Fine performance marred by bigger failings than Efe


I liked a lot about what we did last night. Leigh Griffiths provided more evidence that he is a remarkable predator. Kris Commons delivered another driven corner, his third of this European campaign to result in a goal, Lustig made first contact leaving Griffiths with only instinct to produce a shot on target. That same instinct clicked an instant later to turn the second shot over the keeper and into the net.

Do you remember a moment, before the first goal, when Fenerbahce enjoyed their best spell of pressure, and we cleared our lines aimlessly four times in a couple of minutes? It looked ugly and invited Fenerbahce to continue to pile the pressure on, but it was a salutary indication of how tactically well Celtic played. When under pressure, clear your lines, regroup, and get ready to go again.

On two occasions we dribbled out of a defensive position leading to a goal. Nir Bitton had ample opportunity to clear forward, but with opponents closing space all around him, he hesitated until he could play-in James Forrest, who surge forward to cross for Commons to score.

Scott Brown as immense all night, but having held-off a challenge 20 yards from his own goal on the wing, he should have cleared deep inside Fenerbahce territory instead of trying to make a pass. We didn’t get the ball back until the score was 2-2. Johansen and Lustig were both caught similarly in the second half but neither was punished.  Being brave in possession isn’t always wise.

Some of the passing football we played was a treat to watch. Bitton and Brown played their best game as a partnership, if not as individuals in a Celtic shirt; Brown was certainly that good. James Forrest, now fit, is drinking-in responsibility. He was effective last night, but not because he used his unparalleled pace, instead he delivered link play.

You’ll have noticed Craig Gordon likes a leg save. Few keepers do, they seem to try to get their hands or torso to a ball, but I like that Craig likes getting any hard part of his body in the way.

Don’t let it bounce.

“Don’t let it bounce.” There’s not a central defender in the world who doesn’t hear that phrase every week. When a ball is coming towards the danger zone in the air, get your head on it. If you let it bounce, anything can happen.

This was Efe Ambrose first mistake last night. He failed to read the flight of the ball. The moment it bounced, he was in trouble. With Fernandao waiting to feed on the scraps, Efe should then have concentrated on winning the physical challenge as the ball dropped a second time, but instead he found his ‘don’t let the ball bounce’ instinct too late and committed a second inexcusable error.

Think back almost three years to the opening minutes of the Champions League game against Juventus, Efe committed pretty much the same mistake. He lost the flight of the ball and we were a goal down and out before we warmed up.

Although Efe is taking a large slice of the blame in some places for the second Fenerbahce goal, I’m not convinced this is a fair assessment. To give due credit, it was an excellent corner and header – from a zone in front near post it’s difficult to score from. The point about zonal marking is you defend areas it’s easy to score from, at the cost of leaving less-risky areas unattended. Fernandao’s header didn’t come from a high-risk zone.

For some reason, wispy Leigh Griffiths was delegated to man-mark bulky target-man Fernandao. Wee guys can block big guys, but they need to be standing ball-side of the attacker, preferably facing his chest with arms out, so that when movement happens, he’s at least the right side of the attacker. Leigh was on his heels, completely unprepared.

Before the kick was struck, Fernandao was on the move, gambling on a near-post run. Should Efe have also gambled similarly? On first glance it looked like it, but that’s only because the ball went to that area and ended up in the net. Fernandao could afford to gamble by running into a space the ball may or may not arrive at. This is not the case for a defender. He has to wait until the ball is in the air. If he leaves his zone before the ball’s kicked to follow an attacker who has move early, he’s not doing his job.

It’s all about the block.

Great corner aside, we lost the second goal because we didn’t get a block on Fenerbahce’s target man. Before the kick was taken, Leigh Griffiths was adjacent to and looking at Fernandao, having been delegated the task by the impressive Kieran Tierney, but Leigh was also looking all around him and made no attempt to block.

Griffiths (5’ 8”), the smallest man in the Celtic team, should never have been near Fernandao (6’ 4”), the tallest man in the Fenerbahce team. That’s 8 inches of disadvantage and double figures of kilos weight.

There are two big questions to be asked about this goal:

Why didn’t we have a physical equal on Fernandao, capable of withstanding a shove, or better still, getting his own shove in first? Fenerbahce had one target man striker, we didn’t notice him. It doesn’t matter if you play zonal or man-to-man, if we are conceding 8 inches to the opponent’s main physical threat, we’ll continue to lose goals at corner kicks.

But the real curious question is why was it left to 18-year-old Kieran Tierney to instruct who picks up whom at a corner kick? Action moves so quickly at corners that everyone needs to understand they have a responsibility to take control, not just the central defenders, captain, or keeper. Or 18-year-old novice.

This is not happening at Celtic right now, which is why we’re playing our European football on Thursdays this season. If you put your smallest player on an opponent’s tallest, and it’s left to an 18-year-old to delegate responsibility, you deserve to lose a goal.

Last Man Standing 5

Last call for all those wanting to take part in Last Man Standing 5, in aid of Wee Shay McGinlay who is 2 and suffers from cerebral palsy. To date CQNers and friends have raised an incredible £5400 towards the fund raising campaign, to finance treatment for Shay not available on the NHS, which will hopefully improve his quality of life.

The current entrants stand at 72, so if you want to take join the LMS5 clique, then simply drop a line to Jobo and CRC at cqnlastmanstanding@gmail.com before 12pm Saturday and they will send you more details.

Thanks for indulging me bringing the work of the Foundation to your attention all this week. The Great Scottish Run is less than 48 hours away and dozens of Celtic fans have put thousands of hours into preparing for the event.  Those doing the ‘half’ are going to miss the Hamilton game, another consequence of playing Thursday night European football.

If you can support any of the runners, please do:

Click here for my linked donation page.

Here for Steve Gunn’s.

Here for Thomas Eman’s.

Here for Robert Doherty’s.

Here for Stephen Hewitt’s.

Here for Kenny O’Neill’s.

Thank you.

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  1. Hope the pop up situation gets fixed,can ill afford losing guys like DBBIA from these pages.

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    He has relocated and was bemoaning the continued pop ups I’m sure winning captains or P67 can contact him to let him know ways around it

  3. BMCUWP…



    I reckon that first pint won’t hit the sides.



    Yep, an empty for the kids, luckily I have jonny the tim to keep an eye on things, atleast I know he’ll feed Caesar.



    I didn’t get involved in the blog today…too many angry heads, although some valid points from both sides.



    As said after the game, I would have been happy with a draw but after going two up, I was disappointed.



    Oh feck, just listened to DD on clyde…now, that does get my back up:(

  4. Sandman on 2nd October 2015 5:32 pm



    quonno on 2nd October 2015 4:39 pm Nothing sums up Celtic’s moribund state than a month after the transfer window closed we are trying to secure the services of an out of work whose career is behind him.



    Don’t watch Celtic, then.



    Can the above be interpreted as meaning. If you want to watch, don’t have an opinion on what you are watching.

  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Paul67 needs to put up a help page for the technical numpties. How to disable advertising and pop ups on the different browsers and phones.




  6. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Efe in order to keep his career on track should probably leave, next January. I would rather he stayed but with so much criticism , I don’t think its in his and our best interests , him staying.



    He does make mistakes but they are not as costly as is made out, apart from last night and the Rubentus game plus he conceded the penalty Dundee Utd scored from earlier this season.



    I have asked this a number of times with no answer yet , on here and where I work, how many goals since the Rubentus game , has Efe been directly responsible for , not including last night and the penalty he conceded at Tannadice ?




    If Mikael Lustig had Efe’s fitness, Mikael might not be playing for us.



    I’m not trying to start an argument but would like to know how costly Efe has been in the goals against column.



    Efe is suspended for Sunday.





    Caesar disnae need fed,mate. Whatever he wants is his by right of might.



    He’s not a cat,more a Tasmanian Devil. Wi an attitude.

  8. Celtic News not lazy journalism



    “The gaffe-prone Nigerian made two horrendous errors to assist Fenerbahce in their fightback to force a 2-2 draw in the Europa League qualifier at Parkhead. – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/efe-lacks-awareness-strachan/#sthash.EAUFQ0KF.dpuf



    Something is rotten with this site in recent months, is their a commercial deal we are unaware of?



    I can click on the Record website if I want this kind of reporting with an Agenda. Efe is an honest player who deserves our support.




    Has Caesar battered any more foxes recently?



    “Come ahead! Miaowwww! Hissss! Schpitttt!”







  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    I think Ronny knows the stats. He makes the decisions with regard to team selection. Football is all about the money. Makes no business sense to write Effe off as a dud. Nothing but rehabilitation is needed. He would be better in Midfield imho but how many midfielders can one club cash snd carry ?



    It is up to RD to decide wheather to play, keep, sell, learn from Efe.



    Any man wearing the jersey gets my full support. Faithful through and through to a man.




  11. Just home 10 minutes ago from the game. Greetings to all the Bhoys of the Grey Brigade for the company and camaraderie. Thought we played well, Brooney was magnificent, obviously from 2 up its disappointing not to win but qualification is still in our hands. However we are conceding too many soft goals, it bloody well has to stop.

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Efe is a Celtic player who is in the first team due to injury he gives his all which may well not be quite good enough but he doesnt deserve to be fed to the lions by some Celtic supporters.We are not the best Celtic team of recent seasons but we are what we are the fact that we are enjoying big European nights is good enough for me I dont expect us to win a European trophy anytime soon but I like to see us pit our wits against the big european clubs so give Efe a break and enjoy the big nights but make your expectations realistic. H.H.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on 2nd October 2015 7:19 pm



    Paul67 needs to put up a help page for the technical numpties. How to disable advertising and pop ups on the different browsers and phones.




    Maybe an age bar on posters :O)

  14. Bournesouprecipe



    Have you had any sensible answer? amongst the usual Bedlam, something has certainly changed.






    On a side note, bumped into Fenerbahce squad at Glasgow Airport today, players, including RVP and Nani very happy to take time to sign autographs, photos etc. Very good to see. All complimentary about Celtic Park experience




  15. lennon's passion on

    Thought Celtic we’re by far the better team last night. Fernebache got back into it due to defensive mistakes. Finished very strong after RD took Johnson off and moved Commons up field. We will take maximum points of Molde.

  16. I’ve only very quickly scanned the first couple of pages and I guess the mood in the camp is disconsolate. If not angry.


    Well in my usual contrarian manner, I am upbeat.


    Yes upbeat.


    I watched the game late on Celtic TV due to familial duties.


    I didn’t know the result and up to the 40th minute or so I was happy, confident and even jubilant.


    After their pressing us hard at the start of the 2nd half we regained composure and control.


    I suggest some posters think about doing the same.


    Fenerbahce were assembled for the combined costs of Rangers’ accumulated debt.


    We outplayed them for at least 60 minutes of the 90.


    Our captain bullied and ruled the midfield.


    Griffiths, Forrest and Bitton were a class above their expensive signings.


    We scored a couple of goals and had more shots than they did.


    Neither Nani nor Van Persie were able to better our baby left back.


    They resorted to faking injury and diving to put us off our game.


    OK a couple of individual errors cost us a place on top of the section, but you cannot coach or legislate for a player making a misjudgment in the heat of the game.


    The teamwork, passing and energy has been overlooked in the knee jerk reaction and anti Ronny Delia hysteria. Not to mention the towel throwing on zonal marking.




    You can take your Van Persie and drama boy Nani and use them as a counter to the big spending argument on prima Donna signings.

  17. Dallas



    Oops ☺ maybe a good suspension for Efe.



    But what a dilemma for RD.



    We loaned out the one CB prospect we have in Eoghan O’Connell, which leaves two from Simunovic Boyata or Blackett?



    Jozo as you pointed out, has only been here a month and is already a worry, and in RD’s words ‘isn’t training properly due to injury’



    Blackett has been cyber trashed at left back, and if he isn’t moved inside it’ll be Mikael in the middle, If he can play two games in a few days.


    Some funny comments about the MSM tonight.



    Sure I read something about them focusing on Efe’s gaffe………..imagine them doing that…….

  19. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Awe naw,thank you for the reply.



    I appreciate Efe , as I did with another player criticised sometimes justly well as unjustly, Anton Rogan.



    I’m grateful Efe is suspended this Sunday. He would be under a lot of scrutiny , from our support and those lovely media people. There would be even more pressure on him.



    I would prefer he left , for his own sake. The level of grief he receives can ,like that Anton got, be over the top.






    Bourne and Sloleybhoy , I have stopped reading the CQN magazine due to the tabloid style of some of the reports. I’m pleased its just not me that feels this way.

  20. SLOLEYBHOY on 2ND OCTOBER 2015 7:28 PM



    Sorry but who posted the original comment at the top of your post?

  21. Anton had the biggest thighs I’ve ever seen in real life, and unfortunately I’ve seen some big thighs

  22. In the absence of Efe, we should consider Lustig to replace him at CB.


    Janko can then slot in for Michel at full back.


    Is Izzy available if young Tierney doesn’t recover sufficiently to be fielded?


    I would also bring in Rogic for Johansen.


    No need to explain that change surely.


    I’d also wrap LG in a tea cake blanket and play Ciftci.


    If we are to make a striker of him he needs starts.

  23. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Bourne, there were reports last week, Eoghan O’Connell, is injured and a decision was to be on him returning to us as a result.



    I haven’t read anything in the internet to say if Eoghan has came back to us or not, to have the injury treated here.



    Charlie Mulgrew is also injured and along with Simunovic , is out of Sunday’s game.



    I think Blackett will play left sided centre back with Janko at right back. Ronny might not risk Lustig on the astroturf at New Douglas Park.



    Hopefully, Armstrong and Allan are on the bench at least with Johansen ‘ rested’ .

  24. the_huddle on 2nd October 2015 8:01 pm


    I took my then fiancé to the old enclosure once for a floodlit mid week game.


    Near the front she spent most of the game admiring big Yogi’s thighs.


    I didn’t take her back to such a low and close vantage point.

  25. Dallas Dallas



    With his horrendous injury record, any surface or game or opponent could be a risk for Lustig. I really rate the guy and think whenever he’s available he should play.



    Sunday is back to the oul claes an purridge of domestic football but it’s a big, big game in terms of the title. Personally, I’d go with the strongest side available and that includes ML.

  26. Up like a bird on

    Cheers WITS



    I must owe you a full keg of the black stuff , not just a pint



    Gracias amigo

  27. GG on 2nd October 2015 8:08 pm



    the_huddle on 2nd October 2015 8:01 pm



    I took my then fiancé to the old enclosure once for a floodlit mid week game.



    Near the front she spent most of the game admiring big Yogi’s thighs.



    I didn’t take her back to such a low and close vantage point.




    I was just a kid but can still see them :o) was actually in the Aberdeen home end, on the byline so Anton was running past that half and set up the goal in a 1-1 draw, great wing play.



    Side note, my Dad got those home end tickets from “his pal” an Aberdeen fan who got them for free, who charged my Dad for 2 tickets and also flogged one outside

  28. Gordon



    Lustig Boyata Blackett Izzy



    Bitton Brown



    Rogic Commons Forrest