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Some Perspective

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Negatives out of the way first: we’re not good enough, this is a low achievement by a Celtic team who have reached a group stage. There’s no disputing that, but amid the predictable ‘Throw them all overboard’ reaction, I know I’m not the only one who is not panicking right now.

When I heard we were playing three wingers (Forrest, Mackay-Steven, McGregor) I anticipated a thrashing. Gordon Strachan would often drop all his craft players for the more industrial types in European football, with good reason.

As it turned out, we had the majority of the chances, and all the better ones, as we spent most of the second half pushing for a winner.

No arguments with Leigh Griffiths assessment immediately after the game, that was his worst performance in a Celtic shirt. Nor is there dispute in Ronny Deila’s retort that he’s scored plenty for us before and will continue to do so. Even the greats have days like that, including the Swede.

The midfield formation was fluid throughout the game. Tom Rogic initially played as a defensive mid, before moving in front of Stuart Armstrong (who moved everywhere) and Callum McGregor. The defensive mid role Rogic played isn’t one carried out by either Nir Bitton or Scott Brown. We’ve not had anyone in this role since the departure of Victor Wanyama (still pining) and it remains a large gap in the offering.

Lesson: we need a defensive mid. The deep lying playmaker + box-to-box player isn’t robust enough in Europe.

Callum McGregor carried possibly the lowest expectations of everyone in a Celtic shirt but he put in an excellent shift. His goal was outstanding, losing possession immediately before Ajax equalised took the shine off things a bit, but it was still a strong performance.

Do you know the last time McGregor started a game? October 2014. Under those circumstances that was a remarkable performance.

General consensus is that the defence played well. Kieran Tierney is as good a left back as we’ve had in years. Had he not gone off with an injury the result might have been different.

Jozo Simunovic is clearly out best central defender. I know I’m not setting the bar too high with that statement, but he’s a move in the right direction. He’s also young, still working on his fitness, and will continue to progress.

A week ago Celtic Underground’s Harry Brady suggested Dedryck Boyata plays better alongside Simunovic than without him. Dedryck still has a long way to go but the evidence suggests partnered with a game-reader like Jozo has helped him. Let’s see where he is at the end of the season.

And Craig Gordon? He could have stopped both Ajax goals. That’s not to say he was to blame for either, he wasn’t, but these were the kind of stops he was making in last season’s Europa League.

Ronny is 18 months into the job and has contributed to the situation we find ourselves in (tactical mistakes in both Molde games), but this is not the time to lurch off plan. We’re not good enough largely because we’ve recruited too few players since 2012 who have improved the team.

We need to continue to develop players like Tierney and we need to recruit better. Get this right in January, and again in the summer, and we will be vastly better. The alternative is likely to be to pick up a best from the SPFL pool, or someone from the English circuit who cannot get a better paid gig. And then it would take until November 2017 before we could assess them properly.

Return of the Bampots

Tonight, for one night onlyt, Phil Mac Giolla Bháin, John Fallon and myself are in the Hibs Club, Carfin, for a Q&A in aid of Mary’s Meals, with Phil Agnew hosting. The event starts at 7:30, £5 entry, can pay at the door.

Looking forward to seeing you there.
Windstrailer4

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  1. the glorious balance sheet on

    Tierney is now the jam tomorrow

     

     

    A lot is unfairly being put on this young man’s shoulders

  2. Better performance than I was expecting with the players we had missing , poor ball control cost us the first goal and poor decision making ( short corner / no cover ) cost us the second when we were chasing the win .

     

     

     

     

    Fairly young team lacking experience at this level , I know its the same for Ajax but they are playing at a higher level week in week out .

     

     

     

     

    Changes needed in recruitment strategy , some more experience needed to play alongside the young team so to speak .

  3. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Damn.. Hahahaha

     

     

    Her own ….. DOOOOOOOOHHHHHUN

  4. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Damn.. Hahahaha

     

     

    Herbo ….. DOOOOOOOOHHHHHUN

  5. Ronny is 18 months into the job and has contributed to the situation we find ourselves in (tactical mistakes in both Molde games), but this is not the time to lurch off plan.

     

     

    Just wondering what exactly is the plan?Not going so well after 18 months.

     

     

    To me Ronny is well out of his depth just like that other successful Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at Cardiff.As for Davie Moyes ,whoever was going to succeed Ferguson was bound to fail.Moyes is a manager with a reputation to rebuild and this could be to our advantage.Its been said the football he plays is dull as an argument against him,its not as if we’ve been watching scintillating football since Ronnys appointment.

  6. the glorious balance sheet on

    I’m curious to know what the plan is too.

     

     

    And also to know whether this plan is executable with a much lower European co-efficient and lower income steams as is now inevitable.

     

     

    And also what happens to this plan in the event that – surprise surprise – we don’t recruit wisely in January 2016 and fail to qualify for the CL next season.

  7. Don’t think last night was particularly bad. Same old principles apply, must take your chances and mistakes get heavily punished.

  8. TGB

     

     

    If Tierney is jam tomorrow then it must be the de luxe stuff in Garden Shops.

     

     

    I don’t like going overboard but for him tomorrow is today.

  9. The plan is to not put any of our players in the shop window and so the team is not in a state of flux going into CL qualifiers next year.

     

     

    Where RD’s genius comes in, is without a big hitter to punt off to the EPL, PL will need the CL more than ever and will be force to speculate in the summer and buy in some quality. Manager your manager ;)

  10. I was dismayed to read back last nights blog where Chris Sutton was being praised and back slapped for his opinions on Celtic players, management and board last night.

     

     

    A defeat after, what in my opinion, was a decent performance is right up his street.

     

     

    HE IS A GRADE “A” SOUP TAKER and everything he said last night would justify his pay poke from his employers.

     

     

    If we’d scraped a 2-1 win he would have said the same.

     

     

    Hartson is a soup taker as well.

     

     

    We’ll see how long it is before any other former players begin to enjoy the regular cheques from their paymasters before they too go over to the dark side.

     

     

    F88K the lot of them.

  11. The problem is we are not improving. We are worse now than we were last season when RD was 6 months into the job. The squad is a shambles. Poor central defenders (Simunovic apart), 8 or 9 attacking midfielders but no defensive midfielders. ONE striker. I grew up watching a Celtic who had an embarrassment of riches in the striking department, we are now just an embarrassment in that area.

  12. Sorry to disagree, but I think Sutton is only saying what most of us feel and he should be commended for actually caring.

  13. Paul,

     

     

    I am astounded that you think Deila is better than any other option we have.

     

     

    Ronny has failed in Europe and has cost the club millions. Even with his hands tied with worse than poor player recruitment he has loaded the dice against him by playing the same rigid formation and kept the attacking format. I have only seen an adaptation against Qarabag and it worked well.

     

    You admit yourself that the selection of 3 wingers was an error. I’d say two wingers and McGregor as a centre attacking mid but that’s at the margins.

     

    McGregor had a great game apart from the mistake at the goal! Are we serious? This is the measure. You were ok apart from the mistake that cost us 50% of why we lost? Mental.

     

    Young McGregor is picking up a fine wage as part of the total package that those players get which is now the same as the Seville season. He shouldn’t escape criticism as he is handsomely paid. He couldn’t control the ball then couldn’t put in a tackle. He made other similar mistakes further up the park. He played hard and scored a goal but he isn’t good enough.

     

    There was plenty guts last night but no team mates willing to step in and help as usual. Forrest was left to beat players with no assistance to find an end product, GMS st one stage was fouled 4 times in one run with no Celtic player within 30 yards to help him out.

     

    Team mates should be busting a gut to get into space. Instead they stand back and watch as the guy tries to beat 3 players.

     

    So it looks as though we go into next years qualifiers knowing the same guy will be there with his 4 2 3 1.

     

     

    Who are we going to waste our money on in the hope of finding a gem? A holding midfielder? Young lad from Dundee United is not ready to step in and make that a European starter position.

     

     

    Two transfer windows? There are folk across the city on crack who think the same way and are rightly derided for it.

  14. BT

     

     

    I hope your cousin recovers quickly from his injuries.

     

     

    IT MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BEEN THE SCOTTISH POLICE WHO STRUCK THE BLOWS.

     

     

    F88K THEM AS WELL!

     

     

    Hope you and your friends are OK.

  15. Remember Martin O’Neill’s interview after Lennon left?

     

     

    Roy Keane was gonnay take the job. PL vetoed it. I doubt Keane was the only one interviewed. Ronny Deila, as is widely known was already coming in as 1st team coach.

     

     

    I like Ronny Deila but he is playing with both hands tied behind his back. It’s like my boss saying. Right wee man. I want you to change the menu but you’re not getting any other ingredients. And by the way. I’m bringing in 2 sous chefs that you’ve never met anaw!

     

     

    Until folk understand this is how Celtic work and kick up Fk about it we’re gonnay get nowhere. Why doesn’t PL just come out and tell us it’s upto him and John Park? Because he knows you won’t like it.

  16. Dear oh Dear

     

     

    Heads in the sand again.

     

    Yeah, Ronny will make Celtic a better team….blah, blah, blah.

     

    Smoke and Mirrors.

     

    He should resign, he has not got the first clue about football.

     

    He does not learn from his mistakes.

     

    He has a bad habit of defeat in Europe.

     

    He is not willing to change his methods.

     

    Well, sack him then.

     

    Celtic are stagnating….going nowhere.

     

    We are a laughing stock in European Football.

     

    It cannot go on like this.

     

    We are dire in Europe.

     

    Somebody needs to take responsibility.

     

    Because RD certainly isn’t.

     

     

     

    HH

  17. We started with 7 Scots in the starting 11, what’s not good about that?

     

     

    We fell a bit short this year but I can ‘connect’ with my Celtic.

  18. the glorious balance sheet on

    Auldheid 1208

     

     

    He looks like a cracking prospect, tackles like a tiger, and puts in good crosses too but we shouldn’t put too much expectation on him

     

     

    Such mediocrity around him that he will be asked to carry the team before long

     

     

    I’m concerned too that he is being used by some as a proxy for Ronny to keep his job “never mind 10 Europa games without a win, or 4 wins in 21 European games against full time opposition, look what Ronny has done with Kieran Tierney, he needs to stay, it’ll come good”

     

     

    Actually the evidence suggests that it won’t.

  19. Dexter says BHOYCOTT CELTIC PARK UNTIL THE PLC PAY ALL EMPLOYEES THE LIVING WAGE on

    Paul

     

     

    I have to say at least you are consistent. After each of our Euro debacles (now 10 EL games without a win), you will, knowledgeably, point out the negatives and positives of the tactics, of individual performances etc.

     

     

    However, what we are missing is a proper assessment of the fundamental state and direction of the club.

     

     

    We are now outside the top SIXTY FOUR teams in Europe. It does;t really matter about the fact that 3 wingers were selected last night, our squad is crap. Bitton, a fit Commons and maybe Gordon aside, we are absent any real quality.

     

     

    We are on a consistent downward trajectory. The Manager’s ineptitude for European games doesn’t assist, go course. The buying policy doesn’t assist- whether the purchases be RD’s, JP’s or PL’s, they have been almost universally terrible. Chris Sutton is absolutely right in his criticism. Unlike other ex players (whether on TV or in print), he wasn’t pontificating simply for the sake of being controversial- he was saying how he actually feels- he is hurting about the state in which we find ourselves mired.

     

     

    The approach of PL and the PLC is a disgrace. Their wait for return (sic) of the Zombie tribute act is as embarrassing as it is transparent.

     

     

    Modest investment in PROVEN players (say up to £5million) over the past few years not only would have brought in more quality, but would have proved cheaper. One £5million star is far cheaper than 2 or 3 £1.5-2m duds when one takes into account wages etc.

     

     

    The responsibility for POLICY is not RD’s. He is PL’s latest incumbent.

     

     

    It is my considered (and regretful) opinion is that PL MUST GO (after announcing the introduction of the living wage for all employees). RD should also be replaced but it would be pointless so to do unless the POLICY changes.

     

     

    HH

  20. Dont agree Paul, Ronny seems a nice guy but I would not be giving him anymore time, he is lacking in experience and has no experience in his assistant and first team coach, we have an inordinate amount of injuries and the fitness and conditioning looks suspect, the plan needs binned and get someone in who can work in a realistic way with what we have and not someonewho looks to somekind of football utopia which is not going to be achieved, i guess your call for perspective is the board message so there will be no change. Very sad

  21. Coolmore Mafia

     

     

    You missed my point.

     

     

    It suited him to say what he said last night.

     

     

    He’s a soup taker.

     

     

    He is beginning to resemble a hun dressed up as a Tim.

     

     

    He joins the walker, provan, nicholas, bonnar, hartson et al school of turncoats.

     

     

    They DESERVE EACH OTHER.

     

     

    THEY BROUGHT IT ON THEMSELVES.

     

     

    W***ers. the lotofem!

  22. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    WHY DID ASRMSTRONG TAKE A SHORT CORNER?? AND HIS FREE KICK IN THE FIRST HALF WAS PATHETIC NEARLY LAND AT PARKHEAD X

  23. the glorious balance sheet on

    Sutton only gave an honest assessment of Celtic’s whole European campaign.

     

     

    He sounded as gutted as most fans were.

     

     

    Yes last night was by no means our worst European performance under Ronny. The likes of Tierney Forrest jozo played really well.

     

     

    But it’s being viewed in the context of what went before in this European campaign. You can’t expect to be confirmed as bottom in your EL group with one game still to play and not face criticism.

     

     

    And as I say Sutton sounded gutted. I much prefer that reaction than that if Johansen walking off with a big cheesy grin talking to one of the molde players after they had beaten us.

  24. Herbo

     

     

    I didny know Collins and Kennedy could cook!

     

     

    Everydays aschool day on here!

     

     

    So it is!

  25. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Lesson: we need a defensive mid. The deep lying playmaker + box-to-box player isn’t robust enough in Europe. –

     

    ————–

     

    Couldn’t agree more, Paul. Said that after the Molde away game. Brown and Bitton were both in the Molde half for the first goal. We need someone for these games with a more defensive instinct. Also someone who can organise things – eg making sure both full-backs are not bombing on at the same time. Maybe a. Scott Parker?

  26. Dexter says BHOYCOTT CELTIC PARK UNTIL THE PLC PAY ALL EMPLOYEES THE LIVING WAGE on

    PHILBHOY on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 12:09 PM

     

    I was dismayed to read back last nights blog where Chris Sutton was being praised and back slapped for his opinions on Celtic players, management and board last night.

     

     

    A defeat after, what in my opinion, was a decent performance is right up his street.

     

     

    HE IS A GRADE “A” SOUP TAKER and everything he said last night would justify his pay poke from his employers.

     

     

    If we’d scraped a 2-1 win he would have said the same.

     

     

    Hartson is a soup taker as well.

     

     

    ____________________

     

     

    What a pile of horse manure.

     

     

    Anyone with any dealings with Hartson post-Celtic knows he loves the club. I know of many examples which demonstrate he is far from a soup-taker.

     

     

    Chris Sutton read out a list of players purchased (i.e. a fact). Can you give me the success stories of, let’s say 5 of them. Go on…. well?……

     

     

    Sutton says it like it is, not how you want it to be.

     

     

    PL luvs ya baby….

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