Game management test for Ange


Tonight we will find out if that feel good factor that has been kicking around for the last fortnight is built on bedrock or a more malleable material.  AZ Alkmaar finished a point shy of PSV Eindhoven last season, a side that tore Midtjylland apart in the last round of Champions League qualifiers.

AZ are the highest seed we could have met at this stage and at the start of the season would have expected to reach the Europa League group stage.  They came to Celtic Park in a friendly 11 years ago with former Rangers former manager, Dick Advocaat, and left with a win, although Celtic were in a dark, post-Tony Mowbray lull at the time.

There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful.  Celtic are creating chances and scoring goals with ease.  A sell-out crowd will do its best to intimidate the visitors and put steel inside the hoops.  Ange Postecoglou should have Liel Abada available for selection, the latter point could be crucial.

If I picked on anything Ange has done since he arrived, it would be not introducing fresh blood early enough in Midtjylland.  Both sides were short of numbers but Midtjylland made earlier changes while Celtic stalled.  It was not great game management.

AZ have played one solitary competitive game this season compared to Celtic’s seven.  They will inevitably tire, Celtic have to be ready to hammer home any advantage possible late in the game.  A flurry of fresh legs at the critical moment could be telling.

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  1. Tonight…


    Kyogo is 7/2 to score TWO Goals and 14/1 to score a Hat Trick with Bet365…..I will bet on BOTH Bets.


    Ive also taken the 30/1 odds…on Kyogo to score ANYTIME and for Celtic to win by the correct score of 4-1.



  2. Agree P67,if we are a couple of goals up,hopefully, 20 minutes to play and under pressure, I would like to see what AP does to close the game out,fresh legs also required if we are doing major pressing to get the ball back.

  3. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Not convinced our group is in intelligent, controlled, game management territory yet?



    On that basis, and on the basis that we are good going forward and they’ve played hardly any football? …..



    .. I’d be inclined to just get “intae” them !




    “If I picked on anything Ange has done since he arrived, it would be not introducing fresh blood early enough in Midtjylland”



    Bit harsh Pablo?



    The blood on the bench that night was “fresh” to the point of being pubescent?

  4. Very much looking forward to seeing our own fitba version of the Harlem Globetrotters tonight, at a sold out Celtic Park.


    To play Ange-ball for a full 90 minutes, we would need 14 players on the park. So, perhaps a more pragmatic tactic will be required against better opponents. Ange-ball for 20 minutes, then 10 minutes of Brend-ball (slow side-to-side passing), to allow Rogic and Turnbull to re-charge the batteries.



    A good result tonight would keep the collective mood very positive.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    The scrapping of the away goals rule should be a big plus for Ange-ball.


    Just go for it!

  6. The big takeaway from Denmark for me is the need to take our chances. Forrest should have put the game to bed, chances can be missed but guilt edged chances need to be put away tonight.

  7. prestonpans bhoys on

    Fair point about game management, AZ will certainly tire and we will need subs on and not the last five minutes

  8. P67



    Getting a bit snidey with your comments regarding AP …


    Are you trying to keep our feet on the ground or are you sniping for a pal?



    Very interesting game tonight.



    They had a good season last season for a club so small.


    Players made a name for themselves and have now moved on.


    Interesting that 2 of them have made it to France and not the EPL.



    If our total focus is on the team on the park then AZ should not bother us in the slightest.


    However after 3 years of stagnation and two years of self harm we are half the team we could be.



    2018 — A house divided will always fall and fall we did.


    2021 — Focus / Energy / Belief are the building blocks we need and they seem to be falling into place.



    DMcK — good egg chaser that he is — seems to have found the Ladybird Book of Growth Agendas that PL never could.



    Stuff falling into place all over the shop.



    Colts team up and running — unlucky last night by all accounts.


    CSS were a big well drilled outfit who gave them a good game.



    Ladies team getting a bit of publicity.



    PPV / CTV starting to take off in a big way.



    Everything will take time but now we seem to be putting in the effort.


    Rather than raking in bonuses and thinking up excuses for the astroturf to publicise.



    Selling out CP with no mention of our friends in Govan.


    Leave them behind — we are one half of nothing.

  9. We cant underestimate the difference Kyogo makes. Pace,pace, pace



    Out first half against hearts was like nothing Iv seen before for outright pace,



    having a lumbering striker drifting out to wings or dropping back to midfield has slowed the whole approach down. now we have two speed merchants who can cause mayhem with their movement.



    Cant wait!

  10. Paul says:



    AZ have played one solitary competitive game this season compared to Celtic’s seven. They will inevitably tire, Celtic have to be ready to hammer home any advantage possible late in the game. A flurry of fresh legs at the critical moment could be telling.




    They might tire, however that is also something we tend to do – let’s hope that we are getting stronger and can last more than an hour.



    Perhaps replacing Rogic, Turnbull & Forrest, with McCarthy, Soro & Abada on the hour mark could work – it’s a pity we have lost Christie for this tie. I expect to start like this:


























    “The proof of the pudding”…….dessert is now about to be served.



    There is a new basis for hope!!!

  11. I would prefer to see Abada start and Kyogo play in his best position – through the middle.


    This is an important game so please spare us diminishing Kyogo’s talents to give Edouard a game.


    There is in my opinion, no point in talking about partnerships with Edouard. He is off if he gets the right deal.

  12. MARKIEBHOY on 18TH AUGUST 2021 12:47 PM




    You make a fair point, however I’m pretty sure that the manager will start with Edouard. The first hour on Sunday will be the blueprint……but AZ will be a better side than Hearts. A fascinating tie – this week & next week will answer some questions and could shape the season.

  13. This week and next week will not shape our season, it will give us more of an indication of what’s required for the rest of the season though, por cierto

  14. Wee quote from e-tims…


    “Liam Scales, the outstanding defender at Shamrock Rovers will join in due course, which means Celtic will have four central defenders to choose from. And Nir Biton, giving us a total of four.”



  15. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Tonight will be interesting.



    I think Celtic will be vulnerable to good counter-attacking football. The manager’s philosophy strikes me as very gung-ho/ if you score 5 we’ll score 6, which is ok against Dundee, but maybe a bit naive against decent European opposition. I think the need for good game management goes beyond the use of substitutes.

  16. Go tell the Spartim on

    AP’s ambition is to go for it for 90 minutes, by game management read squad management, it’s only gung ho in terms of intensity, intensity to play quicker but also and more importantly to win the ball back significantly quicker, he’s not in a position to weaken the team with many substitutions especially with Christie being injured, I’d think that at some point Abada will come on for either of the front three, probably Forrest (not singling him out specifically but Abada tends to play right side) and possibly McCarthy for Rogic or Turnbull, possibly Soro too. We don’t have any options in defence so expect no change there.



    Think the away goals being scrapped turns these games into two separate cup ties



    2-0 good guys 🍀🍀🍀

  17. Looking forward to the game this evening. We are certainly entertaining and Ange has, thus far, performed better than I’d dare hope.


    We remain poor at the back. Players may have improved, though baseline was fairly uninspiring.


    Without defensive dramas tonight, I’d go for 3-1 Celts

  18. To go completely off-topic, I notice the return of the hideous strip.



    The outfit that Bayern Munich wore last night against Dortmund is a monstrosity. And Arsenal deserved to lose to Brentford simply for having the brass neck to play in that kit. Man Utd have released a pre match top so awful that it would make Billy Urquhart look handsome.



    The Celtic players who choose the white long sleeved under simmit, and not the long sleeved home kit, look scruffy. There must be a way of smartening up the look. Say yes to a smart look Celtic, as Randy Fenoli might say.



    That’s enough Gok Wan for one day.

  19. JIMDOM



    Not only the hideous strips but a pet hate of old traditionalist me is where a team suddenly has new colours that are nothing associated with anything they wore in the past.



    The subtle pink on our third strip I can just about get used to , but Arsenal third they wore against Brentford is a mess,.



  20. Peterlatchfordsbelly,wrote,



    Lawwell did business at the last minute, mostly young, unproven projects ‘for the future’. Generally around the £2M mark, often on Dudu Duhan’s books, all with the hope of selling for profit to the EPL within 2 years. Most proved to be crap.



    I know I will be accused of a PL lover,but sorry,I cannot let utter nonsense go.



    Wanyama,Lustig,Ki,Hooper,Van Dijk,Dembele,Ajer,Foster,Mc Donald ,Armstrong,Frimpong,Commons,Rogic,Boyatta,Christie,Johansen,Sinclair,Edouarde,Izzy,Roberts.


    Profit from the ones sold,from these players,over 100,000,000.Not counting in Edouarde,Christie,if sold.


    KT,and Aiden Mc Geady sold from the academy for,37,000,000.



    “Most proved to be crap.”


    This was after Seville,where we were in debt,and had to downsize.Yes we signed some crap,but some people so narrow minded,they can only see one side.

  21. POR CIERTO @ 12:15


    May to December 1972. I played for the garage fitba team in the Glasgow Transport League against other bus garages teams. We drove a bus to the games, even got changed on the bus, and played home games at South Pollok or Haggs Castle.


    Why do you ask, if I may ask?

  22. POR CIERTO on 18TH AUGUST 2021 1:09 PM


    This week and next week will not shape our season, it will give us more of an indication of what’s required for the rest of the season though, por cierto.




    In other words, ‘shape our season’ – win and we plan for a quality European competition, lose, and we won’t.



    The Conference sounds about right for Aberdeen, St Johnstone & Hibs…but surely not Celtic.

  23. No idea how it will go tonight.Unchartered territory.A win keeps the feelgood factor going,so most welcome,2-0,would be great.A week on Sunday is the game for me.A win there burst their bubble,puts us on track.


    Most important league for decades.

  24. In our last 4 games after 60 minutes we have scored in every game, scored 6 and conceded 2



    If we’re tiring so are the opposition

  25. JHB on 18TH AUGUST 2021 2:49 PM



    “In other words, ‘shape our season’ – win and we plan for a quality European competition, lose, and we won’t.”



    And here you are again hours before a Celtic game, contradicting what you’ve posted before in an effort to make us feel anxious about the game and the season

  26. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on



    Caught my eye for a couple of reasons.



    1. Another example of people trafficking by big clubs. A purely financial, rather than footballing, asset to Real Madrid (if he goes for the suggested fee).



    2. Are Arsenal insane?



    Real Madrid are skint.



    Odegaard is a good player but his career to date comprises a breakthrough as a teenage prodigy in Norway followed by less than 100 starts at various mid-table clubs.



    Reputation and ownership (rather than pedigree and track record) are surely driving a £30m fee?

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