Celtic on knife-edge


We have all the excuses in the world, but if you cannot beat Dundee United, or Livingston, teams with vastly weaker squads than the Celtic teams they denied five points to over the last 8 days, you do not deserve to win the league.

Celtic will improve.  Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor and James Forrest are known quantities who will lift performances and results.  Georgios Giakoumakis will surely also add something.  When we get Christopher Jullien fit he will bring experience to the back line.  Right now that matters little, six points adrift after seven games is the form that leaves confidence on a knife-edge.

Jota was outstanding, a one-man siege of the Dundee United back line, he deserved more from those around him.  Again, Liel Abada timed his run into the box perfectly to head home at the back post.  Anthony Ralston committed to a tackle a minute later and suffered an unfortunate ricochet.  It was not the worst defensive error you have seen from Celtic this year, but from there, Dundee United made no mistake.

Albian Ajeti was already having an afternoon to forget (think Kazim-Richards, but less mobile) when, within seconds of conceding, Abada’s cutback found him three yards from goal.  The striker snatched at the chance and sent it high over the bar.  Ange Postecoglou had no choice to persist with Albian, although surely we will see little of him when fitness allows others to play.

James McCarthy was clattered early and scarcely left the centre circle before being replaced at halftime.  This pleased most around me, but it took Ismaila Soro most of the second half to retain possession.  If McCarthy is not yet fully fit, he should be left before further reputational damage occurs.

On another day one of the three chances that rattled United crossbar would have gone in and the chat would be about digging out a win the way champions do.  Instead, we flattered to deceive, the way those with nothing but sob stories at the end of the season do.


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  1. Imagine what a decent striker would have done to Dundee Utd yesterday. I can’t put any of this at Angel’s door, but if it wasn’t evident that the board were asleep before, it is now.

  2. ““We’ve been a bit unfortunate with the injuries. But we’ve got a quality group and depth also, with the players able to come in and help the team.” So says Anthony Ralston. This is why I wish players wouldn’t give interviews. I know they might need to say this to themselves for psychological reasons but they certainly don’t need to say this to anyone else because it is so obviously not true.

  3. On another day one of the three chances that rattled United crossbar would have gone in and the chat would be about digging out a win the way champions do.







    And on yet another day Utd would have been awarded the penalty they should have had.

  4. Any team – even those with way less resources than us – can suffer squad decimation and form dips.


    Given we’ve now had a couple of ‘big windows’ where we amassed quantity albeit not entirely quality, I find it a bit embarrassing to say we don’t have the squad depth to cover for the loss of – essentially – 4 key players.


    If we’re not better staffed for all the wheeling and dealing, then we demand ra names of wur recruiters (he said, grabbing pitchfork).


    We’ve spent heaps on couldabeens, might be’s and young potentials – but we don’t trust them to play.



    Paul, you use the phrase about the team that ‘we flattered to deceive…’



    Yet when Chairman B kinda tells us we’ve never been in such good hands, it feels like some are deceiving to flatter.




  5. Any videos even from celtictv on the red cards ignored by Clancy. The dangerous tackle on McCarthy looked liked a red card.



    Celtic need to share their own highlights so we can review the parts BBC Scotland choose to ignore.

  6. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Paul67 that is a fair assessment and definately a frustrating time



    But I am not sure about Jota


    I find myself being isolated on him


    All around me tell me he is the answer


    I am not convinced


    Yes the odd flash of brilliance


    But 1 nil down v Livingston is when I want to see his brilliance


    1 – 1 at home to Dundee United is when I want something special



    Great players do it when it’s needed



    But I accept early days – time will tell




  7. Injuries happen. However, Ange pointed out that we needed a fitness coach and a conditioning coach.



    If you don’t have the infrastructure in place, then don’t be surprised if we get our fair share of injuries.



    We are a disorganised mess off the park and that clearly effects our on the park performance.

  8. Hmmmmm as our host used to say.



    The mist damning article I’ve read in a while and it is reserved for the team.



    I can’t fathom pro footballers who miss open goals or hit bars from a few yards out (think it was tam rogic who missed a headed chance from the six yard box?). I thought both wingers were excellent and I thought if the striker and the midfielders were timing their runs better or at least coordinating their runs into the box better, we could have scored a hat load.



    I get the frustration which comes through in the article,I really do, but the bigger frustration for me is still not getting a manager in earlier. In anges defence he is a few months in to a very disrupted start, he has had players arriving in dribs and drabs and in various states of fitness and has not once had the opportunity to play a settled back line. He has given us three very exciting front men, a decent looking right back, transformed Ralston (if we overlook sone of yesterday’s contributions). Of he can raid tge J League and come back with the midfield and defensive equivalent of Kyogo then no matter what else he does he will have provided the basis of a recovery.



    Having appointed the man he now needs some patience.



    I’d like to see McCarthy and Soro in the team until Cal Mac returns. I wonder if we could even go to 3 at the back for a few games while Jura recovers.



    On other matters I bought the PPV yesterday. I hope this is the way ahead. I want to contribute to matchday income but I’m geographically and on occasion financially hampered from doing so. Some kind of uk/ ireland wide arrangement for live streaming could be massive if done correctly.

  9. Bournesouprecipe,



    Ange on borrowed time ; as he is seen as McKays guy he will not be given more than 1 minutes injury time.

  10. Liam Brady, Lou Macari, John Barnes, Tony Mowbray, Ronny Deila, Ange Postecoglu, do it by my philosophy or get run out of town and the wee diddy league full time pro’s, Not one manager in the list of philosophers, who were all going to trounce teams, and only do it their way.



    A C.E.O, man already down AP might have been better to quit whilst he wasn’t ahead, his partner, in time will tell, and those personal reasons look even more fake after each poor performance than they were when announced. Incoming, rugby shifter and shaker, went egg shaped before Hoopy had finished his new routine.



    AP did nothing before during or after a game, (any game) that would make you think Celtic hadn’t picked more low hanging fruit. Who’d have thunk the season might be over before Kyogo had recovered from his season stopping injury. Last season’s scowl and spit from the bench, has made way for staring, tacticless vacancy.



    Spoiling football is easier than playing it hitting the ball out of the park is easier than keeping it in to put between the wee white sticks. Cattenachio to Camlachie football’s the same, Jock Stein sussed it ( for a while ) but when his player well ran dry, it was back down to the men who could kick the ball best in whatever direction, they faced.



    AP looked strained in pre season Wales, and his latest interviews do him no favours at all, he’s floundering already and almost struck dumb compared to the Aussie boss that bullied ‘the press’ that dared question his philosophy. Brendan Rodgers IMO got out of Dodge, not because he didn’t like the board, but because he knew he’d had his fun, stopping his famous high pressing Celtic, and his crumbling cast was his Leicester time. MON before, coming in the opposite direction bought ‘big men’, for big team,and also fairly quickly saw his tea coming right at him in the slow lane.



    The Livingston debacle was huge, now the secretary is sharpening his Angeball pen with a manager unless who unless he does something about his failed philosophy will struggle to get near Tony Mowbray’s thirty, on yesterday’s showing. Dundee Utd and Livingston are not good sides,



    The question Celtic supporters ask today is not “ whether the league is over” the more pertinent will ask ‘ was it really ever on in the first place.”



    M.O.M Jota

  11. ERNIE LYNCH on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 12:16 PM



    On another day one of the three chances that rattled United crossbar would have gone in and the chat would be about digging out a win the way champions do.





















    And on yet another day Utd would have been awarded the penalty they should have had.






    Starfelt was fouled just before the penalty incident. Clear push in the back. So I agree that the challenge itself merited a penalty, play should have been stopped for a free kick to Celtic when a foul was committed against us in the build up.

  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Albian Ajeti was already having an afternoon to forget (think Kazim-Richards, but less mobile”




    The more I watch him the more I re-evaluate my opinion of Wayne Biggins.


    Interesting that you don’t seem to want to go too deeply into who spent £10m on him and Barkas, although you frequently manage to highlight Brendan Rodgers’ poor signings. Hmmmmmmm……….


    Harkes made a run from way back completely untracked. Not even as if it was a quick counter-attack where you could excuse being caught out of position – it was patient build-up play, right to left then back into the middle.


    Decent player, Harkes. Mentioned him at the beginning of the summer as one we should be looking at. The one thing he had to do was add goals to his game and it looks like he is doing that. We could certainly be doing with a midfielder who can make runs beyond the striker.


    Bodies needed back quickly and reinforcements in January – ideally brought in by somebody with half a clue about football!

  13. Hi Ange,


    I know you always come on to CQN to see what the lads and lasses have to say.


    Here’s a team for you for Thursday night




    Welsh CCV Starfelt Scales


    Bitton Soro


    Ralston Rogic Bolingoli




    You can swap Turnbull for Rogic and Abada for Jota as the need arrives.


    Because if you go with your usual stuff Leverkusen will rip you a new one.


    If you need background reading Google – Light Brigade, Charge of.

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Reasonable assessment.



    Hard yards ahead for at least a month.



    Lots of contributing factors to our current under performance … but all of them already known and digested to death.



    Personally I think we’re three points behind where we could be.



    Disappointing performances at Livi and Govan but nothing in last 10 minutes of each game suggestive we could rescue either.



    The point lost at the end of the first league game at Tynecastle feels at least medium sized.



    Equally so, the 2 dropped yesterday.



    Tiny margins.



    A fraction more quality and structure in each would have put us “ok, something to build on” territory.



    We’ve not stolen or squeaked any undeserved points so far. May be required in October.



    As for the analysis of Ange’s performance?



    Respectfully, I’ll leave that to the experienced, track-record backed, top flight football, coaching experts on here.

  15. I have Posted since last season how poor Ajeti is.


    I was a bigger threat to the Dundee Utd defence than Ajeti was…without leaving my feckin LIVING ROOM !.


    Maybe during Kyogos absence Ange can drop Ajeti and leave him in the Car Park, til some Club is stupid enough to buy him, or his contract is at an end, and TRY to play ABADA thru the middle.


    At least Abada ( or most decent players) would at least TRY and get onto the end of the crosses…unlike Mr Ajeti ?


    Big Ange, has earlier admitted that he was wrong to play Kyogo wide left against the huns….hopefully he will admit that Ajeti is feckin hopeless ?


    I have apologised a few times for being so NEGATIVE about any Celtic player…but after yesterday, I will NEVER apologise about being negative towards Ajeti ever again.



  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    PeterLatchfordsBelly on 27th September 2021 12:35 pm



    3rd or 4th this season. 20 points behind.



    It’s in good hands




    Wonder if that would go down as a “highlight” in next year’s accounts…..

  17. Of course we should beat Dundee Utd. But they were surprisingly good. And they have beaten the Huns this season.


    Ajeti’s miss was unbelievable. Ajeti and Griffiths are what Ange has inherited.

  18. Andy Patons Mullet on

    That we are talking about missing players is a scandal. The 11 that took to the pitch should have seen off Utd without question. That they didn’t lies at the managers door. Good managers find a way to win games, we are finding excuses.

  19. This Sunday is the knife edge.



    Quite simply, Ange has one thing he simply must deliver to prevent collapse – win at Pittodrie.



    No excuses, no hard luck stories, win. Win ugly, win lucky, win beautifully but just win.



    If we don’t then I don’t see a way back for us. And no Celtic manager should survive to tell the tale of October bringing the curtain down on our league season.

  20. glendalystonsils on

    The crossbar did not deprive us of a win yesterday . The lack of a quality player/finisher to reward our attacking play with another couple of goals , allowed the crossbar to play as big a part as the referee in yesterday’s flop .

  21. spikeysauldman


    To be honest with you mate that is all we have.


    If he plays Turbull, Rogic Abada , Jota and Ajeti I think we


    will be murdered. Flood the midfield with whoever we have


    and try to catch them on the break.


    This isn’t Livingston we are playing.

  22. BSR @ 1230 – That’s a terrific post fella and felt myself nodding along.



    McCarthy fit? Mmmmmm….Spent a few hours in the company of Palace ST holders Saturday. They can’t believe we offered him a 4-year deal and reiterated that a ‘fit’ McCarthy isn’t in stock. He was renowned for blowing out of his arse after every 60 minutes with absolutely no tangible contribution and leaving the field red as a beetroot. If you were to name a player more unsuited to the now cringeworthy titled “Angeball” it would be James.



    Got to feel for the manager as that was clearly an expensive squad-filling name that was meant to please the support. A distressed purchase for us in the post-Scott Brown era.



    Leverkeusen could be brutal this Thursday if Ange treats it as another game closer to his ideal way of working but I don’t think he knows a plan B. Not sure it is going to end well.




  23. Not impressed by yesterday’s performance, nor our manager.


    After a few domestic games not only is manager being out witted away from home, more worrying it is happening at home, and his plan B, is basically plan A with different players.


    The team looks lightweight, lacking in confidence and there is no real tactics or in game management.


    The only options I can see for Thursday is a 442 with Ajeti & Abada up front or, a radical option of playing Urhoghyde as a Lyndon Dykes physical / nuisance striker, targeting back post headers against Frimpong and looking for Jota or Abada to pick up second balls.


    Neither options are ideal, but if we try to play the way we did against Betis we will lose by 3 or 4, and find ourselves going to Pitoddrie with more injuries & tired legs.

  24. The officials missed a Dundee Utd penalty , but that was not all



    Just before half time Ajeti pushes Dundee Utd player as ball comes back off bar….. Clancy sees it and disallows goal.



    Second half Jota weaves back and forward in box, chips ball to Abada in 6 yard box ,


    Abada gets pushed in back before ball gets to him, ( more subtle than Ajeti in first half ) , the push was sufficient to ensure so Abada only gets glancing contact….


    Clancy does not see it so does not give penalty…


    … to be fair Sportsound commentator , thought it was Ajeti so no wonder he missed it,



    Abada didnot complain to ref.


    Ange does not complain to 4th Official. …so it passes without comment or discussion…including on here.



    Utd keeper deliberately studded Abada…


    Nobody complains ….


    If VAR was in use Possible Red



    Retrospective Red Card not coming up because nobody on pitch makes an issue of it and there is no discussion on Sportscene, so it didn’t happen.




    Tom Rogic burst forward (in our only real breakaway in second half ,) , Abada running on his right , Ajeti in front, the best option was to feed ball to Jota on his left. Rogic never once looked left and wasted the option trying to thread the ball to Abada.



    Jota is young and too accepting, he didn’t call for the ball, and he didn’t berate Rogic afterwards for not passing.



    Ange is also too quiet during games.


    He should have been giving Rogic an ear full.


    Not once have I seen Ange offer anything from sideline.


    He could pick the team and go home to watch game on Celtic TV for all the input he gives.



    I am mentally preparing myself for Bayer Leverkusen


    … I have a provisional 0:4 in my head at the moment * , but by kick off on Thursday I will be predicting 2:0 to the good guys.



    * ( I think the 0:4 scoreline is another example of Nominative Determinism…


    They are known as Leverkusen 04 afterall… :) …)



    The Onlooker

  25. By my reckoning Mr Ajeti has ONLY had ONE effort ON TARGET ( v Livvy ?) in his last THREE Feckin games.


    That is NOT good enough for ANY so called CELTIC Centre Forward.


    Even Wullie Falconer was better than Ajeti.



    I sincerely hope that Ange has seen enough of Mr Ajeti, and sees what most other people can see …is that Ajeti is just a 100% DUD !


    This opinion of Mr Ajeti is NOT just because of the sitter that he missed yesterday….its all about his overall shocking performances.


    Please Ange….DROP this Ajeti Chump and maybe try Abada thru the middle until either Kyogo and/or Gio come in ?

  26. McCarthy was looking to come off as soon as he was fouled and of course got his wish at half-time. That kind of ‘involvement’ would have served to spur on Scott Brown.



    He always gave everything and dared others in the team not to ……an enormous miss that will affect us for a few seasons.


    I believe he was sickened by the attitude of those around him last season and that made his mind up to get out.

  27. Its all very depressing. The early season optimism of free flowing attacking football, replaced with last season drudgery, poor defending and dreadful passing.



    Some players no where near good enough, others who need to up there game.



    All is not lost, but we need to hit a bit of form pretty damn quick or is going to be a long haul.

  28. glendalystonsils on




    Turnbull was unlucky , not so big Tam who actually stooped down to head the ball up onto the bar . kind of summed up his day .

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