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. Fred C. Dobbs on 16th February 2019 12:25 am



    Who’s afraid of the big black bat?




    I don’t get it?




    It’s from a Batman film and points to the Valencia crest.



    Very inventive by the Green Brigade IMO.



    Pity we never got the result on the pitch :-(

  3. Not too sure about this but, there is “rumour” on YouTube saying that, Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and a “double” has been replacing him ever since!


    There are video’s showing Paul when he was younger, with dark brown eyes, then video’s showing him with green eyes when he’s older!


    I hope its wrong, but it is shocking.


    Go to YouTube and type did Paul McCartney die in 1966 ?


    I hope someone can tell me its not true, some of the videos saying that the British govt covered up the car crash and then the end of Paul.


    Please tell me its not true, I’m not able to post videos, or if it would offend folk on here.

  4. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    LARKIN 1907 on 15TH FEBRUARY 2019 11:20 PM



    Thanks for the link.


    Fascinating discussion .


    Young Mr. Greer. Talented fellow.


    Sadly as historically deluded , though , as the wee guys who had a poster with a green hammer and sickle at the game the other night. Not to mention the Venezuelan flags.



    Thereby demonstrating their solidarity with criminal regimes .

  5. The Huddle


    Magic to listen to the Welsh genius on CQN.


    SFA. Rapture Come Kingdom Come. Run Christian Run.



  6. Tomorrow we go to Kilmarnock. Their record signing is £340k.



    We will probably bring on a sub. Eddie £9m or Burke worth £14m



    Look at the ratio: So what if Valancia brough on a £40m sub.


    Fat too much made of that in my opinion.




  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    Tomorrow we go to Kilmarnock. Their record signing is £340k.







    We will probably bring on a sub. Eddie £9m or Burke worth £14m







    Look at the ratio: So what if Valancia brough on a £40m sub.





    Fat too much made of that in my opinion.














    Quite right.



    Price does not necessarily reflect worth or comparative value .

  8. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    “Thereby demonstrating their solidarity with criminal regimes .”



    Every country that officially recognized guaido as president are breaking international law and UN treaties thet no one forced them to sign, they are the criminal regimes.

  9. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    They are in fact demonstrating their solidarity with denocracy and the right to self determination.

  10. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Those with Venezualan flags are in fact demonstrating their solidarity with denocracy and the right to self determination.



    Unfortunately Macjay and his ilk remain willfully ignorant of the reality, worse they support the genocidal maniacs who impose imperialistic doctrine that has murdered more than Stalin in the name of their freedom to exploit and enslave.

  11. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    DAVID17 on 15TH FEBRUARY 2019 10:48 PM


    THE EXILED TIM on 15TH FEBRUARY 2019 10:13 PM




    I don’t know if this has been posted but it helps breakdown a few things from last night, worth the watch if you are into tactics.












    Thanks , lads.



    Lays out why the performance was so frustrating.




    Having said that , we miss Rogic , Tierney and wee Leigh.


    Think they could have made a difference on the night .



    Would anyone know the location of Tommy Burns grave in Linn cemetery ?



    I’m in the area this afternoon and would like to pay my respects.



    Hi mate,hope your good.



    As you go into Linn graveyard,opening opposite Linn crematorium,go to your right,go On down,there is an oval with graves on your right,and if you walk round the oval Tbs grave is roughly off this oval..


    I hope you find it,it is in a peaceful spot,apologies for my rough guesstimate.


    But as long as you go right and not into the main graveyard.




    Hail Hail

  13. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    An excerpt from Finian Cunninghams latest article for a bit of clarity on the reality.



    “This week, the United Nations again reiterated desperate appeals for humanitarian intervention in the Arab country. Some 14 million people are on the brink of starvation, according to the UN. That is about half the country’s population.



    That truly enormous human disaster compares with the alleged number of 300,000 Venezuelans said to be at risk of malnutrition. That figure is unverified and is bandied about by the US-backed opposition. But let’s take it as authentic for sake of argument. That equates to less than one per cent of the Venezuelan population.



    The infernal, pandemic suffering in Yemen is barely reported by Western news media, save for the occasional report which is usually shorn of any meaningful context. Yet the situation is incomparably more urgent than what is occurring in Venezuela.



    There are no plane-loads of food and medicines arriving from the US landing in Yemen. There are few anguished calls in Western media about imminent deaths of children and mothers.



    No, all the “concern” and drama is being focused on Venezuela where — although a country in turmoil — there are no skeletal children nor massive numbers of babies dying from cholera and other preventable diseases, as in Yemen.



    Why aren’t CNN, BBC, France 24, and so on, bringing daily reports from on the ground in Yemen and making those reports top of their news bulletins? Why isn’t the US government mobilizing millions of dollars in aid and emergency food shipments to Yemen where the numbers of hungry civilians are incomparably greater.



    The answer is plain to see. The US and its Western allies do not care about humanitarian suffering. Neither do Western news media who obviously are led by their noses. It is propaganda pretense.



    If Western media had any principles they would be exposing the vile links between their governments and arms companies and the Saudi war in Yemen causing the human catastrophe there. Instead, these media are too obsequiously playing up the false drama over Venezuela to facilitate their governments’ criminal agenda of regime change.



    Yemen is proof of the moral bankruptcy that resides in Washington, and much of the corporate news media.”

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Heard it all now.



    Women`s grand final . Featuring Sam ” the best ” Kerr .



    Sydney supporters….



    ” Come on you girls in blue ”



    Major Tim influence .

  15. Celt70



    Relax mate



    Its no true



    You get aw sorts oan that you tube



    7 year old club’s wi 100 plus year histories,:-)


    Coming out of liquidation :-)


    Me wi hair,:-)



    All fantastical nonsense,it gets hits,hits make money on you tube




  16. Good morning CQN from a mild Garngad



    I see someone mentioning Tom Rogic, any update on his comeback?


    What about other long term injured players, anyone got any info????



    Another run of hard games coming up, but as the old cliche says let’s “the next game is the toughest”.



    Let’s just get a win mañana Celtic. A 4pm kick off on a Sunday WTF


    Thank goodness I did not arrange any meetings for Monday??






    D. :)

  17. morning bhoys from a cloudy but mild Cheshire, ,still smarting from Thursday, been like a bear with a sore head,,anyway on to sunday.hh,

  18. Can anyone tell me if Jinty McGuinty’s show the Celtic games?


    If not, are there any pubs in the West end that do?

  19. God morning, friends. This weekend’s CQN Coupon –


    The Exiled Tim – Oldham


    Jobo Baldie– Norwich


    Pogmathonyahun – Portsmouth


    Bobby Murdoch’s Curled Up Winkelpickers – Forest Green


    Awalkacrosstherooftops – Man Utd (Monday)


    Lennybhoy – Millwall


    GFTB – Preston

  20. Top of the morn CQN,




    Our defence was so bad the other evening it must give our domestic challengers hope. Put that thought to bed tomorrow Celtic please.