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. TbdJ



    If I put in a :-)) here and there would that do ?



    Obnoxious..?….because I disagreed with you ..fair enough if that’s how you want to see it






    I’ll have enough of your obnoxious nonsense ..:thank you very much :-)

  2. Afternoon CQN.



    Paul67 – I was privileged to be at the game yesterday (man, I love being back in Scotland) and thought that both Izaguirre and young Matthews, both of whom I rate highly as players, looked out of sorts and in fact a bit confused about what their role was. The whole teams’ performance was too pedestrian and lacked pace and energy for my money. As disappointing as it is not to get a win in any game I loved being there and I’m lucky enough to have a ticket for ICT next weekend too. Marvellous.



    Separately, on dead Rangers/newco Sevco: I think we’re in danger of keeping them alive and giving credence to the false claim of continuity between oldco and newco. How so? By being as bothered by Sevco as we were by the dead club with the sectarian signing policy and countless other crimes against sport, morality, decency and society in general.



    I have no strong feelings on a Club that has played a handful of games, whether they live where the baddies used to or not. I will ignore them in exactly the same way I do the other 3rd division clubs until they are playing against my favourites in either a cup competition or in a league game, should they ever achieve SPL status in future.



    They are NOT the same Club.




  3. Well, the 3-5-2 worked in the 3-0 win over Rangers last season though with Loovens man-marking McCulloch, the two ‘free’ player held fairly wide positions and were both good ball players, that is, Mulgrew and Wanyama.


    Using this shape versus teams that play 4-5-1 and where we need to take the initiative and force the tempo of the game, it will not offer much of an advantage, especially as Lustig didn’t look at all comfortable with the ball. Therefore, I’d agree with Paul67 that this back three are not best suited to the formation. Whereas perhaps changing Wanyama for Lustig would work better in certain European games, albeit there’s an argument that Wanyama is better used in midfield as a holding player to shield the defence.


    One of the reasons the 3-5-2 in Amsterdam was that Ajax played 4-3-3 and so we played 3 defenders versus 3 attackers, in which case Lennon should have recognised this problem and reverted to a 4 at the back.

  4. Swanseabhoy




    Having a day out around the hibs game 1 sept…few from cqn as Estadio Nacional is home …fancy joining us .?

  5. Bloke109



    I don’t know the answer to that but I’ve seen enough of us believe that we’re not comfortable enough in defence to play with 3 in midfield and 3 up front.



    I’d rather 4-5-1 on Tuesday with the two wide midfielders pushing up in support when we’re attacking.

  6. Silver City 1888 on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon



    I seem to remember Neil being away at a referees’ meeting during the closed season to discuss rule changes. The word was the changes covered dangerous tackles and sock tape. The pedantry isn’t coming from Mr Webb. It comes from much higher up. Appeasing sponsors and kit manufacturers lest it’s some OCDer high up in FIFA.

  7. I dont think any of the players mentioned are any better than we have including Russell good player though he is. We certainly need an experienced goal scoring front player as do moast teams. To get one should he want to play in the SPL would cost north of 10-12M over 3 years – a gamble we might not want to take if the rumours about the financials are true

  8. PFayr



    Estadio Nacional posted a picture of his breakfast this morning on Twitter.



    Roll n Square. Glass a’ Irn Bru.



    Looked excellent.




  9. It has bin suggested that yesterday’s DEBACLE..and it wiz wan..



    fur..how else wid wan describe..sich an embarassment?



    We hiv an Over Abundance of Personnel.. who… if assembled in the most fortuitous


    Team Formation.. is more than capable of easily winning the tie.





    We should hiv done up the Ross Countiers..like a Pan Loaf fae Bilslands.



    but, Nae.. we didnae!



    The question is..



    “Why Didn’t we?”



    Ah am gled that you asked!



    The reason is. My deah.. Virginia..is



    The Methodology oaf oor Coaching Staff… STINKS!



    When Mr. Neil.. pits oot a formation.. like we saw yesterday.. Ah wiz Disheartened, and Morose.. (It takes a loat tae mak me..”Morose”, but ..the Celtic Manager’s dogged insistence in Playing .. Mr. Sammi, as a STRIKER…succeeded mightily, in accomplishing that~)



    Yes, Virginia.. there is Trouble in River City..and it Begins with a “C”



    and the “C” Stands fur..






    Poor Coaching wull dae ye in.. as sure as King Billy wears Orange Pyjamas!



    Whit kin we dae,aboot it then.. Hen?(No aboot..King Billy’s Predilection tae awe thing Orange…Ah am referring tae Celtic’s leetle.. Coaching Problem)



    Ah hivnae the foggiest!






    Ye eethur hiv.. “MALAM”..or.. ye dinnae..



    and.. This Present Celtic Cadre of Coaches..



    HIVNAE goat.. any o’ that.



    Neil, need Help in that Dept.. and the Likes of Mallaby and the Ither Guy..


    are pretty damn useless.. when it comes tae sussing oot the opposition.



    All the above.. comments are..



    Ma Ain Opinion… of which Ah am maist entitled tae.






    Still, Laughin’ ..of course..

  10. Whoever eventually replaces Peter Lawwell better hit the ground running at Usain Bolt speed if he has any chance of being accepted on here.

  11. Afternoon bhoys, looks like my info regarding Ki was correct. £5 Million? Yes plus a player. HH

  12. Ten Men Won The League



    16:55 on 19 August, 2012



    Despite the replays showing him that Tevez was onside, Gary Neville still can’t bring himself to admit he got it wrong




    Different TV to me mate, Tevez was ahead of the defender so offside.

  13. ht



    Which isn’t far away from 433 :-) My worry about 451 is that Hooper isn’t good enough to play the 1 – he can’t hold onto the ball and bring others in and is poor outside the box. I know that won’t be a popular opinion as you can’t knock his goals. We have in Hooper and Stokes two good instinctive penalty box strikers who do hee-haw outside. I’d have Samaras with, in your system, Commons and Forrest. I prefer Samaras left, but he’s better central than what we have.



    My overall point is that there’s a wee bit too much navel-gazing and tinkering of tactics as regards us. 433, becoming 451 defensively, should be enough to win SPL matches, while 352 is too much of an experiment in Europe. Short-term managers and tinkering of tactics in first team are two of the reasons we don’t have reserves coming through. Stick to one formation from youths to first-team. Ach, probably too simplistic.

  14. Bloke109 & 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors



    thanks for that link

  15. PF……………..



    Just replenished the Stoagies stash…..I’ll keep you in mind for some…..and have a ‘small’ 12 pack of Killian’s Irish Red on standby…………in case of an emmergency.






    HH from Hell’s Kitchen!

  16. Bloke109 – yes, the reason we went with that formation yesterday (3-5-1-1) was mostly because of options were limited due to injuries of the other strikers. Also we don’t have a typical number 9 that can hold the ball and bring other players into the game, as you say. Samaras isn’t that player though neither are the others. This is why the priority for the transfer window has to be recruiting such an attacker, even more than adding to the CB options we currently have as Wilson, Rogne, Mulgrew (with the possibility of playing Wanyama in the defence) is fit for purpose, albeit not ideal.


    Another formation that is possible for Tuesday is playing 3-4-2 with Samaras and Hooper the main attackers, given that neither of them can play as the lone striker.

  17. I’m watching it on FOX and they’ve only shown him ahead of the defender, no day light but body ahead.

  18. Bloke 109



    I’d actually agree with almost all of that, if that makes sense :-)



    I too would go with Sammi up front on Tuesday despite him being more effective when played wide left purely because I agree with your analysis of Hooper.



    If fit I’d also go with Forest and Commons in the wide positions but it’s essential that they track back, effectively making it a 4-5-1 :-)

  19. PFayr



    Don’t know about Jesus wept when he was born in the manger. Weans usually do t.b.f:o)

  20. Carlsberg would be jealous of this letter from the bank.



    Now I don’t bank with them but I am thinking of transferring my overdraft and personal loans to them!!






    —– Original Message —–


    From: “Santander Group”


    Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:21 AM


    Subject: Announcing to individuals and Companies




    > Our Dear Humble and Intending Partners,




    > Management of Santander group wishes you the best today and pleasant days ahead.


    > We are saying thank you to all our business partners for adding to the success of this great establishment.




    > Today, Santander group is pleased to announcing to individuals, small and big companies that we have the resources and expertise necessary to create a loan package that will leave you satisfied.




    > For more information, email us today




    > Warm Regards and best of luck.


    > Finance and Investments Department


    > Santander Group




    Hail hail




  21. Stephen Dobbie is a 30 year old journeyman who isn’t even remotely good enough for Celtic. Better playing youngsters than get involved with any more Murphy/Bangura/Rasmussen type journeymen that drain resources and stop development.

  22. Ki wouldn’t sign for a club like Swansea



    He knows there are clubs interested in him who play in Europe year in, year out



    Lennie wouldn’t be remotely interested in the Scottish Darryl Murphy (Dobbie)

  23. Eyes Wide Open on




    Im all for experimenting in the SPL – god knows we do need it, because if we always play the same way then all an opposing manager has to do is watch any number of DVD’s of previous games to know how to structure his team to play against us.



    Possibly why under the Barnes era towards the start we were smashing teams out of the park before the inevitability happened (not helped by him telling the worlds media how he wanted us to play, thus removing the need to even bother watching DVD’s).



    The big experiment id like – is for us to tell the entire midfield and forwards that they dont have positions as such – just that certain areas must be occupied by someone at various times with and without.



    Id like them to be freed from the shackles of being a ‘left midfielder’ or the ‘holding one of two central midfielders’



    Id like us to experiment with telling players – if you see space and you think it will be advantageous to move into it, then move into it. Id also be telling people to consistently look around and be prepared to move in order to cover for the man moving out of his position and into space.



    The static nature of our chain shackled midfield and forward department is a huge part of our problem in breaking down 10 men defences as well as finding it difficult to keep the ball against european calibre opponents.



    Fluidity is the key.



    If we find afterwards that certain players were making the wrong moves, were unnecessarily putting team mates under pressure by not covering, by not doing the less glamorous side of the job or is failing to spot the space then we coach them.



    If we cant coach them to do it, we sell them and replace them with players who can.

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