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Result gives platform for progress

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Last night’s win didn’t look on the cards until the opening goal; Astra were passing the ball better and creating as many chances as Celtic.  It looked like the game we expected – without Commons or Guidetti. However, we find ourselves top of the group with 7 points from 9 at the halfway point, having recorded a draw away to top seed Salzburg.

There’s still a lot of work to do, a win away at Astra next time out in no way guarantees qualification, but we stand an excellent chance of progressing and a decent chance of topping the group.

Having thumped Ross County at the weekend there was a notion we’d turned a corner, which fed some of the frustration last night, despite the result.  What we saw was very poor passing from a disjointed team.  Players were receiving the ball in too little space, where options were already closed.  This impacted the effectiveness on Callum McGregor and Mikael Lustig in particular, but it seemed when every Celtic player looked up there wasn’t a good pass on.

This is all a consequence of change.  We look disjointed because we are disjointed.  We’re disjointed because we’re rebuilding.

The relevant questions are:

Do we need to rebuild?
Are we making progress?

Yes, we need to rebuild.  The squad, tactics, training and other processes are all going through change.  For so long we watched Celtic squads remain constant and grow old (under Martin O’Neill), or out tactics become rigid (under Martin and Gordon Strachan), to the point that we were crying out for some experimentation.

The above is seldom disputed but the question of progress is more important.  Right now Celtic need results.  They need to survive in the Europa League long enough to test and improve their passing, movement, instincts and, where necessary, squad.

Last night’s win wasn’t pretty but it was vitally important.  The next challenge for this team is also important; we need to go to Romania and put on the kind of performance we did in Salzburg.  If we can do that, we’ll have earned a platform to build on.

Caesar & the Assassin, the accounts of Billy McNeill and Davie Hay as Celtic managers, is available below.

Billy and Davie will both sign the early orders we get to them, more here.

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  1. RD will get it right.

     

    We are now getting results.

     

    Performance will follow.

     

    One thing I would criticise him for is the use of wingers.

     

    They are doing nothing for us and detracting from our midfield strength.

     

    Ditch the wingers RD

  2. On the part of the match I did see I have to say some, if not most, of our passing was shocking. How highly paid professionals cannot find a teammate 5-10 yards away is a mystery. Even playing so badly I did not have my usual panic attack, we were playing badly but still seemed to have the majority of possession etc we just couldn’t do anything constructive with it.

     

     

    As for blaming Ronnie Deila for the performance I think that is over the top, he played the team most on here were calling for all week with only the one enforced change. The players were at fault not the manager or tactics.

     

     

    Anyway 7 from 9 and top of the group not too shabby for the “worst Celtic team ever” as I seem to recall it described on the blog last night.

     

     

    musthavemissedtheearlyninetiesCSC

  3. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

     

    13:09 on

     

    24 October, 2014

     

     

    I think folk forget sometimes how young and inexperienced our central defence is.

     

    ______________________________________________________________

     

     

    Its nothing to do with our central defenders both of whom are top players.

     

     

    Its the shape of the defence.

     

     

    Last night we had Denayer playing near the right back position and van Dijk playing near the left back position when we were attacking.

     

     

    This left a hole down the centre which left us exposed on the counter, and was only sometimes covered by Charlie Mulgrew and sometimes Scott Brown, and it didn’t provide any solidity to the the defence.

     

     

    As I said, its not the defenders, its the system, and I don’t see it improving.

  4. Neil…….

     

     

    Then gather your forces and force the board out.

     

     

    Get the ghuys in you want at the wages you want them to get and that’ll be it sorted.

     

     

    The only way to get the board out would be a full blown boycott of all home games and superstores.

     

     

    Bring the club to it’s knees!!

     

     

    Go on my son, you can do it!

     

     

    F**k the Celtic.

  5. lawwellsacountant on

    Burghbhoy you are dreaming the guy hasn,t got it ,the only worse scenario was if we sacked him and appointed crazy collins as his replacement.5 months in charge and we get poorer every time we play

  6. micktt

     

     

    12:42 on 24 October, 2014

     

    How easy is it to pass a ball, to move into space, there was one bit of the game last night Celtic in possession and a very large space in front of the 18 yard box, it was obvious space to run into, the pass was on, no one made the run, that worries me.

     

    I feel the players or some of them are at it.

     

     

    Ayrshire is Green and White

     

     

    —–

     

     

    Saw it. A gorgeous empty, dangerous patch of turf crying out for some Celtic feet to run onto and into!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  7. Carntyne 13:20,

     

     

    I actually liked the way Charlie was dropping in to make it that way early doors.

     

     

    Neil was experimenting wide a wide back 3 after Udinese.

     

     

    Anyway, the future is ours.

  8. Gordon J – Too much emphasis in this country particularly on ‘positions’.

     

     

    It used to be that you were either a striker, midfielder or winger. Hence why Aidan and Shaun spent half their developing years stuck on the wing.

     

     

    Charlie last night played most of the game in the same areas of the pitch as Denayer and Virgil. It was almost like a back 3.

     

     

    Yet, Charlie is called a midfielder. Its similar to Kris Commons being called a midfielder and lauded for his ‘goals from midfield’ when he clearly plays in a position with in common with the striker than the likes of Broonie.

     

     

    Callum McGregor is not a ‘winger’ we are told. Indeed he isn’t in the same way that Wakaso is a winger. However, he brings something different to the team.

  9. swordfish……..

     

     

    Your not going on Sunday are you?

     

     

    We have a crap manager, crap, players, half empty stadium, a board that pay themselves huge immoral bonuses, a board who won’t pay the living wage.

     

     

    You must be some kind of cretin to support that mob.

  10. Carntyne,

     

     

    If we play with attacking full backs then the centre halfs need to split wide to guard against the break down the flanks. As you say, one of the midfielders must then fill in so that there isn’t a big hole in the middle.

  11. Watched that terrible performance last night against a very very low grade European team. I however agree with RD that they are better than the top team in the SPL (just). Can someone explain to RD, that making progress means, getting better each game played. It does not mean after beating the lowest team in the SPL 5-0 away, we then struggle against Astra (like Hamiton) at home. We are not making progress, not by any means, we are unpredictable, and are not likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Well I do not see any evidence to assume that. I am by no way sure we will beat Killy on Sunday, any result, win lose or draw will not surprise me. I really do not see it getting any better while RD is our manager, sorry to say but that is how I feel. Hope I am proved wrong.

  12. mullet and co 2 on

    Paul67,

     

    Ronnys changes shouldn’t excuse Charlie from passing across his own box unless Ronny told him to do that which would defy any logic.

     

    The first half ping pong between McGregor and Lustig was a result of two players not knowing what they were meant to be doing. McGregor wasn’t sure if his first touch was meant to go inside, back the way or if he was going to take the man on. Result was the ball churning away to the opposition with Lustig on his own.

     

    Ronny works on those things in training. The same issues happen on the other side with Stokes and izzy communicating in gesticulations. The opposition feed off these issues. Ronny needs to know if his players are good enough to carry out the instructions to pass it down the sides. The crosses came in the second half when we sorted this out but it seems so disjointed and gifts the ball to the opposition.

     

    Perhaps McGregor could play with an ear piece to tell him where to stand and the decisions he should make.

     

    The main problem with our wide players is that they do not transition after the pass to the over lapping full back. Time and again they play the full back in and stand not contributing to the immediate after math. Either race into the box, anticipate a cut back from the full back or got to the edge of the box to wait on a poor clearance.

     

    Lennons teams played slower and allowed the opposition to group behind the ball. Goals came from corners and Commons finding room.

     

    It’s common sense to play quicker and find space but only if you have the players to do it.

  13. Without dwelling on the Living Wage issue it is £1.07 per hour of a difference compared to the minimum wage. i.e. £7.65 per hour. Let’s remember that this is the calculated wage for someone to simply Live on. Therefore to oppose this means you support a wage structure that pays employees less than enough to live on. FFS it helps create the very poverty that the Club was formed to combat. Not only would a surcharge on all the (overpaid) players pay for it, or indeed the Board could out of their small change (£500K was the figure quoted last year). But it was also proposed by a Fans spokesperson last year that £5.00 extra on a ticket could pay for it. small price to pay for such an important moral stance.

  14. philvisreturns

     

     

    My little demon only tries to drown me out when I tell her what to do, At all other times she gives the orders provided the “capo di tutti capi” aka her mother agrees

     

     

    eventhecatoutranksmeinthishouseCSC

  15. Philvis

     

     

    Other people getting the podium while you are sick is like somebody winning the 100m gold medal in the Olympics after Usain Bolt tore his hamstring in the warm up.

  16. TimJim

     

     

    Watched that terrible performance last night against a very very low grade European team.

     

     

    ………………………………………..

     

     

    Who are you?

     

     

    You scare me a wee bit with your factual knowledge of European Football clubs.

     

     

    I’m outta here!

  17. I thought Scepovic was a bright spot amid last night’s mediocrity.

     

     

    In the first half it looke dlike he wa sready to hide, disinterested.

     

     

    Second half he forced himself into the game, showing some great striker’s postioning let down only by poor finishing.

     

     

    But he kept going and got his reward with a classy header to open the scoring. He also showed some passion – something hitherto unseen through his cool Eastern European personality.

     

     

    I hope we play him again Sunday and provide some service. Looks the type of striker who’ll get on a scoring run and take some stopping. Him and Guidetti up front may provide some excitement.

  18. Its a Masonic anthem by Toʎah so apologies for it.

     

     

    Things might seem mystifying at the moment at Celtic. I am keeping the Faith that Celtic will come good again, nope, even better.

     

     

    The seeds sown over the last decade away from Celtic are incredible.

  19. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Philbhoy,

     

    Wow a bit extreme there eh, I’m happy with the way the Celtic Trust are handling it, I don’t remember advocating changing the board or bhoycotting it must have been between the lines eh.

     

    It was a simple enough argument that keeping to poorest at the club poor, is not a convincing argument that costs are being controlled, especially when paying OBSCENE BONUSES to the top end for simply carrying out their jobs in a competent manner.

     

    I do however understand when you don’t understand an argument you tend to fire off at tangents and make stupid suggestions.

  20. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Stokes was my MotM last night, and as said on many occasions I back the manager completely.

  21. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    BIT OF TECHIE HELP PLEASE!

     

     

    I’m having problems with my hotmail account on my iPhone but not,it seems,elsewhere.

     

     

    Yesterday it didn’t accept new mails. So I deleted it,reset the password,added it again.

     

     

    Worked for a while. Now it won’t send as it doesn’t recognise the password.

     

     

    It should. It’s a new account!

     

     

    Any ideas?

  22. Sandman

     

     

    13:33 on 24 October, 2014

     

     

    I thought Scepovic was a bright spot amid last night’s mediocrity.

     

     

    In the first half it looke dlike he wa sready to hide, disinterested.

     

     

    Second half he forced himself into the game, showing some great striker’s postioning let down only by poor finishing.

     

     

    But he kept going and got his reward with a classy header to open the scoring. He also showed some passion – something hitherto unseen through his cool Eastern European personality.

     

     

    I hope we play him again Sunday and provide some service. Looks the type of striker who’ll get on a scoring run and take some stopping. Him and Guidetti up front may provide some excitement.

     

    _________________________________________________

     

     

    I was very impressed by the way he kept on going, that well wide heider in the 2nd half (I was going wtf) could have really put him back a long way, delighted he got that crucial first goal.

     

     

    We’re on the road again.

  23. mullet and co 2 on

    Am I prepared to accept performances like last night while we get better?

     

    Yes. As long as we get better.

     

    How long does that take?

     

    If Ronny gets us into Europe after Christmas even with the mistakes he should get the January transfer window to bring in the players that he wants – not anyone else’s -. If it still looks dodgy it’s time to go back to slowly slowly catchy monkey and the experiment ends.

     

    Mind you, WGS seems to be able to do it. Maybe we should be going for Anya!

  24. Imo, it wasn’t just the sometimes almost suicidal passing around our box last night that was a major worry. It was the far too frequent passing without even looking to see if there were a player in a position to receive the pass or someone even moving to receive the ball. Added to that, no one seemed to be prepared to move to receive it once he had passed the ball himself.

     

     

    What was that our captain was saying recently about folk hiding during games??

  25. Deniabhoy- very good post on last thread.

     

     

    There is a serious lack of will to win in this team. I would like to see our manager demonstrate some aggression or passion rather than talk tactically about what needs to improve. These guys can play but they can’t be bothered. Did anyone notice Virgil at their goal last night. He completely switched off. Izzy realized and tried to cover for him but got there just too late.

     

     

    Our club is riddled with lethargy from the manager through to the support. I do not see how this is going to change under the current set up.

  26. Philbhoy

     

    13:33 on

     

    24 October, 2014

     

     

    Sorry for scaring you. The UEFA ranking has Astra at 221st. We are 55th and they have Servco at 99th. Now that is fact.

  27. Neil….

     

     

    I actually agree with you about the bonus structure and the living wage.

     

     

    How do we get it done?

     

     

    Seriously.

     

     

    The board have made a statement on the living wage implications and they do not have a history of sitting down with supporters to discuss the finances of the club.

     

     

    I thought I heard on the news yesterday that not one other senior football club in the UK pays the living wage.

     

     

    But is was Celtic who made the news.

     

     

    So, I either jump up and down with anger and indignation, stop supporting Celtic or I get on with the rest of my life.

     

     

    There are some things I can influence and millions and millions of thing I can’t.

  28. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

     

     

    13:41 on 24 October, 2014

     

     

    BIT OF TECHIE HELP PLEASE!

     

     

    I’m having problems with my hotmail account on my iPhone but not,it seems,elsewhere.

     

     

    Yesterday it didn’t accept new mails. So I deleted it,reset the password,added it again.

     

     

    Worked for a while. Now it won’t send as it doesn’t recognise the password.

     

     

    It should. It’s a new account!

     

     

    Any ideas?

     

    ——————————————-

     

     

    Have you turned the phone off, then on again?

     

     

    You have? I’m stumped then…

  29. the glorious balance sheet on

    I`m losing count of the number of times this season I`ve heard talk that wins in our upcoming games “will give us a platform to build on.”

     

     

    How on earth is any manager expected to build any kind of platform when the squad is littered with loan players, most of whom are mediocre, and key team members (Brown and Commons) who go out of contract at the end of the season with no sign of new contracts being agreed?

     

     

    The strategy for 2014/15 has just been to muddle through the season with little thought given to what happens in 2015/16. There is no platform to build on and most of it is not the manager`s fault.

     

     

    Ronny Deila had a big rebuilding job on his hands when he joined the club. Hooper hadn`t been replaced, Forster was going, there were other players to be moved on. One year in and it will still be a rebuilding job, but by that stage it could very likely be a massive rebuilding job.

     

     

    Right now it is very plausible that Brown, Commons, van Dijk, Wakaso, Tonev, Berget, Denayer, Guidetti will not be here come the CL qualifiers. Kayal and Zaluska go out of contract in June 2015 and they will move on. Forrest, Lustig and Matthews suffer from recurrent injuries. Griffiths is unsettled. The jury remains out on Scepovic.

     

     

    We are reaping what we sowed in the summer transfer windows of 2013 and 2014. The policies and people who delivered the fruits of these transfer windows are still in place and all the signs are that player turnover in 2015 will go through the roof.

     

     

    Get a revolving door fitted at the main door of Celtic Park and prepare for a deluge of Dudu Dahan`s diddies to sign in from the makeweight clubs of the Israeli and Belgian leagues. And we`ll still be a dysfunctional team this time next year and the manager will still be getting it in the neck. While the CEO picks up another £1 million salary.

  30. Havinalaugh

     

     

    Why should the fans put more money in ? are you Peter Lawell.

     

    Wee story Ian Banker came to our table when my old company had a box at Parkhead a few years ago. My wife spoke to him and gave him her business card. The guy could not wait to get away, we were deemed not lucrative enough to have any sort of impact on the incomings. The guy does not get Celtic. Like a rabbit in the headlamps.

  31. mullet and co 2

     

    13:09 on

     

    24 October, 2014

     

    I am comforted that others saw the same as me last night and not a continuation if Ronnys formation problems.

     

    Mulgrew had another absolute stinker. Brown was not his usual self and McGregor seemed to be 2 yards away from where his team mate thought he was every time they tried to pass to him. This resulted in several occasions of losing the ball in right midfield areas. Charlie’s slackness would have cost us a goal in most other matches. It’s not the first time this has happens to Charlie under Ronny. Passing the ball across your own box when you can’t see is willie Columesque.

     

    Strange game. Gave me sore head watching it trying to figure out when a Celtic player would play a pass then move to get it back. The continuation of the debate between Stokes and anyone he is trying to link up with is frightening. Either he is on a different plane or they haven’t played with him for long enough.

     

    It is patently obvious that our wide men don’t offer as much as their current job description demands. Wakaso was beaten for pace b their full back when he had a full 60 mins on him. McGregor offers goals but little else. Tonev was better last night and covered a fair amount of grass but god man please pass instead of shooting – successful in no attempts from double figures means pick another choice.

     

    We need a centre mid in January and one or two more wide men to try.

     

    Hopefully we get Europe after Christmas and we then get a choice between Guidetti and Scepovic.

     

    Thought it was the right decision to keep him on last night.

     

     

    Another wee thought. Why is there no concentration on Brown being out of contract? He may be on a testimonial but would Scott bank on making more from that than he could from a move down South for a couple of years?

     

     

    _________________________________________________________

     

     

    Regarding testimonials. A very interesting story in Cascarino’s book that testimonials are not as good as they might be for a player. Him and Stan Staunton shared one for the ROI and he was panicking a week or so before the match due to the tickets selling slowly. He reckoned they could be £100k each out of pocket if they didn;t get more than 25,000. Also with the tax implications the take home amount can be pretty low. I notice these days that few players have them and the ones that do more often than not do so for a charity sometimes their own rather than for personal gain. The sums players earn nowadays makes it less attractive to both the player himself or the punters unless there is a bit of one off element to it regarding former team mates or a charitable angle.

     

    I don;t imagine we will see many testimonial games in the future but if Scott does earn one and chooses to have one I suspect it will be to a charity of his choice and one close to his heart. I can;t remember the circumstances regarding his sisters death but suspect it may have been cancer. Would not be surprised if Scott decides to have a game for a cancer charity.

     

    I have a lot of time for Scott Brown and hope he sees his career out at Celtic. He is the one constant at the minute and the players respect him. I don;t think he has hit his peak yet. I think Scott has at least another 5 good years maybe his best years left in him and hopefully those years will be in the Hoops.

     

     

    LB

  32. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire

     

     

    13:38 on 24 October, 2014

     

     

    Stokes was my MotM last night, and as said on many occasions I back the manager completely.

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

     

    He had one bit of absolutely sublime skill whilst delivering a ball to Stefan (I think – safe eh) and that showed lightning speed of thought.

  33. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Mullet…,

     

    Don’t delude yourself about the January window, the manager will get what he is given and lump it, they did not back Lenny after three relatively successful years, in fact they undermined him and refused to trust him in his attempts to improve the team, so don’t expect them to give the current manager anything more than they gave Lenny.

  34. TimJim

     

     

    Thanks for your reply.

     

     

    Some of the ghuys were posting recent Astra victories over some decent European sides so I wasn’t expecting us to roll them over.

     

     

    When you consider we are not yet firing consistently on all cylinders I was very happy with a victory last night.

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