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. TONTINE TIM on 27TH SEPTEMBER 2021 3:59 PM


    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.






    dont know if this will work.



    Parkhead juniors played at helenvale. slightly east of celtic park.



    I think BRIDGETON Waverly played at Barrow field. sloghtly south east of celtic park.



    zoom works brilliant 1934 version




  2. The dissapointment was understandable but jeering the team off the park is bad for morale of the threadbare squad and must have hurt like hell for AP.


    So many important games coming up and so few players to choose from, No doubt our support will be behind them at the start of these games but if things don’t go our way team confidence will go to pieces.


    Thursday’s massive for Sunday.


    ps watching an Irish tv drama called “Kin”, well worth a watch. Ave Ave

  3. Peter@7.09 Jeez bhoy ye know how to cheer us up on Monday


    Liked your memories of yer Da.and Granda tho…..


    Love reading family moments……









    “Ange out of his depth”







    “Ange doesn’t look happy”







    “Ange is Brady, Barnes, Mowbray”









    Won’t do any good but I’ll give it a pop anyway.





    (you could do worse than scroll past)









    Did you like Dominic McKay when you heard him at the intro?







    I admit I quite liked what he had to say.







    Including, when asked “Why Ange?”







    Answer – “He’s a winner”







    Clearly some soundbyte value in that one.







    But backed by evidence.







    He’s won titles. In 2 jurisdictions.







    Australia’s a diddy league?







    Tell that to Ange’s face.





    They’ve been to a World Cup finals this millennium (led by Ange). We haven’t.







    Japan’s not a decent standard league?





    I’m sure Kyogo will appreciate that sentiment when you tell him (via his translator)









    Pretty much a consensus view that Ange inherited a big mess?







    So, you get a “big” job and the place is a big mess.







    Ordinarily, that entitles the new boss to set low expectations in the short to medium term.







    But not at Celtic.







    So, what’s the first thing you do?







    You may list all the issues and decide which ones are the most urgent (not necessarily the most important)







    Key issues (IMHO) ….







    1. squad capacity





    2. squad capability





    3. morale





    4. team culture and ethos





    5. tactics (generic)





    6. tactics (opponent/venue specific)





    7. coaching capacity





    8. coaching capability





    9. support structures (science, recruitment)







    Oh, and by the way …





    – competitive matches start in 5 weeks





    – transfer window closes in 10







    So what do you prioritise?







    I’d suggest 1, 4 and 5 above are good shouts







    Basic tactics, culture, fitness plus squad augmentation before window closes.







    Don’t know Ange. Never met him.







    But I can imagine any manager faced with all these problems might think …







    “Get some players in, set the early tone, get some quick wins (literally) and go from there”







    “Only then can I focus on squad capability and morale, then match specific tactics, then coaching staff, then sports science then all the other little problems ….”







    All the while getting results.







    If I may flip back to those 9 key issues above and numbers 1, 4 & 5 in particular ….







    Although work starts on team culture & ethos (4) and BASIC tactics (5) it’s only a start. Long, long way to go.







    The only one of the 9 that got “over the hump” was no.1 – initial squad capacity.







    Decent window. Lots of players signed. Raw materials in the building.







    Ange might have been forgiven for thinking on 01 September







    “I’ve got the bodies





    That’s one issue resolved to an extent





    I’ll get by with this until January





    Let’s go”







    Then Forrest gets injured





    Then Kyogo





    Then Taylor





    Then Calum





    Then Giorgios





    Then Josip







    Hence “walked under a ladder”







    Most of the above is speculative.







    Based solely on what I see and how I see it.







    But it might, just might, be an insight into what Ange Postecoglou is going through.







    And I am TOTALLY unqualified to be the Celtic manager.







    And I probably have no real idea what the role actually throws up.







    And for those reasons Ange has my support.







    Hail hail







    Keep The Faith

  5. SS I knew an oul yin out here, big time Celtic supporter and practicing Catholic who claimed he was at one time the captain of Brigton Waverly.

  6. Watched the last 24 mins of the 1st half,Palace game.Edouarde still thinks he’s playing for us.Walking about up front,looking like someone in a trance.Has touched the ball once.Bad 1st touch,taken off him.Thats it.

  7. @TB ..Thought the same when the Lassie said she likes that he hits it first time..lol


    She never seen the last 20 tic games……


    Anyway hope he scores…..

  8. prestonpans bhoys on




    He’s a strange guy, for the first 15 minutes, he was running about madly, then seems to lose interest

  9. Cheers TB, but I’m just sharing Back To Basics wise words from earlier.



    I’m as gutted as any Tim but some perspective helps the pain a wee bit.






    A wee story about the successors to Bridgeton Waverley from the early 80’s ( circa 81-83 ). At the time, I was manager of Cambria Amateurs, making the long journey from Scottish Amateur Div 6 to the Premier League. At the time, I think we were in Div 5 and were due to play Bridgeton Waverley at the University of Strathclyde Stepps complex on Cumbernauld Road, a superb facility with 8 or 9 immaculate grass pitches. Just before 2:00PM, I greeted the referee, gave him a copy of my team sheet, and showed him his changing room in the large pavilion. A couple of minutes later, the Bridgeton Waverley team arrived in about 4 cars. I greeted them and their manager, gave him a copy of my team sheet, and showed them to their changing room. I then moved to our changing room to greet my own players.



    Around 2:40, the ref chapped our door, and asked to see our studs. On finishing, he said to me,


    “Which room are Bridgeton in?” I said, “Six,” and off he went. A minute later he was back. “It looks


    as if they have already gone up to the park. Which field are we on?” I went outside with him to show him, as the pitch, although visible from the car park, was easily a quarter of a mile distant. To our considerable surprise, there were no players on any of the 8 or 9 parks! We went back to their changing room, which was open, with outdoor clothes hanging from hooks. We were baffled, and as the time crept towards the 3:00PM kick off, I had my team talk, sent my players up to the park to warm up, and waited at the pavilion with the ref, both stymied by this odd development.



    At about 2:56, we couldn’t believe it – the entire Bridgeton team, stripped and with their boots on, clip clopped into the car park from the immediately adjacent Dug and Duck pub on Cumbernauld Road! The manager calmly came up to both of us, gave us a friendly greeting, and handed us copies of his team sheet.



    The ref decided to say nothing ( What could he say? Nothing in the rule book about it ).


    In case you are wondering, I think we won 6-3. The Waverley team, whose home facility was a minimally sized red ash park, had some wonderfully skilled tanner ba’ players, but they eventually ran out of legs on our huge grass park, doubtless not helped by a couple of pre- match pints. 40 years ago, and I remember it like yesterday.

  11. BB1,


    What gets me is,we all knew he was inheriting a broken squad,and that he would need time.Whats happened to those sentiments.

  12. RS- Excellent summary of Brentford, been a big fan of their football for a few years, the scouting is exceptional, money taken in transfers in last 5 years is amazing

  13. PCF – Is that why Clancy blew the whistle for a foul, if so how did he not let Utd take it.



    D :)

  14. TB……..



    Yep. I think the initial success and new direction buoyed us up and perhaps we forgot about the fundamentals of the situation we were in?



    For me, the number of injuries is pivotal, and to our better performers.



    I can’t understand how some say that even with these absences we should still be beating everyone.



    I reckon every team feels they’ve a decent chance of nickin’ points off us currently.



    What’s clear is that big chunks of our own footballing business is dysfunctional – Football in Scotland is dysfunctional, so we shouldn’t really be surprised.




  15. Iniquitousiv..Great read big chap…ye kept all that quiet lol


    72/73 before he got the job full time at Darlington i played under Ralph Brand..


    Gentleman btw…Anyhoo watching Jetski sunday i kept thinkin of …….


    Active training session where the emphasis was on Anticipation.


    Anticipate ball coming here& there..Anticipate attackers moves etc etc…


    I just don’t see any of that in the boy….




  16. Advert on telly there for Guinness 0.0 , aka Alcohol free Guinness….. Now christened by me and henceforth to be known as …..BLACK TRAGIC



    Hail Hail




  17. Edouarde hooked.In a game played at 100 miles an hour,Eddy never got out of 1st gear.Made Ajeti look energetic and keen yesterday.

  18. 1nil palace…. got to say big Shane Duffy had a great game despite being on the losing side.


    Where was that player????

  19. PCF – No you maybe right I genuinely didn’t know.



    At the time I thought he blew for half time.



    I did think there was a foul on Utd player at first.



    D :)

  20. Thanks RollingStone. I think I probably got too detailed in last reply. I’d summarise it as not playing a high intensity pressing system that relies on clever movement interchanging in attack when our current set up sees us with two players who lack movement (McCarthy and Ajeti) and two who lack stamina (Rogic and Turnbull).


    I take the point that bringing in Soro or Shaw instinctively feels defensive and won’t change our attacking issues, but it may actually help – dropping that bit deeper creates more space for Jota and Abada to run into, and we have more legs in midfield which helps stop counter attacks earlier and allows us to counter more quickly.

  21. The push by Ajeti was no different to the push on Starfelt prior to the penalty claim. Except one player swan dived and the other didn’t.



    One was given as a foul, one was not.



    Perhaps the ref didn’t give the penalty because he knew it should have been a foul first.



    Red card for Fuchs foul on McCarthy. Only a yellow.



    Three offside decisions against Jota, all three looked onside to me.

  22. Watched Fuchs three times this season Huns,Dundee Derby,and us.Fantastic in all three.Tireless in holding midfield role.One of the best I have seen so far.



    1nil palace…. got to say big Shane Duffy had a great game despite being on the losing side.


    Where was that player????




    Exactly where he was before some idiot decided Duffy would be a good fit for us.


    Backs against the wall defender, clearing lines. Put him in a team on the front foot defending a high line, well, obviously not. Any idot could see that, excluding our scout and Keevins like fans.

  24. Belated update on Superbru Predictor (delayed by a bout of PMTD_ Post Match Traumatic Depression).



    A couple of surprise results saw this as a good week for Mick The Tim, our best performer, with good showings by Magnificentseven, Kelvinbhoy, Hopeful Hoops and St Tams.



    Majestic Hartson drew a complete blank on all 6 matches but Friesdorfer and Angel Gabriel fared little better.



    Overall, Hopeful Hoops has a big lead of 7 points with Big Archie and 18 yard man as the nearest chasers, but just like the SPFL, the league is still at an early stage and nothing is settled.



    Next set of predictions are needed by Saturday 2nd October at 3 pm.




    The big difference with Duffy is that he is playing for Brighton……..a team with a structure good tactics and coaching.At the moment i would not want to be a centre half at our club, most times hung out to dry.


    A lot of out problems have been that we put ourselves in trouble with badd passing.





    Was thinking the same about Dundee Utd midfielder…….glad you watched him a few times.

  26. Spidey



    In stats.re our 1st + 2nd half possession.


    Would you have a breakdown by player each half?



    Ages since seen so much defensive passing