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. Thought Mulumbu would have got a start but hey ho.





    Come on Leigh Bhoy Get in the 6yard box today and fill yer boots wae goals

  2. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Back home. will watch game in daughters house





    Big Packy1 Belated Happy Birthday.Apologies for missing

  3. Really didn’t see that starting team, particularly Mulumbu dropping to the bench. Baffled. But it’s the managers call and full support as always.

  4. Rogic comes in for Mulumbu who had replaced the injured Broonie in mid-week. Would Rogic be playing if Brown was fit? Strange decision. BR said earlier in the week that Kouassi can’t get a game as Broonie’s form is so good. He’s injured and he is not even on the bench por cierto!

  5. Armstrong will be happy getting the extra thousands for sitting on the bench compared to what he was getting to sit on the bench ( or treatment table ) last season. His game won’t improve, but his bank balance will.


    And Neganon’s view that a rallying call for the board should see Peter Lawell’s old man cemented is just outrageous ??



    Predcitive text can be fun sometimes ?

  6. celticrollercoaster on

    Need some goals Celtic please!!!



    St Johnstone 0 Celtic 3











    I’d have left TR till after the break,it’s unlikely he will be fit enough.



    Much as I love the big fella,he really needs to be fit to perform

  8. Neg.



    What happens financial wise reshares etc. Would a supporters “board” have to purchase all shares? It’s a bit of a minefield. Not saying it can’t be done. Mind you I don’t know the ins and outs anyway, but does DD have to be paid off and the rest of the board’s contracts paid up? por cierto

  9. Famous last words but the team is honking.


    Dead horses being flogged by a coach with a Nelsonian eye.



    Not sure if BR is wanting to give his favourites appearance money or he is running some of the awkward squad into the ground.



    There is a JMcG sized hole in that team.


    Plus we are still carrying the two draft dodgers from Thursday.


    Interesting is only the half of it.

  10. Neg.



    If there is £60m in the bank is DD just going to hand over that? Does he have to? or is it used to buy his and others investments. Who owns the ground etc? por cierto

  11. NEGANON2 on 7TH OCTOBER 2018 2:18 PM


    Auldheid it was on a previous blog where you were talking about the CSA.




    My point is that any rallying call sadly cements the board father and is therefore deeply flawed. The board are the root of most of our problems and they need removed.



    That is the first order of business and has to be because as we have seen any attempt by the support to call people to account is actively undermined by the board. They do nit want change. They do not want us finding out how deeply they are involved with collusion.



    The only thing that will force change is for us to starve the board out. I am not naive to believe it will happen soon. I think we were close at the end of poor roonies regime and the board knew it. Hence Brendan.



    Brendan will leave soon and they will be weak again. We need to get them out.





    Oh that was the CSA who made the rallying call not me.



    I used it in response to a suggestion for a Celts for Change 2018 which should include SFA Reform that the Board should be pursuing using Res12 for leverage.



    See instead of making snide comments, why not post the item you are referring to and ask me for clarification of what I meant?



    Think of the trouble that would save.

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