, then I would suggest this is insufficient from a Manager of Celtic. This train of thought simply isn’t good enough.



    If the core message to the same group of players from Cluj Thursday, was simply : “same again” , then he is doing him self a dis-service. Because it can not possibly be same again. Livi at home is completely different, to Cluj at Celtic Park on a European night. It is different on so many levels.


    Therefore, to my mind it requires a bit more strategy. A good bit more thought in to a game plan.



    Paul 67, you mention that there was a deliberate tactic to go more direct.. ??


    I agree this was probably the case. However, should that then not lead to more thought, on best served personnel to carry out a direct approach.


    Is there any thinking in to, how a direct approach, adversely impacts the contribution of the midfield in general… Players like Forrest, and Edouard quite clearly do not play any where near their best, when we revert to this style.


    People are questioning Christie’s red card. What was he thinking?… Related to my point above, I put Christie’s red card down to frustration. Frustration at not being able to get on the ball… because centre halfs, full-backs, goal-keeper, by n large are simply sending the ball long.


    The direct style Lennon wanted us to adopt, was detrimental to some of the players at his disposal.



    Surely if you want to beat Livi at their own game, you add more strength and height to the team. Put Elhamed, Bitton, Bayo, in the mix… if that’s the strategy you want to adopt.



    What is the level of thinking put in to this?


    Because from outside looking in, it would seem not very much.

  20. Yesterday will be rectified. We as the man says, just need to suck it up for a bit.



    I’m glad of the break because I think we need it. It’ll be non stop when we get back all the way until the new year derby game with a possible derby cup final thrown it for good measure. Frantic stuff. We need our squad.



    In particular the fitness issues of Griff and Rogic are quite concerning at this point. Quite frankly, if they can’t contribute then move them on and bring in players that can and will.



    Not sure why Johnny Hayes is our firefighter sub while Sinclair can’t make the squad. Improvement is needed and attitudes need to be right but we’ll be comfortably top come new year – nothing else will suffice.

  21. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    RUGGYGMAN at 2.05 pm



    Have to agree with all of that, to get a result yesterday away from home plastic pitch hammer throwers etc on the back of their efforts on Thursday night, we would have needed a manager at the top of his game preparing the tactics assessing the squad selecting the team etc.



    “I did tell them before the game that the fixture was a concern. It’s a dangerous opponent in a dangerous environment. I knew Livi would up for it and they were.” Think we needed a wee bit more than that Neil,



    We will get more games like yesterday, no doubt about that, just as we will get more nights like last Thursday, we’ve all bought in to it and now we just have to buckle up and hope for the best.

  22. To add to my previous post :



    Away game dilemma’s.


    If N.L anticipates a battle, at Livi, at Easter Road, Tynecastle, Rugby Park to name a few…. what is the plan ?



    Is the plan to abandon the footballing, passing principles of our previous manager, 100% completely ?


    Or should he have confidence and trust our better players, to outplay the opposition, in otherwise difficult environments.


    Or, is the plan, at these away grounds, to match the opponent physically. Understand the game is a battle, and go and win our individual battles.



    If it is the latter plan, I’m not sure we’ll get the best out of Forrest, Mcgregor, Edouard etc to name a few.

  23. To all the muppets forcing ryan tae shut down his Twitter account, shame on you!!.


    Short memories!!.


    Celtic ‘fans’ never in a million years!!.



    Have celtic conceded yet?.


    Graeme spiers comparing morelos to gerd muller!, sales must be slow!!.


    Celts 4/6!, I’m on.

  24. glendalystonsils on

    One lost game might not have consequences for our season but Sevco will have consequences for our season unless we out -consequence them . Some of the new additions who thought they had come here to play football will hopefully have learned a harsh lesson on Sunday . Also that leagues can be won or lost at places like Livingston just as much as they can at places like Ibrox .

  25. Yes the game was a big dissapointment but my old whinge is back again.What is our problem with set pieces.Once again we were atrocious,Calmac this time the culprit.4 times he could not beat the 1st man,twice in a row in quick succession.As if this were not enough,we have no clue how to react when Bauer takes a throw in into the box.No big man on the near post to knock it on,in fact no thought at all going into something that every team who have had this advantage have done.It’s as if we are clueless on New ideas.To have so many big men,and not be able to deliver to them is a disgrace,which we have watched season after season.Thursday being the exception to the rule.Maybe time to give Auer a bit of a rest.Nothing going too right for him at the moment.It happens,wee run of bad luck.Lenny could put a bit more thought into his team on plastic in the future.Has anyone ever seen BroonymCalmac,Forrest playing well on this surface.Taylor should also have played.His normal surface.


    Anyway on we go

  26. Paul 67 et al



    The League situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage. And anyone who believes yesterday’s result is without consequence must be living in a very sheltered environment indeed. I said after the Hibs game that there would be a lot of games and places like that during the season, places that you have to keep going back to. All through the season. On the back of a great European night or no.

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