Lessons for Celtic defence, great auction for Foundation


It was a hard shift for Gordon Strachan’s Scotland last night. Germany are on a different level, possibly from all other teams, at the moment, but Gordon’s been through similar tests as Celtic manager. What I liked about the display was that German were afforded few genuine chances, while the goals they scored, a deflection and two which hit the post before crossing the line, gave David Marshall no chance.

Scotland failed to collect a point as they found it impossible to concentrate at the level required for the entire 90 minutes. We’ve seen Celtic teams do this successfully in the past – and not just against Barcelona. We took Milan to a 0-0 after 90 minutes in the San Siro, while teams from Manchester and Munich, and lesser locations, chased the oxygen out of Celtic players’ lungs but could not find the space required to turn Celtic over.

During the previous two seasons Celtic recorded impressive domestic defensive records, but this was not due to imperious levels of concentration, we were simply better than the opposition by a sufficient margin. When that wasn’t the case, in Europe, we often didn’t display the levels of concentration which was on show, even from Scotland last night.

Great players can score wonder goals against you at any point, but don’t dive into tackles, watch what’s going on off the ball, make the right choices on how to press the ball, and even the greats will struggle to make an opening.

The biggest challenge we have ahead of the Europa League campaign is incorporating this season’s defensive arrivals into a coherent defensive strategy. It’s a concern that Craig Gordon looks like a better goalkeeper playing for Celtic in Europe than David Marshall did playing for Scotland against Germany. Marshall is a good enough keeper, but his defence didn’t expose him too often. Craig is called upon too often in Europe.
Bro Walfrid

With all that’s going on in the world at the moment, in particular with the Foundation, Celtic sponsor, Intelligent Car Leasing, have offered us a fantastic auction prize: Corporate Hospitality at Celtic v Dundee, on 20 September, lunch and drinks in the Walfrid with great seats in the Directors’ Box for three people.

This is a very rare opportunity to enjoy a money-can’t-buy experience. All proceeds to raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation’s fantastic work to improve Health, promote Equality, encourage Learning and tackle Poverty.  Get bidding and keep an eye on the auction here on ebay.

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  1. “Efe will be torn apart by the Aberdeen wingers if he is the right back.”






    I hope lustig is fit and well. Can’t be too far away surely.



    But I can’t remember Aberdeen wingers giving efe too much problems in the past.



    Have the signed new ones this season?

  2. Paul67



    The first goal for Germany last night was not just a deflected goal. it was a brilliant passage of football by the German’s incorporating over 20, possibly 30 passes (I don’t know I didn’t count) streaching our defense and midfield from side to side before a perfect pass into the danger area which then saw a sjot deflected into the net.



    The 3 goal was also demonstrated brilliant football and intricate passing from the German’s.



    If we found 100th gear the German’s would have found their 101st.



    Men against Boys. andd pretty ameturish boys as well as tactics.



    MWD said AYE

  3. Hard ask to gel a new back 4 in probably the toughest fixture of the domestic season (certainly thus far). I don’t doubt we have the best individuals in the country, we’ll see if Ronny can mould them soon enough.

  4. Oh! Oh!



    Just read back a we bit on last blog.



    Politics, fascism and self absorved trumpeting apart I noted we are going to get beat by Aberdeen.






    MWD said AYE

  5. Got to agree Paul67,



    That was a very impressive display against a supreme German side.



    Really enjoyed the match.



    Thought Gordon had the team well organised. The amount of effort and concentration needed to keep onto Germany’s coattails was astonishing.



    Think Scotland have better players coming through than the current generation.



    Hope Gordon keeps the position for a long time and makes Scotland a formidable International side again.



    Hail Hail

  6. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I think Celtic will struggle to successfully set up defensively against Ajax and Fenerbace away. It is not in Ronnies DNA, and we don’t get any practice in SPFL games. Unfortunately I don’t think our forward players are good enough to rely on scoring one goal more than the opposition if we play an attacking game either. It’s a worry!

  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Why not a raffle?



    Surely a charity should try and give ordinary fans the chance of winning the ‘money can’t buy’auction ?



    is it too difficult to organise a raffle? I don’t know hence my question

  8. I’ve never understood why people analysis how you score, or when you score, the whole object of the game is to score more than your opponents, if it goes in legally, it is a GOAL. Who cares about the creation… really, who cares.



    And that goes for both the team I support and also the team my team are playing against.

  9. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    On reading my last post back to myself, I really hope I’m wrong.



    ProveMeWrongPlease CSC

  10. Not surprised we retained Efe Ambrose on deadline day despite Tel Aviv’s late bid, with O’Connell away on loan, and Mulgrew struggling badly to find his position in RD’s set up, we don’t have a lot of cover., at the back.



    Any news on Mikael Lustig concerned about him?, When he was injured last February, RD stated shortly afterwards, that his injury was not as bad as feared, transpired he was out for the rest of the season.



    This season’s league campaign and he was injured again by game five and he only managed to play in two of them, last we heard he was 50/50 for Malmo.



    I see Neil Lennon also confirmed he wanted Anthony Stokes at Bolton on deadline day, but Celtic refused to deal. Not surprising either and hope we’ve not seen the last of AS sticking the ball in the pokey for the Hoops.



    Leigh Griffiths is a player who regularly drops below full fitness, with pulls and strains, and Nadir Ciftci is so far an unknown quantity, so the retention of Anthony , was another obvious matter for Celtic

  11. Captain Beefheart on




    You may be right. I am a massive fan of a confident Ambrose. Right back, he isn’t for me.

  12. Captain Beefheart on

    Would rather see Stokes upfront before Cifci but the new guy does need some time to gain confidence and fitness.



    Still raging about that signing though.



    Have a fine day all.

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “watch what’s going on off the ball”




    Correct, Paul. That is THE big difference when you come up against top level opposition.


    Most half-decent players can stick a ball in a net – the really good ones are the ones who can get themselves into the best positions to do so.




    It’s got to be an issue where to play Mulgrew, after his Beckenbauresque performanceon Friday and his Cafuesque performance last night;-)



    Hail Hail

  15. Som mes que un club on




    The same thought went through my head also.



    The highest bidder, wins the “money can’t buy ” prize?




  16. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Start the bhoy , we payed good money for him so the quicker he beds in the better

  17. Just for the information of anybody who is remotely interested and does not jump on the back of gossip or facetiousness… the pictures of the wee drowned boy… they are not banned in Australia.



    And neither does Australia rank in the top ten countries when it comes to per capita/ per head of refugee.



    It does not come close.




  18. BT



    holding a raffle would mean:



    a) likely less income for the prize offered.


    b) higher possibility of the wrong type of person winning the prize.



    MWd said AYE

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Geordie Munro on 8th September 2015 1:19 pm



    I’d start Simunovic.


    Baptism of fire n all that


    – ———-


    Has to start for me. Major new signing – why leave him out?

  20. Chairbhoy



    I’ve read that Jozo Simunovic is naturally left footed, in a very Charlie Mulgrewesque way. ;-)



    Stipe Pletikosa the keeper we had on loan gave him a glowing report, and reckons he’ll be a great Celt.



    Dedryk and Ambrose are right sided, so there is natural balance, that wasn’t there before with VVD Denayer and Boyata all right footed?



    I think Charlie’s versatility could be part of his difficulties, jack of all trades ‘n that, either way very likely to be playing somewhere for Celtic.