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. Hamiltontim, that’s OK since I’ve been captured by a thousand 4ft 2in tall she cats in the animal skin of Raquel Welsh they are trying to reheat my sculptured torso with warm wine and warmer tongues.



    J.C.Mc….I’m going nowhere. Torville and dean are skiting across the Ness



    Hail Hail




  2. HT-DOC-the blatant lack of policing pubs frequented by Celtic fans before Ajax game needs looked at,gross neglect or a blind eye turned,take your pick? The fantastic Police Scotland threaten young boys and jail them for days because they sang a song ffs

  3. I would like to apologise for stating that ACGR left the blog cos of TD67, he didn’t, my mistake.


    As for the rest of the stuff I posted about our resident tory troll, it stands.


    Sleep well Timland





  4. Bada Bing, agreed, if the GB were walking to the game there would have been squads of Peelers, gang as of Dutch thugs looking for trouble, nothing, not a camera, never mind plod, in sight.

  5. Bada



    Why aren’t Celtic calling Police Scotland out on this ? They’re silence is deafening .

  6. The word troll doesn’t mean what some think it means on here :O) Some need to brush up on their geeky message board culture

  7. There is a bloke in here claiming that he wrote the definitive script and direction for Dave Allen!



    “….only to get a rejection letter from the BBC….with the excuse that Dave Allen had been dead for 8 years!”



    Hail hail




  8. the glorious balance sheet on




    It’s probably more for the people in charge at the club to come up with and implement solutions to our performances in Europe over the last 2 years or so (that’s what I expect for £1 million pa in salary in bonuses) but for what it’s worth this is where I think we can make a start-



    1. Refresh the player recruitment personnel ie John Park and co; too many poor signings have been identified for both Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila in recent years;



    2. Use January as the main transfer window for incoming and outgoing player transfers. I accept that when a player wants to move on he has to go, let’s sell the next van dijk in January and get his replacement in then too. That stops unsettled players disrupting CL qualifiers, gives the replacement 7 months to bed in and stops the recurring situation where we never reach a settled team until October;



    3. Stop the loan signings unless in emergency situation. Berget Tonev Wakaso etc not only represented a waste of money last year they prevented us from blooding young players or squad players. Denayer was a good player but not the difference between winning the SPFL or not so either make a permanent signing or go with what we have in the interests of squad continuity;

  9. TGBS…imAsking You..is the Stat that you posted TRUE..4from21in Europe against Full Time Opposition..


    Is It True?

  10. Careful With That Tax, Moonbeams on

    Top 10 Best Boobs In Hollywood. You Won’t


    Believe Who’s At Number 1



    Will a click on it .. Wulla no!!??






    Ron Jeremy would be loving the new CQN.

  11. the glorious balance sheet on




    I understand that the Icelandic teams are part time so it’s



    Wins – Astra Zagreb qarabag Malmo



    Draws – Maribor Astra Salzburg inter qarabag Ajax fenerbahce



    Defeats- Legia x 2 Maribor Salzburg inter Zagreb Malmo molde x 2 Ajax



    10 games without a win in the Europa. Could go to 11 in Turkey.



    Not pretty reading.

  12. eddieinkirkmichael on

    here’s a thought, let the manager and his coaches decide which positions we need to strenghen and let them decide who we sign after watching them in competitive games.

  13. Hamilton Tim



    Did the statement about Res12 and governance made at AGM get any mention?



    Is SFA misgovernance and the extremely strong possibility that shareholders may have been defrauded by false statements made by RFC and failure to check by SFA and continuing failure by SFA to respond to questions put to them by shareholders representatives not get a mention at all?



    I’m very aware of the hard work undertaken by the CST on many fronts but the apparent lack of interest in a matter of importance not just to Celtic shareholders but Celtic supporters looking for honest governance of our game surprises me.

  14. the glorious balance sheet on

    Auldheid 1120pm



    Don’t the officers of the Celtic Board have a fiduciary responsibility to intervene where evidence indicates that company shareholders may have been defrauded?



    And given that members of the Celtic board are also members of the SFA board might they not be better placed to intervene and progress matters on this than the Celtic Trust?

  15. Recouped my fixed odds losses on Tyson Fury. Wee maw from Tuam in Galway. Good stream and good price In play, 6/4. New heavyweight champ ! Chuffed.

  16. glendalystonsils on

    eddieinkirkmichael on 28th November 2015 11:17 pm



    I’ve no doubt Ronny knows what positions need strengthened. As to who identifies and signs targets, well that is one of the sorrowful mysteries.














  17. Alexandra Breckinridge Calls..


    Night …And May Someday soon The Board Mirrors the Support..And God Forbid The Day The Opposite Happens…


    God Bless The Celtic Support..



  18. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on




    Nothing surprises me more is the lack of apparent interest by Celtic plc, who has left this to the Res12 bhoys to drive forward.







  19. G64-there is a total Arse on the blog who is destroying it IMO,maybe P67s policy is too open,very evident a lot of good guys have logged offHH

  20. THE EXILED TIM on 28th November 2015 11:19 pm






    Just goes to show I am no a geek then, a plonker for sure.



    Explain to me what a troll is then if it’s not someone who’s aim is to disrupt.




    The original meaning of a troll or trolling was taking the deliberate opposite point to the common sense flow of the message board. So if everyone said after Celtic won the European Cup that this was the greatest team in the world, then someone came along and said nah obviously Inter are the best team in the world just to wind other folk up then you’d be trolling.



    Being offensive is not trolling, having an opposite opinion is not trolling. that’s why it is overused on here. Your opinion (or mine) or anyone’s is not wrong until it is argued and destroyed.



    But just calling someone a troll is only correct if that person is saying something they don’t really believe themselves but say it anyway to wind you up.

  21. The_Huddle




    Got it, now I have to think about what to call him that hasn’t been said before :-)


    I wonder what delights he will have for the blog the morra, I know one thing for sure, he will be slagging posters off for the sake of it.



  22. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve ;- Things not going too well? Never mind on any journey there will always be stones on the road.


    The big picture may be visionary :- it may be sand, time will tell and it is coalescing as with all experiments it is time limited.


    Me? I would give Ronny eighteen more months, if Celtic have not improved drastically by then, the inevitable happens.


    For the record, My passion is fly fishing for trout. I became disillusioned with football a long time ago. No matter what though you can never quite shake the affection you have for Celtic once you have acquired it. I am afraid now that is all it is and I feel vindicated in this view upon reading the posts that now appear on this blog, the way things seem to be heading, anybody who wants to be a supporter of Celtic will have to fill in an application form stating their religious and political affiliations,


    Ok maybe not religious, bit of poetic licence there. Anyhoo I do not post here much nowadays (hooray says you) and I believe some might not welcome the fact that I do not care about anybody’s politics where Celtic are concerned.


    I have said a few times in the past that Celtic will only be successful when the Board, the Management, the players and the support are united.






    Forsan miseros meliora sequentur



    To show there are no hard feelings