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Last season’s Celtic edge over the line

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Shortly after Elfsborg cracked one against the crossbar last night I quickly scanned the Celtic team and had a thought.  For the second season in a row we are taking on the Swedish champions but we’re missing two of last season’s big performers and none of this season’s new signings were ready for action.  In short, this was Celtic 2012 minus Wanyama and Hooper. No wonder we looked unstructured.

Joe Ledley brought some vision to central midfield when he arrived, hopefully banishing the Brown-Kayal partnership to hidden corners of our mind once and for all.  Anthony Stokes playing at the front of a wide diamond was equally effective.  With the signing of Amido Balde, bids in for Kevin Doyle, and the addition of a wide-delivery-expert Derk Boerrigter, clearly Neil Lennon has a different plan for the months to come….. so there’s no real need for me to state the obvious.

Defensively we looked solid after a shaky opening few minutes.  I’m not the only one who was a bit nervous about Efe Ambrose after he was (again) caught underneath a long ball, but he settled quickly.  As we know to our cost, being great for 87 minutes is not how Champions League reputations are made, you are judged on your how vulnerable you become in your weak moments.

I said yesterday that Samaras and Commons were the two players who could cope at this level, which became plainly obvious during the game.  Georgios was the one player who frightened Elfsborg, they either swamped him with four defenders or fouled him before he got near goal.

Kris is simply the most intelligent footballer we have.  He is not the fastest, will never have the best stats, but he understands how games are won and is able to act accordingly.  Without these two players Celtic would be distinctly vanilla.

Thanks to those who sent over their 1254125 Great Scottish Run details, I’ll have them on the page later.
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  1. RhebelRhebel @RhebelRhebel

     

    Hope the rumours of Green’s return are true, it’s not been as funny lately without the old racist Yorkshireman with the big hands!

  2. Mmm, I like vanilla…

     

     

    Both my bhoys went to see Cambridge United beat Norwich 1-0 in a friendly last night. They both texted after, separately as they were with different friends, that norwich were poor and Hooper had a shocker (played the first half)

  3. Agreed Paul67,

     

     

    Sammi and Kris performance was key, my thing is, if we do get our 20+ goal striker and two out of this triumverite are missing we Will struggle on the big games.

     

     

    Two steps forward two steps back at the moment.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  4. “Without these two players Celtic would be distinctly vanilla”

     

     

    I can think of another word and it doesn’t smell sweet like vanilla

  5. Well I got the double I was hoping for last night. Alongside a Celtic win, baby Fassreifen was born in the early hours, 4 weeks early and weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces, but completely healthy (as is his Mum). Taking some little green and white socks to the maternity ward later.

     

    ProudFirstTimeFatherCSC

  6. Didn’t think Stokes was that bad last night. Only problem was that he was rarely in the box, and as the lone striker needed to be in there on the end of crosses/through balls.

  7. Joe Filippis Haircut

     

     

     

    12:20 on 1 August, 2013

     

     

     

    Well we are walking on a CL tightrope after last nights game we go Sweden next week for a match on a plastic pitch.The Swedes must fancy there chances as last night they nearly got away with a 0-0.We have to defend well over there and look for an away goal last nights Celtic team didnt work for me Stokes was to selfish and to one paced Kayal for me brought little to the game and Jamed Forrest must work harder Joe Ledley improved the team when he came on but we do need a striker.H.H.

     

    ——————–

     

    Well put

     

    Mulgrew ledley in for the 2nd leg

     

    stokes and kayal

     

    dropping out

     

    Forrest needs to practice his final baw

  8. Chairbhoy

     

     

    If Commons or Samaras get injured we are snookered. Forster is worth his weight in gold as well. defence can have lapses knowing we have the best keeper in modern times behind them.

     

     

    LB

  9. Fassreifen

     

     

    Congratulations. Same weight as my wee Bhoy last year. He was 1 on the 25th July.

     

    Did you do the Broony in the car park when he was born?

     

     

    LB

  10. Fassreifen,

     

     

    Congratulations!

     

    best wishes to Ms Fassreifen and Young Master Fassreifen.

     

     

    Another welcome addition to the Celtic Family.

     

     

    Now for the sleepless nights :-)

     

     

    HAIL! HAIL!

     

    Token

  11. shoulder2shoulder on

    Bada Bing

     

    Think Paul was meaning he was as equally effective as broony/kayall partnership…..which was non-existant mo chara

     

    UTLR

  12. Read Craig Swans summary of the game last night.Did we lose 3-0?.Totally slaughtered the defense,and I mean slaughtered.These hurting huns really find it increasingly difficult to hide the bile eating up their insides.To take a clean sheet,and score is viewed as a very good result in Europe,not to our MSM it aint.

     

    Love their agony.

  13. Couldn’t get to see the game last night but noticed people are still giving Stokes a hard time.

     

     

    Everyone now sees that Samaras is a player that is used as a left forward, he’s fantastic there and that’s his position, to judge him as an out and out striker is unfair. Note: I don’t know why it took supporters, or the management so long to realise this as it was plainly obvious from the start and from his success at Heerenveen.

     

     

    Similarly Stokes needs to be played as part of a front two, he needs a strike partner to function. His link up play when he has a striker next to him is generally good but without this he is limited.

     

     

    Both players are limited in how they can play and perform to a high standard, this may not be what we want but we have to accept it and use them to their strengths if we are going to use them and keep their weaknesses in mind when judging their performances.

     

     

    Hooper wasn’t very good playing as a sole striker either.

     

     

    To find a player that can play up-front himself will take either a lot of luck or a lot of money, so good luck to NL and PL in finding one, because we need one.

  14. @Fass glass raised congrats on our new Bhoy to the celtic family.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    HH

  15. The Battered Bunnet on

    Taking a wee lunchtime stroll through the embers of the Rangers plc 2010 business plan per http://www.scribd.com/doc/157401752/Rangers-Business-Plan-June-15-2010

     

     

    Knowing what we did then and do now, it’s quite remarkable how reluctant they were to discuss the major issues of the day, for example the impact of the collapse of MIH, and the proceedings raised by HMRC re the big tax case.

     

     

    Instead, the biggest threats to the club include the agendas of assorted fan groups and the negative Scottish media.

     

     

    Also interesting to note that the overseas fan base is set at 50,000 worldwide, of which only 1000 were in contact with the club. Charles Green’s genius was in transforming these 50,000 into 500 Million at a stroke…

  16. Kayal33,

     

     

    you hit the nail on the head.

     

    Too often we found ourselves in possession wide but with no-one in the box.

     

    Thats where Hooper was worth his weight in gold.

     

     

    Stokesy is not a striker and therein lieth the problem.

     

     

    I think we may see either Balde (as a presence in the box) or Watt playing a part next week. Watt’s pace especially may be useful to exploit the gaps that Im sure will appear next week when they are forced to attack us.

     

     

    A strong tight defence, especially in the first half will be crucial next week.

     

     

    HAIL! HAIL!

     

    Token

  17. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    Fassreifen

     

     

    Congratulations on becoming a Dad. There’s something really special about your first born.

     

     

    :-))

  18. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Fassreifen- congratulations to you and your wife on your new son.

     

     

    May God protect and cherish you all.

  19. Next week should see us set up to counter attack, I’d imagine much similar to the line-up last night. Be solid at the back and middle and allow a combination of 2 of Samaras/Forrest/Boerrigter and 1 of Watt/Stokes/Balde to use their pace to counter and grab the vital away goal.

  20. I take back what I said earlier about Kayal – thought he played very well. Perhaps he and brown don’t exactly flow well together, but as a defensive partnership they’ve yielded plenty of good results together. Ledley’s introduction led to better attacking play, but these are tactical games, and Lenny will be very happy not to concede at home.

     

     

    Samaras and Commons unflinchingly brilliant, but Stokes once again not up to it at home in a European game. All too often, he lets his frustration get the better of him in the form of sulky (no typo) play.

     

     

    Forrest the other let-down – haphazard crossing and unable to escape the culdesac at the top right hand corner of the pitch.

     

     

    Ignore the mince in the Record about Ambrose and Wilson – they were superb together, handled Bangura with ease – one nervy moment does not a bad display make.

     

     

    Finally, very happy to see Izaguirre continue his good form – long may it continue.

  21. Darren Evans ‏@tayrumours 30m

     

    #Celtic are to confirm the signing of a new striker by Saturday

     

     

    Darren Evans ‏@tayrumours 14m

     

    From what ive been told its going to be either Billy sharp or Kevin Doyle #Celtic #yhihf

  22. Hope the team steps up a gear at the weekend. Would rest Sammy and Kris.

     

     

    Forster

     

     

    Micke Moulokolo (sp) Wilson Izzy

     

     

    Matthews Brown Ledley

     

     

    Watt Balde Derk

     

     

     

    We are in for a toughj game in Borås so hoping injuries are limited.

     

     

    KTF

  23. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Given the parlous state of the Death Star, and the current make-up of the Sevco Board, it is extremely unlikely that a mysyterious fire, for the purposes of de-frauding the insurance ,will strike the building in the foreseeable future.

  24. Livibhoy. @ 12;26,

     

     

    True Foster is another one we need for the big games.

     

     

    The strength in depth is missing.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  25. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    .. because the amount of asbestos which is all that is holding the Follow, Follow favela together would preclude such a fire taking hold.

  26. Kayal33, that guy is as bad as celticrumours.

     

     

    Think we will bring in 2 strikers Doyle and Finnbogason if we get through to group play

     

     

     

    KTF

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