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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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1,761 Comments

  1. Delaneys Dunky on

    16roads

     

     

    I could never kill any of God’s creatures. Maggie’s are Lucifer’s birds.

  2. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    When the Clydebank And Doire Brigade arrive in Beal Feirste,

     

    then the oul 16 roads will know it’s victory..

  3. Delaneys Dunky on

    TCR

     

     

    Happening soon in Belfast. 24 hour Clydebank party people on tour!

     

    TIOCHFAIDH AR LA

  4. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    westies

     

     

    02:31 on 26 October, 2014

     

    Tricoloured ribbon

     

     

    Much earlier post…..sorry if I lost the current thread. I had a Grandfather killed in WW1, and the other grandfather who took part in the “smashing of the van” at Duke Street Jail. Proud Irish, like me (but Scottish born)…….who had different opinions.. Not much has changed..

     

     

    It was on a dreary New Years Day when ……you know the rest.

     

    Best regards

     

    ………

     

    My Granda was wounded in the Dardanelles.Five times in the the chest and wrist.

     

    The poppy not for me though.

     

    I’m sorry pal.I didn’t mean to bring ye down.

  5. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    westies

     

     

    02:36 on 26 October, 2014

     

    I SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS……..wherever they be

     

     

    ……….

     

    Uh oh..

  6. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    westies

     

     

    02:36 on 26 October, 2014

     

    I SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS……..wherever they be

     

    …….

     

    Pity the zombie non paying tax dodgers didn’t …

  7. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    westies

     

     

    02:36 on 26 October, 2014

     

    I SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS……..wherever they be

     

    ….

     

    Murdering innocent civilians in Derry And Ballymurphy?

     

    Yeah?

  8. Delaneys Dunky on

    TCR

     

     

    They are ra peepull.

     

    Scotland’s shame in Dumbarton today. Heard the Rock rebels smacked a few zombies.

  9. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    DD,

     

    The Zombies would not have dared to frequent a Tim bar.

     

    Bear in mind Dumbarton’s ground is in the east of the town where most of the Zombies reside..

     

    Stag’s Head.

  10. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    neil lennon & mccartney

     

     

    03:08 on 26 October, 2014

     

     

    ———————————————–

     

     

    That’s my fault.

     

     

    Sorry chief.

     

     

    HH.

  11. Delaneys Dunky on

    TCR

     

     

    A minibus of wrong wans were giving us the vicky as they drove through Dalmuir.

     

    How hard we laughed at the dead eye zombie windae lickers.

  12. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    sipsini – sorry muchacho, reading back, sound advice.

     

     

    Don’t really like cats either chieftain, so that’s a non-starter.

     

     

    :(

     

     

    Sound like a zombie here fs.

     

     

    HateTheWorldcsc.

     

     

    HH.

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    sipsini

     

    01:47 on

     

    26 October, 2014

     

    macjay1,

     

    You are probably right that the church pressed to keep Catholic schools…should we have bowed down and changed?

     

    Once the peeple realised our education system worked and theirs didn’t is when

     

    It only became an issue, when the stats showed that our schools have a higher achievement level.

     

    Ach, why not change it to suit, that is their format regarding their deid team…and so it goes on….

     

     

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

     

     

    Back in the `60s, the time of John 23rd and ecumenism,a priest was telling me why we should introduce the Mass in English.

     

    My predictable response was ” that would make our service the same as protestants.”

     

    His reply ” What`s wrong with that? ”

     

    It made a great impression on me.

     

     

    Religious bigotry…the curse of Scotland.

     

     

     

    Higher achievement in Catholic schools ?

     

    Privileged education.

     

    No ?

  14. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Nah TCR, I have been more than guilty of anybody on here for posting about non-Celtic issues.

     

     

    Fair is fair.

     

     

    HH.

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas

     

    01:02 on

     

    26 October, 2014

     

     

    Missed your post directed to me.

     

     

    Excellent.

     

    De facto religious integration of schools.

     

    Same is true of Oz.

  16. From The Herald

     

     

    Craig Gordon irked by Celtic’s defensive frailties

     

     

    Stewart Fisher

     

    Sports Writer

     

    Sunday 26 October 2014

     

    LAST season saw the previous custodian of the Celtic goal rack up 13 consecutive league clean sheets, rewriting Scottish football’s history books by going 1,256 minutes without conceding.

     

     

    Craig Gordon is frustrated at his lack of clean sheets Photograph: SNS

     

    Craig Gordon is frustrated at his lack of clean sheets Photograph: SNS

     

    But forget Fraser Forster. Right now Craig Gordon would settle for two league matches in a row without facing the ignominy of fishing the ball from his net.

     

     

    For all Gordon’s imperious performances, it is a symptom of the Parkhead side’s indifferent form under Ronny Deila that back-to-back zero entries in the goals against column hasn’t been achieved in any two games since the opening round Champions League qualifiers against KR Reykjavik, when Forster was still the No 1. Winning games is what matters most, but this statistic certainly wasn’t lost on Gordon as he trudged off the Parkhead surface following the somewhat fortuitous 2-1 victory against FC Astra Giurgiu on Thursday night.

     

     

    “I don’t set targets for clean sheets,” said Gordon. “You can’t control that, you can only control your performance and that’s all I look for. If you’re doing well consistently, the clean sheets will come. But – while I’ll take the win – I was pretty annoyed in the dressing room afterwards that I didn’t get one against Astra. For the first 10-15 minutes I wasn’t amused. If I get as many as Fraser did I’ll be doing alright, but nah, that’s not something I’ll think about. Just getting a couple in a row would be a good start.”

     

     

    In four attempts, Celtic have yet to win a solitary Premiership match the weekend after a Champions League or Europa League tie, a statistic which suggests the club must do better in limiting their exertions on these European nights. Alarm bells truly will be ringing if Kilmarnock can repeat the feat at Parkhead this afternoon, but Gordon feels the return of players such as Mikael Lustig, Charlie Mulgrew and Adam Matthews can only help generate that consistency which has eluded them so far.

     

     

    “There’s so many factors,” he said, “but we’re getting our bigger players back now and I am sure we will settle into a rhythm. There are first-team players sitting in the stand for the first time this season and once everyone gets playing together and we get settled, I’m sure things will go from strength to strength.”

     

     

    Lustig, in particular, seems worthy of mention, not least because on Thursday night he was one of the side’s most effective performers, regardless of the fact his four-week-old daughter Lexie only returned to the family home in the last few days after being rushed to Yorkhill Hospital suffering from a mystery illness.

     

     

    “He’s such a good pro,” said Gordon. “When he’s out there you know exactly what he’s going to give. And I can relate to what he’s going through – football takes a total back seat when it comes to family. He’s a strong lad and you could hardly tell the difference when he was out there on Thursday night. He just does the same thing week in week out and that’s a credit to him as well.”

     

     

    While Celtic sit happily on seven points in their Europa League section, knowing that a second win against the Romanians would be sufficient to book their place in the knockout stages, perhaps typically Lustig was in no mood to airbrush their failings in midweek.

     

     

    “It was a crap performance, to be fair,” said the Swede. “At least we showed character, although our football wasn’t the best. I don’t know if we can blame the grass or the ball. I don’t know, but you saw a lot of players who are usually very, very good with passing losing the ball a bit too often, but they didn’t create too much either so I wouldn’t say we were lucky to get the three points. But we should be playing better than this.”

     

     

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/craig-gordon-irked-by-celtics-defensive-frailties.25688180?

     

     

    HH

  17. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    neil lennon & mccartney

     

     

    ——————————–

     

     

    Powerful song my friend, much appreciated.

     

     

    Great name also by the way.

     

     

    It took me many a year to appreciate the Beatles, in my own ignorance.

     

     

    Trainspotting also, the film.

     

     

    First time a seen it – thought it was tripe.

     

     

    Watched the film a second time, and it blew my mind.

     

     

    Incredible.

     

     

    Also can recommend A Sense of Freedom by Danny Boyle – book was fantastic, film not so good.

     

     

    Gorbals mad,mental.

     

     

    Thank fk the are Tims,because if they weren’t – we’d be in trouble.

     

     

    HH.

  18. Neil Lennon & McCartney on

    16 roads – Celtic über alles…

     

     

    I was all Led Zeppelin & Canned Heat as a teenager……..never got into the Beatles until the White Album

     

     

    …..I love the writing of Irvine Welsh, particularly “Skagboys” & “Porno”

     

     

    HH

  19. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    neil lennon & mccartney – not all drugs are good, some of ’em are great… and all that there and all.

     

     

    Obviously Welsh must have been dabbling, at one stage or another?

     

     

    Mind altering substances can, at times induce creative thinking, music and art – nobody can deny this fact.

     

     

    I’m no angel myself, and I am no better to judge anybody… But see all those artists and musicians,and rich people – the majority of them had money to fall back on.

     

     

    I’ve took my trips, Stacey,green whatever, white.

     

     

    No interest now.

     

     

    See those whom sell heroin in poor districts – They should be shot dead – no questions, no nothing.

     

     

    These people are dealing death, so they should accept the consequences.

     

     

    Alcohol and cigarettes, granted – same result, only slower death.

     

     

    Legalise all drugs – control the environment.

     

     

    The war against drugs can never be won,and it’s not meant to be won either – all that it is is an industry.

     

     

    This place is bad enough with drink, coke, pharmaceuticals,green etc.

     

     

    Heroin is a bridge too far.

     

     

    HH.

  20. From The Herald again……..this time about today’s opponents

     

     

    Hands across the water: Kilmarnock’s Irish links are forged for battle with Celtic

     

     

    Stewart Fisher

     

    Sports Writer

     

    Saturday 25 October 2014

     

    WHO says the Irish can’t make it to Sunday games at Celtic Park any more?

     

     

    Conor Brennan is keen to test himself in the unforgiving arena of Celtic Park Photograph: SNS

     

    Conor Brennan is keen to test himself in the unforgiving arena of Celtic Park Photograph: SNS

     

    Kenny Shiels and Jimmy Nicholl may have long gone, but Kilmarnock’s links across the Irish Sea remain strong.

     

     

    In the team which ventures from Ayrshire to the East End of Glasgow today, two natives of Northern Ireland, striker Josh Magennis and holding midfielder Sammy Clingan, have been revelations in their positions this season, with Mark Connolly, who hails from the town of Monaghan, just south of the border, arguably even more impressive at the back. More than that, though, barring some kind of Lazarus-like recovery from No 1 goalkeeper Craig Samson, the last line of defence will be Conor Brennan, a callow 20-year-old from Crossgar, County Down.

     

     

    Patrolling the visiting goalmouth at that venue is a daunting enough assignment at the best of times, but you can multiply it by a factor of 10 when, including a solitary outing for Dungannon Swifts as a 16-year-old, it is only your fourth senior appearance.

     

     

    Thankfully for his sake, Brennan does not appear the type to be spooked by his sudden fixation over the limelight. This is a confident young man who has had the gloves for his country’s youth teams since Under-16 level, and is currently Northern Ireland’s first choice at Under-21 level.

     

     

    Perhaps a better reference point for what he wants to achieve in the game, though, resides in the form of his friend and confidant Kasper Schmeichel, with whom he trained during their three years together at Leicester City. Fully seven years older, Schmeichel, the son of Manchester United legend Peter, is now a Barclays Premier League regular and the undisputed Denmark No 1, and it is easy to forget that, when he was the same age, he too was playing first-team football in the Scottish top-flight, with Falkirk. Fellow Falkirk old boy Tim Krul, now of Newcastle United and the Netherlands, is another custodian whose talents were forged in Scotland.

     

     

    “I was actually speaking to Kasper the other day and he was saying how he feels like he is at the peak of his career now, and is playing probably the best he has done,” said Brennan. “He is Denmark’s No 1 at the minute and has been for the last five or six months. He had a very good season in the Championship last season and while you can see the Premiership is a step up, from what I have seen he can definitely handle it. He was on-loan at Falkirk when he was younger, and to be playing in the Scottish top flight at such a young age is definitely a very good achievement.

     

     

    “If I am lucky enough to get the game against Celtic then it would be the highlight of my career so far,” he added. “This is only my fifth year in the game, but it would definitely be up there with the best experiences I have had.”

     

     

    Shiels guided Kilmarnock to a 2012 League Cup win against Celtic, then led the Ayrshire side to the first win in the East End of Glasgow in 55 years the following October. Brennan was his parting gift to the club, his last signing in the March before his acrimonious departure. Having kept tabs on the youngster’s progress from his days patching a Northern Ireland youth squad together, a trial was fixed up within hours of the announcement of his imminent release from Leicester. As it turned out, Brennan’s first experience of life as a Kilmarnock player was two-and-a-half hours’ sleep in the Park Hotel adjacent to Rugby Park.

     

     

    “I got told I wasn’t going to get another contract at Leicester about February,” he said. “I rang my agent that day and told him the news and within 24 hours I got a call back from him, saying ‘can you go up and train with Kilmarnock tomorrow?’. It was 10 o’clock at night. I said ‘tell me a bit about it’ and he said Kenny was there, which I had forgotten, so I jumped in the car. I was only going for a couple of days so I didn’t bring much – boots, shinpads and a few trackies. I threw them in and away I went. I think it took me something like six hours to get up the road. I got in about 4am but I was that excited, I didn’t get much sleep.”

     

     

    The rest is history, but equally miraculous, some might say, is the fact that Kilmarnock arrive in Glasgow looking down on the SPFL Premiership champions in the table, an achievement only made more remarkable in the face of a simmering bonus row at the club.

     

     

    Rumours that strike action could even be taken on the subject were being laughed off this week, but Brennan – who made his first-team bow off the bench after Samson injured his toe against Dundee United a fortnight ago – takes his role as potential guardian of the team’s win bonuses seriously. They may need the luck of the Irish to achieve it, but becoming the latest Premiership side to scalp Celtic after their Europa League duties really would be priceless.

     

     

    “In terms of the bonuses it’s still ongoing, but as far as I am aware we are trying to get that sorted out as soon as we can,” said Brennan. “But we are not thinking about that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out Celtic aren’t off to their best start in the league. I think it’s definitely a good opportunity for us to go there. We are going to go there and try and take the three points.”

     

     

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/hands-across-the-water-kilmarnocks-irish-links-are-forged-for-battle-with-celtic.25681978?

     

     

    HH

  21. Neil Lennon & McCartney on

    16 roads – Celtic über alles…

     

     

    ..for me, Welsh tells us how good, and more importantly, how bad drugs can be…..

     

     

    …..as in everything, the key is balance

     

     

    HH

  22. Neil Lennon & McCartney on

    .

     

    OK ~ here’s my pick for today…..

     

     

    ……………….Craig

     

     

    Lustig…..Ambrose…Virgil…….Emilio

     

     

    …………….Denayer………….

     

     

    Brown…Johansen…Stokes

     

     

    ……….Guidetti…..Stefan

  23. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    neil lennon & mccartney – Powerful post.

     

     

    I cannot argue with that.

     

     

    In saying that, sobriety is a wonderful thing also.

     

     

    Some of the top Bhoys on here, believe it or not – they don’t indulge in drink or drugs.

     

     

    Now, in my humble opinion – that is admirable, that is strong minded people.

     

     

    It isn’t drunken comedians like me that you can rely on – it’s the Bhoys that don’t need it, face everyday life without the need for escapism.

     

     

    I mean, in all fairness and honesty – in a crisis – what good is a drunk or a stoner?

     

     

    It’s the easiest thing in the world to get mashed out of yer mind, so it is.

     

     

    My own Ma and Da never took drink or drugs in their lives – and in this district – that is exceptional…

     

     

    They’re grounded and reliable tunts, ya know.

     

     

    And God knows that they have struggled.

     

     

    They get their strength from Jesus Christ, they go to their Mass and they thank God, despite everything that life has hit them with.

     

     

    Sean Fallon and Tommy Burns eh?

     

     

    If I could just try to be even a wee bit like those two…

     

     

    And if I only took my own advice!

     

     

    ;)

     

     

    HypocriteCSC.

     

     

    HH.

  24. macjay1

     

     

    As someone mentioned the other day, sadly LG is Ronnys equivalent to Riordan under WGS

     

     

    HH

  25. Neil Lennon & McCartney on

    16 roads – Celtic über alles…

     

     

    O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.

     

     

    be good. stay safe.

     

     

    HH

  26. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    lymmbhoy

     

    05:02 on

     

    26 October, 2014

     

    That might have been me.:-)

     

     

    Mate.

     

    I well remember the stick wee Gordon got on this blog for his failure to play Riordan.

     

    Hindsight would suggest Gordon got it right.

     

     

     

    The circumstances surrounding Leigh and Derek.

     

    Similarities undoubtedly.

     

     

    The difference,imho……….

     

    Leigh has got it.

     

     

    Then again,I don`t know what`s going on behind the scenes.

  27. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    neil lennon & mccartney

     

     

    05:21 on 26 October, 2014

     

     

    ———————————————

     

     

    Wise counsel indeed.

     

     

    Celtic 5 – 0 Kilmarnock.

     

     

    Slan.

     

     

    HH.

  28. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    lymmbhoy

     

    05:34 on

     

    26 October, 2014

     

     

    I must confess that my opinion about Leigh`s ability underlines my concerns about Ronny.

     

    And his judgement.

     

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

     

    On a separate matter…………….

     

     

    Where has Holahoops gone?