Progress will be about how we defend, penalties


There’s been a palpable sense of relief among all of us since Leigh Griffiths scored in Astana last midweek, but as Wednesday’s second leg draws nearer, the reality that our Champions League hopes are very much on the line is dawning.

Astana’s natural game in Europe is to defend and play on the break. They kept a clear sheet in Vilnius in the last round and conceded only twice on the road in last season’s three away qualifiers against Maribor, HJK Helsinki and APOEL Nicosia – decent qualifier opponents by any measure.

They will put two men on both Patrick Roberts and Leigh Griffiths, and sit deep, hoping to draw Celtic into leaving space at the back. This is the exact scenario we lost out to otherwise inferior teams in Europe over the last two seasons. We enjoyed possession and territorial advantage (home and away) but were ripped open on the break.

Progress to the playoff round will be all about how well we defend.

The bulk of tomorrow’s training session should be set aside for the practice of penalty kicks. Celtic lose far too many penalty competitions, and despite legacy notions which persist in British football, penalties can be practiced. 10 players should hit at least 10 penalties each.

Dreadful news that Tommy Gemmell was hospitalised over the weekend. He’s been a great friend to CQN in recent years and I know we all send him our best wishes.

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  1. What happened to the ole Sevco Crossbar Challenge Money?



    This was the Sevco version of ‘Baawwrrrie’ but as fate would have it as usual some pirate


    made off with the money before it could be put to good use in Bosmandome.



    ShowwLiquidationTheRedCard CSC – ( How did that go again?)

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    Pick a corner of the goal. Hit the ball low and hard to the corner of choice.



    Repeat endlessly.

  3. Sid, I was with u right until u planted the seed, then I imagined myself falling over my own feet.

  4. Regarding penalties.



    What would happen if the keeper stood, not in the middle, but a bit to one side, two or three feet maybe?



    Would everyone then hit it to the ‘bigger’ side?



    And would the keeper then not have to think about which way to dive?



    And would more penalties go wide because the pressure is on the taker to hit it into the corner?

  5. Tommy G looks very frail for his relatively young age of 72 for nowadays. Fractured hips are a curse of having old bones.

  6. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    Sure henke scored 20+ penalties for us and missed 3 maybe.



    Need to go check it out.



    Maybe missed via Valencia

  7. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    Remember though hunskelper tommo. Hartson. Sutton. Petrov . all were penalty takers on and off.

  8. Delaneys Dunky on 1st August 2016 3:56 pm




    So sorry to hear about Tommy Gemmell.





    My mother is recovering from a fractured hip bone, and she now wears a pendant alarm round her neck that can attract help from the health authorities, in an emergency.




    from the 8th of August my mam has to pay £5per week for alarm, North Lanarkshire council sent her a letter two weeks ago



    On your point of Efe’s time being up i agree which is a shame as he is a very good athlete.


    Unfortunately like many of our players he has very little game sense.


    This has been a coaching issue with our team and i hope Brendan can rectify.


    Efe like most of our players is reactionary.


    We need to change this to proactive before we can really improve.


    The goal on saturday wether he got a shout or not was down to the angle of his body.


    In Malta he took himself wrong side which is criminal for an experienced defender.


    Both of those two goals were down to his choices and not bad luck.


    Brown constantly overcommitting in central areas and Bitton constantly wrong side are also examples of this.


    The simple teaching of body positioning when giving and receiving a pass would improve our team enormously.

  10. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    All this talk of our defence and McNair.



    Willie Maley- “The coolest,most intelligent player I ever seen”.




    We could be doin’ with the ole Icycle on wodensday night!

  11. Odds used to be in takers favour



    Since goalies can move along line and more so out off line



    Keepers have advantage




  12. Geordie Munro on

    Back when Boyata was still a good signing for us he scored two oggys in a week.



    I’d bet a pound to a penny he didn’t get as much grief as Efe is getting.




  13. When I played football to a fairly high standard where we had tactics, the players were still tol ld to keep talking to one another in case said tactics fell down on occasions.

  14. Geordie Munro on




    True dat.



    Also back in the old days many keeper were rubbidge. ;)




  15. Delaneys Dunky on




    I remember Frank Munro scoring 2 og’s on his debut, and getting nowhere near the abuse that Efe gets.

  16. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    Celtic v Motherwell League Cup game live on BT Sport.


    A week on Wednesday.

  17. Penalties …



    I think I read that Jimmy McGrory’s astonishing goal haul was amassed despite him only taking a total of 3 (three) penalties, the last of which was in his final game for the Hoops … and he missed it!



    A veritable Sundance Kid …




  18. Geordie Munro on




    I watched the 2nd half of the Leicester game in a local boozer.



    My mate goes ‘ffs efes just on and that’s Leicester scored!’



    Next thing a group of neutrals/ huns who were glued to the nags started with the laughing and the old ‘aw ffs see that big whatever has done it again!’



    It was round the pub in seconds that Efe cost us the goal.



    Mental likes neebs




  19. As hot as in the hun free mountain valley.


    The only good thing about Efe being the escape goat is someone else is being left alone.


    What a sad state of affairs that the Celtic support need an escape goat, are they-you jealous of the huns having a goat fettish and need one yourselfs, pathetic.

  20. Delaneys Dunky on




    Watched the Astana game in my local. The amount of OAP Tims ( who should know better) screaming abuse at Efe was sickening. Mind you, they all read the Record or the Sun.

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

    Said it before.



    People booing Celtic players – never Celtic supporters in a million years.



    Get along to Ibrox where you belong.






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

    I mean booing at the game…in the comfort of your own home / hostelry, do what you like.



    Booing while at the game helps only our opponents, and harms Celtic.



    If you want to help our opponents – fek off and support them.






  23. I see Bournesouprecipe is showing aff again with his Baawwrrie challenge. He knows that we never had crossbars in ML3 and a shot was over the imaginary bar or under it depending on what side the best fighter was playing for.


    Cannot remember too many penalties taken by BSR but he definately the best diver at getting them.







  24. Geordie Munro on

    “The only good thing about Efe being the escape goat is someone else is being left alone.”






    My two mates who constantly slag Efe, sadly, will move on to someone else. Guaranteed.



    They simply cannot defend Celtic. They just join in with the abuse when an error/defeat happens and take the easy way out.




  25. The hate Efe thing has come from the media, they have stoked the pot till Efe no matter what he does it’s wrong.


    The same media who managed to get rid of Ronny, so what do we do, bring in a better version of Ronny, a massive fail from the medias point of view, take the huns, the media ignore their problems, the hun gets liquidated, another massive fail by the media, and history is repeating itself all over again.


    I thank the smsm every single day for their lack of bottle and balls in reporting the truth, in fact I am toasting them just now with a lovely cold beer.

  26. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I mind Willie Garner scored an og and gave away a pen in his debut. He got boo’d…………..


    By me.



    Big puddin’

  27. BABASONICOS71 on

    BIG GEORGE has got it right: booing our players at a game only helps our opponents.If you boo and are reading this please take a few seconds to process that information.IT HARMS CELTIC and only Celtic.So please put an end to it and help the team rather than hindering it.It’s best for all of us.

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