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. Are we seeing signs of the difficult 3rd Album Syndrome here?



    Brendan spent a year managing Watford, a year managing Reading and 2 years at Swansea. He managed 3 full seasons at Liverpool but was sacked 8 games into his 4th season.



    We have had a phenomenal time of it domestically in the 2 years since Brendan came and we managed 2 CL qualifications (with a lot of scares on the way and we did not make a dent on our CL Group matches).



    The noises out of Old Trafford and New Shiny Celtic Park are very similar forms of mood music. Jose is less cryptic than Brendan but is also more morose and defeatist in his presentation. I do not think our problems are as big as at Man U but whether the personalities involved can sort them out is a question beyond my knowledge.



    In both cases the coach’s vision for the club has not developed as they hoped. Brendan thinks we could and should be further on in the programme than we are. There are signs that he is losing faith in some of his players.



    Does he have the resilience and determination and encouragement to stay on for a difficult 3rd season and an even higher bar for a tense 4th season? And then, in his 5th season, with the prospect of 10 hopefully still on the cards, the tension will be cranked up beyond the ability of the gauge to read it.



    It will be hard for us to win back momentum by early September. We are expected to win our next 2 matches and, even good wins, will be greeted with a “Meh” reaction. Sevco losing out in Russia might dent their ardour but I doubt it.



    I suspect we are going to see a bruised, battered and tetchy home support which will not galvanise our team up against a rejuvenated Sevco and a frenzied away support. Our playerss are going to have to win this under a lot of pressure and with precious little support.



    Can they prove Brendan’s misgivimgs wrong?

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

    @ KTF



    Arzani and Morgan I’m sure will prove useful but it is hardly pushing the team on. A guy who is leaving the Australian league and another plying his trade with St Mirren until last year. Both have good potential but do not represent quality right now.



    Agreed that Ntcham and McGregor are better than Armstrong. But Armstrong played 39 games last year- we need someone to replace those numbers. Injuries to even one of Brown, Ntcham or McGregor will leave us incredibly short in the centre of midfield.



    While we have not sorted the defence, as you rightly state, do you think the funds were available to do so? It’s reasonable to suggest that if we spent more on either a CB or RB we wouldn’t have one (or more) of Ntcham, Edouard or Sinclair.



    I think he gambled with Boyata because there was no options in play to replace him. Why sell a player if you know he won’t be adequately replaced?



    I think with a double treble and CL qualification he has earned his salary. PL/our executives on the other hand…

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




    “Does he have the resilience and determination and encouragement to stay on for a difficult 3rd season and an even higher bar for a tense 4th season?”



    I think he is realising that he will not be financially supported to push on. You can only ask him so many times to coach players to being better versions of themselves. I cannot think of another manager (certainly not a Celtic manager) who has improved players through coaching as much as Brendan has.



    MON was an excellent coach but suffered like Mourinho in that he had to buy quality in as opposed to developing it (Liam Miller being an exception).

  4. Our defending for the goal aside, I thought we did OK last night. We owned the ball for large spells and created plenty of chances, especially in the first half. Had it been a one off game we would have raised it up a level and scored, like we did last weekend.



    As it was a two legged tie we seemed to accept the away score draw. Now last night wasn’t at the level we’d expect but it was a far cry from the crisis that seems to be the narrative surrounding us at the moment.



    Had Sevco gone away from home and created the chances we did, claiming a score draw, I’m sure we’d be reading a very different take from what we’re seeing surrounding Celtic.

  5. Dilli- Gordon was aiming to catch the ball at waist height,? A GK is taught to take a ball at it’s highest point, if his starting point is 2 yards further out, it is an easy take.He done the same for Scotland last year, Kane put in a high cross from 40 yards away, and was 4 yards out when he put it in.HH

  6. I do think we’ll bring in a CB and another player this coming week but BR may be reluctant to hand out any debuts next weekend unless we sign a very experienced high performer. Although introducing a new player, unfamiliar with our set up and game play may be a risk best avoided. As it is we’ve got the players to win against Sevco and that’s what we’ll do.



    3 big home games coming up – we need the support to get behind the team. 3 wins and two new players and this season is back on track. On the flip side, Sevco have 3 big away games which will test them. We’ll know much more about how this season will shape up next Sunday evening.

  7. DILLIGAFBHOY on 24TH AUGUST 2018 3:07 PM


    The guy had a free run with no one anywhere near him, how this can be blamed solely on CG beggers belief.









    Freeze the frame at 58 seconds. The guy heads the ball from 5 yards out. It is appalling goalkeeping. Nobody should ever score from a set peice when the ball is in the middle of the goal, never mind a cross that has travelled 40 yards. Gamboa doesn’t know where the guy is so yes he made a mistake but the fault for the goal lies solely with the goalkeeper.

  8. !!BADA BING!! on 24TH AUGUST 2018 3:32 PM


    Watch it again, the guy has a clear run behind our defence and between CG. They sold us a dummy pretending the right footed player was taking it then the left footer took an inswinger, it was a great ball, but the scorer should have got nowhere near it.

  9. Delaneys Dunky on

    An Dun


    I think our support need to chill, turn out in force on Sunday and Thursday, back the team and do not get on player’s backs for any errors. Do that and we will have 3 points in the league and Euro fitba till Christmas at least. A week on Sunday against the tribute act, will then take care of itself.



  10. DAVID17 on 24TH AUGUST 2018 3:40 PM



    And if you freeze frame it at 57 secs you will see he is already in front of CG who would have to push him out of the way to get to the ball. He should have been blocked off before it got to that point.

  11. VFR


    Wise words, we are nowhere near crisis, just kind of feeling sorry feeling for ourselves after a bad day at work.


    The whole pre season was geared to CL final qualifier this week. We are like the guy who chases the girl of his dreams all year then sees her take someone else to the prom.


    It’s a mental tiredness amongst the players and supporters that we need to shake off.


    We need to refocus and chase the next prettiest girl in school. We could perhaps do with a haircut and some new gear to seal the deal though.


    I am slowly rekindling my own passion for the team, it’s not there yet but I know it will return.


    Hail! Hail!

  12. Dilli- a GK ball every time for me mate , choppy waters just now, but as bhoys are saying, get to CP and support the team.HH

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Dilligafbhoy on 24th August 2018 2:41 pm


    I mentioned Richards on here last week. Really good RB or CB, pace and athleticism. Very experienced but still only 30 I think.


    Hasn’t played much lately. Never sure if those types of player have made their money and “given up” or if they are hungry to get back playing again. Scott Sinclair would probably know him quite well though.

  14. Ok watched that clip umpteen times now, the guy who finally took the cross raises his arm as a signal to the scorer just before he took it, text book stuff well executed, but someone didnt do their homework, our defence was caught cold, the whole defence.

  15. Micah Richards is a beast, and would be more than fit for Morelos and Lafferty ( I edited that to save the blushes of those of a more sensitive nature )


    Let me know which airport to collect him from.



  16. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    We don’t score enough goal’s, many Celtic sides of the past


    have scored their way out of trouble……………….or am I being


    naive or simplistic or a raging fundamentalist.



    Ps …..big Craig needs to say what needs to be said behind the


    closed doors of the dressing room.

  17. JMcCormick at 3.52, great post. Refocus and chase the next-prettiest girl in school – nicely put.

  18. While I don’t know the main reason for our team losing their collective confidence (imo, it is partly down to Eduard and Moussa being injured and not playing together and scoring aplenty), it is glaringly obvious we need 2 CBs. One CB for the rough and tumble of the SPFL; the other for Europe. Both need to be able to organise the defence. So, they need to be experienced.

  19. Why is it so important for some posters to decide who is to `blame` for Suduva`s goal?


    If you think we should be rid of someone, say so but deciding in isolation who is at fault seems pointless.


    Also, if Celtic supporters believe we are in crisis, then we really are beginning to resemble Rangers/Sevco supporters.




  20. While I`m at it. What is the point of anyone posting on here that we need to strengthen central defence?


    It has been said and repeated too many times already.It is becoming a bit like emptying the stands and charging £49 !




  21. 50 shades of green on




    Why why why did we loan a player to rule book McCann.



    Beggars belief to me…






    Was wondering to myself today, is the hysteria on here, because…A.. we are going backwards…or.. B …Stevie G’s sevco are better than last yrs sevco…the things you ponder whilst driving eh..




    My conclusion was, B …panic merchants abound… now should SGS beat us 5 v 1 then perhaps I might join the club, but its 2 early to panic imho.



    Not one of their outfield players are better than any of ours.



    Brendan will sort it out.




  22. meanwhile a spokesman said


    “if we cant walk past catholic churches abusing the congregation then whats the point in protestant triumphilism”






    The Orange Order has cancelled a march in Glasgow after chiefs were forced to re-route away from a Catholic church where a priest was allegedly attacked.



    The parade was due to take place in Glasgow this weekend but organisers were told yesterday they would have to change their route after council bosses created the city’s first ” religious no-go zone”.






    Cannon Tom White is alleged to have been spat on and verbally abused outside St Alphonsus’ on London Road as the Orange Walk marched past on July 7.




    Tom White was spat on, verbally abused and threatened with a baton during last month’s Orange Walk (Image: DAILY RECORD)


    Orange Order accuse Glasgow City Council of ‘discrimination’ after march forced to re-route away from ‘priest attack’ church



    A 24-year-old man has since been charged.



    Glasgow City Council confirmed to the Daily Record the Grand Orange Lodge has withdrawn plans to go ahead with the parade.



    A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Yesterday’s Public Processions Committee imposed a new route and start time on a march by Orange and Purple District 37, due to take place this Saturday.



    “The organiser has now informed the council that it no longer intends to go ahead with the event and the procession has been withdrawn entirely.”



    The Grand Orange Lodge said the forceful re-routing away from St Alphonsus’ church was “discrimination in its purest form”.




    The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland march through Glasgow last month (Image: PA)


    A spokesperson for the Orange Order yesterday said: “We are extremely concerned at the decision today to re-route a parade and effectively ban us from certain streets.



    “It is discrimination in its purest form. Glasgow City Council has now established the first ‘no-go zones’ in Glasgow based purely on your religion.



    “We offered numerous concessions, including moving the parade to a different day, continued discussion and dialogue, and we identified the times of services at St Alphonsus Church and offered to move the time of the parade to ensure that we avoided those services.

  23. Delaneys Dunky on

    Saint Stivs



    I see it was the turn of MacDonalds staff in Partick, to be attacked and assaulted by huns last night. Scotland’s Shame!

  24. HS- the stick i gave Gordon for the goal, was in the wake of him sounding off to our old enemy the SMSM.HH

  25. Those mentioning Micah Richards. He didn’t play one minute for Villa last season, and only played 3 games the season before. Injury, and Steve Bruce’s reluctance to trust him to stay fit were the reasons given. Richards said he was fit to play.


    He was a very good RB/CB and if fit would walk into our team but like Bruma, probably more so, fitness would mean a huge risk.

  26. Micah Richards injury record. Fit all last season but didn’t play.



    16/17 Knee injury Oct 15, 2016 Jan 21, 2017 98 days 17Aston Villa


    15/16 Knee injury Nov 29, 2015 Dec 19, 2015 20 days 3Aston Villa


    14/15 Thigh problems May 12, 2015 May 24, 2015 12 days 3ACF Fiorentina


    14/15 Hamstring Injury Oct 3, 2014 Oct 13, 2014 10 days 1ACF Fiorentina


    13/14 Hamstring Injury Dec 10, 2013 Jan 6, 2014 27 days 8Manchester City


    13/14 Thigh problems Aug 19, 2013 Aug 31, 2013 12 days 3Manchester City


    12/13 Knee-OP Oct 27, 2012 Apr 1, 2013 156 days 29Manchester City

  27. GARY67 on 24TH AUGUST 2018 2:04 PM


    !!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.






    ??Like a few others I’m a big advocate of the Broonie AND Kouassi option. But I wouldn’t mind seeeing this too.



    HH jg

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