Inquest should focus on passing out of defence


The bigger question than why Celtic were so poor on Sunday is how to reshape the team or squad to address the issue?  There is a clear deficit.  We have three full backs at the club, two went off injured, leaving Anthony Ralston, a more than suitable backup at right back, playing on the left, while Stephen Welsh parachuted in from relative obscurity to try-out as a right back.

With Boli Bolingoli no longer part of the plans, we only have one left back: Greg Taylor.  Greg has suffered numerous absences this season, forcing Josip Juranovic to the left, where he never played before making his Celtic debut there.

Liam Scales, primarily a central defender, has covered on the left, but did not even make the 11-man bench.  A left back on the bench would have allowed Ralston to remain on the right and prevented Welsh being thrown into a position he has never played on such a major occasion.

Even with Taylor and Juranovic on the field, Celtic did not have the ability to pass from defence to midfield without regularly giving up possession.  We looked easy to mark up against.  Think back two weeks to Ibrox, when Daizan Maeda dropped deep to give his midfield an option (or cover in defence).

That vision of perpetual motion was absent on Sunday.  It is not Tom Rogic’s game and neither Jota nor Liel Abada looked to have the energy to put in a similar shift.  Both were noticable fatiged later in the game.  On the few occasions when Celtic were able to quickly transition, they looked dangerous, but just as we did against Bodo/Glimt, we were unable to find the space to pass confidently out of defence.

Notwithstanding the fact that Giorgos Giakoumakis was absent, Celtic are a comparatively small side.  The days of tall full backs being able to dominate high balls out of defence are gone.  We are assembling a squad on its ability to find space, pass and move.  What happens when a central defender makes a forward pass against an opponent marking man-to- man in the middle of the park determines the outcome of Celtic games.  The inquest into Sunday should focus on little else.

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  1. JHB @14:03



    Hibs chairman Rob Gordon´s grandfather was scottish and Gordon was born in Peru, South America so I don´t think your anti-American arguments hold much water. We need to look a lot closer at people anyway, not just their nationalities.

  2. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I left responses on the previous article if you are interested, will not be posting them here, sometimes its ok to let the football talk flow especially when your echo chamber and the circular arguments fail to move beyond doubling down on your lack of objectivity.



    An Tearmann,


    Also left a response to yourself.

  3. RIMTIMTIM @ 2:56


    your anti-American arguments




    I am most definitely not “anti-American” – for all their faults I know exactly where the UK & Europe would be but for the strength of the US over the last eighty years.



    My comment was directed specifically at the two chairmen and their business acumen. An American view of Scottish football may not be the ideal!

  4. Celtic 2;1 up now – goal made by Dembele- scored by sub Summers.



    Dembele skinned two of them in the build up.



    This team plays better with a few old heads. Neither Jullien or Mikey Johnston are playing brilliantly but they are calming influences. Chris J has now landed awkwardly and might need to be subbed off- staying on- 70 minutes gone

  5. Just stumvled across the teams for friendly against Shefield Wed July 2021..Ange in the door a few weeks.



    We have come a long way…out of that we got 2 first team squad players.



    CELTIC FIRST XI: Barkas; Ralston, Welsh, Murray, Montgomery, Soro, Shaw, McInroy, Moffat, Henderson, Ajeti



    CELTIC SECOND XI: Bain; O’Connor, Murray, Hjelde, McPherson, Connell, Otoo, Robertson, Afolabi, Coffey, Edouard

  6. Ange has said many times, he coaches his teams to play a ceetain way and that he will not change that. Regardless of the opposition.



    My question is, if he sees in certain games that something is not working, will he change the set up? Take off a wide player and bolster the midfield? Put on a defensive midfielder to see out a tight game? Switch from 433 to 442 because the opposition are playing a high press?



    The best managers have always been able to change the pattern of a game based on what is happening in the moment, to counter the tactics that the other team are implementing. To outwit his opposite number.



    That is my only concern based on what we have seen this season. An unwillingness to react in the here and now and not after 70-80 mins.



    P.S: Anyone know if JJ is out for weeks?

  7. I am always disappointed when I watch interviews with Ange, not with him, but with the interviewer, especially tosspots like McCullough.



    Inevitably, many questions start off with, “ You must be delighted/disappointed…….



    To which Ange responds, “Obviously………



    I am sure that most watchers would prefer to see much more incisive interviewing, on the lines of,


    “What tactical changes did you make at HT?”




    “What did you think the reason was for the players like Abada and Jota appearing more tired than their counterparts?”




    “Do you think Tom Rogic was the victim of persistent fouling?”



    You get the drift. Most interviews with our manager are just pap. Nothing asked about game strategy, tactics, rationale for substitutions etc. Utter waste of time.

  8. NOTTHEBUS on 19TH APRIL 2022 3:39 PM




    Fascinating post – a real insight into where we were and are now. Winning the League Cup & Title from such a position would be an incredible achievement – in fact winning anything was not really on the agenda of a massive rebuild season. So although Sunday was very sore, context & perspective must come into play.



    Next two fixtures will be key – lose them and things could evaporate away – a win against Ross Co & a draw(minimum) against *Rangers(by hook,or, by crook) would set us up nicely.

  9. INIQUITOUSIV – absolutely spot on. The “journalists” working on SPFL in-house TV channels are fans with a mic, the ones working for national TV aren’t much better. Historically, footballers and managers being interviewed after a game rarely came across as insightful, mostly talking in tired clichés.


    Today, we have several players and coaches who are multi-lingual and who are all far brighter than the ones doing the questioning.




    very fair assessment.



    wee tom is the epitome of cliched staunchness.

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