Kicked, robbed but also second best


Yes, I know, you could have put money on Bobby Madden turning in a performance like that, no doubt someone did.  Still, Celtic teams for generations have had to overcome odds determined by the men in black, even without the unpunished brutality on show, Celtic were second best.

Newco applied a soft press, allowing our central defenders time on the ball but tightly competing for space in the middle of the park.  McGregor, Hatate and Rogic were swamped in the middle of the park, and when the ball reached either Taylor or Juranovic, they were seldom presented with even one good forward option.

As a consequence, Celtic repeatedly lost possession inside their own half, inviting wave after wave of attack.  Change was necessary and when it arrived 10 minutes after halftime.  Kyogo and Matt O’Riley replaced Liel Abada and Tom Rogic, Celtic enjoyed their best spell of the match for the next 20 minutes.

O’Riley in particular caused Newco problems and within 10 minutes Greg Taylor gave Celtic the lead.  Cameron Carter-Vickers soon has a great chance to double the advantage but hit the crossbar with a shot in front of goal.

Newco responded on 75 minutes by replacing Aribo and Jack with Davis and Arfield.  The latter levelled the score three minutes later and Newco were never again under sustained pressure.  The winning goal in extra time was narrowly offside.

Those of us in the stadium were unaware of this, so left the ground with a sense that Celtic failed to match their opponents tactically, while bizarrely lacking energy against a team who had played extra time three days earlier.

Two weeks ago Celtic were packed the midfield tighter at Ibrox and were able to find options when passing out of defence.  When we took the game to Newco the lack of precision and coordinated movement neutered what had previously worked well.

Credit where due to van Bronkhurst.  He outmanoeuvred a good coach yesterday.  Nothing was done to change an ineffective midfield until 55 minutes and there was no response after Newco took control after their double substitution.

Celtic were kicked off the park, literally on one occasion.  It was not until Anthony Ralston came on that we saw a robust response.  The game is not always about the pretty stuff, some of the greatest Celtic teams had granite hard geniuses.

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  1. Fair assessment. Agree with every word.


    We regroup and win our remaining league games.


    Hopefully, the boss is pragmatic enough to flex his style occasionally

  2. ….as well as playing the good stuff can we get some granite geniuses in as well………….?


    While I’m less concerned about the height thang…..perhaps another big baby-eatin’ presence….Bobo-esque??? might help the cause.



    I know the Ref would punish s more than thems….but it might just focus the huns minds on the fact that there might be suitably robust reprisals for thus lungin’…………..



    Just sayin’

  3. I love Angeball but we need to integrate a few Murdoch Auld & Hay types for the battlefields we encounter.


    Under MON we had Petrov, Lenny & Thommo.


    Was big Nir suspended for yesterday?



    You learn more from defeats than victories


    We’ll be back stronger & wiser.


    FTSFA & the North Lanarkshire Matchfixers Association.

  4. Having read countless reports and read all the posts on here, one thing that utterly baffles me is why we looked so lacklustre? Ange said in pre-match interview that the players were so fired up, they were ready to run to Hampden rather than get the bus.


    We have had a very easy fixture schedule for several weeks. Our injury problems had all but abated. Jeez oh, we even had JF and MJ on the bench.


    We’ve had much more time available to us for fitness building, coaching and tactics than newco have had.



    So why was yesterday so bad from start to finish? It’s not like the huns sprung any surprises with their team selection (other than dropping their keeper). They have a team that has a slow and hesitant defence yet other than Maeda pestering them, he, Jota and Abada did nothing to threaten their goal.



    My only conclusion is that the squad were overworked in the previous days to the point of exhaustion or the players believed they had done the hard work at Ibrox.

  5. Anyone who questions the likes of Madden’s cheating is not because it occurs in Scotland because Scotland isn’t like this is living in Cloud Coucou Land, imo. The SFA has been proved to be a haven for bigots and when they are found out, they get promotion to UEFA. The SMSM (I guess in part because of falling sales) favour one team. In England, the Refs have to declare their allegiance. In Scotland, not a chance. When it was proved that Celtic were cheated at Dundee United, the individual who spilt the beans was sacked and the MIBs went on strike.



    Nothing has changed. Indeed, folk like Nicola Sturgeon, while quickly condemning Celtic last season for one player breaking covid regulations, haven’t uttered a word about, e.g. the bottle thrown at the Celtic physio at Ibrox.



    Scotland’s shame is that is not prepared to face into its deep-rooted anti-Catholic/anti-Irish mindset.



    Would it change if we were independent? I honestly don’t know.

  6. The treble would have been very nice but we must cement the league. That is the be all and end all. We are in a great position and one which each and every one of us would have ripped the proverbial arm off for had we been offered such a position in August.



    They won’t win the Europa, Red Bull will dispatch them with ease. After sacking Jesse Marcsh in December last year they have turned the year strongly and look a very powerful mean outfit. As for the final, we’ve been there in 2005 and 2011. It’s a damp squib when the league has gone.



    Yesterday was reminiscent of the 2019 league cup final and the matches against Bodo. When pressed we failed to react. It had a viral effect on the entire team. Ange needs to work it out or face humiliation in the champions league next year.



    As for the league, we will likely be only 3 points clear by kick off on Sunday. We need 3 points however they come.

  7. O’Riley must be due a start on Sunday. Hopefully we get Juranovic and GG back. The league was and remains are number one aim.

  8. David 17,



    With respect we are doing it again. ” Red Bull will dispatch them with ease”



    Based on what ? Certainly not European results.



    The huns are not a bad team. OK we lost yesterday; Did a bit of underestimation and complacency creep in . ?


    With the fans that is a definite yes.



    We have beaten the huns twice in recent weeks . We do ourselves a disservice by claiming they are rubbish.



    The fact is, we fell below the standards we have set ourselves.



    Learn the lessons and we can beat them again.



    Cheers and HH.

  9. Or was that the previous game? I recall him going over the points threshold earlier this year and having to miss a game against them.

  10. GREENPINATA – Spot on. It has been a long time since any team humiliated them in Europe. When they have been beaten it has been close – unlike our regular 4 and 5 goal defeats. They could have hit double figures against Dortmund whom we all assumed would beat them.


    There is little between us and them. If everything clicks for us, we win. If everything clicks for them, they win.


    Home advantage might give us the edge in the next game but if we are playing Welsh at RB and Ralston at LB and GG is not fit . . . who knows.

  11. On route yesterday, listening to radio shortie.



    Seems thems replacing their keeper was because he is their “cup goalkeeper” and gvb pledged to play him.


    I thougth it helped them, McGregor is a mistake every game.



    Next, they discussed Madden regulalry reffin in greece, a go to guy for their biggest fixtures.



    because he is well respected and good and seen as impartial.



    oh the irony.

  12. Certainly the huns have done well to get this far in the Europa but RSB and Braga aren’t jaw dropping results. Dortmund was certainly a wtf result though.



    Leipzig have hammered Dortmund, won away at Atalanta, and just beat Leverkusen away from home. Earlier in the year if memory serves me correctly the beat Man City and drew with PSG.



    If the huns get past them then the unthinkable is on the cards. Our decade defining title win may not necessarily be as pivotal as we would like it to be.

  13. garygillespieshamstring on




    Sadly, I can’t see how independence could change attitudes.


    The attitude within the majority of the population, irrespective of their party political leanings, lay the blame for all of this firmly at the door of catholic schools.

  14. Agree with the main article entirely.



    If we are building a pure football team then we wont win the battles just the football matches and the refs sadly have a lot of control whether a football match breaks our or not by how they handle a game, stoppages, clamping down on thuggery, etc.



    For me, Rogic (one of my favourite players) lost the plot (perhaps understandably) as he was held/restrained/impeded throughout with no fouls given then fouls were given against him for much lesser contact on an opponent. As frustrating as that can be if you don’t channel the frustration to work for you it will work against you, as I think it did at the weekend.



    Madhuns performance was shocking. As much as I think he is a terrible ref in general yesterday was as one sided as I have seen him referee a game. Was it not him that once told Scott McDonald that “I’ve seen my kids take harder kicks than that” when a Dundee Utd player clearly fouled him? e.g. he saw a foul but chose not to give a foul / do his job as he is “old school” and its a “man’s game”. Football in this country has no hope whilst referees are more important than the rules they are meant to implement and are not held to account when they are clearly not protecting players.



    A friend of mine suggested, going by the fact he is trying to build a social media presence, that he may have one eye on the lodge dinner circuit / newspaper / media post-referee career options and he may just be ingratiating himself with that audience. Perhaps he fancied a free pint in Cheatin’ Beaton’s local?




  15. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Thought changing Abada for O’Reily would have done the job, when Rogic for O’Reily was change it allowed Tom’s marker to simply switch to O’Reily and keep tabs on him, with both there would have been more of a challenge for their mid field thugs to deal with.

  16. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Oh and Maeda should have been swapped in the second half, he was dead on his feet at 65 mins.

  17. Pingback: Kicked, robbed but also second best | Celtic FC News Now

  18. We were rubbish yesterday … no complaints from me … well apart from Madden applying the rules differently to each team ….



    Cup final would have been lovely … but the league is the goal this season … not sure what the script is with Julienne but if Ange thinks Welsh is a better defensive option then maybe Ange does have some managerial flaws, still unsure what Ralston was up too at Arfields equaliser …. watch it again he doesn’t even get close to Arfield and more or less falls on his backside



    Roll on Ross County yesterday could be the boot up the bahookie some of our players required

  19. Paul67,


    good article , completely agree.


    If big Ange didn’t know what he was up against before yesterday , he certainly does now .


    As Sutton said , it was embarrassing in its blatancy .


    Wonder what odds Madden got on a hun win and no red card shown .

  20. Weebobbycollins on

    Hindsight analysis is easy. So many experts. Should have done this, shouldn’t have done that.


    Easy peasy!

  21. only goes to prove that as group of players we are a delight to watch when the opposition back off and allow us to move and pass them off the park ie St. Johnstone, but if the opposition decide to get in our faces and not allow us to play we are stuffed , we are far to timid, physically and mentally to handle that type of approach , we are far to nicey nicey, accepting every madhun decision meekly with a ‘ok then’ we will just carry on regardless, still raging.

  22. Not just hindsight though . . . plenty of us wanted to see O’Reilly in instead of TR for his energy (goal threat and passing too) and Turnbull for Hatate who badly needs rested as he has looked tired and ineffective in several games. I don’t suppose Ange was ever going to drop Tom for this game unless injured but to persist with Hatate . . . that’s a strange call.

  23. The Celtic players did take it in turn to complain and get up in Maddens face,


    Unfortunately he was the most aggresive person on the park.

  24. Tom Rogic has played for us 8 years, maybe more ? Tam looked incredulous at times yesterday at the decisions of Madden. Madden was at his game defining peak, yesterday. It’s been a long time since we seen something so obvious and blatant.



    Ross County is last stand for the MIBs. We know what to expect.

  25. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    It was also easy to see it at the time, it did not need hindsight.

  26. Weebobbycollins



    18TH APRIL 2022 1:31 PM


    Hindsight analysis is easy. So many experts. Should have done this, shouldn’t have done that.



    Easy peasy.





    You do know that is precisely what a blog is for.




  27. And it’s not Hindsight to many of us.



    A lot of our potential failings were posted prior to the match.




  28. have we told thems they are not welcome , naw didn’t think so , all water under the bridge , just move on.

  29. Really hope we recruit some good and more physically capable players in the areas where we will look to strengthen. Pure football won’t always work in Scotland. Areas I hope we recruit in are, Left Back, another centre half even if CCV stays, couple of wide players and another striker (assume Ajeti will go). Tough tackling midfielder wouldn’t go amiss either. Let’s sicken these dicks, comfortable win at Dingwall and at home the following week.

  30. There can’t be many countries that ex season ticket holders get to officiate their clubs matches .


    Bit like the sleekit hun support with their euro song book.


    Keep the BB, TFS etc for Scotland, where it is safe to sing them .

  31. RC,



    One of the ways we optimise our league prospects is to fill Parkhead with Celtic supporters. Give them no tickets.



    We may be accused of gamesmanship or not playing cricket. Who cares, put our fans and interests first.



    There are numerous safety reasons to validate our stance.



    Lesson learned: we are too nice.



    HH to all.

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