Culpable defence, but that’s not all


The most pleasing aspect about last night was the manager’s reaction afterwards: “Yet another soft goal”. “We don’t defend a basic ball into the box”.  But, before Cristian Gamboa and Craig Gordon pick up the tab for a bad night in Lithuania, more went wrong.  Much more.

Goals change games and you can be sure games will change when Celtic are defending the way they are right now.  Gamboa losing his man for the goal was in keeping with what we should expect.  Cristian is good going forward but is not the most diligent at the back.  We need a backup, backup, right back.  Right?

Despite all that’s going wrong in defence, I am just as concerned about how the midfield is operating.  Our passing was again poor.  Olivier Ntcham opened the scoring after two minutes and opened the Suduva defence late in the game for Moussa Dembele to shoot wide, but for the rest of the game his passing was as inaccurate as it was against AEK and Rosenborg away.

Callum McGregor, so often a key to unlock packed defences, was ineffective.  I would like to see him play the deep lying playmaker roll over our next three games.  There he can dictate the pace and accuracy of our passing, leaving space for Rogic to play in front of him.

Moussa Dembele is our best striker, but the shape of the team left him isolated and looking just as out of sorts as Odsonne Edouard did at home to AEK.  We have potent strikers who see little of the ball.

On the positive side, Suduva were as poor a team as I can remember playing in recent seasons – and I include the Gibraltareños (as they will be known after March) in that.  We will reach the Europa League group stage.  How effectively we compete there will be determined by the arrivals over the next seven days.

Dinner for four at the Walfrid at Hamilton game on Sunday!

Courtesy of Intelligent Car Leasing, we are raffling a table for four at Sunday’s game against Hamilton Accies in aid of your Foundation.  If like me, you watch football in the bitter cold and wind, even in July and August, this will be a fantastic day our for you and three friends!

It’s a free bar.  And you get the chance to support the Celtic FC Foundation.

To win, contribute to this MyDonate page.  Suggest a minimum of £5 donation, but donate less if you cannot afford that.  Your money does straight to the Foundation as they prepare for the difficult winter period ahead.

Then, please forward your confirmation email to celticquicknews@gmail.com with the words “Central defender” in the SUBJECT line. Competition closes at 11.00 Saturday.  Winner will be informed on Saturday afternoon – so include a phone number if there’s any chance of missing your email (it’s happened).

Good luck, and remember: Central defender.

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  1. …and I wonder how the BBC would react if we banned them from CP ?. Same as Ipox……….they would kick up a stink….but they continue to punt “slanted” summaries of our games compared to the newest club.




  2. Second?—-Just home after 6 days in Connemara, noWiFi, no papers, three mad grandsons andCQN being it,s usualself. We need new defensive coaches and a new chief scout. There are plenty of capable players in Europe. Just ask TeT. Just do it.

  3. We won’t get any players in…of quality..maybe a loan signing on last day. we will punt Boyata for 5 m… and also Dembele.. possibly ON too.

  4. We don’t need a back up right back, we need a right back that goes straight into the team as a first pick. He should also be able to play on the right side of a back three. Lustig should be the back up for both these positions.


    It doesn’t matter which striker we play, or whether we play one or two, if you don’t get the ball to them in the final third they will be impotent. We need to stop continual sideways and backwards passes from our defenders, midfielders and wide men. Teams now know if they sit in we’re clueless, 70%,80% passive possession is easy to defend against, even for third rate teams/defenders.


    I see P67 is still not using his leader to address the elephant in the room, the breakdown between CEO and manager, and the mishandling of recruitment, in and out, for the last three windows, particularly this one. Hmmmm as is often said……….

  5. Dexter P. Bampot on

    We require some decisive and systemic changes at the club.



    1. John Kennedy should no longer be the first team defensive coach.



    2. Lee Congerton must be replaced as Chief Scout.



    3. An immediate £10m must be ring fenced for 2 experienced central defenders. They need not be the greatest ball players. But they must by bigger and nastier than we have now. Robert Huth? Bruma? Ciaran Clark? Any of the AEK defenders?



    4. The manager and board need to agree, warts and all, about the parameters of the transfer budget.

  6. Still gutted that we humped AEK twice and lost. It obviously had a psychological impact on the hoops becacause the Lithuanians were a bunch of hard working but basic football players, and we looked like their level. We should have been able to keep a clean sheet. So we have hit rock bottom. Brendan will regroup and re-energise the hoops. He needs the Celtic support to get behind the team on the park and stand up against everything that is coming our way this season. Eight is going to be tougher than seven. The players must be tougher and the supporters must be tougher too, getting behind the hoops on the park. We need two good wins before we can be confident enough to show everyone the difference in quality between the hooos and the undead. Hail Hail.

  7. Where’s edit for an eejit. Too many red wines. Have a great weekend CQN. It is good to be a Tim.

  8. I still think Ajer is the real deal and Hendry just needs more time to develop before he can be judged. Both young lads who could be the core of our TIAR.

  9. succulentlambstinks on

    The longer we leave it the worse Itl get, or the worse the player(s) we will get.


    We are now in a panic buy situation.


    God help us.


    I hear the zombies were in full chorus of the disgusting billy boys again last night.


    How does one make that filthy SFA take notice and punish that vermin once and for all ?

  10. DEXTER P. BAMPOT on 24TH AUGUST 2018 11:33 AM



    1. John Kennedy should no longer be the first team defensive coach.



    Is he? Do you know that for certain? I thought he was first team coach, the no. 3, same as Garry Parker was under Lenny. Or was Garry Parker defensive coach as well?

  11. Garngad to Croy on

    I thought we were back to our best in the first 15 minutes but unfortunately the strange malaise that has set in over the last few weeks returned as the game progressed. Worrying Tim’s ahead !

  12. SUCCULENTLAMBSTINKS Let’s not panic. The hoops who won the double treble are still here, for now. They need confidence. No doubt that a couple of solid defenders would assist but if not then we need to stand up for the champions.

  13. succulentlambstinks on

    TAURANGABHOY on 24TH AUGUST 2018 11:46 AM



    Of course but I feel that a decent signing would absolutely relight the team and set us back on track.

  14. As I see it we have two very good left backs in Keiron and Izzy.


    I would certainly try one of them at right back, (whoever of the two who is most comfortable playing right back. Then I’d try Lustig at centre back for the nexxt game on Thursday. we’re sure to beat them, so why not give it a go.


    I feel Broony needs a wee rest as he appears to be carrying an injury and not as effetcive as he normally is





  15. I’m at a total loss as to what’s happening at our club. From the beautiful football we watched 2 seasons ago to where we are now.



    In some ways it seems obvious what’s going wrong on the pitch. That could be sorted with a couple of decent signings. And better coaching. But more worrying, is a lack of confidence has crept in.



    If ever we needed good man management it is now. Brendan should not be talking the way he is to the press. If you can’t say something good about the team, say nothing.

  16. JIMTHETIM53 on 24TH AUGUST 2018 11:55 AM



    They would only make things up if he did that.

  17. We know the negatives of last night and how a lowly team staunchly defended against highly paid Celtic stars. The positive being that we may have another superstar on the way in young Johnston, I thought he was terrific last night. Celtic will also be in the group stages yet again of another European competition keeping the club playing against some of the best teams in Europe but get that defence sorted ASAP.

  18. No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms – BBC News






    Groucho Marx alive and teaching in Cambridge ??:



    Yet Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, sounded a note of caution about the findings.


    “Given the pleasure presumably associated with moderate drinking, claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention,” he said.


    “There is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving.


    “Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention.”

  19. Dilligafbhoy, Yes you are right, but we are well used to that. That’s why this site is so important, amongst a lot of stuff, you will find the truth on here.

  20. Apologies for bad language last night, I should know better.



    LAWWELL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. mike in toronto on

    Brendan looks like a boxer. Got me thinking…. the strategy that I see in most Celtic games is akin to Ali’s famous rope a dope against Foreman… Ali sat back deep, let zforeman dominate … throw punch after aimless punch against a covered up Ali until Foreman tired himself out … then, after Foreman expended his energy, Ali struck.



    The problem is that we seem to be rope a doping ourselves…. lots of possession, lots of movement, and a fair number of shots (after six or seven purposeless passes, Tom Rogic snaps a half chance while marked by two defenders) …. teams know that, like a Foreman, our posession does not translate into GOOD chances, but simply expends energy… so, most teams are content to soak up our ‘pressure’..

  22. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    We are badly out òf firm and it’s not just the defence. If you aren’t worried you should be. Even new signings could add to the whiff of panic if they look contrived. We have taken our eye off the ball and it’s looking more like a collective shambles with every passing game. Nowhere near good enough.

  23. Bit of a mixed bag last night.Some great play,some poor.Some players performing well 50% of the time,the other 50,poorly.I will make allowances for the dreadful playing surface.Even Micheal Stewart was questioning if the ball was round the way it was acting on the surface.Jamesy did not look particularly happy on it.Seen the goal now umpteen times,yes the defence was poor,but the keeper was shocking.Keepers ball all day long.His distribution is getting worse into the bargain.Suicide passes to players,kick outs to no one..


    We have to get at least one dominant CH in by Monday,ready to play.I worry about next Sunday.They are not great,but they are dangerous where we are weak.Tavernier crosses some great balls in,similar to last nights goal.Goldson is effective at set pieces.Lafferty and Morelos will foul everything in the box.Morelos outside as well.At the moment I dont see anyone in our defence outmuscle them.Shocking state of affairs.


    My biggest worry is the seeming lack of urgency.Just some more waffle from Brendan about getting it right.Cant remember wanting to beat this mob so much.Maybe thats causing the worry.

  24. Dexter P. Bampot on

    GARY67 on 24TH AUGUST 2018 11:44 AM


    DEXTER P. BAMPOT on 24TH AUGUST 2018 11:33 AM



    1. John Kennedy should no longer be the first team defensive coach.



    Is he? Do you know that for certain? I thought he was first team coach, the no. 3, same as Garry Parker was under Lenny. Or was Garry Parker defensive coach as well?






    Gary if I’m wrong about that then I’m wrong. If he is first team coach the same suggestion applies.



    As a former defender I am presuming his expertise or focus is on the defence and same has not been up to standard. He may be first team coach but other contributors refer to him as the defensive coach. I am not sure what he brings in an attacking sense to the coaching of the team.











    Incidental,written off the opponent’s in a patronising way that has never bit us on the arse.



    Paul,our club is in meltdown at the moment,and it is no exaggeration to say so. We have absolutely nothing in defence. Slightest sniff of a long ball or a one-two,and we fold.



    Then point fingers.



    Our midfield is so busy trying to avoid disasters at the back that they offer little in offence. And guess what? That means our front line are sniffing out scraps.



    This is a total shambles,Paul. And a totally avoidable one.



    Now,you and I disagree on one very important figure at the club,so let’s ignore the personal opinions on this,and deal with what is staring us in the face.



    From what I can see,the fans had grown so dissatisfied and disillusioned with what RONNY DEILA was allowed to offer,that our turnover dropped to £52m. Which included £12m profit on players.



    And an overall loss.



    Another failed experiment,another good man destroyed on the back of a bottom line. Another 60,000 stadium draped in lovely screenprinted banners.



    Another bonus achieved though,strangely enough…



    Shuffled from the decision making process due to abject failure,PL is pleased to announce the appointment of BR. And a year or so later,he announces PROFITS!!!



    Seems the Celtic support have been so enthused by the appointment and promises,that they have been energised. Bums on seats,jerseys bought. CL qualification,a £90m turnover-70% increase,you’d have thought a beancounter might have liked that-and then we do it all again the following season,with huge profits,what’s a beancounter not to like?



    Well,you tell me what that beancounter-the INVISIBLE MAN at the moment,I might add-is playing at. It has to be down to ego.



    Disgusted at the level of input this man has had at our club,considering how many times he has completely failed it.

  26. Broon and Kouassi Eboue sitting deep in tandem in the middle.



    Build it around those two; solid core.



    You can stick 4 behind them, 3 in front (two wingers and a creative centre mid) and one up front, or you can go three behind them, four across the middle (two wingers and two creatives) with one up front. Go fluid when it suits.



    4-2-3-1 or 3-2-4-1



    Want to have two up top? Switch to a 3-2-3-2



    But keep those two as your platform. Takes the physical heat off Broon, dominates the middle.



    Worked against Zenit beautifully; BR never persevered, I never can understand why?



    He’s got to reign in the maverick, gung-ho mentality at some point and give the players a golden mean to revert to and build from.

  27. traditionalist88 on

    Another thing about the goals being lost… where are the communicators at the back? Gordon appears to have lost his voice entirely, and the rest of them don’t even pretend to act like they have met each other before or acknowledge that they have to work together.




  28. I see that a certain,Julian Wolthard has become a director of Der Hun.Maybe the better read could help here.Was this guy not in some way associated with Craig White or his companies,whatever.I remember his name cropping up regularlyduring “The Banter Years”.Oh the banter,the banter.I suppose Auldheid would be the man in the know.

  29. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    Looking ahead to the upcoming fixture with Sevco does fill me with worry.



    We have a team that is in the ascendancy and on a high (relative to last season). That plays industrial style football based upon a solid defence and set piece threat. I believe they have yet to lose a game (notwithstanding that they have played 2 league games with 10 men for over 90 minutes).



    On the other hand we have a team that has lost twice this year already, with low confidence and a manager that clearly is at his most unhappy and vulnerable since he arrived and a support that is becoming split and disgruntled (in parts). We look vulnerable from set pieces and similarly evidence an inability to breakdown compact and well organised defences.



    If Sevco do get a result it will not be a surprise or an upset. We can see that we are sailing directly towards this iceberg.

  30. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    I was frustrated rather than disappointed last night. The win was there for us but we didn’t take care of business, again.



    Back to 352 on Sunday for ninety minutes again I hope. Rest Broony and Oli ahead of Thursday and the huns with Calum and Eboue filling in their spots. Hayes and Forrest wide, KT Ajer and Mikael at the back, leaving OzTom, Griff and Moussa to be launched at the Accies.



    Shuffle the goalie cards and play the first one turned over.



    At the International break, PL and BR owe us (not the media) a sitdown explanation of this entire transfer window strategy, activity and outcome.

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