Defensive experiments will pay dividends


Playing Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre as wing-backs with Kelvin Wilson, Charlie Mulgrew and Mikael Lustig as a back three looked a bit clumsy and didn’t last the 90 minutes but that was to be expected.  New defensive formations are not supposed to operate as smoothly as familiar systems.

I’m far from certain three at the back is a good idea, or if we have the correct personnel for this formation, but Neil Lennon should persist with the experiment.  We will not learn and grow if we don’t take chances, which was one of our abiding frustrations under both Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan.

No experiments on Tuesday, of course!

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  1. So Commons is now going to be blamed for yesterday? If it wasn’t for Commons, 2 goals in 2 games, we’d be looking at one point out of six instead of four. Here’s a novel suggestion why don’t we start supporting the team instead of constantly criticising certain players? It’s about time some people actually read the lyrics of the Celtic Song. We are current champions FFS and the season has just started.



    Hail! Hail! PMTYH

  2. ….PFayr


    16:01 on


    19 August, 2012





    I remember thinking that Brittan had way too much room to pick his shot



    The entire midfield seemed to be posted missing






    You do realise that the laws of the game stipulate a 10 yard removal of opposition players from the radius of a free kick?? :-)

  3. Fan



    I thought I had replied but the ether has grabbed it.



    Re Commons – I like my attackers to attack and my defenders to defend and I also like a percentage of my mids to defend too.



    That lazy guy you speak of grabbed us a point in injury time.



    As much as I laud Sammi for defending corners I also dislike it because we’re a man short elsewhere.



    Commons is a classy footballer we should enjoy watching – not berating.




  4. steinreignedsupreme



    15:42 on 19 August, 2012




    I so hope you are right. It’s making my blood boil the way their shamelessness is being accepted (through sheer exhaustion I think)…the taxpayer and socialist in me is becoming more offended and angry than the Tim in me.



    To think they ever claimed ‘dignity’…

  5. feedthebear



    I’d disagree that Snodgrass is better in any of those areas that Commons however as you say it is all about opinions.



    There are other, non footballing reasons, why I wouldn’t want him at Parkhead.

  6. Paul67



    The 3-5-2 should work pretty well in most SPL games , as it allows the full backs to get up the pitch.



    Only been at 2 matches so far, Norwich and Aberdeen and what struck me was the number of unnecessary touches on the ball and the constant shuffling of the ball left to right and back again with little impact.



    My main concern is that in the centre forward positions we seem to have no one who can regularly ‘show’ for the ball and hold the play up. We seem (are) very light weight in these positions and we look as though to score it needs to be a perfect goal.



    Yesterday was a case in point with a very poor RC defence , we try to work the ball around these teams , without really taking the game to the opposition through the middle of the pitch. It seems to me that the only centre forward who can take a ball into feet and turn the centre half and know where the goal is located is young Master Watt.



    Disrupt the heart of these glugging defences through the middle is an option we should at least try, it will cause panic to spread….. This requires a link man placed in the middle of the pitch, Kris Commons.



    I had very high hopes for Gary Hooper but it seems on early season form , he is struggling and does not relish the physical aspects of the Scottish game. If he does not push on in the next few months then time to re-think options. Another player , I have been keeping an eye on is Joseph Ledley.



    In many SPL matches, joe can go a very long time without any meaningful contribution to the game, and with the extra insurance policy of 3 at the back , it seems to me that he is marginalised in games, covering only for Izzy marauding runs. I see joe as a steady eddy but this should release Victor to head straight up the middle and link up with Kris and Tony. It is not that often we see a Celtic player running straight at the middle of the defence …… If the defence is lying deep and has parked the bus hen we should be shooting more rather than conjour up a 30 pass move to cross a high ball which no-one in our team can attack.



    Kelvin Wilson had a good game yesterday, I would instruct Kelvin to vigorously contest every single ball, particularly if the opposition are throwing their weight around at the other end.




    Hope the rain goes off sooncfc!

  7. thebhoydaveJAPAN on



    A question :


    You come up against an opponent – he’s faster, more skillful, better served by his team mates than you, earns more, drives a better car, his gorgeous girlfriend is blowing him kisses from the sidelines. etc. etc. etc.


    What do you do? Call your lawyer?


    How do you react? Go in a huff?


    How do you play this game? Watch and admire?



    In answer to your rhetoric…


    Obviously, not everyone has played football.







  8. fanandpatriot



    I am not missing the point, I am being deliberately obtuse – there’s a difference :-)



    As a matter of interest, can you point out to me where Ledley was? Kayal? Wanyama? Did our centre-backs press the space in front of them?

  9. TbdJ



    Your philosophy isnt shared by Kenny Sheils , Danny Lennon and others …thankfully



    Perhaps not everyone has played your kind of football

  10. @feedthebhear



    None of those players were missed either by our Scouts or by us.


    Sometimes we football fans need to get over the idea that every player wants to play for our club because we support them.



    You have to remember that Snodgrass had two “trials” with the Barcelona “school” (you go there for the summer) so was on everyone’s radar from a relatively early age. The reality is that we offered him terms at an early age and he turned us down citing that he wasn’t confident the structure at the club is/was right for young players to break through. Additionally, Robert floundered for the most part at Livingston, struggling with the level of players around him and lost his way. You have to remember he was “loaned” to the mighty Stiring Albion, and when his contract at Livingston was up he was turned down at Barnsley after a 2 week trial.



    * Has Snodgrass started to develop into the player we thought he couldbe? Yes.


    * Did Celtic scouts/fans miss this diamond in the rough? No.




    It’s also very easy to look at players who have “made it” elsewhere and wonder why we didn’t go for them. The reality is that players need to play to improve – something most fans overlook. At Celtic there is a HUGE pressure to win every game, and play a certain type of football. Thats not conducive to the giving young players time to settle in, and slowly improve.



    The flip of the coin then is that players who show some promise are kept around even though they have a greater chance of being a flash in the pan (e.g. Craig Beattie, Mark Burchill, Colin Heally).



    (As a side point, did you know that “striker” Craig Beattie in his 10 years as a first-team professional has scored a massive 32 goals. As he enters his 11th season his average is under 3 goals per season in all competitions!!)



    There was a manager once, who used to tell players “you have 5 games”. Regardless of what you did in the first, second or third game, you were picked for the fourth and fifth. The pressure was off, and players blossomed. That manager became the first to lift the European Cup with a British team.



    If we as fans take a step back and look at the golden oppertunity infront of us. With no other team good enough over the long season to challenge us, lets give the team a break, accept a few more draws and losses than normal, and bed in the next generation of Celtic Stars.

  11. Was speaking to a player once he told me they are coached NOT to RUN for, CHALLENGE for or OVER STRETCH for any ball you have absolutely NO chance of winning or getting to.


    You run the risk off injury or sending off which leaves you of no earthly good to your team or mates,.


    Instead turn and find space where you are available to be found by a team mate and ready to do damage to to your opponents.


    He said his own fans give him pelters sometimes for it as he seems lazy but he is looking at the bigger picture .


    It changed my opinion of some players after hearing that.

  12. Kris Commons secured us a point yesterday. He didn’t have the best of games but I think that could be leveled at most of our team yesterday.



    He often looks our most effective attacking player and I certainly don’t feel cheated by his performance.

  13. HT



    also I believe that Fanadpatriots comment was about the Brittain shot that hit the bar







    My take as well ….

  14. pfayr



    I thought the comment was more in reference to his overall performance.



    Have I got that wrong too?? :-)

  15. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    I’ve decided to avoid CQN after we have had ‘a bad day at the office’ ……..one or two fholks with an ‘agenda’, which doesn’t include humour or reasonable tolerance …….. Very disappointing …….



    Watched that video earlier ……. Shows us what we are up against …….wonder if the police will take action on it ……definately contravenes the sectarian religious / racial bigotry law. … Sad, sad peepul ………

  16. Paul67 et al



    Was wondering why Mulgrew seemed to be playing as an auxiliary left back, didn’t realise it was part of Neil Lennon’s tactics. Neil Lennon seems to suffer from what experts, well this one anyway, call Lawellitis. This approach sees Wanyama as a centre back, or even a full-back, Lustig as an alternative centre back and Mulgrew somewhere between a centre back and a full back. I have nothing against a back three, Spain won the Euros with a back two, but every player needs to understand the role being asked, and to work hard at it. But as Pfayr pointed out, we tried it unprepared against Ajax and friendly or no look at both the result and the performance. I am guessing we will play 4-5-1 on Tuesday with Matthews and Izzy alternatively getting forward If Brown and Forrest are both out then maybe Watt could start wide right, seems to have a bit to offer from that position for now.

  17. thebhoydaveJAPAN on




    What kind of football did we play in the Nou Camp (David Marshall game)?


    What kind of football did we play at home against Man U (Naka FK game)?



    You’re being deliberately obnoxious.



    Maybe you’re being blinded by your own sense of righteousness?


    What do you do for a living?







  18. …and another thing……..well done to Ross County, their success shows that our game is in good shape….



    shame about Craig ‘Hawkeye” Thompson tho’……..




  19. lennon's passion on

    pogmathonyahun aka laird of the smiles



    16:10 on 19 August, 2012



    Your on the wrong blog for that mate. Celtic Negative News has it’s own style.



    Do people really pay people to do thier irnoning.

  20. thebhoydaveJAPAN on

    Watch out Bankiebhoy1


    …PF will be after you with thoughts on the opponents!



    btw my moniker could read thebhoydaveC/Bank




  21. thebhoydaveJAPAN on

    Over and out



    It’s already tomorrow over here.



    Hail Hail all in Celtic




  22. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Just in …… Any word on the SKY report that Celtic have accepted £5m for Ki …….?

  23. Experiments are fine, but I hope Lenny monitors the results closely and learns for the future. Yesterday’s game reinforced the following for me…


    -As great as Sammi is, he’s not a striker (Watt is still developing, but he is at least a striker, and only when he came on did we have any sort of edge).


    -I’ll support anyone who pulls the Hoops on, but Lustig does not look Celtic-class. If we had thin air in his place yesterday I think we’d have done better.


    -Despite what some people say, our captain has an important role to play alongside some of the more technically-proficient midfielders. I felt many of the players started to give up after 65 mins yesterday, and this would not have been the case if Broonie was on the field.



    I thought the point of Lenny’s unique 3-5-2 was to counter the 10-man defences of the SPHell? We face so little attacking threat from most other Scottish teams that it seems a waste to play 2 CBs devoted solely to defending, so the 3 at the back allows Chaz to step out and become a 2nd LB (allowing Izzy to push even further forward) and Vic to move into midfield when we have the ball, leaving only Rogne necessary to mop up any quick counters. In effect, we end up playing a 1-1-6-3 with the ball and a 5-3-2 without it, no?






    Hello , just to let you know that I am planning to take part in a 50 mile cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh, 09/09/2012



    During the next 21 days I plan to train very hard in order to be able to take part in this cycle where I would hope to be able raise some funds for “Wee Oscar Knox” who is 3 year old kid and is not keeping very well just now.



    You can read Oscar’s story on web link below




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