Last season’s Celtic edge over the line


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. up_over_goal-Ambrose and Wilson superb together? Bangura showed both of them up as poor defenders who can’t punch their weight.Wilson is made of straw,top class strikers like Gregory Tade ragdoll him.

  2. Fassreifan, Brilliant news m8. Congrats & regards to both yourself and Mrs. Fassreifan.



    Re the fitba, I’m with Paul67, I think all the slagging of Anthony has been overdone. Derk was named in squad for last night, so even though he didn’t feature he can be played in away game. He is probably the only one of the new lads who might feature. Hope he starts this Saturday and as I said earlier rest Sammi, Kris & Izzy.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    i’ve just had a white chocolate and vanilla drink with my lunch- mega-delish.



    Vanilla is a wonderful thing.

  4. up_over_goal



    I thought Efe played Bangura very well last night and overall had a good game. Kelvin on the other hand was shaky and Bangura caused him problems. He is too easily bullied by strikers with physical strength and hardly won a ball in the air against Bangura who isn’t particularly good in the air.

  5. tommytwiststommyturns on

    up_over_goal : “handled Bangura with ease”?!! You’re having a giraffe, he gave them a hell of a time in the first half. Wilson hardly won a header against him all night and he suckered Ambrose a couple of times.


    Considering what a very ordinary striker Bangura is, our CB’s need to perform much better than last night.



    Fassreifen – congrats on your new family! :-)




  6. up-over-goal,



    quick question: Why was there so much booing of Bangura during the game last night?






  7. Carrigan


    12:46 on 1 August, 2013


    Kayal33, that guy is as bad as celticrumours.



    Hope so, but I think Doyle will sign plus one other. Stokes will be sold or Watt put out on loan, or both.

  8. Afternoon all. The flood is upon.



    I actually thought we were good last night. We are certainly a better team than the Swedes. although I thought Bangura had learned a thing or two from Hooper. The big disappointment for me was Stokes. Kayal and Brown does not work. Commons and Sammi got better as the game went on.



    All in all, a good night’s work.

  9. gallowgate mad squad on

    I thought it was a mature European performance last night. Kayal – don’t think he has body strength for his role – though neither does Xavi.

  10. We badly need a striker of that there’s no doubt, who where and when?


    Only Lenny and PL would be able to answer that, but the rumours make for entertaining reading.





    Code of honour 215 Good


    Homage 450 Good


    Blighty 355 Notts

  11. Paul has yet again hit the nail on the head – without VW and GH we are about 60% down on last season


    They play in really key areas


    We never were able to dominate the Swedes in midfield to force them back to their box


    We had no-one willing to play in their box against some strong aggressive defending



    Kayal did reasonably well but he and Brown had a real tough shift against big strong opponents -he just isn’t big Victor!



    The less said about Stokes the better



    Hopefully the rumour would be both Sharp and Doyle and let Stokes find his own level which is definitely not CL





  12. Fassreifan,


    Some size for premature, think mrs f might be thankful baby f never took the full gestation option :o)


    Congratulations to you and mrs f, and hail hail to new wee baby f

  13. Effi will never be a centre back , midfield that’s it, he farts about going on mad dribbles all the time, a half decent striker would rip him and Wilson up like wet toilet paper.

  14. Kayal33



    Doyle would have been perfect last night but it seems that Wolves want 2m for him, we may get him for circa 1.2m



    Have high hopes that we will go back for the Iceman but looks like they want 5m.



    At the end of the day we need 2 strikers and one of them must be a penalty box striker.



    Living in hope.




  15. The Honest Cover-up on

    Rumours about the roof at the stadium inhabited by Sevco provide some food for thought for our own ground. These large grounds require huge amounts spent on them for basic maintenance. We have plenty of “hidden costs” that can’t all go towrds the playing staff.


    Oldco Rangers, and the new incarnation, have neglected this maintenace at the expense of signings and puting Timmy in his place and it sounds like it is coming back to bite them in the backside spectaculary.


    It is disgraceful that in this Health and Safety age the MMS aren’t all over this. God forbid if something was to happen the cries of “we didn’t know there was a problem” would be defeaning. Yet every internet bampot with working Wifi knows.


    In most workplaces the staff would be sent home if the water supply was cut off, yet the media are willing to turn a blind eye to reports of a crumbling wreck of a stadium packed with 30k+ fans every other week.


    Good to keep a clean sheet last night. We desperately need another strker for the rest of the season though. A centre half would be useful too though as Ambrose looks likely to have a Juve repeat at any given time.

  16. What is the Stars on

    Hi lads



    Few horses passed to me for today


    First race Nottingham Hoku


    4.20 Goodwood, Remember (Hannon and Hughes combo)


    Big Race at Galway (Galway Hurdle) both Tony Martin trained horses are fancied Ted Veale at 4/1 and Thomas Edison at 8/1,been told to back both each way


    Finally in the 6.10 at Galway I am led to beleive that Shesafoxylady is expected to leave punters with a small on their face (as only a foxy lady can do)



    Good luck

  17. Carrigan


    13:03 on 1 August, 2013



    Doyle will be a war of attricion between PL & Jez Moxey that will go down to last minute on deadline day. I can almost hear Jim White working himself into a frenzy, whilst the lovely Natilie sits with ‘what a twat’ smile on her face!!!

  18. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Australia 92-2 at lunch; gave away a wicket just before the break, not a good habit.

  19. Stokes was poor yesterday ….effective …not what i saw



    Doyle …..embdy know his stats?

  20. kikinthenakas on

    Anybody think of Noggin the Nog when the hear the name Finnbogson?




  21. Vmhan, hope so.



    Bada Bing, so we agree then………



    I hear you.



    Fassreifen, great news. Congratulations.



    croppybhoy, cheers.

  22. The Battered Bunnet on

    Those who subscribe to the “Old Firm” will be fascinated by the plans for trademarking the term, incorporating the entity, launching the TV station and planning world tours, as referenced by the Rangers 2010 business plan.



    Good Lord!

  23. Kayal33 haha, think of his gubb when he gets the news that his stadium is falling down.

  24. ….PFayr


    13:07 on 1 August, 2013



    Kevin Doyle stats in English football


    30 goals in 148 games over 4 years at Wolves


    66 goals in 164 games over 4 years at Reading



    roughly 1 in 3

  25. The Battered Bunnet on




    Apparently goal scoring stats for non-scoring forwards are misleading, but you did ask, and I did post them yesterday for Doyle:



    Averaging 1 goal in every 5 games over the past 148 games over 4 seasons.

  26. Maybe we were all a bit too quick to judge Bangura,on the stop/start,never get a chance to settle start to his Celtic career.He played a thankless role last night and did it very well.


    Seems to be very well thought of in Scandinavian quarters,Henrik rated him,obviously the scouts at Celtic rated him,so who knows.Not making a case for him just saying,although cant see him improving our striker department no matter what.We need an out and out striker.They are out there at the right price.A mystery to me.

  27. Thanks again ghuys, canamalar1, yes, he’s got a big head like mine! Starry, vielen Dank!

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