Jozo and stupid mistakes


Success in football often comes down to who doesn’t make mistakes at the back.  For all France’s pace on the break, it was their sheer solidity at the back which saw them through the World Cup.  England reached the semi-final, with little more than a mid-table select, but they made remarkably few mistakes, and just as importantly, understood the importance of set-pieces – don’t give them away and exploit them when you get them.

Viewed through the prism of an educational World Cup, Jozo Simunovic’s chest-high Alashkert was worthy of a red card on the basis of sheer stupidity.  It was an intolerable mistake, a relic of a former era.

That Uefa doubled his suspension to two game is no surprise.  Perhaps they have a stupidity threshold.

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  1. We have had James Forrest in The Celtic Blog, Chris Sutton in the papers and this morning Roddybhoy on CQN saying that Brendan is frustrated by the suits who are blocking him out of the loop.




    I am frankly astounded at this interpretation for several reasons.



    1) Brendan knew and agreed to the transfer model when he came and he states this in the interviews he gave.


    2) He may find it frustrating and wish it could be different but he accepts the reality of it. It is as easy, and twice as justifiable, to describe his words as stoic rather than complaining.


    3) He “clearly” (to use one of the words that James Forrest misused on the Celtic Blog) cites fan’s reactions and Computer Games enthusiasts as the source of his annoyance. Nowhere does he name Peter Lawwell or the board as adverse factors, unless it is they who are too busy playing computer games


    4) When he says he know nothing about the Arzani situation, and this is interpreted as him being kept out of the loop, he is merely continuing the policy, which we all lauded here, of recent Celtic managers in not commenting openly on any player for whom you have not yet made an open bid. When he says “I don’t know about that”- it may mean “there’s nothing to report as yet and we won’t be reporting on speculation until we are bidding for them.” But, everyone else confesses to being puzzled as to what he meant and can interpret it in only one way, which happens to co-incide, funnily enough, with the way they think about Celtic’s signing policy.


    I, for one, do not doubt, that if a man like Brendan, was angry at the way he was treated, he would not hesitate to say so to those concerned and he would then seek guarantees, not re-assurances, that it would not continue as such. If he was sending a clear message, it would be clear and leave no room for doubt or a lack of imagination in considering alternative meanings he may have wished to convey.




    Judge for yourself!



    Here are Brendan’s unaltered words- see if you can spot PL or Board criticism:-





    “People talk about lining up your ducks but they are never going to be all aligned. That’s the reality of it.



    “It is probably easier to write or say if you lose a centre-half you should have another one.



    “I think people expect you to have 10 centre-halves. Football doesn’t work like that in the real world.”



    “The problem is that if you are going to bring in a top centre-half then that is going to cost you money. And big money. That is out of my control. If not then you have to do what the club has always done.



    “You bring in players who fit the model of the club, you develop and improve them


    and then probably they move on eventually.”



    “It might do on the computer games and whatnot but it doesn’t work like that.”



    “You have to build a squad but if you bring people in and they get injuries then it is a challenge.



    “You can’t moan about it. You just need to get on with it as best you can.”



    “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that if you are going to improve drastically from where this group has got to over the last couple of years – and make the improvements that people want to make – it costs money.



    “But that is out of my control.”



    on being asked about being stronger when the transfer window shuts- he said:-



    “I’m not sure, I’m not sure.



    “I’ll work with the players who are here, the players that we already have, and then obviously what the club can do, they will do.



    “But my focus is on the players who are already here and in the building and being ready to work.”

  2. Celtic 1st team squad for game against Hearts Dec 2017. We lost 4-0 which doesn’t really have much to do with the question I am asking.



    1 Gordon 63 Tierney 20 Boyata 5 Šimunović 23 Lustig 8 Brown 21 Ntcham 11 Sinclair 42 McGregor


    49 Forrest 9 Griffiths


    Subs: 24 de Vries 35 Ajer 88 Eboue 15 Hayes 14 Armstrong 22 Édouard 10 Dembélé



    1 transfer window has closed and another is about to close in a couple of weeks or so. Now does anybody really believe we have actually strengthened / improved the squad? Granted we have extended T. Rogic’s contract and have signed O Édouard on a permanent deal. But it is basically the same set of players.



    I think the only additions to the 1st team squad in this period have been S. Bain, Jack Hendry and M. Compper none of which could be considered as regular starters, albeit due to injuries and international call ups Hendry has had a run of games. There was also the disastrous loan of CM from Chelsea but the less said about that the better.



    Now in the same period we have lost Stuart Armstrong and Paddy Roberts, who were integral members of the 1st team squad, injury permitting. As well as losing a number of fringe players Liam Henderson etc.



    Have we strengthened? Are we simply treading water or is the squad weaker? Will we sign a player who could actually be considered as an improvement on the players we already have?

  3. so, now that 2nd rangers will only get 800 tickets, what will the cost of a ticket be for the jock stein season ticket holders who dont have these games on the card.



    If charged £49 then thats just wrong.



    treat the match the same as ever other.



    i went all kevjungle there, but you know to point i mean.





    No chance, the bhoy is doing exactly what he is instructed to do by his manager, when taking these risks we will lose the odd goal but hopefully Brendan is banking on us creating more chances & scoring more goals by playing this way






    Bang on the money Gerry. Check the first two goals on Wednesday.

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I posted a couple of weeks ago saying Hendry was a bit ponderous and his passing had to be sharper,in same post i said he would go onto being a good player for us , cue the goal we conceded on Wednesday.I thought he became better as the game went on.Only gripe re Jozo is we could have been told what his ban was last week, instead of 6 days before a game.





    Thanks for your musings.



    Brendan used the “but” word twice, easy to discern a shiftiness an unease, which clearly shows he is wanting back south.



    You’ll never get a job in the SMSM.

  7. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Cup Winners



    I sometimes think our defenders get slaughtered (on here as well as the media :-) when some try and say MONs teams wouldn’t be as weak at the back, this is because Martin protected his defence with Lenny & Lambo or others used to protect Martins three centre halves so there is 5 defensive players before we even include the goalie…. our defence isn’t as bad as some make out :-)

  8. Go tell the Spartim on

    Seeing as we’re all following logic



    With say the £30m we have in the bank so far (amount is irrelevant ) do you think we’d get more bang for buck this year or do you still think the English leagues will implode ( it’s been imploding for years, apparently)



    Saving for a rainy day when they money in the bank will be worth way less in real terms is that the way forward

  9. weebobbycollins on

    Oglach @ 1.44…you forgot to ask, ‘have any of our players improved since the beginning of last season?’


    The answer to that must be taken into account when asking if the squad is weaker…only fair innit?

  10. This time last year we went to Rosenborg after drawing 0-0 in the first leg, we were on thin ice so to speak. That evening in Trondheim was Jozo’s best night in a Celtic shirt, he was magnificent. IMO he is a very good centre half on his day. However he has a weakness and that is his temperament, he makes rash decisions. I don’t know if you can coach that out of him. We’ve seen it countless times, hauling down Cavani at CP, elbowing Morelos, the tackle versus Alashkert and many others. Last season he performed poorly at times, i remember Oli Shaw bullying him at Easter road to equalise and him having an absolute nightmare at Tynecastle. The sliver lining that day was that it opened the door to Kris Ajer. As it stands Jozo is probably third choice centre back. If the chance presents itself i think we should sell him as i get the feeling the next moment of madness or poor performance is never far away.

  11. weebobbycollins on 28th July 2018 2:00 pm



    Oglach @ 1.44…you forgot to ask, ‘have any of our players improved since the beginning of last season?’



    The answer to that must be taken into account when asking if the squad is weaker…only fair innit?




    Fair point indeed!

  12. prestonpans bhoys on

    Saint @ 1:45



    Agree ifmore than £28-29 then outrageous and not on. Finish this OF special shite for good?

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD 1.57pm



    It certainly isn’t like me :-)



    Martin had an amazing record at home in Europe always remember when we got a corner as soon as it was awarded you could see Lenny & Lambert turning and heading back to half way line with whatever 3 giants at the back heading in the other direction it was synchronised:-)

  14. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    OGLACH and everybody


    The miracle of Brendan Rodgers’ time at Celtic is the individual improvement in the players that he inherited, and the transformation in performance of the team that he inherited. In his first season, he qualified for the CL Group stages and won an invincible treble, basically with the addition of Scott Sinclair. (Moussa Dembélé also had a big impact, but I believe the deal to bring Moussa to Celtic was agreed before Brendan was confirmed as manager)


    OGLACH @1.44pm. Of the team that started against Hearts in December 2017 only NtCham and Sinclair were Brendan’s buys. The other nine players were at Celtic when Ronny was manager.


    You asked has the team improved since the 4-0 defeat to Hearts? In terms of new personnel, no. In terms of playing level, undoubtedly yes.


    The team has improved immeasurably under Brendan. The same players, individually and collectively are unrecognisable from Ronny’s last season, and in my opinion the focus on here, and amongst the wider support, on new players (or the lack of them) does Brendan, the coaching team (we won a watch with Chris Davies) and the current Celtic players a disservice.



  15. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Blogwide apology that I typed out “in my opinion” in full, rather than the obviously trendier “imo”



  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    MIT – “It came across to me as a begging letter to the zombies to reinstate our prior allocation”.



    With all due respect I think this interpretation is wide of the mark.



    Sevco are managed impulsively. Celtic’s leadership is measured and controlled.



    I mention the above in case anyone has forgotten the speed of Celtic’s original response.



    I suspect our board knew this was coming and were ready for it.



    Reading between the lines of the latest statement ….



    Rules say we need to reasonable with allocations.



    Celtic are reasonable. We want dialogue. We value the event.



    Sevco are unreasonable. They acted without engagement. This has put a reasonable club in a difficult situation.



    Personally I wouldn’t be completely surprised if it ended up with 800 toilet vandals at CP followed by 7000 of us at their dilapidated stadium in November. (although one small allocation each more likely)



    Hail hail

  17. JIMMYQUINNSBITS on 28TH JULY 2018 12:43 AM



    As an interesting aside – well to me anyway – I took one of those DNA genetics tests. To be honest I was hoping to find a bit of a wildcard in there…. but no, 80% boghopper with a bias to Mayo.. and the rest between Ulster and Scotland.



    *Me tae. I’m 96% with a bias toward Connemara and Ulster, nothing in the land of my birth, Mrs TT is rather urinated off as coming fae Dumbarton she’s only 84% with the only bias being Connemara, I now label her as a teuchter lol





    I actually think “some” of our support are so easily led it’s just group think stuff. Guys who don’t know their erse from a banjo. I’d muzzle them at Celtic park.



    You’ll notice the shift in Boyatta’s “standing” ? Simply, cause he had 2 or 3 good games at the WC.


    In actual fact he has been great for us and is Brendan’s first pick, but why ? Cause he is the first to move into position when we turn-over an opposition attack. Our channel in a lot of games.



    He is still pilloried for his passing ? Watch who plays the ball at the back for us.



    It was abysmal watching Hendry’s new rubbish persona take shape. Hardly kicked a ball this season so far mind.



    One mistake from let’s say him or a Gordon is seized on and will be built to such magnitude you can actually hear the murmurs of disapproval when this week’s escapegoat touches the ball in next game.



    For what it’s worth, yes you’re right, Brendan does ask defenders to take a risk. That happened midweek and Hendry lost the ball twice , which led to both team’s first.



    The Norwegian’s goal was easy to see why Jack got the blame, but our first came from Jack losing the ball, us quickly recovering it and I think we managed to exploit the disorganisation of their outfit putting a foot forward.



    Yes, the game can be lost or won on such a moment.



    Brendan indicated as much post match when he reminded us all Jack is learning still.



    SFTB put up some facts earlier on what the manager actually stated. Not some jaundiced hack’s or CQNers personal hang-ups.



    Muzzling the support ? Ok that’s too much, but “we” have to realise possession at any level comes with a risk. Any player even the best does not have a 100% success rate. We need to chill and not screech at the first misplaced pass. It’s inevitable.



    I’m reminded of Messi, who is clever enough to take the ball from a defender who has just successfully tackled him. Messi and Barca have that press tactic cause teams in defence mode get their head up and move form defence to attack………it leaves them vulnerable.



    Sit back and enjoy the Celtic.




    Chill pill CSC

  19. Thought we were terrific on Wed when we woke up. Proper modern football team, Stevie G looking to out -Levein the rest of the league , this will end in tears ….




  20. HUNDERBIRDS ARE GONE on 28TH JULY 2018 2:20 PM



    You are entirely correct in your assessment of BR’s man management and coaching skills. His transformation of the squad he inherited from Ronnie has been phenomenal and I for one am not seeking to negate BR’s and his coaching teams, achievements in this respect. Hopefully the board will back Brendan and we can land a player or 2 that will further enhance the first team squad.

  21. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Liam Miller memorial match will now be held at Pairc Ui Chaiomh after the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) bowed to pressure over use of the stadium.



    The GAA caused uproar in Ireland last week after match organisers were refused permission to use the venue in the late star’s native Cork.




    The refusal stemmed from a rule banning non-GAA sports at the association’s venues as they initially vetoed the idea.



    But, after considerable calls to reconsider, the GAA has now agreed to host the friendly between Manchester United Legends and a Celtic/Ireland Legends side on September 25.

  22. Hendry does not help his case because he takes far to long to move the ball on by the time he does pass its a choice through panic.



    He needs to move the ball quicker. That can be tuaght on the training ground and in games. Think he could do with a few move pounds of muscle, looks light weight and was picked out as weak spot by rosenborg’s big forward.




  23. Delaneys Dunky on



    Is Walter Smith the manager and Stevie Gee the figurehead? The huns luv anti fitba.

  24. mike in toronto on




    As usual, I enjoy your posts. One question … if we are to assume people say what they mean and mean what they say, when Celtic referred this week to Rangers, should we take this as proof that Celtic view Sevco as Rangers?



    Back to Basics



    We disagree on some aspects, but don’t think we are disagreeing on others. I believe our Board’s issue is that it wants a stable business partnership with the zombies, like it always had, but the current incumbents of Snake Mountain are not sticking with the script,which makes it more difficult to maintain a steady course.



    But as long as the zombies don’t go under, enough people will continue to buy tickets, so our Board will be happy enough to deal with the odd stupid statement from DK. In fact, our Board probably welcome these little skirmishes, as they get our fans hot under the collar …and distract from the real issues … which translates to sales, which is good for the bottom line, which is the most important thing.

  25. TINYTIM on 28TH JULY 2018 2:18 PM


    Looks like Paul67 has been given the nod that we are trying to sell Jozo








    Do you really think slaughtering him on the internet will help that happen?

  26. mike in toronto on

    Bada.. I get why the GAA feels the need to protect its territory, but in this case, I think they made the right decision

  27. Neustadt-Braw on

    The Westminster establishment fight back during Westminster recess….



    Whatever your politics I ask you to consider why the BBC is now blocking anti union news ,covered by themselves on behalf of the public,they have sited copyright infringements on YouTube .Only pro independence sites are affected …



    smiley we are surely united in this thing ..






    to all the Jobos in Inverness today …I salute you ..



    awfy braw

  28. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    MIT – respect. Just about agree that we are “just about agreeing”.



    Yes the board want stable relationships. On one level this makes sense.



    That said our board are cute enough to subtly put the boot in and show this dysfunctional organisation for what it is.



    Anyone on here old enough to remember Denis Healey’s quote about Geoffrey Howe?






    Hail hail

  29. 67 European Cup Winners on

    If CQN existed on the 26 May 1967 we would probably see the following:


    Jim Craig should never play for Celtic again he dived in to that tackle


    Why is John Clarke allowed to stroll around the park and not break sweat


    Jock Stein has not used any of the subs – he is just stupid


    Tommy Gemmell thinks he is a left winger


    How on earth does Berti Auld get into this team




    You get my point



    We are at the pinnacle of our history (1967 apart and possibly 1988 because of 100 years)


    And yet we suggest the board are not backing BR


    Our Centre Backs are useless


    We should give Hibs £4m for JMcG as we have the money


    Public opinion is a wonderful thing – but sometimes I do scratch my head




  30. mike in toronto on

    Back to Basics … ?. I would much rather disagree somewhat with someone like you ( you raise good points, and do politely and in a good spirt), than be on a blog where we all agreed. This is more fun.




  31. regarding our ch’s they are only as good as the players around them, also the set up by the manager.



    spl last year was not the defence that was the problem it was putting the ball in the net.



    now europe is another problem.

  32. Mon The Hoops! on



    The UK government should ban Steve Bannon from entering the UK.


    Steve Bannon is a far-right political figure who poses a direct risk to the security of the UK. He should not be allowed to enter the UK to spread messages of hate.



    Please help stop this Fascist having a platform here in our country.

  33. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Cup Wimners 2.45pm



    Bhoyata was obviously highly rated as a youngster to end up at Man City, I remember Brendan saying early doors that as a modern day defender Dedreycks pace is a massive plus, as for mistakes Dedryck was torn to shreds after his mistake for Windass’s goal after 20secs, the majority forget that Brendan flung Dedryck into that game as we were struggling at the back and Dedryck hadn’t kicked a ball in weeks…. not much gets said about the other 94mins when the big man was excellent (after bring out fur so long and down to 10 men)



    But we all see it differently or we would have nothing to disagree about :-)

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