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. Up_over_goal


    I can assure you, we played 4-2-3-1 on Saturday also…. Against Ross County everyone was praising the performance of Johansen in a more advanced position…I.e the position Commons usually occupies. We were the same shape last night, only difference in starting line-up was Scepovic over Guidetti.



    Major difference between the 2 games is


    A) Ross county are pure shech, and


    B) Brown, Mcgregor, and Mulgrew all decided to have their worst games, all together at the same time



    So Johansen probably got dragged into a deeper role last night, purely just to help out

  2. fritzsong


    17:17 on


    24 October, 2014




    Just because anti-Celtic people are exploiting the living wage issue doesn’t mean Celtic are right. Celtic’s stance on this is simply wrong on SO many levels. At a stroke it has turned us into just another humdrum wee Scottish club no better than the rest of them – comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.



    I take your point Fritz, but if I was making the decisions at Celtic Park I would suggest that I would be prepared to pay a living wage, if the SFA made it mandatory for every club in the SPFL and for the SFA themselves to pay a living wage too.



    Hail Hail.

  3. M/McGill



    yeah because the Scottish owners of Celtic done a brilliant job of running the club which lived under a shadow until DD took control in 2000 and installed his own men.



    The ibrox saga should tell all true Celts their ain’t anybody out there just ready to run the club better.

  4. “So, Martin, here’s what we want you to do. Overcome that 21 point gap in the league from last season, maybe put 6 past them in the first Derby match, ha. .ha..ha, get us some credibility back in Europe, maybe get us to a final, or something, ha. . ha…stop it, and make sure we’ve got a full stadium at every home game. Oh, and a wee treble in your first season might be nice.. .sorry, Martin, we’ll need to be serious here.



    Oh, and make sure you get an excellent youth system up and running, y’know, for when you go.”



    What has Martin O’Neill ever done for us?

  5. Lennon’s Passion: at last year’s AGM it was quoted as £500K. Its £1.05 per hour per person.but the maths don’t add up based on the quoted 120 employees. so there may be a bit of over-exaggeration by the board.

  6. vespacide



    Not sure if you missed my post addressed to you.



    Are you aware who first proposed the Living Wage issue with regards to Celtic?



    If you are do you believe them to be ‘anti Celtic’?

  7. The one thing that should never be forgotten even as I wet myself at thems all this omnishambles with spiv after convicted tax evader after most wanted list poster boy after dodgy Moonbeam teller has been over seen in fact aided by the SFA.



    Not fit for purpose does not begin to describe the depths they will sink to turn a blind eye.

  8. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    I thought Wakaso opened the game up last night and gave us some width.



    Tonev- jury still deliberating







  9. Vespacide, that’s one way to do it. Personally I like Celtic to lead the way. It is not a massive sum of money and sends out a very valuable message about our principles.

  10. Ah Hiv Decided tae take a Hike..






    You Guys oan Here n .. Kojo… Are Water n Oil.



    Ah wull Leave,



    This Place is No Longer fur Me.



    No Hard Feelin’s …



    Good Bye.






  11. Margaret McGill on




    17:48 on 24 October, 2014



    Fergus? Much better


    The kellys? See my earlier post on what happened to that pathetic European cup winning dynasty


    You’re one of the 55% aren’t you?

  12. Greenpinata



    True its a miff to say Gordon Strachan had an outstanding four years at Celtic from beginning to end.


    Season 07/08 when he made it 3 in a row was woeful – 4 home defeats including defeats in both cups. The run in was great!


    Season 0809 was slightly better until the loss in Aalborg when the season went downhill and we lost 4 in a row due to a series of 0-0 draws.



    Having said that overall he was a good success – 3 titles; 1 Scottish Cup; 2 League Cups and CL progression.

  13. weebobbycollins on

    Pity we don’t play Ross County every week…we would be a smashing team and Ronny would be a helluva coach…

  14. Kojo


    ” a change of circumstances allows for a change of opinion”


    Thanks for that.

  15. I have few views on our board or management. I have sod all to contribute to tactics, formations or styles. I have no grand vision for the future……but I do have memories which in turn fuel an ambition….a memory of Bayern Munich taking a lap of honour at Celtic Park…..because they got a draw. That memory seems like a fine ambition. If all we’ve become is another gambler at the casino of obscenely rich

  16. Margaret McGill on

    Bye bye kojo


    Ah wull mark this day doon in ma callandur trossachs


    The day perl goat upgraded tae the land o milk and money


    Still laffin

  17. Estadio



    Hope you’re well my friend. Mentioned your name to oldtim last night.



    Kind regards.

  18. Kevtic…spot on. That’s exactly what’s wrong with short-termism. Fergus McCann was ridiculed and the Celtic support perpetuated that. Not only with the booing but constantly demanding that he spend more to match Murray. Can hardly find anyone now who admits to being part of that cabal, now that Murray’s spending has ruined Rangers and Fergus was proved entirely correct. There is no-one out there waiting to plow money in to a second rate league. Having watched Celtic since the sixties when my Dad took me to games, and having gone through the 80’s and 90’s I feel there is an unrealistic expectation by many (not all) of the current support.

  19. ruggygman



    No. We played 433 – Johansen was consistently on the left, albeit the more advanced of the 3 midfielders. Stokes and Mcgregor cut in far more, allowing Lustig and Izaguirre to play as wingbacks.



    Call it what you like, but Johansen is no No.10 and should be playing as part of a 3, while Stokes belongs on the edge of the box, not out wide.

  20. Nobody told me there was a Stickie bun convention going on in the blane valley. Walk in. Get accosted. I’m a unionist, how did you vote?


    I’m james I voted yes. Mibbee I just met CQN’s most famous ‘No recluse’?!!



    HH jamesgang

  21. Margaret McGill



    I thought Lisbon was down to one man but actually it was the Kellys OK



    Fergus built the ground but was happy living under a their shadow.



    If you know the history DD got MON in spent a bit of money and blew them out the water and we have been enjoying the results ever since.



    In DD time since 2000 we have won the league 9 times out of 14 and should be about 3 more.



    Now look back on the previous 14 years prior to 2000 and tell DD has not been a success.



    If you know your history.

  22. Doc



    I think the smaller pitch probably allowed Johansen to cover more areas – yesterday he was based centrally in the no.10 role.



    (btw Don’t know if he played well as haven’t watched all of the game – he scored, I suppose. It’s disturbing seeing a player I value so little being lauded to the skies)

  23. Margaret McGill on




    18:04 on 24 October, 2014



    Egomaniac Murray turned to financial criminality in an effort to erase the Kelly dynasty from history.


    Especially a minor event that happened in 1967


    As for the rest of awe yer kojonomics piss off!

  24. Margaret McGill on




    18:09 on 24 October, 2014



    DD was hoping for the EPL


    Didn’t happen


    Now we’re officially shite under their custodianship


    Even eboladrome meltdown is a disappointment to them


    Which brings us back to doh

  25. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Henke’s Flowing Locks



    That is horrendous, when did the huns last play in Essex ?

  26. Paul



    Got to love your enthusiasm pal!


    However to people who have watched CFC for years – it has to be said that your enthusiasm is misplaced


    Ronnie is no doubt a nice fellow and probably talks a very good game but the simple fact is that he is well out of his depth here!


    That is not his fault but the fault of those who appointed him to a job that he should never have been given!


    Perhaps PL was emboldened by the success that his earlier punt on NFL had shown – since that was another appointment that should never have been made!


    NFL worked out for a while because although he had no managerial experience he had at least been schooled in tough professional leagues as a player


    RD on the other hand has virtually none of that – his six years at a minor Norwegian


    club should never have been thought sufficient to get the CFC job!


    Of course he wasn’t meant to be the top guy but ended up with the job when other targets declined – that is the reality of the situation and no form of words can disguise it!


    As first team coach he might have been a success – his ideas on fitness and diet are very good but there really should have been a seasoned professional put in charge above him


    Someone with enough professional experience to be able to tell the difference between practice and the real thing


    Others have told the story of how in MON’s time the bold Didier Agathe was very often the worst at training yet MON knew he would deliver on a Saturday – so he got his place in the team


    That was because MON was an experienced professional manager who knew what it took to win in very competitive situations


    Ronnie just doesn’t know because he has never worked in that type of environment


    It brings me no pleasure to say it but he will never work out as our manager and the sooner this particular cost cutting exercise is brought to an end the better


    People are currently arguing about paying a living wage to CFC employees – I would much rather we went out and started paying the going rate for an experienced professional manager instead of taking a punt on a cheap cut price fix!




  27. Ashley wants to give them a loan? Bet the small print will be well worth reading.



    That’s an offer that will come with more strings than a big stringy thing wrapped in a ball of string and tied up with more string.

  28. MMcGill 18:10 Difficult to argue with such an erudite response. Think you’ve actually proved my hypothesis correct.

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