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. traditionalist88 on

    Section111 on 24th August 2018 1:35 pm



    He’s a full international with bags of skill, its not a case of him OR a CB – give him a chance and you might be surprised. The defence is a separate issue and has been for longer than the last few weeks.

  2. SECTION 111,



    I said no more responses to you,but then I seen your stupidest post of all.When did I ever say BR has to walk.I fekin love Brendan,and I most certainly dont love PL,or the BoardThey are nothing to me.What I dont like is people like you spouting guff and laying all the blame at one door.That does not help my team,and they are all I care about.

  3. saltires en sevilla on

    Auldheid- the group conversation will help and I’m sure they have the answers in there somewhere. Fresh faces (but started shaving ?…) will be welcomed and to inject some fresh ideas.



    Turkeybhoy – I know you know I didn’t lay blame at CEO. Totally agree with you that part of the problem lies with tactics and decisions being made on the pitch. Kouassi May be an answer but we only had a glimpse so far…I’m leaning more towards the holding or defensive responsibilities alternating in different phases of the game. I feel Broony restricts flexibility in that sense. I love him as a Celt but he does lack the flexibility to get forward needed in the game now. Maybe we can find a home for him farther back in defense?




  4. Hot Smoked – I think you’re right that the media have praised Rangers all summer and talked us down, to the point where a large number of Celtic fans now believe we’re inferior to them.



    The elimination from the CL has also had an effect – it’s a big blow to prestige and finances and it’s always accompanied by a hangover, which I think is what happened last night after the equaliser.



    But our squad isn’t significantly weaker than it was when we completed the Treble in May and I’m sure we’ll bounce back. Dembélé isn’t match fit yet and Rogic isn’t firing yet – they’ll come good. Aye, we need a centre half so hopefully we’ll get one.



    But looking at the squads and the managers – would you really favour Sevco over us? That would be crazy talk IMO.

  5. traditionalist88 on

    Hot Smoked on 24th August 2018 1:37 pm



    I also believe that if Hendry and Ajer were playing for any other Scottish club, many Celtic supporters would be calling for us to push the boat out ans sign them.





    You think?!



    Dundee is in Scotland right?

  6. The manager looked like he was going to go with three at the back, two wing backs and then a horses for courses set up between midfield and attack depending on opponents. That’s how we played in pre season and how we played in the opening qualifiers. Injuries, suspensions and industrial action has led to us reverting back to two centre halves with full backs and it’s not working. Our central defenders are not good enough, there’s no obvious pairing and until that is rectified then we will continue to ship preventable goals. We need at least 1, probably 2, centre halves by next Friday but it needs to be a player, or players, who will complement and help the two young centre halves we currently have. Boyata and Simunovic can get tae………


    In addition we need a right back who can also play on the right side of a three if we play three at the back. We need an younger, upgraded, fit and hungry Lustig.


    We also need a defensive midfielder who can complement/compete with the Brown/Ntcham central midfield duo, this would also allow Kouassi go out on loan for the season.


    Armstrong replacement also still required.


    That’s 4-5 players in a week needed to kick start our season, easy if you have the recruitment team and negotiators to deliver! And therein lies the problem…………..

  7. Mullet- Ajer is our best CB IMO, but a natural MF, and in a few games we are found wanting in MF when we play Hearts and the like, if we had 2 decent CBs, we could play him in there.HH

  8. Turkeybhoy



    Away and lie in a darkened room. Board apologist. Porto bid for Ntcham, you really believe that haha?



    Media drip-fed spin and you lap it up!

  9. !!BADA BING!! on 24TH AUGUST 2018 1:53 PM


    Exactly, two good centre halves and Ajer either plays sweeper between them or as the defensive midfielder in front of them. Makes the whole team flexible and we can switch formations during a game.

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

    CHAVEZ on 24TH AUGUST 2018 1:52 PM



    “But our squad isn’t significantly weaker than it was when we completed the Treble in May”



    Therein lies the issue. Why the hell are we in a situation with record turnover, profit and on the back of two back-to-back trebles, that our squad is weaker?



    It’s because we have been mismanaged in the boardroom. Only Celtic could have such glowing financial results and fail to translate them into benefits for the team.

  11. Ive read a lot of criticism about last night, there were some positives too, mainly young MJ. Having thought about it and watched limited replays I ask myself, what were our tactics last night? Or indeed, what have they been for the last few games? WHO is our go-to guy when we need one if we get into a bit of bother? We dont seem to have one.

  12. G67- or give the elusive Kouassi a run in front of the CBs, very little protection when teams pass it through the MF.We seriously need at least 2 guys in before next week, the whole place needs a lift.

  13. Just seen the time warp zombies have cancelled their OO parade on Sat that planned to walk past St Alphonsos church,well done to all who stood up to them.

  14. !!BADA BING!! on 24TH AUGUST 2018 2:10 PM


    Kouassi needs to go on loan and play regularly. He has 38 appearances in his entire career, 19 before he joined us, 19 since (that includes substitute appearances).

  15. Go tell the Spartim on

    We all have our views on culpability but



    What are we gonna do to fix the issues and that applies to all of us



    MAybe we should start on Sunday and encourage the players we have and see if that helps in the meantime

  16. FFS this is getting worse. The bottom line is that we are not in crisis here. We dominated AEK but didn’t take our chances in both games whilst shipping silly goals – two of which were the fault of Lustig allowing easily defendable crosses to get over, but Hendry and Ajer cop it! He also let the AEK CF push him about at their 2nd goal in Athens as well.



    The 4 goals we have lost one rthe last 3 European games have been from 2 cutbacks at the right of defence and 2 set pieces where everyone was ball watching with a static keeper. It’s not rocket salad to fix that!



    A solid RB and a solid CH fixes most of the problems. Put Kouassi in beside Brown to add some steel and protect the central defence. Move Ntcham forward and he can easily replace Armstrong (an upgrade IMHO) as can McGregor (also an upgrade).



    It’s a confidence game and up until Suduva scored last night they looked terrible and we looked as if we were coming on to a great game. The goal changed all that and that’s where the nerves and lack of confidence came in.



    The central defending errors and misplaced passing that were all apparently the full of Jack Hendry continued when he was sitting at home in Glasgow last night!



    The management team now need to earn their wages and sort this: lead and inspire. It’s easy to do when it’s all clicking but a good bit harder when the team is wobbling. This current squad is still capable of qualifying from the Europa League Group Stage and winning title number 8. A couple of additions will cement this.



    There have been vague rumours about John Terry coming and that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Solid and dependable; a big name that would give the club a boost; and a player who wouldn’t take too long to get up to speed.



    The bottom line is that if we win our next 3 games the entire complexion of the club will be different. The SMSM favourite club could easily be on a roll of 3 defeats by a week on Sunday and we could easily be top of the league by then (could even happen this week). Then the whole dialogue changes.



    KEEP THE FAITH we have been through far worse times than this.





  17. Paul67 et al



    What do we want?


    A “dominant” centre half!


    When do we want him?






  18. the glorious balance sheet on

    Hot Smoked



    You make an interesting point that the MSM have been talking up Sevco, talking down Celtic, that has influenced the fans thinking and mindset and in turn affected the players’ confidence, resulting in these recent sub-standard performances and results.



    My gut instinct was to say that anyone who pays credence to the Scottish football MSM needs their head read. And any player whose form or confidence is any way affected by anything they’ve read on an Internet forum about their team or their rivals is not a professional.



    You cannot lay any blame whatsoever to Celtic fans or the MSM for the current state of affairs.



    Having said that, if you want to take the MSM to task for hyping up the Huns you could do likewise with whoever is in charge of output at this site. There’s a live article on this site right now entitled “ex-celt warns: beware gerrard”. It’s a lot of rubbish being spouted by a guy who spent 2 minutes up here (Ian wright) who knows nothing about Scottish football.



    And by publishing that guff CQN is committing the cardinal sin that you pull the MSM up for – that of hyping up Sevco.

  19. “I think that everybody is every man for themselves in there,” the goalkeeper said.



    Gordon should shut his mouth, he should have owned up to selling the goal.Don’t give anything to the Laptop Loyal

  20. Just browsing through transfermarkt at whos available out of contract and i see Mikah Richards is in there. Former Man City and England Centre half, only 30, could do worse.

  21. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Ruggyman 1:35


    Good post. Agree with a lot of what you said about Spain.


    Guardiola has adapted his style at Man City. They still like to keep possession, but aren’t afraid to get the ball forward quickly when the opportunity is there. They also have an excellent counter-attack in their locker.

  22. Do I look like.and LEFTBACKAGAIN



    Either or both would do!



    They would need to take big drops in salary, however, a wee run in the Europa plus a few winners medals might sway them.

  23. RUGGYGMAN on 24TH AUGUST 2018 1:35 PM







    ?% hits the mark.



    I’d prefer we looked to the German style which combines (not pointless!!) possession with swift and direct attacks.



    HH jg

  24. Oh dear, I came on to find some solace. Alas there is none to be found.



    Brendan’s body language last night and to a lesser extent Saturday past, is a concern.



    I don’t think a couple of central defenders fixes this. If you don’t create and score with your possession, other teams invariably gain confidence and will hang in there knowing they’ve got a chance regardless of their lack of possession.



    I’m away back into hiding.



    PS Call me if there’s any positivity, answers on what’s wrong or signings.






  25. Oh dear, I came on to find some solace. Alas there is none to be found.



    Brendan’s body language last night and to a lesser extent Saturday past, is a concern.



    I don’t think a couple of central defenders fixes this. If you don’t create and score with your possession, other teams invariably gain confidence and will hang in there knowing they’ve got a chance regardless of their lack of possession.



    I’m away back into hiding.



    PS Call me if there’s any positivity, answers on what’s wrong or signings.






  26. the glorious balance sheet on




    Micah Richards is already on his way to Celtic Park…he’s playing in Stan Petrov’s game for cancer!

  27. Diligafbhoy- at this time we don’t need senior pro’s giving lines to the SMSM, what needs said should stay in the dressing room, Richards was a cracking player a few years ago, lost his way big time.HH

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

    VFR @ on 24TH AUGUST 2018 2:28 PM



    “A solid RB and a solid CH fixes most of the problems.”



    Of course we are not in crisis and, as you said, we need sold defender. However, the problem is that we seem incapable of getting players in. It is now nearly the end of the window. BR’s desire for quality has not been fulfilled and, similarly, his desire for replacements of Paddy and Armstrong.



    These are issues which could and should have been avoided if we adequately prepared in the transfer market. But it’s the same old story with Celtic. Last minute deals when we are desperate.

  29. DILLIGAFBHOY on 24TH AUGUST 2018 2:52 PM


    BB, I think Gordon did redeem himself when he made a couple of fines saves later on.





    If Gordon had commanded his area and came out and collected the free kick swung to the back post, he doesn’t need to redeem himself. At that point in the game Suduva were well and truly on the ropes and looked to be nowhere near Celtic. I honestly believe they would have retreated further within themselves and we would have killed the tie by half-time. It should have been 4 or 5 on the night based upon the early part of the game.



    He didn’t, they were invigorated and self-doubt crept into our game. As a result, their half-time talk switched from “we need damage limitation” to “Celtic are nervy and we should press them”.











    Micah Richards is already on his way to Celtic Park…he’s playing in Stan Petrov’s game for cancer!






    An opportunity for a word?

  31. Sorry for the double post but my work computer doesn’t like this site.



    Call me an old fogey but something to do with adverts.



    Árd Macha




    Arzani and Morgan are the types of player who will replace Roberts; Johnstone can also step up if he is coached properly.



    As I said earlier, both Ntcham and McGregor can (IMHO) do a better job than Armstrong. As could Ajer to be honest if he was pushed forward. The area we need to concentrate on are at RB and CH. Brendan Rodgers has said he has been happy at every other transfer window so he has to bear much (if not most) of the responsibility for not getting these 2 positions sorted. He gambled with Boyata and has been caught out in that. He let 2 other CH’s go and brought in a left back (Izzy).



    It’s time to earn his salary in the next 10 days!





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