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Positioning, decision making and set plays. Compper and Ajer are prepped

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After giving his players a week of rest and recuperation Brendan Rodgers will have his best opportunity of the season to work on tactics and systems this week. We watched our passing game disintegrate in recent months culminating in the reversal at Tynecastle.

The manager can talk to his players for hours, but time on the training field is limited with rest days, game days and recovery days. Any tactical work also needs to be balanced with the need to maintain endurance and speed training.

The squad are together in Dubai and will put hours into working on positioning, decision making and set plays. For me, the critical outcome of this winter break will be in central defence. This area of the field is pivotal to what the manager wants to achieve in possession. Our central defenders are also subject to more transfer speculation than anywhere else in the team, a fact which may have contributed to recent decline in performances.

I have not watched Marvin Compper (try to avoid highly selective YouTube videos) but suspect Brendan could end the month with his new German recruit partnering Kris Ajer.

NEW! The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind (EP28) with former Celtic director Tom Grant

Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic’s ex-director, Tom Grant, who offers a fascinating insight into the running of the club in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Tom Grant explains exactly why Celtic refused to complete the Mo Johnston transfer in 1989, and lifts the lid on audacious efforts by Billy McNeill to recruit Peter Beardsley and Steve Bruce.

Grant also dissects his relationship with Fergus McCann, and the impact of the ‘Celts For Change’ movement in overturning the ‘family dynasty’ board in 1994.

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  1. Melbourne Mick on

    Just like to add that the posters of big Tom didn’t go

     

    into the pool but on the complex notice boards doh.

     

    H.H Mick

  2. Agree Paul, vital for Marvin and Ajer, or A N Other at CB, to form anunderstanding with Gordon too, we could do with being more vocal on the pitch too IMO.

  3. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Great picture of the old Celtic end – I’m off to wallow in nostalgia for a wee half hour…

  4. Pingback: Positioning, decision making and set plays. Compper and Ajer are prepped | Celtic News Extra

  5. MURDOCHAULDANDHAY——see you start treatment soon. Best of luck. The start seems to be the worst—-its not. It’s just the start of your recovery. The Padre Pio novena for you worked last time, so another is on its way. All the best— to you and our new signings!!

  6. I mentioned last week. I watch a bit of Bundesliga 2 due the soft spot I have for St.Pauli so I do have a reference point on Compper from his time playing in that league with RBL.

     

    I think he looks to be a very good composed defender. He has a bit of the Marc Rieper about him in terms of his upright posture, commanding presence and ability to read things. I’m not convinced he is the quickest I believe he defends with his brains more than his feet. I caveat my assessment of him with two things – firstly it’s been 18 months since RBL played in Bundesliga 2 plus he did’t get much football in Bundesliga 1 and Bundesliga 2 is a notoriously low scoring league. Strikers as a rule are not of a high quality.

  7. South Of Tunis on

    RUBENTUS .

     

     

    Juventus have complained about a Rome newspaper referring to them as RUBENTUS in an article re an “interesting ” Refereeing decision ( in their favour ) during their game at Cagliari on Saturday 6 1 18 .

     

     

    If the cap fits –

     

     

    https://youtu.be/HGRg3T4I7lE

  8. mike in toronto on

    I Dont think the main issue is with the centre backs… when we were playing well, the mids were moving more, and more importantly, the centre mids moving into space to allow them to receive a pass from the mids, and move it forward quickly. For a while there, it was excellent … callum McGregor was, to my surprise I will admit, the best at it, usually in a slightly deeper role, where he got the ball and moved it forward quickly … but now, even he seems lost

     

     

    Can there lack of movement be down to fatigue? I’m sure that is a part of it .. we played a lot of football .. but there does seem to be a lack of confidence with the ball … it is noticeable when Scottish teams play in Europe … last season, we seemed to be overcoming that, but we have regressed this season…

     

     

    I am sure BR will find a short Hermione solution that will improve our play in the SPL … but, technically Scottish football is far behind, and I think it will take some time for a long-term systemic solution to emerge

  9. mike in toronto on

    Short term solution .. not sure what a short Hermione solution is … bloody iPad ..

  10. Good morning from a milder but snowing southern Ontario, that old saying “what do you call someone who’s happy on a Monday morning – retired”, is truly apt this winter.

     

     

    I remember the Dunera but the only local school I recall that sent their pupils on it was the Vale of Leven Academy and that was when I was in primary. The nearest I got to an overseas trip was when our French teacher at St Pats arranged a trip to Paris, we were ecstatic at the time.

     

     

    However, this was during the period of uprest in Algeria as the locals were fighting for independence and the insurgents brought their fight to Paris, not only that there was another faction that was opposed to Algerian sovereignty called the OAS who kept staging coups and trying to bump off President de Gaulle, it was like a scene from the “Day of the Jackal” two sets of competing bomb-throwers with Paris in the middle.

     

     

    So our trip was cancelled, I did though get to go on one while I was in the primary, we had 2 classes of each age group by that time and only one ben affleck school, the Fenian post war baby boom was in full flow lol, and no high school either which was mibbees why the Dunera never happened for us, so both quali classes piled ontae busses for a wee jaunt uptae the Kelvin Hall for the Scottish Catholic Exhibition.

     

     

    Oh forgot, the lassies in primary did get tae go tae a school up at Croftamie called Pirniehall, that may have been ones local tae the area, think the didnae like it and some of the boys, altar boys and holy rollers went over tae Langbank, I was too nutty and wild tae be picked for that. One that I knew well is now a commie, might have been something tae dae with that lol.

  11. RAYMAC on 8TH JANUARY 2018 12:50 PM

     

     

    MURDOCHAULDANDHAY——see you start treatment soon. Best of luck. The start seems to be the worst—-it’s not. It’s just the start of your recovery. The Padre Pio novena for you worked last time, so another is on its way. All the best— to you

     

     

    *, concur with this, PP was a favourite of Mrs TTs da.

  12. Can’t see Ajer being a first pick this season. It will be Compper plus Boyata or Simunovic.

     

     

    Regards performance levels. They have dropped and whilst they may improve slightly I’m not expecting a swash buckling different Celtic to what we’ve seen in recent months. The truth is too many players have settled into a comfort zone or returned to the levels of old. Performances will only improve with the addition of new players IMO. Rogic and Roberts will help. Give Ntcham a run in the team and bring in Compper and Ralston. Possibly one other in the attacking area would also help.

     

     

    The consensus seems to be that a few weeks off will solve all of our problems. I’m not convinced. I think the preferred 11 needs a shake up, a freshness if you like with the addition of more quality, more energy and some different ideas.

     

     

    I’m not expecting Brendan to chuck his philosophy down the pan but we could do with mixing things up a bit in terms of the playing style and working on some of the really basic aspects like taking thrown ins and delivering decent crosses from set plays.

  13. SEÁNP1916 on 8TH JANUARY 2018 12:52 PM

     

     

    I mentioned last week. I watch a bit of Bundesliga 2 due the soft spot I have for St.Pauli so I do have a reference point on Compper from his time playing in that league with RBL. I think he looks to be a very good composed defender. He has a bit of the Marc Rieper about him

     

     

    *I recall when we signed the Grim Reiper a Tim over here who had a brother living in London saying the West Ham fans would have gladly drove him up tae Parkheid, so it’s sometimes the club you play for.

     

     

    I thought he was one of our better post war centre halfs and can recall him screaming at a shell shocked WTT tae get a sub on at East End Park when we almost threw away the advantage that brither tait had given us the day before.

  14. Tontine,

     

    If you don’t mind me asking, when the Paris trip you mentioned was cancelled, was a trip to London hurriedly substituted? If so I was on the same trip. Seems like a long time ago now.

  15. mike in toronto on

    Off to the beach … stand up paddle-boarding, I think. try to burn off all the Caribbean food I have been eating!

  16. I wonder if Apple is aware that any time the word ‘iPad’ or ‘iPhone’ appears on CQN, it is very often preceded with the word ‘bloody’.

  17. Looked at Daily Record on line giving a description of the Celtic’s departure to the training camp. At one point it states that wee Paddy and Kieran were not seen together suggesting some sort of difference has arisen as a result of Paddy’s time off through injury. Strangely they publish a picture of the two side by side at the airport. What do these people get paid for? Certainly not for reporting the truth.

  18. MACEW on 8TH JANUARY 2018 2:47 PM

     

     

    Tontine,

     

     

    If you don’t mind me asking, when the Paris trip you mentioned was cancelled, was a trip to London hurriedly substituted? If so I was on the same trip. Seems like a long time ago now.

     

     

    *probably 1961, no trip to London for our group, I would gladly have gone. Did 3 year later and was privileged to see Manfred Mann when they were an R&B group at the Marquee Club and just missed the Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy..

  19. MURDOCHAULDANDHAY – All the very best to yourself fella, and to all who are close to you.

     

    HH

  20. Timreaper i am not so sure we can pass all the blame of our poor defence on the midfield players. I think scottish teams are now doing one of two things;

     

     

    They pressing the backline

     

     

    or they allow boyato to have the ball knowing he will do a side way pass, while at the same time knowing he will lose ball if passing forward and he cant confidently step into the play.

     

     

    I have lost country of the number of times loose ball or hospital pass forces instant pressing on our backline with midfielders in from of play and thereafter unable to influence the play. Clearly that will impacts on the midfielders who cant play their normal game due to this.

     

     

    Despite that i do agree that the midfield have been below par in teams of movement and passing and in amstrong cases runs BEYOND the from line. I have lost count of the number of times calmac shoots from 25+ yards when there are better option out wider and rogic has not shows enough this season.

     

     

    It is very clear we are not using width particularly well this season either and the fact we dont have a treat our wide right (overlapping) fullback means teams can more easily manage our treat down the wider areas.

     

     

    To my mind personal changed and improvement in FORM is the only way to improve things. Boyato needs replaced with a ball playing centreback who can at any time move forward.

     

     

    We need a rightback who has the ability to overlap and is comfortable on the ball.

     

     

    Ncham should be playing every week. Even when he is having a poor game he show ball will play passed into good areas for runners the ball rather than look for the simple sideway pass. Leave that to brown in the deeper role, with one of amstrong, calmac, kiassi, unless we can promotion/ purchase better.

     

     

    We need one of our strikers to get a sustained run in the team.

     

     

    HH

  21. STEPHBHOY, agree regards ncham, boyata thats a tricky one seems to be lacking a bit of confidence ,still think there is a player there though.hh.

  22. Timreaper i am not so sure we can pass all the blame of our poor defending on the midfield players. I think teams are now doing one of two things;

     

     

    They press the backline or they allow boyato to have the ball knowing he will either pass side ways or dither before losing the ball trying to pass it forward or trying to carrying it forward. This slows the game to a standstill and needs to be avoided.

     

     

    In the sevco game it was very clear that lustig was also bring pressed hard too and he was struggling to come with it.

     

     

    Teams know if they leave gordon with the ball he will kixk it out the park if centrebacks are not shopping for ball i.e. chips to fullback are awful.

     

     

    I have lost count of the number of times loose ball or hospital passes force instant pressing on our backline with midfielders in front of play and thereafter unable to influence the game. Clearly that will impacts on the midfielders who cant play their normal game.

     

     

    Despite that i do agree that the midfield has been below par in terms of movement and passing and in amstrong’s cases runs BEYOND the front line. I have lost count of the number of times calmac shoots from 25+ yards when there are better options out wide. Rogic has not shown enough this season.

     

     

    It is very clear we are not using width well this season and the fact we dont have a threat out wide right (overlapping fullback) means teams can more easily manage our threat down the wider areas too.

     

     

    To my mind personal changes and improvement is needed.

     

     

    Need a keeper who can play to the style we as ateam try to play.

     

     

    Boyato needs replaced by a ball playing centreback who can at any time move forward.

     

     

    We need a rightback who has the ability to overlap and is comfortable on the ball.

     

     

    Ncham needs to be playing every week. Even when he is having a poor game he always shows for the ball and will play passes into good areas for runners rather than look for the simple sideway passes. Leave that to brown in the deeper role. Thereafter we should be playing one of amstrong, calmac or kiassi, unless we can promotion or purchase better.

     

     

    Finally we need one of our strikers to get a sustained run in the team and we need the ball to move throught the pitch and up to whoever is up front as quickly as possible

     

     

    HH

  23. TONTINE TIM on 8TH JANUARY 2018 2:46 PM

     

     

    I am always weary of doing the player comparisons thing as generally you are setting yourself for a bit of egg on the old chops. And you are totally right often an environment is just as important as the ability a player or manager has.

     

     

    I very much doubt that Compper is at level that Rieper played at that season but his size, posture, and playing style certainly reminds me of him.

     

     

    Fingerscrossed csc

  24. Big packy, boyato is for the most part decent when it come to basic defending under pressure i.e no time to think, when not in posession of the ball, when using his pace to trick back etc…

     

     

    Problem is we have a large amount of posession in just about every game and teams actually set themselves up with him in mind. He will occasionally play a decent pass but you can be sure he will give the ball away cheaply in vital areas of the pitch and he will pass his own team mate into trouble due to poor distribution. That causes panic throughtout the team and effects everyone

     

     

    HH

  25. Surely an FtSFA enquiry is needed around this Jamie Walker to Wigan Deal.

     

     

    Hearts were informed in the summer that if they did not accept the bid in the summer he would leave for nothing by signing a pre-contract in January. Then he is sold to Wigan???

     

     

    I demand answers!!!!

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