Frustrations for what could have been


There are frustrations for what could have been.  Leipzig did not have us under great pressure at any time in the game, but concentration dropped for three minutes, which settled the outcome.

I initially blamed Dedryck for the opening goal, but on second viewing, the incident was more nuanced.  Eboue Kouassi almost got a touch on the ball, meaning Dedryck waited on the second ball instead of attacking the cross.  Eboue himself only reacted when the Leipzig attacker nearest the right wing failed to get a touch on the ball.

Cristian Gamboa went to ground and didn’t get near the ball for the cross leading to the second goal.  Unforgiveable, but we are parachuting a player into a high level of football when his annual game time is measured in dozens of minutes.

Despite defeats in Germany and Austria, Celtic are not out of contention.  Leipzig are nowhere near as good as Salzburg.  We have beaten better teams than them at a packed Celtic Park.  Get a win next time out, or even a draw, and the remaining fixtures favour us.

By the time we go to Trondheim, Rosenborg will be out of the tournament.  Salzburg end the group at Celtic Park, when they will have already have top spot confirmed, and want to avoid injuries, suspensions and hopefully be keen to give experience to squad players.

I have spoken highly of Jozo for years, but the sight of him leaving the field on a stretcher after going down holding his ankle confirmed any remaining doubt about how appropriate his physical frame is for competitive sport.

Was Brendan resting players with an eye on Sunday?  It looks like it.  Mikael made an appearance from the bench, while Filip Benkovic was also fit enough for the bench.  If these two only have one game in them this week, the semi-final at Murrayfield is the wise choice.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 21

  1. No anger, no shock, no suprises from last night. Just a general sense of acceptance that we have regressed in European standings this past 5 years and that the high annual salaries we spend on Management and Players is wasted at this level. £60m to win SPFL.

  2. Paul,



    the first goal came about waaaaaay before either Eboue or Dedryck missed the cross.



    As usual it came about from us not being able to keep possession away from home in Europe. Olly managed to “trap” a ball 5 yards straight in front of him to one of their midfielders. I don’t think we gained possession again until Craig picked the ball out the back of the net.


    Of course standing off and allowing yet another crossed ball from wide into our box doesn’t help either, because we didn’t pick up close enough at a throw-in.


    Another of our continued failings this and indeed last season.



    That to me is basic and shows our lack of concentration. That should be addressed at Lennoxtown every day!



    Anyhooooo, I wasnt expecting much yesterday and so I shouldnt be disappointed, but after the way we were holding our own for the first 30mins, I am. Again.



    But, as you allude to above, I suspect Brendan had already decided that Sunday’s semi was the more important game.


    So Lets do the Jambos!!!






  3. Some very uncharitable comments.



    CG dived in because he was carrying a strain by then.


    JS took a sore one on the hip — which can floor the best of us.



    We lost because we have a poor attitude and a lack of heart — talent was and is not the issue.

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Christie gets fouled in Leipzig half around 65th minute. Free kick goes back. RBL player presses. Ball goes back again. Then back again to CG.


    We were 2-0 DOWN at that point? Not 2-0 up?

  5. GTTF @ 12.46



    Glad you raised the incident.


    We are being over-coached and then some.


    Basic stuff to get us into the game and we go down the possession route.

  6. Paul 67,



    If we rested players last night it is disgraceful


    It is disrespecting the many fans who made the journey, rushed home from work / took time off work to watch the game.



    It is subsequently disrespectful of the tournament and disrespectful to the 10s of thousands of fans who will fill Parkhead at the next games.



    Turkeybhoy from previous article.



    We have a bigger squad than RB Leipzig and our wage bill is higher.


    Now ask yourself, are we managing correctly or should we be doing better.






  7. glendalystonsils on

    MADMITCH on 26TH OCTOBER 2018 12:45 PM



    I agree with your last sentence.


    I would add to that……money was not the deciding factor either . It CAN be ,but last night they did not look a couple of hundred million better than us . At least ,not until we folded.

  8. bsr – 11:07 re: money, prestige, inferiority



    I used Lincoln Red Imps exactly because it’s nothing to do with money and all to do with mentality.



    The Cypriot sides collectively do pound for pound better than Celtic and other spl teams, with



    a smaller population


    smaller player pool


    fewer league games


    no prior european football heritage


    small crowds


    little or no tv money



    They don’t seem to have issues with mentality, what they see on the pitch is who they play against, no fearty complex.



    That’s how it should be.



    It isn’t with us.

  9. If, as intimated by P67, the manager was resting players last night ahead of Sunday, since when has the League Cup became more important than Europe? Has our ambitions really dropped that far? In Europe we should play our strongest available 11 every time, we’re not even close to being good enough not to.

  10. Many have commented on the first 30 mins when we appeared reasonably comfortable, but there were numerous occasions when we were on the verge of making that first fatal mistake. I lost count of the times we were playing possession football on the edge of our 18-yard line then making a forward pass, normally to Kouassi or Ntcham, who had players right on them. I was sure Kouassi was going to be the one who gifted them the first goal due to his lack of game time by making a slack pass. It didn’t happen that way, but we were playing with fire long before the first goal.

  11. Let’s get this straight – we’ve got a wage bill of over £52m a year and we’re resting players!? Since when did getting pumped again in Europe become acceptable to Celtic??

  12. the glorious balance sheet on

    I don’t agree with the argument in the lead article that the remaining Europa league group fixtures favour Celtic.



    If anything, they favour Leipzig.



    They know that anything better than a 0-2 defeat at Celtic Park next time out gives them the advantage in the head to head.



    They finish up on match day 6 at home to Rosenborg whose season will have been finished for a couple of weeks by then.



    Whereas we finish up against Salzburg, the best team in the group. Salzburg won’t be downing tools, they didn’t when they came to Celtic Park in 2014 as having already qualified and still won by 3-1.

  13. GARY67 – I agree with you. I think the argument is to do with the treble, defending it and perhaps bagging another. Before the treble, the League Cup was definitely considered a minor trophy in most of our eyes, a tournament where you could justifiably play fringe players.


    I´d much prefer to see our strongest 11 in all European games, that’s where we have to have some kind of profile if we are to attract the Dembeles, Ntchams, Roberts and Edouards of this world.


    The LC comes a long, long way behind the league as a priority. That’s where the Christies, Kouassis, Bains, Morgans should be getting game time to prove themselves. Not in the cauldorn of Europe against top opposition.

  14. Seeing as many are looking for `the reason` why Celtic lost last night, is the fact that Leipzig ,as far as I can gather, play against a higher standard of opposition on a weekly basis and are, presumably , refereed fairly,make any difference to their readiness to play in Europe?




  15. DeniaBhoy,



    It frustrates the hell out of me how we refuse to simply clear our lines when we are under heavy pressure from opponents closing us down.


    Yes, sure by all means play the possession game, but there are also times when it would be better to launch the ball 60-70 yards up-field and put the other team under pressure from our attacking/midfield players and allow our defence to regroup and push forward 10-20 yards.



    I watched Leipzig do that several times and indeed their keeper did it 3 times in a 10-15mins spell. Yet I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw Craig Gordon put his laces through the ball and launch it wide up-field or into the channels. far too often he looks for a man mostly inside our own half and before know it we are on the back foot yet again!






  16. Deflating, wasn’t it? We have a huge squad but it’s of worryingly questionable quality. Our expensive 2nd string replacements cannot do the job and many fails in our preferred eleven (Calum, KT, Olli, Eddie). I like Gamboa but he was hellish rusty. Lewis looked overawed. Kouassi showed all game long, but only passed crab-like or back. Ryan Christie grew into his role. And all too often Eddie’s indecision sees him fail to hold the ball up. I rate Ntcham big time , but his mind’s not on it. So much expenditure, so little return. HH

  17. Resting players to play in a mickey mouse cup……the only attraction the tie carries is day out to edinburghs murrayfield…….looking at Ronnys team who played their in 2014 and the present team….I would say Ronnys team was just as good…….have we progressed any ?????……..

  18. traditionalist88 on

    Bit worrying we have to clutch at straws hoping for other teams to have downed tools to have a sniff of qualifying in 2nd place. In the Europa League.



    There are still many problems unresolved and the ‘Celtic are back’ comments when we won a few games doesnt mean these issues don’t need dealt with.



    Where is the leadership in the team? It shouldnt fall to just the captain, who is often the only one who opens his mouth and communicates during matches.



    Craig Gordons reaction to losing goals is pathetic, no encouragement, inquest – all look at the ground, look a bit deflated, then get on with it until the next one goes in.



    Paul67 being very kind to Gamboa. He made a stupid, costly decision. A stupid decision at any professional level.



    Ntcham also gives the ball away far to cheaply far too often.



    McGregor has talent but is a passenger when the going gets tough.




  19. Aye right. It could have been 5-0 had they taken their chances. A 3 min min drop of concentration my jacksy.

  20. Martin O’Neill had his flaws too. He had his share of bad away days in Europe. But principle’y this mainly only occurred in the elite environment of Champs league group stage football.



    But what I miss most about Martin Oneill’s Celtic sides. They never took any game lightly. Wanted to win irrespective of what environment they were in. Even friendly matches. Man Utd, Leeds Utd etc. There was a determination to play full tilt always. Lay down a marker, and play to win at every opportunity.

  21. Couldn’t agree more with Token Tim above. Not only did we lose the 1st goal from Nchtam not controlling the ball in midfield and then failing to defend a throw in that is standard practice at amateur level of football, we had already been building up to that. The two or three minutes before we lost the goal was a shocking collection of giving the ball away 3 seconds after you get possession of it, it was like we exhausted our ability to keep the ball and concentrate during the first 25 minutes, so the next 20 were always going to be rocky. If they play the same team as they did last night at Celtic Park, we will win comfortably. At times, when away from home, i wonder if we could get our opponnents in Europe to stick on a Motherwell or St Johnstone strip instead of their own we would regain our normal mentality and put pressure on them and be willing to look for and hold the ball. Frustrating doesn’t cover it.



  22. Winning is a habit.


    So too is losing.


    Strive for the right habit. Regardless of the competition or tie.



    HH jg

  23. On the train back to Berlin. Fans were fantastic, apart from the idiots setting off flares.


    We gifted them the game. Far too much “posssesion football”.


    It is pointless and ends up with pressure to boot the ball anywhere.


    If Brendan Rodgers rested players he should be sacked on the spot. Fans paid hard earned money and spent hours of time travelling to support the Bhoys. Europe is the yardstick on which we measure ourselves.


    Things look bleak at the moment, we have to improve.

  24. Under Brendan its hard to look forward to European football there seems to be no belief we can win and an acceptance of defeat.We keep hearing after our many European defeats the same excuses,we need to improve our defending,we need to take our chances and they were not such a great team.I got the feeling not just from the players but also from the bench, lets get out of here with a 2-0 defeat.Gamboa and Kouassi should be no were near a Celtic jersey,though I have to say Iam astonished by this claim in The Celtic Blog,


    “the question about Gamboa was answered tonight in a way that brought no satisfaction whatsoever, although I stand by my claim that he’s a better bet than Tavernier.”


    Many Iam sure thought the likes of Gamboa and De Vries had left the club pre season.Along with Comperr ,Hayes and Allan they have nothing to contribute to the club.Brendan might say they wont move, maybe he has to admit their signings has not worked out and come to some settlement with them.What does it say for Sinclair that Morgan and Christie are picked ahead of him, is he just in a comfort zone earning good money? no pressure.We all know Brendan didn’t get the investment in players he wanted but he just has to get on with it until the next transfer window and clear out the dead wood.

  25. traditionalist88 on

    ruggygman on 26th October 2018 1:36 pm



    I know where you’re coming from but I am not in favour of denigrating players who have a trick, something different…as long as there is the substance too.



    What would the game be without the individual tricks and skills of guys like Ronaldinho, Best, Cruyff, Johntone, Cantona, Zidane, Zola, Di Canio etc etc.



    Entertainers who stand out from the norm, win matches and get bums off seats.



    Too often now we hear about this being coached out of young players.



    Incidentally, I think your point about no substance was initially what MON thought about Moravcik. Thankfully that all got resolved and we got another couple of years with him!




  26. Ruggyman @ 1:30pm,



    That was one of attributes I loved about Martin’s team’s. They always wanted to win and no-one ever bullied them physically. As you say, they took a few scuddings esp in The CL, but the attitude was generally always that which i would expect and want. i.e lets get intae them.



    Ive said before and no doubt always will, that Ive always wanted my defenders to know how to defend first and foremost. Physically and mentally dominate the immediate opponent, make him think “what are they going to do to me now” every time they get the ball, as opposed to “im taking you to the cleaners. Again.”


    For me now, the ethos, seems to be much more of the football playing first, defend second.



    MON’s team knew how to defend and always gave their attacking opponents something to worry about.


    Wish this current crop did too.



    To be fair, MON’s defence had midfielders who knew how to help their defence out too.


    Olly and Calmac patently didnt last night.






  27. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Good post. I would add another thing – defenders (not just ours) seem to lack anticipation these days. The good ones have it and it sets them apart. Too often you see a ball breaking to an attacker and it’s in the back of the net before the defenders react.

  28. Giving the ball away easily is a symptom of a flawed playing system.


    Possession is a good thing generally but when most of it is across your own 25 yard line it only brings pressure.


    Our insistence on retaining possession is noble but when passing options for the man in possession are limited to non existent then trouble and turnovers often ensue.


    Our lack of off the ball movement is glaring and our spacing is atrocious..


    Learning to move as a complete unit and compacting space when opponents have ball would be a start.


    Do we have players to play the possession game and our coaches cannot implement properly?


    Or are our players simply not good enough?


    Either way it’s not working and something needs done to address the issue.

  29. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on

    Europe is not part of the ‘strategy. DD wants to optimise profits within the domestic environment which is significantly less risky (financially) than competing with the big boys. BR wanted to highlight this strategy by selecting his team accordingly.



    The only player who got pass marks from me was Ryan Christie, who looks like he could become a player.



    Christian Gamboa made his last first team appearance last night.



    Jozo has to go – he’s a waste of time.



    Better to get rid of Boyata asap and deal with the future. He’s not really interested in the team, only in looking good, which backfired on him when he thought he was Beckenbauer. I’ll be happy to see him go in January.



    How far backwards has KT gone??? There was a time when he looked like the future, but when you compare the trajectories of Andy Robertson + KT it makes you wonder what is going wrong with KT. I’m surprised PL is not getting involved as this will impact upon asset value if it continues.



    Did we drop Marvin Compper off when we went??? Hope so.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 21