I watched the first half of Spain-England last night and although the Spanish will regard it as a horror show, that verdict should be limited to how they defended. The home team’s movement off the ball was a joy to watch.
Every modern dominant team, including Celtic, seem to play what is commonly referred to as a passing game. When Celtic play it, it looks like a passing game, but when Spain played last night, passing was subservient to their movement. When a player received the ball, everyone else in a red shirt was on the move, giving him straightforward options. No one was boxed-in, forced to try to beat a man or lob a rash ball forward. Successful passing became a consequence of off the ball movement.
By comparison, Celtic stretch play from left to right, in a regular horseshoe patter, presumably in an attempt to create space between defenders. A direct cost of this is that players have fewer options in possession, make more predictable passes and are forced to play it sideways or back more often.
England shredded Spain, which could be linked to the fluidity of the Spanish, but I suspect it had more to do with a failure to keep a straight defensive line, than a direct punishment for off the ball work.