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Levein culpable for Hearts red card, keeping Toljan on his toes

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Whenever the next History of Celtic is written, yesterday’s 1-2 win at Tynecastle will hardly merit a mention, but right now, it feels like a hugely significant night.  You, me and everyone else in the country know that if Celtic can win a game like that in the 93rd minute, they are going to win the league.

A few observations:

Passing the ball along our own 6 yard line was always likely to lead to conceding a goal.  It looked like an individual error but it was actually a systemic mistake.  Notwithstanding this, we need to stick with the plan.  Opponents pack tight against Celtic, anything we can do that will tempt them forward, like passing this deep in our own box, should be done.  The answer is to get better at it.

I was worried when I saw Jeremy Toljan substituted for Mikael Lustig, the latter a player Neil Lennon signed for Celtic.  The worry is that players will suspect that Neil is favouring one of this own.  Jeremy should be back in the starting line up on Saturday.

Just as important as not having favourites, is making sure players who are only here for a few months are kept on their toes.  If Mikael can be used to get the best out of Jeremy, use him.  We have seen a few defenders arrive from the Bundesliga (Andreas, Edson, Marvin) who never convinced they gave everything they had.

When Neil Lennon’s excitement at getting the job died down, his mood must have dropped at the realisation he would have to play such an unfamiliar central mid combination.

While there was a large period of the game when we had a man advantage but still did not dominate midfield, we saw three good individual performances.  Nir Bitton was at his deep lying best, even if he gave possession away twice by shooting from ridiculous distances.  Scott Brown’s contribution for the winner was delicious.

Pass of the night came from Ewan Henderson, who took the Hearts midfield out of the game with a 40 yard slide-ruler to Scott Sinclair for the opening goal.

Five minutes before half time I predicted Hearts would get a man sent off before the break (I have witnesses).  Craig Levein bemoaned Jamie Brandon’s recklessness after the game, but it was in keeping with the rest of his teammates until that point.  Hearts figured their best chance was to batter Celtic players into hiding.  Levein should consider his part in the red card.  It was a consequence of Hearts’ tactics.

The only concern on the night came elsewhere.  Hibs won their fourth game in succession, away and with 10 men.  Saturday’s Scottish Cup quarterfinal will be an epic.

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363 Comments

  1. Chairbhoy on 28th February 2019 1:47 pm

     

     

     

    GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL @ 1:11 PM, DBHOY @ 1:33 PM

     

    Exactly, onwards and upwards…

     

    ‘GG @ 1:33 PM,

     

    Yes, that was amongst the type of things I was talking about @ 12:37 PM.

     

    Believe me, no one is giving Peter an apology on the basis of that…

     

    Hail Hail

     

    ===========

     

    A few sources (as usual unverified) claiming that DD told both Rodgers and PL to sort out their problems at a meeting in London with Rodgers being told in no uncertain terms that unless he bucked up his ideas DD would ensure his managerial career was over. PL was told that he must back Rodgers in the transfer market.

     

     

    Now given that Rodgers has done a runner and is still in management and PL didn’t support him in the Jan window with the acquisition of the quality players he wanted how much actual truth there is in these unsupported rumours is questionable

  2. Go tell the Spartim on

    Did the BBC report the coin and the lighters thrown by Hearts fans…………………i wont wait for an answer to that

  3. traditionalist88 on

    HOT SMOKED on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 2:08 PM

     

     

    Its not really – after all, thats what the defenders are doing anyway if and when the tippy tappy stuff is successful.

     

     

    So the end result is the same, we’re just taking longer to get there. ie. get there with 2 passes instead of 10+ … reduces the risk of an error, increases the chance of us getting the ball to our danger men earlier and ultimately increasing the number of goalscoring chances.

     

     

    HH

  4. “passing this deep in our own box, should be done. The answer is to get better at it.”

     

     

    Always looked like a vanity product from BR. When you see teams executing this effectively its with the goal of moving it up the park as quickly as possible.

     

     

    BR era will be partly remembered by endless sideways passing with no variation to the play.

     

     

    One touch passes can kill teams, but so can a long diagonal when you have guys like Sinclair and Burke in your team

  5. mike in toronto on

    TRADITIONALIST88 on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 2:04 PM

     

    RUGGYGMAN on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 1:54 PM

     

     

    Lets do it from the middle forward. Instead of Bain and the back 4 forming little triangles and giving us all heart failure there is an alternative to going ‘direct’ to the forwards. Play the ball on the deck to the midfielders and get going from there. As soon as one can turn and get a wide view of the pitch

     

     

    he can pick the right pass.

     

     

    The defenders are there to back them up should they lose it. Let the defenders defend. The ones we have are not good enough to indulge in pointless overpassing.

     

     

    As Lennon said last night after the game, we have great attacking threats, but we need to get the ball to them earlier.

     

     

     

    HH

     

    ****

     

     

    Regarding that last sentence, several posters have been saying much the same thing for the last several seasons …. stop the silly passing across the back, and get the ball to the forwards quicker … most noticeably, and most frequently … Fan-a-tic…

     

     

    Now, NFL is back and on his first day, says something similar…

     

     

    and, co-incidentally (maybe not?), the first 2 letters of Fan’s blog name, are found in NFL’s initials…

     

     

    is Fan-a-tic perhaps really NFL, and this whole ‘I’m in America’ thing was just a ruse to throw us off the trail….

     

     

    :)

  6. Re BBC reporting:

     

    Nothing has changed and their policy on all things relating to Celtic will remain unaltered.

  7. My friends in Celtic,

     

     

    Just watching sky news. Note, not the MSSM.

     

     

    They are mentioning coin throwing and sectarian singing.

     

    I only watched the game on the box and frankly I’ve seen and heard a lot worse from fans of all teams.

     

     

    However this is an unwelcome distraction from our wonderful 3 points. There will be a price to pay and I think strict liability will be raising it’s head again.

     

     

    HH.

  8. traditionalist88 on

    The whole high, hospital ball from the GK (and Bain and Gordon were guilty of this so its cleary was an instruction from the manager) to the full back (usually Tierney) tight to the touchline was another bizarre, utterly pointless tactic.

     

     

    Even when it was ‘successful’, Tierneys options were either to nod the ball on and hope Sinclair or someone else was close enough to receive it, or try and control it on his chest and pick a pass, which given the floated nature of the pass was practically impossible because an opponent would have plenty time to get in on top of him.

     

     

    Bain tried this after 28 seconds last night and possession was lost.

     

     

    Naismiths chance also came from Boyata getting caught in possession.

     

     

    We need to reprogramme a few of them. Thats why Lennons post match interview was like a breath of fresh air.

     

     

    HH

  9. mike in toronto on

    GP

     

     

    You can be sure as good made little orange apples (they cant be green apples, this being Scotland, after all)…. that the rules will be changed somehow now that NFL is back at Celtic ….

  10. lets all do the huddle ? on

    one thing i have noticed over the years at the games is the changing use for the toilets

     

     

    a few decades ago they were for doing the toilet

     

     

    then after the bevvy ban they became the place to knock back a hawf bottle

     

     

    then the smoking ban meant they got used for having a half time puff

     

     

    they are now almost exclusively used by coke-heads sticking powder up their bugels

     

     

    i know we point out other clubs fans, but its fair to say we have our fair share of wee arseholes that follow the club, the same as all other clubs

     

     

    a society issue, not a football one as far as i can see

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Fan-a-tic 1:53

     

    Really good to hear that. Was really impressed with McInroy in the Man Utd game last year. Thought he might have been involved in the first team squad this season.

     

    Ruggyman 1:54

     

    Agree with that. Guardiola’s City is quite different to his Barcelona, or even the City of his first season.

     

    They are still a possession team, but they get the ball forward a bit quicker now and have a good counter-attack. Really use the full width of the pitch too.

     

    No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  12. OGLACH @ 2:11 PM,

     

     

    Exactly, there are a few different versions of that one doing the round… obviously the “reliable source” has memory issues.

     

     

    You have to wonder why fholk feel the need for that aul black-ops campaign.

     

     

    Still it’s nice to get yet another version of the McGinn story;)

     

     

    Hail Hail

  13. LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE ? on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 2:46 PM

     

    one thing i have noticed over the years at the games is the changing use for the toilets

     

    a few decades ago they were for doing the toilet

     

    then after the bevvy ban they became the place to knock back a hawf bottle

     

    then the smoking ban meant they got used for having a half time puff

     

    they are now almost exclusively used by coke-heads sticking powder up their bugels

     

    i know we point out other clubs fans, but its fair to say we have our fair share of wee arseholes that follow the club, the same as all other clubs

     

    a society issue, not a football one as far as i can see

     

    ——————————————————————————————————-

     

    Exactly, nowadays when somebody actually goes into the toilets for a shite it’s like a breath of fresh air ?

  14. Comment from a sevcoain on the latest Close Brothers pay day loan

     

     

    “We historically need around £1m at this time of year, as ST money has been exhausted, renewals aren’t out, and competition prize money isn’t paid until June.

     

     

    We used to borrow from Ticketus at this stage of the season. This is essentially, another step towards ‘the norm.’

  15. lets all do the huddle ? on

    “Exactly, nowadays when somebody actually goes into the toilets for a shite it’s like a breath of fresh air”

     

    ————————–

     

     

    ha ha ha

     

     

    funniest comment of the year so far

  16. The Hands- Police Scotland statement only mentioned ‘away fans’.Get in there and lift them ffs,report them to their employers, if they get a few sacked, it might make some of the fuds stop what they are doing.

  17. mike in toronto on

    G 2/3

     

     

    Agree about Guardiola …. after his time at Bayern, and even after his first season at man City, I questioned his coaching, and wondered if he could do it someplace other than Barca … lots of players/coaches who develop under one system struggle when they move to a different set up …

     

     

    but, his team last season and this season is pretty fun to watch …. Celtic have much to learn from watching them … when they are on, their passing, movement and timing is a joy to watch … and I would pay to watch Kevin DeBruyne play any day …

  18. LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE ? on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 2:46 PM,

     

    In all seriousness, though, I don’t believe I am naïve and I consider myself to be fairly worldly wise but I was a bit taken aback when I was at the game In Leipzig and it was pointed out to me that this is a regular occurrence among the young team following Celtic, especially at away games.

  19. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    And jambo hordes, I’ve been engaged in adumbrate discourse with all and sundry on the nadir to which I’d plummeted prior to the angel bedight chip of broonie which led to the thunderhead roars bellowing burgundy death on Erchies; finishing my interlocutation, I roared’ Girfuy mini bassas’ and unshawled, waddled into the velvet miasma of the stars!

     

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=291ET6Py6H8

     

     

    sorrybeenreadingsuttreecormacmccarthycsc

  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Brown and Bitton in midfield is the best we have available at the moment.

     

    You don’t take, Callum, Ryan, Tom and Ollie out of our midfield and expect not to notice their absence.

  21. lets all do the huddle ? on

    In all seriousness, though, I don’t believe I am naïve and I consider myself to be fairly worldly wise but I was a bit taken aback when I was at the game In Leipzig and it was pointed out to me that this is a regular occurrence among the young team following Celtic, especially at away games.

     

    ————————

     

     

    it is indeed, its rife

     

     

    was at st johnstone away game a few weeks ago, in a nice family restaurant/boozer across the A9 from the stadium. the young team werent even bothering to wait for either of the 2 cubicles to empty, they were just handing their powder bags out in the middle of the bog.

     

     

    not my deal to be honest, though i do like a good few bevvys at an away game. but i can handle, so many of the young team clearly cant

  22. KT was the only natural left footed player we had in the team last night, it did seem out of balance…..

  23. FIELDOFDRAMS on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 1:39 PM

     

     

    Anybody else having a problem seeing the CQN pages on ipad?

     

     

    The main page comes up but when I click on the link to the article it just opens a new window with one of the ads from the site.

     

     

    Any advice gratefully received!

     

    —————————————————————————–

     

     

    Same happening on my iPhone. No solution for you I’m afraid!

  24. mike in toronto on

    Natknow ….

     

     

    Same problem when I try to access it from my ipad. just started happening a few days ago.

  25. Go tell the Spartim on

    High profile Catholics in football raise the spectre of sectarianism, especially against their particular religion, everyone projects faux outrage at how this still happens in this day and age……………….cue BBC and Police Scotland, first thing they investigate is Celtic fans………………………………………..There are two of your biggest instigators of bigotry in this wee country.

     

     

    As for the culprits on our side, if your breaking the law then you’ll pay the consequences, thems the rules

  26. glendalystonsils on

    CELTIC40ME on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:15 PM

     

    Toljan is showing a worrying inability to learn from his mistakes. His yellow card was worryingly familiar already

     

     

    Just back from the golf and reading back. That was Toljan’s third yellow in three consecutive games for the same mistake . The guy seems to have a blind spot (in more ways than one). Unless that can be coached out of him , he will be heading back to Germany.

  27. MIKE IN TORONTO on 28TH FEBRUARY 2019 3:22 PM

     

     

    Natknow ….

     

     

    Same problem when I try to access it from my ipad. just started happening a few days ago.

     

    ———————————————–

     

     

    What’s the CQN HelpDesk number??

     

     

    :-)))

  28. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Mike In Toronto

     

    I also love watching De Bruyne – one of my favourite players to watch actually. Can spot a pass and play it! Great range of passing too.

     

    I really like what City do in the wide forward areas. Both wingers as far wide as they can be. When one gets the ball the other attacks the back post area. Also some good combination plays when the full-backs get forward. Quick one-twos, getting to the byline, cutbacks – just what you need to pull defenders out of position and open up holes for midfielders to attack.

     

    As you say, things we can learn from. Often face the same issues of defences sitting deep and holding their shape. Too often we do exactly what they want us to with the slow sideways passing.

  29. THOMTHETHIM

     

    Nobody is saying there are not mitigating circumstances but a bad solution is not a solution.

     

    Bitton last night stalled our momentum by either returning our outball straight back to where it came or when he had space in the centre of midfield he hesitated took a few to many touches and shuffled the ball wide having givien Hearts plenty time to defensively set.

     

    He also give away four fouls in dangerous areas due to his habit of being wrongside.

     

    We could put Lustig in central defense and move Ajer forward.

  30. lets all do the huddle ? on

    a joker

     

     

    honestly, you couldnt give those fuds a brass neck with a blow torch

     

     

    i think if he looks at the way his officers treat normal football fans then he might get an answer to why they are held with such contempt amongst supporters