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Leigh, Efe, Mikael, Dedryk and Jozo

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I got my wish last night, that Leigh Griffiths would reach the 40 goal mark for the season, and what a great goal it was too, memories of Love St ’86. Also delighted Leigh was aware-enough to mimic Henrik’s ” five zero” gesticulation when he reached 50 in 2001.

40 goals for Celtic in a season is a very rare achievement, as Paul John Dykes pointed out this morning, it’s now only been done 13 times in 128 years.  Jimmy McGrory (four times, three in a row) and Henrik Larsson (three times, two in a row), are the only two who have achieved this more than once in their Celtic careers, so Leigh knows what he needs to do next season to get a really special place in the history books.

As for the other pertinent points from last night’s game in Perth, I can cut Stefan Johansen some slack. McDiarmid Park was a farmer’s field not so long ago, and St Johnstone’s first goal looked like it came as a result of a plough intervention.

Efe Ambrose is another story. Last night’s decision to challenge (Logan Bailly) for a ball inside his own six-yard box was inexplicable but consistent with his general awareness this season. When the new manager is in place, someone inside Lennoxtown needs to find the earliest possible moment to sit him down and play the Efe highlights video.

We have a good central defender in Erik Sviatchenko (club captain in the making), and one who could become so in Jozo Simunovic. If Jozo gets himself fit for July we should be well-placed for the qualifiers, but those two aside, we are struggling in central defence.

Out of contract Charlie Mulgrew is in the latter stages of his career, but can be trusted to do a job without causing unnecessary alarm every week. Mikael Lustig’s days as a rampaging full back may be limited by his persistent hip issues, so playing as auxiliary central defender, as he often does for Sweden, works on paper.

I’d be far from confident facing Champions League qualifiers with Efe or Dedryk Boyata, who could still makes Belgium’s Euro’s squad, but if Jozo’s fit, signing a right back, with Mikael covering central defence, feels like an appropriate use of resources.

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608 Comments

  1. jamesgang @ 10:31 am

     

     

     

    “Sftb

     

     

     

    I would also challenge your thoughts ref other coaches working out how to play us.

     

     

     

    Be physical cos you know we’re quite short and light in the main and you’ll be the recipient of a good few honest mistakes.

     

      

     

    On a pitch like last night play the ball with height and pace into danger areas and let the bounce and sieve take effect.

     

     

     

    Pack your defence safe in the knowledge that Celtic this season have neither the guile or target man to trouble you too often. Nor do we have many threatening shots from distance. And a complete lack of a Plan B!

     

     

     

    In terms of return on investment and potential I believe Aberdeen have moderately over performed this season. We by contrast have quite significantly underperformed. Subjective I concede but you can trust me with this assessment cos I’m 100% right!

     

     

     

     

     

    ;-)

     

     

     

     

     

    HH jamesgang”

     

     

     

     

    As you say, subjective, and therefore, not open to easy rebuttal.

     

     

    However, for a team that lacked the target man and the guile, we managed on 86 occasions to overcome those handicaps.

     

     

    If we addressed the points of weakness in your analysis, we would have stronger more physical players brought in (Buy back Jackson Irvine, perhaps and give Kazim Richards a more regular game???) but where would that leave us for Europe?

     

     

    No, I think we managed to rather easily overcome the league challenges that SPFL coaches brought to us. At no time have I wavered from my early season prediction of a league win by 8-12 points, a very comfortable margin. And that was regularly derided as complacent.

     

     

    The development we need to have is to get us competitive with technical European teams and not with the Lasleys, Jacks and Murray Davidsons of Scottish football. We already have too much for them.

     

     

    HH

  2. Philbhoy

     

     

    Vale could well be right and the decision will be more to do with an assessment of overall scores once the marking has been completed as opposed to the effects of the petition.

     

     

    Sorry but I’m not sure who decides on the content of the exam papers. Best of luck to O mate.

  3. An Teach Solais on

    Re SQA exams. -Level 5 Mathematics

     

    In addition to action being taken I would suggest :-

     

    Contact your MSP asking him/her to raise the matter with SQA.

     

    Dalkeith doesn’t like MSPs asking questions.

     

    Good luck.

  4. The message is out there.

     

     

    I emailed the bbc about the under reporting of The Offshore Game Report, here is the reply:

     

     

    “Thank you for your comments about our sport coverage on 6 May 2016.

     

     

     

    To answer your first point, we will continue to refer to Rangers FC as the same team; where we will make a distinction is between the old company and the company which currently runs the club. This is in line with the BBC Trust findings on the matter, details of which are available at

     

     

     

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/appeals/esc_bulletins/2013/apr_may.pdf

     

     

     

    Our sports news team is well aware of this Tax Justice Network story. We’re also acutely aware of the gravity of this issue, and of its importance to some in our audience. It’s a highly complex story, with various editorial and legal issues therein. It’s therefore right and proper that the BBC takes the necessary journalistic steps, and time, before deciding on whether it warrants independent reportage by us.

     

     

     

    Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.

     

     

     

    Details of the BBC complaints process are available online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

     

     

     

    Kind regards

     

     

     

    Brian Morgan

     

     

    BBC Complaints”

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Exams.

     

     

    The Education authorities will not permit there to be a significantly higher failure rate than average ( :-) ) to occur.

     

    That would be in nobody`s interests. Particularly the interests of further education authorities.

     

    And a P.R. disaster. And they wouldn`t be having that.

     

    Pass marks will be adjusted . As they always have.

  6. HT

     

     

    Thanks!

     

     

    It was tough talking to my wee girl about that exam.

     

     

    She’d worked so hard, studied loads, plus a tutor on a Saturday morning. She was nervously looking forward to the exam.

     

     

    Now she is crushed.

  7. As the last match of the season approaches Cloghercelt and myself would just like to say a big thank you to all of you who came to our Hootenanny in Dublin at Easter.

     

     

    Neither of us had organised an event like that before so we were very apprehensive about how it might work out. Fair play to Cloghercelt for taking the lead on it this time last year.

     

     

    Anyway, we promised to donate any surplus made on the night to the Kano Foundation and we are delighted to announce that we will be presenting a cheque for £580 to the Foundation before Sunday’s match.

     

     

    If anyone who was at the event would like to take part in the presentation please leave a message here. It will take place sometime after 11am at the top of The Celtic Way, on the right hand side. Photo bombers welcome too.

     

     

    Finally, a huge thank you to the CQNers who donated prizes for the event, including ACGR, Sannabhoy and the very modest but brilliant artist who donated the main prize and who wishes to remain anonymous.

     

     

    Go raibh míle maith agaibh/ Tapadh libh.

  8. In my day A B C…you passed, anything below you failed, unless you appealed and got upgraded.

     

     

    When my kids got their results, only a wee while ago, I couldn’t make head nor tail of them!

     

     

    Keep things simple…same as on the pitch.

  9. sixtaeseven - Gardez la Foi on

    PHILBHOY on 12TH MAY 2016 8:13

     

     

    “Also, who makes up the questions?”

     

     

    *****

     

     

    Just like at the SFA and elsewhere – wee committees full of blazers who are out of touch with reality.

     

     

    Hope your petition works – the youngsters that have worked hard should be encouraged not disheartened!

  10. Philbhoy

     

     

    Much like the Higher paper last year the results nationwide will reflect the degree of difficulty of the paper. If it is acknowledged-and it appears once again there is a case-that the paper was difficult, the pass mark will be lowered. This will then result in a fairer reflection on what the kids actually achieved. An A grade at last year’s Higher I believe was 65% plus and the pass mark was in the 30’s somewhere.

     

    My daughter sat the Higher paper today.

  11. Philbhoy

     

     

    good luck with the wee yin; I had about 20 of them at my door today after the exam. She should be okay but it’s hard for them to accept that just now.

     

     

    HH

  12. Wee one says a teacher has posted the answer to Nat 5 Maths on twitter.

     

     

    Maybe worth a look!

  13. The Exam is set by a Principal Assessor and a team of experienced, working teachers who are seconded to work for the SQA or who are involved in a permanent, part time basis.

     

     

    The marking instructions are are produced by the PA and the team exam setters and then amended by the PA and a small group of Senior Team Leaders who pore over a selection of candidates’ responses before producing the finalised marking instructions.

     

     

    These Marking Instructions are then given to the wider group of markers. Sample scripts are used to explain marking procedures and, after the markers meeting, the actual marking begins.

     

     

    Team Leaders regularly check on markers’ performance and Senior Team Leaders check on Team Leaders. Even the Principal Assessor’s marking is subject to this Quality Assurance to ensure consistency. Markers whose performance drops are put on hold till they amend their marking to come into line with the expected standards.

     

     

    It is all to ensure the best possible outcome for the candidates who have worked hard.

     

     

    The Curriculum for Excellence New Qualifications is the Scottish Government’s flagship in Education. There will be no disasters.

  14. Philbhoy

     

     

    Focus on the 4 she’s already done and tell her to set her sights on doing well in what’s still to come.

     

     

    Almore

     

     

    Thank you so much to both you and Clogher for a truly memorable weekend mo chara.

  15. WINNING CAPTAINS on 12TH MAY 2016 6:39 PM

     

    ‘We are looking to put a full page advertisement in The Guardian and NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, the newspaper of influence in Zurich.’

     

     

    ####

     

     

     

    Have you considered running an advert in a newspaper circulating in whichever part of the world The Great Desmondo lives?

  16. HT

     

     

    Thankfully next exam not until 23rd May, then last on 1st June, so time to get her confidence back up!

     

     

    Thanks!

  17. An Teach Solais on

    ALMORE

     

    Great to meet you, Cloghercelt and all the other CQN bhoys in Dublin’s Fair City.

     

     

    Thanks for everything which you all organised.

     

    Fainne or ort. (no fadas on this pad) HH

  18. SIXTAESEVEN and VALE BHOY

     

     

    Many thanks. Heartened by all the responses on here tonight.

     

     

    Wee one a bit brighter after reading them.

     

     

    See if you have a problem or a worry, you need advice or even if you, or someone you know needs a hand or a prayer, where else would you go than CELTIC QUICK NEWS?

     

     

    Thanks again Bhoys and Ghirls. feeling much better now.

     

     

    Thanks Paul67 too!

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “before deciding on whether it warrants independent reportage by us.”

     

    ——-

     

    As opposed to biased reportage, presumably?

  20. PHILBHOY

     

     

    I’m certain that she has nothing to worry about.

     

     

    Good luck to her and all youngsters who are sitting exams.

  21. An Teach Solais on

    WINNING CAPTAINS

     

     

    I hope that all who can will contribute to the crowd funding appeal to take out advertisements.

     

     

    Surely what passes as journalism here will be exposed if media in England follow up the content of proposed advertisement.

     

     

    Just let us know the account details to which to send contributions as soon as it is up and running.

     

     

    Hat doffed to you all. HH

  22. DD: I’ll be on 8.30 bus from Edinburgh airport. Will get breakfast in Glasgow city centre and head up to the stadium.

     

     

    Is the Kerrydale open before the match, and if so, what time?

     

     

    ATS: GRMA agus an-deas bualadh leatsa. Conas atá na ranganna?

  23. Winning Captains

     

    Add me to the list of contributors :-)

     

     

    On Brendon Rodgers and the article on why no club has taken him, I hear he is still on his full Liverpool pay for gardening leave ?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  24. An Teach Solais on

    ALMORE

     

    A chara, ta me fos ag iarraidh an teanga a fhoglaim. Ta me ag dul ar aghaidh chuig cursa I gContae Chiarrai in mi Iuil.

     

    Ta suil agam a fheiceann tu roimh an cluiche ar De Domhnaigh. Adh mor.

     

     

    Not being rude – just saying looking forward to seeing Almore at Celtic Park on Sunday. HH

  25. The Battered Bunnet on

    SFTB

     

     

    Quantitative, and Qualitative.

     

     

    That which we can measure, and that which we can observe.

     

     

    Quantitatively, we have lost (almost) twice as many goals in the league this season compared to last season, and won fewer points and fewer games.

     

     

    Qualitatively, I have observed that teams shape up against us in a similar style, seeking a similar outcome. The shape requires 8 men behind the ball when Celtic have possession, with one skirmishing in the central area against our two centre mids, and one playing long and wide.

     

     

    The plan seems simple enough: Prevent the ball geting beyond the defence, put pressure on the opposition passer, sooner or later the pass will go astray, and it’s an easy ball to release the long&wide player into the space behind the two (often one) Celtic defender.

     

     

    This creates a small number of good chances, data for which I do not have and will not seek (help yourself, suggest the xG system of scoring chances analysis would provide interesting data). To get a result against Celtic using this approach (which most do) requires the 8 men behind the ball to do their job, and one or more of the few good chances to be taken. Between one and another, it’s worked sufficient to gain points in 12 matches this season thus far, versus 9 the previous, yielding more goals and more points.

     

     

    Given the managers and clubs in the league have largely remained unchanged, it’s not a leap of faith to suggest that SPFL managers better understand how to compete with Celtic, and “execute their game plan” to better effect.

     

     

    Equally, we need to consider the impact on results of changes to the Celtic squad – the extent to which the replacement of the central defence impacted on goals conceded for example, or the impact of Leigh Griffiths’ season mirabilis on goals scored and points won.

     

     

    But that would be Qualitative, more subjective, more down to observation and experience than measureables, something your ‘hard evidence’ overlooks or references only in passing.

     

     

    In summary, the same manager took a similar Celtic team playing in a similar manner into a near identical set of fixtures to the previous year, and produced a significantly lesser set of results.

     

     

    If your point holds true; that SPFL managers have been slow to learn how to better compete with Celtic, then the opposite hypothesis seems equally arguable; that the Celtic manager forgot what he knew, or otherwise unlearned.

     

     

    The evidence suggests neither position is true. More likely, opposition managers learned and adapted to better effect season on season, while Ronny didn’t.