More cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar


I’ve been meaning to speak to you about this for a while; thought I would wait until the new season, see if anything changed, maybe we could avoid having the chat.

There are different ways of watching football games.  There’s the way we watch World Cup games, as unpartisan observers, which is completely different to the way we watch Celtic games.  If I’m watching a game in the English lower leagues with a one-time Celtic target, I’ll watch him closely, usually paying scant regard to anyone else.  The same is true if I’m watching the likes of Wigan with Sean Maloney.

When I watch a game before writing a match report I often get a different perspective.  The game flows in the normal manner but I then have to look at my notes and compose a report.  It’s the notes that are often unexpected, they tell a story of incidents, not of what is essentially a pursuit which flows for 90 minutes.  For Celtic, the incidents overwhelmingly, often as much as 80% of the time, involve one player.

He’s not the quickest, the most industrious, or the strongest, but Kris Commons makes things happen at a level no one else at Celtic comes close to.  The evidence screams out at me every time I check my notes.

I’m sure Celtic will recognise this with a new contract but there’s reason to worry about this now.  What if he’s injured, what if opponents figure out they better stop supply to him, what if his form shades, as it did two years ago?

I like the look of the squad.  Lustig, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Brown, Mulgrew, Johansen, Forrest, Biton, Stokes, Griffiths, Forster and van Dijk offer consistent standards of performance, most look comfortable in Champions League football, but the dependence on one creative talent feels like an unnecessary vulnerability.

As I said, football is not an incident-dependent sport, like golf, it is a flowing pursuit which requires industry, concentration and strategy, without which, the creatives would end up playing lower league football.  But to win games, you need someone to invoke six of seven incidents more cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar*.

*Kris Commons behaviour at cocktail bars is impeccable, he is capable of on-field cunning only.

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  1. jamesgang



    13:28 on 16 July, 2014





    Lol. Mrs jamesgang is from Smokieville and it creased me up when she spoke about ‘circles’.


    And the only person other than my Dad who says pattren and modren.


    Love it. Always tickled by wee things like that.





    Reminds me of my old granny, who used to say pattren and modren too. She also used to say, petorl and childern. Could never quite understand how or why.



    Happy days!






    End London rule. YES.

  2. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    After an early afternoon conference with the boy acgr I’ve decided to stay overnight in Edinburgh for the game next week. Got a twin room in the Britannia hotel near Murrayfield with 24 hour parking for a fiver. Total price £54. So no fannying about with planes, trains and automobiles.



    Hopefully catch up with a few cqnr’s before and after the game for beer and drams and beer.



    Friesdorfer, drop me an email to acgr@hotmail.co.uk and we’ll organise a beer or seven.





  3. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists @ 13:21



    I actually thought he had a very quiet game and had he not scored nobody would be saying much about him. He (along with the entire front 3) didn’t look like they were used to the system yet so it’s hard to judge anyone based on that game. He does seem to have the knack of finding the net – he seems like an accurate player but his shot power seems quite weak. As you say, his pace and (creative) passing aren’t the greatest although it might be early to judge on the passing.



    Thought the player that looked most comfortable on the night was Johansen, he sprayed the ball around quite nicely and launched attacks. Commons as usual the classiest player on the pitch.

  4. “If Commons had pace, he would be truly world class.” Sadly too true. The problem, imo, is that against the really good teams in the CL, that lack of pace is all too obvious. That’s why I have such hopes invested in Biton and Henderson.

  5. If Roni has plans to drop Kris Commons then he better get big Peters cheque book out quick.



    Any signs of languid play from the Celts last night or has that all been sorted and we are all now fitter faster and furiouser



    Me personally, (Im no Roni of course,) but just like last season we need a center forward.


    i dont see the point in even having two new fitter faster furiouser wingers if we dont strengthen the centre forward position

  6. So ACGR flies from Angus to Edinburgh – if he’s aff the swally!






    HH jamesgang

  7. Costa Rica surprised everyone. They played to their limitations and got organised at the back. Boring to watch, but difficult to break down. Last night, KR were very well organised and hard to break down. No longer the whipping boys . Note that Iceland just missed out on qualifying for Brazil.So well done Celts on creating the chances. We learned, too, that Brazil and in particular David Luiz, were a non event defensively. Hope Izzy and Effie learn from that…….HH.

  8. Any of our Embra branch recommend the most favourable options for getting to Murrayfield next Tues. I intend to take the car through from Glasgow, and hope to take a tram for the last part of the journey. Where would be the best stop/station to park the car?



    Cheers in advance.






    End London rule. YES.

  9. SFTB I bow to your study of FF. I’m not suggesting he races of his line at every oppo.,rtunity but staying put seems to be the default position,his kick outs cause me concern though,it always used to beto Sammi or Stokes, invariably lost posession,don’t know if this is done under instruction,if so they should change the instructions. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  10. JTT



    Park and ride at Edin airport would leave you only a short tram ride away.



    Sure the proper Burgh Bhoys can offer other/ better options too.



    HH jamesgang

  11. Geordie Munro on

    Kris Commons did not play in our only champions league win last season.




    Panicschmanic csc

  12. Celtic wur NERVOUS .



    Case Closed..



    Ach.. that’s too Brief.



    Celtic,LAST NIGHT.. wur NERVOUS.



    that’s Bettah!



    Want Mair?






    Far too early tae Judge, who is who in Wonderland.



    We need mair Games.



    So Far.. We are Lookin’ like we May hiv a Bettah All round System ..under..the Auspices o’… Ronny n Johnny.. at least, that is whit Ah think.



    Anyway, The Lads n the New Techinal Staff ur still at the “getting tae know Ye.. getting tae Know Awe aboot Ye”… stage.




    It wull take Time.. How Long?







    But when Everything Clicks n Fa’s Intae Place, we wull hiv a Team Fur the Ages,oan oor Hauns.



    Whether,it wull be a Good Team or a No Sae Good Yin..



    if is Still Too Early tae Tell.



    Howevah, we wull be stuck wi it..



    Fur the Ages!







    Noo , Ye Know.






  13. fanadpatriot on

    Delighted that the young bhoy scored last night,but didn’t see anything to get excited about TBH.


    Hopefully he will prove me wrong and have a great Celtic career.personally I think that young Henderson is away ahead of him.but it would be great to have two home grown Bhoys in midfield.

  14. JTT



    Words. Phrases.



    My own personal rebellion against the whole world being the same – to my dying day I will never go to the cinema to see a movie. I will always go to the ‘pick-churs’ to see a ‘fil-um’!



    HH jamesgang

  15. A Ceiler Gonof Rust



    13:05 on 16 July, 2014



    Just had a wee read back on hunmedia over lunch about their soccerball game last night. Hee hee.



    28 pages of abject misery………………………………………………smashing:_)



    Worryingly many of them are calling for fat chop’s head to be installed on a spike.





    I will, for the first time in their 2 year history, be hoping that The Rangers FC get a few good results under their belt this season, push really close for promotion just to lose out at the end.



    I am really keen in the Pie Man keeping his job. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it or is more appropriate for it than he.



    He has suffered so much for the cause and so far has only his £1.6 million in salary to console him as he has dragged the second best paid squad in scotland to two league titles, a ‘senior’ club final and a plucky scottish cup run.



    McCoist must stay. So start praying that The Rangers FC get some good early season results.

  16. JTT 14.01


    The easiest is Ingleston. Its a park and ride meaning its got a big free car park right at the station. Its situated jsut at the airport turnoff. From memory the first roundabout as you go off the road so it’s very convenient. Ignore Gogarburn Station as ( I believe) its actually only for Tram staff






    Other than that I’d think the Gyle centre might be tricky since its a shopping centre and might restirct the time you can park for free. The others though, Edinburgh Park right as far as Balgreen would usually have street parking nearbye.

  17. Middle to front we have lots of permutations, we could consider… As far as i saw last night the shape was 4-2-3-1



    Mulgrew and Johansen the 2 deep lying midfielders… Griffiths wide right, McGregor occupying the left, Commons Central, and Stokes supposedly the main Striker.



    The question on the need to have Commons is an interesting one. Yes, he was our p.o.t.y last year, and yes he was our most prominent player last night… however the question is this, ….. with the same back 4, and Mulgrew and Johansen sitting in the deep lying midfield roles, my reckoning / estimation is that the following combination of forwards would most likely achieve the same result ….





    Johansen, Mulgrew



    J.Forrest C.Mcgregor D.Boeriggter



    Stokes or Griffiths



    in the example above, i have put McGregor in the role that Commons occupied last night. However you could feesibly have Pukki in there. Circumstance might dictate that it is S.Brown that plays in there, or even James Forrest… As shown last night (in the 2nd half certainly) Griffiths can do a job wide right, cutting in on his left foot. My concern for now is that Boeriggter is the only natural wide left player we have in the squad. Surely a must, for a new signing, is a wide left attacker

  18. Jamesgang



    Just had a look on the Embra trams webpage, Embra Park Station looks the best option, but there’s no mention of parking availability. Ingliston will suffice, but Embra Park would be better.






    End London rule.YES.

  19. Cultsbhoy



    I don’t think the passing without substance is all down to John Collins.


    Many many times under Neil Lennon we slowed the game up by passing from side to side only to allow the opposition to get behind the ball. I found it to be one of the most frustrating parts of our game. Too slow to get the ball up the park at times.

  20. Hendrix67



    Accept your point but I think this is likely to get a whole lot more frustrating if we adopt the JC school of stylish purist football that lacks killer punch.



    I’m not a JC fan. I’m very disappointed with his appointment. I can see the sense in RD as he is a progressive coach in the mould of other recently successful managers elsewhere but JC? He’s dour and self obsessed and has very very limited CV for coaching IMO.

  21. Jamesgang



    any idea of the cost of the parking at the ‘park and ride’ (insert stan collymore gag here)



    Seriously, jist for future reference and possible trips with the weans to Auld Reekie when I’m over visiting the folks…..

  22. My thoughts on last night, for what they are worth….



    Putting everything in to context, i thought we gave a controlled and professional performance. Possibly lacked sharpness in front of goal, and certainly could have been more ruthless… it was 1-0 going on 6 or 7.



    My 2 Negatives are not directly against the team or manager. Far from it… First and most significant negative for me = Anthony Stokes


    From the off, he is setting the absolute wrong example. He is also putting the new Manager in an awkward position. If i were Ronny, i would fine him a weeks wages, and make it clear that such petulance won’t be tolerated. Stokes is displaying completely the wrong attitude, and if possible at all i would encourage his agent to houk him round English Championship clubs to see if there are any takers.


    My 2nd Negative from last night, was the response to the performance and result from a large section of so-called fans. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, i agree… however there are too many negative minded fans for my liking today. To eager to write off the new manager, and criticise the club at every turn / opportunity. The scathing feedback i read on some threads was ridiculous.


    Get behind the Bhoys, and Ronny… i would be very suprised if we didnt gub K.R 5 or 6 Nil, on the return leg, on a big Murrayfield pitch.


    Ideally for me, we need to address Centre half, as i dont feel Efe Ambrose is one. We also cant play 4-3-3, or 4-2-3-1 as it was last night, with the main Striker not willing to be exactly that. Stokes remit last night should have been stay in the 18 yard box. Sta central and stay as high up against the last line of defence as you can… But no, billy big-balls likes to do as he pleases.

  23. Jamesgang, Jonny the Tim,


    Cannae get ma heid roun’ circles either – lol!





    Will do. Would stay in Edimburg masel’, but will have ma ghirl (24) and bhoy (22) w’ me this time – and they need to work the next day (so do I, but was going to have the morning off, till I thought more about it – as I am off to Cork the next day for a long weekend).




  24. Mission accomplished last night away goal no injuries.very harsh comments about the the rangers result it’s only their third season after all .condolences to weefra on the loss of his mum he is always a complete gent on here

  25. Interesting debate on the ‘style’ so far adopted by Ronnie D. Like all other managers since Martin O’Neill, we are going to have to play the kind of football we saw last night in most domestic games – some teams will be a bit more open than KR were, but mostly not.



    But in the CL proper, if we get there, we will have to play deeper and look to counter quickly.



    What was also evident last night, and encouraging to me, was the upping of the pace after half time. If you want to play football the way ronnie wants it played against stubborn defences then you have to do things at pace. He did get improvement out of his team for the second 45. I liked that.

  26. roberttressell



    14:33 on 16 July, 2014





    any idea of the cost of the parking at the ‘park and ride’ (insert stan collymore gag here)





    According to the webpage, it’s free.




  27. Cultsbhoy



    That’s fair enough. I too was underwhelmed by JC’s appointment. However Ronny and his staff need time to settle and get to know the players. You never know, JC might be a decent number 2.

  28. traditionalist88 on




    A bit harsh on Stokes. Not my favourite player and a squad man at most for me. I think he gets frustrated when things don’t come off but I don’t see anything wrong with that.



    I just think he is not consistent enough or have anything different/game intelligence to make him a nailed on starter.



    What would you fine him for?!




  29. ruggyman you may have a point with Stokes but err what exactly was it? I think I know what you meant as it was discussed on here last night but please enlighten everybody. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  30. whitedoghunch on




    14:20 on 16 July, 2014


    with you on this one,


    hopefully they are stuck with him


    and although I’m not a religous person would you throw a Hail Mary up for me.

  31. hebcelt



    Re FF’s kicking.



    I think it is reasonable e.g. his pass to Griffiths.



    However, lots of coaches, Ronny Delia included, decry the ratio of losing possession that results from kicking long. We did not, to be strict, lose a lot of possession from kicking to Sammi as he won 90% of his headers. We did tend to lose from his flicked on headers as team-mates seemed incapable of reaching the 2nd ball. Ronny will gradually change the kick out ratio to playing out from the back. We have seen this most prominently in the friendly warm ups and it will invariably cause us heart attacks next year and we will lose goals from defenders being pressured. But, it is a technique we must develop and take the knocks while we are learning to adapt to it.




    In these CL qualifying ties, the consequences are too expensive to go gung ho on this changing team tactic. We will see more of it in the SPFL however.








    I don’t think Stokes did snub the manager at his subbing. I believe someone said last night they had looked at this again and seen a low hi-five performed. I beleive the manager has to be shown respect but I do not want to see players who are happy at being snubbed. I think they should be angry and disappointed. Their anger and disappointment should be directed at themselves.

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