Harsh lesson that Celtic need to improve


It pains me to say it, but Newco’s run in Europe this season has been exceptional.  We can make whatever excuses we like about the merits of Braga and Red Star, but this didn’t matter to us in 2003 when we eliminated Boavista, then 10th in the Portuguese league, and it should not matter now.

For much of the game last night, Leipzig looked ordinary; unable to get into the Newco box, never mind create a chance.  The goal came from a low percentage shot by a left back who moments before mis-controlled the ball to let it run out of play.

Leipzig, though, are anything but ordinary.  Defeat to two late goals by Union Berlin on Saturday was their only reversal in 17 outings, a run that includes wins away over Atalanta, Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Real Sociedad. They remain favourites to progress to the final, but the game did not go to plan for the Germans and their place in the final is not assured.

Four years ago today we beat Newco 5-0 to win the league on our way to being the first Scottish team to retain the treble.  That day, that season, was enormous fun, but it was one in a long line of seasons when Celtic were not pushed.  Strategically, that treble did less for us than I hope the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat two weeks ago will do.  You and I now know we need to improve for next season.

To win this league we will need to better a team who reached a European semi-final.  If we do, it would be a remarkable achievement for a new manager and overwhelmingly new playing squad.  For the remainder of this season and almost certainly next season, we face-off against a very competitive outfit for a Champions League bounty that would be transformational to whoever wins.


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  1. Pingback: Harsh lesson that Celtic need to improve | Celtic FC News Now

  2. Are those Shipbank Ruffians drinking whilst I am at the coal face?



    Is there no shame in these guys.



    Sooooooo Jealus



    D :)

  3. That 5-0. What a day.


    In all those Hun skelpings we never chased the seven goals.



    Still annoys me.

  4. SAINT STIVS on 29TH APRIL 2022 12:25 PM


    That 5-0. What a day.


    In all those Hun skelpings we never chased the seven goals.


    Still annoys me.




    had they not suffered enough? 😎

  5. It could be argued that of the British teams competing in Europe last night RIFC achieved the best result in that they gave themselves a decent chance of making it to a Euro final at home, as opposed to in Germany or Italy. Scary thought that when the UEFA Cup as was returns to Seville of all places.

  6. I find it interesting that the 4 semi finalists of the Europa look very ordinary when you think of all the strong teams who were in it at an earlier stage

  7. At least all the crap about us not being good enough for the CL can now be binned.


    How many times has the cry been heard — CL is too good for the likes of us?


    If we are set up correctly / confident / at ease with ourselves then we should be CL competitive.



    The TFOD2.1 are so limited it hurts to watch them.


    But they are competitive against teams that too many on here think are too good for us.



    No matter the result on Sunday we need to build for next season.


    Three of our starters are on loan deals so that has to be sorted.



    And then you have the gaps in the squad:


    Starters — LB / CB / DM or a MF who can tackle would be a start.


    Back ups — GK / CB / B2B MF who can tackle / RW / CF.



    The league is ours to lose — it would be good to “win” it on Sunday.


    I fear that the MIB will offer more opposition than the TFOD2.1.

  8. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Fair enough Pablo.



    But if we win on Sunday, even just 1-0, the relative Glasgow narrative for next season changes with us as the dominant force and Old Firm FC back in “puncher’s chance” territory.



    Two points I’d make about your last para if I may.



    Transformative for both yes …



    … but absolutely vital for ONE of those two …



    … if their current structure and performance levels are to stand any chance of being sustained.



    With that in mind I respectfully don’t agree with the assertion that they will almost certainly be as competitive next season.



    There’s is an ageing squad which also includes a number who are at end of contract between June 2022 and June 2023.



    Plus, they have ZERO track record in successfully negotiating Champions League qualifiers.



    This structure and approach that one poster on here in particular seems to admire copiously ….



    … is effective at EL level (slightly lower standards, varying degrees of interest, motivation, energy) …



    .. but can’t get it done against fresher teams in August when the big pressure is on.



    If Old Firm FC don’t make CL group stage, I expect 3 things to happen.



    1. A sizeable fire sale in August 2022



    2. That fire sale to be branded ad nauseam as



    “a strategic overhaul of the squad to best prepare us for the medium and long term challenges ahead”



    3. Their idiot fans to lap it all up

  9. Hopefully the match is over as a contest early doors on Sunday and der hun don’t suffer to many injuries in a brusing derby encounter.

  10. Paul,long before the 5-0 a ball rolled across the lie awaiting a tap in….anything occur?



    Oh we could jaunt back to those halcyon days of cheating.when minty left his artificial limb in DDs ass.since 87.


    Maybe those days of cheating are just how they do business and Celtic has an oral contract to meekly accept!.sure looks like it.


    Suppose it is difficult dealing with criminals




  11. DENIABHOY on 29TH APRIL 2022 10:20 AM


    For those advocating Rogic and Hatate to start. I assume you watched the last game where they were both bullied and bypassed by a very aggressive hun midfield? Instructions from GVB will be same again. Hatate will not get the time to showboat like he did in his debut and he is clearly lacking stamina after his season and a half of non-stop play.





    I would play Bitton and O’Reilly alongside Calmac which allows Calmac to move forward more.







    I appreciate there is almost no chance of that happening.



    I agree with Biton,if available.Give Rogic another chance.Proven Hunskelper.The Huns will try the same tactics as Hampden,bully,foul,our midfield.Why I would have Biton in there.


    Hatate looks like a dead man walking.Cant believe so many can’t see this.I agree with you,when was his last good game?.He has everything in his game,to do the business on Sunday,but for me,it’s a gamble.


    Up front,Abada,Kyogo,Jota for me,or Gio for Abada.Kyogo must start.

  12. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Sorry, I thought the CL spoils went to this year’s winners? Confused.

  13. The fact that the Huns had their whole team defending,does not make it any less tiring.How many times have we heard from the experts,it’s a lot harder without the ball.Stress levels among the Hun defenders would have been Sky high.We see it regularly with us,pass,pass,pass,eventually they tire,lose concentration.


    If the Huns open up at Ibrox,you will see a totally different RB.


    What we should be doing on Sunday,pass them off the park.

  14. “It pains me to say it, but Newco’s run in Europe this season has been exceptional. We can make whatever excuses we like about the merits of Braga and Red Star, but this didn’t matter to us in 2003 when we eliminated Boavista, then 10th in the Portuguese league, and it should not matter now”.





    Agree with all you say Paul – denigrating another’s position adds zilch and is usually used to cover one’s own shortcomings. The run to the semi-final has been exceptional, as was ours to the final when we collected Liverpool’s scalp along the way.




    “To win this league we will need to better a team who reached a European semi-final. If we do, it would be a remarkable achievement for a new manager and overwhelmingly new playing squad.”




    I posted with with similar sentiments yesterday – It would indeed be REMARKABLE given our situation at the start of the season. The new manager has used his first two transfer windows to rebuild a squad ‘on the hoof’ whilst maintaining a run of results that now puts it in our own hands to ‘clinch the cinch’ title.



    Let’s take the next step on Sunday.

  15. Paul67



    The tribute act’s homage to Wattenachio made RB look ordinary, two banks of five has a tendency to do that to even good teams.



    Sevco don’t have a recognised striker, they’ll play for penalties in Glasgow in their next two games.



    We’ve a league title to wrap up, we’ve assembled the cast to do it GG should start, keep the low baws, high.



    Mon the Hoops CSC

  16. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Indeed. Sevco’s runs of recent years denudes the jokers in our boardroom who have presided over serial European failure since you know who came in as CEO. I’m sure Mr Beta, aka Bankier, knows Ange won’t settle for his ‘Europe has left us behind’ appeal to mediocrity. Seems like Nicholson has a lot more ambition than the old guard and takes huge credit for enabling Ange’s incredible success this season. More power to his elbow.

  17. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the Shipbank, Saltmarket. Good company and beer. How I suffer for my art. Nae luck D66, James sends his regards. 😜

  18. Who’d have thunk it? – Celtic going out of a much harder Europa League group while Sevco go through to the knock out stages with less points than us.



    Sacktheboard CSC

  19. The Huns have got 4 sellout crowds plus a fair whack of UEFA tv money for getting so far in the EL.



    Must alleviate some of their financial problems.

  20. See a few folk not appreciating Reo’s ongoing magnificence. Celtic Analysis did a tremendous piece on the wee man that should shake off any of that biased nonsense. Great summary below but go have a read.



    Next season we all dream of team of Reo Hatate’s.



    Make a stand in the ECL then we need to leave behind the sentimentality and old firmism that held us back in the last decade or so. Build a young, fit and technically brave set of players to play Angeball 2.0.



    Can’t wait personally.







    “The Celtic Analysis






    Apr 23


    Hatate’s playing style can often skew perception of his performances: he’s always looking to drive forward, play quickly, to be effective.



    When it doesn’t come off, criticism often follows.



    But in many ways he’s Celtic’s bravest player, epitomising Ange’s defintion of bravery.”

  21. Let’s be big enough to acknowledge the achievement of others, and be good enough to better them when the opportunity arises.

  22. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Did I see that there’s a wee Ship Bank get-together on the go?






  23. There’s yer best 11 starting line-up Sunday….movement, movement, movement….



























  24. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Also – if anyone wants to listen to some good tunes –>



    WeeBGFC is hosting his own radio show this afternoon on Fusion Radio (2pm to 3pm).



    The one-hour chilled out session is called “The Hippy Hour” (!!) – full of great 60’s and 70’s tunes – Fleetwood Mac, Credence Clearwater Revival, Mamas & Pappas, The Band, Eagles, Carole King, etc.



    Log on and give him a listen…here’s the link









  25. quadrophenian on

    We’ve really got little option but to be magnanimous about THEMS, as you say Paul.


    Between retches and gritted teeth they have shown a discipline and application we have rarely mustered at that level, and seemingly not aided and abetted by loyal referees as at home.


    With a helicopter view on the achievements of both big Glasgow teams, the Scotch gemme’s overlords will surely be quite content if sevco were to win a little Euro vase, and us win the League pennant under rebuild mode. With a jab to our nation’s co-efficient and both sets of fans with different bragging rights, the Gerrard and Postecoglou effects would be big news and big box-office next season.


    That’s the kinda showbusiness the old switcherooni game can fair build on.



    Sunday’s main concern – as ever – is they’ll be in our faces, and brother Beaton will grant a cheque to do so.



    We field our free flowing purists, cos we have no-one to get in among it and scrap at their thuggish level.

  26. !!Bada Bing!! on

    SS- it was 5-0 after 53 minutes, still rankles we didn’t push the button, it should have been double figures

  27. PTB @ 1.16



    What happens if their T/O is higher than ours this season?



    Will PL be forced to resign?


    Will DD have to make a statement?



    If the TFOD2.1 don’t win in the cups then they don’t eat.


    They have turned every trick to keep their cup runs going.



    We just seem to sit back and accept our fate.



    The last 4 in the EuL are poor in the extreme.


    Sometimes that happens in any cup competition.



    What would be our chances against them?


    Now and in 5 months time?



    If we don’t gub them next season then we are not trying hard enough.


    I think AP is up for the challenge — not sure about the DD and the board.



    Funny that BL had a horrible year in the CL group stages.


    But two of their better mid table teams make it into the EuL SF’s.



    Funny old game.

  28. “We field our free flowing purists, cos we have no-one to get in among it and scrap at their thuggish level.”



    Good. We’ll beat them playing our way then

  29. BIG WAVY @ 1:23




    At this stage Ange won’t ‘throw anyone out’, or, ‘throw anyone in’, and therefore your selection is most probably right. However he might be inclined to Rogic another chance instead of O’Riley.

  30. Ange won’t compromise this weekend, nor next season



    We’ve got where we are by concentrating on our own business off and on the pitch. Lessons learned from last season won’t be quickly forgotten by those who really know where we went wrong

  31. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Looking forward to seeing O’Riley and Kyogo together. With Matt’s ability to hit early forward passes and Kyogo’s runs they should cause a lot of damage.


    Whether or not we see it this weekend who knows. Probably be into next season before we see the best of it but it’s gonna be good!