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. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    The things you do for your children, mini home from school and insisted we sit through the full match…

  2. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    lol, absolutely love the way it all has to resort to violence wi that mob. Wonder what happened to the “turn up at sports direct without your wallets” protest ? I’d have thought that would have brought them to their knees already. Always good for a laugh though




  3. Henke’s Flowing Locks



    Livingston may meet Sevco in the Petrofac final if Sevco can stay alive long enough. Tax dodgers final!








    Sadly unlikely to ever have the pleasure,but GSH relates the pleasure and the pain of the place.



    Even his upbringing in Jackson probably left him unprepared for it.



    It’s such a shame that the lifestyle choice he warned about in his songs finally done for him.



    But what a legacy,a master of mixing styles and slipping a stiletto in the ribs as you enjoy it.

  5. mike in toronto on

    Hravtski Jim



    Got something similar from you … cant remember what it was called, but something like Linkedin…. just ignore it….



    I’ll sent you a note to your email.

  6. Henke's Flowing Locks on



    16:20 on


    24 October, 2014


    Henke’s Flowing Locks



    Livingston may meet Sevco in the Petrofac final if Sevco can stay alive long enough. Tax dodgers final!









    Haha, that would be fitting mate, hopefully sevco limp on long enough for that to happen then Livi turn them over and they exhale their last collective breath….! :-)




  7. Timaloy


    clearly that is RDs mammy outside whiteinch park!



    BTW i have protested outside CP


    when the whites and kellys were doing a fine job


    even in those days there were happy clappers and 10,000 still attended the match even when the supporters association and affiliation both agreed with the boycott



    can i assume YOU would have been one of the 10,000 standing behind the old board too?

  8. BT



    Yer a guid Da so ye ur!



    I got a call from the school this morning saying my wee girl wasn’t well, could I come and get her.



    Put her to bed with some calpol.



    She’s just phoned.



    “Feeling better Dad, can you bring me home a fish supper”.



    Now who is kidding who?

  9. I have complete faith in our manger and his backroom staff, I think they all know football, I think they all know how to prepare and train a team I think they are all winners, and I think they are all driven motivated professionals. I think they have a hard task ahead of them, all Celtic managers do.


    I think the living wage is a utopian joke, are we the only club in Scotland being held up to this standard, how about any other company, are Celtic the only organisation being made to feel bad about it. Does the Daily Record pay a living wage, does the NHS does the BBC or STV, I don’t know about that but I doubt any of them do.


    My guess is it’s a nice wee moral shield for anti-Celtic supporters to hide behind.


    Just an opinion.



    Hail Hail.

  10. Isee now that the King has abdicated that the usurper Ashley has grabbed the reigns.Offering to put the huns in hostage to him,for enough shekels to see them limp along.He will bedeck Ibrox in his “Tat”ads,have their naming rights,their merchandising,and maybe even their “Badge”.Good god.All this for 8.9 %of the shares.Does not need to put another copper into the kitty,unless it suits him.Just to see them survive to make him money.


    How good does it get?.Their pain and humiliation will go on and on.


    Is this not what we all want?.

  11. Listened to the car radio this morning and city expert on Beeb news said huns will have a problem meeting November payroll.

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Olivia has you wrapped around her wee finger..



    fish on a Friday, good ghirl,… 8-))

  13. Vespacide



    We are the only club in BRITAIN being held up to this standard!! Not one other club pays the living wage.



    Oh and a great post too!

  14. maybe its the responsibility of the fans of other clubs to push their own management on the living wage issue?

  15. So can we now assume that Sevco are taking the Ashley loan as Nash has resigned?


    Seem to remember he wanted Nash and Wallace out so expect Wallace to go soon.


    Interesting to note the Sevco support reaction.


    Calling for violence is their raison d’être .


    Have a feeling this ain’t ending well for them

  16. Tamrabam



    I was a wee bit too young to have much of an opinion. I can tell you that my old man wasn’t a happy clapper and neither was his old man. Both dug deep when the share issue came round and my old man has purchased season books every season since Fergus took over.



    I respect peoples opinions, I just feel you are being a bit dramatic. We have won back to back games, are winning back to back titles, we have seen the huns die and we have enjoyed a lot more European football than we used to.



    I can agree with peoples concerns regarding the CEO’s paycheck. However, to compare it to the bad old days is a bit of a stretch.



    I honestly don’t believe that the poor attendances are down to a protest by fans. I believe the majority would prefer to stay in the pub and watch the game on the telly or whatever English football is on. The board reduced the prices for fans. Nobody came back. People forget.

  17. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine


    16:18 on


    24 October, 2014



    Wonder what happened to the “turn up at sports direct without your wallets” protest ?




    Now you come to FFin’ mention it:



    “visible action at Newcastle home games


    blocking entrances, defacing sports direct signs, pitch invasions



    disorder at McGill buses to disrupt service –


    hold up services at given times without actually using them…paying in 1p pieces….drive in front of their services at a snails pace to slow down the service?



    disorder at Sports Direct stores


    stock taken off the shelves large scale and left on the sales counter, price tags removed or rearranged, entrances prevented from opening in the morning…know the return policy rights and snare up system with massive returns?”

  18. The attendances are an accumulation of things. Lack of interest because of the product, less skilful players, cost of season tickets, boring tactics, and most of all Live TV por cierto

  19. Vespacide




    “My guess is it’s a nice wee moral shield for anti-Celtic supporters to hide behind.


    Just an opinion.”






    Are you aware who it is who is proposing this?



    Anti Celtic?



    Dearie me.

  20. Henke's Flowing Locks on



    16:28 on


    24 October, 2014



    Completely agree re living wage mate, that was pretty much my first thought when blue-tie-Mackay gleefully announced it on the tea-time news.



    Obviously we’d all love to see everyone earn a decent crust, but why has this suddenly been handed to those with an agenda to further hammer Celtic with, let’s see all of their internal pay structures if they’re such conscientious employers…




  21. Also on Ronny….



    The high pressing all-action style he wants is usually hard to implement and takes a while to set in. But when it does it’s excellent. Just look at Bielsa’s career.



    We will see a few more 5-0’s this year.

  22. Stairheedrammy on

    Tamrabam, NLs side also lost to a Morton who hardly won another game last season and if you think another 40,000 would have fit into the ground you are delirious. Your post reminds me of Dads Army, don’t panic captain Manwairing.

  23. Sevco fans suggestions on mayhem for Ashley and Co are hillarious.


    They couldn;t even be bothered to save their former club.


    Lazy jokers that mob.




  24. !!Bada Bing!! @ 14.43hrs



    “I honestly want RD to succeed for all of us,but i cannot see the shape of a team there bhoys.Every game is an adventure,i will be there on Sunday as usual,supporting the team.Boo boys can take a hike”





    All Celtic supporters want ( or should ) RD to succeed, and he must be given sufficient time to do so. However supporters must be able to show their displeasure for unacceptable performances. If Scott Brown is correct and players are hiding then they deserve to be told.




  25. Monaghan1900



    16:12 on 24 October, 2014



    Holy FFin’ moly – Ashley’s offered them a loan:



    “Ashley won’t even speak to anyone. He’s a fat Willy Wonkaesque recluse.”



    “Stuff boycotts it is now public disorder required.This is a messy divorce, we can either wimp away or stand up and say scr*w you bitch i want the kids”







  26. @Greenpinata



    Scott Brown’s comments are just part of the backward way people in the UK view football



    Anybody can see that the Hamilton game was down to a defensive error and wayward finishing. On another day Celtic could have won 4-1.



    The knee-jerk reaction is always about saying the team “has no passion” and that “they’re not trying hard enough”



    When it’s usually down to confidence. People will moan about Ballotelli’s attitude all day. But the guy is super low on confidence. Because he is always singled out for criticism.

  27. Dave King Statement


    I have been asked to make a personal comment on the rumour that the Rangers board is considering a loan from Mr Ashley. I don’t see the offer of a short term loan by Mr Ashley affecting me in any way. Our offer is for a long term permanent solution that can take the club forward and unite the fans and the board for the first time in many years. The board is in the final stages of reviewing our offer and I expect a definitive answer early next week. Frankly, it doesn’t seem possible that the board can do anything other than recommend it to shareholders given the dire financial circumstances and the fact that no other long term solution is on offer. Mr Ashley’s involvement (and recently announced continued commitment) with Newcastle precludes him from making a similar offer of long term permanent equity.



    What Mr Ashley can do is attempt to increase his vice-like grip on the Rangers brand by improving his retail position as a condition for supplying short term debt to tide the club over until our permanent funding is in place. But I know that there are other investors also willing to provide bridging finance. The board will therefore not have to accept punitive terms even if Ashley attempts to oppose them. We must remember that the board is ethically and legally bound to act in the best interest of the company and all shareholders. Ashley can not expect preferential treatment and will not get it. I am confident that Graham Wallace and Philip Nash have enough integrity and commercial experience to do the right thing.

  28. Henke's Flowing Locks on



    16:50 on


    24 October, 2014



    Shame Nash has exited stage left then eh! :-)




  29. stairheed rammy


    dads army = dont panic



    or keep calm do nothing



    How many more would have fitted in the stadium last night and most other weeks then?



    do you think the stadium will miraculously just fill up with SB holders once sevco return (maybe next year)





    glad to hear your fholks were not happy clappers


    they would have been part of the rebels then


    Once a rebel……..

  30. It is interesting seeing the different viewpoint regards RD.. and this Celtic team.


    I am torn between cutting the guy some slack, and writing him off completely. Have to say, my opinion still leans towards the latter.


    Here’s my thoughts for what they are worth. It is good in some respects that we have had the opportunity to watch Strachan at work recently with Scotland. Because heres my point… All be it, not recently because of Mulgrew injury, but Strachan has used Brown and Mulgrew together as his 2 sitting midfielders, in a 4-2-3-1 shape, much the same as Delia is trying to do. When i start to analyse the 2 line-ups further, and the contrast between Scotland and Celtic, if we are to take the Goal Keeper position, i think currently C.Gordon is stronger than D.Marshall. I then look at the back 4 of each team, and i can honestly say that the Celtic back 4 on paper are stronger than the Scotland back 4… we keep hearing Denayer and Van Dijk being classsed as 10 million pound players…. i dont see anyone paying 4 million or more for Russell Martin or Grant Hanley.


    Lustig is better than Hutton.. certainly a more steady type than hutton…. and Scotland, up until the Georgia game when A.Robertson played don’t even have a recognised left back. So my comparison between Scotland and Celtic continues… With the Goalkeeper assessed and the back 4 assessed, Celtic are stronger I.M.O.


    Then lets look at fact Strachan like Delia can play Brown and Mulgrew as the 2 sitting midfielders… so Scotland and Celtic in this department are like for like. Where Scotland are clearly stronger than Celtic is the final third, and the cohesion of the players in the final third… now whether it is snodgrass, James Morrison or Maloney…. these guys are offering Scotland much more than what we get from Tonev, Wakaso, Stokes, McGregor.


    Striker wise, Celtic would bite your hand off for a Fletcher or a Naismith…. In contrast we have Guidetti and Scepovic and whilst these 2 guys offer us potential, they arent quite at the EPL level that Fletcher and Naismith are at.


    So with my comparison at an end, i stated this 2 weeks ago when Scotland were playing… Strachan gets his Players together a tenth of the amount of time RD has his players at his disposal…. yet Strachan can get Scotland playing in the 4-2-3-1 shape, and playing with control, purpose, and cohesion.


    Right now Celtic under RD is a total guessing game !

  31. starry plough


    15:58 on


    24 October, 2014


    John Park coming with two year old targets for Ronny,




    Developing talent has a lot in its favour but 2 year olds is surely a wee bit ambitious.

  32. I want to repeat a point i made on here 2 months ago…. purely because i made it 2 months ago, and it disappeared in to the CQN vacuum.



    This wasn’t the point i made 2 months ago, but i will start with this. Scepovic scored 24 goals last year with Sporting Gijon… now i dont care ultimately about the different styles one league can throw up versus another…. 24 goals in a competitive league, says to me the guy knows how to finish.



    The point i made 2 months ago, and i want to repeat, is that the service in to the forwards, currently is diplorable. I have watched Izzy have 2 or 3 great games this year, noteably the Hearts game… yet even when he had a tremendous game that night, his final ball into the box was woeful…. Gudetti scored the first goal from an Izzy cross, but that only because Izzy hit Danny Wilson with it, who in turn headed it out to Gudetti.


    I’m not picking on Izzy… at least he’s getting in to the right area’s… Our delivery from the right can be absolutely non existent.



    But the point i made 2 months ago, was reference to guys like Alan Thomspon, Steve Guppy, Tosh McKinlay….. none of which had the pace you would associate with modern day wide players, but all to a man, could wip a great delivery in to the box.



    David Beckham made a career out of good delivery.



    So to re-iterate my point, i feel the Celtic starting XI, is being severely let down by the contribution , or should i say service in to the strikers in the final third. McGregor, Stokes, Wakaso, Tonev…. whether it be these guys, or the full-backs…. R.D and Collins should be working on crossing drills in training, because we over-cook every cross, hit the first defender, or cross too deep…… simply, p*ss poor delivery…. it needs to improve

  33. Herald reporting that Kennedy has launched a bid to block Ashley’s takeover.



    “Rangers – The Movie” will have to become “Rangers – The Multipart Serial”

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