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Celtic again vulnerable to counter in Europe

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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. This season we have played over 40 games, i can only think of one occasion when we went behind but came back to win. That was at home to Rosenborg in the qualifiers. In domestic football we have lost all 4 when having gone behind. The 3 draws were 2x 0-0 and a 1-1 at Motherwell when we lost a late goal. On Thursday the heads went down when we went behind. I think it’s fair to say there is a marked difference between this Celtic team when we go ahead as opposed to going behind. I wonder if it’s psychological or down to our playing style of a bit of both. Lets face it, Kilmarnock is not the kind of place where you want to go 0-1 down.

  2. The media are following over themselves to give Gerrards protests against plastic pitches plenty of publicity. It’s a worthy cause. Celtic should add to the momentum building. It’s in our best interests to do so.

  3. ” PAUL IS DEAD ”

     

     

    Memories of a big squat in Notting Hill – Frestonia -( near Grenfell Tower ) . A place with this written on a wall at the top of the street — NOS SUMUS UNA FAMIGLIA . A place with volunteer security keeping Plod and the greater London Council at bay.

     

     

    Lots of street art / political slogans and bog standard Grafitti . A fine example of the latter was this –

     

     

    PAUL IS DEAD . To which someone had added – NO HE IS’NT BUT YOUR BRAIN CERTAINLY IS .

     

     

    Off oot to Rome for a flight to Valencia . Hey Ho !.

     

     

    Choon for Saturday morning —

     

     

    https://youtu.be/5Dm1ySbbHs8

  4. Lets hope our great start after the winter break continues on Sunday a win would certainly sicken any team in the pack behind, plus it would restore confidence in the team after Thursday

     

     

    I’m sure Brendan & the players are aware of this to hit back quick early & fast

     

     

    No narrowing of the gap csc

  5. An Tearmann on 16th February 2019 10:59 am

     

    Great blog by Carljunglebhoy

     

     

     

    https://carljunglebhoy.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/transparency-of-purpose/

     

     

     

    ***

     

     

     

    Hardly news though, is it?

     

     

    A bunch of crooks and charlatans behaving like crooks and charlatans.

     

     

    The question is, ‘to what extent have the Celtic Board acquiesced in all of it’?

     

     

    And for a clue about that just remember what The Great Desmondo had to say about the huns when the whole thing kicked off 10 years ago.

  6. All the noise and negativity this week on plastic pitches – we must have a game coming up on one! bit o psychology at play?

     

     

    Plastic pitches are not dangerous. What is dangerous is players having to adjust to playing on plastic having trained and played their professional careers on grass.

     

     

    I personally dislike them and hate watching games – sticky, spongy , slow like a bad dream.

  7. Possession football is great when you have the players that can see the correct time to pass and when they can make that pass without fear of losing Possession. we overcook it too much and often opt for the simply sideways, backway pass when better options are open.

     

     

    When eduard and forrest attacked and were direct it cause some panic in and around their box the other night.

     

     

    All Possession we have should be focused on getting our attacked into the attacking 3rd facicg up defenders or creating a footrace with the opposition with through balls.

     

     

    BR clearly knows more about football that me so the style of football is just that, its his style. learning is the goal but you can only learning when you have an open mind about questioning your beleifs and pass learning.

     

     

    Hh

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

    Alright troops. Me and Wee BGFC are heiding in to Grace’s in Candleriggs to do some Irish tunes and songs. If anyone is about – say hello.

     

     

    BGFC

  9. ERNIE LYNCH on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 11:11 AM

     

    An Tearmann on 16th February 2019 10:59 am

     

     

    Great blog by Carljunglebhoy

     

     

    https://carljunglebhoy.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/transparency-of-purpose/

     

     

    ***

     

     

    A Hardly news though, is it?

     

     

    It’s a new perspective and anything that shines a light on the shenanigans is a good thing.

     

     

    A bunch of crooks and charlatans behaving like crooks and charlatans.

     

     

    New club from old club

     

     

    The question is, ‘to what extent have the Celtic Board acquiesced in all of it’?

     

     

    Extent,Aquiesed – a lot of assumptions in there about interpreting the club’s response,as far as I know the club’s responses with them are public record.

     

     

    Celtics plc have not at any time defined rfc or trfc,should they? I dunno if you want them to do that,I wouldn’t in a million years personally,so I am content.

     

     

    I would also suggest that if(n)ever there was a free market in all info our clubs character and integrity would be intact and in the best interests of shareholders.

     

    There is still more to run on this

     

     

     

    And for a clue about that just remember what The Great Desmondo had to say about the huns when the whole thing kicked off 10 years ago.

     

     

    You saying Dermot is the voice of Celtic?

     

    Would dissent that mate

     

    I know it was a frown at the time but with the long term view it makes me smile how they are defined by us..lol

     

     

     

    HH

  10. Has the PL Fan club run out of excuses yet?

     

     

    Given their track record — 2009 till 2016 — I thought that they had done that years ago but given the severity of the situation after Thursday they have excelled themselves with even more wild and wacky reasons why the EuL is now beyond us.

     

     

    Trying to understand where a white collar / bean counter bonus payment of £2.3mill is placed in the football rankings?

     

     

    Global Top Ten at the very least.

     

     

    I wonder what we would have been able to afford if we had invested the money in the squad rather than boosting a poor CEO’s ego?

     

     

    Hopefully he paid tax on this — surely the army will name a tank after him.

  11. What is the Stars on

    Madmitch

     

    Just for you

     

     

    God bless Peter Lawwell keeping the green flag flying despite the malcontents begrudgers and naysayers

  12. WHAT IS THE STARS on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 1:36 PM

     

     

    Do you get special alerts when someone posts about Pedro??

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

    BIG GEORGES FAN CLUB – HAIL, HAIL, WEE OSCAR on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:36 PM

     

    Alright troops. Me and Wee BGFC are heiding in to Grace’s in Candleriggs to do some Irish tunes and songs. If anyone is about – say hello.

     

    ———-

     

     

    Change of plan – we are just setting up in O’Neill’s in Merchant City. Be on in 10 minutes ???????

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  14. succulentlambstinks on

    Return leg we should just concede.

     

    Take the money and run.

     

    No point playing in Europe when players cannot be arsed to show up or try.

     

    Europe = no thanks.

     

    We will stick to humping st Johnstone’s and struggling against a corrupt new club only 9 years old.

     

    The board seem happy with that so suck it up folks.

  15. succulentlambstinks on

    I just sit and wonder who will be sold next in the summer to keep lawwell dining in ahem succulent lamb.

     

    Tierney ?

     

    McGregor ?

     

    Christie ?

     

    Forrest ?

     

    All of the above ??

  16. SLS…

     

    I think we all concede Europe is a lost cause this Season. Maybe we should use it as a training exercise this Thursday on how to defend as a team. Keep the score low or even grab a draw against a team much better than we’re used to. HH

  17. ELT70 on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:43 AM

     

     

    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!

     

     

    *no this again, proof at the time was “Paul” was walking Issac Abbey Road in his bare feet which was supposed to emulate a corpse, too many punters watching cowboy movies where they wanted tae die with their boots on, Lennon dressed head to toe in white represented God, Ringo in black a priest and Harrison in blue collar attire a gravedigger.

     

     

    At the time Paul’s ” body double” was allegedly a Scottish lad called Wullie Campbell.

  18. succulentlambstinks on

    We could try but will still ship about 5 over there. We have defenders who cannot defend and mids who cannot defend and wingers who don’t even bother tracking back at this level. So again just concede and take the money while we can.

  19. SUCCULENTLAMBSTINKS on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 3:08 PM

     

     

    We could try but will still ship about 5 over there. We have defenders who cannot defend and mids who cannot defend and wingers who don’t even bother tracking back at this level. So again just concede and take the money while we can.

     

     

    *and a manager who husnae a clue in Europe

  20. JINKYREDSTAR on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:46 PM

     

     

    Jinty’s won’t have the game but Tennents Bar will.

     

     

    A good crowd.

     

    —————–

     

     

    JINKYREDSTAR, thanks for the recommendation. I’ve never been in Jinty’s and did also wonder about the Tennents Bar. It’s the Hibs game I’m talking about. Will definitely head there.

  21. SUCCULENTLAMBSTINKS on 16TH FEBRUARY 2019 3:11 PM

     

     

    Yes that too is a fact tontine

     

     

    *we will always be grateful for the Invincibles and Double Treble but Europe has been humiliating. MONs 1st season we were fortunate tae advance after a Sutty goal in extra time in Helsinki and then were knocked out in a similar fashion again aet at home tae Bordeaux, but at least he learned, BR somehow hasn’t.

     

     

    Forget treble treble, failure to obtain 8iar and he’ll get the sugar lump and lets not blame PL, DD calls the shots, after Lenny allegedly accused him of selling his best players and leaving him with scheidt meant his jaiket was on a shoogly peg.

  22. World record Alkass Cup as Sevco lift the trophy on penalties for 2019 against very stiff opposition another bit of bling to add to the Petrofac Cup their only other bauble

     

     

    2012: Paris Saint-Germain

     

    2013: Fluminense

     

    2014: Aspire Football Dreams

     

    2015: Paris Saint-Germain

     

    2016: Aspire Football Dreams

     

    2017: Real Madrid

     

    2018: Paris Saint-Germain

     

    2019: Sevco

  23. Saw bits & pieces of first half from The Bigotdome. The Huns are pure shite how they managed to beat us there I’ll never know. I see the mineshafters & Trolls have the floor here so I’ll leave them at it.

     

    Normality will be restored tomorrow.

  24. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Don’t expect us to have any problems with Kilmarnock. Won’t be easy to score against them, but they have looked goal shy without Brophy and Stewart. Don’t know if Brophy will be back, but I still think we will have enough.

     

    Hearts will be a tough game, but again I think we should have enough. Bit more worried about Motherwell. They are on a good run and the boy Hastie looks a threat.

     

    Just need to keep winning and make sure the lead doesn’t drop below six.

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