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. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I will boo again………………


    …………if Willie Garner comes back ;)




  2. Geordie Munro on




    Very. I just don’t see the point of dwelling on the negatives.



    By all means Brendan and the coaches should be but I just couldn’t enjoy a game if all I looked for was mistakes.



    Funny thing about my two mates is they do a bit of Saturday amateur coaching. And they’re fking murder :D




  3. Wee BGFC/BGFC



    What were the 2 hills you done yesterday? Well done btw






    Tommy Gemmell get well soon




  4. Delaneys Dunky on




    When have you seen a Celtic player’s performance improve in a match due to booing from his own fans?


    When have you seen a Celtic player’s performance improve in a match due to support from his own fans?

  5. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    I stand corrected on henke penalties.


    Rubbish record.



    Mark Reid CSC

  6. South Of Tunis on




    “_They used to sing – Baggio /Baggio – the Angels sing in his legs.Then I missed that penalty and became a piece of shit ”



    Scorchio -38 @6 pm -way down south.

  7. Delaneys Dunky on




    Would prefer 3-0 on Wed, but 0-0 would do.


    Nerves would be shattered from 80 mins on though.

  8. DELANEYS DUNKY on 1ST AUGUST 2016 5:05 PM






    When have you seen a Celtic player’s performance improve in a match due to booing from his own fans?



    When have you seen a Celtic player’s performance improve in a match due to support from his own fans?



    More to the point. How does a squad improve without adding quality to it?

  9. Geordie Munro on

    “More to the point. How does a squad improve without adding quality to it?”






    Admit it. You just added ‘more to the point’ to that post in order to shoehorn your daily moan into the conversation.

  10. GEORDIE MUNRO on 1ST AUGUST 2016 5:24 PM


    “More to the point. How does a squad improve without adding quality to it?”








    Admit it. You just added ‘more to the point’ to that post in order to shoehorn your daily moan into the conversation.



    Leaving aside that I have been posted missing a few days recently. Instead of sniping at the messenger, just answer the question.

  11. BABASONICOS71 on



    “More to the point. How does a squad improve without adding quality to it?”




    Proper coaching and dedicated practise?

  12. The Battered Bunnet on

    Efe doesn’t get half the abuse that Cafu Telfer or Heid Caldwell got. I think they were in some way proxies for WGS for the (significant) element of our fans who just didn’t like the wee guy.



    I mind getting sick and tired of the fellow and his father sat next to me match after match, going to games, it seemed, simply to pounce on the first mistake by one or the other. Having failed to encourage them to give it a break, I posted about it here, and guess what? The pair of them shut up thereafter. One-nil to CQN.



    Momo Sylla and Ulrik Laursen were similarly abused doggedly during MON’s time, Agathe too at times, and even Thommo esp in his last season. I recall Thommo giving it the “ear” to the fans after scoring (against Hearts?) at Celtic Park.



    There was actually a time not so long ago when the groans started immediately the team lineup was read out before the game, forcing the announcer into ensuring the team was locked up in the dressing room and out of earshot of the crowd.



    But none of this is particularly new to Celtic and Celtic fans. As I wrote over the weekend, it’s been going on since I started going to the game in the 1970s, and doubtless long before that, attested to by some aulder heids on here in recent days.



    I’d go as far as to say that some folk go to the match for the enjoyment they derive from abusing players, and the phenomenon is considerably more pronounced at the many lower league games I’ve been at: the worst ever being a Queens Park v East Fife fixture in which the crowd seemed to believe there were extra points up for grabs for the most profane, longest-sustained abuse of a player in their own team.



    Some folk just like to criticise their own players during a match. It’s pretty unpleasant for the individual involved, diminishes the experience of the supporters around them, and does little to encourage performance.



    I don’t know that it impacts negtively on the performance of the player, but I’ve seen the opposite thing – encouragement after a mistake – generate a hugely positive response.



    Remember the reaction of the crowd when Craig Gordon ‘threw one in’ versus Inter? It might very well have made the man’s Celtic career.



    Back to Efe; If it’s confined to a handful of trumpets in the crowd and the usual suspects in print, it oughtn’t be an issue. If his team mates pick up on it, it’s the end of a Celtic career.



    That said, is he related at all to Olivier Tebily? :¬)

  13. Geordie Munro on




    Funny enough I’ve been posted missing for a few days too. It must be only on the days I read the blog that you post the same thing :)



    But getting to your question I have no idea what you refer to. So I’m kinda struggling.



    But if it’s Celtic you refer to I think we have improved by adding. Starting with Brendan through to toure.



    And if more don’t arrive by the end of the window I’ll be astounded.




  14. Geordie Munro on




    Of course that’s the obvious answer but he probably knew that ;)




  15. First of all, I don’t condone booing any Celtic player during a match. I have been close many times and can understand why guys around me occasionally lose it, but it does nothing positive for the team or indeed the player.



    However…as for CQN…it’s incredible how many people on here can’t wait to defend Effe as a player. The guy is rank. As for the accusations of being a hun, being brainwashed by the media or needing a scapegoat levelled at anyone who can see it, well these are pathetic and childish.



    Effe Ambrose is the worst centre half I’ve seen at CP when it comes to judging a high ball. Many may disagree with this, but do they think he’s any good at this? It’s one of the most important jobs for a CH and he’s terrible at it. Constantly caught under the ball in the wrong position, and by the time he sorts himself out the ball is usually beyond him or in the attacker’s favour. Think about Juventus a few seasons ago, for me that should have been his last game for us.



    His positional sense is terrible also. Folk trying to defend him for the og on Saturday, saying he didn’t get a shout, etc, think about this…there was only one forward anywhere near the danger area…Effe was marking him…the player then drifted out towards the ball (in full vision of Effe) leaving a space behind him with no attacking playr anywhere near the vicinity…so my point is, if he doesn’t have enough awareness to know there’s no danger in a situation like that – with or without a shout form anyone else – then he shouldn’t be anywhere near a hoops shirt.



    Finally, those saying such and such scored an og on their debut, etc, etc and don’t get anywhere near the abuse he gets are completely missing the point…he’s been making the same mistakes for 3 years now and shows absolutely no signs of improvement. Coaches can only do so much, but if you’re a 24 year old CH then all the coaching in the world won’t teach you to head a ball if you can’t already. It’s not scapegoating, it’s pointing out reality. He gets away with at least 5-6 bombscares every game by the skin of his teeth. EVERY GAME.



    I’m sure he’s a nice big guy and all that, but that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) be enough to play for us. I’m sure when Brendan gets the players in that he wants the big man will be offski. There are others not good enough, but Effe’s been getting away with it for far too long now.

  16. Team Whipping Bhoy



    Rab Douglas



    Paul Telfer Efe Ambrose ( Captain) Olivier Tebily Graeme Sinclair



    Peter Grant Mike Galloway Massimo Donati Tommy Callaghan



    Tony Cascarino Vic Davidson



    Manager Ronny Deila

  17. Whether he is good bad or indifferent, Efe is merely a symptom, not the problem.


    The problem being a downward race to the bottom in recruitment of players.


    Every day that goes by indicates another transfer window that will result in the last minute acquisition of the dross that is left.


    A more hoonest approach would be to acquire the dross at the opening of the transfer window.

  18. I think ole Efe does reasonably well considering he’s playing whilst being FIFTH CHOICE Celtic Centre Back



    Simunovic Injured


    Boyata Injured


    Sviatchenko Injured


    Toure Unfit



    HeCan’tPickHimself CSC

  19. Geordie Munro on

    ” I think they were in some way proxies for WGS for the (significant) element of our fans who just didn’t like the wee guy.”






    Totally. Same with some reading johanson and Deila.



    I once had an argument with a guy who wouldn’t believe Ronny didn’t sign him.




  20. Just about fully recovered from a great weekend in Dublin.



    Ireland’s capital was indeed Green and White… everywhere u went there was a hooped jersey and the unmistakeable sound of a Glaswegian accent.



    Big shout out to the main man Almore and CQN’s very own rebel Corkcelt, great to meet you… another CQNer who looked exactly like i thought he would (along with Roy Croppie) and a big hail hail to Butsybhoy who unfortunatley i didnt get the time to properly meet (the eejit) as it was time to head to the match when he came stumbling out out of the Irishtown :-)



    Gearoid i saw your comment on the previous thread lol sure are we all, definition, handsome Tims?




  21. Geordie Munro on




    I often defend Efe but he’d be my 5th choice too when all are fit :)




  22. The Battered Bunnet on

    Think Liam Brady got considerably more grief than Ronny, to be fair, and WGS is the only manager to my knowledge for whom the ‘stadium’ sang GTF.



    Cascarino though, good lord. I think he actually improved with the abuse.

  23. Geordie Munro



    Young Slovakian creative mid Hendles Romorz currently lined up for helical at Ross Hall in the morning.



    Also in for Austrian U21 defender Noah Bomskerr who can cover right back or centre of defence.



    Just what I’m hearing neebs.



    HH jamesgang

  24. Ole EuroChamps67 played in every position including ‘the manager’.



    Back in the day ‘Long Shootie’ was his game and he was the only guy in ML3 that had a ‘Wembley Reg’


    If you chipped him you should have seen him getting back to tip the bar over his imaginary crossbar.

  25. TBB,



    I agree especially with the bit about those players as proxies for attacking WGS, whom too many too readily reckoned wasn’t Celtic-minded. Imo, you hit the nail on the head.






    Saw everyone of them. Going further back, as I said the other day, John (the original Yogi) and Stevie Chalmers regularly were targets for the boo boys.



    Have to be honest, I have vented my spleen at Pete the Pointer on more than 1 occasion. Mea maxima culpa.

  26. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Football is a game of emotions and we often run the full gamut of them in any given game.



    Joy at the good bits- frustration at the not so good bits.



    However, to those who justify continual verbal abuse of players, I would like to ask a question.



    What other forms of abuse to they consider justified?


    Physical, of one form or another?





    What group of people seriously deserve to be abused?( Don’t say the obvious answer).



    Is it the same abusers who hide behind the anonymity of the crowd who hide behind the anonymity of a Blog to abuse other posters?



    In short, what is the profile of an abuser?

  27. JAMESGANG on 1ST AUGUST 2016 5:51 PM



    Just managed to stop myself from googling them

  28. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    I’m sure big Gorgious can sympathize with Efe,took his fair share of pelters and then some did big Sammy.

  29. Whether Effe’s first of tenth choice is irrelevant. That’s a recruitment issue and a whole different argument. I’m talking solely about his performances when he’s given a chance and the following scramble to defend him. I accept he can’t pick himself. Not the point at all though.

  30. BABASONICOS71 on

    In my old seat in the upper North Stand there was a guy who sat in front of me who moaned about everything.Didn’t rate most of the players,thought singing YNWA was embarrasing as it was a “Liverpool song” and even griped about Tommy Burns’ trenchcoat.Every.Single.Game.


    Often wondered why he bothered going.

  31. And there it is…TET calls me a hun…very good.



    You fancy telling me why he’s a good player?



    Or you just sticking to the hun stuff?

  32. Booing – if you must, but your own player? Totally and utterly out of the question – nuff said.



    The crowd will push Celtic on, on Wednesday night – there will be no chance of a defensive approach – maybe it will suit the opposition, maybe not.



    They need to score so their counter-attacking style will have to be modified at some time during the game, if we keep a clean sheet.



    I believe we will score, maybe more than one – reasonably confident of the outcome.

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