Goal shyness hampers Celtic


Overall I was pleased with many aspects of Celtic’s play yesterday.  We dominated large parts of the game and got in and around the Hearts penalty area often enough to score the proverbial barrel load.

Hearts scored a good goal.  The flick from Beattie and run from Skacel were both exquisite, although a deflection off the blameless Kelvin Wilson was crucial.  Enough has been said about the second Hearts goal already.  Defensively we were good.

Midfield also played well, to a point, forcing Hearts into retreat for all but the opening 20 minutes of the second half.  Ki Sung-Yueng should have scored twice but he’s never been a player for back post headers and I was more surprised he found himself in that position than he missed both opportunities.  He is a player who continues to impress.

The question we should turn our attention to is why Celtic didn’t score more goals?

It is probably not an exaggeration to suggest Emilio Izaguirre is the best left back at the club in 30 years.  Skilful and intelligent in possession, Celtic look composed when he is on the field, but he’s being kept out of the team by a free transfer from Aberdeen because Charlie Mulgrew is manufacturing the most crucial item in the game – goals.

I’m close to advocating ‘Give the ball to Charlie’ tactics.  He has the ability to fire in remarkably dangerous crosses and has an instinctive awareness that the purpose of the game is to score goals.  Kris Commons shares this awareness but Kris has had a wretched season and is still rescuing his game from injury and early season loss of form.

In these circumstances, Neil Lennon cannot afford to play Izaguirre if it involves dropping Mulgew as this would severely hamper Celtic’s ability to put the ball in the net.  If the manager wants to use Emilio, particularly in Europe next season when retaining possession will be crucial, Charlie has to play left midfield.

Scoring goals is the primary responsibility of the strikers.  None of Celtic’s current crop are impressing at the moment, but we need to look further upstream first.

We have an outstanding original canvass painting of Neil Lennon available for purchase on eBay to kick start our summer charity fundraising. This year the beneficiaries will be Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Martin Chambers Foundation and The Neuroblastoma Alliance, Aberdour PS PTA, The Haven, Blantyre. The painting, by US based artist, Joseph Gormley, is an outstanding memento of our manager during these times.

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  1. While there is much to admire and speculate on in the BRT&H article on RTC it has a fundamental error at it’s heart. RFC did not bank with or have facilities with BoS at the time of Murray’s takeover and did not bank with BoS until several years later. I don’t know who MIM banked with at that time.

  2. Paul67,



    I can’t agree that the defence were good or that Wilson was blameless for the goal.



    Firstly, Wilson gave the ball away carelessly which lead to Hearts’ possession and the first goal.



    Secondly, we only had to defend for a small fraction of the game, looked shaky during that time, and conceded two goals.


    Hail Hail

  3. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    I dont understand. He acted as he should have imho as I ahave already stated if a Celtic player starts to cheat at this level and hopes to get his Lenny endorsed pay packet I´d be surprised.



    Hail Hail

  4. BMCUW – Certainly no intention on my part to be censorious – I just wanted to point out that AMcL was possibly approaching the subject from a different perspective than the rest of us. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t agree with what he had to say but that’s allowed.

  5. Som mes que un club on

    Paul 67



    Good to see someone else extole the virtues of Ki Sung-Yueng.



    I alluded to this earlier on a previous article, and I am surprised at the number of people who want him sold.

  6. from RTC


    22 May 2005- is a cherished memory for all Rangers fans. Rangers beat Hibs at Easter Road to clinch the SPL title. Neil Doncaster needs to ask: “How many members of the Rangers squad that day were, or would become, beneficiaries of the EBT scheme?” (Let me help him out- it will be a lot easier to count those who did not participate). The truth is that many of the Rangers squad would not have been anywhere near Easter Road that day without the use of the EBT scheme. If the EBT scheme is deemed to be illegal, the SFA and the SPL cannot pretend that the second contracts held by the vast majority of the Rangers’ first team players during the middle of the last decade were just a procedural transgression of no material impact. On the balance of probabilities would Rangers have been crowned Scottish Premier League champions that day without the use of the EBT scheme?



    The future value of winning a championship in Scottish football is in the hands of Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster. They will face intense pressure from those close to the old regime at Ibrox- and their friends in the media- to sweep these issues under the carpet. That would be a huge mistake.



  7. Mort,



    Agree totally. Hooper should stay right up front as far as I am concerned. Let the midfield come to him rather than go looking for the ball deep. He is an old fashioned penalty box striker – and is good at it.

  8. ScotPatsfan



    I was about to post the same – at times Hooper was playing deeper than Commons and Samaras. Lustig and Mulgrew were often in advance of our forwards – On two occasions Ki and Commons were our forwards. I thought we set up wrong in a few positions and didn’t click until the last 15 mins – and that was through Wanyama. I think folk are being harsh on Stokes with what was best a reaction to a ball instead of a sitter. The sitters missed yesterday were by Ki. Plain and simple.




  9. Awe Naw


    I do at times feel that we are being treated like Joseph Fritzl’s children.





  10. completely pointless pumping swinging balls into the box from wide. so the point is mute.








    play players that will do their job but its too late now.


    the league is won.


    the cups would have been a bonus but should have


    been a certainty.





    lustig loovens mulgrew izzy


    brown wanyama ledley




    hooper stokes



    we need a strong experienced forward


    an experienced centre half and


    an experienced midfielder.



    no point having a very good young team with no



  11. Paul 67 / All . Not sure why we would have to drop Charlie M to accomodate Izzy. Drop bombsacre Wilson put Chas in the vacated CB position allowing us to play Izzy, also in games where we know we have to battle do not play KI, he is just not up for a fight. Drop Ki play Vic W in midfield and always always play Sammi on the left = very simples. But maybe thats why i would never be any good as a footie manager, i even have to resort to cheating at Championship manager.


    A couple of musts for transfers (if the biscuit tin allows) – a consistent 20+ goal a season striker who knows how to attack the ball with his head and can bully defenders in a BBJ & Chris Hun skelper style; at least one proven quality experienced CB, an attacking midfielder with the vision and skill of Lubo and THG if FF doesn’t sign, although if Artur was indeed willing to come back its him over FF anyday – sorry big man. I think that will be the best part of 16+ million quid very well spent. Over to you Dermot D :-)

  12. The Token Tim on

    Mort @ 1619hrs:



    “His play in recent weeks has changed as he is coming more and more out the field to help out and to set up play which means that on occasion, he isn’t where he is needed when the ball comes into the box.”



    I texted my brother (and TTTT) on several occasions esp in the first half asking if Hooper and Commons das switched positions, so often was Hoops around the halfway line but Commons was pushed up.



    For me it clearly dimishes his play and definitely his return. I dont know whow many times we had the ball wide in advanced positions yesterday but no Hooper in the box as he was coming in late after being stuck in midfield.


    he is not that type of player and i was getting very frustrated by it yesterday.


    Possibly he was getting frustrated/annoyed at lack of service so kept coming deep, but there is no doubt in my mind his full effectiveness is in the box in and around that 6 yard box.



    Also I was talking about Hooper last week re being a poacher and he himself said in an interview prior to the Killie game that not one of his goals for Celtic had come from outside the box….but that didnt bother him at all. And we all know what happened then.



    Trying (in vain at the moment) to get over yesterday, but cant help but feel rest of season is now anti-climatic.


    Hopefully given a few days I’ll be back on course, but hard today.






  13. BMCUW – Just caught up with your follow-up post. I’ll have you know that I’ve been voted CQN’s most desirable poster for 5 years in a row now,

  14. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    Big Nan



    He is a Jambo abd works for the Scottish Government!



    Says it all, really!

  15. Kojo 16.22



    Phillip Twardzik is the epitome of namby pamby.


    Ki is way ahead of this kid at present.


    Ki is a proven cup tie final WINNER.


    Ki missed 2 sitters yesterday.


    He was very close to being our hero again.


    Dave Ki has his best years yet to come.


    I hope that they are in a Celtic shirt.


    Yer Pal,



  16. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Paul 67 Great how we all see a game differently I think its easy to play Charlie and Izzy in the same team just play Izzy at left back and Charlie at Centre back.I thought Kelvin Wilson was shaky all through the game and when Beattie came on for Hearts the centre back pairing just couldnt handle him.We have a fragilty about us in certain games I dont know why and Lennie has to sort it out before the Champions League Qualifyers. H.H.

  17. Big Nan on 16 April, 2012 at 15:56 said:



    I thought we were well on top in the first half, slow in the build up, but dominant. Beattie came on and shook things up, but Neil Lennon wouldn’t have known that at half time, the players needed to adjust. At no time in the game were Celtic outplayed, they gave us trouble on the break, sure, but not outplayed.


    The point of my post was that you did say we were outplayed, you did, you may not have put it quite as you wanted, I wasn’t having a pop at you, just disagreeing with the point made.

  18. DB



    But that’s in a competition which you run yourself and you only allow yourself to vote in it. And apart from that first year when you voted for Sandi Toksvig, you only vote for yourself.




  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I call you when I need you, cos Lenny’s on fire


    Hugh come to me, come to me wild and wired


    Mmm, Hugh come to me


    Give us everything we need


    Give us a lifetime of promises and Murray Moonbeams


    Speak the language of brotherhood and do a smokescreen


    Mmm, it can’t be wrong


    one interview TV part and make it strong, hughy



    You’re simply a pest, bitter than all the rest


    Bitter than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met


    Fitbas coming apart as they hang on every word you say


    Your bleeding heart, no, baby, you weren´t misread



    In your heart I see the star of last night and former day


    In your eyes you got lost, you got washed away


    by the law of diminishing returns


    you could be in no better place



    You’re simply a pest, bitter than all the rest


    Bitter than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met


    like your veneral warts, and the hun financial disarray


    Tearing you apart Hugh, baby, huns will soon be dead



    Each time you recieve a fee from the laptop loyal


    You’re walking away with bungs for damage control


    I can smell you even when I’m alone


    Oh hugh, don’t let go



    Ooh you’re a pest (woo)


    Bitter than all the rest


    Bitter than anyone, anyone I’ve ever met


    Ooh, now your an irrelevant fart


    They hang on every word you say


    Fitbas coming apart no, no, no,


    Hugh, Oh the Rangers are dead


    Oooh, you’re a pest!

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    Get Luuk de Jong on WGS’s list of summer signings.



    Out of contract unless Twente exercise their 1 year contract extension option this summer.



    Young striker doing big things in Holland.

  21. Uly, I would vote for Dick Byrne too. And if it was between him and wee Sandi and you either had to vote for Sandi or go to jail as a Dick Byrne dissident, I’d still vote for Dick.

  22. Paul67:



    I have been concerned for some time, as have many others in our available Strikers that can consistently contribute effectively in the scoring department.



    I do recognise that both Stokes and Hooper have weighed in with their quota. However, when either or both are struggling, we do not have not hungry ready replacements on the Bench that can step up to the plate.



    We bought Bangura and brought in Brozek, neither have contributed through injury and also in my opinion are just not good enough.



    We need to sort out the striking department for next season, we have two recognised strikers that are worth their salt.



    I agree I would not drop Charlie Mulgrew. However, I would drop Kelvin Wilson and play Charlie with A.N. Other. That would allow us to play Izzy at Left-Back, he can whip in as good a cross as Charlie. I was at a meeting at CP a few months ago where questions could be put to Neil Lennon. At this meeting one such question was about Charlie. Neil informed those present that he saw his Centre Half pairing being Charlie and A.N. Other. If Izzy was fit why didn’t this happen yesterday.



    Kelvin Wilson in my opinion contributed to the first goal yesterday when his aimless header went straight to a jambo.



    I am still hurting, mega, I hate losing, I hate losing especially to the jambos and rfc (ia).



    We need to sort out goal shyness that hampers Celtic for next season. We need especially, a target man when we have to revert to route one football on occasion.



    Sorry for the rant and long post but had to get it of my chest and your current leader gave me my in.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!

  23. Joe Filippis Haircut



    I agree. Charlie made the only crunching tackle by a Celtic player all day. I don’t want to see players make dirty tackles but at least compete and get wired into the opposition. I would play Charlie in midfield when an experienced CB arrives in the summer. We need class players. The core of the team is there but we need experience to compliment this young side. CB, CM & CF. Sort out the spine of the team and the rest will slot in. Kayal has been a massive loss. Will he take months to slot back in like Izzy. Our two best players have been out most of the season. Still great achievement to win the league but it could and should have been a treble.




  24. In the Under Seventeens…


    Ah like.. oor.. Young Center Forward..



    Denny Johnstone, is his Name..and Fur a Sixteen Year auld..


    he is Built like the Proverbial..



    He wull be a Brammer..



    And.. In oor Under Nineteens…



    oor Second Choice Center Forward is..



    Jim Alabi. who is Also. Built Even Mair Like .. the.. Proverbial,


    than.. The Proverbial!!!!!



    And oor.. soon tae be… A New Member o’ our First Team Pool..



    Tony Watt..is..well, no exactly Built like the Proverbial. but,


    he is no a Kick in the Backside aff it!



    So where Am Ah going wi this?



    You Tell Me..



    Answers oan a Post Caird.






    Still, Laffin’






    Happy, as a Sand Bhoy.

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    The Battered Bunnet. I dont know about you but I dont think our priority should be any more youngsters I honestly think we need 2 or 3 older heads to help the quality youngsters we have at present.H.H.

  26. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    About the half-way point of this season I reckoned that Stokes and Hooper would go onto get 30 goals apiece this year, unfortunately since then they have stammered and stumbled a little.


    For me the Celtic Weakest link is through the spine of the side, In midfield Ki and Broon are the perennial underachievers and ally them to a centre half pairing of Loovens and Wilson and we have a fairly weak area, which often results in the strikers being isolated and the defence shaky.


    Last season we got 92 points and I felt that we could go forward as a young team


    I didn’t see us take that “step up” in quality this season, maybe injuries to Commons, Izzy and Kayal hampered us, since these 3 generally have a bit of creative flair to the side


    Anyway, the cups are just icing and the Title is the cake.


    Without the Title the cups mean nothing


    And do you know what, the best is still to come, the huns are going bust!

  27. The Battered Bunnet on 16 April, 2012 at 16:40 said:



    Bas Dost of Heerenveen is the striker we should be looking at in the Eredivisie. Given the season he’s had he’d possibly be out of our range in terms of transfer fee now

  28. Just in from work, having a cuppa and a read of CQN – Two very good articles today Paul67. Thankyou.



    Despite defeat yesterday I am still a contented Celt.



    League Champions.



    The Dark Side still in turmoil (although you’d swear they weren’t if you believed the printed press).



    And the SFA Refereeing Fraternity giving us yet more ammunition and evidence.



    Was talking to a fairly neutral observer today. First thing he said to me was ‘how the f(*& was that a penalty, unbelievable decision.’



    I think Lenny calculated his on field rant yesterday. I reckon he thinks he can serve out his ban before the new season starts.



    Does anyone know what he was saying? I was trying to lip read and it looked like ‘You saw that’ – anyone any ideas???

  29. Kayal33 on 16 April, 2012 at 16:44 said:


    The Battered Bunnet on 16 April, 2012 at 16:40 said:



    Bas Dost of Heerenveen is the striker we should be looking at in the Eredivisie. Given the season he’s had he’d possibly be out of our range in terms of transfer fee now





    The summer of a Euro Championship or World cup is always a tricky time to buy. Prices inflate, previously under the radar guys get noticed, some guys play out of their skins for two or three weeks and then believe the hype about themselves but fail to deliver long term.



    Hopefully Celtic have another hidden gem sounded out already. It’s a real shame we missed out on the Portugese boy Diawara but there are players out there.

  30. If the referee in yesterday’s game says he awarded a penalty because he SEEN a DELIBERATE handball by V.Wanyama he is both a liar and a cheat.


    In the first place,Victor did not handle the ball deliberately.


    Secondly,his hands were never in an unnatural position.


    Thirdly,the shot was not even on target.


    Fourthly and perhaps most importantly…..he COULDN’T SEE IT.


    There is a Hearts player blocking his view to the extent he could not see it.


    If he says otherwise he is,as I say A LIAR AND A CHEAT

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