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. Henrik Larsson.



    it’s about time.



    And give him FULL autonomy over signings; A proper manager’s role, and not this failing ‘we’ll buy ’em, you coach ’em’ Cifti/A.N.Other x 20+ failboat to nowhere policy.



    I’d rather give The King of Kings time at the helm than Ronny, who’s a nice fella but pursuing a flawed ideology. Lenny was never afforded the leeway Ronny’s been given by many on here.



    Henrik will be nobody’s puppet. He’s the man to galvanize the support and command immediate respect from the loafers in our squad. If you can’t play for him, there’s the door.

  2. the_huddle and BigChipsUK – 10 in a row (2001-2010)



    Thank you.



    I despair with some of the disparaging comments.



    I can only assume the posters didn’t follow Celtic throughout the 90’s

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    GARY67. We were always likely to start this season poorer than we finished last season we lost two classy Centre backs and the replacements have suffered through injury.Once we get a settled side performances will pick up and next season in my opinion we will be in a much better state to tackle the CL qualifyers. H.H.

  4. I just get carried away. It’s probably because Im from the ghetto n that know :-) It’s only words. However. I’ll try to tone it doon. No offence meant.

  5. BT



    Hope your folks are ok.


    Bad day when you cant sit and have a beer without being subjected to violence and bigotry.




    Hail Hail

  6. Henrik could coach our strikers, Griffiths, err, err, Cole an’ eh oh aye, Ciftci.



    Anyone think that wid help?

  7. With the demise of Hibernian, Hearts and the utter collapse of Rangers people are dead right when they say the SPL has suffered from a severe lack of competition in recent years and has enabled Celtic to just stroll through competitions untested – unless of course you get these strange decisions by officials in the Cup competitions. We then sell our best players out of necessity just as the team is on the verge of being able to compete in Europe. Porto also do the same but have a 35 million budget and always seem to make the knockout stage of the Champions League. We were minus two of our midfielders last night due silly fouls and lack of discipline in the game against Molde.



    Chris Sutton literally trembled with passion when he expressed his views last night of Celtic’s current predicament and often used the word WE when he spoke obviously about his former team. Well done Chris still a passionate Celtic man.

  8. Philbhoy



    Good man yersel.



    Ye just type away as if yer blethering sometimes. It all comes from the heart.

  9. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    The performances of so many on here today is much worse than Celtic`s was last night.


    Is there a word for the mixture of predictable, arrogant, narrow, reactionary,exaggerated and ignorant?




  10. Herbo



    You are not alone bud….Ive lived in some of the hardest areas in the city,…never done me any harm:)


    Although, one of my uni professors did say, that I was the Charles Manson of Scottish Historical Studies…Ha.


    I cant print my reply….or I will be red carded:)


    Hail Hail

  11. Notthebus,


    The 90’s were an anathema, we were competing with a doped up rival, today we don’t have a domestic rival but we should make comparisons in competition ?


    How do you get to that conclusion ?


    Put it this way, if we were not winning uncompetitive domestic trophies would that make better or worse ?


    There is no comparison, it’s like telling us we can’t compete with England, when in fact the argument should be about why we are failing against those we can compete with and England has not been that for a long time but it’s doesn’t stop it being used to justify bad planning policies.

  12. Can we do better? Absolutely. I think we have a young team that’s a bit of a mess right now but I hope they can all learn.



    The coach has appeared inept. I hope he takes this as a lesson for next year. His goal now should be to rebuild confidence, build team spirit and win some trophies to get it right up them.



    I put some figures together yesterday to try and provide context to the “Seville Wages” debate.



    Effectively, our wage structure since then has ranged from around 36 to 41 million. 38 is probably the mode average.



    In 2007 we had a wage bill comparable with Everton. In 2014 our wage bill was 38 million compared to Everton’s 69 million.



    There are championship clubs with wage bills comparable to ours. I don’t see how we can significantly increase the wage bill or transfer spending unless we want to accumulate debt.



    Teams like Everton have been able to significantly increase their spending due mainly to an increase in TV money. I think it’s clear that Scottish football will not be signing any bumper deals soon.



    Match day revenue? Even with a £100 decrease in Season book price, the opening of the Kerrydale Suite, the improvements to the stadium and surrounding area, we have seen no increase in attendances.



    Where’s the money going to come from?

  13. TGM



    Who’s the Mason in the black. :-)



    I understand the pull up. Nay harm done. Hamilton Tim did tell me if Im on here I’ll need tae curb the sweary words.

  14. JFH,



    I agree with you. I think we have the makings of a good defence. Imo, we need to off load, if we can, the likes of KC and CM. They don’t really exercise proper responsibility.



    I thought the one player who was really poor last night was Griffiths. McGregor gets pass marks from me for his tremendous goal but he made the sort of mistake leading to their first goal for which Efe is savaged on here.



    Our main failing is a lack of confidence, imo. People don’t seem to want to move to receive a pass. Ball control is also poor. The only one who shows real dig is Tierney.



    We need to be challenged more regularly. I don’t see that happening in Scotland.

  15. meanwhile…..






    Getting down to the wire now and the 5 remaining standers have their hopes resting with just 2 teams.



    leftclicktic and bognorbhoy have gone with St Johnstone (at home tonight, Friday to Dundee)


    TheCelt45, stpatricksbhoy and The Token Tim have chosen Aberdeen (home to Ross County)



    Good luck to all!




  16. Lately if you try and say anything positive here, you are labelled a Happy Clapper and the next thing is some prick will say its all ye’re fault. How the f***k is it any fan’s fault regardless of what he posts on here. If we all outdo Neganon in posting doom & gloom will that solve anything or make us a better team.


    This is a forum for discussion none of us are responsible for anything that goes on in the Club so lets stop this stupid finger pointing.


    If we have reached the stage where enough believe that it is time for fans action, demonstrations, banners, boycotts well OK then it would be time to stand up and be counted but until some of the disaffected angry fans care enough to actually do something rather then just make angry posts we are all equally to blame or none of us are to blame, whichever you prefer.

  17. Perspective eh.



    It’s a tricky thing perspective.



    I take some comfort from Pauls perspective. But not for the reasons you may think.



    Rarely have I seen the reaction of normally board loving Celtic supporters I know than that over the last week or so. The boards disasterous agm, combined with growing evidence of the disasterous state of our team, is combining in a reaction among some of the most mild mannered friends and colleagues I have ever seen before.



    There is genuine and growing anger, despair and disillusionment.



    I am pretty sure you are all seeing it to.



    Enough is enough seems to be the general viewpoint.



    And why do I take comfort in Paul’s perspective?



    Well what is clear is that the board intend to stick two fingers up to the support. They ain’t changing our so called strategy. Ronnie is here to stay. We know better and you are all criminally racist. So keep paying your money and shut up.



    Some strategy.



    But I take some comfort from it because it’s clear in their arrogance that the board have completely lost touch with reality. Their extremism will continue and things will worsen. This means that they will eventually push the support into action.



    So no sticky plasters, no appeasment, just arrogance. The perfect ingredients for revolution.



    So perspective yeah. Keep on making an are of it please. That way we might just get our club back from the arrogant fat cats that have stolen it.



    And if you don’t want that pain. Act now. Boycott Celtic until we get regime change.

  18. It is not the manager that is the problem here. He can only do as well as the players provided to him



    Last week we had an AGM wonderfully created by PL. bankier Livingstone Jesus wept


    We have a bunch of poor players recruited in the hope that they would be golden nuggets to be sold to EPL



    Result. Molde. Malmö Legia, malibor


    All clubs who have recruited players to play football



    Peter Lawell makes all the decisions and has made wrong ones


    In business he must carry the poor results on and off the park



    Our club will not go forward with PL in charge

  19. Wasting your time Paul.All these experts know better.Example,David Moyes !!!!!!!!!!.God give me strength.


    No attempt at looking ahead.Its Jam today or nothing.The Treble now means nothing to them.


    Their answer.The Board should resign now.Very good.RD,Collins,and the rest should resign now.


    Half the team should be ditched.


    In November !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.What a great chance that little lot of ideas would give us of even qualifying as league winners for the qualifiers.Utter turmoil.But hey,never mind all that,thats our agenda.


    The Herald,The Record,The Times,must really love these guys.


    Sutton,should shut the fek up.”He loves Celtic”.So does Charlie Nick,does not stop him getting pelters on here.Again,they have their favorites,as well as their agendas.

  20. Genuinely don’t see what regime change will bring to the table. The clubs income won’t change significantly.



    We pay championship wages for a reason.

  21. Corkcelt



    Angry posts are understandable. We have regressed year after year after year. Surely it here or in the boozer with Yer pals ye can vent some frustration. I’m certainly in that boat, but on Sunday Ill be in the highlands singing my heart out.



    It’s just how it is. We all just want us to be the best we can be.

  22. Craig Gordon….You can feel his nervousness, and it spreads right through the team.


    Id say he needs a wee rest.





  23. The Battered Bunnet on

    Question for Paul and PL (if he’s looking in) as both mentioned the same thing last week.



    Subject: Lenny, at Kilmarnock, 3-0 down at half time.



    Context: Ronny’s performance as Celtic Manager



    Question: Has Ronny had his ‘Kilmarnock’ moment yet, or is that still in front of us?



    See, the problem is in the ‘stick or twist’ scenario, we will have no evidence if Ronny has figured it all out in time to qualify for next season’s Champions League until… next season’s qualifying has concluded.



    There are simply no matches domestically which present the same rigorous examination. We won’t know until we find out, and there will be no precursory evidence one way or the other.



    Ajax were younger, fitter, technically better and better shaped than Ronny’s team last night, and that’s with Ronny having the benefit of 18 months of working with young players on their fitness, technique and shape.



    Is another 6 months going to change the (now established) pattern of failure?



    If so, what’s changed? Because one thing’s damned clear: Something needs to change.

  24. Philbhoy



    Henrik is manager of Helsinborgs



    He isn’t coming to Celtic to be anything other than manager.

  25. Joe F I wish I had your optimism. We are six points and still in two cups because the opposition teams in Scotland are so shite. Even against them we struggle i.e. a 0-0 draw at home against Killy. This is the worst Celtic team for many a year and I do not see it getting any better until the board does something positive about it. That is invest some real money on players and employ a decent manager.

  26. Chris Sutton’s passion? Immature outburst from an individual who cannot manage a business or a football team. Such individuals only know one way for football clubs – spend big irrespective of the consequences and then criticise with hindsight . No wonder they have no issue with EBTs.



    His analysis of the game last night was poor, if not vindictive. If McCann was coming up with his comments the same people cheering now would be going apoplectic. Qualification was not lost because of last night’s game. A proper perspective would have noted that Celtic have other options, apart from at striker – the position that cost Celtic the game last night. And that came from the horses mouth – not from the horse manure coming out of Sutton;s.

  27. Neganon2,


    Careful what you wish for, there’s nothing or no one to stop our main shareholder selling his lot to a Mike Ashley type.


    You can’t force a better regime.


    I do want more club/team focused board but I have questions on how it could be done, maybe you could provide a plan or idea how to make the changes you advocate, cause without a plan how does it happen ?

  28. Craig Gordon



    Before we lost the second goal I said to my brother. How is he not coming up for the corner? :-)

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

    theres an old joke in the NHS – the operation was a complete success but unfortunately the patient died’ – I’m begining to draw parallels with the current Celtic strategy….

  30. Once again Neganon with his usual calls to boycott Celtic Park.Are you all fekin blind?.And this moron gets praise from some for his constant barrage of criticism.


    Never any constructive criticism,only the agenda of Neganon.


    You join Sutton and do one,ya clown.

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