Lack of consistency haunts Celtic again


Celtic have been completely dominant in Scottish football on many occasions but only once did this result in a domestic treble (the treble was won another two occasions when Celtic were only marginally ahead of the competition but were ruthlessly focussed).

At all other times we have had a morning like this, tossed out of one of the cup competitions by a vastly over-performing team.  Little more than a handful of games against weaker opponents stood between us and a treble in each of the last two years, but as we have noted for many years now, Celtic are not consistent enough to win the treble.  The evidence is substantial.

There are parallel ways we should react to this.  In the middle of a Champions League campaign we should be focused on little else, players should be rested for the challenge ahead, even if there are resultant risks, but there will be disappointment that we didn’t see a recognisable performance from those drafted into the team.  It wasn’t until Matthews, Commons and Stokes arrived last night that we looked anything like the Celtic we know.  On no occasions should we lose at home to a Championship team looking for their first away win since April.

That domestic treble from a dominant position was achieved by Martin O’Neill in season 2000-01, a time when Martin scarcely made a substitution before 85 minutes, never mind rested players.  This drew criticism, of course, as his ‘feeder’ players were denied opportunities to grow.  Despite last night’s reversal I would still rather use these games to develop the wider squad.

I also don’t subscribe to the belief that ‘every game is a cup final’.  Motivational strategies lose effectiveness if you roll them out too often.

Credit to Allan Moore and his “boys with desire and work-rate”.
[calameo code=000390171853d2bfc4f69 lang=en page=10 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. ACGR Supporting BMCUWP's Hootenannay, 28th Sept in Fun City on

    MWD, great post. Pity your buddy missed it. Maybe he’ll make the final.

  2. The way that some are talking , it’s only the league cup, we don’t care about it, Celtic don’t play well in the league cup, let’s all laugh at Sevco, it’s a Hun cup and so on doesn’t agree with me.



    Last nights result was an utter disgrace.Full stop.


    Severe lack of professionalism displayed and really everyone who played last night and the Manager should hang their collective heads in shame IMO


    Those jerseys deserve better!

  3. I’m a fan of Neil, but him being “philosophical” about last nights performance sounds like there’s no recognition of what is emerging as a serious problem for us: we are poor, very poor, in attack. Whether its because of a lack of an out-an-out striker, or because of our build up play and delivery, we are not converting possession, to shots, to goals at anything like the rate we need to.



    This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to last nights game, our performance against Milan was not assessed properly – we should have beaten a very average side. It’s hypothetical, but if Ajax had been playing that Milan that night I’d bet Ajax would’ve run out winners.



    Some serious short-term work required, which can only be through coaching, to address this for this season. Some longer-term work required on how we scout strikers

  4. I dont agree with a lot of posters slagging off the players.To say Broony Ledley Mulgrew are crap is a nonsense.We are very close to being a very good team.Very close for the simple reason.We will not spend the money on a striker.We will also not spend money on any sort of playmaker.Hooper showed last night what a good striker can do for you.We brought in a guy who is not a prolific goalscorer with the hope we could make him one.Pukki,probably a very clever player,just has to be watched,to see that no way on this earth is he a supplier of 30 goals a season.Nothing bad to say about the boy.Just not his position.Maybe playing off a good striker,who knows.



    The playmaker dept is another that our scouting network never seem to produce in.To have such a network scouring the globe,you would think they would spy one.Would”nt you?.Seems not.Maybe Mr Parks has the same eye for a playmaker as he does for strikers!!!!All that huffing and puffing last night could have been avoided by just one astute,clever pass.


    Anyway,as I said last night,the gods are looking down on us,the CL ones.Barcelona will miss Mascherano terribly He is their pace.Can we cash in?.H,mmmm.

  5. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    I’m of the school that we have plenty of playmakers we continually try to turn into defensive mids

  6. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    What was the formation last night?



    When I saw the team I assumed it was McGeouch, Rogic and Boerrigter playing behind Pukki – but people on here saying Rogic was defensive mid – is that really the case?

  7. I said it before yesterdays game and will repeat it, Derk is a empty shirt!! No heart or desire, at least paddy always offered himself open to a pass!! No offence to Pukki but would much rather have kept the money for him and Balde plus Watt loan and bought a proven goal scorer i.e Finnasborgen , it baffles me that that many posters have been duped by the obvious lack of proven goal scorer we brought in!! It tells you about the boards ambition when people are raving about Stokes as our no 1 striker, A guy who started his 1st champions league game last week or hardly ever featured against the huns because he couldn’t be trusted!! Real pity because with a quality striker and creative midfielder we could do damage in the champions league.

  8. TurkeyBhoy



    Pal.. You should Not be sae Confident .as tae Predict How Many or How Little


    of a Goal Tally , which Pukki, wull amass,this Season.



    Naebuddy is THAT . .Prescient even.. Kojo!



    Ah am inclined tae Gie the Guy a fair Do.. and gie him a loat mair Outings afore


    Ah wid dare tae denigrate his goal Scoring abilities.



    Ah like whit he has done for us, so far..



    He has Scored a Coupla goals..in Three Games.. No a Bad Average.. so far.. Ah declare.



    He mebbe wull turn oot tae be a Bettah All Round Player than Hoops Wiz



    Who kin say.. Well Ah kin Say.. But Ah hiv decided.. No tae!





    Still, Laughin’

  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Rogic didn’t look for the ball in advanced positions,and when he was in one-rare,but it happened-didn’t seem to make himself available.



    One moment in particular,just before he was subbed,where he ran along a line about twenty five yards out,and let the ball run behind him because he wasn’t wanting the pass.



    I have high hopes for the fella,he has skill to burn. Last night won’t feature on his cv,that’s for sure.

  10. Boerrighter is a worry he cannot score goals, we need him to score and to gran a game by the scruff of the net. I know it is difficult for new players to arrive at a club in a new country and lead from the front straight away but Dirk worries me. I hope he breaks his duck and he scores for fun.



    Last night was a depressing a performance as I have seen. I rather we play the U21’s and see how they get on.



    Have to say to the people who critise Commons you have to be joking if he had pace he would be in the EPL as one of the top players.

  11. I was at the game last night and felt the main issue was that our players expected to win. No worries, the goal(s) will come. It was more about complacency than lack of talent or tactics.



    I find that hard to accept. Every game should be a cup final for any player given the honour of wearing the shirt.



    Well done to Morton. Each and every one of their players fought for every ball for over 120 minutes.



    I will be at Rugby Park on Saturday expecting a strong performance before Barca.




  12. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    I maintain the opinion the time to judge new signings is after one full season with two provisos, they are given a decent shot to prove themselves and if they need the time to settle, plenty on here would have got rid of Efe after half a season.

  13. Stairheedrammy says cmon Oscar on

    Last night was used as a tactics try out- playing one main forward with 2 supporting midfielders and a holding midfielder- little if any of it worked against a team set out solely to defend. Many of the players looked out of sorts- possibly due to being unsure of the system or just out of position and nothing changed until we altered the system near the end of extra time. The system we tried allowed Morton to bed in their defense- and is suited to us defending against better teams- but not to playing teams parked in their own box.



    To add to this Madden also had a shocker right from the Collum school of refereeing- either a blatant Dallas “brother” or plain inept.

  14. I see a lot of people writing off Balde before he has had any serious game time.



    Now, there’s always a chance you will be proven right and he turns out to be another Bangura/Murphy/Rasmussen.



    Yet we say that, if we had bid £500k 18 months ago, we could have landed the guaranteed- proven- never missed a chance goals of the famous Alfie Finbogasson, before he became the goal machine he is.



    What if we bought Balde at the same stage in his cycle of development? i.e. before he became prolific.



    Should we then play the boy before he hits form or continue to develop him and only play him when he is good enough?



    And, as I said, in the beginning, he may never be good enough. But then Alfie Finbogasson might never be good enough either.

  15. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    I’m not writing off Balde I haven’t seen enough of him.



    My concern is has the manager written him off?

  16. Paul67



    There are parallel ways we should react to this.



    Yes. I thought we were rubbish on Queen St. Then on Hanover St, I still thought we were rubbish.

  17. Stairheedrammy-Agree,do we not try different formations in training? A frustration for me over recent years is inability to change a team formation during a game.Surely we knew Morton were going to play the way they did? We should have played with at least 2 up with Boerigter supporting/supplying IMO.When we constantly pass the ball across the park it is easy to defend against.

  18. Afternoon all



    Still hacked off after last night. Re Rogic I think he is a decent player- good passer and quick feet but still to find his best position. Last night he was neither playmaker nor attacking ‘in the hole’. I suspect he’s better further back than last night though. What was noticeable was that after half time when it was obvious the team had not improved on its laboured first half showing he played as though he knew he’d be first to be hooked.



    It is not good that he allowed his head to go down so easily but neither is it good that when things are tough that NFL will almost invariably stick with the artisan rather than the (potentially) artistic. I do not wish to right off a player on the evidence of 1 1/2 games but I do not think a defensive midfielder such as Biton was needed at any stage last night and certainly not when we needed ro up the pace.



    Last night was a real stinker – the worst result since the Scottish Cup semi final of 2010. Whether it was a blip of no real significance or a sign of a deeper mediocrity we shall see. I am concerned that our team’s progress has stalled – the whys and wherefores I’ll leave to other more sage contributors. Neil has problems and he needs to find some answers soon.



    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

  19. Billy Bhoy supports wee Oscar on

    Perhaps it was because I wasn’t there last night, or perhaps it is down to the strange lack of taunts from the zombies today (now I wonder why that is!).


    Anyway, it’s ANOTHER year without a SCF to complete a treble. However, on the plus side, it’s yet another stark reminder that fitba isn’t played on paper and there’s every chance we’ll prove that next Tuesday!


    Finally, 27 corners?


    So, were Morton man marking or was it the ol` zonal marking?

  20. off home ,



    caught up on blog again.



    some fans of deid club , and morton have been chatty today, they cant believe i couldnt give a ratz ass about the league cup. the apathy for the tournament runs deep in the physche of our club, thats what i believe.



    the tournament did give me some great moments, 1982 for example, but as each year passes i care less and less. maybe thats the same inside the club.



    for those screamin green murder about not being entertained, or how dare morton beat us, or sack everyone from Neil to John Park and take Biton with them,



    catch a grip.



    Next wednesday , someone upstairs willing, we will be in wonderous astonishment about another defeat of Barca.



    I believe that.



    today, havnt been hurting at all.

  21. From Arthurlie to Morton …………… I think its circa 120 years of a renfrewshire hoodoo.




    anyone tell me Jocks worst cup result outside Thistle (still a top division team at the time ), what was the shocker then that had Celtic Telegraph News tap tap tappin ?

  22. Doesn’t matter who writes of who, on CQN Balde (and Pukki) were written off by some before they had actually signed and by reference to youtube and their personal scoring records.



    The CQN’rs now writing off Balde (and others) are actually Johnny Come Lately’s, by comparison, I’d bet Balde and Neil Lennon wish Amido had headed into an open goal on his debut.



    The worry will be if NL is doing any ‘writing off’, signals like throwing the CB in as an auxilliary striker won’t help, – on the ole mineshafting front.



    Cyber Pub CSC

  23. BSR,


    someone told me VDV had actually been a striker back in his starting career.



    1-0 down, in a cup game, few minutes to go, Centre Backs, Goalkeepers, all up front, it was ever thus.



    I suffered from writing off Charlie Mulgrew when he came back, I wont ever do that again till the newbie has had at least a season.



    anyway, def home now.




    In Lennon I trust,



    the rest of you, well, its only opinions, and 57 varities an all.



    whos right, whos wrong.

  24. Saint Stivs



    For me its not about the league cup or the treble or winning every game or whatever, its about the depth of quality within the playing squad, last night was a wee test of that depth and the result suggests its very shallow indeed. 120 minutes at home against a poor league one side and we failed to score even a solitary goal. Not a good sign in terms of what lies ahead, hopefully its misleading.

  25. Delaneys Dunky at 15:47



    Thanks for the news of Markus Fraser.



    Any news of the injury situation regarding Filip Twardzik (out for over one year now) and Joe Chalmers?

  26. Saint S



    I actually agree, last night wasn’t a night for someone that’s not established i.e. Amido Balde


    and VVD won more balls in the air when he was pushed up towards the end, than the rest did in the whole night.



    Therein lies another problem though – playing punts, and high crosses with no target man, VVD gaves us the option that wasn’t in the starting line up, and the plan never varied.



    KeepTheHighBawsLow CSC

  27. ps,



    they should stop seeding the League Cup, then we could get drawn against better opposition and be less embarrassed when we get pumped out.

  28. tommytwiststommyturns supporting Wee Oscar on

    Plenty of us hacked off last night, but this was way over the top from Mad Itch at 23:40…



    “Has anyone checked for dodgy betting patterns?


    What were the odds on Morton tonight — especially after extra time?


    If it doesn’t make sense then it doesn’t make sense.”