Johansen takes control, bullying Ashley and Easdales


Since Ronny Deila became manager I’ve met a Norwegian journo a few times who has been keen to discuss our manager’s progress.  One of the points he’s continually made is about Stefan Johansen, who he insists is known as a creative midfielder in Norway, someone who regularly makes defence-splitting passes.

Until recently, we’ve not seen this, Stefan has played as a box-to-box midfielder.  Something changed against Hamilton Accies two weeks ago.  Celtic were inept in many areas but Stefan seemed particularly exasperated at the lack of penetration.  He ran and harried, pushed and prodded.  It was as though the general malaise around him afforded him the authority to take control of the situation.

Late in the game against Accies he bent double with his hands on his knees, the outward sign of exhaustion anyone over 40 who’s played fives is familiar with, but which you seldom see from professionals, as it’s a sign your batteries are empty.  When fans see this in a player the natural reaction is to berate him but Stefan’s knees deserved to be held, he’d put more effort in over the 90 minutes than anyone I’d seen all season.

Saturday’s performance from Celtic seemed to come from nowhere; suddenly we looked like a team.  Stefan’s newly acquired authority, which I think he acquired two weeks earlier, goes some way towards explaining why.

I’m loving the love being shown to the glib and shameless one today, especially the accompanying commentary, “are you a fan who is staying away from Rangers matches?”, “this Rangers support is already dangerously close to a full-scale rebellion”.  Framing the debate like this is an explicit call to Newco Rangers fans to ditch their hard-up club.

I would like to echo this sentiment.  Go find another sport, or take up a higher education class instead.

That’s easy for me to say, I care nothing for Newco, but at least I’m being honest about it.  There are those prepared to drive the club into the Clyde in their attempts to grab control on the cheap – i.e. instead of buying shares on the open market.

Good luck to them.  I’m sure Mike Ashley and the Easdales will be easily bullied.

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  1. No podium ’cause I was too busy typing this:-





    Whoooft! Daughter GB just had her corrections signed off on her PhD in International Relations at Edinburgh Uni today. Will visit to see her receive her doctorate next month. Big party coming up after 9 years hard work.





    HH :-))))))




  2. .



    So Davie Hay is going to be on CQN..



    Can I tell Him what the 2 Dutch scouts really said about a Couple of Celtic players.. In the Mid 90’s..Ha Ha



    Went to a Away game with Tam Boyd’s Dad ended up sitting behind Davie and the 2 Dutch scouts.. Very Funny.. Though I was Distracted as Stans GF was sitting next to me..:-)




  3. gerrybhoy



    Amazing. You must be beyond proud. I still fancy a read of the exec summary after it’s been declassified!






    HH jamesgang

  4. Nothing to do with Stefan. The balance of the team is so much better when we have an established right back like Michael Lustic playing. He is such an important player for us. We are able to penetrate down both flanks and able to work the ball accross/through the lines more effectively.

  5. Oops…







    12:28 on 20 October, 2014


    I see the conservative party are pushing desperately to get us out of the European coalition.



    Wonder why? Greedy war mongering bassa’s…not their kids over their…not their families going to food banks.



    I really shouldn’t watch the news…power to the people.




  6. Couldnt agree more with the thoughts on Johansen.




    Take a higher education course…still laughing…

  7. Following the game on here on Saturday, there were plenty of comments saying Johansen flourished because there was no KC in the team so tactics were different. Going by RD’s comments, KC will be straight back into the team for Thursday if fit.


    Why is it when fans can see something so obvious, managers so often go back to their preferred line ups even when they are not getting the results. Are they blind to what seems so clear to everyone else? Or are they told some players are not droppable (for commercial reaons).

  8. GB, Well done to your wean (they always are :-))



    Solid defence gives the platform to build on, all good managers should be aware of that. Then get the spine fixed and working, then tinker at the edges. Seems Rony has gone about this erse oboot face but that was probably forced upon him o be fair.



    Lustig is a massive addition to our team, strength at the back and a potent threat down the right.



    Looking good.



    The podium eejits are boak inducing btw.

  9. Paul67



    Glad you pinpointed the work Johanson puts in.



    When you do that the occasional errant pass or weak tackle is inevitable but once you pull on the hoops some expect a super human performance.



    I think it no coincidence that SJ’ s best game coincided with the return of the more languid Charlie Mulgrew meaning SJ did not have quite so much energy to expend.



    It also helps having a marauding Scott Brown beside you.



    In the rush to judge factors like injuries and loss of form do not get appropriate weight given to them.

  10. gerrybhoy,



    Congrats to your daughter fulfilling all the hard work and of course to your goodself and your missus that backed her whole heartedly. HH

  11. Deniabhoy



    Given that Guedtti is unavailable and Sepcovic still to find his feet, chances are Commons will partner Stokes leaving midfield untouched.



    Why not wait and see?

  12. This from Craig Swan in the DR:



    “Johansen’s willingness to press the 
ball from 15 or 20 yards further up the pitch gives Celtic quicker possession in dangerous areas and he can have more of an influence than he has when sitting as one of the two holders. When captain Scott Brown was out at the start of the season, Johansen had to sit – and suffer.



    When Brown returned, Charlie Mulgrew immediately entered the treatment room and kept the Norwegian on the back foot.



    But with Brown and Mulgrew both 
available for Dingwall – and Commons not there to play in the pockets of space behind the striker – Johansen was freed up to cause mayhem.



    And that’s exactly what he did.



    Johansen was sensational in the 
Highlands and set the tone for the rout. Hunting the ball, driving from the halfway line, picking little passes to wreak havoc.”

  13. For the majority of this season we have played with Efe at right back, he likes to cut inside, either playing the ball backward or square. this added to the fact that McGregor / Wakaso are both left footed players but have played on the right side adds to the problem, the problem being that we are imbalanced and therefore are not penetrating both sides of the pitch because of lack of natural width on the right side. Our best performance of the season was at home to Dundee Utd, Lustig played in that match. Also when we move the ball across the lines (this happens a lot when attempting to break teams down with men behind the ball) often the play breaks down or loses momentum as the ball goes to the right side. More often than not it ends up back over on the left side. The full backs are so important in the modern game, but particularly at our level, where will be consistently trying to break teams down with plenty of men behind the ball. If the balance is not right, it will significantly impact upon the team. many of our supporters have overlooked this / the injuries. With our more accomplished/natural right backs now available i expect to see more flowing football, better performances with more goals and ultimately better results. Time will tell. Give Ronny time.

  14. Sispini loved the post this morning about your dad looking Jewish


    My own father is still called the rabbi due to his thick black hair and of course the nose and in the past has looked like Henry Kissinger Sid James and when his hair went gray and without the brylcreem Don king


    That’s some trio now that I think of it

  15. Auldheid – just asking the question, I only saw the goals but opinion on here seemed to be that KC’s absence was key to the way the team played. KC, perhaps like Hooper in his last few months, may already have one eye on his exit. I doubt NL would be using the media to unsettle him if he didn’t think there was a good chance of getting him.

  16. Smashing Milk Bottles, where is he? He is normally good for a rant on CQN.



    Hail Hail



  17. DeniaBhoy



    I think it had as much to do with Stefan playing in his natural position as it had with Kris missing, one of the best performances from a Celtic player that I’ve seen for a good while in the middle of the park let’s hope he can keep it up..

  18. ginger,



    I was more worried I would offend anyone with that post :)



    Waiting for the scrap man to take my dads motor away, so I’ve been sitting thinking about things…my dad had a mate that went by the name of barabus.



    It wasn’t until recently I found out that he came upon that nickname due to being a professional thief, probably long gone by now.



    As for our team…Ronny keep three in the mid and the rest will see us through. HH

  19. I was genuinely surprised and pleased with Johansen on sat……….cos let’s be honest he has been brutal…….



    I actually think mulgrew playing helped him enormously As well as broony……..push him further forward by all means……..just get him away from in front of the back four !!



    I can’t understand the glee at all with any mike ashley involvement with the huns !!!!!


    Huge worry for me…..

  20. gerrybhoy,



    Many congrats to your daughter and to those who supported her. 9 years. Jeezo!







  21. vinniethedog



    I can’t understand the glee at all with any mike ashley involvement with the huns !!!!!


    Huge worry for me…..






    My opinion is that Mike Ashley is only interested in money. If he does become THE big player at Ibrox, it will be to make money. The only way that money can be made out of Sevco is to run a tight ship with a low wage budget…or shaft people…whatever…

  22. Ginger



    My old man was always a ringer for Suddam Hussain…honest.


    His parents were both from the Baltic states so a sallow complex


    a bit of sun and he was there.



    I used to tell him to stay indoors during gulf war in case some


    yanks kicked his door down.

  23. Gerrybhoy, congratulations to you all. Long hard old journey so it is, but with a result like that? Worth it :)

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