Not good enough


Last night’s performance was not good enough, not by a long way. Early endeavour evaporated once the obligatory goal was conceded from Molde’s first attempt at goal, again. The cynic would have known we were beat, even then.

Another make-shift defence was deployed, as Jozo Simunovic retired injured, again, after three minutes. Tyler Blackett was drafted into central defence, unsuccessfully. He was hooked in the second half after casting anxious looks around him throughout his time on the field.

The point was put to me last night that we have the worst defence in European competition. That’s a fanciful assertion to make, but we must have the worst goals conceded to chances ratio. Molde looked capable of scoring every time they got up the park.

The ‘Abandon zonal marking’ brigade got their wish, as Celtic drifted from marking four, to three, to two zones at corner kicks. The sight of Celtic defenders bunched with attackers at the far end of our box was strikingly unusual. We still lost a goal from the second ball at a corner, and panic and mayhem remained on subsequent occasions.

Passing was awful, symptomatic of a team playing within themselves (trans: hiding). Stefan Johansen’s booking looked like a vain effort to be seen to be doing something, he surely didn’t think anything else but a booking would follow.

I was annoyed at Nir Bitton for his red card. There was no need to haul the player down. He was running wide, on his left, and it would have taken a spectacular effort to threaten goal. The foul was the act of a tired mind (trans: frustrated and out of ideas).

Everything positive you’ve read or heard about Kieran Tierney was on show. He’s 18-years-old and demonstrated what a good full back looks like.

‘What now, Ronny?’ was my thought as I left the stadium. Then news filtered through that we’re not actually out of the Europa League yet. Molde are through. Ajax, though a point ahead of us, are as good as out. They would need to beat us at Celtic Park, but in doing so they would remove any competitive-edge from Celtic’s game, and Celtic would then need to win in Istanbul for Ajax to proceed.

Therefore there is every chance we’ll win our first game against Ajax, and then we have a Puncher’s Chance against Fenerbahce. You have I have lived through Sion and Legia, we know Celtic survive in European competition far longer than they should. Hold onto your towels….

I’ve an interesting piece coming up later on Level5, PR to Newco Rangers and the Ladbrokes SPFL, but we’ll give this one time for a kick-around first.

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  1. Paul67,



    Fair summary of the game which is only a symptom of the general malaise around Celtic. Is the Celtic strategy correct or has it been poorly executed. Without going into detail it is bit of both and the result is downsizing of the manager, budget, players and ultimately fans expectations which means you enter into vicious circle mode.



    Tierney will be sold by Lawwell. Britton will be sold…..Gordon will be sold…etc where does it end



    We keep selling and replace with cheaper and cheaper projects. Tierney will ensure Lawwells bonus in the future.



    Why is Lawwell taking £1M/ year out of the club and being rewarded for failure. There is no connection between CL qualification and Lawwells renumeration package.



    We should not be surprised by last nights events. Apathy will set in amongst the support and Europa League qualification will be the new benchmark.



    It’s sad how we have squandered the last 3/4 years without the Ibrox club.

  2. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    It is possible we could win our next two European matches and Qualify out of our group it is also possible I could win 72 Million on the Euro Lottery at the week-end. However,either is highly unlikely.I will not build my hopes up but Ronny must work on getting at least a good performance from the players in both games.The players must be told in no uncertain terms that there future hinge on giving 100% when they pull on the Celtic Jersey. H.H.

  3. Last night’s performance obviously wasn’t good enough.



    The results against Molde actually bring to mind the recent Salford City documentary. The class of 92 invested some money in the squad and brought a couple of players down 5 divisions to join the ‘project’



    After a great start the season hit the skids. Gary Neville was asking himself how his team are consistently losing to poorer sides. Scholes quite plainly pointed out that in every game they opposition looked more of a team with better spirit, shape, understanding and discipline. A lot of it fell on the lap of the coach who they then sacked.



    In this case, it was clear the coach wasn’t up to it as his coaching consisted of making the lads run and then play 5’s. He only told lads the formation and lineup in the dressing room at the last minute.



    I look at Molde and see a much better coached side. They have shape, discipline and spirit. They waited for Celtic to make mistakes and made it count.



    In Europe, it’s clear we are a mess. It’s more than just scapegoats like Blackett or Ambrose, it’s the team collectively.



    I don’t like seeing managers sacked, but Ronny isn’t doing enough. Our players look confused, scared and disorganized on the field.



    However, in Ronny’s defence. The team is clearly operating well enough to score goals. The defence has been dismantled and ultimately, the defence that played last night contained 3 players who were reserves last season.



    I think the board will give him time but he needs to mould a defence together. He needs to get that sorted for next season. If Boyata or Blackett aren’t good enough, put Charlie in there for the rest of the season and look for a replacement in the next two windows.

  4. Parkheadcumsalford on 6th November 2015 8:44 am




    Morning all.



    Dismal down here: just like my mood. What disappointed me most (besides the predictable over the top nonsense on here last night)



    *yip the usual suspects were out in droves, even while the game was still in progress and we were still in it at 1-2, you could have put the kettle on by that.



    was the lack of fight. We had no leadership on the park and only 1 player who gave his all: young Tierney.



    *that was the most disheartening bit. I said this time last year that I would concede the League and this farcical chase for TIAR, it wullnae be allowed tae happen, if we could groom our own players. This seems to be happening right now but not soon enough for the glory hunters.



    The SMSM have done their job. They promoted the notion that our manager’s future depends on our European results. Now, I gather the back pages are full of it. Takes attention away from the deid team who cheated Scottish football for years and years



    *wisnae that long ago that their side full of players they couldnae afford and with the “godfather” of the game in charge lost tae a no name European side, who are now out of the game, 1-4 at the EBT Dome and not a chirpy chirpy cheep cheep was said. Dungo was an effin disgrace that night but then again he has previous standing there and taking a foul mouth tirade from naesurname and poxy.

  5. BSR



    Indeed I do. Now I know why I am not a twitter chap.



    My son accepts that he has been “tangoed”.



    He now owes me a pint which I shall claim tomorrow pm.




  6. ItaliaBhoy on 6th November 2015 9:00 am



    The injury to Simunovic clearly hampered us. From where I was sitting, it looking a cynical and deliberate attempt to debilitate him.



    *looks like the Scandinavians have adopted a cynical side from their Latin counterparts.

  7. Latchford



    Lawwell’s bonus is around 450k, which he has deferred several times.



    We only sold VVD this year and replaced him with a 7 million signing. Is that enough to beat Molde?

  8. An Dun on 6th November 2015 12:58 pm



    Like Sion and legia ?? Have molde fielded ineligible players against us in both ties ??



    If not, I’d suggest there’s more of a chance that oul big hands Green will hear Zodok the Priest at ibrox than the shambles that is our team beat Ajax and Fenerbache.




    I think Chuckles Green will be hearing Johnny Cash before George Frideric Handel.



    But what do I know.





    He defers the bonus. He still takes it.



    Every penny which is due to him in the accounts of Celtic PLC ends up in his pay poke.



    Less tax,of course.



    Deferment does not mean refusal.

  10. Think I’ve nailed why we looked so tired last night, the players usually have nap time between 6 & 7 the wee souls were kept up long after nap time.



    On Forrest, got to say I kept an eye on him when he came on and can’t agree on many of the dissenters this time, for the first 20 minutes of his time on the park he did not receive one pass down the right wing regardless when he was in space, the ball was always passed wide left or centre, so for a change I can’t blame him for his lack of action last night.oh and he was sleepy cause he missed his nap.

  11. Dreadful pedestrian pish yet again last night.European nights are normally the highlight of the season for me and I always look forward to them.However I’m so disillusioned at the moment that I left the pub to go to the game only to change my mind and return to the pub to watch it,I wonder how many will make similar decisions for the rest of the season?



    Don’t want to add my thoughts on the team at the moment many have already highlighted the problems except to ask who watched Tyler Blackett and thought he was good enough to play for Celtic? They should be sacked.Does Boyata realise that his job is to defend and actually try to stop forwards getting shots on target? On three occasions last night he turned his back on Molde players as they shot,I know what would have been said to me if I did that when playing amateur football.

  12. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘The unfortunate Dresdners had run afoul of communist authorities which regarded the club as being too bourgeoisie. Zwickau played a viciously physical game and, abetted by the referee who refused the homeside substitutions and eventually reduced Friedrichstadt to an 8-man squad, “won” the match 5:1.



    Unhappy Dresden Friedrichstadt fans invaded the field several times, and at game’s end, badly beat a Zwickau player. Mounted police were called in to restore order. Within weeks the Dresden side was dismantled and the players scattered to other teams: most eventually fled to the west, many to play for Hertha BSC Berlin. What occurred in this match foreshadowed what would become commonplace in East German football as highly placed politicians or bureaucrats manipulated clubs and matches for various purposes’- from Zwickaupedia.








    I suggested earlier that Lawwell’s control was such that the rest of the board were content to leave things to him. Saves them making a decision.



    Just suppose for a minute that he then has to get such decisions signed off by DD.



    The quintessential absentee landlord,with more important things in his life than Celtic.



    Certainly more important than the KPI of a minor subsidiary,he’s due to tee off any time soon.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘Internationally, the club had a good European Cup Winners Cup run in season 1975–76, advancing to the semi-finals with wins over Panathinaikos, AC Fiorentina, and Celtic F.C. before going out against eventual cup winner RSC Anderlecht. By the early 80s they had descended to play in the second tier DDR-Liga, making just intermittent re-appearances in the DDR-Oberliga’



    -more clever cloggery from Zwickaupedia





    Just making sure that everyone was aware that he took the money.



    Deferred is not refused.



    I made that clear. You didn’t.

  16. You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of last night Paul, but I was left strangely dissatisfied by today’s blog.



    So many questions need to be asked. What is Ronny & his staff doing about our complete inability to defend? If this is being addressed on the training ground, why isn’t it working?



    Why are we making so many lazy signings like Blackett & Boyata? We should know that anything we can afford in the EPL will be substandard.



    Why is our recruitment strategy so dogmatic in its opposition to experience? Yes, develop young players but why not give them some mentors to help them along. Recruitment needs to be overhauled & the judgement of some of the personnel responsible needs to be called into question. Molde & Malmo have players (particularly defenders) with far more nous,savvy & ability for a fraction of the cost)

  17. Silver City 1888 on 6th November 2015 1:10 pm



    With regards Zonal Marking, having read Soccernomics, I came to the conclusion that the number crunchers have sat down and analised the numbers. They concluded Zonal Marking works. I wouldn’t have an idea what the real numbers are but lets say man marking stops goals being scored 7 out of ten corners and zonal blocks 8 out of ten. Obviously Zonal would be the way to go. The problem is on the man marking goals it looks like a defender has just failed to stop the goal. Zonal goals look ridiculous because someone finds a gap and had all the time in the world to tap one in. Every goal is a failure but zonal ones look so much more so. Hope we haven’t discarded the better system for appearances’ sake.




    The number crunchers analysed the numbers, surely?



    It’s usually the fans that get analised. At least that’s how it feels…








    So much for the master negotiator.



    I hear he isn’t happy here. So much for background checks.

  19. the glorious balance sheet on




    Who did we sign for a fee of £7 million? I haven’t heard of us spend such a sum on a single player

  20. The bankrupcy of last night’s offering is matched by the utter sh** put forward by the usual numpties on here laying the blame on Lawwell.



    Ronny, like many of those he has signed, and his backroom staff, are now digging an ever bigger hole for the club.



    I used to believe that it was language difficulties that made Ronny sound naff – now I realise that he is ‘whistling in the dark’ and really is way out of his depth.



    Probably it will take the almost inevitable defeat against Ross Co on Sunday to seal his fate, but he must go as soon as possible.



    He cannot/must not be allowed to continue on the strength of winning this pub league that we inhabit – Legia, Maribor, Malmo and Molde – how much more evidence is needed?

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    It would be interesting to show player by player the wages paid to Molde and the wages paid to Celtic players I believe it would show our players are earning much more than the Molde players on the two performances against Molde I have to ask why ? H.H.

  22. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on 6th November 2015 1:38 pm Please tell me Boyata is a loan deal???






    No. He can improve but I think he is unsettled by what goes on around him. Franco Baresi would have nightmares playing alongside Tyler Blackett.

  23. BMCUWP



    Just to make something else clear, as I have seen yourself as well as others pass on the rumor that Lawwell’s son is secretly our head scout



    He works in football but not at Celtic. No player has been signed without at least Park being involved in the scouting.



    Secondly, for the people who obsess over Lawwell’s income. Who do you expect to be involved and at what kind of salary?



    Celtic are a business and a PLC. For the business to break even in Scotland, you have to have somebody of a certain calibre at the helm. Lawell could have left Celtic on two occasions for a bigger salary in football. That suggests his value.



    Could somebody else out there do a better job? Sure. Not that I’d know who. But it’s a risk getting rid of somebody who has run a steady ship for so long.

  24. .



    I’ve an interesting piece coming up later on Level5, PR to Newco Rangers and the Ladbrokes SPFL, but we’ll give this one time for a kick-around first.






    Celtic having the Worst defense in Europe and Mere Sideshow to the Big Story..



    The Rangers..



    CQN at its Best..



    Summa of ServeTheMuppetsSevcoShitCSC

  25. Stairheedrammy on

    I didn’t think we were that bad last night, we stared well and could have easily been two up if it wasn’t for the officials efficiency. We were controlling the game and Molde seemed unsettled until they scored. After their first goal we lost a bit of control and they gained some belief. Despite that we had plenty of chances to draw or even win the game. I thought their formation suited their players perfectly and that each of their players knew the gameplan and followed it. Their CF didn’t lose the ball all night and was an example of how efficient they were. They are the most effective team in our EL group, no doubts. Now we need to shake off the fear that de ends when we lose a goal and beat Ajax with a reserve midfield. Come on the hoops.

  26. the glorious balance sheet on 6th November 2015 1:44 pm



    Some people are saying that about Jozo. I suspect that’s the fee + wage deal. In Euros.



    Always use the highest figure possible when wishing to make it seem like Celtic have wasted money.

  27. The Battered Bunnet on

    Our centre back pairing last night had 56 appearances between them before coming to Celtic.



    That’s 12 more than their Defence Coach.

  28. Silver City 1888 on 6th November 2015 1:44 pm






    Or resort to self medication.







    Thanks for reminding me – need to pick up a new bottle on the way home tonight.. !

  29. sixtaeseven - Gardez la Foi on

    It was indeed a painful watch last night.



    Last year we had a young but solid central defense and the rest of the team (notably our goalie) understandably took confidence from that.



    Now we don’t have a central defense (especially now that our big hope Jozo is out again) and the confidence is low.



    The priority in the next window now must be an experienced centre back.



    For the moment our malaise is confined to the European stage.


    Heaven forbid if it spreads to affect our domestic form.


    Ross County, who have been showing some decent form themselves, will fancy their chances on their own patch on Sunday. We need to somehow find the right defensive set up asap.

  30. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    What does being a Celtic supporter, as opposed to just a football supporter, mean?


    If being a Celtic supporter means never booing our team , then we failed miserably last night.


    If being a Celtic supporter includes ` We don`t care if we win , lose or draw` , then we failed miserably last night and continue to do so again today.


    If being a Celtic supporter means that we, in fact, are the peepil so should beat `inferiors` and sack the manager if we don`t, then we are being very good Celtic supporters right now.


    The performance really disappointed me but the response of a great many Celtic supporters has sickened me .




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