Celtic again vulnerable to counter in Europe


20 minutes into last night’s Europa League game against Valencia, Celtic looked competent and in control, if not dangerous.  We had the majority of the ball (as we did for the rest of the game), enjoyed possession inside the Valencia box and had shots on target.

Valencia were probably happy to resist us for this opening period, but from that point onwards, they inhibited Celtic’s midfield from enjoying as much freedom.  Neither side made a chance worthy of the name until the opening goal, three minutes before the break.  Valencia’s second, four minutes after the interval, meant the tie was decided during a very short period of play.

While we opened well we failed to involve Oliver Burke throughout.  The only possession he got was to his feet with his back to goal, the ball invariably bouncing away from him.  Burke is a player who needs service into the channels – something that happened only once before the goals arrived.

For years I have shared fears here of Celtic playing so high up field against European opposition.  Tactics like this result in positives like “What a torrid opening four minutes we gave Juventus” before a counter-attack settles things.

I was actually encourage when Valencia started to compete more effectively midway through the first half, as our best game plan was to counter.  Keep it tight and play on the break, at this level, anything else is a ticket out of the tournament.  And that’s not just for Celtic, these are the tactics Valencia deployed.

The opening goal came through a poor attempt to play offside.  Jozo Simunovic stepped up as Parejo made the forward pass, forcing Sobrino into what should have been an offside position, but Emilio Izaguirre was four paces back, ostensibly, but not actually, covering Cheryshev.  Emilio did no better at the second goal, allowing Sobrino freedom of the box.  Insert the hoary old schoolboy analogy here.

There were things I liked, specifically, playing the ball out from the back.  With central defenders wide, full backs high and central mids deep, Scott Bain was able to find a player in space, 40 yards from goal, and start an attack.  This play is still in its infancy at Celtic, but we need to stick with it.

The impact of Odsonne Eduard, who played the last 30 minutes, was immediate.  It took defenders (plural) to close him down.  We also saw a new aspect to Timothy Weah, who came on at the same time as Edouard as a creative mid.  It was a curious performance from Timothy.  He was everywhere for five minutes, then stuck to position (presumably on instructions) and dropped out of things.

Central mid did not work.  Immediately after a defeat, there is a rabid tendency to find a scapegoat, which is seldom productive, but we need to ask the question why central mid didn’t work, and get it right for the qualifiers.  As for the defence, only Jozo will be around for the qualifiers, and he will most often be sitting beside us in the stands, so the consequences of these mistakes will not linger beyond May.

Valencia are not a PSG.  In competitive terms, I would put them between Salzburg and Leipzig.   I am not going to tell you we would put them out, but if we had played it tight, the tie would still be in the balance.

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  1. So, King share offer fails as not enough wanted to sell.


    It has been confirmed the mandatory offer, just failed to get enough acceptances.


    Source The Herald.



    I think the takeover panel have been shown to be toothless.


    He’s rang rings round them.


    Hail Hail

  2. Right, things to do. A victory for us on Sunday will restore happiness to my relationship with Celtic :-)


    Cheerio for now,




  3. Fool Time Whistle on

    Tim Horton



    I’m sorry what is “dazn”?


    I’ve a feeling I should know or it’s a joke maybe.





    Hot Smoked



    From what I can see, Izzy played Sobrino on & Cheryshev was a foot behind Sobrino when he played the ball so can’t be offside. As I see it anyway.




    Found this on twitter & hopefully it copies over OK. From a guy called The Final Pass.






    Worth a look for his analysis.




  4. For the 2nd goal Toljan was way out of position and gave the ball away. Lustig would be getting pelters on here if he’d done that. Jozo was in no mans land and Boyata looked like he was just going through the motions. Valencia still made it look easy though. What a debut for the boy who scored the 2nd and laid on the 1st. Sobrino is it.

  5. FTW



    “Neither Sobrino nor Cheryshev were offside for the first & Cheryshev was onside for the crucial pass down the wing for the second.”



    I knew that (though I still protested at the game)-



    hence the :-)



    My point about the Main stand side lino still stands- he was unfit and always behind play and consequently, guessing. He just happened to guess right this time.

  6. Fool Time Whistle on




    I was too slow on the uptake there.



    Scan reading & missing clues to humour usually means I need a nap.



    As for the linesman he would have needed to be Usain Bolt to keep level with those forward passes.



    I too was interracting with my television for both goals in very similar fashion. My wife watches while knitting (it’s a nervousness thing when Celtic play). At those interractive moments her needles are a blur with fury. I always assume it’s due to the injustice on the field & not my loud admonition of the officials’ judgement.




  7. It was a sore one last night, that’s for sure.


    Hopefully in the other leg we might see some more shot’s at goal, but it’s a difficult one now.


    It’ll be interesting to see how we go on Sunday at Killie, that will also be a difficult one as well, because I don’t think we’ve been too successful against, Steve Clarke’s Killie, he has them doing really well, but here’s hoping.

  8. ftw



    i dont know where you are located but in canada to watch cl or europa you have to have dazn or dazone.



    next season they have all broadcast rights to all major leagues.



    only way to watch is dazn 150.00 per year, iptv or internet.



    no freebies here.



    Everyone should watch that, good analyses.

  10. TIMHORTON on 15TH FEBRUARY 2019 8:31 PM


    Or use a VPN. Turbo VPN is free from the Playstore. Just set it to the country you want to watch something from.

  11. Voguepunter – Big Man ye dinnae post much, when you do, you have a wee guy in Dumbarton smiling.






    Love yer jibber jabber.

  12. Do any La Liga teams have astroturf pitches? Do the elite Spanish teams have to endure the on field thuggery we face every week?


    If we are to have any chance of performing in Europe, our football guardians must address these issues. I know, I know!!


    That said, we didn’t play anywhere near our best. That is the most disappointing aspect of last night. If we can raise our game, we have a chance of getting a respectable result at the Mestaya. Valencia play week in week out at a far higher level than us and there ain’t much anyone can do about that in today’s financial climate.


    I remember on here during WGS’s tenure, we moaned about our playing style. Most of us prefer BR’s more attacking style, which will only succeed in Europe if we have better players than we do currently. How many top players will come to Glasgow to be brutalised by hammer throwers in inclement weather?


    We must also remember that the financial gap between us and the elite is increasing with every passing season, making it increasingly more difficult for us to keep up. The only answer for us is to unearth some superstars that escape the notice of all other clubs, and that these guys opt to stay in Glasgow for some reason, losing millions in wages over a career. It ain’t gonna happen.


    The lack of FFP is a major factor but when is that going to change?


    Im not too despondent, but we should have been better last night.



  13. fubar bhoy



    turbo vpn, never heard offthat system will ask my mates at the club tonight.



    so you can get all the football free?

  14. fubar



    can you use on tv?



    i can stream on hesgol for free but like the big screen.(its an age thing)



    TONTINE TIM @ 6.44




    Up to your usual high standard.




    Brendan Rodgers is naive and the internet knows best, not only that they also know the scoreline if he had had the tactical awareness they have, and he doesn’t.




    You really couldn’t make it up.






    Emm. You actually did make that up because nobody said that.

  16. Petec



    Cheers mucker ,long time no see….Ruglen team need to sort you and Dunky oot on’t pool table.:O) hh

  17. Fool Time Whistle on

    Tim Horton



    I’m in North Carolina and not familiar with Dazone or his wee brother Dazn.



    BR is short for Bleecher Report & they have the rights to UCL, Europa League & their choice of SPFL matches.



    Cost me $90 for the season.





    FUBAR Bhoy



    That analysis showed me some stuff I’d missed.


    He’s on twitter as @The_FinalPass from where I pinched it.




  18. TM, its a virtual Privare network, just works in the background. Say you want to watch a game on BBCi player for instance, you click the globe on the app then a drop down list appears and you select UK. Voila.


    Same if you want to watch games that are being shown in USA or Canada, or even if your streaming and want to disguise your isp.

  19. Valencia’s Kondogbia being investigated by UEFA for allegedly deliberately getting himself yellow carded yesterday. Yellow card means he automatically missed the return tie against Celtic next week ( where result, sadly, basically a forgone conclusion!) Missing the return leg would means he would be available for the 1/4 finals.


    I did think it was a bit odd to get booked for time wasting when they were in control of the game. UEFA can impose an additional 1 game ban if investigation concludes he ‘was at it’

  20. VPN good for streaming HESGoal if you are in UK. HES usually blocked by the UK by UK Internet providers when EPL / English games are on. Well worth the investment of a few pounds a month for a good VPN service. I’d be a bit careful of the free VPN services.

  21. thanks bhoys.



    think you are ok in the states, nbc sports i think will still broadcast.



    dazn started of with nfl red zone, they must have deep pockets i think hq in the uk.

  22. voguepunter on 15th February 2019 8:55 pm





    Cheers mucker ,long time no see….Ruglen team need to sort you and Dunky oot on’t pool table.:O) hh






    No Danger m8ty – I know how Good the Mighty G-Thang is on the Betty Grable.



    I know it would be a mega showdown.



    Let’s get Ready to Ruuuuummmmmble

  23. Hello again all you young rebels.



    A bad result last night no doubt about it, and not unexpected,


    Poor passing all over the field against a better quality side like


    Valencia and you’ll suffer.


    But this is the fitba world we live in and if we win our own wee


    diddy league again then i’ll be happy and not remember much


    about financially doped teams beating us.


    Anyway off down to the rebel peninsula now to meet up with


    tims from all over this big Celtic globe, Can your Valencias match


    that? no, not another team in the world no matter how much


    dosh they have or have stolen can do that.


    So be happy.


    H.H Mick

  24. Oglach- Ramos done the same for Real v Ajax as well,and bragged about it….nothing as stupid and arrogant as a footballer…ban him for rest of the tournament, will happen less…HH

  25. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    larssonse7en on 15th February 2019 3:03 pm




    Am I the only one who thinks we can get a result in Valencia?







    Yes, I’m afraid you probably are…







    I think we can get a result in Valencia .


    So does Brendan .



    The pride of this Celtic team was hurt .


    The look of deflation and dejection as the team came off the park spoke for itself .


    I expect determination to kick in in Valencia.



    At the very least , I expect a better performance .

  26. Expected Valencia to be decent last night and they were. Expected us to be decent too but we underperformed.


    Funny thing is I still enjoyed the game, pitting our wits against a La Liga side who despite their standing are probably insolvent and in any other market would be out of business.


    Had no winning expectation pre-match and truth be told if I was offered that defeat for three points on Sunday I’d gladly have taken it.


    Won’t always be the case but for the next few years winning the league and therefore 10-in-a-row trumps everything else.

  27. That is interesting, I think it was Radio Clyde that reported that Kongdobia was left back in Spain.



    No Big Deal – Better Team Won but they were scared of Celtic/Celtic Park – the ball and all that nonsense was just that – nonsense.



    Never ever give up.



    macjay1 is right, there isnae that much between both the teams.



    1-3 and we are through and making things harder to get the 8 in a Row.

  28. 16 ROADS. @ 6:49 PM,



    Appreciate your reply, I know it’s a tetchy subject.



    MacJay said you were coming from a BBC – PC angle.



    Personally I didn’t and don’t get it…



    Suffice to say I’m no fan of the BBC or their various agendas so we’ll leave it there if we can.



    Have A good weekend.



    Good, tough and important game on Sunday to focus the mind away from our European distraction…



    Hail Hail

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