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. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Back once again in the land of Charles Patrick Tully.



    Always a privilege to spend a wee bit of time in the company of the CQN crew.



    I thought that the Celtic support were magnificent, sorry that we lost the game but sure it was just magic to be in Paradise.



    Half past one on a miserable Thursday afternoon and the Argyll Street Celtic store was packed with people buying merchandise.



    Nir Biton was there, sound as a pound.



    Thanks a million also to Petec for getting me a ticket.



    Best supporters in the world bar none.




  2. Neganon2



    Take a reality pill. I forget if it’s the red or the blue but for God’s sake take something.






    In the above the author highlights churn and you want more?



    Address the policies and how you would change them.



    For instance I’ve said before our season Aug to May does not help us. The Norwegian season which meant both clubs playing us with fit but importantly settled sides is a big advantage.



    The Board should be advocating a change to the season but if other clubs resist what exactly do we do?



    What could we expect by way of policy change if you were in charge.



    Tip. Read the E Tim article first.

  3. mullet and co 2 on

    Our risk management approach is being brought down in front of our eyes.



    The club has taken the view that they can achieve profit by signing 4 or 5 1m to 2m players per year and letting one go for 10m. They have assssed the risk in signing anyone over 23 as too great. They don’t think there is a chance that our lack of European football will damage the marketability of these players? The English clubs are fools but surely even they wouldn’t part with their money for players not tested properly at a decent level.


    The wages of championship clubs is massive but they have a 1 in 20 chance of getting into the EPL. Our odds in getting to the Champions League in 3 qualifying games are much better. They get access to a possible 100million we get access to possible 20 million. However, as you get better at the European game you get rewarded with coefficient points. The odds then reduce on repeated participation and more income.

  4. At present. Does not matter if we have the best coach in the world



    Players recruited are poor



    We pay championship wages but 3rd rate European teams pay less and are beating us as those clubs are recruiting players to play in a team



    We don’t do that and are looking for projects



    Peter Lawell is to blame

  5. Sorry. I appear not to have closed that tag correctly. The link is “Average player salaries per league from 2014”

  6. Timalloy 2 the current board think the support are scum. The current board are needlessly downsizing and paying themselves super duper bonuses. The current board empty Ronny cos he is cheap and easy to manipulate. The current board collude with the police to criminalise the supporters. The current board lie to us time after time. The current board love the Huns and the old firm and colluded with the 5 way agreement. The current board say nothing about the EBTs etc. The current board only publish statements when they want money or want to attack the support. The current board employ a strategy called Moneyball which was never successful and is not about football only about money. The current board are destroying our European reputation. The current board like to call the club the most ethical club in the world whilst refusing to embrace the minimum wage and employing directors who want to make the poor poorer. The current board tell everyone how great they are at charity while ignoring that it’s actually the fans who are great at charity. The current board have presided over a disasterous slide into mediocrity and beyond.



    So I would say that regime change might change quite a lot……….

  7. Bruges 0 -Napoli 1 .



    Game played in an empty stadium due to safety concerns .



    So quiet you could the players and Management guys shouting .



    Shout of the night came from the Napoli Manager , Maurizio Sarri .



    To -El Khaddouri ( following a failed Hollywood pass ) .



    ” Have you got a brain beneath that stupid hair cut ? “

  8. So let me get this right.


    Chris Sutton is getting stick….for what?


    Is it because, like me and thousands of Celtic fans, he is raging at how badly the Club is run.


    Chris Sutton is a Celtic fan, like me.


    I totally understand why he is upset….its because we are dire.


    Man up ffs.


    No wonder he is angry.




  9. 67 European Cup Winners on

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


    Joe I hear you and respect your positivity – but unfortunately winning the treble does not pay the rent ??


    Europe is where the money is – its where we need to be – sad but true




  10. And by the way.



    Ian Livingston has been getting pelters and rightly so. Don’t forget Brian Wilson though. He thinks you yes voters are akin to nazis.

  11. Ian Bankier. He takes 50 grand of your money. He’s not even got an office inside Celtic Park. Behave yourselves!

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Wee are all ok bhoys


    Thanks for the concern. Seems the Bhoy from hoops bar having reconstruction surgery on his face



    But we behaved Mr Bankier

  13. Hearts fan Ian Jamieson. He’s head of PR. He’s the guy that doesn’t send a player to your POTY dance.

  14. 67 European Cup Winners on

    The Battered Bunnet on 27th November 2015 1:46 pm


    Im a long time admirer of your posts/logic – but I need a bit more today


    Should we replace RD ??




  15. 67 European Cup Winners on 27th November 2015 2:02 pm



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



    Joe I hear you and respect your positivity – but unfortunately winning the treble does not pay the rent ??



    Europe is where the money is – its where we need to be – sad but true




    Then doesn’t it make sense to cut our wage bill so that winning the treble does pay the rent? And Euro money is a bonus?



    I assume most clubs in the world plan to survive on what they earn domestically.

  16. Ex Cop and Freemason, Ronnie Hawthorne. A guy who helped set up the Offensive Behaviour Act. He will give your sons details to the coppers so they can intimidate you in Dundee by asking how your girlfriend is by name.

  17. Sorry, Paul,



    We were watching different matches last night. Perhaps the view from the terraces is different from mine on the television screen. There is no passion in this team. Yes, Craig Gordon might have saved both goals but he should never have been put in those two pressure circumstances. Jozo Simunovic looks as if he might make it and I will be devastated if Keiran Tierney does not. In fact I think he has done but perhaps should be protected a little and not tired out at such a young age. On the European stage the rest are as big a waste of time as the coaching staff. Taking this season’s performances in Europe we are in dire straits and have no hope of Champions League group stage next season or in 2017-18. I will be delighted and amazed if the board spends the sort of money even from our budget to improve matters to the level required. They did not do it last season nor this. Why expect anything different in the future? I have no faith in them either. This is one of the worst squads I have seen in 68 years of supporting Celtic.

  18. Neganon2 – do we know for a fact that the club are still running their ‘easy’ process with the Police regarding paperwork for Data Protections requests? Or is it all being done by the book now , as it should have been in the 1st place?



    You know as well as I do that if it’s the latter, and it doesn’t even need to be football based criminality that is suspected, then the club are legally obliged to give the details that they have.



    Has anybody yet taken the club to court over breaches of the Data Protection Act? You get massive compensation for that and you’d probably get a no-win, no-fee deal.

  19. BT



    Or in our case when Tony Stokes says I’ll come no problem he gets castigated by said Mr. Jamieson.



    You can’t go. We’re sending Philip Twardzig

  20. Paul,


    first visit to the blog in over a month.



    The manager. Looking at this analytically, signs of progress are hard to find.



    Repetitive mistakes. They are systematic. Coach’s responsibility. Any ball into our box, where we hold a line, then have to drop back.



    The players don’t ‘fear’ the coach. In key situations, they think they can do what they want. Johansson against Malmo. He tried to be smart and waste time. Caused a scene. Got booked. Diverted other people’s attention.



    Commons against Molde. To heck with the team. This is about ME, he thought.



    Forrest last night. Must win game. 1-1. 3 minutes to go. All the big boys including all our big defenders are in the box. Instead of going with the play that OUR players were expecting….he thinks, ‘oh I have an idea….’



    How do you have a professional team where players think they can do what they want? None of these situations were ‘higher brain’ situations. They were all repetitive scenarios. Ones where you say, ‘this is the play…’



    I realize that he has had a challenging time with BOTH our starting CB’s left. But in a season and a half, the question is…..are we making progress?



    The answer, I think, is quite clear…..

  21. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on 27th November 2015 1:32 pm – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/some-perspective/comment-page-4/#comments



    JJ glad to see Paul67 put his moniker on todays blog, with all the stuff on here last week and last night about the board and manager I was worried that he’d sold his blog to Jim Henson Enterprises. Last night was hard to take but at least the team showed a helluva difference in spirit than they showed against Molde in both games.


    If Janko is fit let’s try and get a settled back four and build on that. I think LG was trying to hard to score and it was just one of those nights for him. Bet him to score first goal against ICT .




  22. To say we are down sizing is nononse



    We are paying high wages



    The cash we are outlaying is poorly managed

  23. Herbo. The Livingstone affair was managed by Lawell to take flack away from AGM



    Forget that mince



    Team on the park

  24. Canamalar 1.49PM.


    Absolutely correct.


    I am far from Happy, I think Bankier is a disgrace and should go. I would welcome a change in the Management team and I think we are carrying a lot of mediocre players in our squad.


    However I am pleased that our Club is solvent and in a healthy Financial position. I am still looking forward to the rest of the season, winning the SPFL and 5 in a row and winning Domestic Cups still mean a lot to me.


    I think we might have a good one in Jozo and I think Boyata could learn & be OK as his partner, I think we have a good one in Tierney and I’d like to see a bit of action from both Janko & Bailly.


    I think Allan could be OK and I look forward to Christies arrival, I think Griffiths is an excellent buy, he was pish last night but 45 goals in 57 starts and 25 substitutions will do for me. Cole let’s wait & see.


    Desperately disappointed with the Dundee United trio but haven’t given up on Armstrong.


    Bemused with the Stokes saga, the Stokes I remember is a lot better then guys getting a game now but why pay him if you won’t play him.


    Derk & Blackett no comment necessary. Offload 6 or 7 get in two quality players and make up any shortfall in numbers from the Youths team.

  25. archdeaconsbench on

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



    Again with the treble?


    ‘We’re not going to win the EL or CL?’



    Is that all it is to you? Baubles?

  26. SydneyTim



    I can’t argue with that. I’ll always be there for the team. Following Celtic is just what I do. I’ll not be staying silent about the charlatans in our boardroom and the panty wetters who sook their soup.

  27. Your summary paragraph Paul67 requires an article in itself.



    “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.”




    The “alternative” is actually the actual current strategy.



    Who changes the strategy?


    Who sits down, discusses and agrees the new one?



    Because as things are here in reality – it will be November 2017.



    Celtic have been peddling this theory about days of past, when we never ever cultivated our own, we bought players for fun with vast sums of money which we just dont have – all to suit their agenda.



    On 30th September 2003 Celtic beat Lyon 2-0 in the Champions League with the following team.

























    Subs: Douglas, Gray, Sylla, Petta, Maloney, Kennedy, Miller.



    Included within the squad are 3 youth graduates, 4 players recruited from other scottish clubs, 3 rejects on free transfers and 4 for relatively low transfer fees. 3 were bought for big sums.



    Martin O’Neill was hardly shopping exclusively from Harrods back then.



    Do you know what happened the following month?



    Peter Lawwell was appointed as Chief Executive with an objective of debt reduction.



    When he got the debt down – he should have been sent up the road.



    We need a fresh pair of eyes, because the “alternative” is “reality”.



    He now throws the ‘revenue is down £4m p/a from that era” – that should have been written as the reason for being handed his P45.



    This guys thinks the answer is to sign away kit deals that allows the kit maker to exploit the fans by releasing 3 kits every year!!



    In my opinion – the change has to start higher because Lawwell hits every single one of his business objective KPI’s every year!



    If Lawwell goes he will be replaced by another business man working to the same KPI’s.



    The board and ultimately the absentee landlord who set those objectives is where the change needs to start, followed by a new chief exec.



    If Deila doesnt get results under the new guys, with new ideas, fresh innovation and perhaps more input in terms of who he buys – then he should get the high road too.

  28. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    TBB said:


    “There are simply no matches domestically which present the same rigorous examination. ”



    Although true in terms of `the same rigorous examination`, I would argue that domestic matches DO offer the opportunity to recognise progress .




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