Celtic suffer inexplicable collapse


At halftime during our game at Kilmarnock yesterday, I said, “This is the best we have played in weeks”.  The only concern was that we were only the single goal ahead.  What transpired throughout the second half is inexplicable.

Kilmarnock pressed Celtic high up the field for the entire game, a refreshing change to the deep defending we commonly face.  With Celtic a goal to the good, forcing Kilmarnock to continue to chase the game, it should have been straightforward to pass through them and create a bucketload of chances.  However, the ability to progress possession out of defence was lost.

I will avoid the urge to scapegoat, which often follows a defeat, because this result was not the fault of any individual player, the entire team were poor.  Kilmarnock will not have an easier 45 minutes all season.  Their equaliser was fortuitous but deserved, from then on, their winner was always on the cards.

For me, the biggest worry is that nothing changed during the half.  I advocated for Callum McGregor to be pushed into a more advanced role, but with play failing so clearly, Callum should quickly have been brought back into a deeper role, where he would have been able to link defence to midfield.  This change eventually happened in response to Kilmarnock drawing level, and saw Kyogo press high alongside Oh, which stretched an already dysfunctional midfield to breaking point.  Control the middle of the park, or be controlled.

Cameron Carter-Vickers was rested (which I also advocated for), replaced by loanee Nat Phillips.  On an unfamiliar surface, Nat looked to get the ball forward as soon as possible.  This contrasted with Liam Scales, who frequently tried to control the ball under pressure.  Neither player looked comfortable because neither had good enough options.

I don’t remember a domestic game where an opposing manager has changed the game as much in their favour as Derek McInnes did yesterday.  The Celtic players and manager could learn from their vastly less-resourceful opponents.  I wish I could be more confident this was a blip.

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  1. TINYTIM on 11TH DECEMBER 2023 11:57 AM






    I’m interested in your thoughts on BR’s last two post match interviews ?




    In particular his statement about .



    “ has has to work with the players he has .”




    What is your take on what he is saying ?



    Why do you think he is saying ,what he is saying ?



    How do you think it effects the players ?





  2. I think you could be right. We have struggled in too many games for this to be a blip. We could blow this league and that would be incompetence of universal proportions.

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    “Inexplicable” collapse…..



    “not confident this is a blip”



    Not sure you can have both……

  4. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “Don’t look up”



    “Don’t take a touch”



    “Knock it forward quickly into the channels”



    The sum total of McInnes’ tactical changes.

  5. Tiny Tim



    I took it that he was referring to for the next key 4 week period he has to work with what he has.



    I don’t think it’s a positive. He has made several of these comments, veiled and not so veiled. I can’t see them as being motivational or inspiring / confidence generating personally.



    He should be protecting his players at this time and making them feel part of the solution imo.



    As for January and the window frankly it’s none of the media’s business right now.

  6. bournesouprecipe on

    Ange’s Celtic peaked under Ange.



    Taking over a treble winning side was never going to be easy for Brendan Rodgers, who was already reduced stock on both sides of the border, for differing reasons. That midnight Parkhead flitting from the first spell left scarring on jilted lovers, weeaping since the first sign of anything less than total success. Celtic’s support since we won the Big Cup a long time ago, has demanded fairy tale football from our miraculous club, overcoming hurdles no other club in the world will ever face.



    His “no brainer” decision to return saw him inherit a team that had been there and done it, and despite losing two standout players, the real expected sales it seems didn’t happen, these players were quickly re-signed in an otherwise too short summer where like for like big money wasn’t even contemplated.



    Brendan Rodgers has to establish his credentials, unfortunately this isn’t an option for our CEO or ‘head of recruitment’ because they don’t have them. Losing once at Rugby Park was careless, losing twice will draw instant comparison of his time spent elsewhere. It’s not looking great for developing players, in fact it’s unique to have a Celtic that for once, signed too many players, but the time to judge Brendan Rodgers The Return, hasn’t nearly arrived.



    This Christmas, Brendan is still walking in another man’s mocassins you won’t hear much more about quality January recruitment, he’s already sang that song out loudin public and he remains a development coach, first and foremost. In the meantime ‘smashing wee players’ are just that however, coming up ‘short‘ in Madrid is one thing, but in Ayrshire it’s another whole new low level.



    Celtic Glasgow stock exchange summer windfall alerts remain a ‘pure brass neck’ for a club that bans its own fans, and patches fan surveys, basic supporters needs, fit for purpose catering facilities, or even 2023 style Wi-Fi. The basic rebuilt house of steel, is already ‘hamstrung’ bolted on to an antique mainstand with no future proofing, there either. So, the no striker during the Asian Cup plan, same coaching staff for the last three managers routine, shouldn’t come as a major surprise.



    A simple ‘crowd pleaser’ type transfer during summer might not have saved some results, but would have declared intent and nodded through an ever faithful fan base. Instead, age old ever spiralling absence of board room reverie remains the biggest obstacle we face, new found wealth,means new responsibility, with a day of reckoning only paused whilst Ange had been around.



    As ever CSC

  7. It’s not inexplicable. We couldn’t score at home to St J, couldn’t score from open play at home to M’well, couldn’t score away to Hibs, couldn’t score in all 3 away games in the CL. Explanation? Disastrous recruitment policy of signing only projects. And it’s worrying to have a manager who says he approved of all our signings, then says we don’t have enough quality.

  8. When BR cane in unexpectedly in the summer. his influence on recruitment will have been minimal.



    On the face of it, the recruitment was exciting. Sweden’s best defender, Legia CG, South korea young player of year etc. .You can understand gis thought process, get them in, work with them add to a treble winning squad,,however!



    Now is his time. He needs to build a BR team to dominate domestically but also to complete in Europe. it will take several windows, but we cans end a message in a few weeks time.



    from yesterdays starting 11, would keep 3 , maybe 4 . We have key positions that need filled (striker, CH and Goalkeeper).



    The good news is, the room for improvement is vast and we are still clear at the top of the league.

  9. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Not a coincidence we resorted to hoof ball with Phillips in the team. He couldn’t pass water if his life depended on it. Also not much of a stopper given his display yesterday and cameo vs Hibs. Amazed he’s on contract at Liverpool.



    It’s not a blip. Has a very strong vibe of Rodgers’ last season/ COVID season. Slow motion car crash you can see coming but can’t stop.



    Rodgers presents as semi-detached, our squad is full of mediocrities (with a few exceptions), we have long-term injuries to key players, the Asian Cup will undermine us and we have this pathetic split between GB and Board killing the atmosphere at home games.



    Momentum is against us and I fear we lack the hunger, talent or leadership to turn it around. If we lose the league Rodgers will be chased and Lawwell will get another yes man dud in to replace him.

  10. Let the media frenzy to create more discord in our midst commence. They will love this stuff and ignore the facts.



    Facts are 3 draws and 1 defeat after 16 is as good as 96% of our league winning starts to a season. We are 2 points clear of our rivals having played 2 home games fewer and 2 away games more. Of 9 away games we have won 7 lost 1 and drawn 1.



    And we can be so much better than current due to a squad decimated with injuries transitioning to a new style of play.

  11. Carter Vickers a failure at spurs and on loans



    Jota unwanted and unproven at Benfica






    O Riley 3rd tier in England



    Kyogo unproven anywhere but Japan



    Mooy st Mirren and Huddersfield were his peak



    Starfelt Viewed as a bombscare by everyone



    A bunch of projects and misfits which cost less.



    I don’t think I saw any great recruitment credits given for these. Or Hatate.



    Yet every fail is emphasised. Funny how folks memory works.

  12. How anyone can come on here and defend the current situation is beyond belief. It’s the most obvious managed decline in football history. They aren’t asleep at the wheel, we are being taken for a ride. As for the brilliant manager, he has won one trophy outside of Scotland. He left us in the clarts and will do it again if necessary. Utterly scunnered. Utter betrayal.

  13. I was thinking what’s our best team when everyone fit….Hart, Johnson, ccv, don’t know, Taylor………..ORiley, McGregor. Hatate…..Maeda Kyogo, palma/Abada……so 5 or 6 missing from yesterday’s start…..



    Two quality players would make a huge difference…..

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    ” Iwish I could be more confident this was a blip.”




    Well I’m certainly not. Heck, it’s almost as if we have a weaker team than last season!


    I’ve said before – get 100 points and we win the league. Just don’t see that this season. And if you start drifting down towards the low 90s you get towards a total that could be attained by others.


    Just didn’t get all the guff about “no damage done” two weeks ago. We had just reduced our achievable points total by two. No damage?????


    Anyway, lot of work to be done – training ground and recruitment – if we want to improve. Let’s see…..

  15. Burnley78



    All the players you have listed were signed when Ange was manager. They all made an immediate impact. Compare with the signings from the last window.

  16. Frankly I’m not clued in or astute enough football wise to say if this is a blip or not but the ‘form is temporary’ saying is apt here.



    The second half was not inexplicable. We just didn’t work as hard as we needed to and got spooked. That exposed weaknesses in the distribution from the back and the rest of the team turn appeared unable to string three passes together. I would suggest never playing scales and Phillips together again. In fact Phillips should be the one to drop out of the team. Scales will be ok beside a more assured player.

  17. Can’t understand the love in with Abada now that we are playing poorly and he has been out injured for months,



    Was he a regular starter this season when he was fit?

  18. onenightinlisbon on

    PHILBHOY on 11TH DECEMBER 2023 1:36 PM



    Agree re Abada. Very much the unfinished article. However compared to Yang and Johnston……

  19. Im not surprised P67 doesn’t want to single out any particular positions as cause for concern because that’s straying too close to the “R” word…



    BTW, If Iwata can cope with Killie then he’s no future as a Celtic number 6. We can add him to the growing list…

  20. 79caps



    And it’s worrying to have a manager who says he approved of all our signings, then says we don’t have enough quality



    He never said he chose the signings, only that he approved them. My.take on that is that he was not offered the quality he wanted. He is clearly dissatisfied with the recruitment.

  21. Good afternoon, friends.


    Just the 22 votes in so far and perhaps this latest setback is the proverbial straw. But you know the drill – 3 names (or less?!) by 9pm tonight please. I suspect that many who have already voted gave their opinions based on our first half performance.



  22. onenightinlisbon on

    Rodgers knew what he was signing up for. Does anyone actually think he would allow himself to be “duped’?



    His duplicitous comments are par for the course for a man who has zero scruples.



    Our board also knew what they were getting, a match made in heaven………

  23. Two things really hit home for me yesterday – firstly, Killie didn’t shut up shop after equalising. They seen our blood in the water and went for the winner. If Killie are that confident against us then that’s a real worry.



    The second thing was Yang coming on. If ever a substitution screamed my hands are tied, that was it.



    BR isnt a miracle worker. I’m not sure what some fans expect him to deliver with Forrest, Yang, MJ and Taylor getting regular minutes. It is what it is right now. P67 is correct in be worried by the next few weeks. Our season is in peril.

  24. the long wait is over on

    For me it feels as though there is a real possibility that the mentality ( conscious or otherwise) from the management and players about yesterday was that it was a game on a poor surface against physically tough opponents when we had significant injuries with , above all else, a risk of other injuries or the worsening of mild(ish) ones.



    A poor result , yes, but one we can recover from over the next few weeks.



    Going all out yesterday and playing players not fully fit might have risked serious injury to one or more players we wouldn’t have recovered from easily.



    I’m not saying I agree with that attitude but I don’t think it can be discounted.



    Having said all of that I would have expected even a largely second string team to have won.



    All that yesterday did in that regard was show how poor our back up players can actually be.

  25. I still say Yang and Iwata are good players,Greg Taylor like Liam Scales and Mikey Johnson ,there levels are St Mirrin ,Motherwell ,Hibs ,St Johnstone etc.

  26. This upcoming game against Feyenoord is in effect a ” Dead Rubber” game. There is only pride and a sum of UEFA money involved for drawing or winning.


    There is NO NEED for Celtic to rush CCV back into the team for this game, as the match against the Mini Huns on Saturday MUST be our priority.



    After yesterdays dismal showing v Killie, the Mini Huns and The HUNS will be smelling blood over the festive period.



    IF there is ANY risk in playing CCV on Wednesday…then DON’T !



    If he were to play and his ” Hammy” went during this dead rubber game, we would just be handing the HUNS a FURTHER Christmas present in relation to the League.



    I know it won’t happen, but Celtic FC SHOULD give a REFUND to all of our supporters for this game against Feneyoord, as a ” GOODWILL” Gesture, considering the cost of living crisis and Celtics poor showing in CL games this season ?



    I won’t be holding my breath as this Celtic Board couldn’t Spell ” GOODWILL” !




  27. One of our biggest concerns (and we have plenty) is the contracts given to players like Oh, Yang, Palma, Bain and Taylor. They’ll be hard to shift.

  28. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Never met Ange.



    Never met Brendan.



    Never met Neil before them.



    Must confess to being slightly jealous of those who have.



    Even more envious of those who’ve talked football at length with any one or more of them and, as a result, have a clear understanding of their footballing philosophies.



    But I’m unreservedly jealous of those who can read the managers’ minds and know every personality flaw and motivation (flawed or pure) they possess.



    Must be wonderful.

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