Frustration and promise in Seville


A game most of us expected to lose without fuss instead turned out to be a frustrating look into what could have been.  Again, we lost four goals in Europe, as we did on three occasions in our Europa League group last season.  Again, we allowed a two-goal lead to slip away.  Despite the superficial similarities to last season, there are reasons to believe we are on a different trajectory.

Celtic bossed Real Betis for the first 30 minutes; the home side could barely hold possession in the final third.  At 0-2, the game could have slipped away from them, but a couple of breaks of the ball 18 yards from the Celtic goal was enough to bring them back into contention and transform the night.  Celtic were too fragile to assert telling authority.

Tom Rogic was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field.  On nights like that, you wonder what he is doing in Scottish football.

After an uninspiring start against Ross County on Saturday, Jota showed us what all the fuss is about.  Forced to play on the right, his deliveries were a delight.  His chance to put Celtic three up may, or may not, have changed the outcome of the game; if you can lose four so readily, there are no guarantees.  The winger pulled up with cramp on Saturday and was visibly waning after 75 minutes last night, when his touch and composure deserted him, but we have a player straight from the ‘Bums on seats’ drawer.

Albian Ajeti’s movement inside the box set the game alight.  He got onto the end of Jota’s cross to score the opener, then tempted Claudio Bravo in the Betis goal into a challenge before nipping the ball away from the keeper.  Would Eduard have made either run?  Not recently, that’s for sure.  The penalty was of the stonewall variety.

After the game, when asked why we keep losing so many goals in Europe, I protested.  The central defenders only met last week, the left back has never played there before this month, and the right and left side pairings were completely new partnerships, “This is different”, I insisted.  Time will tell.

I have watched a lot of Celtic teams lose in Spain but do not recall going there with such an attacking strategy.  I suspect it would never occur to Ange Postecoglou to play any differently.

The game had the look of one of those all-star games we used to see in the 80s, “England v The Rest of the World”, type affairs.  Plenty of talent and lots of goals, as no one really knew each other or what the structure was.  Both Celtic and Betis will improve.  Going on my expectations before the game, there were reasons to be encouraged, despite all the goals against!

BT will be interested to hear that Uefa permit member clubs to veto broadcaster staff assigned to cover games.  I doubt it.  BT subscribers were denied the channels’s top team when Newco refused to allow Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton entrance to Ibrox on security grounds.  Where else outside of the Gangster Clubs will you see behaviour like this?  It is like a club being run by children.

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  1. We had a weak bench last night due to 9 players,mostly 1st team players unavailable.


    How hard is that to understand,?

  2. A.P’s policy in European matches seems go for the jugular straight from the tip-off and it’s working. Didn’t expect a lot from last night’s game but the performance certainly surprised me. There was very little between the teams in a footballing sense but overall you had to be happy with the football we played and we bagged three good goals which could be crucial if it should come down to goal difference in deciding who progresses.



    Rogic was outstanding and Ajeti, great to see him continue his goal scoring spree, Jota dazzled in attack but he must learn to help out defensively and not leave Ralston exposed down the left. Young Montgomery and Turnbull also did well. Defense who have just been introduced to each other as it were, we will cut a bit of slack to and hopefully things will improve. Smashing penalty by Croatian lad.



    Looking forward to the rest of Europa when all the wounded are back and the new Greek goalador is in the team.

  3. TB- true, but no reason not to put Shaw,Scales on for 20 minutes when the legs had gone from a few of them

  4. Some comments still amaze me.


    “We are still losing goals”


    Yes,because of injuries,new players,no chance to get any understanding.Not surprising.


    When we have a settled defence,and if they keep on losing goals,fill your boots.Myself as well.Until then,I am just wasting breathe

  5. Bada,


    This is where I find fault with Ange.I agree with you,but the lack of game time given to the likes of Shaw,kinda rules that out.Games we have been cruising,should have been on.Mc Carthy made a difference,but since learned his delay in playing was down to Covid.

  6. In the cold light of day is there anything that points to us making a better fist of things domestically this season? Sure it might be more entertaining than last season, that wouldn’t be hard, but will we be close enough to challenge for honours?



    A new manager is a big plus point – on reflection perhaps after Brendan, Neil was seen more as non-playing captain than a manager by the players and that led to fallouts resulting in a lack of respect and a ‘downing of tools’. His “f*** off” to Mikey Johnston from the McDermid Park dugout was not managerial behaviour and an eye-opener to me.



    The crux is that we will have to improve by a good measure and the Ibrox lot decline commensurately, in order to get in a blow this season.



    The probability is that the gap will close but not sufficiently enough. On the plus side we shouldn’t have a January ’22 like this year, where we threw away nine points after Dubai – that would theoretically reduce the gap to sixteen points, all else being equal. Therefore the twelve points up for grabs against the Ibrox club could be the deciding factor….and we have already lost three.



    I have already said that such is the turmoil that we have had to deal with virtually replacing the squad, that it will take 2/3 seasons to fix….assuming that Ange sticks around. One other important factor is that we have no ‘surplus to requirements’ star players like Edouard, Ajer & Frimpong to sell for c£40m in the next couple of windows.



    When a club falls from grace in the manner we did last season, it is unusual that it recovers immediately – it is normally a longer climb-back. However in Scotland we have only a two-horse race, so it may be possible to win the title this season……but I wouldn’t bet anything on it.

  7. I struggle that many find it acceptable that we lose 4 goals


    Or we cannot even get a draw away from home in a competitive game


    Great we can score 3 away from home


    Just Not acceptable that we lose 4, how often is that in last 18 months ??



    Setting aside the personnel we had playing last night


    We cannot defend as a team unit


    Needs Urgent attention



    Many good points there Paul after quite a dashing loss to an equally porous Real Betis, but you write…







    ‘After the game, when asked why we keep losing so many goals in Europe, I protested. The central defenders only met last week, the left back has never played there before this month, and the right and left side pairings were completely new partnerships, “This is different”, I insisted.’







    The question you don’t probe Paul, is WHY did our central defenders only meet last week? WHY did we not recruit a recognised LB (Scales?) until the games were upon us and WHY are our pairings completely new? WHY?







    Like the recent Michael Grant article emphasised, the club is lax and lackadaisical in how it goes about its business. Defence has been a glaring black hole for months (long, long before Ange arrived) but we were content to pair Dane and Welshy, Carl and Welshy to see how far we’d go. And then when we bring in CCV and he’s not fully match fit, we throw him into a Euro cauldron.







    The club does issues management by wait-and-see and by degree. It’s kinda part of their risk culture.







    A settled backline before the Euro hostilities commence?? Nah, we’ll see how we go; we’ll evolve it.







    Course there’s v encouraging signs under Ange – a bit like a swashbuckling Tommy Burns team with similar shortcomings – and without wanting to wet-blanket a decent show, this is a movie we’ve seen umpteen times.






    Hits the nail on the head

  9. Angelisation not anglicisation please



    You wonder Paul what TRogic is doing in scottish football because he is so good. Maybe you don’t know the history of Scottish football as the cradle of world football. English football would be nowhere if it weren’t for scots.



    Surprised that you didn’t criticise the monumental whistling that accompanied the “now you see it, now you don’t” taking of the knee in Seville yesterday. Our incursion into American politics is quite unprecedented. So are we more critical of the Americans than the English/British now? We will lose a lot of our American fans with this sham. Even players from Airdrie are getting harassed!! We are so bad us scots, eh!! I know the history and I know that the Irish Potato Famine was not engineered in Alabama or at Hampden. Trevelyan was from Taunton and John Russell was from Richmond. What they oversaw is a real case of racism which still haunts us today.

  10. Big Ange will get things right, just give him a little more time. This season could be one of thrills and spills but I’m convinced when things settle down this team can go on to win the League which is the main aim this season with an automatic place in the champions league group stages.

  11. So funny. The old fella who sits next to me at Celtic park thinks Rogic is a waste of a jersey. Literally stands up ( an effort for him at his age ) and applauds whenever he is substituted muttering half an hour too late.

  12. I lost a long post, someone in the ether is being educated beyond their wildest dreams



    Hankray has said most of what I’d say about the game.



    This is what we’re going to get from Ange. I really thought that that result and performance I with so many players out would have brought a bit more credit to his methods and philosophy but apparently not. No captain, third choice striker, no left back, no Abada, no attacking options on the bench playing in Spain against a team coached by a guy who’s won the EPL, been at the semis of the CL with two different clubs and managed Real Madrid. We scored 3 goals, we had almost exactly the same match stats as them, we were pushing fit an equalizer at the end. In Spain.

  13. A fundamental change in philosophy will always be difficult for some, and impossible for others, but I thought after the misery of last season the ground would be fertile for a radical thinker with a novel outlook on the game.



    He’ll keep on saying it, he wants to win every game by scoring more goals than the opposition. If he refuses to compromise with almost an entire team out injured, away In Spain, he’s not compromising ever

  14. CELTIC40ME



    We looked like a team. Probably our best performance in Spain since Madrid 1967. Although we got that great result in Vigo in 2002.

  15. From the 9 players out injured , only Julien would have improved the defence, but I doubt if even he would have been enough to stop us losing 4 goals.

  16. Coneybhoy @ 2.31 p.m.


    Have you read the report on the Bruges v. PSG match? It was anything but backs to the wall.






    Hendry see Duffy Good players asked to play in a set up that didn’t suit them.

  18. Anyone know about the BBC correspondent Colin Moffat? I ask because on the BBC website previewing this weekend’s games it couldn’t be clearer where his allegiances lie.


    Sevco v Motherwell – ‘in-form Motherwell next up at Fortress Ibrox’ and Celtic v Livingston ‘Celtic seek first away points at lowly Livingston’


    Livi are bottom of the table but instead of this being an ideal opportunity for Celtic to win their first points away from home this season he writes, ‘This looks like the ideal fixture to rediscover the aggressive attitude that has helped secure back-to-back top six finishes and Livingston will hope to rattle a defence that conceded four goals to Real Betis’.


    The mighty Gers might be champions but my God there’s a h lot of hurtin’ Huns out there!

  19. Scotland Ladies team play a WC qualifier tonight in Hungary. Despite Celtic finishing 2nd in the league last year , behind Glasgow City and ahead of Sevco, the squad has 7 Rangers girls, 2 Glasgow City and not one current Celt. There is even one girl from 4th placed Hibs. There are 10 English based players, 2 Italian based and one based in the USA. We do have one player, Lisa Robertson, on loan to Birmingham who made the squad.

  20. ST TAMS on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2021 3:54 PM


    From the 9 players out injured , only Julien would have improved the defence,



    Calmac for Soro improves our defending



    With Kyogo, Abada and Calmac in the team we’d have won 8-4

  21. SFTB



    The new Spanish manager of the scots gals may well come knocking at our door for their next match.



    McPhail Bhoy…believe it or not Colin Moffat is a Celtic supporter.






    Wow! He must have a Hun Editor breathing down his neck!

  23. RIMTIMTIM on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2021 3:53 PM



    Barcelona in 2004 was a great defensive effort, be specially since who was in the Barça team, but I’d agree at as good as we’ve been for a long time



    I’ve just finished watching Aquarela , really enjoyed it well done to your good lady 👍

  25. The Sevvies have won 1 game in 5 in Europe this season and 1 in their last 7. They beat Alashkert 1-0 at home, they sit second bottom of the Armenian League with 1 point from 4 games



    Sevco’s Euro form: LLLLWDL



    that can’t be right can it?

  26. 79CAPS on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2021 3:59 PM


    Coneybhoy @ 2.31 p.m.


    Have you read the report on the Bruges v. PSG match? It was anything but backs to the wall.




    I was just guessing. If he can do the Celtic way now that’s great but it’s too late as we signed the Purchase Option when he had been poor and then injured.



    Horses for courses as Timhorton says but also some players develop late e.g., Robertson.



    Pleased for him anyway

  27. Funny how systems and managers change players and fans views (like Hendry above).



    Most people complained about Calmac being in the holding role last year as he couldn’t tackle/minding Brown etc. We all said Soro was the man for the slot



    In the fast passing style, Calmac looks great in there but Soro not so comfortable

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