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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    JHB stick to politics…







    ffs naw!





    Unless it’s in his lonely room with his George Galloway posters on the wall.




    Oh I don’t know.I like to sit in my wee Political corner of a morning,not like Ernies Pseuds Corner,a lot less Chintzy,you understand,and peruse at leisure,the amazing insights JHB has on politics.

  2. I think most reasonable Celtic fans would agree that 3 and 1/2 months isn’t enough time in which to judge a new manager.


    Equally, 72 days is not long enough to judge a new CEO

  3. Turkeybhoy,



    I really hope you are right. I must say I am worried with the amount of time Christopher has been injured. I remember the game of his last injury and we were told Chris would be out long term, 3 possibly 4 months.



    We are long past that benchmark. I hope I am worrying unnecessarily.




  4. I like Ange – I really do! He seems like a sound fella with good ideas, and when the football comes off it’s wonderful! But,….




    he’s becoming an ideologue with his “we’ll play my way” when we don’t necessarily have the players to fit the system. Our centre forward is too static, and we don’t have a mobile midfield pivot in the Kante mode who can cover for Rogic and Turnbull’s lack of mobility. He really needs to go on a winning run but if he doesn’t adapt what he is doing we’ll crash and burn. Even Pep, after a difficult first year at Man City, realised he had to tweak his system to the environment he works in. I’m not sure Ange will and it’ll cost him his job.




    It’ll also cost us the league as I’m less confident than most that the answer lies in the transfer market – I’ve posted before that we operate a transfer system where only around half of our recruits can be considered a success. Throwing money at the problem wont solve it for us – our asset management has been poor for a long time and we waste too much while others get better value. For instance, the team we put out at the weekend cost us £20.25m in transfer fees – a large average given we had 2 loanees, an Academy graduate, and McCarthy arrived on a free. By contrast, the team they put out cost them £12.1m. Sub out Hagi for Kent (£6.5m), Balogun for Helander (£3m), Bassey for Barisic (£2.2m); Jack (free) for Lundstam; and MacGregor (free) for McLuaghlin as the 5 you’d expect to get into their first choice 11, so even at their strongest, their team cost only £400k more than the 11 we put out on Sunday (£20.65m for them, £20.25m for us).




    Unless we think our scouting and recruitment is suddenly going to get better – though as we have no Head of Recruitment I can’t see why we would think that, not least as our summer signings look like the 1 in 2 model remains in place (Kyogo; Hart; Abada; Juranovic; CCV; Jota all in the positive column so far, while Starfelt; Scales; the Greek; the two Sheffield Wed guys and McCarthy all in the “worried about these guys” column) – we’re reliant on the manager coaching and managing the players to improve and ensure the sum is greater than the parts. I am not yet seeing that which is a worry.




    Not calling for him to be booted yet, but we’re at the point of either Ange coming up with a pragmatic Plan B to get us results through this difficult period while evolving the team as players come back to fitness, or the Board doing so.

  5. politics.



    UNCLE JIMMY on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:43 PM


    I think most reasonable Celtic fans would agree that 3 and 1/2 months isn’t enough time in which to judge a new manager.



    Equally, 72 days is not long enough to judge a new CEO.




    Agreed on both counts.


    I do not buy the ” Asset Management “theory for Dominic’s sudden departure.




  6. Bigbhoy


    Tom Rogic’s ability is in no doubt the problem is his ability to maintain a level of fitness for a consistent amount of games


    yesterday imho he was knackered very early on and failed to find his touch throughout the Match,as NL



    found out last season if you rely on Tom game to game it will end badly

  7. UNCLE JIMMY on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:43 PM


    ‘I think most reasonable Celtic fans would agree that 3 and 1/2 months isn’t enough time in which to judge a new manager.’







    The trouble is that it could be long enough to lose the league.

  8. SHAUNAMURA on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:52 PM



    If T Rogic had the physical capacity to consistently play two games a week, he would be a £30m footballer and therefore not at Celtic.



    He hasn’t, so he’s not and therefore he is.

  9. ernie



    ” And whilst I have many faults, being wrong isn’t one of them.”



    Isn`t having many faults `wrong` ?

  10. @ SPIDEY101 on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:48 PM



    The problem with that approach is that our squad doesn’t really permit a Plan B? Do you have any sort of realistic suggestion?



    We have one senior striker fit and apparently no youths to come through. So unless you plan playing wingers out of position – we don’t have other wingers to come in and take their place – we have no other options to go with the current approach.



    We can’t swap out our attacking midfielders in Turnbull and Rogic because we have no other options.



    We could play Soro and Bitton but then that makes no sense as they are both defensive midfielders and have we all forgotten Bitton’s performances this year already?



    Ange has stepped into a car crash and early season promise raised expectations precipitously, but I’m really struggling to see what he is supposed to do.

  11. Was listening to Huddle Breakdown there (episode post Livi game).



    Some interesting stats after the Livi game:



    Ajeti played x3 90 mins in a row for the first time since Basel 18/19;



    Jota x3 90 mins in a row for the first time since 19/20 when he played in the Portuguese 2nd division – and the x3 games in a row in Portugal were over 3 weeks, not 7 days.



    Add in to the above that Rogic was getting subbed after 60 mins in most of his Celtic career, as was Turnbull last season, then you can see why we are dropping off so dramatically.



    We don’t have the first 11, nevermind squad, to play the frequency of games we are.



    We could and should have been more proactive in the transfer market (surprise, surprise) but find ourselves with a thread bare squad in a season where the winners get automatic CL qualification.



    Sevco are trying hock their stadium name to raise funds and yet they have a deeper pool of players in their squad than us. You could hardly make it up, save that it is what we have come to expect from our board.

  12. As an aside aside.



    10 minutes into the match yesterday , I helped a young west virigina bhoy find his seat.



    asked him what brought him to celtic park, desperate to see celtic after being at matches in germany and spain. now studying at university of glasgow, he asked me were he could get a beer, his jaw hit the deck when i told him you couldnt.



    after the game two japanese kids at the big forge roundabout, looking kinda lost i asked them if they were and did they need some help clutching their celtic shop bags as if scared of being robbed,



    the bhoy told me he wanted an uber and nearest was duke street, i told them not to go there, but to go down the gallowgate, and stay away from denniston,



    they too were at glasgow uni.



    have we become more of a tourist destination ?

  13. Apologies if this was covered after the game, but my overriding feeling at the game was that Dundee Utd were adept at cheating and managing the ref. Was like watching an EPL team.



    I agree with a few people who pointed out how bad Clancy was. We suffered due to the item above but he also let fouls from us go (especially CCV). At one point, in the south/east corner, their man went down easy when tackled by Monty but based on what went before, I expected a free kick. Never gave it but when play went about 15 yards up the park he blew for a non existent contact.



    Bizarre behaviour

  14. If T Rogic had the physical capacity to consistently play two games a week, he would be a £30m footballer and therefore not at Celtic.




    He hasn’t, so he’s not and therefore he is.





    Same is probably true of Turnbull as well. Certainly at this stage of his career.



    That being the case Ange needs to give serious thought as to which game is his priority in the days ahead.



    It should be a straightforward decision.

  15. I would prefer Ange was a bit more pragmatic with the resources he has, get the players to do what they can do, and not go all out angeball until all the resources are in place.



    results first, performance some other time, overtime,

  16. AN TEARMANN on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 1:49 PM


    Stivs. From twitter






    *love that photie, reminded me of being a wee bhoy and my da carrying me on his shoulders tae the Jungle.



    Always wondered where Parkheid Juniors play, as a young lhad I remember passing Dennistoun Waverly’s ground on the way tae a game, couldnae tell you where that was now.

  17. RC on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:02 PM



    OUT: Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Ryan Christie.



    IN: James McCarthy. dearie me



    *Broonie is done, especially after sitting round the pool in Dubai with the LL guzzling pints. Ntcham a waste of space, Ryan a legend in his own mind, the sky’s the limit has nothing tae do with his expectations but his free kicks.

  18. sceptical citizen on

    It doesn’t matter how much money we spend, if we play crab style football.


    Crab style is anti football.


    Brendan played crab style football the first time he came up against Kilmarnock, managed by Steve Clark, with Celtic getting our first shot at goal in the 87th minute, because we were ‘idealists’ who wouldn’t play the ball over the top!


    Why not?


    Because we pretended to be something that we weren’t – a top class football team.


    Celtic blogs blamed the plastic pitch for what turned out to be a 0-1 defeat for us, and this was in the days when the Celtic fans Brendan love-in was at its zenith, before all of the fans hearts were broken at Brendan’s departure which brought the love-in to a shuddering halt, as Brendan lovers were falling over themselves to plunge their steely knives into Brendan’s back. Yuk!


    Top class football teams don’t get their asses handed to them in almost every CL group game. But we did.


    Brendan has dropped the ‘idealist’ thingy since he has gone to Leicester, and he hasn’t done too badly.


    Brendan was a stand out in the Scottish league, but realism should tell us that the Scottish league is like playing in a puddle, or backwater.


    When Neil Lennon returned to us and continued Brendan’s work and won us the league, eventually completing our 3rd treble that was job done.


    Neil was given the job full time, which left a lot of fans underwhelmed.


    I think we went to Ibrox early in the next season, Neil set us up to play on the break, and we won 0-2.


    Then after that result the crab football took over and as a team we’ve been guff ever since.


    Crab football is anti Celtic.


    Any manager pursuing crab football at Celtic is either, trying to give the fans something that he can’t deliver, or somebody above the manager is instructing him to baffle both his players, and the fans with tactics, team selections, and formations that the players can’t deliver, and is doing so to play the PLCs game of throwing ‘another’ league to keep Celtic’s business partners viable. imho.


    We hit the bar three times yesterday, Dutd had a penalty claim dismissed, who knows how it would’ve ended up?


    PLC is more happy to throw ‘another’ league to prevent Ibrox FC from being out of the top Scottish league for ‘another’ five year period, were Celtic Park would probably be reduced in crowd size by 50% like the last time Ibrox FC went through ‘another’ financial collapse.


    The PLC will have weighed up the damaging options likely to affect Celtic if, there’s ‘another’ financial collapse at ibrox, and there will be a collapse if Ibrox FC don’t get their hands on the £40 million CL money.


    Five years of 50% reduction in Celtic Park crowds would probably happen in the event of ‘another’ Ibrox financial collapse.


    Celtic PLC colluding to throw ‘another’ league will probably have no effect in ticket sales, or maybe marginal effect compared to five years of 50% collapse in crowds, like last time there was no Ibrox club in top league, tickets sold out, but crowd was down 50%.


    And if a Celtic PLC can order puppet manager Neil Lennon to piss the players off with stupifying tactics, team selections, and formations, to throw the ’10’ season as Shane Duffy said, “the crazy things going on behind the scenes” hmmmm, then the PLC can order the new puppet manager Ange Postecoglu, to execute the same plans as his predecessor did last season.


    All of these maddening things happen because, Celtic season book investors have consistently proved to the PLC, that holding up bits of cardboard in the car park is as far as they’re protests go.

  19. Dykes v julien…..I attended the ..celtic 4 livingston 0 game nov 19……..Julien wasn’t bullied once….in fact he was well on top …so much so Dykes got booked resorting to fouling him!!!…..think folks getting blinded by plastic pitches again…which admittedly Julien has never looked comfortable!!!

  20. Rolling Stone,



    There aren’t a huge amount of options I appreciate that. Looking at what we have though, I think there’s some changes we could make:



    1. stiffen up the midfield a bit. McCarthy’s unfit/too immobile to play DM with both Rogic and Turnbull (who both have their own fitness problems) so drop one of them and bring in Shaw who looked like he had a bit of dig and running power. Alternatively bring Soro in and tell him McCarthy’s job is to sit while Soro’s job is to run and pressure in midfield. You also then have the benefit of replacing Turnbull/Rogic with the other to preserve legs or have them both on at the end of the game a bit fresher if chasing a goal;


    2. Have our full backs stay wider – bringing them inside doesn’t appear to be delivering much benefit as they don’t stop counter-attacks, which ought to be the point of them – a screen of 3 players in front of the centre-halves.


    3. Pick a defense and stick with it. Drill the team to defend deeper when possession is lost – pressing is definitely the way to go when everyone’s available, but it’s now exacerbating our injury problems by draining the guys we have available;


    4. Look at what we have in front areas and maximise our ability to get goals from the players available. Realistically that’s Ajeti, Jota and Abada, so work out what works for Ajeti and try to play to that style for now (if there is actually a way that works for him – may be better to drop him and have Abada as a striker with Monty/Moffat playing wide).

  21. @Spidey good shout Re. wee Owen…..The cameras zoomed in on him Sun…


    And i thought oh here we go the boys gonnae get a crack at them… But then Zilch

  22. Greenpinata / An Dun



    I respect you both as posters and don’t always agree with you. I will reply to your messages shortly. I am not sure I have made my point clearly as to the value of fans and team aligning to produce great results.

  23. Did not post re game yesterday due toy crushing disappointment!




    I too like the coach ..but even with limited resources he should be able to set up and beat livi and Dundee United .



    I am sure his back room team are a great help …



    No seriously!



    Anyway he seems to be becoming our version mark Warburton has a firm idea and style he wants and not much more! a style that does not cut It in Scotland especially if you don’t have the players !



    Does anyone see the problem that’s developing no plan b .. how I used to laugh at that guy Warburton


    After poor results yesterday after I saw his interview I turned to my dad who’s health this is not helping at all he only has the football to focus on .



    My dad said something to me I was mentally in conflict inside “well sonny I might never see us win a trophy again I have to face that fact ”



    We are actually going backwards !

  24. @ SPIDEY101 on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 4:17 PM



    Thanks for the reply.



    I think we have tried some of those recently.



    For example, in recent games our full backs have not been playing as inverted full backs – this was particularly apparent against Livi.



    From memory of the Huddle Breakdown podcast, they said that against Livi we had around 3 times more crosses than our season average.



    On the midfield point – our current issue is not scoring enough – none against Livi and one yesterday. Livi played 10 behind the ball for most of the game. Playing two of Bitton, McCarthy and Soro doesn’t rectify that issue.



    Agree re settled defence, but injuries are player only being integrated into the squad play their part. Ralston got Covid, Starfelt was ill, plus other injuries.



    I think most of what Ange can do is fairly immaterial in the grand scheme of things because we cant realistically change formation and all the personnel changes we can make are at the wrong end of the park.



    I do hope we play a solid midfield on Thursday and play counter attack, if nothing else to rest Rogic and Turnbull.

  25. I’m way out my depth here but in the position we are currently, I’d suggest we prioritise the game against Aberdeen over Leverkusen.



    Even playing well, I thought they’d hump us.



    The Aberdeen game needs maximum 3 pts for the Good Ghuys, anything else and the bandwagon takes us over a prematurely constructed ledge and Big AP with it.




    AN DUN @ 1:35 PM



    There are three who lurk on this site who have UEFA Coaching Badges, and I’m sure there will be many others.




    *Until Covid struck I coached minor “soccer” over here, have qualifications, more on children and youth’s safety for that.



    I had one player who spent a lot of time on the bench, a budding Tom Rogic, one day I told him that he was the most talented player in the squad, had all the skill sets required tae play at a higher level.



    His response was why didn’t I play him from the start, I replied that the lad who was currently in his position was a hard grafter, good tackler and had an eye for goal.



    One night we were short of players, I had a striker in goal and played him in the centre of defence, incidentally he had just spent 2 weeks in Poland returning 2 days earlier, normally that’s a no no after such a long trip, however I had run out of options, he did really good.



    At the half and we are losing, the striker wanted out of goal so I swapped him with the goal scoring midfielder.



    Unknown tae me they lined up that way but after the kick off the striker went tae central defence and this young lad went up tae midfield, first run up the park he crunches an opposition player and is booked, this disnae happen too often at this level.



    Then he scores a piledriver, an effin peach tae that almost burst the net, we ended up winning that night.



    After the game I questioned them on reversing my changes, they all went tae the same school and were pals and said they did it themselves.



    Young “Lewandowski” as I called him asked me which I preferred, him in the first or second half, I had to admit the second.



    After that night I rearranged the starting line up to contain both mids, we won the double scoring almost 80 goals.



    It’s all about listening tae the players and mibbees just mibbees they should be having that conversation with Ange and his coaching staff.

  27. Robert Tressell at 12.32pm



    I agree on the foul on Starfelt.


    Plus the deliberate kick out on Abada by their goalie in the 2nd half is a straight red. It was studs into his hip and left cuts & swelling.



    Both missed or discounted by the ref.


    Bleating by their manager about the penalty decision etc but no word about actions by his own players.




  28. bankiebhoy1


    Not out of your depth mate – totally realistic.


    Nghtmare scenario is a loss on Sunday.

  29. E L 12 16 pm



    if that’s a penalty we could get a dozen every game .Next you’ll be saying all the


    decisions go celtic’s way and madden, beaton mclean etc are members of Opus Dei


    Stick to politics and keep boring everyone to death

  30. UNCLE JIMMY on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 2:43 PM



    I think most reasonable Celtic fans would agree that 3 and 1/2 months isn’t enough time in which to judge a new manager.



    *correct, I always wonder what would have happened if the Pars had won the SC that wonderful afternoon at the national stadium. I doubt Jock would have got the sugar lump but life could have been much different.



    Equally, 72 days is not long enough to judge a new CEO



    *Every job I’ve been at had a probation period, even starting my time when it was 6 months before “apprentice tae trade I was bound”



    I have no doubt the Dominator was on one, alarm bells should have been ringing when Ange made the statement about we knew what was required for him but it was taking too long and then the next we hear the Kaiser had stepped in the look after transfers.



    Mibbees just mibbees the job was too big for him.