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. 50 shades of green on

    GC 58 on 6TH OCTOBER 2018 10:03 AM


    50 Shades @ 9.56am







    Yogi Hughes :)













    LOl, how could I forget my first ever Favourite Celtic player,,







  2. Remember this Name…”Ola”!



    Back home now and about to watch game again, this time without fifteen minutes solid of a tuneless version of “This is the day, This is the day, that we won away….” …..15 minutes solid from our goal until even the most tone-deaf got sick of it. ??



    Anyway, as I got off the bus in Glasgow and headed down the road, I was going to buy a few wee things to eat.



    “Where the f…is my wallet…my money….my debit, cashpoint or crucially ID cards….and naw!!!! my SEASON TICKET?”.



    I belted back up the hill as the bus was just about to pull out for cleaning. The driver let me on board to check if I had dropped it.



    No sign of the wallet, but in one of the double seats there was a girl fast asleep. I woke her up and she said…”Where am I.”



    “You’ve been in Glasgow for about 15 minutes” I said



    Anyway having dragged her stuff from under the seat she made of into the Glasgow morning, and my mind returned to the scammer’s dream ticket…i.e. My wallet.



    Obviously the first priority was to cancel cards and then get season card replaced. My driving licence, various official identity cards were also gone so a quick trip was made to the polis station to report that and try and limit ID fraud.



    I wasn’t concerned about the approx £50 and 180 euros.



    All done I settled down and was about to switch on game when my buzzer went.



    It was Ola. He’s Nigerian, 25 years old, lives in London and was visiting Glasgow for the first time, staying at Plantation Park.



    He had found my wallet after I had got off the bus. He tried to find me but I was gone and he didn’t really know what to do..



    So he had a look inside, found my name and address and got a taxi to return the wallet and contents untouched.



    We’ve exchanged phone numbers and I tell you…..my faith in human nature knows no bounds.






    BTW – he didn’t hand it in to the driver because he wanted to be absolutely sure I got it back.



    Ola….you my friend are a brilliant spark upon which humanity should create a supernova. I am humbled by your efforts and you are the stuff that heroes are made of.



    And what’s more…..that one deed has just made life seem so much brighter not just for me, because if I hadn’t lost it in the first place the wee sleepy lassie would be getting steam cleaned at the bus depot….a butterfly’s wings indeed.??



    Hail Hail




  3. celticrollercoaster on

    ***LMS11 week 2-the picks***



    Good morning fholks



    All the picks are in, thank you and lets see where we are all placing our selections



    Aberdeen 35


    Hibernian 27


    Tottenham Hotspur 22


    Chelsea 9


    Manchester United 4


    Kilmarnock 4


    Dundee 1


    Cardiff City 1


    The Rangers v Hearts DRAW 1


    Manchester City 1


    Heart of Midlothian 1


    St Johnstone 1



    A couple of bankers there. So for the LMS11 super treble of Aberdeen, Hibs and Spurs for a £10 bet you will return £24.50. Free money according to the LMSers anyway!



    Nobody in the week fancying the Hoops with one windup merchant on St Johnstone



    Good luck to all and remember should you fall, you have the option to go ” full zombie” and buy back your history for £10.







  4. What is the Stars on

    Matt Stewart


    Just shows you why we can’t trust those dam immigrants


    He obvioulsy was just out to discredit Mr Farage

  5. How many times on Thursday evening did Celtic advance the ball more than 30 yards after Gordon passed the ball out to a defender ? Very little let me assure you. This tactic may give us 75% possession when teams are prepared to park the bus in Scotland but we certainly don’t have the the players with the skill or fitness to employ these tactics when facing a well organised team that are prepared to press us high up the park


    Think it was a long ball over the top which resulted in Celtics only goal on Thursday evening


    Total rethink of tactics in Europe and the players capable of employing them is needed



    Ps Always enjoy a wee refreshment in the capital Hampden and it’s environs are a desert

  6. Matt, that was a great read. You are obviously living a charmed life today. Get the lottery on!



    God bless OLA!





    Fabulous stuff,Matt. Faith in human nature restored,and my day made.




  8. Matt that has fair brightened up my day.


    Ola you are a true reflection on human kindness.



    Hail Hail



    D :)

  9. Wits



    Stereotyping….. the chap may have no wish to settle here and may only be on holiday

  10. Matt.



    Your posts from the travelling was the highlight of the events.



    Keep it lit.

  11. Great to see THE EXILED TIM posting earlier.


    Matt thanks for making another braw day even better.


    HH to Ola

  12. i’ve been doing a lot of thinking about CELTIC and have tried hard to think about us and the game in Scotland from a neutral perspective, not easy at all.


    So, me being neutral, supporting no-one, I got to thinking about the lot in it’s entirety.


    Obviously there is an anti Celtic/ Irish agenda deep rooted in the country- – fact!


    Clubs in Scotland are starved of the big bucks, why, nobody sees our game and there is little demand, hence the piddly amount of money on offer – – fact!


    Like it or not, the only selling point sadly, is ” The Auld Firm” , which is known the world over for all of it’s bitterness ans horrible persona. Therefore, is it any wonder that our board are so keen to prop up said Auld Firm , when it generates more money for us and them. of course they will.


    I absolutely abhor the situation, really ( back to being a Tim) but how can it change in our favour?


    Rangers , have been and always will be the Scottish club the establishment want to be successful, it’s so ingrained and deep rooted, wrongly of course, but facts are facts, and they ain’t gonna change, so we have to get over it sadly.


    The soution, well not easy but we MUST get out of Scotland, any way we can. Whether it’s get into the lower English leagues or some Atlantic league, I do not know, but get out of Scotland is a must, no doubt about it it.


    But as long as money is king, we have to accept we are a huge club in a very very small bitter little country and the future does not look great to me.


    It really is a shitter, but facts , well , we know the ending, do we not????




  13. Ola



    Amazing Humanity by Ola.



    For what its worth, I don’t think Celtic are far away from getting back on track.



    Amazing Humanity by El Hussani to risk his Life to rescue a Sir, no less.

  14. Kinglubo



    It has taken 50 years for us to fall from the best , fittest , and strongest team in Europe to on a good day to be lucky to be in the top 30 or 40.



    The rest of Europe has overtaken us , in terms of treating football as a professional sport , the money has concentrated the better players in the bigger teams.



    We need a longer term focus to get much better young lhads coming through , who are big strong lhads who can play and not get brushed aside by the likes of Salzburgh , who were a bunch of big boys , strong and well organised.

  15. Brendans thoughts on why we are not scoring goals,to me,are a bit worrying.He cites the loss of Armstrongs strong running and goals.This would be the same Armstrong who hardly featured in the second half of last season.


    The loss of Roberts.This would be the same Roberts that hardly featured after coming back from injury.Brendan preferred Jamesy.


    The loss of Dembele.This would be the guy who was injured more than he played.So not a great loss really Brendan.


    Need to come up with better than that.Maybe its the turgid possession in our own half,with the forwards hardly getting a look at the ball for long periods.The lack of wingers getting to the bye line,because by the time they get the ball,our play has enabled our opponents to have their whole team back,doubling up.Could be the seeming lack in any improvement in our dead ball technique,including throw ins.The lack of improvement in our keepers distribution.


    Only my opinion ,of course.

  16. onenightinlisbon on

    To be honest, I’m a bit fed up with Brendan telling us “we need to be better”, “we need to learn” after European defeats. Does it actually mean anything?

  17. SP- I think Molumbu has something about him, came to a big club late in his career, and wants to grab his chance with both hands, a la Barry Robson.

  18. Benkovic fit.Broony says he will be back for Hibs game.Mulumbu in the starting line ups.Problems solved.Top of the league by the break.

  19. That’s good if Benkovitch is fit and Mulumbu gets more game time.


    I wonder when Marvin will be fit?? Feckin embarrassment for a footballer.


    We should sue him under the trade descriptions act.


    D :)

  20. I think I have read every post since Thursday. The criticism of the team is overwhelming. It’s not just one or two malcontents. Every part of the team on the pitch – The goalkeeper, the defence, midfield, wingers, forwards – every single member of the team. Boyata & Mulumbu just about got pass marks. And it wasn’t just Thursday night. It’s almost long standing now.



    The managers formations, team selection, tactics have all come in for criticism.



    Brendan’s management of recruitment, including Congerton. Very poor.



    5 transfer windows and we are going backwards.



    Put aside the PL & BR thing for a moment. We do not spend less on transfers & wages than Salzburg. But they are coached better.



    I will never forget or appreciate greatly Brendan’s first season and to a lesser degree his second. But he is burnt out. Time to move on.

  21. TURKEYBHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2018 12:15 PM


    To a certain extent BR is correct. Dembele, Roberts and Arsmstrong were a huge influence in goals scored in his first season. Saw a stat yesterday that between them they scored a goal every 111 minutes.


    Last season they all missed many games through injury and our goals scored plummeted. I think that showed that the squad depth in terms of quality was poor.


    We have not replaced quality players so why do we expect to suddenly start scoring goals with inferior players?

  22. turkeybhoy.



    simply rodgers is correct, we lost 3 high contributors.


    the time out due to injury, well that can happen to anyone, but when fit , this is what the 3 players contibuted, stolen form celtsarehere.



    In Brendan Rodgers’ first season Dembele, Armstrong and Roberts either assisted or scored in 63.3% of Celtic’s goals (95 of 150).






    Dembele, Armstrong and Roberts’ contributions under Rodgers



    Games: 247


    Starts: 172


    Goals: 85


    Assists: 54


    Game Winning Goals: 24


    Minutes Played: 15,471


    Goal or assist every 111 minutes.




    we have not replaced these players with like quality.



    as to forrest keeping out roberts, well yes, james had his best ever season, 2nd half anyways, and i recognised that, just now though, he is not in form ,



    same for the Griff, now i can see why he wasnt a first pick,



    so we have weakened the quality of the squad, thats it,



    and JIMTHETIM, was tat serious ? Brendan should move on ? seriously, double treble winner, 6 out of 6, 69 games undefeated, burnt out ?



    not supported by the board more like, fed up with the structure more like, lookking at the old men on the committee and thinking they are burnt out with no ambition.



    rodgers is the best thing to happen to celtic for 18 years,

  23. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ TURKEYBHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2018 12:15 PM



    You are right, the stats detailing the large contribution of goals and assists by Dembele, Armstrong and Roberts is irrelevant because they got injured.






    I also agree that our poor performances and results are exclusively attributable to BR’s tactics and man management and not the regression in squad quality and the player’s available to BR.

  24. the stats are irrelavant cos they got injured ? what nonsense is that.



    what does that actually mean ? their contribution when not injured did not happen ?

  25. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ SAINT STIVS on 6TH OCTOBER 2018 12:53 PM



    Bit of a sarcastic post on my behalf. It’s ridiculous to argue that a player is not missed (especially one that contributed a lot) because they suffered some injuries and were absent. However, that seems to be the line of argument of some.



    Of course, if the player never plays because of injury (Compper), that’s a different story.

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