Some Perspective


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.

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  1. So half our fans are asking about the quality of our squad…while the entire sevco supports main question is why is our entire squad not on fifa16, you gotta laugh

  2. Chris Sutton has only said what the now majority of supporters have and are saying.



    He is correct.



    If some people cannot accept that then we’ll be sitting having this same discussion in July or probably before.

  3. Well balanced and accurate article Paul



    We are on the right road and we need to keep taking our medicine while this team develops. A team packed full of excellent young Scottish footballers incidentally.



    Its a cliche but we are in transition , we must hold our nerve.

  4. glendalystonsils on

    Chris Suttons remarks are motivated by frustration and are his honest opinions. A true soup taker would be saying everything’s going to be fine, hoping the slide would continue.


    Both Hartson and Petrov seemed to agree with him.


    That’s not too overlook the fact that we could easily have won last night with a wee bit of luck.

  5. When fans are continually let down by idiots who think they know about football., it is hardly surprising that thousands of fans don’t want to go to the game.


    Why bother if nobody is willing to listen to your concerns.


    Car crash of a team run by nasty wee businessmen and tories, with a manager who cannot learn from his mistakes, and will not take responsibility for his failures.


    RD should resign.


    He is not good enough.




  6. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Simple question – Yes No answer


    Are you confident RD will get Celtic into the CL Group stages next year ??



    If you answer yes I would like to understand how


    If you answer No – we must make a change




  7. Dissapointed in the score last night and in myself, where I let my emotions go in front of my boy, not very chuffed with myself.



    Walking down Argyll St after the game and a group of about 7 “Ajax” fans across the road singing anti Celtic stuff



    “Hey Celtic leave those kids alone”



    A wee song about the Dam all in sthat SDutch twang.


    Also goading a couple of young lads they would walk past where one with a hat slightly head butted the young lad. Not any reaction from Celtic supporters as you’d expect apart from me and my big gub but someone was going to get jumped by these animals.




    Anyway we got closer to the station and they turned right as they left the wee one I clocked head butting the young lad turned and shouted



    “Ya Fenian Bastards”



    In as broad a Scottish accent as me…..!



    My big lad said they passed us earlier and the wee rat with the hat was just about to throw a punch at him, till he saw he was with me.



    I did wonder how they got out of the ground so quickly Scotland at it’s best.



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  8. I was gutted after last night’s game BUT only for ten minutes, then I was fine.



    We lost a football match!



    Pass the razor blades pullease!



    See me?



    I’ve got a life.



    Family, friends, everyone well at the moment, thank God and interests away from football, like Malt Whisky.


    And I continue to work. I will be 67 years old shortly. A nice number and I hope to see it.



    I love the Celtic and want them to do well and I have an intense dislike for those who hate us and what we stand for.



    I know we can’t win every game and this will continue to be the case if Celtic exist for the next 100 years.



    And we really weren’t as bad last night as some of you say.



    And when I woke up this morning I was still a Tim.



    Really, life aint that bad.



    I will say a prayer today for all on here who need God’s help and I will say a prayer for all of your intentions.



    And it’s Friday too!

  9. Still don’t really rate Ronny. However, I’d give him another season if we perform well domestically

  10. Celtics Record in europe under deila is a Disgrace…But …he will be here until at least l this time next year unless he some how finds a way to lose the league, then he will be off.

  11. Ok. Let’s have a list of managerial candidates with both European experience and also a history of bringing through youth and developing a team.



    Simple question – Yes No answer


    Are you confident RD will get Celtic into the CL Group stages next year ??






    I was confident this season, based on the second half performances last season, but we have gone backwards and are worse than we were a year ago.

  13. Herbo



    I honestly don’t know bud.


    But wee jimmy krankie couldn’t do worse than RD.




  14. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    I agree with the main thrust of the article.



    We did play well, but for two costly errors. we paid for the first one, mainly due to the deflected block that fell kindly for Ajax.



    Gordon couldn’t do much about the shot from close range.


    As has been said, the second was solely down to pushing for the winner, a draw was no use to us.



    I don’t think that Armstrong had the energy left in his legs to put the ball into the box.



    Overall, apart from Lustig, who was weal al night, the defence was solid. The midfield broke well and had some passages of neat, clever play.



    If Lustig was the weakness at the back, then, I’m afraid whoever was pretending to be Leigh Griffiths must carry the can up front.



    As in last Saturday, his eye was out, but even worse was his failure to pass to a better placed colleague.



    I suspect that the longer the game went on, the harder he tried to exonerate himself, which only led to a further deterioration in his game.



    Plaudits to the boys who haven’t had much game time, for the effort they put in, particularly Mc.Gregor, who is a midfielder, not a winger.



    Finally(cheers), Ronny is looking to bring in experienced senior players to help his young players on and off the field.



    However, he inherited Brown, Mulgrew, Stokes and Commons.


    Of those, I think only Brown has fulfilled the role of senior player, there, for me, the other three have outlived their usefulness at Celtic Park.



    Professional doesn’t just mean that you get paid for what you do – it also implies an attitude of responibility to your profession.



    Off to the dentist.

  15. 67 European Cup Winners on

    HERBO on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 12:32 PM


    Then we have a bigger problem than I think we have ??




  16. Hartson has had his moments too!



    They all have.



    Except Tommy Boyd and Wee Tosh.



    Both Gents.

  17. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Gary67 on 27th November 2015 12:34 pm



    I agree thats why I struggle with Paul67 article today (but I respect he has to reconcile his position with info he gets from the club)



    Also its not about last night – I think we had a go – its about Europe since Ronny joined us




  18. Before the wages are the same as the Seville season becomes another stick to beat Celtic with let’s get it straight.



    Today you have to pay to get players no where near the stature of what was bought for the same figure in 2003. It’s hyper wage inflation that goes down the wage scale so that less able players get paid more than their ability to deliver.



    I thought Sutton who was one of our best big money buys ever who towered over Petrov and Harston last night was completely lacking self awareness when he was going off on one.



    How much would a Sutton cost us to sign and pay today? How much Petrov? How much Harston. ? Not to mention Thomson Lambert and Ghod.



    I also thought his comments regarding Mulgrew I’ll judged, mistimed and misinformed.



    There was a mention Charlie was on instgram after the game saying his quad, which had kept him out had gone again. I’ve also read he got the nod from RD to come off.



    But by letting his emotions get the better of him Sutton set a hare running that quite a few were happy to chase last night.



    I have not seen confirmation of why and how CM left the field of play but I’m passing no judgement until I do on CM. On CS he needs to be more professional unless his job is to stir things.

  19. The Green Man



    I just canny blame Ronny Deila for this maself. Anyone would struggle to progress in Europe under the regime.



    He’s mibbe no the greatest but sack him and all you’ll get is another cheap option yes man.

  20. Hi Paul67,



    Don’t often disagree but I believe our Europa League performance gives us all the perspective we need.



    The UEL is one of the few competitions where we come toe to toe with our peer group, as you have oft intimated, Leagues don’t lie, we are almost finished this campaign firmly


    At the bottom of the League.



    “…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…



    Well this sounds like good news, if we are going to continue to bring quality youngsters through… We have half a dozen top quality prospects under 20 And continue to buy to build over the next two transfer windows we could well be in a position to qualify for the UCL. Let’s hope eh!



    One thing, who would you give the transfer budget to?-)



    Hail Hail

  21. 67 European Cup Winners on

    weeminger on 27th November 2015 12:34 pm



    David Moyes if we can get him now


    second option Michael O’Neill from Northern Ireland – but you need to wait until after the Euros – 2/3 weeks before CL qualifiers




  22. I am genuinely sorry that Ronny has not worked out as he seems an honest man.


    He needs to be replaced now.


    Results are reality – no ifs , no buts and no maybe’s.


    Nigel Pearson would be worth talking as would Brendan Rodgers.

  23. And And And……The Lead in article is The Worst since the The one About CIFTCI being Our Number One Signing Target in the Summer…( still my particular Favourite)…Some Perspective…We Are Going Backwards….FAST…

  24. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I believe that by the start of season if we have no injuries we will have a settled back four and that will help Gordon to get back to his best.We will as likely as not have signed a couple of players at least. If Ronny has anything about him at all he will have moved on Stokes Commons and Mulgrew 3 senior players who appear not to have bought into his methods.So I think Ronny can get us into the CL group stages he need our support thought not the lets get rid of him brigade. H.H.

  25. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    weeminger on 27th November 2015 12:34 pm Ok. Let’s have a list of managerial candidates with both European experience and also a history of bringing through youth and developing a team.




    Exactly. If we get rid of Ronny it’s either get in a similar type who will face the same problems or completely rip up the development plan and go back to buying overpriced journeymen.

  26. When has ANY celtic manager been judged solely on European performance?



    Its never happened before in the History of the club



    With two glorious exceptions ,every Celtic manager has had mediocre performance in Europe with the odd blip.We celeberated like we had wont the CL when Martin O’Neil have us European football after Xmas for the first tie in years when he arrived



    Ronnie is imperious in Domestic football, and yet is viewed upon as ajoke figue by some on here.



    What is it you expect?

  27. List of Ronny Deila signings:



    24 Carlton Cole, unattached, Oct 2015 [BBC]


    05 Jozo Simunovic,£3m from Dinamo Zagreb, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    17 Ryan Christie, £500,000 from Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    02 Tyler Blackett, (loan) from Manchester United, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    19 Scott Allan, £275,000 plus Liam Henderson(loan) from Hibernian, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    07 Nadir Cifti, £1.5m from Dundee United, Jul 2015 [BBC]


    26 Logan Bailly, £250,000 from OH Leuven, Jul 2015 [BBC]


    22 Saidy Janko, undisclosed from Manchester United, Jul 2015 [BBC]


    20 Dedryck Boyata, £1.5m from Manchester City, Jun 2015 [BBC]


    29 Michael Duffy, undisclosed from Derry City, Feb 2015 [BBC]


    14 Stuart Armstrong, £1.75m from Dundee United, Feb 2015 [BBC]


    16 Gary Mackay-Steven, £250,000 from Dundee United, Feb 2015 [BBC]


    09 John Guidetti, (loan) from Manchester City, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    12 Stefan Scepovic, £2.3m from Sporting Gijon, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    32 Mubarak Wakaso, (loan) from Rubin Kazan, Aug 2014 [BBC]


    22 Jason Denayer, (loan) from Manchester City, Aug 2014 [BBC]


    27 Aleksander Tonev, (loan) from Aston Villa, Aug 2014 [BBC]


    16 Jo Inge Berget, (loan) from Cardiff City, Jul 2014 [BBC]


    26 Craig Gordon, free, Jul 2014 [BBC]




    List of Ronny sales:



    Ryan Christie, (loan) to Inverness CT, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Eoghan O’Connell, (loan) to Oldham Athletic, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Virgil Van Dijk, £11.5m to Southampton, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Stefan Scepovic, (loan) to Getafe, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Darnell Fisher, (loan) to St Johnstone, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Dylan McGeough, undisclosed to Hibernian, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Liam Henderson, (loan) to Hibernian, Aug 2015 [BBC]


    Jackson Irvine, undisclosed to Ross County, Jul 2015 [BBC]


    Amido Balde, free to FC Metz, Jul 2015 [STV]


    Michael Duffy, (loan) to Alloa Athletic, Jul 2015 [Link]


    Adam Matthews, £2m to Sunderland, Jul 2015 [BBC]


    Holmbert Fridjonsson, free to KR Reykjavik, Jul 2015 [STV]


    John Herron, free to Blackpool, Jun 2015 [STV]


    Teemu Pukki, £500,000 to Brondby, Jun 2015 [STV]


    Lukasz Zaluska, released, Jun 2015 [STV]


    Joe Chalmers, free to Motherwell, Jun 2015 [BBC]


    Aleksander Tonev, returned (loan) to Aston Villa, Jun 2015 [STV]


    Mubarak Wakaso, returned (loan) to Rubin Kazan, Jun 2015 [STV]


    John Guidetti, returned (loan) to Manchester City, Jun 2015 [STV]


    Jason Denayer, returned (loan) to Manchester City, Jun 2015 [BBC]


    Liam Henderson, (loan) to Rosenborg, Mar 2015 [BBC]


    Filip Twardzik, undisclosed to Bolton Wanderers, Feb 2015 [BBC]


    Beram Kayal, undisclosed to Brighton and Hove Albion, Jan 2015 [BBC]


    Amido Balde, (loan) to Hapoel Tel Aviv, Jan 2015 [STV]


    Jo Inge Berget, returned (loan) to Cardiff City, Jan 2015 [BBC]


    Bahrudin Atajic, released, Sep 2014 [STV]


    Amido Balde, (loan) to Waasland Beveren, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    Teemu Pukki, (loan) to Brondby, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    Holmbert Fridjonsson, (loan) to Brondby, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    Dylan McGeough, (loan) to Hibernian, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    Jackson Irvine, (loan) to Ross County, Sep 2014 [BBC]


    Fraser Forster, £10m to Southampton, Aug 2014 [BBC]


    Denny Johnstone, £300,000 to Birmingham City, Jul 2014 [BBC]


    Tony Watt, £1.2m to Standard Liege, Jul 2014 [BBC]



    Total sales approx £25.5 m

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