Extra week training in July has huge impact


I was concerned about a trip to Estonia after hearing Hearts struggle in their home leg against Estonian opponents last week, so news that Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps beat Flora Tallinn was welcome, although the concern was tempered as news arrived that Hearts were three goals up in the away leg.

The lesson here is that in July, one more week’s training has a huge impact on performance.

Brendan Rodgers will be happy with how training has progressed thus far, but it’s only when players put multiple 90 minutes under their belts that they are ready for competitive action. There’s not necessarily a great deal of work to do to overcome Red Imps (no offence intended), but qualifiers come thick and fast thereafter. Despite beating Slovenian champions Olimpija Ljubljana yesterday, I expect Celtic will be more motivated for Saturday’s game against Maribor.

It gets serious from now onwards.



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  1. Another nail in the coffin for possession without purpose coaching.


    Germany68% France32% But France outshoot them 6 to 5.


    Time for these coaches to waken up and understand the way forward.


    Possession is truly relevant if broken up into meaningful zones.


    Guardiola was found out when an average Man U team beat Barca.


    At Bayern he inherited the best team in Europe who had just won the big cup in style and turned them into purposeless posers.

  2. Fan-A-Tic



    “Another nail in the coffin for possession without purpose coaching. ”



    You would acknowledge, I hope, that neither Low nor Guardiola planned for, instructed or desired possession without purpose.



    They would acknowledge that their purpose was unrealised but a shots balance of 6 to 5 does not indicate that they were markedly less successful than the team who, after the first 10 minutes, had the weaker possession stats, in creating chances.



    The difference in the end was not on who had the most possession OR on who had the most shots: the difference, as always was in who got the ball to cross the goal line between the posts most often.



    Anybody watching that game knew France were struggling and heading for a hard time till Schweinsteiger tried to possess the ball with his hands- game changed after that- all else is revisionism.

  3. SFTB


    i disagree completely.


    The enormous possession advantage is a red herring.


    Germany were in the semi due to penalties after another possession dominated game without purpose.


    The difference is moving the ball into positive zones to create chances,


    Germany failed in the last two games to create enough chances.


    The modern footballer can keep very good stats by simply taking the no risk pass option of sideways or back.To many have now been conditioned to do such.


    I have never said Low,Guardiola or any other coach planned for possession without purpose.But their obsession with ball retention has players unwilling to take any pass thats less than certain to retain ball.This has lead to systems that take to long to deliver ball to vital areas.


    The time taken move the ball forward allows every half decent team to set defensively.


    The diagonal ball is a higher risk pass and is almost obsolete in the modern game due to these fear driven coaching systems.


    Conte and Italy gave a masterclass on how to beat it against Spain who dominated world football for years until people figured out how to negate.


    France understood simply that Germany could have the ball without any great threat tonight.


    They have a genius in Griezmann who creates and makes space so would always feel their chance would come.





    Melksham on a Thursday afternoon. I live in Swindon.


    MACJAY 1155



    Not at all,old bean. Most of us were perfectly happy with PL as Chief Executive,carrying out the duties which such a role entails.



    And are quite pleased to see him returning to that.

  6. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Finally lying in a bed……………………in Lisbon, not the Azores.


    Been bussed to some timeshare resort about 40km out of the city.


    They at least had some good scran ready for us, which lowered the jowls of some snappy punters.


    I just tried to roll with it, hey ho.



    Anyway bus picking us up at 8.00am, and we try it all again tomorrow.


    Thanks to all contributors to the Blog today, it kept me sane, well ye know what I mean ;)




  7. TheBarcaMole on

    ‘Most of us’… really M; some of us perhaps.


    Would venture that ‘most of us’ would be happy to wish him adios soonest…



    Regards & Hail Hail



  8. Tobago Street on

    Interesting discussion. Fan a tic and SFTB. Germany’s record over the last half century would suggest they tend to be at the fore front of innovation. Fan you mention possession without purpose is not the way forward; makes sense to me. And although you give credit to the Italians for bettering that system you don’t explain how. You also give France credit for bettering it because they have a ‘genius in Griezmann’. Having a genius certainly makes coaching easier but it’s not really innovation is it?


    Excellent discussion lads, well worth the read!




  9. aburntoutcase on

    Evening/morning all. What time is the k.o. for our game on Tue and is it on telly anywhere? Ta.

  10. More than anything, the present German team needs a striker – just like most teams today!

  11. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Where you been, Bobby ?



    It wouldn`t be an overstatement to say that P.L. has been vilified on these pages.


    And vilified by a significant number of our contributors.



    His ” role ” according to a good many here included choosing our signings , selling our better performers and unilaterally deciding against the ” living wage “.


    He was regularly accused of having sole responsibility for these ” evil deeds ” and of feathering his own nest at the expense of the good of the Celtic team and the good of Celtic F.C.


    Nasty and totally unsubstantiated accusations.


    Now generally acknowledged to be without foundation.



    P.L. was the convenient scapegoat for most on here , when it was obvious to some of us that the comparatively poor performance of the team was principally due to having an incompetent coach who was attempting to punch way above his weight and who finally and belatedly recognised his own inadequacies .


    And had the decency to make way for an improvement .


    It wouldn`t have been hard to find one of those.



    Incidentally , hope all is well with P.F. Ayr. Haven`t heard from him for a while.

  12. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    THEBARCAMOLE on 8TH JULY 2016 1:07 AM


    ‘Most of us’… really M; some of us perhaps.



    Would venture that ‘most of us’ would be happy to wish him adios soonest…




    Regards & Hail Hail











    Not guilty , but condemned anyway.

  13. TheBarcaMole on




    eh! ah! OK…..


    Both (-:



    Regards & Hail Hail







    Aye,I had my diplomatic heid on there.





    I happily admit to giving him a hard time for his activities out with his remit and capability.



    He deserved it,and more. His idea that the crowds were on the way down regardless,so savings had to be made on the pitch,has been shown to be absolute garbage.



    His conception that he knew better than football people who who was the ideal signing has gone the same way.



    Let’s not go over old ground. He is doing what he is good at,should never have been allowed to do anything else,and,aye,is still overpaid.

  16. TheBarcaMole on



    Aye, for sure pl… I meant pal (-:


    Predictive text!


    Speak soon.



    Regards & Hail Hail







    Canny blame you for not recognising my diplomatic heid-it’s been hidden away for a while!

  18. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on






    Fair enough.

  19. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Foxtel ( OZ Sky channel ) now has


    Man. U . TV


    Liverpool TV


    Chelsea TV



    Barca TV on Eurosport.



    There`s a glaring omission.


    Why ?

  20. Tobago Street


    The Italians countered it with a more direct and speedy approach on transition.


    Most teams who play against possession systems know to compact space in last third by closing gap between midfield and defense making it very difficult to pass through.


    The Italians did it easily against Spain and when the gained possession they quickly moved ball forward not allowing opponent to set defensively.Bayern the year they won champions league pre Guardiola humbled Barcelona with same approach.


    Griezmann is a brilliant footballer and has an understanding of creating space so very hard to defend but again France understood the Germans were not particularly potent so France would feel he could be a game winner.


    The innovation is allowing him to play a role that maximises his ability.


    In Copa America final Chile were masterful defensively but Argentina had Messi.


    Unfortunately the Argentine coach played him in an area that minimised his talent.He had him to far forward so anytime he received ball he immediately was surrounded by 3 opponents.


    If the coach had recognised this he would have pulled him deeper and stretched the field of play creating less structure in Chilean system.

  21. Fanatic


    You have failed to mention that Germany were without Gomez, who would have definitely started.


    You have also failed to mention that Germany also missed a hatful of chances.


    It wasn’t “possession without purpose”that was the problem it was the finishing.

  22. I enjoyed the game last night and I had Germany to win with Both teams to score.



    I must admit I was worried for the first 10 minutes, very worried – in a good way obviously.



    Then Germany started to take control of the game and I thought they were very Brave in their whole set up and playing style. As the commentator said Bastian is not 37 he is 31. I noticed him directing where specifically a defender should be, though he is a bit better than Peter the pointer. ;))



    I know I know, It will seem like sour grapes but I thought the Referee was hunlike refereeing in his decisions to the French…. Is it some sort of guidance because of the attacks on the Country – My Suspicious mind working overdrive, yeah basically the Ref had a bad game.



    I hate the idea of games being sorted before a ball is kicked. The More Money in Fitba the more this is likely to be the case.



    The Germans had an excellent variety of ways to unlock a defence – I’m sure Brendan will be looking at the Germans and their ingenuity on the field as a TEAM.



    And of course Congratulations to France.



    I hope France do what Germany did last night, I hope they go out and attack and make it a Final to be remembered.



    Innovative fitba will get people excited about watching the Beautiful Game again, again too much Money is stifling so many Teams/games. The Fear of Losing a game of fitba FFS?




    Bier and a hauf.




  23. I may go on about exotic super fruits and criticise Lemsips for having Aspartame in them but I must say……



    The olde Vicks Vaporub never lets ye down.



    I still recommend it.



    a Thumbsup


    MACJAY 206



    Haha,you might have enough of a problem wi SYDNEYTIM next time yer in Cheers-no point in us having a spar when you have the main event to look forward to!

  25. Tobago Street on

    FAN-A-TIC. Cos I was thinking Messi and Chile!


    Thanks for thr response. I get that the Italians break in a hurry and that’s one way to go. But I quite like possession. Like you say though it requires purpose.


    Barça I think does this very well. Their possession either stretches or constricts the back four,five or six causing gaps and confusion. It works for them but not for everyone.


    Course, they also have Iniesta and Messi!




  26. KevJ,



    When you Touchdown in CQN Town.



    Yer Right about wee James and him Running on to the Ba.



    The SPHELL is driving people away frae fitba.



    The Hun has done so much Damage to this Country.



    We need mair Brave Tims in Management positions.



    Playing Fitba the way it should be played. You get destroyed 10-0 – Learn from it. It is Scotland and Celtic are basically the USA.



    This Country is in a downward spiral…. Hopefully Celtic/Lennoxtown can Ignite a revival through out this fitba land.

  27. To get better you go against better players as often as possible – FPS shooters.



    C’mon Andy Murray.



    I cannae wait to see the 2000s crew Coming to the Surface. Incredible technical ability, miles better than the 2001s – the 2001s had Big units…. no doubt the Celtic School will be making sure the 2001s are better than the 2000s. Long term looking.



    The Future is ours.

  28. KevJ,



    The Bhoy Allen can play an incisive pass.






    I’d tell Scott to stop being Diabetic.




  29. The Derivatives of Penicillin are the only OPTION now – because of over use…….











  30. Penicillin is God Scent.



    If only you, yes you, Could………



    Understand the Magnitude of Penicillin.



    Share price – amoxycilllin/killin…..



    I’m very Lucky that I have been kind of deaf….my hearing means I’m not confident about Anything.. Except the Lord Jesus Christ being the most powerful influenza Evah.



    Ataack the Sin Not the Sinner.