Oli, Odsonne, Moussa and James, your Celts are on fire!


Absolutely tons of positives and one negative, from last night.  I’ll leave the negative until tomorrow as the other ten players were just so good and I might have calmed down a bit by then.

Despite allowances made for the calibre of Alashkert, Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard were unplayable last night.  Moussa got the Man of the Match award, probably for his two goals, but Odsonne was more deserving.  His ability to create space by drawing players towards him by running with the ball was the most significant aspect of the game.

The no. 7 role at Celtic has never been an easy shift, even Jinky learned this in his early days, but James Forrest pace and stamina make him the archetype modern version of the wide right player.  James is a player you cannot get too close too.  His speed forces defenders to stand off.  Get too close and he will be away from you before you know he has moved.

Defenders need to double up on him. Again, creating space elsewhere.  And then there’s his goals.

Olivier Ntcham is unrecognisable from the player he was a year ago.  The next challenge will be to get him kick on from here.  The window of opportunity with French youth players will a little tighter than in previous years, but we have an attractive story to tell to talent swimming in that pool.  I hope we continue to fish there.

Loved the new LED floodlights, although we will not get their full effect until the entertainment pack is loaded and games take place in darkness.  The new speakers are loud.  Not Fir Park stairwell loud, but clearly audible in the North Stand Upper.

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  1. OMG — happy clappy tripe.


    You really weren’t watching the game last night if this is your thoughts.



    Weak performance — very patchy with little fluency.


    Next will be better but it will have to be.

  2. No, no, no Paul67….



    We were rubbish and it’s all falling apart at the seams…..in the parallel universe over on the last thread.



    Your summary shows how things change – previous whipping boys Forrest, Brown, ‘raw’ Eddie and Ntcham all excelling…



    For the record, enjoyed the game. A lot.

  3. Bournes whilst of course you are being sarcastic it’s a fair question around what exactly is our net spending again this year. We are awash with cash and we are again in profit for our transfers. We again have a problem at centre back. That’s over two years. We again haven’t strengthened ahead of qualifiers (our most critical part of the season) and whilst it does feel the team are better prepared this year there are no guarantees and we should have addressed our weaknesses.




    And as for Casandra well I have come to accept that the vast majority of Celtic supporters would be very happy being cheated, colluding with hunnery and are quite fine with their seat at the back of the bus. But I’m not.

  4. Agreed Paul . There were negatives, but far outweighed by the positive.


    We are better in possession, with more threats up front.


    We dominated possession in Norway last year, and I fully expect the same this year over both legs .


    The proof is in the pudding , and it looks tasty to me .


    On the sending off ….Jozo could have received a red last week , with a back kick to an opponents dial . Once is careless, twice is negligent.


    Ajer & Hendry will be ok next week.



  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Delighted to be through and confident we will get the better of Rosenborg.


    But again we have made life difficult for ourselves by not strengthening in defence.


    We were already stretched last season and we knew Lustig and Boyata would be at the World Cup.


    Can’t understand why we didn’t bring someone in.


    If Simunovic can’t improve his decision making we will have to let him go.


    Should have enough goals in the team to progress to the next round, but beyond that defending becomes much more important.

  6. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Oh my!



    Post something positive and the perennial whingers are out within the first few posts.



    That will teach you.



    We want to hear about ‘blows’, ‘snubs’ and ‘crises’, none of this upbeat malarkey.

  7. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Tickets for the Celtic v Rosenborg are on sale now to Season Ticket holders at a discounted price.



    Season Ticket holder prices


    – £22 for adults


    – £12 for concessions


    – £7 for under 13s



    Season Ticket holders can buy now online, by calling 0871 226 1888* or in person from the Ticket Office at Celtic Park, open Monday to Friday from 9:30am until 5pm.



    Please note that the deadline for Season Ticket holders to secure their seasonal seat for this match, and take advantage of discounted pricing, is 2pm on Sunday, July 22.



    Home Cup Ticket Scheme


    The payment date for this match is Monday, July 23. Subject to payment being successfully received on this date, your Season Ticket will be activated for this match.



    A limited number of tickets are also available now on general sale, priced from £25 for adults, from £13 for concessions, from £8 for under 13s.

  8. NA2 @ 12.19



    I think we are getting a bit flabby with wages and bonuses.


    I fear that the standards set by PL are now being extended to the squad and the staff.



    Consequently I think that our cost base is not being managed well.



    Then there is the issue of player trading and squad management.


    Some good, some bad but as you note we would seem to be hoarding cash.



    Not sure why unless some of the player trading profit has already been assigned to some other use regarding staff bonuses or long term loyalty arrangement.



    However we seem to have the same issues with BR3.0 that we had with BR2.0 and BR1.5 so a time least our issues would appear to be consistent. We need a replacement/support for ML, a quality CB and an understudy for SB.



    Plus we need a more measured approach to pre-season trading so that we do not generate our annual worry list — if MD has broken down again then our fitness and medical staff need a good boot up the erse.

  9. Broony the tipster…..



    SCOTT BROWN won’t manage to get up to Carnoustie to watch the Open Championship this week but he’ll be glued to the live TV coverage as the best golfers in the world fight it out for the coveted Claret Jug.



    And he expects the recent spell of warm weather to make a huge difference to how the players tackle the famous links course in Angus.



    “I did get the option to go up on Sunday but we’re training so I’m a wee bit gutted to miss it, but I will watch it on TV and it’s always good to sit and watch it,” the Hoops captain told this week’s Celtic View.



    “I’ve never played Carnoustie but my mate works at the R&A and he says that it’ll be dry and long. I played with a golf pro recently and he was telling us that most of the players won’t hit drivers because they won’t be able to control where the ball will land or bounce, so they will play long irons, three woods and five woods for position.



    “Links is hard enough at the best of times, so the weather is definitely going to add a firmness to it, especially on the greens. You saw what the last major – the U.S. Open – was like trying to stop the ball on the greens, so here’s hoping it’s a bit better than that.”



    The Open Championship, arguably the most prestigious golf major in the world, takes place at Carnoustie, Angus, over the next four days, starting today (Thursday).



    And Scott Brown gave the Celtic View his top three picks to take home the famous Claret Jug trophy…



    Dustin Johnson


    ‘I can’t see past him just now, to be fair. He’s flying just now. DJ has the length and hits the ball well but because it’s been so hot, the ball will be bouncing miles down the fairway so he won’t even have to hit a driver a lot.’



    Jon Rahm


    ‘Everyone is talking about Jon Rahm’s game as well and he seems to be getting better and better and he’s still young. I like big hitters but he’s good with his long irons as well. Carnoustie is long course and the rough will be very thick and wild, and it’s all going to be about the long irons and recovery shots more than your driver, as using a driver will be too much for most of them as the ball will bounce for miles.’



    Justin Rose


    ‘I’m going to go for Justin Rose as well. I think someone from Britain could be sniffing about and he’s been the one who has been more consistent than anyone over the last couple of years, especially in the big tournaments, and he’s been unlucky not to win any of them. I’m sure he will be there or thereabouts.’




    Ye, hear that ACGR – never played Carnoustie. Get the onesies dug oot!

  10. It’s funny that this blog is a bit like follow follow in that anyone raising any concern is immediately pounced upon by the childish blindly supporting set who squeam and squeam is anyone says anything they don’t like.



    We have plenty of money but haven’t strengthened where we can all see it is needed for the third year in a row.




  11. Brendan Rodgers says he has targets,then it’s up to Peter Lawell,to sanction them,me personally I don’t buy into ,we are looking for bargains, simple as,so if they are good we flog them,for treble the price,as for a good run in the Champions league,then forget about that, another doing is on the cards

  12. Neg



    We were a pot four team before the window opened and we’ll be a pot 4 team when it closes, that wouldn’t alter just because we signed a higher level Centre Back. Brendan has already hinted with his ‘Billy McNeil comments’ that we’d develope the side, and its clear that he wants Dedryk Boyata signed which IMHO means we’ll go in again with a familiar back line.



    There will be no panic signings, just panic.



    Its too late to change plans for the qualifiers, I’m sure Brendan knows we need a commanding CB that isn’t any of the four we have at the moment.



    SKY and UEFA have ruined Europe for Celtic where we now have to play in a mini league of eight games just for the right to pot 4 and facing up to front lines like Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar. That’s a fact of life, UEFA and TV money did that to the game and there are far wealthier clubs than us that cannot buy success in Europe,the rich just get richer.



    We even know seasons in advance who we get in the qualifiers and in the league proper, as for the domestic cheating Rangers are still deed the last time I checked.



    Hail Hail

  13. Neganon.


    Many of the your posts on here are valid , and thought provoking.


    The central defenders issue is a tad difficult to sort out.


    Good central defenders are like hens teeth. Good central defenders that want to ply


    their trade in a country rated 26th in Europe, who have sufficient quality and or experience are


    even more difficult to find .


    Championship defenders ( the average type) way down south cost millions.


    Develop or gamble ? There’s the dilemma. HH

  14. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I don’t think our defenders are as bad as folk on here make out. So they make mistakes, all defenders make mistakes. I haven’t seen last night’s Simunovic incident, but VVD is the world’s most expensive defender, and he made a bad decision, that cost us, against Inter a few years ago, and will make more bad decisions, before his career is done.


    I think our defensive woes in Europe, are more to do with the set up of the entire team. We are an offensive unit, we all enjoy that aspect of the team. The downside to our offensive strategy is that we get exposed sometimes, and lose goals as a result. If we forked out £50m on two new central defenders, you know what? They would make mistakes.


    Every goal that ever happened, in every game that was ever played, can be attributable to a defensive error if you want to look at it that way.



  15. Agree with Paul re French Eddy, thought he was sensational again last night.



    Disagree re the new lights, from the bottom tier cant look at the screens as the glare is blinding. Awful design.

  16. BSR @ 12.41



    Why are we a Pot 4 team?


    Because we have been poor in the CL group stages and unfortunately the trend is downwards.



    Why have we been poor in the CL group stages?


    Because we have not turned up — set up poorly, not motivated and with stop gaps in certain positions.



    Why do we not turn up?


    Because we have not properly prepared for the group stages and our attitude has been poor.



    Why are we not properly prepared?


    Because the squad has had gaps and we as a club do not have the desire to compete at that level.



    Why do we not have the desire for the CL group stages?


    Because the club is only interested in the qualification money / revenues and the squad know that they can treat the games as jersey swapping events plus a bit of sightseeing for the City Break CSC element of our support.



    We are currently set up to be flat track bullies.


    Big fish in a small pond collectiting baubles rather than developing as a squad and as a club.

  17. Madrebmacs Grandpa on

    Very encouraging performance last night.Starting to look like “contenders” for qualification. Movement “off the ball” is so much better. Inexplicable “tackle” for the sending off but we coped admirably. This is a professional , competent team which should only get better.

  18. Stairheedrammy on

    Going for a treble treble and its all doom and gloom from some. Ying and yang naysayers, ying and yang

  19. Monaghan1900 on

    FFin racists – not us:



    “If im honest every club in the world has a daft minority.


    Just seems like it is always a good story to headline when it’s us”




    “It’s not unique to football or even sport.


    When an a***hole starts a fight at a Shakira concert, or in sports direct.


    Neither Shakira or Mike Ashley take a bashing in the media.”




    “Could be a mhank, sure going to jail would be worth it to paint us in a bad light.”




    “Combination of lack of brain cells, too much alcohol, too much exposure to sunshine.”




    “Every person represents themselves first and foremost. Who/what that person declares they are tied to then becomes affected by the person’s actions. As an entity, the collective of multiple persons tied together form a reputation both internally and externally.” [The seagulls follow the trawler…..]




    “From the accent I heard the person doing the abuse probably is normally a supporter of 3rd tier English club.”




    “It’s the English that do most racial abusing.”

  20. We have three right backs, two of them internationals who both had a good World Cup. We have six centre halves, plus a couple of others who can do a decent job there.


    How many do we need?.


    I get the better quality argument but the price for a CH who could come in and make an immediate impact is way beyond what we can pay. A half decent, unproven at CL level CH will cost £10m+, probably a lot more.


    If we sign a CH, and I think we will but only after getting a couple out of the door, then they will be young(er) players who can be developed into something better than what they currently are. Another Ajer, Hendry potential type signing.


    I’m still of the opinion that we won’t do any business (probably with the exception of McGinn) until the English transfer market closes on 9th August and they announce their 25 man squad for the season in EPL. The manager will have his targets who may or may not become available then, more than likely they will by U23 and from one of the bigger academies like City or Arsenal.

  21. “Loved the new LED floodlights, although we will not get their full effect until the entertainment pack is loaded and games take place in darkness.”



    One of the final comments on the BBC web coverage last night was about how the new LED lights at Celtic Park were very bright and not helping save the planet…



    “Clearly not a Physics major”, as Bill Hicks may have said…



    A valid point as some people seem to not understand that it’s a team sport.


    Klopps Liverpool are a good example of an attacking juggernaut who score and concede plenty goals.


    Klopp like Brendan has a lot of positives and some flaws in his coaching.


    I thought the criticism leveled at the defense last night was unfair.


    Hendry and Ajer both won tackles convincingly and at times were positionally a little off but that is down to inexperience and will improve with game time and maturity.


    Have been saying since Delia’s time we need to sign a conductor at the back who can organize a line and be vocal in telling people to hold the line and when to go and when to stay.


    The protection in front of the centre backs could also improve as we allow to many shots from that area.


    The criticism of our defenders not passing out from the back has some merit but i feel the real culprit is an incomplete coaching plan.


    Those ahead of the defense need to make themselves available and give defenders a choice.


    Bain is far better with his distribution than Gordon.


    We obviously have some weaknesses to address with coaching and players but nothing that is insurmountable .

  23. Madmitch



    You’re getting into higher gear now, I’m trying to get the grass cut before Bella comes back.



    I disagree regarding preparation, and to a certain extent we can’t compete so you may be right about desire, but I still think we have a higher level of desire than you do.



    We bought cheap so we bought twice Compper and Henry one of each development and experience. Compper can’t get past the developing players


    and into the side . I read on the internet he’s picked for the charity game at the weekend – Why?



    Anyway , you’ve omitted signing Odsonne who wasn’t cheap neither was Ntcham or Sinclair Celtic will always pick up the best of whats around in Scotland, McGinn will be next, because he’s willing.



    Celtic are rubbish in Europe is the SMSM mantra and nothing else its not the mantra of Ajax, Feeyenoord ,Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, or any number of massive clubs that are rubbisher in Europe than Celtic.



    Whether you like it or not we punch big , if only to get a doing in the final round


    regardless of what our CB’s cost in money, our fortunes will fluctuate despite having invincibles and double treble firsts.



    Maybe my expectations are lower but Lisbon in 2017 was still my favourite trip.



    Hail Hail

  24. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good stuff Paul.



    Not perfect but improving.



    26 July ’17 – home leg against Rosenberg, we were a mile off the pace.



    18 July ’18 – mistakes made but the players were lean, fit and sharp.



    Lessons have clearly been learned.



    Madmitch – we are a pot 4 team, in part, because we have 31 coefficient points and the other three Scottish teams in Europe can’t muster a dozen points between them.



    Such a disparity between teams does not exist in any other UEFA country.



    In this regard we do more heavy lifting on our own than any other club in Europe.



    The cumulative impact over two decades is early qualifiers and more opportunity for injury and suspension.



    Hail hail

  25. Madmitch it’s clear that we have changed our wage policy. That was long overdue and it has increased our costs. But I actually think it’s good because we can hold onto the likes of Rogic.



    Angel Gabriel why can’t we do both. Develop and sensibly gamble.



    Bournes I am not sure what point you are trying to make. For years now we haven’t prepared for the CL qualifiers. It’s clear that’s our strategy. It’s a stupid strategy particularly when you are awash with cash. It’s just stupid and asking for trouble.



    As for the Huns being dead we all know it but racist Scotland has already airbrushed it.

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