Rare wisdom about making mistakes


In many years of writing here I’ve never before used a piece of Charlie Nicholas wisdom; there is not too much to choose from.  One of his comments stuck in my head, though.  A year after Celtic won at Arsenal in the Pierce O’Leary Testimonial, but went on to lose the league, Arsenal thumped Celtic 1-5 in Glasgow.

In a rare generous mood towards his former club, after the game Nicholas said, “These matches are all about making mistakes”.  What the returning Celtic manager Billy McNeill needed more than anything was information.  Arsenal provided plenty that afternoon.  The lesson was clear, Billy and his players had a lot of work to do.

What happened that season is now part of our folklore.  Billy pursued, and within two months signed, Frank McAvennie, Celtic steamrollered their way to the league title and completed the double against Dundee Untied at Hampden.  Heavy preseason defeats to Arsenal (and Stromstad) were grist to the mill, a part of an eventual successful outcome, just as the doing West Ham’s doled out last year was.

Celtic would benefit from flushing out their mistakes in their three remaining preseason games.  Thus far, the build-up has been useful in putting energy into the legs, but we need better tests.

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  1. Next 3 games — opposition is not of a very high standard.


    What we need is a game against WHU or similar.

  2. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    Any posters with info regarding watching live Celtic games in Perth WA,for a fellow fan,would be greatly appreciated.

  3. If Ange was bluffing about the young PSG midfielder, one huge advantage to us would be the return of “I wanna be, I wanna be Edouard.”

  4. Go tell the Spartim on

    Goodness knows the consternation on Man Utd quick news, that Martinez is only 5′ 9″?



    Previous article.



    Thanks for looking out that information.


    I had never heard of Derek Rylance, you would think anyone who scored a hat trick against Celtic, especially in that era, would be brought out by the MSM every so often to reminisce.

  6. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 14TH JULY 2022 12:13 PM


    Goodness knows the consternation on Man Utd quick news, that Martinez is only 5′ 9″?





    They know Harry Maguire’s Head is 4ft 2in alone….




  7. Pingback: Rare wisdom about making mistakes | Celtic FC News Now

  8. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the Vaults, Hamilton. With Leggy and Brian Mc. Pair of drunks, I may be led astray.

  9. Problem is of course that we could play a friendly against a Real Madrid team full of reserves at the start of their preseason, or an unknown team like Bodo/Glimt who are at the end of their preparations



    Blackburn and Norwich start their league seasons in the same weekend as us so will be at the same stage in their pre-season, so you should get your wish.



    Ange seems to have a treat in mind for those who spent a lot of last season complaining about fannyabootball, if the friendlies are anything to go by. The positions Joe Hart is taking up might finish a few of us off if it carries on into the competitive fixtures. But if you don’t try it out in these games when can you?

  10. “STEBHOY on 14TH JULY 2022 11:45 AM


    its alarming to me that we have not yet addressed our defensive frailties –”



    Would that be the same `defensive frailties` that led to us having a near 50% better defensive recorded than the second best defence in Scotland?



    Of course our record in Europe was poor but it is unfair to pick and choose just to make a point. We play in Scotland and our defensive record is excellent.

  11. Why Bologna and other Serie A clubs are targeting young Scottish players



    Josh Doig and Lewis Ferguson have become the latest young Scottish players to move to Serie A; Aaron Hickey’s success at Bologna, who sold him to Brentford for an initial £14m, two years after signing him from Hearts for £1.5m, has encouraged other Italian clubs


    When Aaron Hickey found the net in a 2-2 draw between Bologna and Genoa last September, he became only the fourth Scottish player to score a goal in Italy’s Serie A. The others? Joe Jordan, Graeme Souness and Denis Law. It had been a while.



    Hickey, a £1.5m signing from Hearts a year earlier, went on to score another four goals over the course of the campaign, breaking into the Scottish national team and attracting interest from a host of suitors before his £18m move to Brentford.



    The full-back’s success in Italy has helped open the door to others.



    Former Celtic midfielder Liam Henderson, whose arrival in Italy predated Hickey’s by two years, appeared in every one of Empoli’s Serie A fixtures last season, while Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson, 22, and Hibernian’s Josh Doig, 20, have this week sealed £3m moves to Bologna and Hellas Verona respectively.



    They are not the only ones to have been targeted. Udinese had a bid for Celtic’s 22-year-old centre-back Stephen Welsh knocked back in January, while Bologna made repeated attempts to sign Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen before his £6.5m move to Liverpool.



    The expectation in Italy is that more will follow.



    “My first thought about Scottish football is that the Scottish Premiership is an incredibly, incredibly underrated league,” Francesco Struzzo, a scout for Bologna between 2018 and 2021, tells Sky Sports over



    “In my opinion, it doesn’t have quite enough attention in the eyes of many scouting departments around the world.



    “Scottish football is fast, dynamic and physical, so for Italian clubs who are trying to find young players who have these requirements, I think it is a good league to watch and, right now, not find too much competition for players.”



    Struzzo knows that from experience. He was initially responsible for scouting domestic recruits aged between 15 and 18 in his role at Bologna but after the Covid outbreak brought football to a standstill in March 2020, he was assigned to remote analysis of other leagues.



    “When the first Covid lockdown happened, like my other colleagues, I was obliged to watch games with scouting video analysis tools and I had the chance to watch quite a lot of Scottish games, both the youth national teams and also clubs,” he says.



    Scotland had already become an area of focus for Bologna’s recruitment department at that point.



    “When I arrived at Bologna in 2018, they were quite involved in scouting northern leagues, so Denmark, Finland, Sweden and of course Scotland,” says Struzzo.



    “I can say they operated there a long, long time ago.”



    Their knowledge of the market helped when it came to signing Hickey.



    “Behind a move like Aaron Hickey’s one in 2020, we as Bologna spend tonnes of hours looking for the right player and analysing them, by video analysis and games in real life,” says Struzzo.



    “That part of the work is consistent, but I can say the most difficult part of the work is to identify which player is most suitable to playing in the Italian Serie A.



    “When you watch Scottish Premiership games, you can tell there are a lot of valuable players, but when scouting based on Serie A, the priority is that they should be the right one for the team.”

  12. In the spirit of Charlie Nic every post today should start with “just sitting here thinking”

  13. I think playing against Rapid Vienna ( Boooh ) was a test against the standard of team that in my opinion we should be able to compete with in Europe. Ideally, teams in pre season would get progressively harder but that isn’t clearly always possible. I think what we have seen in the games so far only underlined what everybody on this site knows, that we need another Centre Half and some steel in the midfield. This is as good a squad of players that we have had since the sixties, I am happy to sit and let Ange sort things out. He has done a brilliant job so far and I think he will continue to do so.

  14. For any number of seasons now we have usually been in competitive footbal l european qualifiers.


    Unprepared, light weight, makeshift teams, kids promoted and the written off as we struggled to get past any decent teams. On here was a case study in anxiety and angst.



    This season Ange has breathing space, he has time to assess properly, his mid season purchases got sometime off and now can have a full pre-season build up. He also gets time to pick his players, the press can list a thousand names snubbing celtic, I coudnt give a rats ass as long as we get who Ange wants in time to bed in for the real tests, and by the way still 2 full weeks before we kick a ball in anger.



    Last blogs comments around weak defending, slack passin, mistakes in midfield and attack, goalkeeper/sweeper leaving his box …………….



    I mean seriouily what does it matter in the bigger picture ?



    I see board dithering comments again, whatever that is meant to mean, maybe our targets are still on a proper holiday.



    anyways wait till we lose some goals to english lower league teams,



    hey ho.




    I didn’t click on the Sunday Post article you posted. So didn’t realise he had been wheeled out by the press. Seems like a humble kind of guy and this is probably why we don’t hear much about that game.

  16. SARGASSOSEA on 14TH JULY 2022 11:44 AM






    Yes I know MCTALL and have also shared many a beer with him home and away. He is a couple of inches taller than me!



    Good news,say hello to McTall and wish him well,that was bout 2012/3 we all met up,hazy night with the memory,but there was a good few tims there at The Partick Tavern.


    Ps.he is a good few inches taller than me,way the tallest on cqn.





    Yup,it is unusual a hatrick v the hoops at Hampden,that there isnae a junior reporter who hurts little to bring it up,maybe tis due to his(rylance) double vs oldklub in a 3-2 victory for Arbroath :-))




  17. CELTIC40ME on 14TH JULY 2022 12:36 PM



    Or , in some cases, maybe ` just sitting here not thinking` would be more accurate !



    Time for Le Tour.



    Cheerio for now.

  18. There really is no point in asking Ange to be more defensive minded and less wide open. He has told us many times- he does not see football in those terms. He already feels, with some justification, that he has the defensive side covered. That’s not to say that we cannot improve it but all our early predictions have not come true (well not at all levels of competition).



    When Ange (and Brendan) arrived, I predicted we would score a lot and ship a lot of goals. I was dead wrong- we scored lots but had pretty good defensive records, at least at SPFL level. With both these managers, it often looked scary at the back with oppositions breaking against a back two or a back one, and yet they still did not convert as midfielders rushed back to assist and deny.



    Ange makes plenty of tactical adjustments during matches but the one thing he does not do is to play a back 5 or 6 and ask the remaining 5 to break down packed defences looking for a 0:0 win.



    And, even if he did, do we not recall what pragmatic managers like WGS found out. Good teams (and even Artmedia) could still score barrowloads against us and it’s hard to win in Europe if your high scoring match involves scoring just 2 goals.



    Now, I don’t disagree that we need more CB cover- we do, mostly because I don’t see a Chris Jullien committed and happy to stay. Ange may well look for a certain type of DM, with a skill set of tackling and interception but he will not choose one who is a third CB and never leaves his half. The modern game does not allow for this. Our game demands that midfielders flood forward to provide options for our front three and that they flood back to help our defence. We even ask our front three to defend by pressing to prevent the ball ever reaching the defence.



    All of this, patiently explained by Ange, means our demands/requests for him to change are just farts in the wind.



    If you want a changed style, sack Ange, but you won’t find much support for that.



    Meanwhile, Ange will continue to develop and recruit mobile players in all positions and expect them all to prevent goals even when opposition break free against our exposed back 2 by showing their speed, mobility and fitness to run back and assist the exposed defence before the opposition advantage can be developed.



    And we have a right to expect it to work better this season than last as he has had training, preparation and recruitment time that he did not have before last season’s Euro campaign got going. That does not mean we won’t ship 4 or more goals again. The type of teams we will face in CL are capable of taking 4 or more off better teams and more expensively assembled and defensively minded teams than us.



    The CL is a scary environment but all our pros want to show what they can do against those big teams and, while they will respect the power of the opposition, will be determined not to fear them.



    With my heart, I look forward to these encounters.



    With my head, I fear we will still lose more than we win.



    But in balance between my head and heart, I can see no other way to progress and improve but by being brave and determined and fit with a team full of faster, fitter mobile players with good touch.



    And, finally as for aerial goals conceded, in my amateur view most are not lost to a lack of strength and height but to a failure to track runs and mark space. Are bigger , stronger players the key to solving that mobility and game smarts issue?



    And in midfield, were our players muscled out by Bodo Glimt and others? That’s not how I saw it- those players gave us a run around by moving it faster and earlier than we did. They played Angeball better than us.



    The only exception I saw was Sevco’s ability to foul us without appropriate ref response and bigger harder players might match them and /or get retribution but the problem wasn’t being bullied by Jack, Lundstram or Aribo; it was refs allowing fouling that is not allowed elsewhere in Europe. Coaching cannot change that ref’s issue.



    Despite this problem, we still overcame them domestically, so we should not adjust our set up to address an issue we can already beat. We need a better way to play in Europe- frightening as it is- I think Ange has earned the right to apply his approach in what I consider to be his first prepared season in Europe – and it’s right at football’s highest level- Champion’s League



    Strap yourselves in.



    I think Perth CSC meet in Johnny Fox’s now when were there in 2017 they were based in Rosie O’Grady’s , it was a great set up and could accommodate 500 people , I met up with a former poster on here WILLIEFERNIE HH ☘



    Just looked at BIG WAVY’S link it seems Rosie’s is now Johnny Fox’s !

  21. HOT SMOKED on 14TH JULY 2022 12:50 PM



    Haha! Thanks for reminding me, I’m hoping the Tour is half as good today as it was yesterday.

  22. Have heard about McTall a few times, Someone told me his height but I’ve forgotten,


    I have a hazy recollection that he is over 7ft,

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