Movement, talent and that old antifascist


Hoary old phrases like, “Trophies are not awarded in February” will be heard today.  While this is technically true, let me add another, last night’s performance was Season Defining.

I worried before the game that our midfield would be too new for the occasion and too lightweight for the ‘robust’ opponents.  As it transpired, anyone in blue who intended to offer a robust and in-your-face derby baptism, were like statues, compared to Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor.  For the majority of the game, Callum played the Masked Virtuoso No. 6 role, before moving to the No. 8 position, then ending at No. 10.  Quite a shift for a man carrying an injury.

Throughout the first half I continually said, “It’s all about the movement”, but then I watched Josip Juranovic and thought, “When did I last see a Celtic right back put in a performance like this?”  Yes, movement was the masterplan, but the reality is, Celtic have far better players.

Metrics detailing the effectiveness of shots from outside the box give you a sniff of what might happen when a player pulls the trigger from distance, nothing more.  Outcomes depend on your survey population.  If I shoot from 20 yards, one outcome will occur.  If Reo Hatate shoots from the same distance, another.  Reo’s conversion ratio from distance will surly drop, but goodness, what an outstanding threat he is.

With Cameron Carter-Vickers in front of you, a goalkeeper should put in a calm performance.   Joe Hart had a relatively easy evening, but with the score at 1-0, he raced from goal to smother a through ball which evaded the Celtic back line.  It was a crucial intervention, within minutes Celtic were 2-0 ahead and there was no way back.  Across a pulsating 90 minutes, this detail could be overlooked.  That would be an error.

The only goal I have seen back on video (so far) is the third.  Before watching, the question was, Where did he come from?  When Reo Hatate crossed from the left, Liel Abada was standing at Springfield Cross – believe me, I’ve watched it repeatedly.

You’ll hear people talk about having a change of pace. Liel started his run at a sprint, then, when it was too late for his defending full back to react, he dropped a gear and exploded forward.  Barisic, the full back in question, dropped to the ground, knowing the horrors he was about to witness.  It was too late to do anything else.  That change of pace brought Liel into the heart of the box unmarked.

The finish looked easy.  I remember Kenny Dalglish, who watched on from the stands, made the same thing look easy at Celtic Park.  It was not easy, it was masterly.  Leil met the ball on the drop volley and allowed the pace of his run to apply the necessary force to tuck it away.

At halftime, one of my sons held up his fingers in a ‘5’ gesture?  Oh, to be brought up in an era when we expect to score so many against the other side of the city.  Ange is too clever for that.  Four days earlier, Matt O’Riley got cramp during a game, Callum McGregor has been out with a serious face injury, Reo Hatate is still going through his preseason regime.  We started the second half intent on maintaining our winning lead, an objective delivered with comfort.

As we discussed, trophies are not handed out in February.  But to paraphrase that old antifascist, this is not the end of the Ange Postecoglou development plan for Celtic. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Enjoy your day.

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  1. Hatate’s second goal was one of the best I have seen in years.


    Not just the build up, which was sublime, but the amount of power he generated., from a standing position, with the ball beneath his feet.


    Coupled with this, he bent the ball around the defender, obscuring the flying hun’s view.


    Watch it again and then again. See how “clips” the shot.


    Brilliant !!

  2. i was in the Lisbon Lions stand first half.


    The support was just incredible, something special,

  3. Jura and Greg Taylor were immense



    Taylor is turning into a very good Celtic player, at 24 there’s scope for more improvement



    Jura is 26. We’ve got years of service still to come from them both

  4. Ball bhoys.



    the kid who does the front stand between dug out and celtic end is brilliant at sit-down keepy up. watch out for him.

  5. We quite simply blew them away.



    Now we look towards Motherwell.



    As for the hun, drop points against Hearts and their traditional new year arse collapse is well underway.

  6. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    It was a remarkable night. I don’t remember such a feel good mood from the crowd going into the game. The pre-match performance was matched only by the players. They were close to perfect. Every one of them peaked. JJ was unbelievable. Taylor snapped into tackles all night and was superb.



    Our team is young, faster and better than them.



    Hello darkness my old friend as they say over Ibrox way.

  7. And I think O’Reilly could be the best of all our winter signings. The number of chances he creates by moving the ball quickly into great areas is impressive.

  8. Pingback: Movement, talent and that old antifascist | Celtic FC News Now

  9. just a thought – but on watching the third goal (many times) , I keep thinking that Abada looks just like Bobby Lennox as he darted in to score

  10. Great article Paul 67 but the last paragraph and the quote? Antifacist you say? If you know your history and all that.



    Anyway, so many things to admire about Celtic last night.



    The ‘nearly’ chance for airfield does need looked at. The positioning was wrong for us.



    Several clips of big Georgios defending in our right back position have me thinking he worked even harder than o thought last night and I couldn’t have been more pleased with him last night.



    To a man we were fantastic. On and off field. Absolutely buzzing still.

  11. BASHI-BAZOUKS on 3RD FEBRUARY 2022 12:19 PM



    that is a good shout, good comparison,



    most noticeable for me, is how many of the players are buzz bombs with explosive acceleration.



    abada, meada, kyogo, and others

  12. Regarding our players being better – agreed.



    I upset a “them” supporting relative by telling him “your team is just full of journeymen, but the rest of us (SPFL) make them look good”.



    Stand by that, even though they had reasonably good European exploits, I suppose.

  13. Regarding the Tom English article on the BBC website. Yes it’s good, he doesn’t go overboard like he did about them when he ridiculously said their second X1 would finish second in the league . He still manages to put a wee gem in the last paragraph, claiming there wasn’t much difference in quality between the sides.

  14. @Big j …apologies Jimmy i posted a reply on the last page of tic v huns article


    Doh……..Getting old is hard work lol…..








  15. Don’t know why you would want to sully your article at the end Paul with a reference to WC.



    Maybe you need to go back a war.



    Australians like Ange are only too aware of Gallipoli.

  16. Have we signed Ange on a long term contract yet?



    Firstly because he deserves it.


    Secondly because we don’t him to go anywhere. For a long time. And the he can become our director of football.

  17. I have been watching Celtic for well over 60 years. The last time I can remember enjoying our football so much against the deid team was a 5-1 victory about 1966. And that was played on a very foggy day. We were simply different class last night. If we continue to improve……..who knows??



    Thank you, Celtic, and our manager in particular.

  18. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?



    If a team wins a league for the first time in a decade and no one was there to see it, did it even happen?



    Gloatsville USA 😜🙂

  19. Sutton added:



    “I’m hearing Rangers have put in a complaint to the SFA about the Celtic ball boys and want the game replayed…”

  20. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Good to see you a bit more optimistic on our chances of winning the league,Paul.😉



    At the risk of getting carried, Celtic have an embarrassment of riches now with at least 2 very good players for each position (goalkeeper aside). The ability to rotate would be a joy to behold if everyone was fit and available. Quite astonishing when you think about the state of the squad at the end of last season.



    On another note, I’ve not been paying attention to the Huns’ signings. Can someone tell me which one was Messi – the guy on their right during the first half or the guy who replaced him in the second? Needless to say, I couldn’t see the resemblance in either of them and reckon it was maybe SMSM hyperbole😂

  21. I can’t get worked up about anything Kris Boyd says : he’s a hun in plain sight and the proverbial empty vessel that makes the most noise.


    As Bankiebhoy (and others) have said on many occasions, it’s the sleekits we need to guard against and, mark my words, Tom English is one of them.



    Hungarian Football Vlogger at Celtic Park last night – a nice perspective:












    spoiled by his misinformations.



    there is no old firm, that club only has 2 honours, and this fixture has never been played at night before, other than that he caught the atmosphere for sure.

  23. I wonder if bringing in Ramsey had a negative impact on their squad . He’s on so much more money than anyone else , players have said in the past that it can cause disharmony amongst those that think they’re worth more.

  24. @parkhead……Really?? your in the same era as me… i think..My first game away game was boxing day 59…..@killie


    Anyhoo.what about the 6.2 game??? or lubos intro?? i’m sure you enjoyed them as well








  25. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Blown away by the result and performance – particularly with a new team assembled in such a short time.



    I reckon that our starting lineup comprised 2 x Englishmen, 2 x Scotsmen, 1 x Swede, 1 x US, 1 x Croatian, 1x Greek, 1 x Portuguese, 1 x Israeli…and of course 1 x Japanese.



    Is that the most varied “international brigade” we have ever fielded in a starting 11?

  26. It’s a great day for singin’ a song


    And it’s a great day for movin’along


    to quote the great Al Pacino in one of his classic Oscar winning movies and last night was an Oscar winning performance by the Hoops.



    Not only were Rangers 2 absolutely wiped out but I can safely say we all were with the sheer pace , power and at times bewildering quality in last night’s shimmering showdown under the blazing Celtic Park floodlights.



    A fine controlled second half with Ange quick to spot fatigue making his substitutions when needed. Congrats to all now upwards and onwards.

  27. Borgo67 – I think you’ll find he actually said there was a big gap in quality:



    “They’ve conceded six goals in their past two league games. In all of last season’s league campaign they conceded just 13. Of course they have the wonderful Aaron Ramsey until the end of the season but they look tired. There wasn’t just a huge gap in quality on Wednesday. In terms of effervescence, the difference was glaring. Kyogo was a human spark plug for Celtic when he arrived. Van Bronckhorst could do with Ramsey jump-starting his new team in the same way.”

  28. glendalystonsils on

    The end of the beginning? Last night certainly felt like a defining moment , a turn of the tide moment .



    The first time I had the same feeling was the New Year game against them at CP in 1966 . They had been top dogs for years , their players lauded like Brazilian superstars . Sure we had ended our barren years by beating Dunfermline to win the Scottish cup , but Rangers were ‘the benchmark’ as Martin O’Neill was later to put it .


    Wilson , darling of the MSM scored first on a frozen pitch before a Chalmers hat trick and goals from Murdoch and Gallacher made the final score 5-1 . We didn’t just beat the establishment favourites, we thrashed them . I just knew then as a youngster that I had just witnessed something from Jock Stein’s fledgling team that could e the start of something big .


    Last night felt a bit like that .

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