It’s a well-established fact that we don’t have Beckenbauer and Baresi at the back, so the reason why we chose to play so high up the field is the most alarming element of last night’s debacle.
Dedryck was bound to misplace a pass, or Efe was bound to misread play. We all knew this. Regret over the last time mistakes like this were made doesn’t mean they won’t happen again. So when the inevitable occurred, our two full backs were 30 yards in front of the line of opposition attack, with our defensive mids well into opposition territory.
Efe’s failure to cover Kamara and Dedryck’s pass were consequences of the main mistake of the night, which was tactical. We didn’t lose the opening goal because of a bad pass, it was lost because we left an acre of Norway unattended.
Ronny, you should never have left so much space at the back away from home in Europe, we’re clearly not good enough for such an open system, not even close. We’ve learned nothing since what was supposed to be a lesson in Warsaw, when the same expansive errors cost us. Molde played rope-a-dope football, they could have watched us against Malmo, Maribor and Legia, as each opened their home games against us in exactly the same manner.
It must be an absolute joy to face a European opponent at home who leaves so much space at the back, begging to be exploited. If we had played with the same tactics we used in Amsterdam I’ve no doubt we would have won the game – no one in that Molde squad would get into the Celtic team.
There’s more. After dominating possession and creating genuine chances, the defeat looked inevitable from the 11th minute when we went behind. Body language changed in an instant and Celtic went out like a light. I’ll spare you what I said at the time in case it’s misconstrued, but the evidence suggests there’s more to worry about than repeating the same tactical mistakes.
Celtic have nine months and one and a half transfer windows to get ready for the next Champions League qualifiers. There’s plenty of time to put things right, but we can’t sleepwalk into another failure. More immediately, we could be out of a cup if we don’t pull our act together this week.
The original Holy Goalie, our own John Fallon, will be signing copies of his book, and no doubt giving you his thoughts on current events, at the Supporters’ Club on London Road on Sunday from 12:30. All are welcome. There’s live entertainment too, so get along and check it out.