Soft Cel


An aspect of football is so ineffective it is increasingly abandoned as a strategy.  When facing Celtic, however, corner kicks are routinely delivered into the heart of the box, providing a remarkably successful return.

If the reason Alistair Johnston was hooked at halftime yesterday was because he lost his man at the opening Hearts goal, I fully support the decision.  We are beyond the moment of encouraging, or even harsh words.  The second goal was equally as poor.  Marooned – both the colour displayed at the end of the game and Joe Hart’s position at the Hearts free kick.  The wall did not rise, as a well-placed but stoppable kick sailed into the net.

Not that we should scapegoat Alistair or Joe.  All five players deployed on the wing were ineffective.  Kyogo was picked out by one early ball and made Celtic’s best chance of the game (Palma was blocked), Oh huffed and puffed but offered little more.

Brendan Rodgers looks like he is out of ideas.  Swapping Luis Palma for Alexi Bernabei didn’t work.  He was then faced with the choice of either hooking Alexi or weakening his defence by subbing Greg Taylor to allow James Forrest a run at the left wing.

A week about we concluded that Kilmarnock bullied Celtic.  Yesterday it felt more like Hearts were simply able to impose themselves on the hosts.  The evidence mounts that this is a soft Celtic team.

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  1. onenightinlisbon on

    And what are you proposing happens next with this soft team and clueless manager and board Paul?

  2. AD- When Hatate got injured, BR should have picked a replacement and gave him a run of 4 or 5 games,Holm or Bernardo maybe? Chopping and changing the starting 11 is doing us harm,trying to pick the subs so like trying to pick a winning lottery ticket.HH

  3. lets all do the huddle on

    i cant believe that every one of those new players that were left out the squad yesterday were all worse than all those that were included in the squad.



    is brendan playing games along the lines of they arent the standard he wanted so he will leave them out even if they may be slightly better than the old school players?

  4. the long wait is over on




    All of that is true but what are we learning from it?



    Not only is our defence of set plays shocking we can’t even exploit our own.



    When did we last score with a header direct from a corner , like Shankland did yesterday ?

  5. Soft with no apparent plan and confused team selection and substitutions.


    Apart from those, all is well. 72M quid in the bank.


    Great stuff; what more could we want?

  6. The Battered Bunnet on

    If the outcome from yesterday’s match is an end to the hubristic guff we’ve seen lately, and a broad recognition that we are in a serious fight for the title and everything that follows from that, then I’m content enough with the absurd length of this sentence to make that point.

  7. Yeah, we were well beaten yesterday. We had nothing.


    Some transition ahead.


    It is likely we will lose more points through poor performances.


    I’m hoping the injury situation is causing most of the problems.


    The league is there for the taking by any consistent team.



    Thousands and thousands left with 15 mins to go – never seen that before.


    I’ve never heard ‘sack the board’ – it was the loudest chant by a long way all day.


    BR doesn’t look like he has any options in game.


    Unsettled times ahead, unless the return of hatate makes JH, CCV, Calmac, KF tick along.

  8. Anyone that listens to the huddle breakdown will know that those lads have been banging the drum for many weeks now about Liegerbilke – their stats indicate he’s unsuited to Celtic. Can’t play out, no good under a press.



    Bernardo, will go on to to be a good player, not at Celtic though. Not at a club that routinely has 75% of the ball in most of their games. He’ll be a midfield spoiler for the team that has 25% of the ball.



    How can these lads end up shortlisted by our scouting department? How are they not ruled out as being unsuited to Celtic ?



    Is it a case that we got Bernardo through the same contacts as Jota ? Liegerbielke came through Starfelt’s agent and Nawrocki through JJ’s former agent ?



    It’s difficult not to believe that because this looks a mess. We seemingly have either ignored or overlooked stats on recruits because of previous good results with agents…

  9. No forget about quality signings in January it ain’t going to happen,The Main focus for me and the many thousands of Celtic supporters is for about 4or 5 Directors on the Celtic Board to step down ,clearly we need new young executives on board to take the club forward in many ways.

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good, short summary Paul but I think this statement is unnecessary



    “Brendan Rodgers looks like he is out of ideas”



    Outing alleged individual culprits and scapegoats is rarely productive.



    Despite the horrendous injury problems and the impact of exhausting energy expenditure in CL games ….



    … I expected Brendan’s quality as a coach to show up better than yesterday.



    Looking at it from a distance I don’t think Brendan is blameless ….



    The perception of unity between coaches and squad – that Ange ABSOLUTELY locked down and owned – is not there right now.



    Brendan is clearly gambling here and I still believe he backs himself.



    “Look how bad my squad is. Give me a few tools and I’ll get it done”



    Time for unity.



    Our club (all of us) has a league to win.

  11. I’m angry that br is getting off easily.


    He destroyed the best striker in Scotland for what seems to me entirely due to his own, br s, ego.


    Also got is rubbish this season, last season playing the inverted role he was great, especially in attack.


    JH keeping has been v v poor, with no organisation eh GT marking the big m well striker who scored from the 85 min corner which cost 2 home points, while scales was on the line. The wall yesterday should have been another step or two left. Also he punched some balls he should have caught.




    Br is totally to blame for the mess, imo. The team is a shambles on the pitch and their are so many changes to the team and the squad that it’s utterly baffling. Can anyone tell me there are tactics on display?


    Can anyone argue that the defence is not a total shambles, that every time our opposition enter our box there is mad panic?


    And frankly, every corner against us is equivalent to a penalty. Our opposition have a similar corners/goals ratio as we have our own penalties/ goals ratio. We have missed 3ffs!

  12. glendalystonsils on

    AN DÚN on 17TH DECEMBER 2023 12:45 PM



    An excellent post . To build a team we need players with specific attributes but who also need to mesh together . We lack pace , power ,creativity and in a few cases , football intelligence . Take all of that out of a team and you’re not left with much .


    Recruitment has been lazy and neglectful .

  13. This Club won’t change until Dermot Desmond is away,and that’s not happening anytime soon.

  14. I wanted Brendan back,the bulk of this team won the Treble last season, he needs to do better.

  15. B2B


    I wasn’t born after 85 as you asked, what we have now is a major shareholder backed up by block business shareholders employing the same people at board and club level time after time, a cycle of lack of imagination or nepotism? Desmond was allowed to increase his shareholding to its present level by gaining the permission of other shareholders, otherwise he would have needed to commit to a full takeover of the club, small shareholders have no say in the decisions or direction of the club, McCann might not have wanted that, but the way he sold out for 4 times his intended profit is where the club is, rich people or person doing the bare minimum to develop the football club waiting on the right time to cash in his chips, I dont care what his son said at the AGM he wont control what daddy does.


    Celtic plc relies on season ticket sales and merchandise sales both at the behest of the support , for change they need to start exercising through supporter clubs etc their willingness to flex their collective financial muscle.

  16. I don’t think this is an issue with the board or recruitment but we are suffering from injuries to key players 2ho would feed the ball to Kyoto. Ange’s team sole aim was to get that ball to Kyoto by intensively pressing and moving the ball quickly .



    The players loved that style of play and tactics.



    NOW they are being asked to do something different which is a bit slower and requires patience and focus and they don’t like it because , at the moment it’s not working and when we don’t score early they start to overthink and teams can block , foul , slow the game and hit on the break.


    Teams that work harder than Celtic get a result that’s what’s happened in the last 2 games.


    I hope they don’t think bringing back the Green Brigade is the answer .


    Rodgers has tried shouting at them , naming players and almost shaming them . Not a lot of options left.

  17. JPH from earlier



    Could not agree more, spot on.


    It’s the system I tell ye, the system, full stop.


    Still find it strange that two of our best performers under Ange, are poor this season, Taylor and Kyogo, funny that !!!


    And boy, how we miss Rio.Not afraid of making a chancey pass , it may and has often come off.


    The team really lacks bravery and seem to be averse to taking risk, far too safe and staid for me.


    Afraid, I think the January signing will make little difference if we keep playing this way.



    Personally, I think Kyogo will be off to rejoin Ange at Spurs in January, my opinion obviously.



    Livi will be a tough game too, so I’m not hopeful in the least.


    Get BR out now, get the Bodo Glimpt guy in and we’re sorted, no matter the cost




  18. BR has us playing a U shaped formation , slow cumbersome side to side between the 2 centre backs and JH then 1 of them will play it out wide for it then to be return to a centre back and repeat, boring, dull and ponderous , frustrating the life out of the supporters who are allowed in , boring ,no entertainment and I don’t buy this ‘quality’ cop out , we are dropping points to teams with a fraction of our transfer budget and the ‘lack of quality’ players we do have should be better than any of our opponents.

  19. Probably said before , but at the end of the game, the manager shook hands with the players and officials and the walked around the whole stadium applauding the remaining fans.


    The players were a few steps behind him not really joining in with the consistent applause and then Calmac led them off.



    Was the manager trying to thank the remaining fans, despite any angry shouts? Did he share the sentiment behing the 2nd half songs? Was he taking the piss? Was he trying to gee up support?


    Can’t work out his motive but there was one at least.

  20. onenightinlisbon on

    The board should have been brave enough to appoint a manager who plays in the same way our players had been used to. It worked and was a joy to watch.



    Rodgers own arrogance meant that he decided to change a winning formula and the results are clear.



    Taylor, who was superb under Ange is now out of his depth and guys like Kyogo are getting no service due to the pondered and slow play with no cutting edge.



    We all know this ios going to end up with Rodgers either walking or being binned. Much better to do it now whilst we still have a fighting chance than when it’s too late.



    Doubt however if our board learned anything form the Lennon fiasco and I can see the barriers being dusted down in the coming weeks ahead.

  21. We could be in for a repeat of how things panned out under Lennon a absolute disaster a manager throwing good players under a bus ,which led to Sevco stopping us from getting 10 league titles,My gut feeling is this isn’t going to end well under Rogers ,Celtic before its to late change the coach ASAP

  22. We don’t have a properly functioning midfield. Out captain is having to patrol great swathes of the park putting out fires. O’Reilly, who I rate, tries his best but is usually swamped as soon as gets the ball and the A. N. Other midfielder strolls around the park waiting for Callum to do his stuff. I would consider playing Palma in midfield, he has a wee bit of dig, can pick a pass and doesn’t shy from taking a ball under pressure. Also thing Tony Ralston must get the nod over AJ, the big guy was one of only a few that played like it really mattered to when he came on

  23. Don Robertson hand picked,as the huns complained after Roofe goal disallowed at Poundland, he won’t cross them again.

  24. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Mmmm…. Chief cheerleader of the ‘sustainable model’ writes a special blog on a Sunday laying the blame at a manager that “looks out of ideas”.



    No suggestion that ‘the model’s’ architect (and cheerleader’s chum) might carry the bulk of responsibility given the strategic decision to replace proven, experienced quality with utter gash over this calendar year, bank the profits and pay yourself (yet another fat bonus).



    Or that the shocking nepotism stinking the place out that resulted in said recruitment might be a factor.



    I agree, Rodger’s looks out of ideas, but Harry Houdini would have laboured to escape the bind of utter mediocrity imposed by the masters of the universe in the Boardroom.



    P67 is going to have to excel himself in the art of spin as a 💩 hun team that Beale did his best to hole below the water line stroll to financial parity and more.



    All while the fat man and his cronies sat on a pile of readies, appointed their unqualified kin to crucial roles, paid themselves fat increases, filled the team with 💩 hoping to make even more profit for themselves in future. A gamble few supported at the time and is now exposing them as the hopeless bluffers they truly are.



    Bringing Lawwell back was the ultimate get it up you to the fans. Allowing him to bring in his dud son to feck up the team took it to another level.



    The toxic reaction of the fans to this brazen and failed cronyism is going to make the Covid season look positively serene.



    Remember that arrogant chat about pantywetters and coefficient monkeys? Time you ordered those diapers.

  25. the long wait is over on

    Genuine question.



    What is it that BR has done to “ruin” Kyogo?



    Isn’t it just that teams have gotten wise to how to nullify him – ie get behind the ball and deny him space to run into and we don’t currently have the players to unlock that pass , esp with Hatate out?



    Kyogo made plenty of short diagonal runs yesterday but wasn’t picked out



    How is Br to blame for that miss yesterday?



    As I say – genuine question – I’m no football tactician so am happy to have it explained to me.

  26. If the reason Alistair Johnston was hooked at halftime yesterday was because he lost his man at the opening Hearts goal, I fully support the decision





    I don’t fancy Taylor’s chances of seeing another full game if this is indeed where we are now at. Will it extend to the keeper ? Bernabie and Bain coming on, my goodness what a state we’re in.

  27. Was going to stay away today,but came in for a wee vent. Then I read a new article on a Sunday. A rarity.


    Hmmmmm as you were wont to say Paul.



    If I stood accused of being Leter Lawwells personal conduit for score settling, I might avoid articles that might feed that perception. Unless it’s true. Then I’d say that the manager,who PL supposedly did not want back, looks out of ideas. Now, the cognitive dissonance part – your well known view that it is self harming to remove managers mid season, now sits alongside blogs which increasingly look like they’ll fed into those very calls to sack BR.



    BR is not without fault here, but we have a league to win, a team to lift to get us there and everyone with influence right now should be pushing for unity for the remainder of the season.



    Get the GB and the Bhoys back in. Get the transfer strategy for January sorted pronto.



    Bitch about managers and inadequate data analytics and archaic chairmen at a later date.



    And in the absence of Iwata and hatate, play Bernardo at DM and let Cal roam free. The best football we played all week was when he was linking with Matt and Kyogo in advanced positions and the three of them were pressing with the football brains they possess. No coincidence.



    Forward in unity or let’s tear ourselves apart on the way to handing one of the worst inrox franchise teams a league title and a big cash injection via the big cup.



    This is far from an unassailable task against a very poor opponent. But we need momentum back fast. Start this week by making peace with fan groups and unifying the support. Anything less is self serving bullsh1t on the part of whoever refuses to compromise to get that done.

  28. lets all do the huddle on

    2 break away goals from the team from the west side of Ham.



    2.mid to lower premiership teams and i doubt any of our players would get a game for either side

  29. Paul 67,



    When I read your headline Soft Cel I immediately thought of Tainted Love.



    I wonder , was there any deliberation on this ??????




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