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. I don’t mind Hearts getting an advantage.



    Huns v an excited Levein team is gonnae be tastey.



    There is likely to be a mad (Truth dripping) reaction, again when Hearts are cheated out of……..



    Perfecto Stormzy.




  2. SG








    100% every player please. That equates to a 2 or 3 goal Win.

  3. The Attacking intent without the Ball by PSG was Frightening. That Red Bull Team would have been challenged a lot more if CELTIC backed BR, IMO.



    For the avoidance of doubt, young Jack done ok. I’m liking his Bravery.



    We missed Moussa Big Time. Moussa was the Real Deal Number 9, no need, no need to say yer Numero Uno.

  4. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on

    Notwithstanding the PL and Brendan debate, I’d like to see players who are capable of running for 90 minutes every week, with enough in the tank to run for 120 mins if necessary.



    You would think that for somewhere between 5-20k per week you would get players who could fulfil this basic requirement.



    Mulumbu, Griff, Sinclair, Rogic, all incapable and that’s before we list Jozo, Compper, Biton. I’m sure there are more that can’t last 90 mins and that’s before you even give them a ball. So is it Pete’s medical team that are incompetent or his fitness team? To have a squad of ‘elite’ athletes that are capable of performing basic tasks is unacceptable.





    Welcome back,old bean!



    What with the problems still extant on the pitch and the PL love-in on here,it’s like you’ve never been away





    Get in,back of the net!



    Great post,mate. Keep them coming.





    UP LIKE A BIRD on 5TH OCTOBER 2018 9:33 PM


    Stuck in 2 minds with Celtic




    1 don’t give them another penny, Have not since ronny Deila left because of not spending my money.




    2 Just give up all together as i dont need Celtic or football to bring me enjoyment anymore because i know they are systematically and Intentionally making an arse of it as to make Scottish football competitive again.




    KevJ Neganon If our ever wanting to go put nails under the Suits jags tyres when a games going on , give me a shout





    Usually I just timestamp a comment if I want to reply to it. This time I don’t want to reply to it,I just think it’s well worth a repost!



    Btw,if any happyclappers answer the door to a strangely mature looking Boy Scout during Bob-a-job Week,don’t let him near your prized car…





    I love the way you and PETEC do the overnight rambles now and again. Genuinely do,Pete knows this for a fact.



    Mine are more a pre-cot preamble after a nightshift. But,hey,good news! Found out yesterday that my curtains work!!!



    Seriously,trying to sleep during the day when you have a South-facing window is,ironically,a nightmare. I found that the answer ,when alleged blackout curtains fail miserably,is to throw a spare duvet cover over the curtain rail.



    I’d patent that if I thought there was any money in it…





    Mammy,mammy,he’s got his legs up the sleeves of the duvet again!!!

  10. Good morning CQN from a chilly and lazy Garngad.



    Longest lie in I have had in ages.



    Welcome home The Exiled Tim, I always enjoyed reading your posts.



    Bring on St j



    D :)

  11. BMCUW my Ipad has finally won the battle although somewhat a temperary win. I will get it looked at on Monday. So for now posting on the oldest works phone ever.


    Although it seems better as the site is not jumping all over the place.



    D :)

  12. Good morning from a crisp autumnal Glasgow. I was told my services were not required for Monday and Tuesday so was ‘knocked off‘ for a long weekend. Just as well I’m doing the job to keep me occupied and not to keep a young family.


    I ran into an old acquaintance from my days in Germany, a Catholic Chaplain, yesterday. He did me a Mass at the time of my choosing so a word put in for MAH and a couple of other good friends who need similar support due to cancer. It was good to see him, an absolutely lovely guy.


    My daughter‘s fiancé has moved up to Dumbreck with her from England and has already taken an Instant dislike to the zombie nation having had a run in with them, on his motorcycle, on Thursday night. The police became involved but I warned him to expect nothing but grief from the polis when it is him v zombie.

  13. “There is no worry at all about the league table because once we play Hearts and Hibs, once we beat them, we are going to be on the top.”



    Youssouf Mulumbu.

  14. 50 shades of green on

    Prior to Youssouf MULUMBU, have there been any other Celtic players whose first named started with the letter Y ?



    Genuine question guys, not a trick one like, why is that Didddy playing etc.?

  15. Get Mulumbu in the team from the start mañana and get winning first balls and even 2nd balls, keep momentum going forward.






    D :)

  16. I’ve got a Barry Robson deja vu feeling with Mulumbu coming into the team!



    Our midfield as a whole needs to up it’s game significantly or Brendan needs to find a new combination that works to drive the team on, so far this season the midfield has been my biggest disappointment.



    We’re creating less and less and with no centre forward to lead the line this is going to cause us problems all the way up till the January window.



    Nothing less than three points will do tomorrow.



    Bring on the Johnstoners..

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