Concentration at cross balls again but knock out round on merit


We sacrificed Scott Sinclair at half-time to pack central mid, but this left Kieran Tierney covering two men at the opening goal, meaning Salzburg had time to deliver a cross.  A consequence of this is that Celtic had an extra man in the middle, to help the already surplus defender count.  No Salzburg player should have gotten near the cross ball.

Olivier Ntcham was lost in no man’s land, not helping Kieran Tierney and nowhere near a Salzburg player.  Think back to the Gold Standard of Celtic packing a defence, Barcelona 2012.  Just as we did in the second half last night, we sacrificed space on the wings, allowing the opposition possession there, but  everyone in the box knew their job and stuck to it – and that was a defence with Kelvin Wilson, Efe Ambrose and Adam Matthews playing out of position on the left.

Losing the first goal due to a lack of concentration when a cross came into the box with a surplus of defenders in position, was the same trait that saw us leave the Champions League in August.  I’m more inclined to forgive Craig Gordon’s lapse at the second goal – a freak mistake that will not be repeated – than shrug off the fact that we switch off at crosses at a rate not known under Efe Ambrose and Kelvin Wilson, two defenders who would not get near this team!

Salzburg were superb; the significantly better team.  In these circumstances, we have to make life difficult for them.  Try to ensure that if they get a goal, they have to do something exceptional to earn it.  Had we been at our best and done this, we would have left with the point we would have needed, if unanticipated events did not take place elsewhere.

If I’m getting everything off my chest at once: missing three consecutive penalties!  Really?  Practice, practice, practice.

The uptick in our threat level increased when Filip Benkovic was moved forward into a striker’s position.  We struggled to get the ball forward before this, it was just not sticking to Odsonne Edouard.  Odsonne is playing the role Dembele fulfilled before his flounce, but he is a different player to Moussa.  I don’t think he will flourish in a solitary role with his back to goal.

So much of our transformation in recent weeks has been down to the impact of Ryan Christie.  If he is out for an extended period, which looks likely, this will have a negative impact.  The return of Kristoffer (Alfredo) Ajer was welcome, although our resident Norwegian must have hoped for an easier game to feel his way back into.

The outstanding player in a Celtic shirt was James Forrest, he was the only player who could live with Salzburg’s speed of thought, never mind speed of foot.  We think of Kieran Tierney as our MVP, but James is the one opposition scouts will leave talking about.

And what of Rosenborg?  At Celtic Park they did what we should have done last night: stick to task, don’t make mistakes and hope for a break, which almost got them a point.  I was surprised they came back from a goal down in Leipzig, but, without seeing the game, I am sure they deployed the same game plan there as in Glasgow.

Nine points is a fabulous return from that group.  Eliminating Leipzig, a team who reached the quarterfinals of this tournament last season, knocking out Zenit and Napoli, before losing to eventual finalists, Marseille, is an exceptional achievement.

We got the break when we needed it, but we earned the right to be waiting on the break for performances across the six games.  Napoleon (translated) said, “I’d rather have lucky generals than good ones.”  He should have added, “But don’t talk about luck if you win having battled on all fronts for weeks.”  We are into the knock out rounds on merit.

Bring on the Hibernians.

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  1. BT –


    Thoughts and Prayers with all the Family


    May Esther Rest In Peace


    And Let Perpetual Light Shine upon her Soul

  2. Now Football


    I stated early hours of Fri Morning ( just after midnight)


    I think it’s time for Scott Bain to get an extended run in the team


    Craig Gordon distribution isn’t abysmal, and not good enough for our team.


    Tom Rogic, very poor on Thurs, yes Salzburg marked him closely, but he was poor irrespective, for me a 3rd game in a row, for Tom


    I commented, that I witnessed Tom rubbing his Knee on 3 occasions, so is he carrying this Knee injury ?


    So tomorrow


    I wouldn’t mind seeing Bain play


    Gamboa, will play due to Lustig head injury


    I then expect to see Broonie and Ntcham, back in due to Christie injury, and Rogic struggling with his knee

  3. Another point


    Watch the game again from Thurs, and look at the space created by Sinclair as he drags their RHS inside the pitch


    We didn’t attack this in first half


    And the goal came from us not recognising they were constantly pushing men wide ( which Sinclair was negating to an extent



    Incidentally have stated before


    Shankland openly stated he wouldn’t play for Celtic, when we were sniffing around him as a youth player when he was at Aberdeen


    How about Wayne Rooney for 6 months whilst the MLS is shutdown ???

  4. NorrieM on 15th December 2018 4:54 pm




    Gordon is only following the manager’s instructions, Bain plays the exact same balls as Gordon and also messes some of them up, but for some reason doesn’t get any abuse for it.



    Sinclair was awful on Thursday.



    But I like your idea of Rooney for 6 months, would really suit a Brendan type team with one up top.

  5. Cannie stop singing “Tommy Burns” to the tune of the Clash single from 1978, “Tommy Gun”, so I had to write a verse around it. The great man was born on December 16 1956.







    Tommy Burns!!


    In his stride! in his stride!


    Tommy Burns!!


    running out wide, then cutting inside


    A blaze of red hair, twists and turns a fair share


    Playing for his jersey, playing for his country


    Laying on the goals for George McLuskey


    There´s only been one and they´ll never be another!!



    Tommy Burns!!

  6. Rooney is a good shout.



    Or bring back Moussa .



    Or that kid Miller at Dundee, scored again today.



    Shanklands advisors would surely have shaped his head by now that you dont turn down celtic given the chance, you would need to be a particulalry stupid zombie type to do that.

  7. The Huddle


    I disagree


    Brains distribution is far superior to that of Gordon, from what I’ve seen




    It should have been Rogic taken off at HT on Thurs, not Sinclair – he was nowhere near as bad as you may believe he had been


    Thanks for the response though ? ?

  8. Rogic was on the 21:05 from heathrow last night.


    A pal said he looked miserable as sin, glum did not cover it.


    As they queed to board he tried to chat to him, summary was TR was down in london shopping, and pal said “i dont like shopping either” , Tom said “and have you see the bloody weather forecast for tomorrow and I have to go to training”.



    maybe Toms physical limitations is just the scottish climate.



    radio clyde have danced around this liverpool player going back from loan from the huns, no credit to the player, maybe he just cant settle, sensiblew thing is for him to return if he cant hack it, he wont go any futrther if you cant handle glasgow how will he make it anywhere else. try looking at the hun forums, he has been roasted with his colour used with various deregoatory terms.

  9. I know it’s been a few years but Shankland hardly set the heather alight at Aberdeen or StMirren.


    Lewis Morgan is proof the step up to spl is not easy especially at Celtic.


    We need an experienced striker not a project in next window.

  10. NorrieM on 15th December 2018 5:03 pm



    It should have been Rogic taken off at HT on Thurs, not Sinclair – he was nowhere near as bad as you may believe he had been




    I also would’ve taken Rogic off at HT for Brown, Sinclair would’ve been my next sub if the game dictated it.



    There were plenty of poor performances in that half, including Sinky and Rogic. But Rogic should’ve been subbed in my opinion.

  11. Hi Bhoys



    No offence to anyone here but I don’t see why anyone can try and recommend anyone playing in scottish football as being a good signing for Celtic. Even some of them who are signed to us aren’t good enough.




  12. As I said before, I have seen Shankland and I am confident he is not anywhere near Celtic standard.



  13. BlantyreTim



    thoughts are with you and yours



    Rest in Peace Esther….



    your Star will forever shine …




  14. Gerryfaethebrig on

    I realise it’s just been mentioned on here, but Wayne Rooney till the summer would be brilliant

  15. Overcame the disappointment of the Salzburg game as soon as the Rosenborg result was finalised but the performance of Celtic on Thurs night was rank rotten. Our support was rank rotten too mind. The abuse and jeers every time a Celtic player done anything wrong was hun stuff indeed. The assimilation process is almost complete I fear. Anyway, onwards and upwards to tomorrow and better days.

  16. Zlatan until the summer would be better ?


    Rogic might have been struggling with his knee, but he’d definitely struggle without it. ?



  17. Thursday night Celtic Park Salzburg score their second goal cue mass exodus, game over.



    Through Celtic Way via Springfield Rd



    ” Total Sh**e…………………………Sellick ”



    ” Same old same old……………..Sellick ”



    ” Gordon…………………useless pr**k ”



    ” Brown………………………….useless ”



    ” Rogic……………………… waste of space”



    Same fans bottom Springfield Rd



    ♪♫♬ ” Hail Hail the Celts are here what the do we care now “♪♫♬



    Typical CSC

  18. tonyrome


    not necessarily suggesting we go for shankland just wondering if the boy has it to step up. Others have said he doesn’t however i wouldnt riule out all scottish based players or say they are not good enough when guys like christie and bain have come in recently from poor clubs done well.


    we have also signed duds from abroad balde,lassad , rasmussen, michu etc while missing out on mcarthur mccarthy snodgrass robertson, mcginn

  19. Not posted for months . Thanks to Lennybhoy & Paul67 for sorting out my password issue.



    Thoughts and prayers with the Fallon family at this sad time .

  20. I would take Jonny Russell for 6 months, (cue abuse),played in this league , good team player, he was at the game on Thursday too…

  21. Frannyb67 5:11 pm




    So did Alan McGraw so we signed Paddy Turner instead, didnae stop him signing for the hibbees though, I think it’s the hoops they won’t wear, I’ve been led tae believe that peter cormack was the same when at Easter Road.

  22. 3 wins from 8 away matches this season. 1 defeat and 1 draw at Easter road last season. A post European hangover? I think tomorrow will depend more on what Hibs do that us, if Hibs are on it, like they can be at home, then we are unlikely to leave with the 3 points. They have been struggling but won their previous match and are likely to return to some form sooner rather than later. Our midfield trio of Rogic, McGregor and Christie will be broken up, much will depend on how Brown and Ntcham perform. Ntcham has struggled for form away from Celtic park. For all the laughing at Sevco, they could top the table tomorrow night if we don’t win.

  23. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Bada 6.46pm



    Johnny is Celtic through n through, very good friends with my niece & her husband … would take him in a minute, think he is a Brendan type player



    Angel Gabriel good to have you back am in Craig Tara 5/8/19-9/8/19 (god willing :-) already arranged with Park Road 67 for a definite beer as hopefully we will have a CL qualifier that midweek

  24. balornock bhoy on 15th December 2018 6:32 pm






    not necessarily suggesting we go for shankland just wondering if the boy has it to step up. Others have said he doesn’t however i wouldnt riule out all scottish based players or say they are not good enough when guys like christie and bain have come in recently from poor clubs done well.



    we have also signed duds from abroad balde,lassad , rasmussen, michu etc while missing out on mcarthur mccarthy snodgrass robertson, mcginn





    I never said we hadn’t signed any duds from home or abroad, indeed I said,



    “Even some of them who are signed to us aren’t good enough.”



    I just said there is no one in scottish football at the moment who is good enough for Celtic.


    IMHO of course.




  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Hello, this is WEE BGFC. ******WE ARE LOOKING FOR ONE TICKET FOR THE HIBS GAME TOMORROW****** Thanks to a very fine gentleman, we have 1 ticket for the game. If anybody has 1 spare tomorrow we will be beyond grateful for it.


    Thank you.








  26. Big, big transfer window coming up. Fallout from the summer still fresh and a Dembele sized hole in the team.



    Logs on.



    Sees serious mentions of Shanklands, Russell, Menga and a shot-through Rooney.



    Logs off. You’re all drunk.



    I deserve better csc

  27. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Wavy



    What’s a “serious mention” is not just a post ?



    If you are still logged in what realistic transfer target is in your mind

  28. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Sick of ticket beggars on this blog. Travel to the ground and take your chance. Every Celt at our games knows there will be plenty for any ground at this time of the season. Attention seeking, no need for it. Tired of reading about it here.