Points left on the table in Rotterdam


Let’s get the negatives out of the way.  Lou Macari is one of the greatest human beings to pull on a football jersey, but for a while he carried a heavy load.  He was left on the end of a wall for a free kick in Argentina 1978.  Cubillas struck, ex-Celt Luigi winced, and future-Celt Alan Rough didn’t get across his goal.  Lou was blamed, relentlessly.

Martin O’Neill’s halftime analysis of the Feyenoord opening goal was correct.  It was the Macari incident all over again.  The wall was wrongly setup, with Kyogo on the end that the kicker was bound to aim for.  Kyogo turned his back.  Go watch some primary school football and you will hear the chorus “Don’t turn your back” when inevitably a kid does likewise.  Honestly, Kyogo!

The kick was fully 30 yards.  Even without a wall it should have taken an exceptional effort to beat Joe Hart.  It was not an exceptional effort.  The ball bounced before reaching the goal, which made it difficult for Joe to read, but he was slow to get across.

Gustaf Lagerbielke put his arm across an attacker inside the box.  The attacker fell ‘wounded by a sniper style’, resulting in a second yellow for Gus and a penalty, saved by Hart.  Sure, it was harsh, but it was an unnecessary risk.  Learn from it, Gus.

There is plenty to admire in Odin Holm, a 20-year-old with talent and without fear of consequence.  Consequences of his actions finished Celtic last night as a correct straight red reduced us to nine men.

With the game still there to be won, I was frustrated at the number of misplaced passes in the middle of the park.  Misplaced passes should happen in the final third, when you take risks to create a goalscoring opportunity.  If they regularly happen during the transition phase, they drain momentum.  We could have been more patient in the build-up.

Short of that, across the spectrum of Champions League defeats, this one was different.  There is a clear feeling that points were left on the table.  Celtic were a match for Feyenoord for 46 minutes.

Alongside Maik Nawrocki at Kilmarnock, then partnering Liam Scales at Ibrox, Lagerbielke looked like the junior partner.  This was not the case last night.  Until his dismissal, he was comfortable at this level, perhaps our best defender.  Liam Scales again grew in stature.  It is difficult to imagine he is the same player who struggled against St Johnstone last month.

Reo Hatate’s return to the starting line-up had a lot to do with how comfortable Celtic were on the ball in the opening period.  He took possession, always with at least one defender, often with two and on occasion, with three, in close proximity.  This allowed space to open for Celtic to build out of defence and was crucial to our play.

The same player made the wrong decision at Celtic’s best chance.  Kyogo had space and was flying towards goal on his right, when Reo hit a shot against the defender in front of him.  Our other great chance saw Daizen Maeda withstand a last-defender-assault to force a good save from the keeper.  A Feyenoord striker would have collapsed instead, and perhaps Celtic would have had a man advantage.

Opportunities to pick up points in this group will be rare, so that was definitely one we let slip.  Still, I expect Celtic to win the return game on Match Day 6.

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  1. Everyone hungover?



    As many have said, much to be proud of last night and much to look forward to.



    Just getting stated in a new era.

  2. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Free kick aside, I thought Joe Hart’s distribution playing out from the back was good last night.



    We won’t ever do much in either Euro competitions until we manage the step up in quality and press. Thankfully, expanded CL and EL in years to come will allow us more games and I would expect us to become more competitive after a few seasons of adjustment.



    Domestic SPFL quality to CL is just too much of a leap with just 6 group games a season but eventually we will improve as reoccurring EL/CL changes see us jump from initial 6 to 8 and eventually further expansions that will see us playing 12-15 euro games per season.

  3. A quick look at the Shaktar game last season and you use the same template Paul.



    Missed opportunities and points left on the table……



    and the ole “But players will learn”.



    Celtic’s UCL away record: P37 W2 D4 L31



    I expect it will be rolled out again this campaign. “Plucky ole Celtic” always does a lot of heavy lifting. Distracts us all from obvious failings in the summer and a de-prioritisation of ECL participation, apart from bagging the entrance fee and the hard-earned cash of the fanbase.



    Anyway, back to the shagpile this saturday. Win’s a must. We’ve a champions league slot in ’24 to bag, don’t you know.




  4. First half we were marginally the better of two imperfect teams, then the “Celtic in Europe goal”, including several signals telling me it was coming, as we were nearing half time.



    Second half, I was already waiting for their second when the red cards came and finished the game as a contest.



    I hope we apply more guile to last night’s admirable guts, next time out.

  5. glendalystonsils on

    Points left on the table ……..pounds left in the bank ?



    Having said that , the team we did field, should have got something from the game were it not for some sloppiness and below par individual performances . Not to mention some infuriating refereeing.



    I agree we can still get that third spot though , as evidenced by some very good play in the first half .


    Just get the finishing sorted out .

  6. No matter how assured or good we have been, for twenty years away from home in europe, you can safely bet your house deeds that at some point, Celtic will take out that sawn off shot gun, load it, point it straight at our feet and pull the trigger. Lazio is huge and will make or break us this season in europe.

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    A Blantyre bean counting friend of this parish described Palma as a downgrade on Haksabanovich, harsh but not unfair on last night’s showing.



    Meanwhile Lagerbielke seems to stumble from one crisis to the next, poor boy. He’ll be needing counselling soon.



    O’Reilly was terrific in doing the job of two men but was needing to do the job of three. My recollections of Hatate’s performance last night do not fit with Paul’s, bar Hatate’s dreadful decision at the chance. He’s a great player but seems to need 3 or 4 games following injury to recover his form.



    On the evidence so far this season (early doors, granted) I’m not getting the sense that we’ve used our extraordinary financial position to strengthen the team.



    There was an extended conversation in the Celtic Park boardroom this summer, the edited highlights of which along the following lines:



    – Right guys, we’ve got 70 odd million pounds in the bank, guaranteed Champions league income coming in and a new manager. What should we spend it all on?



    – I’ve got a wee list here: What do you think of Luis Palma, Maik Nawrocki, Gustaf Lagerbielke, Mario Tilio and Odin Thiago Holm?



    – Sounds great. Any strikers or left backs or keepers in there?



    – Nah. But what about reinforcing the Korea connection with Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeok-ky?



    – Brilliant, go for it.



    – And let’s spend a few bob on a new pitch at Barrowfield for the wimmin.



    – Show of hands?



    – Passed.

  8. Big Jimmy – From previous thread.



    Yes I will be in attendance.



    Sorry I couldn’t get back to you earlier, this pesky work thing gets in the way sometimes.



    D :)

  9. If this is what Celtic fans think is a good performance in Europe, we’d be better forgetting about Europe now.



    Paul hits the nail on the head about misplaced passes in midfield. It was woeful for large chunks of the game including the first half. The midfield three are meant to be our most experienced area of the side and they fell well short last night. Far too many balls played to marked players 20-25 yards away.



    And what has happened to Greg Taylor.



    BR said we were “excellent” for an hour. Do me a favour. If this is how low our standards.in Europe have dropped since the noughties then we need to stop deluding ourselves.



    With everybody available the front six would probably only have had one change. And the back four both centre backs.



    We lack quality technically, we need too much time on the ball and we make bad decisions when given opportunities. Hatate and Maeda once again getting it wrong.



    We’ve spent millions on players that can’t play in Europe. They may do one day, and then they’ll.be sold. It’s unambitious and boring.



    But, its OK because we have millions in the bank and a training facility upgrade. Embarrassing.



    We gloat and celebrate mediocrity because we have the richest squad in the league beating players at Motherwell and Ross County who couldn’t get a game in the English league 2.



    Until Peter Lawell leaves it won’t change. Read his comments about the accounts.



    I expect us to win the league but unless you live in Glasgow that just isn’t enough.



    Feyenoord were poor last night but at no point did we look dangerous.

  10. Reo will always try the difficult pass unlike most of the central midfield who like to pass sideways, 50% of the time he finds the man unfortunately in Europe you have to find the pass at least 85% of the time or you will get punished.

  11. Pistol Pete is back in the building.



    Welcome to the Lawel fc where all forms of moneyball are welcome as long as it results in saving lots of cash and BIG bonus’s for the fat liars on the board.



    Roll up, roll up.



    D :)

  12. TBB,



    A Jota replacement seemed to consist of spending €4.75m on a slightly more tanned version of Haksa in Palma; an indecisive Yang at €2.5m and an Aussie, who came to us broken, at €1.75m..



    €9m in transfer fees, over £33k a week in wages, whilst keeping Mikey Johnston & James Forrest around for the bloat, and additional £25k a week. Wee Vata adds to the mix for small change, but the added pleasure of pissing off his da in the process.



    All the while sticking with Maeda and the now injured Abada as first choices anyway, on bigger contracts.



    Wingers, more wingers csc




  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    So, we bought inexperienced players and the outcome was, err, inexperienced play! Who’d have thought…..

  14. I don’t think you can build or cobble together a team in August and seriously expect it to succeed in the CL come September, after five domestic league games, plus the disruption of two weeks of the International break. Certainly not at our level.


    It takes, imo, at least half a season to settle a new team,for them to comfortable compete

  15. Of course players may shift up a gear but on first viewings you can make some some assumptions on pace and power. Palma has neither and incredibly one-footed.



    Reasons to be concerned. All hopes pinned on Tillio being a brammer.



    I am, though, calling it out early that Kwon will be a cult figure for years to come, and not in a good way. Small fee & salary, marketing usage but more bloat for the LXT massive.




  16. I thought Reo was poor, probably the worst player on the pitch, surprised he wasn’t hooked at HT.



    I can’t see either team troubling the top 2 positions in the group.



    It would be great if just for one CL campaign we could fluke a run of results 😁

  17. Paul re your: ‘Celtic were a match for Feyenoord for 46 minutes…’



    Shades of another fitba fella who was roundly lambasted for saying; ‘Having analysed last season if the games finished after 86 minutes we’d have won the league.’



    What’s the point in only having the players and game-smarts to half compete in an ECL tie?


    The cat is oot the bag; neither our ambition or level is ECL. It’s any kind of Europe post-Xmas. Ideally Europa. But we might be taking a sprinkle of Conference if we don’t wise up and/or beef up.



    I said before, I fear Reo has contracted Ntcham syndrome.


    At times, he looks slick, and at others…a Swansea starlet.




  18. ……..at CL level. Hopefully, we are not faced with a major rebuild next close season and give a proper account of ourselves.




    Afreed re Reo and taking on the difficult pass. We were much to passive in out pasing last night, frequently turning back and inevitabley involving Hart.



    if you want template for a passing game, look at brighton goal against Man Utd at the weekend.



    The key difference is first ouch. quality first touch transforms a player, Unfortunately, we dont have many who have that.

  20. RAB HAWE on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 1:20 PM



    New team? 9 of that starting 11 were in the team last year. The midfield 3 probably our number 1 choice. Last season.



    2 of the 5 subs in the treble winning squad from last season.



    That’s not cobbled together. Quality is down from last season, where we needed to build from.







  21. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Half full glass type of guy doesn’t go near your analysis When did you last look back at a game and not think ‘how can I make the board look good in this?


    It’s embarrassing to me and many others on here and elsewhere


    Grow a pair or let others write the game analysis.


    We were mostly rubbish at the things that need done in Champions league ie accuracy in passing, Rep was so obviously not match fit he made Turnbull look good and he never kicked a ball either


    We were short in ALL the positions mentions ad nauseum


    PL will be happy though so that’s everything ok then ,Paul

  22. Reo Hatate couldn’t lace Olivier Ntcham’s boots. His stats for his time with us, pre and post sulk would put Hatate to shame.



    It’s a sign of how far we’ve fallen in the last few years. I like Reo but a lot of the goodwill is that he does something different in midfield to the other incumbents, who are all too same-y.



    Waiting for us to transform the midfield into a proper balanced unit of power and pace. Being stuck with a declining McGregor in the next few years will be like watching the Broonie, the final years, movie all over again.



    We’ve put Holm (potential), Bernardo (no idea), Kwon (Jesus, mary and joseph) and Iwata (mixed) in there and none of them have dislodged the usual suspects.







  23. Talking of referees. There was an incident in an EPL game, where the ref was top man, Anthony Taylor. It was one of those cases when VAR would call the ref over for a look.


    The VAR official was former ref Mike Dean, who explained post math, why he didn’t summon the ref.


    He said that Anthony was a mate, so he didn’t want to add any grief on him.


    Last night’s officials gave me the same impression.


    Thank God that camaraderie doesn’t exist in the SPFL.

  24. BIG WAVY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 1:28 PM



    Agreed but they weren’t all first team players.


    No CCV, Star, ,Abada, Mooy, Jota, GG, who were all first team players.

  25. We could very well be talking about building for next season’s CL only to see Matt sold in the summer (he will gain a lot of attentionin this campaign). BR has an extraordinarily difficult task at this level.

  26. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    We left points on the table because even though Feyenoord are modest they are a better team than us with better players. This PLc won’t gamble on the Champions League, it even a little bit. There is logic for and against but last night was proof you get what you pay for. The mistakes we made aren’t in spite of our quality they are a reflection of it, We’re too good for the distinctly poor SPFL and not good enough for the Champions League. Not even close. It could and probably should have been 4 or 5 by the end of the game. Feyenoord will get at least a point at Parkhead.



    Lagerbielke was good but not good enough. It was a poor pass to him that led to the initial booking but his poor touch compounded it. The penalty and red card were incredibly harsh, but CCV wouldn’t have made that mistake. That’s what ‘buying potential’ gets you. I do think he’ll be a good player for us though.



    I disagree that he shaded Scales who was magnificent all night. Just a towering performance and I’m delighted for him.



    AJ was also terrific, but a Taylor was largely a liability. I love Joe but he sold that first, incredibly cheap goal. Not good enough.



    Hatate was mince, but didn’t look fit to me. CalMac was off the boil again, particularly in the tackle, Matt was outstanding and.carried the other two. The Lawwells will be courting summer bidders as we speak.



    Maeda was decent but his final ball was tripe per usual. Kyogo was starved of service and Palma was distinctly average. Early days for him and the criticism over the top.



    Onwards on downwards in respect of the reminder of the group. We should ‘enjoy’ this year and hopefully next year because we’ll be back into qualifying doom thereafter. More reasons to downsize…




  27. AN DÚN on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 1:49 PM



    Mark Lawell, there due to cronyism, should be given his jotters. His record, bar AJ, is diabolical.



    I’d make his da do the sacking and stream it live on ppv. Then, the balance sheet wins too.




  28. BIG WAVY on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 1:37 PM


    Reo Hatate couldn’t lace Olivier Ntcham’s boots…






    Skills wise I reckon Reo is as silky as Ntcham but I was mainly wondering about Reo’s self-estimation being as un-naturally high as Olli’s seemed to be? Reo has undoubted talent but doubtful whether his attitude is big game or big-time Charlie.



    Anyway, is it not time for a body language expert to interpret BR’s post-game interviews and hidden signals ;)

  29. DAVID66 on 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 1:05 PM


    Big Jimmy – From previous thread.







    Yes I will be in attendance.







    Sorry I couldn’t get back to you earlier, this pesky work thing gets in the way sometimes.






    Good on ye mate.


    Hopefully I will see you then.




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