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. Think Rooney is a good shout as long as we bring in someone else too.


    Not sure he’d be interested though.


    His ability / experience would help us in lots of ways.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Batten Bhoy



    Beach end for me was when Billy Stark was scoring for us, last time at Pittodrie when we were at the side was Alan Thompson era (snowballs were on the food trays) funnily enough in all my trips to Aberdeen I found the Aberdeen police brand new

  3. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Good stuff with Killie in LMS although Travellers Pardnur is still on your tail

  4. Macjay


    Looks like my daughter is heading to Sydney for Christmas. If so, this time I insist you let her buy you a beer in Cheers on the 29th…

  5. GuyFawkes


    I agree. Hope you are keeping warm in OK.


    Baltic in Dalmuir tonight. Frozen pavement danger. A few going on their arses earlier.



  6. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Pat Stanton… will get Dallas on, in fact Pat Stanton might even get BMCUWP back :-)

  7. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD 9.23pm



    Baltic or not am sure you will enjoy your day oot in Leith tomorrow … got a feeling in the 9th minute the ground will be united for our Leigh

  8. Gerry,


    Going back to early 70’s when i went to first Celtic games up here on my own.


    Saw us get a few hidings up here in the 80’s.



    Aberdeen Polis used to be a lot better than they are these days. ?

  9. ah canny be bothered with him, tonight, you know the guy who tells the pope what his job is,



    so. am out.



    i was enjoy the leisurely pace of things tonight as well.

  10. GFTB


    Cheers Gerry. On the 9.20 Dalmuir to Embra Waverley, arrive at 10.50 for Auld Reekie boozers 11am opening. Happy Days in the Capital hopefully





    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.




    I’m sorry if you thought I was suggesting Twitter wasn’t a web site, I was trying to be helpful and point out where the @Celtic spares site was.


    The last point you make, I believe some CSCs are going on and selling their spares. Here’s my thinking, bus has 50 members, maybe 20 go regularly to away games, bus asks for 30/40 for all away games. They will be allocated full amount for some games, Killie an obvious one and have to offload, that’s the downside, the upside, they won’t get full allocation for Pittodrie etc, but will get a higher percentage than they may/would have.


    Hail Hail

  12. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Delaneys Dunky on 15th December 2018 9:23PM



    Yes, safely home. Walked the road, pavements are slicking up.



    It’s the Ibrox resolution that irks me. I knew the club would grab the few hundred offered, only because big corporate/investor season packages were sold promising Dons, huns away and hampden cupties. It could’ve been fighting off lawsuits if we’d baled out.



    Those receipients are the ones who pass on games not deemed worthy of their presence, not the cscs. Parasites.



    If hibees and dons don’t make top6, then we only go once. Enough to start me chuckling.

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD 9.32pm



    I was a 6.30pm finish in work on Thursday on train back to the brig I was looking after Celtic fans not used to the train line (train didn’t stop at Bellgrove or Carntyne) couple of older fans got off at Garrowhill and had to explain the “express” trains didn’t stop at certain stations ,,, got to Blairhill in Coatbridge and about a dozen of the young team got off the train, massive cargo but hadn’t a clue where they were … I pointed them in the right direction … gutted I couldn’t have joined them :-) … they were young gentleman

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    GUTENBERG on 15TH DECEMBER 2018 9:23 PM





    Looks like my daughter is heading to Sydney for Christmas. If so, this time I insist you let her buy you a beer in Cheers on the 29th…






    Well , maybe. :-)


    Just sold a house , mate , so I`m not exactly borassic . After a few schooners , and hopefully goals , well…….you know the rest.


    A feeling of bonhomie and unbounded generosity abounds.



    The Cheers date is on with my boy . The dochter may well be in attendance too .


    Be lovely to meet your daughter again.

  15. Gerryfaethebrig on

    St Stivs 9.29pm



    Get back on …. some of your stuff since you have been recuperating has been magic …



    Keep the blog Celtic … it’s what makes it good

  16. GuyFawkes


    Glad you got home safe n sound. The Dalmuir and Old Kilpatrick pavements to be avoided tonight. Like ice rinks.



  17. GFTB


    All of the mates of my two sons that follow Celtic home and away, are University educated and in great jobs. They are all good bhoys who like a beer and Celtic on their day off.



  18. A big shout to all those travelling on the CECSC party bus to Easter Road tomorrow. And remember to drink irresponsibly. Hh

  19. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Gutenberg 9.28pm



    Am afraid Spurs scoring in injury time got me a decent wee treble with Wolves & Leeds so am afraid every goal counts :-)

  20. DD 9.54pm



    Manners cost nothing



    I blame the parents :-)



    I blame their schooling :-)

  21. Gutenberg


    Nae luck. Was following the Killie and Spurs games closely. Was sure you were the LMS Champion.

  22. Irish snooker player Mark Allen has been enjoying himself a wee bit too much at this weeks Scottish Open.

  23. GuyFaulks: asking on here for a ticket isn’t begging, it’s simply a request.



    I’ve been obliged on a number of occasions, for which I am extremely grateful.



    I’ve also allowed my season ticket to be used by posters here as I only get over to a few matches a season. There are many like me.



    I get enormous satisfaction from helping Tims out and will continue to do so.

  24. GFTB


    Our schools are doing just fine.


    Our parents doing better.


    Celtic in my soul.


    Love and Devotion



  25. Delaney’s Dunky 10.11pm



    The schools are a vehicle you learn everything in the home



    Our parents have done no bad … no hatred in this household



    (That’s why the stickies are still stuck in the 17th century) closed minds

  26. Gutenberg


    Thanks. In the company of a great Dub Tim WITS tomorrow. Fancy your bet. Reckon we will win 3-0.






    Ref. previous discussions,Rooney is/was a consideration,but the main drive is for a guy who’s name is too big for a strip print.


    2 agents dropped off to Airport last night.



    Lots of effort being put in but sometimes there is no point in declaring this if it fails.

  28. Big George … you and wee Big George keep doing what you are doing and best of luck for the ticket you need tomorrow … there will be some supporters club that somebody “misses” the bus … in fact Guyfawkes on your way to the game if you hear of a spare tomorrow get posting

  29. Excathedra44



    I just responded to another poster, personally I think Wayne Rooney would be good… but I think he is on 6 figures a week…. if I was playing in the MLS and had a chance of donning the hoops … no brainer

  30. Guyfawkes



    Why do you think it’s wrong for Celtic fans who want to go to away games ask fellow Celtic fans if they know of any spare tickets ? Baffling




    I agree Rooney would do a job,I believe him and one other who’s name I did not state have us on their bucket list and would not be expecting previous finances,of which they have plenty.



    Lets hope we get the team strengthened.

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