Creating and taking chances


I watched Hull batter Leicester City on TV last night without putting the ball in the net.  The sheer volume and quality of chances entitled Hull fans to some consolation in the valid football adage, ‘these days happen’.  Those absent from Celtic Park on Saturday are likely to assume we similarly battered Ross County, but they would be wrong.  County defended throughout but were never under anything close to intense pressure.

This is one of the right times of the season to have a performance like that, they are of little use in the first week in February, when the transfer window is closed.  Clues abound as to where we need to strengthen, most pointing to the forward line.  John Guidetti’s drop in form over the last month has dropped like a stone, but he’s still comfortably holding onto the striker position.  Neither Stokes, Griffiths nor Scepovic are putting pressure on a young off-form player.

There is also the playmaker position, which appears to be on the bench.  Kris Commons has been dropped before in his Celtic career, often for important games in Europe, where more industrious, but less talented, players were chosen.  I spent most of Saturday’s game waiting on Kris coming on, but if his general level of fitness counts against him for a starting position, his lack of 90 minute outings since his injury earlier in the season means that his late-game cameos look even less industrious.

As I’ve been saying since July, we only have one playmaker and if he’s not playing or off form, we’ll struggle.  With a match-fit Commons on from the start yesterday, we would have won comfortably.  I’m happy to accept we need a playmaker who’ll cover 15k in 90 minutes, so sign one, but if we’re going to let Commons go, or wither on the bench, sign two, before we end up dependent on one man again.

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    Podium chasing is childish.



    I’ve only ever had two, strangely enough the last one was on the 25th of May.



    Sipsini……… know the grammar rules…………Podium forfeited.

  2. Felt like doin a mccoist after that performance, shocking. Any current players readin this, GET YOU FINGER OOT!!!! You will come and go as players, we as fans + supporters are in it for life Hail Hail

  3. I am Not Lurking Anymore on

    Maybe we should play with 2 up front


    A midfield diamond Biton


    Brown Johansen



  4. Craigellachie10 on




    Your thoughts on Commons echo exactly what I was thinking on Saturday. If Kris lacking match sharpness 20 minutes here and there isn’t going to help. I fear he is off next month.

  5. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    Yes having endured the 95 mins on sat,for me, the most alarming fact( which in truth,has been there for a few years)was the total absence of tempo or urgency..



    RD promised us tempo.. I ve yet to see 2 consecutive games where we look interested or clever enough to recognise the need for instinctive play at tempo..



    Good players operating at tempo will endure ..



    To counteract this, the poorer sides load the midfield/defence & slow the game.. We did it to Barca often



    RD, our players,appear to have lost their way..



    Always a supporter,but just now,supporting Celtic is a bit of an endurance..



    no fun..



    Saturday was incredible in its boredom..



    We move on..




  6. bournesouprecipe on




    I asked after the game on Saturday where and why ‘the system” meant Johansen was always the nearest player to their goalkeeper?



    Maybe his great engine is overunning, and has been since Biton was introduced as the holding midfielder.



    Either way it doesn’t really work, because his touch isn’t clean enough and he doesn’t have the football. He mishit his goal at Pitoddrie, happily for us.



    Too many engines and not enough chiefs.

  7. We need a fit winger.


    three options against packed defences


    Round,through or over them, No winger takes away the 1st option.


    till later all

  8. After going “Cold Turkey”….but in a guid way.


    I’m back and this contribution caught my eye……..



    LeftOvers CSC






    12:25 on


    29 December, 2014


    Some people seem to be of the belief that not being in the tragic position the Huns now occupy due to witless financial management is a bad thing.



    Some people might need to understand the zeitgeist word of the moment ‘downsizing’ is not a catch-all term for astute management.



    Efficiency is not ‘downsizing’. We earn a comparative pittance from Scottish football. Ten years ago, after lavishing tens of millions on star players we looked at the future, looked at the books, looked at the Huns, and, thank God, embarked on a decade-long restructuring designed not for any footballing glory but just to weather the financial storms and keep Celtic alive.



    Nobody envisaged the Huns actually imploding in the hilarious but damaging way they did and continue to do; that was Celtic’s future too.



    Some of us old enough to remember the early nineties will do so with a shiver; bleak hopelessness that the Hun hordes now face. Good luck with that dose of karma you penny dreadful scum.



    However, we exist in a limbo where any reckless spend sets us back years. Scepovic at 3 mill plus fees and wages is our top stretch. Finding guys that value is our forseeable future.



    The board are not evil. I would repeat it but I’m not prone to appeasing rockets. They manage Celtic with a tight grip governed by the grim reality of Scottish football finances. They don’t engage well with the fanbase due to a degree of neurosis borne of market appeasement – plcs are bound by some rules and etiquette many would find startling; volatility can be caused by the simplest of statements – see Gerald Ratner for the most tabloid-friendly example of corporate feckwittery.



    How that translates to Celtic is no proclamations on Zombie tub-thumping; ergo fan frustration. But ask yourself truthfully what a Celtic statement over the existence of Huns really does – it merely satisfies a selfish need within to rub their noses in it; it could damage Celtic’s market reputation/value. That is fact; see above and investigate further yourself. By doing nothing, our enemy defaults themselves. By doing nothing Celtic stay clear of association with a poisonous entity.



    Finally, to vent on here about Celtic petting your lip and then support us propping up Scottish football financially is deluded hypocrisy. If we want to get to a level where aspirations of signing stars once more can be realised we need out of this current league structure and into competition further afield, be it England or the mythical Atlantic league.



    It means ‘letting’ Scottish football decay further so the majority of the top division is part-time. That’s probable. Your own personal stance on it should determine your expectation of Celtic. I’m prepared to see that happen for Celtic to flourish on bigger stages; they care not a jot for us and have shown so as their precious institution died.



    We go into the January window with low expectations. I don’t think RD has got a Scooby when it comes to the bitter reality of applied tactical theory falling on its arse. I hope to be proven wrong. It will be interesting to see how much faith our board have in him too – by the noises it appears they have reservations.



    But one thing’s for sure – there will certainly be lively debate on here about it. Rockets, draw your swords…

  9. P67,



    with all due respect, RD is gonna have to fill both CH positions in the next two windows…..a playmaker in the ilk of Lubo ( big up to the poster, watched all 97 mins ) is a big ask, but we need some like that yes, with an engine to get back also…..who’s that ye ask…..dunno but will cost a lot…..are the bored willing or able to provide the funds?




  10. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma


    14:56 on


    29 December, 2014




    The Lurkin Tim– in reply to your comment on the last thread:



    Forgive my Long-windedness — It is a sign of improved health.



    Celtic, strangely enough, has less potential for improvement than some of the other clubs in Scotland, yet on another hand has the greatest potential.



    I genuinely think that a properly run Aberdeen, Dundee Utd, Hibs and Hearts to name but four have a real chance of being vastly better football teams and clubs than they have been for many years.



    Celtic at the current time, have a stand alone policy ( contrary to what many on here believe re their stance on Rangers who are becoming an increasing irrelevance in the big picture in Scottish football ) but only insofar as they are the remaining force in what was once seen as a duopoly within the game.



    That position may have been justifiable a couple of years ago, but it will no longer be a satisfactory business outlook in 5 years time as i believe the other clubs will get stronger, be more community business savvy, and simply will not go back into their box in the event of some form of Rangers returning to the top flight of Scottish football.



    No matter how much Chic Young, Gordon Strachan, Graham Spiers or anyone else longs for it — the “old firm” normal service of the old order will not be restored — and good riddance to it I say.



    Celtic, in my opinion, need to learn from what is happening here in Scotland and across Europe.



    We need to cut the waste out of our bloated squad and replace it with a mixture of the best quality we can afford in key positions backed up with the best potential we can afford.



    There will always be bargains to be had — long before the Wanyama’s and so on we recruited the Mjalby’s, Agathe’s, Moravciks and yes Larssons for peanut money — incidentally all were signed by managers who had been a place or two and did not come through some form of conveyor belt talent finding department within the club.



    Manager sees/knows player — Manager buys player — end of.



    Celtic need to build on and off the park — build relationships with fans, other clubs, ex players and so on: Build the museum, improve the facilities and improve Celtic park itself: and build the footballing and club brand in general with better use of internet media, sales and savvy.



    Keep an eye on technology as that will have a big part to play in future.



    And we need a shake at board room level. There are too many non execs who have been around for too long, and too many from similar backgrounds and areas.



    Fresh faces, fresh minds, fresh thoughts, fresh blood, fresh knowledge in the boardroom should always be welcomed.



    More evolution than revolution — but radical evolution is no bad thing.

  11. Paul67 et al



    Paul, the problem of writing an article about our failure to score against Ross County, is that it will give all those who have been posting about it the last couple of days, a chance…….


    to post about it …..again.

  12. Craigellachie10 on




    Lustig, Efe, Virgil


    Forrest, brown Biton izzy




    Guidetti, scepovic



    With mulgrew and Matthews stepping in until lustig and Forrest are fit.



    Worth a shot?

  13. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma



    We do need to bring our ideas up to date re the Football Dept.



    Perhaps PL should appoint a director of football then, someone younger and more open to balancing the development of players with the need for the recruitment of 1 or 2, 4/5 £million experience, to further bring on those developing players.



    Not a gamble, more of an investment surely por cierto.

  14. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    the green man



    10:41 on 29 December, 2014





    We are doing terribly….what the hell are you on about.


    The downsizing is hurting the quality of the team.


    If you cant see that….well, you must be another pal of Big Peter( which is not a surprise on this site).


    Sack the board






    Was it something I said that upset you ?…..were you born an erse, or did you have to work at it ?…just asking like …… I mean, you’re right,…….when we consider the annual accounts, we should be upsizing massively like oldco did ……. You’re not strong on realism, are you .. ?

  15. Paul67



    Thank you for echoing my thoughts.



    We’re rapidly turning into a team of run around industrialists, lacking craft, guile and ingenuity.



    Commons is the one genuinely creative player we have left, it’s time Ronny threw out the ‘strategy’ and got back to playing footballers.

  16. Paul,



    Would be interested in your thoughts on the suitability of Ronny’s preferred 4-2-3-1 at least for now, when there is a scarcity of effective wide players at the club. The best one, James Forrest, wasn’t even on the bench on Sat, so is presumably injured again. When he does play, he improves the team as he seems to be the only one in the squad capable of taking a man on, however, even on these rare occasions, he seems to lack the carefree energy he brought to Neil’s team a few years ago. His body language and demeanour are alarming. He looks moody, disinterested & lacking in confidence.



    As for Tonev, Boerrigter & Wakaso, & Berget they are worse impersonators of left wingers than the Labour Party. They are rank and will surely be chased at the earliest opportunity.



    McGregor having watched him extensively at youth level, isn’t a winger, despite his admirable efforts there earlier in the season. We have damaged his confidence playing him there persistently.



    Griffiths’ attitude was worthy on Sat, but it is clear he isn’t a winger.



    Stokes has made a good job of adapting, because he has guile and intelligence, qualities rare in our squd at the moment, but again he’s not a natural.



    Why not therefore revert back to the diamond formation we looked so impressive in last season? The personnel is there to do it. Biton at the base, Brown and Johansen ahead, with Commons at the front.

  17. BRTH,



    am anarchistic, revolution then evolution, in the boardroom yes, we are where we are because of too many are too staid… their thinking…..i would welcome an honest competitive league, and look forward to well run clubs pushing us all the way to our (en)title(ment) ;-)) Good for football, good for Scotland’s European co-efficient……somebody take that keyboard/phone off him i say ;-))




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