Progress and different sauce


In 2006 we qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League after five games.  A memorable win that night was achieved with the following players: Boruc, Telfer, Balde, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura (Miller 85), Gravesen, Lennon, Sno (Jarosik 46), Vennegoor of Hesselink, Zurawski (Maloney).

Who out of that side would get into the current team?  Balde, Nakamura, Lennon, anyone else?  I can see and argument for and against Boruc, but the rest were either average of largely disappointing during their times at Celtic.

The different sauce was style.  Gordon Strachan was unforgivingly industrial, Ange Postecoglou’s is relentlessly artistic.  Ange is on a mission to raise our standards to a level that we not only reach the knockout stage of the Champions League, but can do so playing confident, attacking football.  He is early enough in his tenure that this still seems possible.

We have been here before.  Five years ago, Brendan Rodgers led us into this tournament in his second season.  He was rewarded with a remarkable 0-3 away to Anderlecht, but we lost the other fives games, including a few batterings.  The wheels came off his Celtic project the following summer when he was denied the opportunity to take a lucrative contract in China.  The development plan was for nowt.

Disappointing though this campaign has been, it is not on the level of where we were as recently as February, when a preseason Bodo/Glimt schooled us home and away. Ange’ stock remains spectacularly high and if his commitment to the job is where I believe it to be, we get to go again.

All we know for sure is that there is no magic sauce.  You can go the industrial route and make meritocratic, if limited, progress, or you work to make your systems better and test the new iteration every season.

If you organise our priorities across this multi-year process, you might reasonably conclude that top of the list is beating Hibs on Saturday.

That Celtic team from 2006 I was a tad disrespectful of above beat a team that included Ronaldo, Giggs, Rooney, Ferdinand, Scholes and Van der Sar.  Industry is always an option.

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  1. BJB @ 11.52



    Covered seats — distance of the crowd from the playing surface?


    The JS / LL stands might be too close to the playing surface?



    Or the seating levels mean that the CL electronic boards would impact on sightlines — if this was the case then the NS would have similar issues.



    Or — TFOD2.1 exceptionalism — they take orders from no-one and will sell the seats if they want to.



    Not sure if things have calmed down now but there have been tales — especially last season’s EuL cup crawl that the TFOD2.1 sold more tickets than seats and it got a bit busy in the passageways.



    Last night’s TV seemed to show that the view from the SDM friendly / Club Deck / Attic still leaves a lot to be desired — they have moved the pitch away from the Main Stand after it was built as the view was so bad but you had people out of their seats watching over the top of the front rail.

  2. Let’s beat Shaktar and the spaniards and close on a high.



    Improve the squad in January.



    Win league.



    Get more experience for the team.



    Improve the squad in the summer.



    Get better at the process.



    Rinse and repeat.



    Anything else is just short-term, limited pish that relies on the odd Tony Watt montage or the Artur Boruc penalty save.



    And anyway, MM told us the top 5 leagues are now pish and so I’m expecting us to win the big cup as a result in the next 3 seasons.




  3. lets all do the huddle on

    Who out of that side would get into the current team?





    yes paul



    but which team would be more likely to ptogress in europe?



    we had 6 wee waifs in our starting line up on tuesday



    and 7 in the previous CL game



    a problem we have had for years



    so when they come up against bigger stronger fitter players…



    well our record will show you what happens

  4. Spending a bit of time on Sevco sites this morning and one thing jumped out; there’s a post about the direction of the club and how all the other team – reserves and age groups – all play to a set pattern 4-3-3. The first team has abandoned the tactics and style that is part of the blueprint for the whole organization at the altar of short term pragmatism abd it hassorc

  5. P67 — still griping about BR?



    Not an issue in and of itself — but selling board propaganda?


    Not good.

  6. garygillespieshamstring on

    There is progress in Europe but sometimes the thought of Progres in Europe can also bring a smile to my face.



    My favourite hedge fund.

  7. BW @ 12.09



    Please come back with better analysis / comments than that?



    The Bundesliga is not a great league.


    Last season’s CL / EuL results showed that in spades.


    Very up and down / strange league rankings.



    If we managed to get into that league — where would we finish this season?



    Tuesday night was a poor result against a bang average team.


    We were wasteful / sloppy / fearful — they hung on in there and took their chances in the second half.

  8. The game at the very elite level has moved on in terms of technique, athleticism and tactical awareness. Try and find something that works like Ange, or repeat your failures in an ever more disastrous downward cycle.



    We have to look forward to our last two games with hope and expectation. Survival is one option but what happens to you psychologically once survival is out the door. They must be keeching themselves at the prospect of an away game in Naples with no fans, far more than we will be when we go to the European champions.



    Small mercies perhaps

  9. ‘Who out of that side would get into the current team’







    Apart from Boruc which of them would suit Angeball?

  10. Why do other teams have players that are fitter and stronger than ours?



    We would appear to have no strength programme / proper physical conditioning.



    MO’R / DT looked as if they were on hunger strike from last week — their BMI figure would bring a round of applause / gasps at a WW’s meeting.



    MoJ is what is known as a wishbone second row in Egg Chasing circles — he has arm development that would not be out of place at Paris Fashion week.



    Add in the Snow White vibe and the high intensity / high press and we are lucky to be a 60 minute team.



    CCV is lucky — he is big boned.


    GG has put in the effort before he made it to G40.



    Others are not so lucky.

  11. If fitness is so much of a problem how come we’ve outrun the opposition in 3 of our 4 games and were 2% off Leipzig’s stats in Germany

  12. Ange’s style gives us all something to look forward to, our games are a great watch for the most part. Other Celtic teams didn’t have that same quality.



    I’ve seen some argue that your style is your style, coached and set in stone regardless of the opponents. So we play Hibs on Saturday the same way we will play in Madrid. That seems a bit mental to me.



    Systems should be fluid enough to be tweaked and altered (not discarded) as needed.



    We’ll be able to assess better after we’ve completed our six Cl games but in some respects, it doesn’t matter. Ange isn’t changing. So we suck it up.

  13. C40 @ 12.37



    Start with — Lies / damned lies / statistics.



    It is not a case of what we have ran — but when we did the running and in what state were we for the last 30 minutes?



    No use burning yourself out in the first half if you dip in the second half and collapse at 60 / 65 / 70 minutes.

  14. Boruc


















    Vennegoor of Hesselink





    This is a much brawnier cohort than we regularly field at present. Neddish, in parts, if being honest.


    That said, TRFC had a fair smattering of bogans yesterday, and it did them FA good.



    Success P67 surely needs to be 50% game plan, and 50% absolute belief in it.

  15. WGS a success at Celtic no doubt, but his teams produced some of the most turgid football i have ver watched

  16. AD @ 12.41



    It is not a case of AP changing.


    It is a case of AP learning.



    Napoli as this season’s flyers — what can we learn from them?



    No matter our set up / tactics — the one lesson that we could learn straight away is that you have to win your personal battles.



    We don’t in fact at times we don’t even try.



    Not good.

  17. BSR


    I spent the afternoon at our local Bus terminal watching the buses being parked, got bored after 10 minutes.

  18. Celtic40me



    I suspect we’d need to consider when in the game most of the running is done.


    We tend to start like a fair then things slow down as the game progresses.


    Far from contradicting the point, it may be that your stats back up that our approach may be an issue.


    Are teams setting up to counter our blitzkrieg, knowing we’ll tire and they can simply pick us off later in the game?


    Some further analysis required

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “The wheels came off his Celtic project the following summer when he was denied the opportunity to take a lucrative contract in China.”




    Who denied him, Paul – surely not this guy?:



    And of course all know what caused the wheels to come off:





    Can’t really compare different times. Strachan inherited a pot 2 team (O’Neill improved us from pot 4) then we went back to pot 4 again.


    Ange has us playing the right way. Park-the-bus football is well past its peak. It will still get you the odd result but you won’t be getting to the later stages.

  20. QDP @ 12.45



    The other issue is experience — the 2006 team mentioned was a lot more experienced than the one we put out on Tuesday.



    We have young players that are inexperienced.


    We have not so young players than lack EuL / CL experience.


    The whole club is wearing L plates regarding CL games.


    PL take a bow.

  21. GTTF @ 12.50



    DD as our “majority” shareholder — “shome mistake surely”?


    Never managed to get above 38% holding.


    Seemingly at 33% now.

  22. 12.53pm otherwise known as



    7mins to 1



    Roll on the Hibees Kyogo is going start banging the goals in soon

  23. Sevco must surely be facing a sever sanctioned. Charging way support after attempted assaults on Napoli players.



    To say nothing of the constant racism

  24. MM,



    Nobody is convinced. No matter how often you repeat it



    The Bundesliga is a good league, arguably the best in Europe. I believe its attendances are the highest in Europe and they have a focus on youth development.



    Any team that repeatedly makes the top four are a good team.



    I watched the hun game, but admittedly didn’t have much interest until the second half.


    Liverpool are a good team going through a bad patch.



    The huns were destroyed and embarrassed.



    I like Angeball and we have not been embarrassed in any of our games. The statistics do not tell the full picture. 53 decent chances in 4 games tells a better picture.


    Angeball works if we score goals. It is not an exaggeration to say we could have had a result against the best : Real Madrid.



    Our journey just needs us to take a better ratio of chances. It is really that simple.



    As for Artur Boruc. Whats Debatable? At his peak he was easily in the top 5 of best goalkeepers on the planet.



    We believe, we belong.



    HH, the journey continues.

  25. P67 Who out of that side would get into the current team ?






    All of them I would say. They were good enough to progress with a game to spare. Strachan’s football was “unforgivingly industrial ” . What does that actually mean, were we a team of journeymen, thugs, and bodybuilders ?



    The 3-0 win over Benfica was one of the most complete performances I have witnessed from Celtic in the Champions League. And then WGS sent Sir Furious back to Salford even more furious than usual. Nights that will live long in the memory.


    Strachan picked us off the floor after the nightmare of 22/5/05 and won 3IAR. Not a bad record considering we were well into the DD/PL profit/bonus/dividend model.



    My Celtic is all about winning football. Once we start going down the artistic/romantic route that we lost…but…..unlucky…….missed chances. Happy clappy losers. No thanks.

  26. Going as hard as you can for 60 minutes and then bringing on subs in the key areas is an unconventional approach but it gives us as good a chance as any system or line up against superior opposition imo.



    Were no less fit than other teams, we’re choosing how to use that fitness in a different way

  27. Peak era Boruc was better than Joe Hart as was Forster.



    My memory says that Naka was often off the pace in the CL even if he did score wonderful FKs.



    And for some reason we didn’t get the best out of Jarosik.



    He didn’t seem interested in the SPL but looked c omfortable in the CL.

  28. According to Darren Fletcher, on the trip back to Manchester, SAF turned angrily to van der Sar.



    ‘Will you be getting a copy of that wee Japanese’s highlights video ?’



    ‘Cos, you’re in f***ing most of it !’

  29. MM – experienced in terms of age, yes, but not at that high altitude level fitba.



    Telfer (an unflashy dependable), McManus (same) Naylor, Lennon and Zurawski were rough-hewn and accomplished journeymen, which is pretty much what les huns put out yesterday. And got roundly pumped.



    If we accept we’re a WIP and – with humility and patience – shut wur traps and let Ange get on with it, we might see better results in coming years.

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