Celtic sink in random tactical shape


Just shy a year since their last league defeat, Celtic fell at St Mirren yesterday.  With practically none of the ball in the first half, St Mirren scored three minutes before the break.  Until then, Celtic passed with precision but without penetration.  The goal ignited Celtic, who created a few chances before halftime, but were unable to get back on terms.

Jota and Hatate came on for Maeda and Mooy at the restart without impacting Celtic’s effectiveness.  St Mirren doubled their lead early in the second half, prompting Ange Postecoglou then departed from his tactical norm.  Abada was replaced by Haksabanovic, but Giakoumakis replaced Turnbull, giving us the unusual sight of two up front, with TV viewers (like me) wondering what the shape was.  I still am.

The final period of the game saw further disruption to our tried and tested shape, as Taylor was withdrawn for O’Riley.  Celtic defended with Jenz, Welsh and Ralston, as the midfield looked short of space and even shorter in players who knew where they should be moving.

Last week we spoke about the dangers of an away game in the league after an away game in Europe.  Minds and bodies are tired, your opponents often get a week to prep for a game you’ve not given a thought to until the day before.

Ange has a responsibility to rest the players when possible.  Even though Celtic do not have a game for two weeks, many in the squad will play internationals in that time, adding to their seasons’ toil.  He was right to expect more from the starting 11 than he got.  Less so his subsequent tactical changes, which looked random and did not improve matters.


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  1. Pingback: Celtic Sink In Random Tactical Shape - Celtic News

  2. Alphonso Rex who died in Rome


    Was quite a fistful as a kid;


    For when I visited his home,


    That gorgeous palace in Madrid,


    The grinning guide-chap showed me where


    He rode his bronco up the stair.



    That stairway grand of marbled might,


    The most majestic in the land,


    In statured splendour, flight on flight,


    He urged his steed with whip in hand.


    No lackey could restrain him for


    He gained the gilded corridor.



    He burst into the Royal suite,


    And like a cowboy whooped with glee;


    Dodging the charger’s flying feet


    The Chamberlain was shocked to see:


    Imagine how it must have been a


    Grief to Mother Queen Christina!



    And so through sheer magnificence


    I roamed from stately room to room,


    Yet haunted ever by the sense


    Of tragical dynastic doom.


    The walls were wailing: Kings must die,


    Being plain blokes like you and I.



    Well, here’s the moral to my rhyme:


    When memories more worthy fade


    We find that whimsically Time


    Conserves some crazy escapade.


    So as I left I stood to stare


    With humorous enjoyment where


    Alphonso crashed the Palace stair.

  3. Agreed, a dogs dinner of a line up at the end had us playing in a formation that none of the team would have trained for.



    its was particularly un Ange-like. Trusting in the process went out the window. It never works, it didnt look like it ever would yesterday.



    Attitude, line up, performance, tactics, use of subs and adapting during the game were all poor.



    A bad day in just about every way which at least gives us the comfort that its unlikely to ever be repeated.

  4. Saint Stivs




    From previous. Perspective indeed.




    Also 1 year ago we had lost 2 Europa league games Inc 7 goals and a qualifier for CL v mediocre Danes.



    Great progress and maybe being checked is not the worst. However momentum is so important.



    For me the energy that the other lot get from their Aberdeen away getting cancelled post the royal death and their narrow 0-3 v Napoli, plus emphatic 2-1 win the bottom team in the league, does piss me off to be honest. The bounce from their ‘royal British feelgood’ positioning makes me queasy to be polite. Winning the league in a coronation year would be such a cause for their lot to rally round.



    They have done nothing but somehow avoided slipping out of sight in the league at a time when we really need our emphasis to be on 2 huge CL group games.



    They will come back energised with few away on Int duty and others injured time to recover, whilst we are not so fortunate. Hopefully CCV is only a couple of weeks out.




    First 2 games back after the break are really crucial but first 4 back will define the season imo.



    Motherwell at home Leipzig away St Johnstone away and Leipzig home.




    They have Hertz away, Liverpool away, St Mirren home and Liverpool away.




    For me 2 league wins are essential and a split of points over the 2 games with Leipzig will be just fine. That way a win v Shakhtar gets us to last 16.




    Nb If Hertz beat thems then they could drop to 3rd and get beaten twice by Liverpool so more chaos for them at same time.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    So, our first defeat in a year (or 364 days if you work for the BBC) and our possible points total slashed to a mere 111. Pass the panic button!


    This kind of result will happen in a 38 game season and always more likely after a Champions League game. We do want to be in the Champions League, don’t we?


    Still think we could be doing with an Armstrong-type MF who can make those off-the-ball runs in behind a defence mind…..

  6. The only game I did not see this season, sorry about jinxing it!


    Seems that even the best prepared, hard working and talented players, teams, coaches and managers have off days

  7. Ange trusted his able deputies would deputise and not put in a dwag of a performance as too many did.



    While not being the quickest, I thought Mooy was calm and central to a lot of what we were trying to start from mids. But as Ange hooked him pdq, I guess he wasn’t urgent enuff. I still believe in his composure and vision.



    I felt Calum and Turnbull were pants at feeding Kyogo who we’re getting 1 in 2 impactful games from the now.



    Wonder what/if big Joe Hart thinks of the anti-royal sentiment; presuming he’s a proud Engerlishman?


    His recent performances haven’t sparkled as much in terms of shot-stopping to my eyes.

  8. B78



    they are playing Liverpool away twice, thats interesting.



    just tormenting,



    I just wish we had taken saints game more serious, that is my overriding feeling, start with your best 11, get the game won, and see it out, we were all predicting 3,4, or more win, but what we didnt expect was such a poor perfromance, and that for me is what happened, those who came in and did well at county, they didnt do again in paisley.



    and that strip, dearie me, never again , where is green or white or yellow, i can just about accept a black away kit, but not that thing, he haw torepresent celtic.

  9. Our performance yesterday gave the impression that we were collectively playing with a hangover.



    Then to me the issue was the defence — we played with 75% of it being second string.



    We needed to change 2 players due to injuries — the third was less of a risk based on past performance but it turned into a shambles as AR looked strangely lost for large parts of the game plus his crossing when under little pressure was honking.



    That to me should have limited the changes in the rest of the team.


    I think AP made too many and the MF was out of sorts from the off.


    CMcG needs time on the bench to recover his form.


    He has been poor this season and yesterday was even worse,



    Yesterday means that we will have a lot of work to do in Jan.



    We need to start making plans regarding GK.


    We needed a stating CB in the summer and now we are desperate.


    We need a new RB for the squad — AR needs games to develop.


    He is currently not good enough so he needs a loan and the squad needs a replacement.



    We need to train to overcome rugby style tackling.


    We are not going to get any support from the Ludge MIB.


    Every opposition player was grabbing a jersey from the off.


    Some hid it well / some didn’t — no matter the MIB said play on.

  10. Joe Hart doesn’t command his 6 yard box, which is fine because CCV does that for him. Problems arise when CCV isn’t there. Given the change in our Cb pairing, I expected more from Hart in terms of taking control and leading that back line through the game. I also thought he should have done better with the goals much like last Wednesday night. Siegrist should be coming into Ange’s thinking at this point.



    Welsh and Ralston I think are bookmarked for squad improvements in later transfer windows.



    It’s not like St Mirren invented the wheel yesterday, it was pretty much what we’ve faced for the last year. Two lines of defence and high balls into a target man.



    All in all, a poor day.

  11. What was done to the Mau Mau, was done in queenie’s name, by people she honoured for their service.



    Some of the Chilean concentration camp survivors think but can’t prove that it was “The Angel of Death” Joseph Mengle who set up the Chilean concentration camps.



    Queenie didn’t give a f#ck about Chilean concentration camps or about the trade unionists, the journalists .etc who were all rounded up in a football stadium and shot.



    “The people judged to be guilty of Mau Mau sympathies were transferred to torture camps. There, each detainee was given a number which they had to wear on a band on their wrist. They were then stripped naked and sent through a cattle dip, before the torture would begin again. “Detainees were frog-marched around the compound and beaten until blood ran from their ears,” Elkins writes.”




  12. The MF in the first half was very poor.



    AM @ pivot / DM was just about passable.


    DT was very subdued — little forward creativity.


    CMcG had flickers of a previous life but mostly played his boring / weak game 20 yards further up the park.



    The lack of chances created was very worrying.


    We have been in similar situations before but at least we were working their GK.


    That was not the case yesterday.

  13. I can’t write Tony off; I genuinely think he’s showed more than enuff to be a contender for the RB jersey.


    He’s just rusty as all get out.


    Weird how – as MM says – his crosses were so minging; Tony is a better byline hitter and cut-backer than JJ ever has been. But Ange just loves the wee man’s rampaging – but surely not positional marking – qualities.


    SW isn’t a kid anymore and looked so lightweight yesterday.


    No doubt a smashing lad but not an Ange-level Celtic player in a mullion years.


    Swap for Boyle at Hibs.

  14. All hiding behind queenie and now, charlie man with cheeks like an alcoholic.



    But Celtic fans shouldn’t be concerned at children starving to death all over the world while sociopath’s avoid taxes.



    The top 10 biggest enablers of global corporate tax abuse


    1 British Virgin Islands (British overseas territory)


    2 Cayman Islands (British overseas territory)


    3 Bermuda (British overseas territory)


    4 Netherlands


    5 Switzerland


    6 Luxembourg


    7 Hong Kong


    8 Jersey (British crown dependency)


    9 Singapore


    10 United Arab Emirates

  15. Queenie served a purpose for the Establishment — she takes flack that should rightly go to them.



    She and her family are put up with because they are a human shield to a failing establishment,



    Queenie had nothing to do with torture in Chile.


    Queenie had nothing to do with torture in Kenya.



    Aim for the correct target not the dancing bauble on a string.

  16. Some saying the grey strip ( totally for marketing and looking decent with jeans ) was the issue. For me surely seeing that our 2nd strip clashed with St Mirren would mean designing a 3rd kit not to would be a priority. Marketing vs Football ops cock up.



    Some saying fans and the crap being sung / banners / position taken by fans re this funeral and mourning must be a drain on players who have no real engagement with causes and grudges of 50 and 100 years ago and more which are being clear rated by our support. Again I probably don’t think this would be the case ordinarily. Hopefully they are smart enough to get that not every banner or song reflects the views of all, or even a majority of our support. How could Abada and Biton etc play for us for so long otherwise ? Hopefully the daily / weekly questioning of Ange about the fans isn’t too much of a focus for him ? Hopefully just before kick off the players ( from all kinds of different cultural backgrounds ) were not thinking ‘what the hell are the supporters going to do now’ and how will we be perceived by the focus on our clapping etc etc. we will never know if the team we put out were spooked a bit.



    It wasn’t far from the team v Ross Co a few weeks earlier in LC but maybe Ange got it very wrong in risking, not our strongest team, for a league game v a team who had 2 weeks to prepare.



    Maybe there was mibery at play. Never a St M throw in before first goal and probable foul, definite foul at second ? some have said. But there are lots of such decisions each week.



    It is likely to be a mix of all of the above. An imperfect storm which won’t re occur in tge coming months if our attitude gets fixed as a team and as a club. I am personally getting fed up with an old song book from an increasingly agenda ridden ( as opposed to Celtic supporting ) group but that’s maybe just me. The old Horsemen and similar was brilliant / genius and well considered and the back e of pro Celtic vs respectful rebel stuff felt right for me, now less so.



    I get for everyone they will have their own version of Celtic which is right for them. Much of now works for me but for that wee bit.



    What matters most is on the park and hopefully the energy is right and the critical next 4 games can be negotiated with the success we all crave.

  17. MADMITCH on 19TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:35 PM



    No F#cks to give about your opinion not even 2.






    If you sit down to dinner with a mass murdering killer (one amongst many) like Pinochet what does that make you.



    How many millions and millions of pounds did queenie get as gifts of racehorses from some of the most despotic regimes on Earth.



    Connolly was correct about the monarchy



    Did queenie honour the person who invented the special pliers invented to first crush the Mau Mau sympathisers ballocks and then crush them ?

  18. I don’t think the late Mrs Windsor can have it both ways – she can’t be lauded for her reconciliation efforts in Ireland then be a non political figure with no responsibility for Britains colonial crimes.



    If she’s told what to do and has no power, then she deserves no praise for her peace efforts in Ireland as she was merely doing as someone told her.

  19. B78 try the area where the canals are in Milan, it has cracking vibe with loads of great cafes, restaurants, street food and of course ice cream 🍦 😉

  20. The strip was crap.


    Whoever signed it off needs new duties.



    If we had some sort of in-house design capability we could have laughed it off the premises.



    Really poor all-round — Adidas / Us / kit guy.

  21. Go tell the Spartim on

    Monday morning quarterback


    The starting 11 should be more than capable of beating St Mirren even with the 2 lightweight centre backs (don’t see it in Welsh at all, Jenz who knows ), but that’s sport for you, we got what we deserved.



    Let’s birch Ange for trying something different seems the rhetoric. I’m sure he’s aware that he needs to keep learning too

  22. AD @ 12.56



    You really don’t understand films do you?


    They write it / they script it / they direct it — then someone has to act it.



    Queenie’s timing was perfect during her 26 county tour.

  23. It doesn’t take too much to burst our fragile confidence in the year long improvement that Ange has wrung out of this squad.



    One unexpectedly lost match and two mixed performances in Europe where we lost at home to the top seeds and gained a point away from the 3rd seeds in our group. Normally we would be delighted with matches where we went head to head with Real and frightened them and where we dominated a seasoned European team away from home, but both matches hinted at fragility- the final 30 minutes v Real and the latter part of the first half versus Shakhtar.



    The Shakhtar match and the Paisley match also saw our normal tempo reduced. I had felt it was possibly tactical in Warsaw that we did not go all “whirling Dervish” on them but there was no such tactical input to the Paisley performance.



    So, we worry that the gap is back to 2 and we worry that the players are beginning to slacken and pace themselves too much and we work that we can’t manage rotation even though we all know we have to do so.



    Every year in every season since this ceased to be a 14-16 man squad game (and I would say that Dundee United’s title was the last time that applied), we have had to use “replacement” players regularly because of injuries and suspensions. We all must surely remember the wingers played as strikers period (Morgan, Johnston, Forrest etc:). We all must remember the variable performances of Nir Bitton as a shiftily made makeshift CB. And we all must remember emergency LB’s like Calmac and Calvin Miller or playing Scott Brown at RB.



    We have done well last year to avoid injury to CCV and Starfelt. This year we are having to deal with both out at the same time. There will be other periods when both Giakoumakis and Kyogo will be jointly injured or suspended and others where Calmac and Ref will both miss the same match.



    Ange has recruited to give, at least, two options for every position. But sometimes two is not enough and we will suffer makeshift position filling. Sometimes they rise to the occasion, like Mike Conroy at Centre Half or Chris Sutton in midfield and sometimes they are Mikey Johnston at Centre forward or Calvin at LB- trying to find a position for a talent rather than accepting a journeyman filling in in their usual position.



    People have been calling for Ange to play Gia and Kyogo together- yesterday it didn’t work but it won’t be the last time we see it and , next time, it might fare better.



    People have asked for 3 at the back in domestic games so we can compete better in crowded midfields. Yesterday – we did this for a brief period- and the jury’s out. Our defence conceded nothing with a back 3 but our midfield and attack were not improved by the extra body.



    I can understand the bold rolling of the dice when you are 2:0 down with 10 minutes to go, but we didn’t improve our ingenuity and decision making in the final 3rd as a result of a tactical change.



    Shape missing may have been important but most of that game was played with our usual shape and we still did not score.



    In the end, there are no clear explanations other than, we just weren’t good enough on the day Strips, terracing songs, and end of game panic measures are all irrelevant when the players have an off day.



    We’ve seen it before and will see it again. The trick that Ange and the Bhoys have to pull is to make sure that we are ready to be up-tempo again by the 1st October. Ange does not have 2 weeks to prepare for this; he will have a couple of days only since we have so many away on International duty.



    We play again on the 1st October . The boys on Scotland duty will fly back on the 27th or 28th September. At best, Ange will have one training day with his squad before we face Motherwell. I think Motherwell will be missing only their goalie on International duty and will be in better shape.



    Thankfully, the game is at CP, which should help. We , definitely, do not want to prolong this confidence fragility.

  24. lets all do the huddle on

    just walked by the celtic shop on argyle street



    that strip actually looks pretty nice on the shop window dummy



    looked rubbish on the players yesterday though

  25. DrB @ 12.54



    Your analysis is honking.


    You are a useful idiot to the establishment.


    Your focus on Queenie / Brenda lets the real culprits scuttle away.



    The Chile angle is beyond irony given your “libertarian” CP fanboy nonsense.


    GP was a right-wing mentalist’s wet dream back in 73.


    I think you need to read more.

  26. lets all do the huddle on

    we had 5 scottish players in our starting eleven yesterday



    and they were all rubbish



    i thought we had ditched the philosophy of trying to play as many scottish players as possible a couple of years back



    its a failed tactic

  27. Not sure I agree with hangover sentiments. A touch too arrogant by the Manager, players and fans more like.



    We also have squad players that cant start if we have first choice fully fit. The drop in quality is tangible.



    We looked like a team going through the motions until the first, we then looked beaten after the second.



    Back down to earth with a bump, we

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