Result gives platform for progress


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. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Celtic Trust ‏@TheCelticTrust 38s38 seconds ago


    The LW petition has been rained off – brollys blowing, petitions soaked. We’ll be out again on the 1st. Info 2 follow

  2. Best of luck to all the Faithful Through & Through CQN’ers as ye make yere way to an early kick off in what sounds like inclement weather. I hope ye are rewarded with an exciting game and a great winning performance by The Hoops.

  3. Serious question.



    Theres gorgeous girls promoting E-lites in The Kerrydale Suite.



    Do you get 1 of these girls free to take home? :P

  4. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    You’re playstation based football stats approach bares no relation to reality



    Constant championing ineffective players like McCourt ,Zaluska , Ambrose and Twardzik remove credibility



    Stats don’t win games otherwise any eejit could be a football manager



    I don’t have ingrained prejudices I look at players performances objectively …try it …..

  5. charles kickham on

    In case it hasn’t already been mentioned – there are temporary traffic light at Tesco in dalmarnock rd – cars can’t get round from cambuslang rd – pretty snarled up there already

  6. Painting finished (for now) and Big Coat about to be donned.



    Celtic to be 2 up by half time and at least 3 up by the end.




  7. roy croppie



    23:34 on 25 October, 2014






    The Bhoys at Nottingham Forest



    I got caught on the telly dogging my Catholic school as we spilled onto the track…








    Great days indeed.


    When Mr Hay came over to that corner and ushered the fans back behind the iron grill, just like Mr Stein used to do at the doom-dome, one of the best renditions of YNWA that I was so proud to be part of started.


    On the way down there on the bus, the Rolling Stones song – Under cover of the night – was played about 4 times on the radio, I always think about that night whenever I hear that song. Brilliant, just brillant.


    Thanks for sharing – Hail Hail


    Up over the goal



    you any good on the old Playstation?



    I’ve got an old Ps3 if you fancy an onine game of Fifa?

  9. UOG



    You’re playstation based football stats approach bares no relation to reality



    Whereas you sophisticated approach involves watching players win games and, what? Not liking the cut of their jib?



    There’s a reason Celtic won so many matches with Mulgrew playing as part of a midfield three. It’s because he plays really well in those formations.



    Constant championing ineffective players like McCourt ,Zaluska , Ambrose and Twardzik remove credibility



    Calling occasionally for McCourt and Zaluska to be in the team is hardly ‘constant championing’. There were games where Paddy would have been effective, and every no.2 needs a start now and then to keep up their mojo. I think I’ve mentioned Twardzik maybe twice, but thanks for the close attention.



    I don’t have ingrained prejudices I look at players performances objectively …try it …..



    No, you merely read statistics and dismiss them using your heightened powers of objectivity.



    I could go on and on about a player’s passing, skill, awareness, ability to create chances, but that would be subjective. Over the piece, stats tell a story. It’s up to you whether you want to learn from them or not.

  10. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    CELTIC team to play Kilmarnock: Gordon; Matthews, van Dijk, Denayer, Izaguirre; McGregor, Brown, Johansen, Wakaso; Scepovic, Guidetti.

  11. I like the look of that team.



    Time to go for it today.



    If Kilmarnock play open football that is to our advantage.



    No excuses today.

  12. SOAL


    I may come to regret this but I like the look of that team






    Happy Birthday Minx





    That was a great trip. Ended up in the Trent bridge cricket club. Bedlam, mayhem and worse. Celtic fans had some cricket bat from a display cabinet and were playing a game, inside the bar.

  14. I think the problem is we have far too many midfielders.An absolute deluge of them.Just how the fek RD is supposed to know who is his best is beyond me.We have experts on all the time calling for Henderson,Biton,but who gets dropped for them?.A chorus of,Mulgrew.When Charley has been 1st pick for Lenny,and he and Broony will be WGS midfield again,I think I will side with the professionals.Charley was rank on Thursday,but not alone.Lustig gave the ball to the opposition more than him,but gets off lightly.


    Broony,Mulgrew,Commons,Johansen,Biton,Henderson,Bergets,Tonev,Mc Gregor,Derk,,Forrest,Wakaso.Theres a mish mash of midfielders for you.Compare that with strikers.Scepovic,Stokes,Guidetti.


    I can see RDs problems trying to sort out that mob.Who will play to expectations,very few.


    Yet 9 league games in when we are potentially top,and many calling for his head.


    If he played Henderson today,and he was crap,what would be the next plan?.


    He will need time to wade through this mob,in January,get shot of the ones who cant do it.

  15. Well, before I head off to the Ottawa CSC to watch the game….



    I truly do hope our coach gets it right today.



    However, I fear for him. And us.



    Against Ross County, we had, for the first time, a solid 3 man midfield. We dominated.



    On Thursday, we had a similar team, person; wise, but played a back 3, and test again, left Broonie and Johansson exposed in midfield.



    In the long term, I really don’t think this is going to work.




  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    Line up – with 2 sitting, 2 wide and 2 up top is almost a default for Celtic these past 8 years or so, but has been lesser spotted of late.



    Will it produce purrs of Delight? Or induce murmurs of Deila Out?



    Pleased to see Matthews starting.



    NB I understand that the Gazebo has self-relocated from the top of the Celtic Way to the car park of the Lidl on Maryhill Rd.

  17. I’m with Burghbhoy, Matthews for Lustig is not an improvement but maybe Lustig needed resting. He is gone back to 2 in front of back four, we could struggle there plus Johansen will be curtailed in getting forward. I’m good with the 2 upfront but I would have preferred, Biton in and McGregor out. We should still have enough to win but am just a little more worried now then I was an hour ago.

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    McGregor seems to play regardless of form …he was dreadful , really dreadful on Thursday



    No doubt he’ll be played on the RW again ….great goalscoring record but his passing is questionable and he provides no defensive cover whatsoever

  19. so two wide men Wakaso McGregor and two overlapping fullbacks Izzy and Matthews, what exactly ir RD learning?