Debacle set the scene for Kilmarnock’s deserved draw


For the second time this season against Kilmarnock, the first half offered Celtic promise as well as a lead at the interval.  Celtic’s pace of play and directness had the visitors on the backfoot until the break.  The left wing played an important part of the story.  Luis Palma and Greg Taylor are by far Celtic’s most competent retainers of possession on the left and made sure we were able to quickly attack Killie down that flank.

Luis put in a couple of poor crosses just before the break, and with options on the bench, Brendan Rodgers hooked the Honduran for Yang.  An attempt to aid our attacking efforts would later undermine our ability to progress play up-field.  The rot did not really set in until Taylor, on his first game back from injury, was replaced after an hour.

Daizen Maeda is not known for holding play up, however he gets up and down the park and tracks back better than anyone in the game.  But seven minutes after our left flank’s defensive and ball holding abilities were weakened, Maeda made way for Nicolas Kuhn.  Kuhn is a crosser of the ball (though poorly on this occasion), not a defensive-minded player.  You can be sure, “Tracks back” does not feature on his bio.

Yet again, Joe Hart was called upon to make several saves (more than his counterpart in the Kilmarnock goal).  The defence played well; Tony Ralston and Liam Scales in particular, but in the second half we were without a gameplan to move play forward.

The above debacle set the scene for Kilmarnock’s deserved draw.  Celtic could have got away with the win, just as they did recently home to Ross County, or at Hibs, but it would have been a win despite what happened at crucial times on the field.

We are now behind a team in the league, which lost several first-team players in the summer without transfer fees, who then signed players that overwhelmingly disappointed, some of whom have already been offloaded, and who sacked their manager during an injury crisis which saw them slip well off the pace.

What do they have that we don’t?  They didn’t have a good transfer window, they didn’t have a season without injuries, they didn’t start with a manager who knew what he was doing.  Midseason, they added organisational ability and here we are!

Newco remain in Europe and could find this undermines them in the league, but only if we are able to apply our own pressure, which means winning football games.  We need a robust and functioning gameplan for Sunday, or we risk dropping points yet again to Motherwell and removing any pressure on our title rivals.

Soon Cameron Carter-Vickers will return, and we can hope Reo Hatate gives us the last couple of months of the season.  On their own, this does not feel like it will be enough to push us over the line.

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  1. onenightinlisbon on

    Rodgers has turned a treble winning side playing fast ,flowing entertaining football into a turgid, boring side who panic when sides such as Kilmarnock, Hibs, Hearts and Ross County have a go.



    He came on the premise that he was back “to make us better in Europe”. Instead he has transformed us into a side that looks scared to make a forward pass.

  2. All about opinions I know but I thought Yang offered more in second half than Palma did in the first. Palma in particular (I know there are stats out there which say he’s a good performer) is very wasteful with both his crossing and decision making. The one in particular where he chose to shoot point blank at their goalkeeper and defender when a cut back to at least one Celtic player would have resulted in an open goal

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    WHAT IS THE STARZ on 19TH FEBRUARY 2024 12:06 PM



    Short term, yes most definitely. Bigger picture though……other factors at play.

  4. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    Agree with this article.


    However after the signing of Kuhn and Idah you wrote an article about how the Kuhn signing was data driven and this was the way forward whilst making a Hail Mary comment on the Idah signing which was the mabagers pick.





    Kuhn is a crosser of the ball (though poorly on this occasion), not a defensive-minded player. You can be sure, “Tracks back” does not feature on his bio.



    What kind of data are we using?

  5. Maybe there will be a blog later if the interims come out when we are sitting on the football equivalent of Smog’s treasure, but refuse to spend it for business reasons, we got weaker with the subs no denying that but the recruitment has given the manager a squad full of young unproven inexperienced players who look as if they freeze in a battle, no shame in that its a human response to danger/stress but we need and needed experience power and pace and didnt sign any of that. We are reaping what we have sowed, heads need to roll and the plan for next year gets underway withoutout those responsible.Winning the league or the SC will be a huge task , not because Sevco are any good they aren’t and that is the tragedy.

  6. What have the huns got that we haven’t?….a settled back 4 !!……not a complicated game football no matter what some coaches will pretend, ..we never lost a league game with CCV and Starfelt together….yet people thought Starfelt was rubbish….as I said not a complicated game

  7. IF Celtic continue to drop League Points and the Huns keep winning, its POSSIBLE that the last Celtic v Huns League game at Celtic Park will be in effect a ” DEAD RUBBER” ?



    What will the Board Lovers and Happy Clappers say then ?



    How we mocked the Huns for celebrating the last ” DEAD RUBBER” game victory last season.



    Maybe the Happy Clappers/Board Lovers SHOULD consider the above scenario as a distinct possibility ?




  8. Rodgers has turned a treble winning side playing fast ,flowing entertaining football into a turgid, boring side who panic when sides such as Kilmarnock, Hibs, Hearts and Ross County have a go.







    I’d argue the downsizing of our first team is responsible for this – Jota for Palma, Starfelt for Scales, Mooy for take your pick, alongside persistent injuries to players like CCV, AJ, Hatate, Abada. Hart is also a year older and a year slower.



    But yes, the fault clearly lies with a manager with a demonstrable proven track record of success both inside and outside of Celtic. It certainly doesn’t lie with the unqualified and inexperienced professionals heading up our recruitment policy…

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “hey, you”



    “Aye you …who came on after 68 minutes”



    “Track back”

  10. And there we have it again – all the managers fault and no mention of the worst two transfer windows in recent memory.


    We bought kids without the talent or experience to play for Celtic its as simple as that. We wonder why we can’t beat Kilmarnock – its because the bulk of our team are Kilmarnock level players. Both Killie fullbacks are better defensively than ours, both their winger are as effective as ours – its so obvious it baffles me how people can’t see anything else other than a recruitment shambles.


    Five of last years first 11 started yesterday and two finished – so please tell how thats last seasons treble winners??? it is factually just wrong and i really wish people would stop with that nonsense.


    Granted we have been unfortunate with CCV and Hatate being unavailable most of the season but had we bought 4 or 5 ready made replacements to what we lost instead of 10 maybes?? then we might be in a better position but you get what you pay for and that is exactly what we are getting now. People want last seasons football but with this seasons players and they are simply not good enough because we recruited so poorly.


    The arrogance of P67 to point out our rivals failures and poor transfer window and not mention ours is mind boggling – if we had taken care of our own business in a professional and “best in class” manner we would be over the hill and far away but it can be difficult to see the truth from under some executive mahogany desk.

  11. The Huns transfer strategy was coherent in that they went clearly for a particular profile of player – tall and athletic.



    We went for young lads that you could hang on a washing line then wonder why they’re struggling with the demands of the SPFL…

  12. Hoop hoop Hooray on



    I got slated on here for highlighting the risks of a scattergun approach to signing young inexperienced guys from all over the world trying to make their way in the game. Yes I know all major clubs do it but it has to be manageable. Signing a couple of real prospects and bedding them in with experienced players is the right way to go.


    Signing 8 or 9 in one go with no balance is mental and a headache for a team manager.

  13. The Star Above The Crest on

    Sack Peter Lawwell & his incompetent boy. Then watch the mood around Celtic Park & Lennoxtown improve immediately. Results will follow.

  14. Kuhn has shown next to nothing in his appearances so far. Zero impact apart from a very lucky goal at Aberdeen. Any suggestion that he doesn’t track back is inexplicable and unacceptable. We should be signing players who have the attributes, hunger and desire to make an impact in the champions league. At present we are so far removed from a club that has any intention to reach its maximum level. Not only do we sign players who are dross, we take too long to move them on and ultimately, they costs us. Bernabei for example.



    What does one expect when the recruitment team is headed by the Chairman’s son who has had no professional involvement in football other than being an agent and one of our scouts is Gordon Strachans son who is a former golf shop worker. We are not a serious club. It’s not just nepotism, it’s a form of leadership designed to keep the same people in positions of influence. The CEO may have changed to Nicholson but clearly the new guy is the same as the old guy with the same ideas and same policies. See transfer strategy for example. It’s shambolic and unacceptable.

  15. WHAT IS THE STARZ on 19TH FEBRUARY 2024 12:06 PM


    So it’s the manager and those pesky decisions of his then !!!




    It;s everything really. There is a malaise spread throughgout the club and in the stands.



    Liel Abada is part of the squad and there are friends and close friends in all squads. The GB celebration of atrocities commited only hours earlier “victory to the resistance” on 7 October made it almost impossible that Abada would remain at Celtic Park. I’m sure he will have sympathisers within the squad – how many we don’t know. Is it draining the morale of the squad – we don’t know. However it will not be having a positive effect, of that we can certainly be sure. Up to that date 7 October (GB’S finest hour) when we defeated Kilmarnock(3-1), we had dropped only two points, St Johnstone(0-0) – we could/should have scored six that day. Since then we have lost fourteen points, and if we take in the last three games, Aberdeen, Hibs and Kilmarnock, it could easily have been twenty.



    I have always said that there will be no insurance coverage for the CBC debacle – the Celtic ‘distancing’ defence and common sense says not. Therefore maybe we should then look at the last two windows where there has been a net income on dealings in that light. The interim results are now overdue, latest publication has been 11 February in recent years.



    Brendan Rodgers has not become a bad manager overnight, however increasingly he looks and sounds like a man who knows he should have heeded that old adage “never go back”



    I would not bet on us to beat anyone at this moment in time and therefore perhaps the Scottish Cup will slip away, just as the league looks like doing. This is not defeatism, but realism – the trends are there and to blindly say “we’ll do this and we’ll do that” is not only wishful thinking, but ‘whistling in the dark’.



    We are not in a good place on the pitch, in the dugout, in the boardroom and in parts of the stadium – things happen for a reason and are sometimes only picked up with hindsight. However political events happening two thousand five hundred miles away, however important and tragic, should not be played out in the stands at Celtic Park. In this world we need our 2/3 hours on a Saturday, or, Wednesday, to support our club. There is a time and a place for all things – Celtic Park is not a political arena – let’s hope Celtic take steps in the close season to eradicate the problem. the league is

  16. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    I agree with much of this.



    To summarise it in a sentence: as in previous games, the second half substitutions were detrimental to the performance of the team.



    As I said on Saturday, the tactics for an opponent’s manager are pretty straightforward – try to keep it tight, wait for the subs, press aggressively.

  17. In other news….


    HORSE BETS…Feel free to scroll by if not interested.. ?



    I HIT the Crossbar on Saturdays Horse Racing selections..



    One of my Bets was a ” LUCKY 15″ bet, which is FOUR Horses covered in Singles, Doubles, Trebles, and an ACCUMULATER.



    My Total Stake in this Bet was ONLY…” £1.50″, as I had noticed a relatively ” Small” Trainer ( B. PAULING ) only had FOUR Runners all day, and all Four at Ascot.


    I had also noticed that many of his Horses had been running well at Big Prices in recent months.



    THREE outta Four of his Horses WON at Early Odds odds of 14/1, 8/1 and 6/1.


    His Horse that DIDN’T Win, was ONLY beaten by a ” HEAD” into 2nd Place in a Photo Finish. This Horse was/is named ” BAD”, and it was 6/1 ( Early Odds) to win the Race.



    After jumping the last obstacle, the Horse named ” BAD” LOOKED like the Winner as it held a slight lead in the run on ? The eventual winner just got up on the line to claim victory.



    ” BAD” was so UNLUCKY…..So was I….LOL.



    I got almost £120 back from my Bookie for my £1.50 stake, but it was SO CLOSE to being so MUCH MORE if ” BAD” had Won ?



    The same Trainer has FIVE Horses running Tomorrow at Market Rasen and Taunton. Ive already Placed Bets on those Horses.


    I am NOT expecting too many Winners, but we shall see ?








    Sack Peter Lawwell & his incompetent boy. Then watch the mood around Celtic Park & Lennoxtown improve immediately. Results will follow.





    Whether Peter Lawwell is an executive director or not or whether he has influence on the incumbent CEO or his son or not. His presence at our club is a public relations disaster. Him lecturing the fans on behavioural issues is like Boris lecturing the public on stay at home restrictions. He’s finished. He blew 10 in a row and isn’t wanted by the majority of the support. The board on a basic level have one job, to do everything possible to make sure the Celtic trilogy of the fans, players and manager is in alignment. Lawwells presence is a malignant influence. The sooner he goes the better. The majority of his board colleagues aren’t much better.

  19. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    I’ve lost all sympathy for Rodgers because he seems so semi-detached and devoid of all interest.



    However, he has been served a squad of utter dross. It’s a brass neck to cite Kuhn. If he’s not what we need for home games against Killie @hy did we ‘scout him for months’ as a top target? Drivel.



    As for the defence c£12M spent on Bernabei, Nawrocki and Lagerbielke, all of whom have proven disastrous, particularly our useless wee Argentinian pal.



    What talentless schmuck is scouting these daddies for us? Mr Magoo, Stivs? The autocrat’s heir?



    I await publication of those financials with bated breath. Will settle a pub argument once and for all about whether we have tipped through the £100M mark whilst buying 💩.



    They were published on 10 Feb last year, 11 Feb the year before. Now 19 Feb and counting.



    Could it be they’re delayed so some creative accounting can be employed to make them look less “very satisfying”?

  20. The Star Above The Crest on




    I couldn’t agree more. I think he should’ve been gone years ago. He’s been a disaster for Celtic.

  21. onenightinlisbon on

    Rodgers appears disinterested in his pressers and interviews. He must be worried though about the potential damage being done to brand Brendan. Although with £3m a year guaranteed for the next couple maybe he’s not that fussed…..

  22. Prestonpans bhoys on




    You might not be far from the truth perhaps they are attempting to get the figure under £100m. Accountant’s can be very creative 🤫

  23. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Prestonpans Bhoy



    They can indeed, but won’t be easy to hide the truth.



    All eyes will be on the detail 👀

  24. onenightinlisbon on

    Debacle • \dee-BAH-kul\ • noun. 1a great disaster b : a complete failure : fiasco.



    Kind of describes Celtic from top to bottom. Word well used Paul…

  25. In my view, and in the votes we all gave in Jobo’s POTY competition, Liam Scales has had a far better season then Carl Starfelt ever had for us. Carl, like Liam was a warrior for us, and shone in the battling games of the run in. But he regularly had bombscare moments, juggling the ball awkwardly from his left to his right side and giving up chances, especially at the start and middle of our season (as reflected in Jobo votes too). Liam has not given up anywhere near as much from individual errors but he has not had a fit CCV who has missed almost half our league games. Al Johnston has been less of a confident marauder this year and we don’t lose much when Anthony Ralston deputises. Greg Taylor has remained steady Eddie, not quite Celtic standard but very consistent and hard working- a bit like Stephen McManus in that regard. With Mitchell Frame injured, we were left with Bernabei as deputy. Bernabei tried really hard when thrown in recently and earned admiration for effort and attacking intent but the Celtic by Numbers stats show a bewildering mixture of passes lost and tackles regained. He is, by any definition, an unreliable term mate in build ups.



    So, we need to keep Taylor (and Frame) fit and we need to pick a regular right side CB till CCV is really fit again. I’d prefer Nawrocki but Brendan has picked Stephen Welsh.



    Let’s try and get this area as stable as it can be and find a club that needs an attacking wild full back to take Bernabei off our hands

  26. Criticism of the defence and cravings for the return of CCV may be a distraction.



    Celtic have conceded exactly the same number (18) of goals after 26 league games as they did least season. They have however scored 24 fewer. This points to the problem being in creating and executing scoring opportunities.



    On Saturday we persisted in going down the wings and playing hopeful high crosses into the box, frequently too close to the keeper, too far back, too long or not even clearing the first defender.



    As we don’t have Sutton, Larsson and Hartson in the middle, supplemented by Mjallby and Balde at set pieces, why do we persist in low percentage tactics that clearly aren’t working?



    When this approach is proving unproductive, why don’t we revert to last season’s far more successful strategy of getting in and around the opposition box and playing “6-a-side” quick, one-touch football to feet through the defence? Even just now and again to mix it up and be less predictable. Last season we averaged 3 goals a game for the full season playing that way, but this season we are barely over 2 a game.



    BR has said that the players haven’t been told to play any differently to last season, but the evidence on display during games doesn’t seem to bear this out. And we certainly don’t appear to be playing to our strengths (or physiques).



    For the record GG (a big strong target man) has scored 19 in 30 in the US this season, and even Jeremie Frimpong (a diminutive defender!) has 8 goals and 6 assists in 24 Bundesliga games, which represents a more productive output than Celtic’s top SPL scorer Kyogo, with 11 goals and 3 assists in 33 games!



    Answers on a postcard please to BR @ CP.

  27. The Star


    Defo, it’s in the hands of the fans now to continue to back this board by buying their season books at renewal, or, telling them major changes or the money stays in my pocket until you implement them.

  28. onenightinlisbon on

    BIGCHIPSUK on 19TH FEBRUARY 2024 1:11 PM


    BR has said that the players haven’t been told to play any differently to last season,



    So the players constantly disobey his instructions and have been do so all season?

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