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. Am I confident that Ronny will get us into the CL next season? NO



    Would I be confident that David Moyes would get us into the CL? NO



    Would I be confident that Jose Mourinho would get us into the CL? NO



    Am I confident that no other Scottish team will qualify for Europe next season? YES

  2. What I would like to see injuries permitting is the same side play 5 consecutive matches.



    Same back four with Janko for Luston if fit.



    Same midfield but with someone in the holding role to provide cover. Effe? Others from Britton Armstrong Allan/ Commons



    I’d like to see Cole in action to see if we can capitalise more on our wing play but most of all I want stability.



    We have four months to build it using players we know will be here next season.

  3. Richie #TeamOscarForever on

    It was a disappointing game but enjoyed the company of a few CQNers before and after.



    Can’t help thinking that John Collins had a point when you compare Ajax with the way Kilmarnock played against us last week.



    Still, a wee rub of the green and it could all have been so different.




  4. Herbo



    I think we have to be realistic here.


    You cannot employ a rookie manager, who has the bad habit of being regularly humped in Europe, and expect fans to pay top dollar to watch repeated failure.


    Something has to give.


    Sooner RD goes, the better, Celtic are going backwards.


    I’m not paying to watch miserable failure.


    Why should anybody?




  5. HERBO on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 12:46 PM



    The problem is Ciftci is the latest in a long line. Balde, Pukki, Scepovic, Bangura, Lassad, Brozek, Miku. Our scouting of strikers is abysmal

  6. Auldheid,


    Your basing those figures on us going to England to buy players, there is plenty of equivalent talent all over Europe we can buy for the same prices we paid then.


    The problem is we are being told that England is the only comparison we are allowed to make because that keeps the argument alive, we have supposedly invested a fortune in our scouting department yet


    All we get is the sme tired old argument that we can’t compete with English prices, we can compete with Dutch, Belgian, Austrian, Swiss prices, we can compete with most Eastern European prices, we can compete with Scandinavian prices, so why are we being told to accept that England is the only country we should be basing out competitive datum ?


    You raise Stan Petrov as an example, remind us how much Stan actually cost us ?

  7. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Auldheid. A good post fella as stability is the one thing we have not had this season. H.H.

  8. BT



    Sorry to hear you were caught up in trouble last night, peelers are the same here.. Hand out threats to people who mainly pose no threat at the time.






    Good aul tunes last night..keep we lit.

  9. TGM



    He’s not a rookie manager tho. He’s just not allowed to manage at Celtic and therein lies the problem in my eyes.

  10. Gary67



    Exactly mate. And who’s making these decisions? It’s wasn’t Lennon and it’s not Deila.

  11. 67 European Cup Winners on

    I think there was some statements yesterday about Celtics wage bill being £38m


    Someone on here said it was equivalent to Championship clubs in England



    So imagine Celtic in the Championship (let alone the PL) would we win it ??


    Are we better than Brighton (Kayal doing great for them ??)



    My point is – its who you buy and how you play them



    Paul67 – RD is 18 months in if we are only finding out now that we need a “box to box defensive midfielder” then what has he been watching



    We are underperforming – big style




  12. What is the Stars on

    Still some people proposing to give Ronny more time






    More time ???



    10 years in Barlinnie for fraud maybe

  13. 67 European Cup Winners on

    79caps on 27th November 2015 12:50 pm


    79 – You are depressing me with common sense




  14. Ok ,you want a midfield general/enforcer well I give you Richard Almeida of Qurabag..He is the stand out in my file of midfielders.


    Now away to check on my list of strikers ,may take a while.HH

  15. I disagree paul67


    Ronny taking us nowhere


    There’s a plan alright


    Downsize fc


    Bloody awful


    Is there any point in buying


    A European ticket


    We’re back in the 90s


    With this squad


    Let’s not kid ourselves


    November 2017 u having a laugh


    We are Celtic supporters


    We expect more

  16. Kayal might be doing great for Brighton, but apart from a bright start, he didn’t do great for Celtic.

  17. I can’t agree with you Paul.



    Things are bad because the strategy isn’t working and the manager is tactically inept.



    Ronny will never change this; you’re either good at tactics or you’re not, and he isn’t.



    Lawell will never change this as he plans too much for failure and doesn’t invest properly in the team.



    The fact remains that we are mainly buying sh*te players on the cheap so that the sacred wage structure doesn’t change. We’ve all seen it for years and now the previously pending doom is now upon us.



    We’re two transfer windows away from a 3rd successive CL exit and a financial crisis.



    We can’t plug the next £10-15m gap this will leave with player sales. We just don’t have players that good.



    The facts remain that Ronny’s tactics have lost us circa £30m and Lawell has had to mitigate that by selling our best players and has been too frightened to roll the dice.



    If the players we need aren’t purchased in the next 2 transfer windows we will be too far off the pace to recover.



    CL football is a must for us to keep growing and missing it 3 times in a row is not acceptable.



    There’s no guarantee that we will get to the CL by spending more, but there is certainly a guarantee that we won’t get there with the current crop of players and the current manager’s tactics.



    Sweeping changes are needed and if you can’t see that and continue to support the status quo then I worry about where this blog is heading.



    Demand more to get more.

  18. mullet and co 2 on

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Ronny is already serving his notice the way this club do business.





    With respect to the Seville Wages comparison, I accept that inflation is a factor and that transfer fees are a massive issue.



    What I can’t accept is that we had players like Larsson on 30 odd k a week with Sutton Hartson et al not too far behind. We have gone for a wage ceiling of 20k ? And recruit 2m players in terms of transfer fees for each position. Scott Brown is the exception. Not sure if his new deal puts him on less than 25k.



    I would hazard a guess that we could sign a free transfer or two and stick them on 30k per week. Im not advocating breaking the wages to turnover ratio. Punting Ciftci, Boerrigter, Boyata, Blackett, Janko et al would sort out a fair whack per week.

  19. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    67ECW. We are 6 points clear at the top of the SPL we are in the Semi-Final of the league cup and still in the Scottish cup ok in Europe we have been poor but we dont expect to win the CL or the Europa league.So I cannot agree we are under performing.We won the League cup and the SPL last year so again I think for a first season Ronny did well I think fella your expectations are to high and we may win the treble this season. H.H.

  20. Herbo



    It wont matter soon bud.


    The bigots and cheats will be back next season.


    The PLC will be rubbing their hands that bigotry pays.


    I will then retire from Scottish Football.


    The old firm agenda, stinks to high heaven.


    I’m totally ashamed of the Celtic PLC


    They are a disgrace to the supporters.




  21. Chris Sutton is bang on the button with his assessment of how poor Celtic are.



    He is not a soup taker.


    We have been on a down ward spiral for years.


    Declining gates,declining income from all income streams.



    Leading to declining standards on the park.



    We MUST increase our income streams or play in the also rans leagues.



    English football is where it is at.



    The board have no idea how to get us there.



    That is where they are failing us in the bigger picture.



    On a more micro level ,our scouts and management team need shot.






    Carlton Cole is yet another crock.



    The whole thing sickens me to the pit of my stomach.



    I must have posted 20 times in the last 3 seasons about us signing crocks.



    Utterly disgusted that many just accept these low ,low , standards.




  22. notthebus on 27th November 2015 12:28 pm



    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.






    Indeed NTB. Some people need to realise that if we get rid of the manager every 18 months because we are unable to make the step-up from the weekly walkovers against SPL dross to beating well organised and combative European opponents, then we will forever be a team in transition.



    Until we have a solid core of decent players (within our limited scope) who have played together for 2 or 3 seasons, we will not improve in European competition.



    And replacing Deila with Moyes, who failed miserably in his last position, would be no guarantee of yielding any better results.



    We cannot afford top quality players or management.coaching staff, due to the fact that we play in an inadequate, uncompetitive footballing shanty town. And our situation in Europe will not improve until either the rest of the SPL up their game to give us a serious challenge on a weekly basis, or we get out of this rotten league altogether.

  23. notthebus on 27th November 2015 12:45 pm



    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.




    Exactly, someone posted earlier that we used to be a CL team, we weren’t and never have been.



    We occasionally make the CL, whenever we have to qualify we struggle no matter who the coach has been. And we’ve had plenty of poor performances when we’ve made the CL group stages, more than good performances.



    If we need CL money to break even every year then we are spending to much money.

  24. Paul.


    Callum McGregor ain’t a winger.


    Ronny has played him there prior to last night, yes, it still doesn’t make him a winger.


    Far more effective in the middle, where we have a trillion players who play there.


    Still only one centre forward ,who had a Reggie last night but not one on the bench to be trusted to replace him.


    Our squad is imbalanced.


    Our squad is also lightweight.


    The best thing about going to Celtic Park is spending time with fellow Tims.


    Not the fitba.


    The rot comes from the top.


    Starting with the absentee landlord.


    Back to work csc

  25. Joe Filippis Haircut on 27th November 2015 1:09 pm



    We are underperforming in Europe. Domestically we have no competition so it’s difficult to say if we’re underperforming, doing as expected or over performing, but one thing that is obvious, to me anyway, is we are a worse team now than we were 12 months ago.

  26. TGM



    I canny disagree there. I’m always up for the fight however. They won’t take Celtic from me. Clear them out.

  27. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    You are correct in the fact that Charlie wasn’t a loss when he went off because he is Useless

  28. Put it this way….how do we as Celtic fans know how good the team is, unless we are tested in Europe.


    Europe is the benchmark for Celtic.


    We know how good we are by our European performances.


    I don’t know why we just wont accept the truth….Celtic are being run by a bunch of halfwits.





  29. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    I fully appreciate This is Paul67 ‘s Blog – which entitles him not only to say what he wants and to expect the courtesy he extends to most fellow posters in return…



    I have to say respectfully I find ‘Some perspective’ lead article above astounding in its positivity.



    I find a real lack of critical analysis of our Board managers and players admirable in one sense but niave and delusional on the other.



    The improvements made by some players is also a relative judgement – I’m loving Tierney’s progress – trust me I am. He is however an 18 year old rookie who should be being taken under the wings of more experienced team mates not a lad with a growing expectation that he leads older team-mates who frankly are not showing his level of of comitment or ability.



    Paul67 – would you entrust Ronnie to lead us in our assault on next years European campaign – if so on what basis? Do you feel Board directrion and strategy is working? How can we reverse attendance decline?



    Do you recognise the growing chasm between Boardroom and ordinary fans?



    Pointing to tiny fragments of positivity in an otherwise car crash of a situation is no more than reinforcing Board PR. This blog used to be much better than that…

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