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. RobertTressell




    14:37 on 16 July, 2014




    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.




    Your first paragraph is pretty much what I was thinking last night. The game looked exactly like an away SPL game – opposition have every man defending deep. At one point I started thinking – “Just give them the ball” because we needed them to come out of their own half to allow us the space to advance into it.



    Other points – I agree with those who state that the new management team need some time to impose their own style. This is basically the same set of players as last year with the same limitations and who are used to playing in a particular manner. Some experimentation will be required – but not in a CL qualifier.



    Re; Kris Commons – with the exception of James Forrest (who has been hampered by injury) Kris is petty much the only creative force we have. But we’ve known this for some time. This is something I thought would have been addressed already.

  2. Matter of Interest… Number 17



    Dae ye know that..



    In Ma Team Selection .. pre Last Night’s game..




    Ah hid.. Young Mc Gregor, Penciled in.. fur a Mid Field berth.



    If ye hiv the Inclination.. ye kin Check Back.. n verify…but..



    Yep.. Kojo Did.



    Ah also..hid.. Commons n Stokesy..Penciled.. OOT!



    Ah don’t like those Two Guys tae Play in an IMPORTANT C.L. Game.



    Ma Reasons?



    Ach .. Don’t Ask!



    Ah hid Kayal… n Biton… N.. Lee..also…. as the Solitary Lonely Linwood Striker..



    which didnae Happen,in Ronny’s Final Team Selection..



    Anyway.. tae Mak Ma Point..



    Ah Hid a Stroang Feelin’ that Ronny Dee Wit wanna Pick..



    Young McGregor.. n…Ah wiz Right..



    Because.. Like Ah hiv Tole You guys, many times..



    Kojo..He Notices.. Things.



    Some Big.. some Wee.. Some Easy..n Some Hard.



    n.. in Young McGregor’s Case.. it wiznae Hard.






    Ronny Dee Has a Philosopheee.. Which Ah Dig..



    n.. in It.. He states.. that He Favors.. QUICK , PRECISE, PASSING…no Dwelling oan the Ba’…etc…






    In awe the Practice games ,which Ah saw.. Young McGregor Play in Austria..



    He wiz the ONLY Guy.. who,in Ma Opinion.



    At least TRIED tae Emulate his Manager’s Wishes..



    Young McGregor.. Dis NOT DWELL oan the Ba’



    His Movement is.. Sharp..n his Passes are seldom.. SLOPPY



    Anither Reason ,why Ah dae Not Trust Eether.. Stokesy or Commons ,in the Big Games..



    Thur Passes ur.. well.. let’s say… No always Too Accurate.



    Stokesy,in Ma Opinion.. Breaks up Mair Celtic Attacks than.. oor Opponents..



    Owing, tae his Wayward Passing.



    So.. As Ah said.. It wiz Sticking oot the Proverbial.. At least Tae Kojo..



    that Young McGregor , wid get the Nod Fae his Manager, fur a Place in Last night’s Game..



    McGregor,is No Flashy.. He jis Goes aboot his work in a quiet n Precise n Workmanlike Manner..



    N..Ye Know something..



    Ah Like a Young Guy ,who diz that..



    Sure,He scored the goal of the Match.. which Wiz Luverly fur The Youngster..



    Yes..even if He HIDNAE Scored that All Important Goal…



    Ah like Young McGregor.




    Noo, whit Ah am watching Fur. Is..



    Wull Any ither o’ The Guys, Take A Leaf oota this Kid’s Book?



    Ye know..



    Stoap DWELLING oan the Ba’.. be always ready wi a QUICK n PRECISE Return of the Ba’..when a Pass from a Colleague is Received?



    Well…Ah hope there wull be a Few Mair Guys in oor Team,who wull See the Light..



    n.. Latch oan tae How the Youngster plays the Game.




    n.. Adopt .. Oor New Manager’s Methods..



    Ronny Dee, wants oor Game tae be Played like that way.n So Diz Kojo.








  3. If Stokes had snubbed or disrespected Ronny, the Scottish MSM would be having a field day screaming it from the rooftops. Someone on here announced it during the live updates and that was accepted by some as being a fact. I have looked again at Stokes leaving the park and whilst he looked a bit disappointed coming off, I saw nothing at all to indicate any sign of disrespect.

  4. RobertTressell



    Parking does seem to be free. It’s the ride you pay for – it was ever thus!






    Pretty cheap in and around town from most places but pick-up from the airport immediately stings you a fiver which I was hit with 2 nights ago and frankly thought was rather “you’ll have had yer tea” and simply reinforced stereotypes about the Burg that the generosity of Embramike had done so much to dispel!



    HH jamesgang

  5. I don’t believe Stokes snubbed the manager. If he did it is a bizarre and very public way of tendering your resignation!



    I am more concerned that there has been no alteration to the hybrid defensive setup at corners and free kicks. The half zonal,half man-marking system has never worked for Celtic but it was used again last night.



    Does anyone know which defensive system RD favours. He may be allowing the players to continue with the familiar system with gradual change being introduced.

  6. whitedoghunch on




    wish you had given me the heads up on your visit and I could have pointed you towards some other quaint spots. Mail Katherine about the wine.

  7. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists




    15:10 on 16 July, 2014







    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.




    Any issues with the goalie playing the ball out will be resolved when Craig Gordon takes over as No. 1.




  8. SFTB agree about the kick out to leigh, I’m not on a crusade against FF, just that most of the top teams and keepers seem to have an alternative which they seem to use more frequently than we do. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  9. I cannot agree that I like the look of Stokes in the Celtic squad. I thought he was abysmal last night and his lack of effort and application was telling. It’s no secret that he is not a model pro and despite undoubted talent is wasting his career. I have never thought he was good enough for CL level and he is extremely erratic even at SPL level. As he cannot be counted on I would rather we got rid of him.

  10. I’m not quite getting my head around Russia releasing the last German POW 2 days ago. Captured when he was 14 he was alleged to have shot Stalin’s son.




  11. Has anybody seen highlights of the huns in California? Funnnnny.


    Can’t do the link but it’s on You Tube.



  12. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Reading back,Commons and Samaras were nowhere near fit in Amsterdam,and shouldn’t have been near a jersey that night.Leicester rumoured to be after Commons,PL better get him signed up asap IMO.Second half we were more in control of the game last night,but still lacking in creativity.

  13. Setting Free the Bears



    at 15.43



    How Recent?



    If Ah did.. then Ah Canny quite recall..



    Of Course, Ah chinge Ma Mind.. awe the Time.



    Disnae Evereebuddy?



    As Ah matter of Record..




    Ah used tae Even . Call.. Young McGregor..






    Ah suppose ye Did Notice.. THAT?





    Ah Like the Kid..n ..



    That is Official.. Right up tae this Minute..’



    Howevahhhhhhhh.. Everything,is Subject Change…



    Noo Ye Know






  14. BB



    rats 1 – 3 rat catchers



    and so to us…..talent. creativity.



    the most precious commodities on a crowed, well-drilled football field. that’s why you have pay accordingly…..or develop our own….our pray we pull another cracker and a Lubo falls out!



    HH jamesgang

  15. !!Bada Bing!!



    The park they played on was marked out for NFL Football. Multi coloured lines and circles adverts. Superb!!!

  16. 1-0 in UEFA CL Qualifier away leg.



    KC is a fine player but he needs his colleagues to move around him more to exploit him fully. In the first half this didn’t seem to happen much. 1st half, Callum seemed nervous and perhaps played with too much deference to the other senior pros around him. Looked like someone had a quiet word with him at halftime, as he was looking for the ball much more and was prepared to play his own natural game. If Henke had scored that goal we would have been praising him as the difference maker. Better 2nd half from all.



    As for AS and yon substitution…from our camera angle we could see RD offering his hand to AS but we were unable to see what if anything AS did or didn’t do. If RD and JC are happy though then its all idle speculation.



    Happy to avoid the Icelandic banana skin and look to improved showings.



    HidingtonothinginIceland CSC

  17. !!Bada Bing!! on

    jamesgang- 100% right my friend,every team looking for a number 10,very hard to find in our price range,maybe that’s why RD is looking at wingers as a different option.HH

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    After Nigeria was eliminated from the world cup the Nigerian captain personally offered to refund all the expenses of fans that travelled to Brazil.



    He said he just needs them to email him their bank details and pin numbers to complete the transaction.

  19. BarryBhoy



    at 15.40



    Yes, Pal..



    Ah see that Ye ur Very Perspicacious..



    fur ye hiv jis Shown… A Great Big Dod o’ .. Perpicaciteee….



    which,..oan Here. kin Get ye intae Loads of Bother!



    Ah know all Aboot it!



    Yes.. Stokesy, Diz score the goals.. He hiz his Moments..






    Ah wid NEVAH gie Him a game in an Important .. C.L. Game..



    n…the Same goes fur .. Commons..



    Ah Know.. Commons Scores goals.. Tae.. but he kin be responsible fur



    LOSING them, tae… jist like Stokesy..



    N..Goals in C.L. Games ur Like Gold..



    n.. tae Lose Wan..






    But…in spite o’ his goal getting abilitee..



    He is Still a Guy that Ah wid Nevah Play in an Important C.L. Game.



    Nice chatting ,Pal..



    Pleased tae hiv made Yer Acquaintance..






  20. Bada



    ahhhh the no10….what a role when played properly!



    Someone mentioned on here the notion of perhaps Griffiths being groomed towards taking over that role.



    interesting proposition. struggle to see it myself. though I’m often wrong. indeed seldom correct if friends and family are to be believed!



    HH jamesgang

  21. Delighted with the result and performance last night.Still very early for us as far as match fitness goes.Another competitive 90 mins next week will help.


    Personally I would never leave Biton out of my team.I dont like gambling in games that are vital to us.Young Mc Callum paid off last night,but its still a gamble.


    Efe nearly cost us a goal again last night,once again getting caught under the ball.I keep saying it,I love the guy,but he should be nowhere near the middle of defence.He cannot time his jumps.So many times he did it last season,and he WILL cost us again this year.


    At this moment in time,not sure if the managers message is getting across to a few of the players.Not a great deal of difference.I am sure it better start to get through to them though.

  22. Ref them and their defeat to the US team, someone posted a link to their game on here earlier. It looked like a High School sports field, latest generation astro turf. No seats round the three sides of the field we could see.



    Commentary was hoot, but the link was for the whole game.



    Opposition were Ventura County Fusion.



    Viewer advisory in force.

  23. Parkheadcumsalford



    Yessir! 3-1 to a Health Club team. It’s on You Tube. Brilliant! Can’t do the link.

  24. Parkheadcumsalford



    Did the undead lose in the USA yesterday?






    apparently you can’t lose if you’re undead – SFA rule16 clause90


    but they did come 2nd – and not in a close way.



    as for the opposition. they were very good. they are now the best team in the world having now beaten the most successful team in the world…EVER!



    when does Ally take his boys home to play the Billy Butlin’s Select XI?






    HH jamesgang

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