Movement of front 3 sets Celtic loose


Jablonec are not a great team, but we faced a few who fall into that category since our last away win in February without scoring four goals and creating enough chances to easily double that.  Ange Postecoglou continues to learn about his squad and unlike away to Mitjylland a week earlier, we were well prepared.

Yesterday I asked to “see more of [Liel Abada’s] timed runs into the box”.  The evidence continues to arrive; Liel is a player who will score and create goals at a rate we have missed in recent seasons.  This knack of arriving in the box and the right time, in the right place, before a cross arrives is golden.  Think Alan Thompson at his lethal best.

Kyogo Furuhashi made the most of his full debut.  The movement of the front three caused Joblonec problems and it was Kyogo’s movement that created the goal opportunity.  Nir Bitton picked him out with a 30-yard pass, a pristine first touch and the deftest dink did the rest.  As I heard from a teenager at the time, “That goal is a solid 9 out of 10”.

As anyone who watched the game, or caught John Hartson’s remarkable reaction, will know, the defence is still not right.  We lost two dreadful goals.  You will have noticed Carl Starfelt was the closest defender to both goalscorers when the ball went into the net.  He did not start that way when the key forward passes were made.

For the first, Bitton was on his heels, body shape was wrong and Starfelt was left the impossible task of making up ground.  The second goal was more of a structural problem.

Starfelt and Bitton were both marking strikers in the middle of the field and the full backs were in advanced positions when Celtic lost the ball.  Ismaila Soro has covering duties but he was ball watching when the scorer made a run from deep.

We cannot leave two at the back against two attackers or we will see a lot more damage from similar deep runs.  Although we can blame Soro for ball watching, we need to shape the team to accommodate what will inevitably happen during a game.  Ismaila’s starting position was all wrong, he cannot get drawn into the role of supporting the player in possession at the cost of loitering deep.

It was great to see Joe Hart between the sticks and John Hartson was right, if a little hysterical, we still need defenders.  Perhaps a few.

Would we have won so comfortably if Odsonne Edouard started?  I’m not convinced.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    Three very mobile, technical players, but no physical mass. Sometime you need a big lump to play back to goal when the defence is under pressure.

  2. FAIRHILL BHOY on 6TH AUGUST 2021 11:07 AM



    In the queue for tickets for Thursday.Might still be here on Thursday 😉😡




    i got mine yesterday despite the site crashing, then saying i had no privileges and finally it said I had to be a ST holder.


    At that point I was about to swear but noticed that under my Login on the RHS, there was a ‘reserved’ ticket.


    I clicked that and it took me to the basket .



    Might save you some pain when you get through

  3. The Battered Bunnet on

    Defence-wise, it’s so much Wagyu Tremblin’ Mince. We’re two full backs and a (fit) centre half away from being competent at the back.

  4. Por Cierto – From previous thread regarding young Welsh, Thanks.



    Why don’t we try him at Right Back?




    D :)

  5. £19 for a 3rd round LC tie v Hearts? And before the ‘ don’t pay it then’ brigade pitch up,it’s not the point, it’s too expensive IMO, game is widely available in most pubs,when are we getting the ‘added value ‘ or is that getting filed with ‘ the January Review ‘?

  6. Paul…Starfelt was at fault for second goal …his attempt at a tackle was shocking and really didn’t even need to tackle !!!….just because he cost us decent money there’s no excuse…..yes soro was ball watching and possibly fatigued…..and Ralston away out of position…but Starfelt starting to give me the fear…hopefully improvement 🙏 to come

  7. my favourite ever Celtic team was 82/83



    3 ‘lightweights’ up front – Nicholas, McGarvey, Provan



    3 highly skilled midfielders with one very good at holding but could also go box tp box – Burns, McLeod, McStay



    2 small full backs, one 32/33 years old but still class and one average but steady – McGrain, Reid



    One centre half was a converted midfielder who made the odd big mistake but could step out. One was a centre forward converted to centre back; unfussy and slow but a threat at our corners – Aitken, McAdam



    Goalie who could shot stop but scared of crosses – Bonner



    Not a million miles from what we had this midweek but without the brilliant RB, RM and CF



    2 or 3 signings and I’ll be singing Bananarama tunes and eating MB bars again

  8. I watched the whole game again this morning.


    Could have scored 8.



    Goals lost had the familiar look of players not knowing each other.



    The front 3 wont be allowed to be that mobile in scottish games, the Japanese guy is in for a rude awakening.



    The new escape goats are –


    Turnbull (I dont get the criticism of him, played the same way he always does, and runs out of steam),


    Eddie (disinterested my arse, just the same as always, but lacking in chances).


    James (perennial favourite for a bleaching, but scores, assists, involved in 3 other chances, tracked backed, blocked and jumped, but still not good enough).



    On James, how much we missed him last season will never be appreciated.

  9. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    TBB – I agree, we are 2 full backs and a quality centre half away from being a good team. Then, obviously replace like for like when anyone leaves. Looked good up front though, very mobile. HH

  10. Paul soft-peddling today, but he must know that our squad is a Hotchpotch. Until that changes and becomes a fit for purpose unit capable of challenging, we will probably win nothing.



    All of this season and all of next is the minimum timescale. We are building from scratch with only THREE proven core players: Forrest, McGregor & Christie(probably only until Jan ’22). That means we need another TWENTY-THREE to step up to the mark.



    There will be many ins & outs over the next FOUR transfer windows – some we have just brought in will go out again in that time as we sift and mix.



    This is a major build and in my opinion we have still to lay the foundations before any real shape is discernible. Will we manage it with Ange, or, will we have to change there too?*…’s anybody’s guess.

  11. Correct about Bitton positioning at the first goal Paul67.



    What also contributed as root cause was the woeful challenge by Turnbull going for Hart’s clearance. It was his ball to win but he was glancing around looking to see where his marker was and ended up not even jumping and being outmuscled.



    This typifies our problems just now – a lightness and inability to win the ball (without giving stupid fouls away) in the middle of the park.



    Freeze frame the moment the ball is headed into the middle of midfield and note how much space the opposition player has before making the pass that catches our defense out.


    We were well out of shape with Soro far too deep.



    BBJ is correct about the defense but it’s not just the back 4 – we defend very badly collectively as a team.



    Turnbull in particular has to toughen up. He’s a very talented lad, with a good eye for goal and good vision, but he contributes very little without the ball and is lightwieght in his challenges.



    He should not be played before Christie right now.

  12. Garngad to Croy on

    To be fair I agreed 100% with John Hartson’s assessment and his comments echoed my own whilst watching our team try to defend, it was refreshing to hear such passion from a Celtic pundit. It looks like Ange’s philosophy is not about defending and most teams will score against us this season, hopefully we can score one more than they do.

  13. Agreed, Eddy more and more looking like part of the problem rather than the solution.




    And not a meaningful big to be had it would seem.



    This guy is on the Ntcham trajectory

  14. Jocks Immortal Lions on

    We need to learn game management. We were 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go, absolutely no need for the full backs to be up the park. That is how we lost the 2nd goal. Hold your back four for the final 10 and see the game out. Fortunately we scored a 4th goal but we will be up against better teams than that where game management will be paramount.

  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Agree on Abada, Paul – reckon we could have a really top player on our hands. Really intelligent runs, good skill and a proper finisher.


    Lost two really cheap goals. Wondered if Hart could have been off his line at the first goal?, although difficult to be critical given how little time he has had to prepare and given the quality of the pass it might not even have made a difference. But going forward we have to get the ‘sweeper keeper’ idea sorted if we are going to be playing with a high defensive line, otherwise there’s always going to be too much space in behind.


    Would like to see Soro get tried out in the RM position once McCarthy gets started. Might be an option for some of the games where we have a bit less of the ball.


    Defence – and defending overall – needs a lot of work and some new faces.

  16. !!BADA BING!! on 6TH AUGUST 2021 12:19 PM


    £19 for a 3rd round LC tie v Hearts? And before the ‘ don’t pay it then’ brigade pitch up,it’s not the point, it’s too expensive IMO, game is widely available in most pubs,when are we getting the ‘added value ‘ or is that getting filed with ‘ the January Review ‘?






    was it your good self who mentioned that PLC missed a “value add” opportunity by not giving the Hearts game as a free ticket when purchasing the Jabolec game ?



    If it was i thought that a very good idea, simply because we are meant to have one euro game on the season book, if you dont get in via the ballot then how is that fair.



    After a promising early start for Doms supposed customer facing skills from the Rugby job, with the £50 voucher and free tickets to the Kano foundation, he hasnt kicked on any.



    Mug punters does spring to mind, there will be 15,000 at the hearts game, they could give seats away.

  17. If you look at the second goal conceded again, Starfelt is in the left centre back position and the ball is knocked in behind Bitton, Ralston and Soro. He sprints across to cover the danger and stops the opposing player having a clear strike at goal. Yes he is beaten by a good touch and cut back but when are making up that much ground and spriniting this happens. With the player having to take an extra touch, you would expect a covering player to help out and Ralston almost gets there (who was closer to the palyer that made the pass rather than the player who scores at the start of the attack). So criticisim of Starfelt for the second is harsh. Why was Ralston in the centre circle next to MacGregor when this all started?



    Also is the second not an own goal? Hart tips onto the post and Bitton can’t react and puts it in. Fine margins almost a good save!

  18. PHILBHOY on 6TH AUGUST 2021 12:43 PM





    Thems the facts then.




    That’s my honest opinion having watched Celtic for 50+ years and witnessed many ups & downs.



    Please feel free to disagree, I will be happy to hear your interpretation where it differs.



    I would love to be proved wrong but to date I see no encouraging signs. We are making it up as we go along – it will take time.

  19. Phrases we won’t be hearing anytime soon: this is a tactical masterclass from Ange Postecoglou’s side ; Celtic have two straight banks of four when they don’t have the ball, impressive.



    Left back an absolute priority for me. How bad must Bolingoli be showing up in training for Taylor to be first pick ?


    Turnbull is showing signs of mental and physical fatigue. The arrival of McCarthy should allow for a bit of midfield rotation.

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    SS- I think those ‘balloted’ for the Mijtdyland game, didn’t have to pay,what about those who didn’t get in,do we miss out on a free game?Starting to look a bit messy, Dom needs to step out of PL’s shadow now,as it’s looking like nothing has changed?

  21. Paul67



    System personnel fault?



    Changed the players and a two man defence cost Celtic last night, and helped wreck the Shane Duffy experiment all of last season.



    All started when they took the Kieran Tierney money, and last blew up when Julien hit the post.



    Both CB’s last night played too far apart and got dragged wide to accommodate full backs who are still up the park. Two full backs required with a centre back that attacks the ball in his own half. Starfelt reminds me of Tony Mowbray, but not in a good way, and Nir Bitton is the tall elegant midfielder who never plays midfield for club or country. Eddy can only dream of Kyogo’s finish, Liel Abada at 19 years of age, and Ismaila Soro are looking good for us and to Du du Dahan.



    MOM James Forrest

  22. Paul 67,



    Wow, I can’t remember you being so blunt about one of our ” top” players.


    It pains me to agree, Odsonne Edouard has now become a liability. We cannot allow him to disrupt our rebuild. We must ” encourage ” him to move on as soon as possible. For mutual benefit.



    We talk about fine margins. I really liked our predominantly white strip. The players seemed to enjoy the increased visibility. It is a fact that green coloured strips produce results at the bottom end of the scale. Probably due to them blending in with the grass.


    Is it time to increase the use of non green tops. ? Controversial, I know. But fine margins have to be mitigated.



    HH to all.




    Ange knows exactly what he has with ralston and taylor, they are not exactly what he would use but given the other fullbacks in the squad they are currently the best available to him I.e will work hard and do what is asked. bitton is not 1st pick centre half either but again he is best placed right now. I would prefer welsh myself. He has clearly told the board what he needs and it’s now up to them to sort it.



    Soro will be a better player when he is not asked to play that defensive midfield role. He has dig, energy and recycles the ball well. He picks up decent positions to help all over the pitch for the most part.

  24. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Opt in with Skybet and bet 5p on the Bournemouth v WBA game tonight and get a free £5 bet.



    Bet responsibly

  25. Impressed with Kyogo..


    But buy a striker Celtic for him tae play off..



    A Sutton or Hartson type…







    And a away win in Europe, fine so it was…☘

  26. The normal celtic strip is all white with green hoops,



    if you cant pick out a celtic player wearing that, then you dont deserve to wear the jersey.

  27. glendalystonsils on

    I am fairly certain Eddy would not have scored the second or fourth goals and I’m not even confident that he would have been sharp enough or clinical enough to latch on to the rebounds to score the first or third .

  28. I am fairly certain that an on form Eddy would have scored the first 3 goals, but not the forth.

  29. KJAM


    That’s exactly how I seen the2nd concededgoal


    At least we were watching the same game 🤣

  30. GREENPINATA on 6TH AUGUST 2021 1:21 PM



    It pains me to agree, Odsonne Edouard has now become a liability.




    Got to agree with you – the question is did the collapse of the team prompt Eddy’s demise, or, vice versa…..and overall what part did an empty Celtic Park play in all things?



    I think that the squad as a whole knew that the Ibrox challenge was real, whereas the majority of the support seemed to be in denial.


    Perhaps many in the squad were thinking “all good things come to an end” – add this to no fans and the negative effect on morale & performance was decisive.

  31. glendalystonsils on

    ST STIVS @1.45



    I agree an in-form Eddy could have scored the first 3 goals , but I’m talking about the Eddy we have now .

  32. Well done Laura Muir – if anyone deserves a major medal, she does – maybe World gold next year

  33. would we have been any worse off last night defensively had Welsh and Murray been centre backs , naw don’t think so.

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