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More worrying than the result

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I know we had nothing up front, but Odsonne Edouard has looked more of a passenger in some games this season than Patryk Klimala and Moi Elyounoussi this afternoon.  The game was lost elsewhere.

Newco’s shape allowed them to dominate space whenever we had possession.  They were able to swiftly double up on Jeremie Frimpong and Diego Laxalt when the ball went wide, while they were compact enough in the middle of the field to keep Celtic from penetrating their final third.

Games are won and lost on mistakes and yet again we are talking about the defensive line at set pieces.  Connor Goldson’s ploy of standing offsite in the hope that a defender would break the line and play him on, was not subtle, but it was effective.  It was an excellent cross from the free kick (which wasn’t a free kick, but no excuses), Duffy was an enabler and Valarie Barkas could have done better.  Questions remain for both.

Culpability was less clear at the second goal, which was well worked.  With so many Celtic players in the box, you would expect one to get in the way of the drilled cross, but it fell to Goldson; teams who create chances get these breaks.  It was a deserved goal (again, no excuses, but the handball!).

The last time we dominated Newco was two years ago in a 1-0 win at Celtic Park when Olivier Ntcham controlled the game and scored the winner.  Stephen Gerrard learned from that day as Olivier has not had a sniff against them since.

Being ineffective up front and shaky at the back are worries enough, but the biggest concern is that we were unable to do anything to change the flow of the game.  An inability to control the any part of the game is more worrying than poor defending or not attacking.  It is more worrying than the result.

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  1. Whenever Celtic drop points but, particularly, when we drop pointa against them, we get the ever popular re-hash of the Top 20 reasons or pet theories as to why this is so. In no particular order, we have:-

     

     

    1) The Board are interested only in money and don’t care if we win.

     

    2) The manager’s team selections are bizarre

     

    3) The manager’s subs are bizarre and bizarrely timed

     

    4) We have no plan B when things are not working

     

    5) We have no plan A that is discernible to the fan watching

     

    6) The Board want Sevco to win the league and keep them in business

     

    7) We don’t spend enough money on players

     

    8) We only sell the good players and are stuck with the rubbish ones

     

    9) The manager doesn’t believe in coaching, tactics or the benefits of advanced cone laying

     

    10) The assistant manager is just a clipe- we’d be better off with Lee Wallace

     

    11) The shower room is no place in which to conduct recruitment strategy

     

    12) The loanee players and the foreigners are disinterested(sic)

     

    13) None of the players care enough about winning or losing or drawing

     

    14) We need a foreign coach or someone who managed in the EPL

     

    15) We need an ex-England player in charge like wot they have got

     

    16) Neil Lennon is a failed manager wherever he has been

     

    17) All the players over 25 are past it and those under 25 are prospects

     

    18) We are complacent

     

    19) Stevie Gee/ Gary McAllister or Michael Beale are better coaches (Jimmy Bell too)

     

    20) If we keep playing like this there’ll be no 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, or 10iar

     

     

    At the moment, most Celtic fan comments are a mix of befuddlement (“it’s bizarre”- “how did this happen”) , paranoia (“the suits will betray us”) and fear (“The Rangers Are Coming”).

     

     

    It is not a good look.

     

     

    We are pretty helpless at the moment; we have seen some things going wrong at an important time and we have no chance to express displeasure at the games.

     

     

    So, what can we do as fans to change what’s wrong? Do we even have agreement as to what it is that is wrong?

     

     

    I’ll kick off with my view in a minute or so.

  2. Extract from J.James today:

     

    “Playing with effectively no width against Rangers plays straight into their hands. Tactically spot on from the Ibrox side. I genuinely can’t believe Celtic are shaped up like this.

     

     

    Rangers in complete control. The exact same as the previous game between the sides. Celtic have no idea how to build the play, resorting to forcing it. Rangers pushing Celtic into all the areas they want them to go.

     

     

    Rangers have dominated the last three games against Celtic. But that one is by far the easiest & most comfortable for Rangers. Celtic completely devoid of any idea how to break down their rivals. Huge opportunity for Gers to build a large lead and maintain it over the next few months”. Michael Stewart : Celtic ‘Pass to Paradise.’

     

     

    In a previous season we have started with Mikey Johnston up front on his own against the Hun, a waif in the headlights. On another occasion, we had Lewis Morgan in the same role. We started McGregor at left back against Cluj. We started Christie up front against Ferencvaros. Then yesterday we started up front with Elyounoussi and Klimala. Although under different managers, i think many, if not most, fans viewed these starting formations with trepidation or extreme unease.

     

    To me, they remain inexplicable. Turning to yesterday, it was obvious to a blind man that it was not working, yet our manager did not change it at half time. I do not buy the excuse that Griffiths was unfit. It is patent nonsense.

     

     

    Why were the team so abysmally and disgracefully unmotivated? Why was our manager sitting on his own with arms folded mumbling to himself while an animated Beale and Gerrard consulted on the touchline? Where was Jullien, who was on the bench for the St. Johnstone game? Sevco have completely owned us the last 3 games, none of them at the Bigotdome, yet as Michael Stewart outlined above, we unbelievably learned nothing.

     

     

    Something is odoriferous in the State of Dennistoun. The players simply downed tools and gave up, an utter disgrace, and there must be an underlying reason. To me, it looks as if they have no confidence in either the manager or the system, or both. If Sevco win the league, and negotiate 2 qualifying CL rounds, ( and they have won 14 and drawn 6, with no losses in their EL qualifiers) they earn £30M, and they will use it to strengthen their side. I see major trouble ahead.

  3. Lenny went on the record a few weeks ago saying a few players wanted out. Nobody left. Calmac said after the game there are a few internal problems to be fixed.

     

    So we know there are problems. Lenny’s approach to the European games would have compounded that. Team selection, set up and tactics left everyone baffled. There are players who probably cannot buy into whatever vision Lenny is selling because it just doesn’t make sense to them.

     

    And when they are out there, in the heat of the battle, knowing it is not working and they look to the bench . . . what do they see?

     

    Where is the coaching? The motivation? The adjusting?

     

     

    People can and will defend Lenny until the very last.

     

    And have good reason to do so. But if he can’t inspire the dressing room to get into the rangers then his time is probably up. The passion, the anger, the excitement he used to show has disappeared from his persona.

     

     

    We will limp on. But this season looks like a season too far. It has been an amazing journey. The best of my lifetime. If we can win the LC and the quadruple treble that will be a fitting end to the era. And maybe a fitting end to Lenny’s role too.

  4. SFTB,

     

     

    No befuddlement from me and others comrade.

     

     

    Whenever we play competent teams this season we run out of road for the ‘only the result matters’ brigade, quick to turn on any criticism of the result and what it foretells.

     

     

    I also have a list as long as yours full of “In lenny we trust” and other sentimental tropes.

     

     

    Sadly, what is wrong is the manager but we have waited so long into the season now, replacing him at this time is also a massive risk.

     

     

    HH

  5. onenightinlisbon on

    TURKEYBHOY on 18TH OCTOBER 2020 3:05 PM

     

     

    No hysteria from most posters on here, plain facts.

     

     

    Lennon is leading us to oblivion, bury your head in the sand as much as you want but if we are to win the ten it will be without him.

  6. DB

     

    We cant give up, we can get 10, Europe is irrelevant this season as we failed in the CL qualifying, but the executive needs to act now this isnt working the issues McGregor said are there will be known to them, address them, no passengers required.

  7. There’s an unseemly rush to calamity from some that is overdone……..I suspect there is some mischief-making amongst the genuine heartfelt reactions………..Genuine Tims will also be trolled by those happy to see our Club in turmoil. but sleekitry has this opportunity as well.

  8. Europe is NOT irrelevant FGS.

     

     

    To the players we have, the players we want to attract and the idea of the kind of team we are in Europe.

     

     

    HH

  9. My thoughts on what is wrong with Celtic.

     

     

    After the game yesterday, I inexplicably tuned into the European Rugby Championship match between some Chefs from Exeter and a French mob.

     

     

    I stuck with it, even more unusually, because the scoreline was tight and there was only a few minutes to go. The South West of England cookery specialists were defending their own goal line with great ferocity and managed to produce a turnover, theough they did not specify if it was apple or some other fruit. Whichever, it was enough to win them first prize against a team of Frenchmen, who are usually more renowned in the Patisserie department.

     

     

    Listening to their Head Chef being interviewed after the game, he went on at lenght about the “Team Identity” of the Exeter Chefs and what he said intrigued me and related to what I was seeing at Celtic.

     

     

    He described a team of individuals, playing to their strengths and not being asked to do things that were outwith their nature.

     

     

    I can look back at some football teams and see what he meant.

     

     

    The Lions were a team of cavaliers, playing against dour Roundheads, constantly interchanging positions and setting the scene for the Total Football revolution which the Dutch perfected.

     

     

    Old Rangers & Sevco have been happy to play the Cromwellian Roundheads, emphasising defence, dour impenetrability to a homophobic level, and using set plays with agricultural Centre Forwards getting on the end of deliveries from the one player with football talent in the team (Tommy McLean, Davie Cooper or Brian Laudrup). Their training emphasised sand dunes and making you vomit.

     

     

    The Liverpool team of the 70s and 80’s emphasised passing Centre backs

     

     

    The Millenial teams fro Barca and Man City perfected tiki-taki football, having learned from the Arsenal team of Arsene Wenger.

     

     

    But what is Celtic’s team shape just now?

     

     

    We have had most of out G.O.D. from 4:2:3:1 with a Moussa or Edouard up front, but we saw signs of that running itself into the ground. Our efforts to pass them to death or until they tire was leaving things too late and we were dropping too many points from failing to get the expected last minute winner.

     

     

    So we had a brief flurry with 3:5:2, got some improvement and won a tighter league on its back.

     

     

    But then , we dropped it again.

     

     

    At the first sign of adversity (players missing from Covid) we retreated into a safety first midfield blanket that lost its TOG rating after Sevco’s first goal.

     

     

    Sevco are no longer such a predictably roundhead team any more, though both their goals came from set pieces (1st phase and then, 2nd phase).

     

     

    But we are not a recognisable Celtic.

     

     

    It is perhaps, time for Neil Lennon to look at the players available (there is no transfer window for over 2 months) and set the team out to suit them. That may mean dropping talented players and good trainers in favour of guys who gel together better. It is hard to get continuity with players constantly falling injured but we must stive to do a better job than we have been doing in getting a settled team shape.

     

     

    Connor Goldson said as much to us yesterday after the game. players like to feel that they are in a reliable groove. We are not there at the moment.

  10. SFTB,

     

     

    You mean, adopt a system and play the best players in their best positions?

     

     

    Not going to happen fella.

     

     

    His impulse will be to rely on the go-to guys to get us out of a rut – Duffy, Brown and Callum and Ntcham, James when fit, Moi and Christie for the shoot-on-sight option.

     

     

    Sadly.

     

     

    HH

  11. No Bobby Does It Petta on

    BB1

     

     

    Fans are entitled to ask questions. Especially when a player, CM, has stated publicly that there are “internal problems” to be sorted.

     

     

    Nothing sleekit or mischief-making about it.

  12. Extract of Bournesouprecipe post of 12:35

     

     

    Home to Milan 22/10

     

     

    Away to Aberdeen 25/10

     

     

    Away to Lille 29/10

     

     

    Cup semi v Aberdeen 01/11

     

     

    Home to Sparta Prague 05/11

     

     

    Away to Motherwell 08/11

     

     

    Away to Hibs 21/11

     

     

    Away to Sparta Prague 26/11

     

     

    Away to Milan 03/11

     

     

    if we perform like we did yesterday, how many on here think we will win ANY of these? What needs to change?

  13. Nobody does it better……

     

     

    Completely agree, my point was a wee bit different, happy to set you straight on that…..

     

    Amongst the genuine Tims there’s also an opportunity for the sleekit trolls.

     

     

    Blogs are perfect for such shenanigans.

  14. Big Wavy

     

     

    Neil has changed before and can do it again.

     

     

    Even go to guys can be deployed better.

     

     

    For example if Jullien and Duffy are fighting over who gets to be the middle of the back 3, it should not mean that only one can play there. Neil needs to test, in training, whether a Duffy:Jullien:Ajer back three is better than a Julllien:Duffy:Ajer one. And the players get picked accordingly.

     

     

    I have no advanced tactical knowledge but i can see that, with Ajer on the left being an attacking force, it imbalances us further to left side of the field play where Christie and Edouard tend to drift too. That has to be corrected to make our right side more effective in attack.

     

     

    There are other options too but I am off to watch Donegal beat Tyrone on the tV. I hope not to have 2 disappointing results to commentate on.

     

     

    I’ll catch any replies later

  15. BANKIEBHOY1

     

    Having read back, I haven’t identified any possible trolls. If their writing skills emulate typical Hollow Hollow fare, I think they would be sussed fairly easily.

     

    What I did read were many posts from long time users of this site expressing serious justifiable concerns about our Club’s present trajectory.

  16. SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX on 18TH OCTOBER 2020 3:42 PM

     

    ‘Whenever Celtic drop points but, particularly, when we drop pointa against them, we get the ever popular re-hash of the Top 20 reasons or pet theories as to why this is so. In no particular order, we have:-

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1) The Board are interested only in money and don’t care if we win.’

     

     

     

    ###

     

     

    Or alternatively………………

     

     

    ‘The owner and the board have the best long term interests of the club at heart, as they see it, and recognise this requires the presence of a strong challenge from the huns. To this end it might be in Celtic’s best interests if 10 in a row didn’t happen, as this might result in the huns going out of business.’

  17. lets all do the huddle on

    must be my quickest winning bet ever

     

     

    had cash on Son first scorer

     

     

    1 minute it took

     

     

    dancer

  18. lets all do the huddle on

    The ‘ammers are getting the scants ripped off them in the first 7 minutes

     

     

    no doubt Moyes will still be favourite to take over when lennon leaves whenever that may be

  19. onenightinlisbon on

    Mineshafters

     

    Sleekit

     

    Huns

     

     

    No. Supporters who want to see their beloved team at the top and tink change is needed to bring that about.

  20. lets all do the huddle on

    as much as i dont like PLC-ism in general, and whereas i agree that on the grand scale of things DD and PL will think its a good thing to have some sort of viable club called Rangers in the league, i cant go along with the idea that PL was anything other than as disappointed as the rest of us after yesterday

     

     

    as for DD, he probably fluffed his next tee shot when someone told him the score

  21. Was up at the crack of dawn this morning so logged on, first story I see is NFL being livid about the mole, my initial thought was this was a tangerine heid type of distraction.

     

     

    Then young Callum mentions internal problems, on reflection that’s probably why we are so disjointed.

     

     

    Last time I saw this was during Barnes reign when hauf the team wanted away, and we know how that ended but even so as I said last night we had scored 55 domestic goals in the first half of the season and if it hadn’t been for the woodwork and the bonkle bigot’s officiating we would have went on the winter break within 1 point of them, although we did surprise ourselves by winning the LC before another humiliation at Hades. At least that gave us MON.

     

     

    CQN right now is about 50/50 split but not so other lists, there is one with a younger supporter element which has 2 surveys, one should Lenny get the sugar lump, the other should he walk, both were around 70% for him leaving.

     

     

    One post had the leader “is that fckr still there”, so all is not well in Timland and as well all know CQN is not a true reflection of the mainstream Celtic support.

     

     

    Something has tae give and soon or they won’t have tae open the top tier when the fans are allowed back in again.

  22. Turkeybhoy

     

     

    Agree with some of your post, not all, but I think we have to back the mansger & hope he gets it right. He needs to get a settled team/formation & stick with it.

     

     

    Results can change. Lets see what happens by end of December.

     

     

    HH

  23. onenightinlisbon on

    I would like to state that I will give the players and manager 100% support as i have done since around about 1969 when I first entered the gates of Paradise.

  24. LETS ALL DO THE HUDDLE on 18TH OCTOBER 2020 4:45 PM

     

     

    ‘PL was anything other than as disappointed as the rest of us after yesterday’

     

     

     

    ###

     

     

    Is it possible that he could be both disappointed yet at the same time understand that in the long term it’s for the best?

  25. When Brendan Rodgers came to celtic he took a team of Deilas and made individuals better players.

     

     

     

    Name one player who has improved under Lennon?

     

     

    In fact, lets take a look. Ajer was once talked about as the next Cesar and future captain. Now he looks like an young and inexperienced player again. Ntcham, he used to stroll through rangers games. Yesterday he look legless and disinterested and didn’t affect the match. He should be way much better by now. Mcgregor under rogers was confident, driving at defenses and creative energy. This season he has been pedestrian and predictable.

     

     

    Then look at the fringe players brought in – I don’t mind this strategy IF, IF we have coaching staff to make them better and valuable. Our fringe players remain fringe players. The only get games when the team is flooded with other fringe players – how can you judge them when they are not surrounded by better players.

     

     

    I’m sick of the fear that Lennon starts with – i think it comes from all his years against a dominant rangers establishment team. WE ARE THE DOMINANT FORCE IN SCOTLAND – Go out with intent, go out with arrogance and attack the Glasgow Celtic way.

     

     

    We are in trouble , we’ve been ion trouble since the start of the season.

  26. onenightinlisbon on

    STEBHOY on 18TH OCTOBER 2020 4:53 PM

     

     

    We are in trouble , we’ve been in trouble since the start of the season.

     

     

     

    Do you think anyone in our management team would agree with this?

  27. STEBHOY on 18TH OCTOBER 2020 4:53 PM

     

     

    Absolutely agree with all of that. ‘nuf said.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    Gerry

  28. SFTB

     

    I scrolled through your amusing and droll top 20, and, putting all my cards on the table, find myself in total or partial agreement with 8 of them. As you know, many a true word is said in jest! I have edited several to be more in line with my thinking, as follows:

     

     

    2) The manager’s team selections are occasionally inappropriate

     

     

    3) The manager’s subs are typically made too late to be effective

     

     

    4) We have no plan B when things are not working

     

     

    5) We have no plan A that is discernible to the fan watching

     

     

    9) The manager’s forte is not coaching or tactics

     

     

    11) The shower room is no place in which to conduct recruitment strategy

     

     

    18) We tend to be complacent

     

     

    20) If we keep playing like this there will be no 10iar

  29. Just a thought – I wonder if Neil is suffering from a stress related illness. His body language for the past few weeks reminds me of how I was when I suffered with depression. I know he’s under extreme pressure of 10iar.

     

     

    I’m no doctor but just a thought.

  30. lets all do the huddle on

    Is it possible that he could be both disappointed yet at the same time understand that in the long term it’s for the best?

     

    —-

     

     

    as i said on the grand scheme of things he will reckon having them competitive in the league is a good thing but i dont think he would have thought that specifically in relation to yesrerdays game if you see what i mean

     

     

    its a bit like a lot of folk saying its a good thing for us if the huns stay in europe because it means they need to play as many games as us – but i dont think any of us watch individual hun euro games hoping they win

  31. lets all do the huddle on

    3) The manager’s subs are typically made too late to be effective

     

    —-

     

     

    with 5 subs now allowed there is no excuse for not making a sub or 2 at half time if we are playing pish

  32. Was it just me or did anyone see the look on Broony’s face at full time.

     

     

    1. Looked totally mystified

     

    2. Looked like he didn’t want to be there

     

    3. Looked well f&#ed off like he had had enough of this pish.

     

    Could go on !!!

  33. ulysses mcghee - a demographic of one on

    More worrying than the result?

     

     

    Oooft!

     

     

    That result was in the post for months.

     

     

    There’s something plain wrong in our camp.

     

     

    The tempo starts poor and stays that way.

     

     

    If the way we play and the preference to over pass across the field is coached – then we’re screwed

     

     

    If it isn’t coached and the team do it anyway then he’s lost the room – and we’re still screwed.

     

     

    I can’t see a tactical or positional set up. I can’t see a football methodology right now. I can’t see any sidelines coaching, or assistants offering advice.

     

     

    People dismiss them at every turn – but I’ll tell you something that is key and very telling about where we are right now in the Glasgow nexus – a short while ago Arfield and his cohorts would have been doing the ‘Broonie’ reveling in their result as it would have been a surprise – not yesterday, they walked off the park knowing they were and have been the better team in the derbies for the last 3 important games.

     

     

    Gerrard has scrutinised Celtic and knows how to set up against them – as in years gone by, the midfield battle is key. But we’ve got guys who can’t connect a pass to the same jersey…

     

     

    I was keeping my powder dry until this game – I have been quietly telling folk that they would stroll it against us – I genuinely feared a trouncing if I’m honest – if Kent’s volley goes in they would have pressed us into the ground – instead we saw Gerrard’s assistant telling him to shut up shop and bring on Jack.

     

     

    U