Indiscipline could determine Champions League outcome


Here is a prediction for you, Wednesday’s Champions League game at Celtic Park will not end with 22 players on the field.  Spartak and Celtic are both enduring awful form at the moment but with different characteristics.  The accusation against Celtic (valid or otherwise) is that they have failed to apply themselves sufficiently to overcome opponents.  Spartak, on the other hand, stand accused of indiscipline.

Zenit drove the proverbial horse and cart through their midfield on Friday night.  Two goals were conceded to players who carried the ball to the edge of the area and shot unchallenged, but Spartak went down running, kicking, heading, kicking and kicking.  Their failure is clearly not a lack of desire.  Celtic can use this indiscipline to their advantage.  Know to expect late or illegal challenges but don’t rise to the bait.

An hour into the corresponding game in Moscow Spartak were 2-1 ahead having lost 3-2 to two late goals in the Camp Nou in the previous game.  At that point Spartak were in the box seat to qualify for the knockout stage.  A professional foul on Gary Hooper destroyed that position as they were reduced to 10 men and Celtic thundered back to win the game.  One momentary lapse in discipline on Wednesday night could cost either team.

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The loss of two goals through the middle on Friday will hopefully give interim coach, Valery Karpin, cause for confusion.  Celtic destroyed Spartak on the wings in Moscow, something we would expect them to tactically adjust for on Wednesday, but this recent loss might have them pondering which defensive frailty to concentrate on.

Aiden McGeady made his first team return as a second half substitute after a six week injury lay off.  He is a player who will be as much at home as any of the rest of us on Wednesday so I’d prefer he missed out on this occasion.

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  1. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I am expecting a very difficult match on Wednesday we are not playing with confidence at home and the Russian side will surely want to impress there new manager.I think we need to be patient and encourage the team for the full 90 minutes.H.H.

  2. Paul67



    Good shout regarding discipline.



    Your earlier article on ‘how Celtic approach and set out in the game’ still carries the most weight and relevance.



    We’ve virtually not beaten anybody at home whom we’ve set out to ‘attack’, and the key is defensive discipline, like we had against Barcelona.



    If we charge at Spartak poor home form will remain the subject of Celtic angst.

  3. I think it would be fair to assume that Traynor has already been in this post for years – maybe got a side contract or two for his efforts.


    The difference now is that he can no longer pretend to be anything other than what he is. Question is, does he have a lackey taking his place who will ensure his views continue to be printed without editorial corrections for accuracy and bias.

  4. Wednesday looks all set for the classic Celtic/ Irish/ Scottish trait of, as Billy McNeill once put it, climbing the mountain only to fall over at the top.



    However, we are not going in to this with good form. I like that, it means the players will be focussed. That said we need to avoid the pitfall of thinking ‘it’ll be OK because it’s the CL and we’ll raise our game. It is very hard for Celtic to switch on and off as they have been doing.



    But don’t forget in between the calamities at home in recent weeks we have gone to Pittodrie and Tynecastle and won at a canter.



    We do not lack for mental toughness.

  5. Traynor leaves the neutral Record to go to The Rangers and the neutral SFA is infested with ex-Rangers (or ex-ex-Rangers) people.


    Is it any wonder that we are paranoid?




  6. Paul67 – very much enjoyed your appearance in Saltcoats on Friday – some of us do want to talk about the club formerly known as …..



    Thanks again.

  7. Would Traynor, if the Sevco story is true, retain his job at the BBC or will he be seen as having (officially) conflicting interests?




  8. Green lantern I think you are wrong about Jabba he is not walking away. The guy wanted to get closer to his perceived greats and I personally wish him all the best, on the park, as the new Broxy Bear.

  9. Germany’s Felix Brych is the referee on Wednesday.



    He already refereed a Spartak game this year – their qualifier away to Fenerbahce, where he sent off a Spartak player!



    His international match record stats show 1 in 5 red card/games. He has a 3:1 ratio favouring away red cards to home red cards. And a 2:1 ratio of penalties favouring home team over away team, awarding a penalty on average every 3rd game.



    In comparison to other refs he’s slightly over the average in awarding penalties, and slightly below average on red cards.



    But here’s the killer stat…….



    In 2011 Brych was under investigation for tax evasion. In October his house was searched.



    You couldn’t make it up.

  10. I’m a bit wary of the Jabba to the huns story.



    It’s all a bit too blatant, even for Scotland, and it would suit a lot of people to put out deliberately misleading rumours.

  11. Paul – you wouldn’t want McGeady playing?!?


    His corners never failed to find a Celtic man in Moscow (contrast and compare to when he was playing for us) and he was all but invisible during open play, add to that the fact that he is just returning from six weeks off and he is a must start for me.

  12. Presenter on SSN talking up deadco’s chances of winning the Scottish cup, looking for revenge on SPL clubs blah blah. Celtic struggling against Arbroath, got to go up there next week with all the bad weather blah blah


    Gough was not doing much cheerleading just saying he hoped they get a home tie, but I think he was embarrassed by some of the questions being put to him.



    I really really hope we do not draw them in the cup, if we do it will certainly be at the Ayebrokes.







  13. If Jabba is moving to the huns for less money(surely unemployable by Shortbread too),he should have stayed at the Record and kept churning out Murray’s PR,for more cash.

  14. Ernie Lynch – you wouldn’t see Jabba in a Broxy Bear outfit so it’s an ideal job for him to covertly support while hiding behind a mask, almost same job he had at DR.

  15. Would Traynor, if the Sevco story is true, retain his job at the BBC or will he be seen as having (officially) conflicting interests?




    The rest of the BBC presenters have never had a problem of representing Rangers and being employed by the BBC, why would Jabba.



    Agent Orange return to base, your job is done.



    Wonder why he is having a kick at RTC, could it be that he DID have an EBT payment from Murray??

  16. I dont want anywhere near that mob to boost their share issue.



    Speaking of which, if you were looking for people to invest in your company would you advertise the market you operate in as a ‘busted flush’.



    I often wonder if Chuck wants this to fail. It would make selling the assets and leasing them back alot easier.

  17. ” Celtic destroyed Spartak on the wings in Moscow, something we would expect them to tactically adjust for on Wednesday”




    Maybe they’ll have noticed we don’t have any wingers available, or does it just appear that way?? Victor a huge miss on Wednesday.

  18. Former Celtic and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Pat Bonner and SFA President Campbell Ogilvie will help conduct the draw at the National Stadium.



    Sounds like the perfect set up for a Celtic/Sevco tie.



    Please no…

  19. Smith, Dodds, Ferguson, Paterson, all ex-employees of the dead club, Young, cheerleader in chief of the dead club, don’t think Jabba would look any more conflicted than any of the above currently employed by the BBC for impartial comment on Scottish football.


    Murdo McLeod is the only regular ex-Celt on their team.

  20. Hi Paul67,



    Surely Valery Karpin will be bringing an altogether more disciplined side, ‘though I must say, much as I like my football the Glasgow Celtic way, I will certainly settle for a solid Barca type performance.



    Interesting when we are looking at Lennoxtown Academy to produce future legends, one of Airdrie Academy’s legends bows out.




  21. saltires en sevilla on




    We don’t have a central midfield threat- when I watch Celts I see the a centre of a donut – where the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi ply their trade to max effect we have zilch. Sometimes we see good work there from Kris – if he does play in that area ( seriously doubt it ) he may win us a free kick or two but after that we lack a player who can put foot on the ba’ and pick a pass to unlock teams.



    Our three goals: Lustig from corner; Charlie free kick or rebound from same and a break down the left by Sammi to Tony or Ghoops will give us 3-1



    Aiden is the type if player who can destroy teams -on his day – that day will not be Wednesday as Karpin will be unlikely to risk too many ‘foreigners’ – if he does play Lenny has him well sussed out. Personally I hope he plays – he is a man down for Spartak these days.



    The team have enough to carry the result backed by a huge contribution from support



    I also think Barca will tear Benfica a new one if they try to open up and attack 4-1 to Barca




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