Socially distanced defensive structure


One of the frustrating things is, you and I watch teams play the way we needed to play last night more than any other type of football.  Against vastly more resourceful teams, create a tight defensive unit.  Do not allow an opponent space inside the box or in a central position outside the box.

That way, if an attacker drops the shoulder, there is always another body in the way to block him.  For reasons that need proper consideration, Celtic’s penalty area was socially distanced.  Atletico were able to find dangerous space and make attempts at goal without pressure.

The opening minutes gave us a glimpse of what might have been.  Celtic were comfortable in possession and continued the good work from two weeks ago.  Then, Callum McGregor dropped deep to head the ball into an empty space he would normally occupy.  The shot took a deflection, but we conceded a good chance to Atletico’s top striker very cheaply.

Until 42 minutes we looked able to get into the dressing room still technically in the game, then something changed.  The second goal was preceded by Celtic’s disintegration, Atletico could easily have scored twice in added time at the end of the first half.

Did we run out of energy inside the first half?  There is certainly an energy deficit compared to other Champions League teams, but before halftime?  That’s a worry.  The contest was over by the break, the only question remaining was how bad the score would be.

Brendan Rodgers is entitled to take chances with the game gone.  He chose to leave the back four as it was, but none of the six who started in midfield or forward positions finished the game.  With five subs and one red card, we looked like a Celtic Select team, assembled for a testimonial.  Whenever Oh managed to take control of a clearance, he was surrounded by defenders (and still 40 yards from goal).

Manager’s often moan about individual errors costing their team defeat.  There were precious few individual errors from Celtic last night, in fact, Joe Hart and his defence all came through the game remarkably well in that respect, considering the scoreline.  The problem was one of structure.

They tell us it can be more difficult to play against 10 men than 11.  That’s because the 10 drop deep, deny space and stop trying to compete up field.  ‘They’ don’t watch Celtic.  We have a skilful squad full of potential, but we can be a soft touch.

You could convince me Daizen Maeda’s red card was an Atletico objective.  There was no injury, no weight or even stiffness behind Daizen’s leg as he went to block.  Atletico know all the dark arts; when an opponent blocks, leave your leg there.  It’s sure to result in a great photo op.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5

  1. The returnof weeron on

    Just read through the comments. Thanks to all who contributed this morning.



    I have learned nothing, but I have been reminded that, in this wee corner in Canada, I am not alone in feeling great pain as our once great team drifts away into the rear view mirror.



    Stay safe, everybody….




  2. bournesouprecipe on

    Athleti are just under £1billion, yes ( £1billion ) in current permissible debt? comparisons with Celtic player level of personnel, are a pure waste of time. When the draw was made it was difficult to see where we would be able to disprove our Pot 4 ranking. In fact with a bit of luck against Lazio or Feyenoord we could have two or three points, would that have meant we were competing? any better than when we lost Seven in Paris?. We’ve won the SPL so often, It’s gotten to a stage of impasse Celtic supporters can’t see that qualification is the beginning and end of the CL, even though it’s at the end of our nose.



    Perspective, never comes into it when Celtic go down in Europe, even despite spending £70Million on ‘pure kwality’ top buy player costing £25M Benfica have aucun point, NIL points. The CL is designed for slaughter, filtered all the way down the food chain till you reach us, in Pot 4. UEFA, already fundamentally fraudulent, favours the big nations.



    Brendan Rodgers isn’t a tactician, he was unemployed and stock damaged in the EPL, and returned to coach Celtic players something he excelled at before. Finding players for the UEFA designed rich man poor man, transfer market is not his forte, it’s done at Celtic the same way it was in his first spell, by a recruitment team, the same as it is at every big football club.



    More Celtic supporters than not, seen last night coming, including the built in obligatory VAR ‘failed experiment’. The after match inquest discussing subjective refereeing decisions, then reviewed by another referee, then changed by the original referee because of digital pictures, leaves the spirit in tatters, game after game.



    Some supporters give up, some ‘pragmatists’ pass their CL package to others, immunity to psychological damage is a good thing , hopefully Brendan can talk his players round, it’s why he’s there in situ, after a game in which our ‘pure kwality’ £25M player, never got a touch.



    The usual suspects on the hit list will get internet battered till, we get to Rome.




  3. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from a Liverpool pub. €2 a pint and some real characters. Let the good times roll. And you are an absolute shower.

  4. CHAIRBHOY on 8TH NOVEMBER 2023 2:01 PM


    CELTIC40ME @ 1:38 PM,



    This is the same point as fholk losing it before the Sevco game at Ibrox.



    We’ve reached the stage where you know what I’m trying to say better than I do myself. I’m not sure I can ever argue with that sort of higher intelligence.

  5. Greenockbornhundredaire on



    You’re probably already familiar with the delights of Benni. Don’t forget to try the Shamrock on the strip on Gerona. They pull a good Guinness, show all the Celtic games and have good Irish bands /artists playing. Just back yesterday after 10 days there. I also liked the Western saloon on Gerona and the 3B48 soul bar(specialise in Northern Soul, Tamla Motown, Ska and the like) on Calle Ibetha (2 streets back from Gerona. Have fun

  6. looks like others are finally watching the same AJ that I have been watching ,last night someone said but he can ‘tackle’ , dearie dearie , has he any positional sense , can he defend or header the ball, cross the ball from wide areas and pick out a team mate , the game is changing and we are dinosaurs when it comes to euro competitions , tackling is being demonised and players in Europe play the system, falling, somersaulting , screaming with their arm raised and tacklers are are then red carded. Defenders are now using body strength ( used to be obstruction) or getting between the ball and man and going down with the slightest of touches winning a foul , we have to wise up and get streetwise as we are getting left behind.

  7. I see our captain been called up by Scotland for two meaningless internationals.


    Give the guy a break for goodness sake HH

  8. CHAIRBHOY on 8TH NOVEMBER 2023 1:06 PM



    “Is the ten guaranteed or do we have eight and need to finish in the top 24 to get the play off game?”



    Sounds right, I should have said potentially 10; I was being an opTIMist.



    “Still your points are valid but consider this, we are in a poor league with certain disadvantages yet we regularly win it.


    Feyenoord are not in that position.”



    True but when Feyenoord get 2nd they still likely get CL access and do have more competitive league games that better prepare them for any Euro games so they generally have more of them/get further/get more easy money and are more attractive to players as a result.



    “So surely we should be taking advantage of the upsides.


    The squad management while not been disastrous has been very, very poor.


    In the last ten years 50 duds.”



    Yes we sure do seem to kiss a lot of frogs as it were…


    I agree there should be upsides – were Sevco not given every decision under the sun and financially doped for a while then I reckon we’d see a lot more youths / prospects getting games which would develop them and might mean Vata, Doak etc might hang around a while longer and save us a fortune on the “duds” as you put it; though I always think sometimes even “Duds” are just not the right fit – e.g. Klimala and others. This type of example still highlights flaws in our scouting and recruitment systems as we can recruit good prospects that don’t fit our needs/system.



    “It is a hugely important aspect of our business and has been mismanaged for a decade.


    Good businesses thrive by understanding the challenges of market conditions and making strategies and decisions accordingly.”



    I think that is what we are trying to do by scouring “high value” markets as we can’t really afford ready baked Sutton/Lenny type of players in this day and age.




  9. bigrailroadblues on

    Greenockbornhundredaire 3.08


    Very kind of you to give that info. Know the Shamrock and Western but not the soul bar. Shall be investigated. 😉🍻

  10. bigrailroadblues on

    Tiffany’s Spanish bar on Calle Mediterraneano. A pint and a large measure of Soberano €6. I may get pished.

  11. AuroraBorealis79 on

    I think we are tactically all over the shop at the moment. Too many times have I seen our players clattering in to eachother. Before marda was sent off there was an instance whete maeda had the & both, McGregor & Alister Johnston tried to take the ball from him.



    Someone mentioned Ronny Delia. I can actually make comparisons from that era.

  12. I may well huv Called it wrong, Celtic are Gonnae qualify, You cannae Legislate for that Dark Art.



    Atletico wanted him sent aff mair than any other Leo Sayer.



    Horrible Team with outstanding Players.



    End Times.CFC



    I Love our Celtic.



    Don’t ask me why I have a table beside my Right said Fred, When Paul pinged (I’ve never been a golfer).



    I wisnae there in the Billy Stark days.



    Celtic will



    Celtic Will

  13. Thankfully, Aberdeen are in Europe, and we Will, I expect to be 3 goals in the first half because of this advantage.



    I can’t deny that losing by that margin isnae good.



    I’m as p!ssed off about these Decisions, that Big Nation clubs Never need, as Everyone else.



    Enough to make you Drink.



    F”’k them.

  14. CELTIC40ME @ 3:01 PM,



    Slightly unfair, let me put my comment in context.



    Last night in a bar watching the game, a chap I watch the games with has his own escaped goats



    For years it was Sammy, then Rogic, with plenty of Nir Bittons thrown in for goodly measure.



    Now, you guessed it, it it Matt O’Riley,



    So after listening to a 47.5 minute berating of Matt, he gives my ears peace as he pops out to phone Glasgow.



    So when he back and I told him Matt was hooked and Holm, a defensive midfielder he very much likes, was on, it made his evening.



    You on the otherhand thought Brendan Rodgers was mightily unfair to bring Odin on for O’Riley at halftime.



    All about opinions, I just gave mine.



    QUADBHOY @ 3:43 PM,



    Seems we are more or less in agreement, my feeling is the corporation must put football first and be innovative and aggressive in their pursuit of excellence.



    Hail Hail

  15. BIG WAVY @ 2:10 PM,



    That awkward moment, just before a certain poster will be coming on, asking us to name that experienced DM, his salary and benefits package and his inside trouser leg measurement.



    Scouting for Guys csc






    Just as well he didnae he saved the club £72.3 mn.



    Hail Hail

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Irony alert.



    The UK Prime Minister has today labelled as “disrespectful”



    A march calling for an end to active conflict and killing



    …. which takes place on the same day as an annual event which IS SUPPOSED to commemorate the date and time of …. er … an end to active conflict and killing





    A weak, disinterested leader held hostage to a fascist fringe of his political party who, each week, behave more and more like the Nazis after 20 July 1944.

  17. Dexter P. Bampot on

    “There were precious few individual errors from Celtic last night, in fact, Joe Hart and his defence all came through the game remarkably well in that respect”



    Paul, I was at the Metropolitano. I must have been watching another game.



    Individual errors were sadly obvious- Hart with punch which put us under pressure just before first, CMG heading to Griezmann, AJ’s attempted clearances, Maeda tackle also an error (though overpunished), Palma losing the ball….



    However the overall problem is one of PLC policy. It’s the squad destruction and construction every year



    We are well in profit and COULD buy 4/5 proven guys 6-10m each instead of a huge group of projects.



    I’ve been banging on about this for 20 years



    No one is expecting reckless spending- we are talking about INVESTMENT.



    The lack of proven players has resulted in REPEATED individual and collective mistakes in almost every European game.



    The ridiculous red card for Maeda masks the fact that we were AGAIN behind at the start of a game.



    We AGAIN conceded the second at the worst time



    We AGAIN conceded a group of goals in quick succession



    We will likely get 40-50m for Matt and Reo. Ffs we COULD bank 10m and PROPERLY invest the rest!!



    Einstein said something well rehearsed about doing the same thing…..



    This is not rocket science- or theoretical physics

  18. bigrailroadblues on

    Team for Sunday


    Joe,Canadian Bruiser, CCV, Shamrock, Greg, Tomoki, Matthew, Odin, Kyogo, Luis, Jamesie.

  19. A wee bit of context.



    By the end of this evenings matches the 13 teams from outside of the big 5 leagues in the CL will have taken a total of just 12 points from matches against the big 5 league sides.



    This is out of 84 points available from such games.



    So including Holland Portugal Turkey Belgium Denmark Ukraine Serbia Switzerland Portugal all in with ourselves then we are not so bad.



    In fact it could be said we are exactly average with 1 point out of 9 vs these countries teams.



    A win vs Feyenoord would make this a decent campaign vs those clubs from benchmark competitor countries.



    A win v Lazio which was within our grasp and we would be a huge success. Small margins indeed.

  20. DAVID66 on 7TH NOVEMBER 2023 11:31 PM



    Hugh Dullas is a RACIST working for a Racist organisation and his seed/apple has not fell far from the tree, so yes he has his filthy hands on any referees that do our games in europe. If anyone believes different they need all our pity. May god bless them with a brain cell.



    *Thanks David don’t always agree with you when you attack members of the clubs staff, but we all have our own view on things and that failed windae installer whose company went intae receivership, isnae just a racist but a sectarian and vile character who highlighted his views on Catholicism by posting an inflammatory image of paedos in relation to the Holy Father’s visit.



    He lost his job as a result of this but not at the prompting of CFC but the Catholic Church however he has NEVER stopped his hatred for us for getting in the way, I listened tae broadcast of Clyde over here and was dumfounded not by his comments over “dougie dougie” but by the sympathetic panel agreeing with his very word, liar is too kind a word for him but then that’s a trait of the members of the craft.



    Earlier in his career I had found him to be pretty fair in his games involving us and then n 1997 when the Bunnet advertised for a GM he applied for it only for Jock Brown, who had graduated in law from Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, to be appointed which given the contract concerns we had seemed to be he perfect choice, and who during his tenure was involved in the appointments of Wim the Tim and Dr Jo from whom we got Henrick and Lubo respectively.



    It was after this that I detected a change in dallas in which I felt that being snubbed he had held a grudge against our club, now grudges and sarcasm are the Scottish way so no surprise there and then 2 years later we had the coin throwing game where between him and mccann they both orchestrated a game that will live on in infamy.



    6 years later he retired as a match referee, a year earlier than the mandatory retirement age, and then acted as a referee observer for the SPL and was appointed to the UEFA Referees’ Committee where he was also appointed to a new Referee Certification Panel, one of two panels introduced in connection with UEFA’s Referee Convention, while he continued his role as a UEFA referee observer.



    4 years after that he was appointed Head of Referee Development by the SFA, in November 2010, assistant referee Steven Craven accused Dallas of exerting pressure on him to support referee Dougie McDonald, who had lied about a disallowed penalty incident in a match at Tannadice Park, Dallas himself had initially publicly repeated McDonald’s false version of events but denied allegations of “bullying and harassment” of course he was supported personally by the SFA, later that month he faced an inquiry after it emerged that he had allegedly sent what has been described as a sectarian and offensive email referring to the Pope from his SFA email account.



    After journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain had broken the story, the SFA issued a statement on 10 November stating that an investigation would be carried out, on 24 November, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland wrote to the SFA demanding that they remove Dallas from his position if the allegation was proved, he was sacked by the SFA on 26 November, after chief executive Stewart Regan had concluded the investigation into the allegations, 4 other SFA employees were also sacked; three of whom were later reinstated, Dallas planned to sue the SFA for unfair dismissal, but the case was settled before it reached court.



    The local mitb then went on strike which it seems he orchestrated as would be proven when we approached the aforementioned Stewart Regan with an offer to end the dispute if he would reappoint him to his former role, now it seems that even behind closed doors it could be heard the chief executive dismissed him with language that even the clergy would struggle to use and so he left humiliated with his lips trembling.



    Now I know that as a club we go tae great pains to stress we are NOT a Catholic one and can point out some of our greatest players and staff did NOT practice the one true and apostolic faith, but we are still perceived as one and I have no doubt that after following Celtic for 70+ our haters, including the failed windae installer, still see us as one



    Anyway during his tenure at the SFA it was alleged that he in his other role with UEFA, where he was asked to forward suitable officials for the highly prestigious positions in their competitions that he would let them know, especially the North Lanarkshire ludge, who he favoured and why, so it seems his influence there has just carried over to has role with UEFA as why would we constantly get inferior officials especially as Burnley78 intimated a guy that is not really rated in his own country, where VAR is not used fully, in a poorly attended league, who may well harbour a grudge against us, it stinks of the bonkle bigot

  21. Prestonpans bhoys on




    Funny you mention that, I had a look at the CL 4th placings. Apart from Newcastle on 4, the rest are 2/1/0

  22. I’m beginning to think Albert Einstein was the only person who never actually used that definition…..


    Because everybody else has


    Collective insanity? You’d be crazy not to think so

  23. For a club facing adversity Shaktar Donetsk achieved the result of the evening in beating Barca, in Hamburg of all places. Likely to achieve at least nine points in their group but with an away fixture to Porto as their last game probably wont qualify. Never know though. Point being this is a club we could and should have beaten, in Poland, last season, and drew with at Celtic Park and they have given themselves a chance of progressing despite the constant upheaval they face. And I hope they do.

  24. Like all, I am extremely unhappy about last night, really. But, some realism.


    We are in a minnow league,with poor opposition mostly and above all, no money. How on earth are we supposed to compete with the Europe elite ?? Simply put, we cant. No money in Scottish football. zilch.



    I play golf , 9 handicap. My best friend is a pro golfer playing off plus 6. We have a game regularly. Do I expect to win, no, hoping for a miracle, never happens. Once in a blue moon, I take a hole from him, but the gulf in class is obvious. Just like Celtic and Europes elite so we must face the reality of Scottish football and deal with it sadly.


    I love Celtic with all my heart, but hard as it is, I must be realistic .




  25. And may I add, it is not all the fault of the board, really, where would we be if we spent £7 0 million , not mush better in my humble opinion.






  26. “BURNLEY78 on 8TH NOVEMBER 2023 6:47 PM


    A wee bit of context.”




    More than a wee bit !


    What Celtic means to us can lead to at least some irrationality after such a heavy defeat.


    As a Club, Celtic are still bigger than most of these teams who will regularly beat — and sometimes hammer —us. We really cannot fairly blame The Board for the ridiculously unfair distribution of wealth in Football.


    I honestly believe, for a variety of reasons,that Celtic means more to us than MOST other clubs do to their fans

  27. Difficult going from Eamonn Brophy on a Saturday, to Antoine Griezmann on the Wednesday….

  28. KINGLUBO on 8TH NOVEMBER 2023 7:25 PM



    We were typing at roughly the same time and saying roughly the same thing :-)

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5