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Correct plan against Gladbach, even though it didn’t look like it

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A game which was marked by unaccustomed misplaced passing by Celtic was lost due to two even more unaccustomed miscalculations by Kolo Toure. Celtic had the majority of the ball but only crafted one gilt-edged chance. Glabach won the majority of the 50-50 challenges, and the second balls, but were not as productive with the ball as Barcelona or Manchester City in Celtic’s earlier group games.

Within the opening five minutes it was evident Celtic were not playing with the confident abandon they did three weeks ago against Manchester City. We were reluctant to press the fullbacks forward in the first quarter of the game, even in possession there was often a back four line.

Gladbach are a counter-attacking team and would have hoped to draw Celtic forward. It occurred to me that, perhaps as a consequence, Brendan was reluctant to get caught too far up field. The upshot of this was that when Gladbach did get forward (which happened often), Celtic defended well. The downside was that our shape when passing out of defence was all wrong.

We didn’t pass well. It looked like players were not making the correct angles early enough. Scott Brown was caught out a couple of times early on and it took him a while to get into his stride thereafter, but Nir Bitton’s night started indifferently, then went south. His first touch, passing and movement were well below standards achieved on match day two.  From as early as 30 minutes I was pondering if replacing Nir with Callum McGregor was the right move.  Callum hadn’t played in a month, but when he did come on in the 63rd minute, the hesitancy in midfield evaporated (though not until he got one bad pass out of his system).

With central midfield not getting much joy in the first half, Rogic, Forrest and Sinclair saw little of the ball. Moussa Dembele saw even less.

The best chance of the opening period was created with a sublime pass from Tom Rogic in the 45th minute. His diagonal pass from deep into the box split the defence open. Scott Sinclair met it first time, but sent it over. I had a great view from behind Scott. The obvious shot was low to the far post, but the angle was tight and the keeper would probably have blocked.

Trying to finish high into the net was the right decision, if poorly executed.

At halftime the plan looked to be the right one. Gladbach were as comfortable on the ball, as we expected, but we were tight and the back, and could hope to open them with pace and (better) accuracy.  Celtic enjoyed their best period in the opening 12 minutes of the second half.  Then the game changed.

So many Champions League games are decided by mistakes. If you look back over the home games we’ve won in this competition, we’ve rigorously stuck to task at the back and exploited mistakes in the opposition box. Kolo made a couple of wrong decisions and was punished. The first changed the direction of the game; Celtic’s momentum stopped.

Them’s the breaks. We lost a game without landing a glove on Borussia in earnest, but it MAY have been different if Kolo had cleared that ball up-field on the 57th minute. For Celtic at this level, winning points is all about fine margins. As Brendan said, we’ve no complaints, but there was a point, and maybe more, there to be won.  We’ve certainly beaten better teams than Gladbach.

Shout out for Erik Sviatchenko, who had his best game in a Celtic shirt.  And for the Gladbach fans, who came with a plan to dominate the Celtic Park atmosphere and didn’t drop the ball.

Andy Lynch’s autobiography, Hoops, Stars & Stripes, is arriving here this afternoon and the man himself will be signing copies imminently.  If you have pre-ordered, your book will be with you soon.  This is a deep, reflective and revealing insight from a prominent Celtic player under Jock Stein and Billy McNeill:

“[Rangers’ Colin] Stein made a beeline for me. With his teeth clenched and both fists held up to my face in defiance, he came right up to me to celebrate. In a moment of madness, I spat at him. Stein’s celebrations instantly ended, he edged backwards and stood on the sodden Hampden turf looking absolutely horrified. We were both speechless and I instantly regretted what I had done but no-one else had witnessed it.”

Order your copy and for a limited period receive a FREE copy of Paul John Dykes, The Quality Street Gang here.

Our competition to win TWO TICKETS to Sunday’s semi-final, courtesy of Intelligent Car Leasing, ends at 14:00 today!  Thanks to everyone who took the time to donate here to the Celtic Foundation while entering.  It is enormously appreciated.  To enter, email competition@celticquicknews.co.uk with the correct spelling of Monchengladbach (or close enough).  Make sure I can contact you later!!

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348 Comments

  1. Just watched the game again on CTV

     

     

     

    We really seemed unable to cope with their formation, that’s what you get when you step-up to CL football.

     

     

     

    We’re more used to the tatty howkers in the SPHell and 10 behind the ball for most of the game, it’s a big ask when a decent footballing side come calling.

     

     

     

    As someone said last night it’s the league we’re playing in that’s holding us back.

     

     

     

    i’m still confident we’ll scud the huns of Manchester doon there :-))

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Nice one,Lennybhoy!

     

     

    Must do better after last night. But we’ve come on a ton since last season.

  3. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Time for Kolo to reform Cameo

     

     

    More basic mistakes canny blame RD OR EA this time

     

     

    Love

  4. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    One lesson from last night is that games are won on the park, not in the stands.

     

     

     

    Much is made of the atmosphere at CP and how it scares the opposition.

     

     

     

    It only scares the weak. Strong players thrive on a noisy crowd, no matter which support provides it.

     

     

    BMG thrived on the atmosphere, whereas we looked as if the crowd were going to win the game for us, because the Germans would fold.

     

     

    Too much was made of the crowd effect before the game, but, in all honesty, the crowd are the audience, not the show; and that’s the way it should be.

     

     

     

    Who, if anyone, watches crap like the X Factor to listen to an hysterical audience?

     

     

    Screaming and whooping will never make a lousy singer good.

     

     

     

    However, if it is true that a boisterous crowd can have a positive effect on a team, what is the excuse for the collapse against Malmo?

     

     

     

    Having gone 3-1 up on the night, the crowd started partying….and so did the team.

     

     

     

    Back to the grass cutting….hope it’s the last for the year.

  5. Lets be honest here, if Efe Ambrose had done last night what Toure did (and also held his hands up for the mistakes as he has done in the past) he would have got slaughtered and despite being a nice guy and all, it would have been said he should never play for Celtic again.

     

     

    Toure is an older, slower, version of Ambrose a stop gap signing for cover. Erik and Jozo from now on please until we sign someone better.

  6. Disappointing night. Credit to BMG, I thought they were a classy outfit in every respect.

     

     

    Much work to be done between now and next season. Our priority must be another top midfielder to play in beside Brown.

     

     

    Onwards to the weekend, would like to see Jozo, Griffiths and Paddy from the start.

     

     

    I’m still positive, we’ve come a long way in a short space of time. Our intention to improve personell significantly will be a sobering thought for some in our own League.

  7. Yes we are head and shoulders above what we face in domestic competition but we need another quality player, a creative midfielder.

     

    No complaints last night about the outcome based on our performance and that of Borussia.

     

    Keep the Faith!

     

    Hail Hail!

  8. First off, prayers said for your dad Cowiebhoy and your friend PADDYMACOZ.

     

     

    I’m a wee bit bemused by some of the comments on the “Live Updates” thread. We were beaten by better disciplined team who have been together longer than us and know their jobs. Were they much better than us? Nope; they were much better organised. Were we outpassed by them? Nope; they just played more telling passes at times. Did they create much? Not really; we gifted them 2 goals?

     

     

    Do we still have a scapegoat? Yep; Nir Bitton will do nicely; although he was sub-standard (along with most others), he didn’t contribute to the loss of the goals, But we like big Kolo. I wonder what the script would have been for big Efe this morning?

     

     

    Is it the end of the world? Not in the slightest; we should learn a lot from this; in particular Tierney and Dembele will start to understand the difference in going to the next level.

     

     

    Will it set us back? It shouldn’t; it should make us stronger. Can we do better against Gladbach next time? We can if we learn the lessons and don’t let them harass us as much as they did last night.

     

     

    Still fantastic to be a Tim!

     

     

    FAC the Act

     

     

    KTF

  9. There’s a lot our squad and manager can learn from last nights defeat.

     

     

    A team without superstars effectively played us out of contention in the game, with coaching, tactical discipline and skill.

     

     

    We were never really in it. Penned back for long periods of the game although I thought we defended reasonably well. One thing you get with Erik the Viking is 110% effort, others could take a leaf out of his book.

     

     

    BMG’s manager must get a mention too, he had obviously seen how we play and adjusted his team accordingly, they swarmed around Sinky and Moussa every time they got the ball. They rendered KT largely ineffective from the very start.

     

     

    Chapeau, well play that man.

     

     

    It’s clear we need reinforcements to play at this level and Brendan knows this.

     

     

    A centre mid, hard, skilful and trustworthy I would imagine will be among his priorities.

     

     

    Paradise wasn’t built in a day!

     

     

    I for one am prepared to be patient while we get BR’s team and coaching fully implemented.

     

     

    The improvements from last season are clear to see but please please please Celtic stop the foot shooting.

     

     

    Bring on the Orcs…

  10. THOMTHETIM

     

     

    Not sure we think the atmosphere effects the opposition more we know it can inspire our players to greater things.

     

     

    Last night neither the players or the fans were at their best, we both need to learn from that.

     

     

    Personally i feel the second goal was partly due to Kolo’s reluctance to pass the ball back to Craig Gordon as the fans were ‘growling’ at this stage.

  11. Consultation survey on the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

     

    Good afternoon. We had more people completing the survey yesterday, so thanks to all who did!

     

     

    It finishes on Sunday, so only 4 days to go; if you haven’t completed the survey yet, please click this link and complete it now.

     

     

    If long forms daunt you, just give your contact details and then complete the 5 questions on Sections 1-5 showing you are in favour of repeal- that is just 5 ticks- then just scroll through to the end and press SUBMIT. It can be done in less than a minute.

     

     

    If you are unsure about what to write for the full questionnaire, this crib sheet will help. Remember you are agreeing that the act should be repealed. Also remember to click Complete Survey at the end or your views won’t be included!

     

     

    Every opinion and submission counts! Make sure yours does too!

     

     

     

    FAC the Act

     

     

    KTF

  12. Met a load of bmg fans in the toon this morning… To a man they all praised the stadium and the atmosphere. Suppose it easier to sync that when winning away…however I’ve a feeling they’d have said the same if we’d have won. Good bunch food fans. KTF Hail Hail

  13. RobinBhoy

     

     

    I’ll stand up for Kolo.

     

     

    He and Scott Brown are the go-to recipients of passes from team mates who are getting closed down. They cope with that pressure better than most of the others in the team. Bitton is languid and cool in possession but he over-estimates his ability to protect the ball and is regularly robbed. Erik is brilliant at positioning and anticipating problems but there is nothing special about his passing ability. Kieran is a tackler and a runner but both his positioning and his composure on receipt of a difficult ball can be challenged. Efe is a very effective defender with lots of attributes (speed, responsibility, availability) but he has too many mistakes in him to be regularly selected at the high level. Mikel is a great athlete, restricted by recurring injury, who gallops and crosses and is good in the air but, again, nothing special in his passing ability. Jozo is looking good just now at SPFL level but is untried at CL level. He will get his chance when either Erik or Kolo are injured.

     

     

    However, for just now, I would be worried if we did not have Kolo the organiser and “safe hands” (usually) in place when we play Brca, City and MG again.

  14. Hard one to take last night, but I think the majority of us understand that Brendan’s work is most certainly a work in progress, and we are miles ahead of where we were this time last year.

     

     

    It was always going to be difficult to emulate the same intensity and high pressure game we played against Manchester City, but we did lose the midfield battle albeit to technically better players. We were second to every ball. Their CM Strobl (no. 5) was unplayable at times last night.

     

     

    We didn’t do enough on the rare occasions we did get the ball in dangerous positions, but again that was down to BMG’s workrate and positioning. BMG were far superior in their movement, the way they held the ball and they way they made it difficult for us to get it back (which must have been so tiring for the players). They forced us to make errors in the final third which led to their goals, credit to them.

     

     

    A few of our key creative players that were so important for us in the City game didn’t get going. Understandably BMG focused their attentions on Moussa and Sinclair given how they can hurt teams, denying them space and time on the ball. Rogic looked slow and his touch was away from him so many times – but the guy is still recovering from travelling halfway round the world fs. Kolo made mistakes but it was out of character, not buying the theory that he’s too old and finished. He still made a world class tackle last night just before HT that was crucial to us preparing ourselves at HT.

     

     

    The most glaring and obvious thing we lack is a defensive midfielder that can cover our centre backs. Far too often last night we weren’t in the right position to stop BMG cutting through us. Bitton is a good player who, when allowed space and time, can take the ball deep and pick out a nice pass. However, he doesn’t protect our back line…ever. We need to think about getting in an experienced player who can do a bit of the dirty work for us. That doesn’t come cheap but there are surely options out there.

     

     

    A learning curve for the Bhoys. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the defeat and good to see that there aren’t any overreactions (other than a few having a go at Kolo).

     

     

    Big game on Sunday to look forward to.

     

     

    HH

  15. Our midfielders, whatever combination the manager chooses to play, are the same guys who were outclassed in the Europa League last season. It stands to reason that they are not good enough for the Champions League, particularly Bitton who is too slow and ponderous in possession.

     

    We need two central midfielders who can take possession under pressure and find a teammate with a pass, preferably a forward pass.

     

     

    The biggest difference for me last night was the movement of the BMG players off the ball, the player in possession always had several options to pass the ball to.

  16. Paul67 et al

     

     

    Last night offered Celtic a potential route into the Europa League. Against a team who qualified for the CL from the Bundesliga, the only league capable, (Juve apart) of halting Spanish dominance of the Big Cup. Mid table or no Borussia are schooled, in the er German school, a deep rooted longstanding system of developing not only footballers, but the future lifestyles of those players, something woefully lacking in Scotland. Longer term we need to reconfigurate our midfield, (Neil’s best far superior) into something resembling a more cohesive unit. Won’t arrive on an overnight delivery.

     

     

    Paul, wish you hadn’t included that quote from Andy Lynch, guarantees that I will not be among one of that book’s readers.

  17. VFR

     

    Your defending an championing of Air Button is admirable.

     

    But the evidence against him every time we play decent European teams is mounting.

     

    His main attribute is height and even at that he wins few headers or physical battles.

     

    His passing is average, positional sense weak and he offers zero protection to defense.

     

    I struggle to see what he brings?

     

    He is neither creative or defensive.

     

    Our losses in Europe away to Barca.Happoel and the giants Red imps all occurred with him being given a starting role in middle.

     

    The central midfield needs an upgrade and he is our weakest link.

  18. What happened to the GB last night? They where outsung for 90 mins. Are the in the huff again about something? You know how juvenile they get if something’s not going they’re way? Away team showed them a clean pair of heels, very poor show, strange night all round.

  19. Celtic Mac

     

     

    Agreed. Strange choice of selling point for Andy’s book but it will not stop me reading it. There must be many more positive quotes to sell the book on even though there may be one or two more human traits that we may choose not to like like that above. I’m sure it was just evidencing Andy’s own disgust at himself in a moment of madness. I look forward to reading it and all the positive stories of his time at the hoops.

     

     

    MWD

  20. MWD

     

     

    Defender of the GB now how predictable was that, he never lets me down, he sits here Day in day out, waiting on the tonydonnelly67 post, I haven’t been on for a couple of days, soil yer shorts there did you MWD?

  21. CentenaryBhoy on 20th October 2016 12:54 pm

     

     

    The most glaring and obvious thing we lack is a defensive midfielder that can cover our centre backs. Far too often last night we weren’t in the right position to stop BMG cutting through us. Bitton is a good player who, when allowed space and time, can take the ball deep and pick out a nice pass. However, he doesn’t protect our back line…ever. We need to think about getting in an experienced player who can do a bit of the dirty work for us. That doesn’t come cheap but there are surely options out there.

     

     

    ========================================

     

     

    Efe Ambrose is the ideal defensive midfield cover.

     

     

    Athletic, fearless, experienced, and committed to the cause.

     

     

    With a backline behind him to cover his habitual mistake, that position is perfect for him.

     

     

    Let him switch side to side, breaking up attacks, feeding Broon and Rogic to build.

     

     

    And he’s already on the payroll.

  22. MWD

     

    PS…sang before the game, during the game, and after the game, even had some rebel on while having my breakfast while you where waiting on me posting, you need to get a life, honestly.

     

    Oh! And the lefty uni educated Celtic trust, are words iv never put together in a post on here, or a verbal conversation with a living soul, but nice try.

  23. tonydonnelly67 on 20th October 2016 1:15 pm

     

     

    What happened to the GB last night? They where outsung for 90 mins. Are the in the huff again about something? You know how juvenile they get if something’s not going they’re way? Away team showed them a clean pair of heels, very poor show, strange night all round.

     

     

    =============================

     

     

    Good to see you credit the GB with helping win the point against Man city.

     

     

    I agree we would have got something if they had been in better voice last night.

     

     

    :-I

  24. Bonjour,

     

     

    Can’t really add much to what’s already been said. Not the end of the World. We will learn. We will improve. Some players will grow. Others will no.

     

     

    Watched the game here wi ma wee fellah in Paris on Bien Sports. Pre match show featured Moussa D heavily (bumming him up and trying to figure out why he’d gone to “Celtique”). Then it was big effusive words about Paradise as YNWA rang out.

     

     

    Sadly, it went downhill from there.

     

     

    As for the game

  25. Midway through the first half last night BMG had a throw in near the dugouts. Their no13 was running the show and standing in space to receive the ball. Sviatchenko was screaming at Bitton who was 10 years away from him to pick him up. Bitton strolled over lazily to about 3 yards away. The throw in went straight to the no13 who spun and immediately switched play to commence another attack.

     

     

    The moral of the story is that they had more ability but we allowed them to play where as they didn’t allow us any space. That is where the game was won and lost imo.

  26. See if anybody comes on a Celtic forum to have a pop at other Celtic fans who sang their hearts out the full game, they are not Celtic supporters.

  27. Sandman 1.30PM

     

     

    Efe Ambrose is the ideal defensive midfield cover.

     

     

     

    Athletic, fearless, experienced, and committed to the cause.

     

     

     

    With a backline behind him to cover his habitual mistake, that position is perfect for him.

     

     

     

    Let him switch side to side, breaking up attacks, feeding Broon and Rogic to build.

     

     

     

    And he’s already on the payroll.

     

     

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     

     

    Don’t think Efe has the positional sense to fulfil that role adequately. Our best DM’s in recent years, Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon and Victor Wanyama have all been successful due to their knowledge and ability to read the game, of which I don’t think Efe possesses enough of. Certainly not in Europe anyway.

     

     

    HH

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  29. salumuxoya16 on 20th October 2016 1:44 pm

     

     

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    Check it out what i do……www.MaxCash9.CoM

     

     

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