Has this squad hit the ceiling or can we control, pass and move better


You and I both knew before last night that Salzburg are well ahead of Celtic, so a 3-1 defeat away to the top seed surprised no one.  However, the game itself provided positive, as well as disappointing aspects.

Odsonne Eduard looked a handful when running at defences.  His goal and the chance he created a minute before the break typified this.  For all Salzburg’s ability, they looked weakest in defence.  We looked like we could put the ball in the net every time we got near then, which, admittedly, was seldom.

That aside, Eduard’s distribution was as poor as the rest of the teams’.  There were two distinct phases to the game: before Salzburg’s third goal and after.  After this point, the home team did not press nearly as forcefully, which allowed Celtic to find men with passes and retain possession.  This merely demonstrated how poorly we did so earlier in the game.

Prior to then, passing and movement lacked the confidence needed to play out from the back.  For example, Salzburg did not mark defenders in front of or at either side of the box when Craig Gordon took goal kicks in the first half.  Despite having three options for an easy pass, Craig kicked long the majority of the time – by definition into areas with fewer Celtic players, as we had three back at the penalty box.

The goalkeeper just didn’t fancy the consequences of passing to an unmarked defender – the story of the game in metaphor!

Dedryck Boyata was the outstanding Celtic player on the park.  He won everything in his vicinity and I even noticed him chasing down a ball he had himself headed clear, before others reacted.  But, on one occasion, when Craig chose to send a goal kick straight to him, he panicked, lost possession and conceded a chance in a dangerous area.  There was an easy pass back to the keeper.

You do not need to be Iniesta to work the ball out from the back.  You need to be able to control and pass, while everyone in the team needs the awareness to move into space, ensuring no one is boxed in.  This takes lots of practice and confidence.  We are correctly working towards this kind of football, but we’re not there yet, even in the SPFL.

The pertinent questions is, has this squad hit the ceiling or can we control, pass and move better?  I’m sure we can improve, although perhaps only by degrees.

I know what you were thinking every time Salzburg got a corner kick, “Here we go again” – or was that just me?  Instead, we defended set-pieces well; in fact, it was the home team who conceded the two best chances of any type before the interval.

James Forrest tucked in well on the right.  He got unfortunate with the bounce at the penalty, which was correctly awarded.  No complaints at the red card either, although I could squabble that Dabbur, who was already cautioned, should have received a second yellow on the two occasions he displayed a Tshirt message after his goals, if the referee followed his guidelines correctly.  Pedants CSC.

The football business is all about the next game and right now there is nothing on the horizon more than St Johnstone on Sunday.  Lick your wounds and get a result, Celtic.

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  1. So who’s gonnae be first tae say “The Rangers can win the Europa League?”…




    Barry Ferguson



    Derek Ferguson



    Alex Rae



    Andy Halliday






    The Queen



    Andy Walker



    Jimmy Bell




    Feck them all…?

  2. Feck Europa League


    lets concentrate on 8 IAR



    PS. I don’t think our squad is good enough, and we better for the league campaign



    D :)

  3. The last post was meant to read, I don’t think our squad is good enough for Europe.


    We also better recruit in January for our league campaign.


    Not getting 8IAR will be criminal



    D :)

  4. Oh and by the way good afternoon from a dull office in the North of Glasgow.


    After 4.30pm I have 4 more working days to go before flying to NYC on the 15th……



    :) :) :)



    D :)

  5. Despite his words that we ‘will learn’ from the defeat, I don’t believe the manager. We will learn nothing, just as we have learnt nothing since his first defeat in charge. He out of his depth at this level- no shame in that – but he gets £50k a week not to be.



    However, and in case you think I’m going after the Manager here, I’m not. The whole set up at the club stinks from the salaries paid to high level board members to low level players, to a youth set up that does not deliver or disco lights that do not work…we spend a lot of money in the wrong places and to change that we will need a cultural shift.



    Mr Lawell has done a sterling job at Celtic, for the most part, but this past 5 years have been an unmitigated disaster in Europe and we need to change the business model. We can only do that with a new CEO.



    The only thing thta will drive that change is the fans and the withdrawl of cash. Catch 22 eh?

  6. ‘The pertinent questions is, has this squad hit the ceiling …..’



    I don’t know. I’m too busy banging my head off the wall!!! ??????

  7. We are paying the price for not recruiting in the window when we could have kicked on.


    but hey ho still behind the Bhoys that pull on the Hoops .


    Win lose or draw CSC

  8. Paul



    the team isnt good enough.



    Lustig and Hendry (50% of our defence) shouldn’t be near the first team.




    JF, McGregor and LG are decent SPL players but totally lost against quality opposition.



    Our £9m talisman looks a work on progress with occasional flashes of brilliance in among the general mediocrity .



    Footballs not a complicated game, you are as strong as your weakest link.



    We have weak links all over the place.

  9. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Hopefully they haven’t hit a ceiling’ given many are now on lucrative long term deals.



    Maybe a few new faces would improve things. Not many, just 2 or 3 quality additions to inject a bit of competition and freshness.



    I’ve no idea why the manager hasn’t thought of that.

  10. I was deeply frustrated last night. The same mistakes every euro game. The same slow style of play. Over cautious mentality. Brendan needs to install urgency into the tactics. Something is clearly amiss at the club. Collectively there is a brittle mentality. I do not sense a “defiant togetherness” among the squad. Brendan needs to get new blood in in January. And surely Jozo is better than young , raw, not yet good enough Hendry? He was culpable again last night. I am not singling him out as we only had one good defender last night. Most players (again) did not show up, went through the motions and it seemed that they knew themselves they would be beat. 8iar is gonna be one heck of a challenge this season.





    ‘I remember exactly where I was and when. I didn’t do a damn thing. Salzburg did all the raping for me’.







    ‘Grace, just hold me in your arms and let Eddie’s first minute linger.’







    ‘It ain’t pretty, but it’s what it is’



    Cullen Bohannon






    Gordon: 7/10



    The big wraith made a couple of great saves – quickly forgotten by the lamentable as he garners pelters for poor distribution. But he has the most difficult pas sat times – under pressure with opposition closing him down; the fault lies with his outfield, static and scared to show.


    I rate him only 7 not because of that, but due to his lack of command last night – we needed him bullying a performance out of those in front of him; he’s too forgiving. Hairdryer them, big man.



    Lustig: 7/10



    Whiiiiit?, squawk the lynch mob. But he’s pish/past it. No he’s not. OUTSTANDING goal-saving tackle in the first half, pure timing. A numbe rof timely interceptions/ball wins in air followed.


    NO fault at their equalizer – all his international experience used to close down, hands behind back as their player looked to flick – the problem was young Hendry ball-watching behind him. Lustig was double-teamed as they built down the flank.


    Forrest was meant to be his wingman, in exvery sense. Can’t hold Lustig accountable. I don’t buy into the mob derision; go think for yerself. Go learn the game. He was a decent performer over-run due to the failings of others.




    Hendry 5/10



    Great first half- looked mor eaccomplished than ever, almost cofortable. Fell into SPl-standard thought-process second half; ball-watching at their goals, lost himself in the pressure. Still not first-choice defensive material. Needs older heads guiding him through games like these. Not Dedryck.




    Boyata 6/10



    Another good first-half performer, lost his way in the second as they swept past him on the deck. Not as commanding as he’s been, flustered as the intensity grew, didn’t provide the leadership at the back we required.




    KT – 6/10



    Followed the pattern of good start then uncharacteristically faded under pressure; an ominous sign when a battling young rebel like him isn’t at the fight; a sign of onfield disharmony?




    Mulumbu – 6/10



    A scrapper. Untidy but did not hide; a player made to play beside the sadly absent Broon, he performed well enough but there’s not a game-changer there. Too many quick feet coming at him.




    Sam Jackson 3/10



    S’like this mthufckas – can’t get me no chicken royale down the burger vans and the scripture defines the divinity of man is the manna of the of van, so I have this here plan to vay-cate this here neighborhood, quid pro quo it’s time to go, herby this bad mutha will no longer be participatin’ in the aforementioned soccer squabbles as my ass must be put out to grass until the glorious revolution is upon the righteous and my soul brother Moussa welcomes me with those open January arm in that Lyon’s den. You dig?




    Forrest 2/10



    Scamper, fall, wave arms, pull up socks – Jamesy had all the moves last night and mostly in that order. Asonisihngly pish farce to gift their penalty and win what he initially believed to be a red pokemon card for his collection. Sadly the yellow creature bearing it was no Picachu and Jamesy’s bemused walk to the dressing room was the most direct he’d been all night.




    McGregor 4/10



    Some promising prancing around the midfield first half came to nothing. Calmac flattered to deceive then disappeared so effectively that it took Brendan ages to find him to make a substitution. 10/10 for stealth.




    Griffiths 2/10



    Obviously pregnant due to some horrendous downtime experimentation with parthenogenesis, Sparky, now conflicted by his non-binary gender identity request being met with derision by Celtic management could not raise a moment of flair during his/her/its/Ms/Zog/Meh/Thing1/Otis/HeShe’s time on the pitch. Bewildering lack of influence.




    Edouard 7/10



    At least we have a lively one. Feeding off scraps a seagull would laugh at, preyed on their early lapse to score a fine goal. good movement, disastrously poor service. Showed what he’s capable of at this level when he made and ultimately converted the disallowed second. Give him some decent footballing structure behind and around ; he moves like mercury when the space is opening up. We’re asking him do do it all on his lonesome.







    Nope. not having it. Nobody looked capable when they came on. as if the malaise on the park had infected the bench.




    BR: 5/10



    Biiig questions getitng asked now. Mainly by fuckwits. Simple answer is – double treble in the bag, ten in a row on the horizon. Does he have the mettle? Does he have the wits? Does he care anymore? In Scotland, the rumour-mill will always be Hun-favoured. In the case of celtic managers, I always look to the players; are they playing for the boss? Are they showing enough respect? Are they holding sometihng back?



    Deila got shafted becasue he lost the dressing room. The first time we see any of BR’s lot throwing a ‘Kris Commons’ we’ll know. But there’s a spark missinfg somewhere; now he gets the chanc eto show his man-management skills; has BR ever lasted longer than a couple of seasons on top of a job? Maybe he’s finding the difficult third season as tough as Oasis did their shite third album. Long as BR doesn’t do a Be Here Now, he’ll still Be Here Then. See what I did there, Britpop afficionados?





    Overall: 3/10



    Off you fck, history, with youtr habit of repeating. Four years on from Ronny Deuila’s impostors being savaged by Salzburg 3-1, we get a tribute show from our current would-be world-beaters.



    A stars in your eyes powerhouse of a UEFA cup/Euro League display invoking bitter notes of Sion and Malmo, not to mentiion the devastating noridic chill of Molde. Where’s the mental resilience? Where’s the players fit to wear the jersey? Out-paced, Outplayed, over-run, and pumped. Perhaps drinking a can of pre-match Red Bull might have made a difference – some of our players looked like they might have done; one between them, that is, lacing their vodkas…

  12. Silver City 1888 on

    We seem to practice our European tactics against our weakest rivals in Scotland but, as soon as we should be using it for real, we switch to punting it up the park and hoping for the best. The 8 is the only thing this year. We should be playing each game with that in mind rather than using them as training for a style we don’t use in anger. We can’t ignore Europe. It draws players who wouldn’t be satisfied with the exposure or money from Scotland alone. We just need to prioritise.

  13. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Paul67 I think the manager has hit the glass ceiling he shows poor body language makes very strange substitutions and when he is interviewed makes the same statements each time.He has had a golden two seasons winning the treble twice he keeps telling us we will learn from our defeats but we never seem to.Our last two signings were free transfers decent enough players but not likely to shake up our first team. We need to concentrate on the SPL as any type of European football is a step to far for us and we are not guaranteed to win the SPL . I think for us Celtic supporters it is going to be a difficult season and we need to get right behind the team as currently they dont appear to be in a good place.H.H.

  14. Paul67



    Truth be told BR team 1 has whiskers and hit the ceiling early last season.



    That was why the transfer market was such a contentious issue with ins and outs.



    We surprised ourselves with the completion of the double treble, the Europa is a pain in the tonsils for a Celtic squad that should be in rebuild and we should focus on the SPL.



    Better teams than us use the Europa for team development whilst concentrating on the main prize.

  15. As a team, a squad and a support we are very parochial


    We all lack the confidence and the attitude to deal with the new, the different, the challenging.



    Last night — JF scores with his chance on 44 minutes we have another Anderlecht on our hands.


    We had been playing poorly with the often noticed inability to string three passes together.


    There had been a few scares but they did not have the quality to be guaranteed a victory.



    However we never got the second goal and the time in the dressing room seemed to have drained what little confidence we had. Our two best players — YM and DB — mixed talent and attitude to be more than competitive when they were on the park. Not perfect but not disgraced in any way shape or form unlike quite a few of their teammates.



    We have the talent but we do not have the heart to be successful outside our norms.


    Not sure if that comes from the SPL environment, a control freak captain or a tactically strict manager.


    We have had these issues since 2004 or thereabouts just a case they are getting more frequent and more basic.



    We are now the Bronskis — small town boys.

  16. Forrest should never have been playing so deep,if that was the tactics, Gamboa should have been in front of Lustig IMO

  17. Paul,



    If we are still working towards this kind of football in a 3rd season, then I don’t think an awful lot of work is taking place at Lennoxtown.



    Árd Macha

  18. Choose Life, Choose Celtic……




    MATT STEWART on 4TH OCTOBER 2018 10:37 PM


    Thanks to Tully57 once again.







    The ticket will have a prominent perch in my little shrine of unforgettable Celtic experiences.







    If you have any spares for Leipzig then let me know…following Celtic is an addiction and the only sort of cold turkey I need is if Celtic happens to be playing in Turkey and it is snowing.







    Football is a microcosm of wider life with the victories and defeats mirroring the world of triumphs and disasters. Few truisms are more applicable and characteristic of Celtic supporters as the ability to take a reverse and suddenly remember a song, a story, a joke or an ambition that says “but we’ll still stuff Leipzig”..but most of all says….”This is who I am”.







    So thankyou for the ticket, without which I might possible have still had a great time, but I wouldn’t have had such a magic time (minus 45 mins) that reminded me of the utter infatuation that this club and its history inspires in generation after generation.







    Hail Hail








  19. To me its immaterial how good Salzburg are.I watched their Champions league qualifier against Red Star they were 2 up and were extremely naïve in not closing the game down therefore conceding 2 goals and going out.They are not some super team but they do play a high tempo game which we couldn’t cope with.We keep making the same mistakes and have to listen to the same bland excuses time and time again.Jack Hendry seems to fit Brendan`s profile,stylish on the ball but unable to sense danger or make important blocks,surely the first attribute of a central defender is being able to defend.Brendan does not seem to be able to galvanise this set of players,maybe its Brendan`s ego but we’ve not been a good team to watch for over a year now.Too predictable and sussed out easy by much lesser teams than Salzburg.




    This is appalling.




  20. We played the first half with 9 active players.



    CMcG played Olympic class hide and seek for 45 minutes.


    Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today if he had CMcG’s skillset.


    He is a 20%’er — last night was one of his 4 poor games.



    LG is just a complete waste of space.


    Slow and lazy with a comically bad engagement with the game and his teammates.


    Shocking and then some.



    ML and JF turned up and got involved.


    They might have been poor but at least they gave the football a go.

  21. Has this squad hit the ceiling or can we control, pass and move better?????



    It can improve but not until the coach looks in the mirror and changes his approach and possession obsession.


    A clarity in players roles would be a start.


    Also concentrating on making us a unit instead of separate sections of a team.


    Teaching the players that the headless chicken routine when we lose possession is not the answer.

  22. I think last night once again showed that Griffiths is completely out of his depth at this level.


    I’m also looking for more from our captain Tierney

  23. Both teams played like their sponsors. Salzburg; fully injected with Red Bull energy and raised blood pressure.


    Last night’s Celtic; no more than a punter’s Dafa-bet to get any kind of result.


    Oh and BTW, you don’t replace your indomitable leader with a great kid.


    Boyata is currently far and apart our best player, and shoulda been given the armband (wantaway or not).

  24. We can play good football but in times of adversity we hide it well.


    When it all comes down to it today’s team cannot fight, cannot scrap.



    Talent and skill eventually allow us the get the points in the SPL.


    We pass the ball side to side and eventually a bit of skill or class produces something.


    That has been our game plan for 15 months and it has worked — the glitches are unfortunately getting more frequent.



    However this reliance on skill and a bit of brilliance means that we have lost the ability to “kick” our way to victory — not pretty and not very satisfying but sometimes needs must.



    We cannot fight means that it Europe we are lambs to the slaughter.


    Shocked and surprised that a good football team will resort to physicality to get things done.


    Then comes the rabbit in the headlights look and the rest as they say is history.



    Yesterday vs RBS was very similar yo Anderlecht away last season.


    Then it took us 30 minutes to realise how poor they were and then “Champion the Wonder pass” did the rest.



    We need to be 5% faster and 10% stronger.


    When the confidence returns it will do the rest.



    We can play at a very high level.


    Just a case that we are lazy and just a bit feart when somebody stands up to us.

  25. It may be a wee bit overindulgence in the 37% “Gurktaler die milde alpenkrauter ” , but I’m sure that the airport tannoy just said….”All unattended babies will be removed by security personnel and may be destroyed. ”



    Yes…I’m sure it was not “baggage” but “babies”.



    Tough love here in action in Austria.



    Hail hail






    My sense is that the players simply don’t believe Brendan any more.




    This is probably true and is one of the reasons why I will never again pay to watch a football game. Professional players should not need to “believe in the manager”. They are highly paid (too highly in my opinion) and they should give everything they have when picked to do their job. I am at the veterans stage of my long and very undistinguished amateur career in football and play five a sides twice weekly. I play with a bunch of guys who shirts are soaked in sweat at the end of each game and deeply upset if they are on the losing side. They don’t get paid a brass farthing but give all they have, simply because they love playing the beautiful game. Modern professional footballers gie me ra boak.

  27. You do not need to be Iniesta to work the ball out from the back……just a colerectal sugeon !!!!!oooh MATRON !!


    i’m attending the comedy night at the kerrydale tonight hope there’s no sh*t jokes there h.h.

  28. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Thought we did quite well first half – compact, organised and restricted them mainly to hopeful long-range shots and some crosses. Created a few chances on the counter.


    Second half we completely lost our shape. Gaps appeared all over the place and they were able to pass through us. Defence as usual didn’t work as a unit.


    Offered nothing going forward. Edouard ended up on his own and totally isolated.


    We can improve but we need to recognise what is going wrong.

  29. We need defenders who are drilled as a unit, and have the same pride in keeping a clean sheet, as forwards do when scoring a goal. Study Atletico Madrid’s back 4,fight and tackle for any ball that comes near them.They know exactly what their position is,and where they should be positiomed, wherever the ball is on the pitch.If John Kennedy is our defensive coach, his time is up.Look at the amount of goals we lose from 10 yards out,specially in Europe. Kolo Toure was an outstanding defender,and the most decorated player we have on our books. As far as I know, he coaches the U18s. We cannot and will not improve in European football, that is the Europa league not the CL,until we coach players properly to defend, as individuals and as a unit.

  30. We were not playing a barca or PSG so why so negative before a ball kicked. Players terrified to open their eyes and look for a Celtic player. Forwards not looking for it in any case. We didn’t even hump ball up p[ark despite the fact we scored doing that in 2 mins. just gently passed it back to them. Even booting it into touch was beyond them. Hunt players that don’t want to be there no matter who they are. Also applies to manager. All of this stems from the board. Not so much no ambition but actively weakening the team during the summer. If they had their way Ntcham and Botyata would have gone..but they still would not have invested any money in the team. They wanted a strong ‘Rangers’ they have got what they wished for. As for Murrayfield , same again why worry about such a trivial act of cheating when we were robbed of titles and they said NOTHING

  31. PS why does no one get angry looking on touchline or on park when things go wrong..just a shrug of shoulders.. I would be screaming at Lustig and Hendry… constantly otherwise they fall asleep

  32. pps RBs goals were poor no great play just ball hit ibto box often enough and hope for some luck…. we should do the same against a packed defense rather than pass it around the middle of the park

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