Don’t look for scapegoats in hoops, Celtic tactically outthought


Let’s be clear: Anderlecht won last night’s the game because they won the tactical battle. (I have not watched this back, so forgive me if there’s a few seconds error) 55 seconds into the game Anderlecht had a 50 second period of unbroken possession, most of it in our half. We knew that early the visitors had an inappropriate levels of time and options.

By contrast, when Celtic got possession, we lacked options. Midfielders and full backs were faced with unattractive choices throughout the night. The familiar triangular patterns we have watched for 18 months existed only in fleeting moments.

Brendan twice tried to change things: initially by pulling Sinclair into the middle, pushing Armstrong left, and then by hooking these two at halftime, and introducing Ntcham and Rogic. The changes at the interval gave Celtic more presence in the centre of the field, but not enough to transform a rank bad performance.

Did you notice we didn’t press in the Anderlecht half? Out of possession, our three at the back became a flat back five as the full backs dropped deep. As a consequence, we allowed Anderlecht time to circulate the ball and build a move. Anderlecht are not a good team (few would get into the Celtic team), so they were unable to win by the necessary margin, but from 55 seconds in, it was evident the Belgians were in command of the most valuable asset in a game: space. Celtic tactics were wrong.

Let me touch on the players for a second, because they were mentioned post-match by Brendan. We watched this same squad stride imperiously around a pitch in Brussels in September. And, with one of two additions, our Invincibles were a European embarrassment under Ronny Deila. Don’t try to kid me these were bad players, who became Invincibles under Brendan, were magnificent in Brussels, but are not good enough for this level now.

This type of thinking is a fallacy. It’s all about the team, not individuals.

We were tactically masterful at Anderlecht, and I suspect did as well as we could have in both games against Bayern Munich. However, we were tactically atrocious in both games against PSG and at home to an Anderlecht, who were on the precipice of becoming the worst team in Champions League history. This is so self-evidently clear I think we are close to some form of group delusion if we don’t acknowledge the fact, and instead look for scapegoats in hoops.

Jim Craig on CQN TONIGHT!!!

Lisbon Lion, Jim Craig, will be on the blog for a chat tonight from around 18:30.  Jim has seen it all in his >50 year connection to the club, so tune in and share your thoughts with him.


You can order a signed copy now at and if you would like a personal dedication added just drop an email after placing your order to [email protected] and we’ll get Jim to sort this evening.

All pre-ordered books will be posted first thing Thursday morning.

*JIM CRAIG – RIGHT BACK TO 67, THE LISBON LION DIARY is published this week by CQN Books. You still have time to get a SIGNED copy by ordering at and if you would like a personal dedication added to your book by Jim then simply email your massage to [email protected] after ordering and we’ll do the rest!

The book arrives on Wednesday and it is sensational! And if you haven’t done so already, listen to Jim Craig on the CQN Podcast below.

You will love it!



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  1. GREENPINATA on 7TH DECEMBER 2017 10:51 AM


    I followed the team since the sixties when I lived in Glasgow. Member of the St. Bartholomews CSC back in the day. Moved out of Glasgow in 82 but continued regular trips up the M6 for matches. Was a season ticket holder and gifted the joy of Celtic to both my sons who were born in England.



    Haven’t been to a home match for a couple of years partly because the football was dire under RD and I was gradually being sickened by the way the game was going- still am. Today, it’s all about money and the football is of secondary importance. I can’t see that changing which is a shame. Does that answer your question and does it make my points any less valid?

  2. I go to very few games but when I’m watching them on telly I support them by clapping and cheering and booing the hun mib barsteward.

  3. I would never describe myself as “the voice of reason” but, some of the posts have been way over the top, way over. Criticism of certain players, some totally unwarranted I must say .


    We have had an enormous amount of games recently, some high powered stuff to boot, and we have achieved let’s not forget.


    We won the League cup, we out qualified the third seeded team in our CL group, and still some on here are not happy, continually sniping away at the club and players and each other.


    Wake up I say, and look what has been achieved, brilliant.


    And those who call out Celtic supporters who for geographical reasons like my self cannot get to games, should have a word with themselves, shame.


    Why not direct your venom towards those who deserve it, sFA, huns and all the hand shaking wankers who run Scottish football.



  4. KINGLUBO on 7TH DECEMBER 2017 11:26 AM



    I have never seen venom directed towards those who are unable to attend games for geographical reasons, or for that matter though illness, infirmness etc.



    Our obsolete transport infrastructure does not help in this regard. Maybe the new hotel complex may open up some progress in this major issue.



    However I do think that our focus and empathy must always be on the fans who are willing and able to spend their hard earned cash and make the effort to attend.



    Although I’m a ST holder I cannot make all games due to work requirements . I’ve even seen me make my way in the city centre then watch the game in a nice warm pub. I am no Uber fan, but without fans attending games we will not progress and any ambitions we have ,will surely be quashed.




  5. BRTH – Just made a donation. When I click on your link it takes me to a page that recognizes I’m donating from Canada and if I click yes it takes me to a sort of generic / global Mary’s meals page. But if I click on the UK page option it takes me straight to your St Anthony’s of Balfron page. This might help any non UK CQNrs.


    The Spirit of Lisbon!





  6. ERNIE LYNCH @ 11 19



    ” Chrimbo ????”



    Watched Feyenoord v Napoli with the mad mental ole Inter codger last night . He had big money on a Feyenoord win – ” Napoli should bury them but being Napoli they wont, they’ll lose “.



    At half time he told me a tale re the youngest daughter of his youngest nephew telling him she couldn’t wait for Natale —– ” two days off work and then the sales start – even better than Black Friday -I had to work that day ! “



    For anyone in Glasgow city centre today the Tolbooth Bar is holding its Christmas party and it is only £2 for ALL draught beers, including Guinness.


    There’s also free snacks and entertainment all day.


    I’m still unwell, so I may try and make a visit later today…although this chest infection is driving me nuts for weeks now…I need a pretty day and night nurse ! LOL.



  8. 50 shades of green on

    20 mill for Dembele.



    Which one ?????.



    Panto season.



    Never mind the 20 mill, why the f would you go to Brighton anyway?




  9. Hello again all you young rebels.


    I know as soon as i post this Paul will put up a new blog


    so i’m keeping it short.


    H.H Mick

  10. Well, could our stinking, no good, awful, disasterous, bad bad bad season get even worse on Sunday against a decent (but constantly Hibs-ing it) Hibs team?



    I think a couple of changes to the team are needed. Armstrong and Sinclair need a wee sit down at the side of the pitch for a game or so. I think Johnny Hayes could start…and could maybe even do well…ish.



    Start the Griff.



    Start Olivier.



    Same back four.



    Is it a must-win game for the sake of morale? Probably not…

  11. Ok i’ll just read the new blog in the morning my auld eyes


    are shutting as it’s been a hard nights training with our


    young wannabe hoopies, they worked their socks off tonight


    somebody must have told them” ra Cellic are cummin ” :-))


    H.H Mick

  12. South Of Tunis on

    For what it’s worth ( probably nothing – might made be up guff )



    Italian cyber space fly a kite merchants – claiming – ( no evidence / no quotes / no sources etc )



    Several Itallian clubs monitoring Kieran Tierney and Fiorentina being very interested in Moussa Dembele . The latter is described as being a possible loan deal with first option of buying at the end of the loan deal — but -that might be scuppered by a £ 20 million bid from Brighton.!!!!.

  13. Go for Tim Krul as backup keeper in Jan. Too good to be where he is.


    Adriano at West Ham is a better keeper than the over rated Joe Hart.


    Pep knows his onions (and his garlic,tomatoes, whatever).

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