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. Wee George.


    I can’t help with a ticket, but all the best, I wish you are your Dad well.


    Me and bhoy who is now 27 used to be like you and your Dad.


    One season, we done it, we managed every home and away domestic game.


    It’s so much harder now, with reductions in allocations at Pittodrie, Easter Rd and Ibrox.


    Hail Hail.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig,



    Above my pay grade fella but a return to the strategy that saw us take Van Dijk and Wanyama and get ourselves into the Balkans for a baby-eating centre half of the Benkovic ilk. Take another off the PSG academy assembly line and get Paddy Roberts back.



    Oh and sack Lee Congerton who will consider none of the above and probably recommend we buy Kris Boyd and Kirk Broadfoot.



    That’s not true.


    Loads are looking for tickets for tomorrow, go onto to @Celtic spares and you will see.


    I’m sure you are well aware that there won’t be plenty for Pittodrie or Ibrox either.


    Hail Hail

  4. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Wavy



    Above all of our pay grades :-)



    Benkovic is a star, very impressed with his defending and all round game… wish it was a permanent deal although EPL wages make us a “wee” team…. and our players wages are obscene !

  5. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    JimmynotPaul on 15th December 2018 8:04PM



    A web-site? Give it up? How many tickets have been sprung to CQN beggars?

  6. I can do exits too. They’re easier.



    De Vries, Ralston, Gamboa, Compper, Simunovic, Hendry, Allan, Benyu, Hayes & Miller.



    We’re too fat and did little in the summer to clear that up.

  7. GuyFawkes


    Tickets for Easter Road are very scarce for tomorrow. I asked if there were any spares for Hibs tomorrow, on here, as our supporters bus got no tickets. WITS kindly offered me a spare he has. Without that ticket offer, I would not spend £20 return fae Dalmuir to Waverley to take a chance.



  8. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Wavy



    I would keep Simounivic & Hendry, maybe Johnny Hayes, injury has hampered his time with us…

  9. Auld ‘done’ man Rooney for six month’s…..?¿?¿?¿?



    Meanwhile,…..two 2 years of CL money, plus the Moussa money, etc, lies dormant on the sacred balance sheet.



    Or does it ?



    Where are the died huns(lol) getting their money from ? Aye.



    Years ago, Cellic supporters were renowned as being nobodies mugs. Oh how hings can be allowed to be brow-beaten oot ae thum. Apart fae me,…..who widda funk it ?






    Weebawbabbity – YNWA Amigo, and yer nobodies mug flag, fly’s eternal on the oul nobodies mugs, Jungle roof. √




  10. BIG WAVY on 15TH DECEMBER 2018 7:51 PM


    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



    If you were having a laugh, fair enough mate HH

  11. Hi Bhoys



    The bhoys looking for tickets DO travel to the grounds looking for spare tickets. There is no harm in asking for a ticket on here. If you don’t ask you don’t get.






    It’s a Twitter account.


    If people are looking for a ticket they say and if anyone has a spare they offer it to fellow Celtic fans.


    It’s interesting, certain games there are loads of spares, Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Rosenberg away are recent examples.


    However other games there are many more looking for tickets than have spares, tomorrow is an example of that.


    I don’t think it’s appropriate to call fellow fans beggars, but it’s a blog and if that’s how you feel, then that’s your call.


    Hail Hail

  13. Gerry



    Hayes looks like he’s shrunk since he’s come to us in confidence – I think Aberdeen or the like is his level.



    Jozo is a bombscare and with paper hammys. I want Boyata to stay and I’d love Leicester to just forget they gave us Benkovic.



    We do need to trim. We have too big a squad and that’s before the new faces in January / summer.

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Michael Higdon :-)



    Mark McGhee :-)



    Dream team to rival Barnes & Dalgliesh



    Big Wavy … Boyata & Benkovic would be great … but I think their future lies elsewhere



    Scott McKenna & Jack Hendry will grow into a beautiful partnership :-)

  15. Saint Stivs


    Magic Quality Street Gang.


    The green Danny McGrain sweetie my favourite. ???

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    As one who isn’t attending games just now I love WeeBig George & his father chasing tickets …. if you don’t ask you will never get !



    Beggars ???? Not a nice description in the slightest … but it’s a blog as JNP states but a preferably a blog without that nonsense (just my opinion)

  17. BT



    Sorry to read of your dear Mum’s passing.



    Prayers said for all your family and please give your Dad a hug from me.



    The girls also send their love.



    Take care and God bless.

  18. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Delaneys Dunky on 15th December 2018 8:15PM



    Yes, I take what you say. Also JimmynotPaul.



    I’ll always argue against sharing league ticket money because Celts look around half empty stands from our crowded area every game away from Paradise.



    If you’re a Celt and minded to make it to a game, then go. The ticket in is just another hurdle to cross.

  19. Ok – it was me who threw Wayne Rooney’s name into the park


    I personally think, to support Odsonne, coach & Mentor, plus take responsibility for a few games, he would lead the line well ? And for what £500k for 5 months, would be value


    It gives Brendan time to source the correct players in the summer


    Only my tuppence worth, and trying to get some Celtic talk



    Big Wavy


    I’m in agreement with GFTB


    Simonuvic has a bit about him, needs a run of games


    Hendry, needs some decent coaching, which he will get, and will do for FtSPFL


    Hayes, been unfortunate will injury, including breaking his leg playing for us again he offers options for FtSPFL

  20. Another brilliant looking TIFO,from the Legia fans tonight


    I think it translates as as all cops are idiots/stupid.


    Zbysek hasn’t posted for a long time. I hope you are well.


    Hail Hail

  21. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Norriem 8.43pm



    Your point fell down when you agreed with me :-)



    I didn’t realise you brought Wayne Rooney to the table, just post hypothetically I think it would be great, although we probably couldn’t afford his tax bill… it’s all good fun speculating but I think Johnny Russell could be a goer if BR thought he could inprove him or Johnny could help the frontline … still a bit surprised Ronny didn’t sign him a few seasons back

  22. Shameless begging alert.


    If anyone has a spare ticket for Pittodrie on boxing day, even last minute…I’d be interested – .with the caveat that if BGFC or his ‘wee bhoy’ or some other season book holder is looking for a ticket, they get first dibs…..



    It used to be easy in the days before every game was all-ticket. ?

  23. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    My position is, even those who have received the offer of a ticket for Celtic’s previous 150 away games should have no priority for the next away game.



    That point of view, with traction, was enough to send the inner circle into a tailspin.

  24. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Batten Bhoy 8.52pm



    For some reason we always had tickets for Pittodrie back in the day, more so when we actually got the Beech End… again, I love reading about punters in here getting tickets whether it’s Eurochamps67 or our ex-Cqner Hamiltinton helping out… getting a ticket on here should be appreciated … I love reading about it

  25. Gerry,


    Beach End used to be mental at times. Especially when there was no segregation.


    Also remember mass battles at the top of what is now the South Stand ( in front of the big gas tank…..remember that ? ) when fans would change ends at half time ???

  26. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Why not keep it going?



    News to me that twitter isn’t a web-site. We sell a huge number of season tickets, a ten month commitment made in May. I can understand a market in Celtic Park games from holders who can’t attend them all.



    Away games? Are cscs being given spares to sell in/on twitter? Not a genuine question, only mischief making.

  27. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    JAMESGANG on 15TH DECEMBER 2018 3:02 PM



    I`m talking fundamentalist Muslim terrorism.


    Was that not obvious?



    Hence ;


    ” The West needs to be protected from those who hate us.”


    Viz. Brexit.