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

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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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290 Comments

  1. weebobbycollins on

    MoN never quite got the left-back and goalkeeper positions that could have improved us greatly….

     

    Craig Gordon has been great for us, goes without saying, in fact, I’ve nearly forgotten about him coming up for that late corner kick…but not quite!….to improve we need a keeper who is as composed as any defender when being pressed. It’s the modern way. Is it going to be Bain or a.n.other? Are we looking at someone? And we need a centre-back who takes responsibility, an organiser…a presence in the box…Big Billy in the air, Virgil on the ground and Broonie in the heid…perhaps one of the group we have now. Kris or Dedryck if he stays? Not Jozo. Never!…(sorry big man)…and though KT has ‘it’ he’s not in that central organiser’s role…So,…………….Get it sorted Brendan! I’m away oot wi the dugs and I expect at least two signings by the time I get back…

  2. weebobbycollins on

    Who will be the first to say…”…if Edouard/Ntcham is/are still at the club after the January window.”?…Keevins or Guidi?

  3. !!Bada Bing!! on

    F67- Ward was at Aberdeen a couple of seasons ago, and i think Lenny did try for him last season. Hibs go through about 4 GKs a season.HH

  4. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @Gary67

     

     

    “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.”

     

     

    That’s a nonsense figure. People have to stop claiming that the market in England is representative of the market throughout Europe. Celtic’s policy should be to buy outwith England and to sell to England. This policy worked incredibly well under Lennon.

     

     

    Also, to claim that it would cost £10+ to get a player to come in and make a difference at CH is absurd. Sinclair cost £3m and made a huge difference; Ntcham was purchased for £4.5m and made himself a starter; and Odsonne has been purchased for (at least some sources say) an initial fee of £4.5m plus add-ons and has made a big difference.

     

     

    Why would a CH have to cost £10m+ to make an impact when there are plenty examples of others at Celtic having a huge impact while costing a considerable amount less?

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Gary67 1:19

     

    It’s good that we have players at the World Cup. The only problem is they can’t also be here!

     

    Bitton has been out for months. Compper has never really been available/ready. Ralston is still unproven.

     

    It would have made sense to me to bring in at least one defender to make sure we were properly covered for the qualifiers.

     

    We don’t even know if Boyata or Simunovic will be around much longer so it would also keep us covered longer term.

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    In a way, i think Brendan would have enjoyed the exercise of playing v 10 men in a Euro tie.Good to see him not putting on a sub when Jozo went off, good learning for guys to adjust during a match.

  7. Hi Paul67,

     

     

    Totally agree, I was very happy with the performance last evening, an early goal for them, then we are in for a tense night. We controlled the game and played to our strengths.

     

     

    Maybe your right about Eddy as MoTM but I must say I find Dembele an incredibly impressive footballer, he seems to have the physicality of a Bobo in a leaner, niftier, faster package. His positional play and finishing are first rate… dare I say the best football brain at Celtic Park since Kenny D.

     

     

    “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.”

     

     

    Totally agree, another awesome player – always been a fan… If anyone ever wonders how good a coach Brendan Rodgers is then all they need to look at is Mr “Can’t track back” playing brilliantly as wing back as we are down to ten men.

     

     

    Easing into Q2 UCL with little dramas, on a brand new state of the art pitch, in a Stadium with brand new (power efficient;) flood lights shows our Club oozing professionalism.

     

     

    NegAnon2 @ 1:36 pm,

     

     

    “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

     

     

    Totally agree, this has been key in attracting and retaining the services of some quite excellent players. This has razed the bar – and we continue to free up wages by moving on players that never made the grade.

     

     

    We already seem to have left behind the leaden performances that too frequently marked last Season.

     

     

    Really looking forward to this one…

     

     

    Hail Hail

  8. What is all this “Awash with cash” stuff. Is it code for pay our bills. Or is it obsession with Old Firm, two cheeks of the one arse, waving the loads a money in the huns faces.

     

    Here’s the facts as I see them. We are a well run club in profit, a profit which is substantial and healthy compared to the huns and the rest of Scottish football.

     

    We are skint compared to yo yo English teams like Southampton.

     

    Then there is the shark infested transfer market. Remember Juarez. How good a signing did he look. We are always three or four juarez signings away from admin.

     

    So in summary I think we have less buying power than some think and it’s much harder making the correct deal than some would lead us to believe.

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Adi- players are trained to play in different positions , frustrates me when subs get fired on asap, without seeing what can be done with the 10 on the park, every instance is different i know, depending on score at the time.HH

  10. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see 2.09

     

     

    Why would a centrehalf cost £10M+

     

     

    If it’s a decent centrehalf ???

     

     

    Economics . Supply and demand. Plenty of teams have been interested in Boyata & our now suspended other centrehalf.

  11. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @QF on 19TH JULY 2018 2:25 PM

     

     

    “Then there is the shark infested transfer market. Remember Juarez. How good a signing did he look. We are always three or four juarez signings away from admin.”

     

     

    That’s ridiculous. We have next to no debt and £30-40m in the bank and yet if we sign a couple players we will go into admin?

     

     

    The demise of Oldco is both glorious and tragic. Tragic in the sense that some fans now have the impression that if we spend some money we will go bust. In case you haven’t realised, Oldco were financially mismanaged for decades and at their death owed circa £130m to creditors. Do you think Celtic will befall the same fate if they make 3-4 £3m signings?

  12. THE HANDS CANT HIT WHAT THE EYES CANT SEE on 19TH JULY 2018 2:09 PM

     

    To make an immediate impact at CL level. All of those you mention have made an impact domestically, none of them have made much difference in CL, yet. Many are saying we should have signed CL quality CH before qualifiers begun, my point is anyone we sign will be a punt, a young players who we hope can improve. It’s all very well saying don’t buy from England but that’s where the manager obviously wants to sign players from, particularly the academy players not getting a chance with their clubs.

  13. Mahe the Madman on

    Na2,,

     

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

     

     

    I think we have the perfect storm almost in regards to our defence.

     

     

    1,,I think the board believe that theres no point in more defenders / another body or two because as BSR points out it aint gonna help lift us out of pot 4 and they probably wont be of sufficient quality to end the current run of defeats in the Champs League anyway so whats the point.

     

     

    2,,,BR ,,one of his big flaws is in building a defence.

     

    https://www.thisisanfield.com/2015/10/brendan-rodgers-sacked-why-liverpool-were-right-to-do-so/

     

    In this article the author states,,,

     

    “Rodgers’ entire reign (and incidentally, each of his previous managerial positions) has emphatically proven that he is wholly incapable of fielding a team capable of defending. In his 166 games in charge, we conceded 198 goals – 1.2 goals per game.

     

    Wanna guess what the stats are for his reign at Swansea? 118 goals conceded in 96 games for a goals conceded average of…. you guessed it… 1.2! At Reading, it was 1.4 per game. At Watford it was 1.5.

     

    To put those ‘goals against’ numbers in to perspective, last season’s top 4 conceded an average of 0.8, 1.0, 1.0 and 1.0 goals respectively per game. This season before, the rest of the top 4 conceded, on average, 1.0, 0.7 and 1.0. That season, finishing in 2nd place, we still managed to concede 1.3 goals per game… more than the team who finished 11th.

     

    Rodgers simply had no answers defensively. His ego prevented him from recruiting a specialist defensive coach, and yet on the awful ‘Being Liverpool’ documentary he bragged openly about his use of data and statistics to guide his decisions. Surely then, he must have realised that this has been a consistent flaw in each and every one of the teams he has managed? ”

     

    If our manager didnt have flaws he would not be mortal or with us but that is one hell of a big flaw if you want to work at the top end of the market.

     

    When one also looks at his overall recruitment it is not impressive at all and was indeed another big factor into his dismissal at Liverpool.

     

     

    3,,,The game in Scotland is poor, all aspects of it and indeed might not survive the current malarkey. Getting decent players might just be really , really hard whether we are Celtic or not.

     

     

    4,,,we arent offering the big bucks anymore, Championship teams can outbid us.

     

     

    5,,,The Money. Up from 70 to 90 right? So there should be 20 mill as we are told we break even over any given period and all monies are reinvested in the club ( not necessarily the first team understand ) . We know we have some cash and we have tried to buy the Hibs midfielder.

     

    Virgil paid for Edouard and Stuarts departure paid for the lights and pitch.

     

    We are clearly cash positive. Mc Ginn possibly 4 mill brings you down to 16 million.

     

    Possible new contract for Moussa would take max 2 million out of that.

     

    I will be watching to see where this goes. My suspicion is pay off bank debt ( no reason to but ok ) which sits around 6 million I believe and one signing plus one loan signing however one or two will depart. THrow in few bonuses and thats her. But there shoudnt be any big bonuses as everyones already very well paid.

     

     

    We have yet to see a successful strategy emerge to cope with early season and specifically our biggest games which occur then . Relying on qualification to then see who comes is a dangerous game. It seems we have been caught on the hop this year with regards to defenders and are hoping it doesnt prove fatal to qualification to the big table.

     

    One must ask if we are going to win the league anyway why not rest players after the Euro adventure ends or from Christmas on?

     

    Make the January window our primary window and use those following months to bed in?

     

     

    Babysitting time,,Hail Hail

  14. Thought it was quite telling that Brendan took Eddy off first, wrapping him in cotton wool. I think BR sees him as the main man. Moussa has a dodgy hamstring, we could have taken him off but it wouldn’t matter, somewhere along the line it would have broken down. I think he will struggle to be ready for next week, the trouble at this time of the season is 2-3 weeks is a really long time. I don’t think BR will take the chance if it’s a slight pull, Roberts came back too early and he ended up out for 3 months. Moussa will be a loss if he is out but i think we can get past Rosenborg without him.

  15. because you pay a fee. pay wages for players not playing. pay for replacements. pay replacements wages. get in debt. pay interest in debt. on the park results are crap. off the park crowds plummet and very soon you have an exponential decline in income. if it halves each year that’s one sixteenth in four years. it’s amazing how quickly thing can go wrong in any business.

     

     

    QF

  16. Iniquitous (from last night)

     

     

    “To answer your question, the least we should expect is a corner that is out of reach of the goalkeeper, lands between the near post and a short distance beyond the far post, and is delivered in a trajectory that enables an oncoming player to head it firmly with force, just like the three from which the Colombian center half scored in the World Cup.

     

     

    Last season I watched Real Madrid play a team much further down the league, and defeat them 4-3. The defeated team (the name escapes me just now) scored 3 headed goals from superbly struck corners, like Lubo used to deliver. I sighed, remembering the dross we were served up by such as Armstrong, Sinclair, McGregor, Ntcham, Biton et al. Forrest doesn’t even try to take them.”

     

     

     

    Sorry to have missed you when I was in NY last week (I assume you were not at the Parlor for the Alashkert away game).

     

     

    The problem I see is our memory distorts the reality. You recall 2 incidents of heading effectiveness (how many games of ineffective results from corner taking have you discounted or omitted? Do the Colombians have a secret that works for them all the time or was this a case of 3 buses arriving at once leading you to believe that a more frequent bus service can be easily developed. Did the lower ranked Spanish team manage this outcome regularly or was this too a statistical anomaly giving us no insight into what works more effectively.

     

     

    You have outlined your description of “perfectly struck” corners leading to headed opportunities. However, there are 2 teams planning for those corners (the attackers and the defenders). The much maligned zonal defence set up has meant that defences are now better at limiting chances from corners. Most goals from corners are not scored by uncontested headers or by kicks that leave the keeper isolated. Most goals from corners are from deflections, 2nd or 3rd phase knock downs, and from shots or body parts other than the head.

     

     

    So, Celtic, as with all other teams, including Colombia and lower ranked Spanish teams use a variety of deliveries (keep ’em guessing) including low to the near post, cut backs on the ground to the edge of the area, right on top of an impeded keeper, and, into the mix away from the keeper (including the overhit ones to the back post ) to give a headed chance.

     

     

    All of these variations produce the same outcome- a 97% failure to convert rate- even from your preferred technique. So, like all supporters of all teams- we think our strategy is crap because we expect better than reality.

     

     

    A few quotes from an article about the EPL in 2017-

     

     

    “In the past five seasons, the Premier League’s goals-from-corners ratio has barely moved, varying between 0.32 goals per game to 0.38. It’s probably fair to assume that this figure isn’t wildly different across Europe’s leading leagues or in international football. So, if there hasn’t been a sudden drop in the effectiveness of corners in creating goals why is it that we now appear to have such a dim view of them?

     

     

    A starting point could be that our opinion is perhaps coloured by the volume of football on TV. If a corner only leads to a goal 3.2% of the time it’s inevitable that most corners aren’t going to leave a good impression and the more of them we see the more entrenched that negative view is going to get. ”

     

     

     

    “If you look at footage of corners taken in the 60s and 70s there was more of a tendency to loft the ball into the box. With this method, unless you miskick horrendously, you will almost certainly beat the first man but you will have very little dip or pace on the ball. That was fine in an era when you could put a bit of physical pressure on goalkeepers who still preferred to catch the ball (meaning they could be easily nudged into dropping it), but these days that kind of corner just doesn’t cut it, with keepers preferring to punch to lessen the chance of making a handling error and referees affording them more protection.”

     

     

    “There are so many factors to consider when delivering a corner and a variety of styles that mean some are more difficult than others. A front-post corner is probably more likely to be cleared by the first man than a back-post one, for example, while an outswinger gives a goalkeeper less chance of collecting it but is probably not as dangerous as a fizzed inswinger. Perhaps the pursuit of perfection means that, say, four out of 10 corners don’t clear the first man, but of the six that do the chances of scoring from them are much greater than clipping in 10 safe ones. ”

     

     

    “Another factor could be a change in the tactical approach by some clubs towards defending corners. In the past decade, there has been a growing trend towards not putting a player on both posts, with a preference instead to leave one or both unguarded. One of the reasons for this system is to use a corner conceded as a platform from which to spring your own potent counterattack. André Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers, both known for bold tactical experimentation (with varying degrees of success), were among those to first use this set-up in the Premier League. They believe opposing teams are at their most vulnerable when taking a corner and there is evidence to suggest they are right. This season, Liverpool have conceded numerous times immediately after their own corner-kicks. So it is little wonder now that many teams are often reluctant to pack the opposing penalty area in the way they would in the past, thus decreasing their chances of scoring.”

     

     

     

    As with many simple issues, the truth is usually much more complex.

     

     

     

    Aff oot now

  17. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    If Hibernian list and play John MGinn tonight that should be the end of our interest until he becomes a free agent next summer as he could not play in any Champions league games for Celtic this season. The discussion are we weaker or stronger than last season looks likely to be answered when we play Rosenborg we are weaker in my opinion in the following areas right back Centre Back and striker. We have not improved at right back and are depending on Lustig after last nights ordering off we badly need Boyata to break off from his holidays again after last night Dembele is doubtful due to his ham string and his replacement Skippy still has not fully recovered from his injuries and of course Armstrong has moved on.Our transfer activity has been very slow and young Morgan appears to have gone missing I am not encouraged by what is happenning at the minute at Parkhead we seem to be trying to tread water rather than build on last seasons success.H.H.

  18. A flying visit as I am über busy with the European Championships, but on behalf of Canon Tom and the Parishioners of St Alphonsus and St Mary’s I would like to thank everyone who has stood resolutely behind (and alongside and in front) of our community. The news that the OO have been reflective enough to cancel their walk on Saturday is monumental in our eyes; we couldn’t have done without the overwhelming support fro everyone who was outraged at this.

     

     

    This is a fantastic day from my perspective insofar as we have been able to effect such a significant change by refusing to accept this. As someone who lurks on here said to me a week or so ago, this croppy boy ain’t lying down any longer!

     

     

     

    KTF

  19. EC67 & ? @ 3:28 PM,

     

     

    Great news, it seems like Glasgow Council is taking a hard line on this, let’s hope it continues.

     

     

    It was wonderful to see the Canon, his parishioners, the wider Church and society to stand up on this.

     

     

    Very pleased for all involved.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  20. JOE FILIPPIS HAIRCUT on 19TH JULY 2018 3:24 PM

     

    I think the rules have changed. If John McGinn plays in EL qualifier for Hibs it only means he couldn’t play for us in EL if Hibs weren’t in it. He could play tonight, sign tomorrow and plplaybfor us on Wednesday.

     

     

    From ESPN at end of May

     

    UEFA announced it had decided to remove the “cup-tied” rule from all European competitions.

     

    This means that, for the first time, a player could play for two different clubs in the group stage and the knockout rounds of the Champions League, or the Europa League, in the same season. Players could switch between competitions in the past, but not stay in the same one with a second team.

  21. !!Bada Bing!! on

    *’we should be looking forward, not back’* says the organiser of a march to commemorate something which took olace over three centuries ago ???

  22. JOE Filippi

     

     

    Dembele was injured last season for Rosenborg

     

    Griff was injured last season for Rosenborg

     

    French Eddie wasnt here last season for Rosenborg

     

     

    We played Sinclair up front lone striker at home

     

    Definitely placed James Forrest up front lone striker away

     

     

    So UP front we were much poorer last year

     

     

    PS Lewis Morgan has an injury

  23. JOE FILIPPIS HAIRCUT @ 3:24 PM,

     

     

    Think Hibs go through irrespective of whether John McGinn plays or not… good luck to Lenny and Hibs tonight but it should be a formality, though don’t want to sound presumptuous;)

     

     

    As for the rest of your post…

     

     

    …I’m at a loss, there has been many head-scratches in the posts since our 10 men 3-0 on the night 6-0 on aggregate victory last evening but you have me totally baffled.

     

     

    We have the same players as last year with the exception of Armstrong and loanees that have come and gone…

     

     

    …Armstrong was always going, we got a great fee for him and as I say with the loanees who have returned, been purchased or who came for their first taste of Paradise – on balance we are in a better position.

     

     

    We had players at the World Cup, that’s just football. We have players who have picked up injuries, that’s just football.

     

     

    Are you suggesting we strengthen our squad in the transfer market on that basis! Why?

     

     

    What do we do with the players returning from injury/world Cup?

     

     

    BTW: Boyata deserves and needs his holiday…

     

     

    As for being weaker in Strikers since when? Since last Season!

     

     

    No chance – maybe since the Deans and Dalglish partnership;?

     

     

    Brendan is not going to rush into buying players for the sake of it… he has been circumspect and measured in his transfer dealings, preparing to support the first team from the development squad.

     

     

    He is fusing this squad into a great team…

     

     

    I agree wholeheartedly with this approach.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  24. Go tell the Spartim on

    It seems we are at the pivotal point in our european season in the exact predicament we are always in, even since BR took over, We have a defence that doesnt fill the majority of the support with any confidence, yes we have defenders in numbers but have we bought any quality, you could argue Gamboa was a BR signing but in reality i think he probably wasnt, he hasnt featured much, the rest of the players he inherited apart from the enigma that is Compper and Jack Hendry (Bain doesnt count as you could counter with Dorus) and neither of them has shone in any great capacity and those he inherited are all shown the same confirmation bias.

     

     

    Personally i think this is perhaps a weakness that comes with BR, if i had known that at the start of his tenure and taken into account what he achieved, would i welcome him, your darn tootin!!!!

  25. Just how many CHs do we expect Celtic to carry.Just how many CHs of the class demanded will sit on the bench?.If we had gone out and spent a fortune on a CH that would suit some on here,and he,God forbid,got injured,where would that leave us?.Go out and buy another one?We have Dedryck,who played for the, 3rd,arguably best team In the world,and performed very well,still getting mocked on here,because he makes the odd mistake.Like every other CH in the world does.

     

    We bring in a kid from Dundee who anyone with an ounce of footbal knowledge knows,needs experience,and game time.Not according to some,who have already written the boy off.WTF,does BR know.The guy that took a look at Ajer and said”You will make a great CH”they know better than.

     

    Any sense of reality goes right out the window.Brendan knows the market knows the prices,and knows our budget.He also knows what we already have,and he wants both to stay.Dedryck and Jozo.Good enough for me.