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. Leave your politics at the door they say.



    Let’s be in no doubt. Saturday’s minutes silence was political. Otherwise there would be a minutes silence every week for all atrocities all over the world.

  2. TBB



    This is match report from Celtic v Man Utd in 2008.



    Note the number of Scots in the side, some of whom were/are considered dumplings.



    Putting our collective ability to misjudge players aside, how much better is this side from now?



    The answer to your question might be change of formation and stability.



    Celtic 1-1 Manchester United



    By Keir Murray




    United captain Ryan Giggs celebrates scoring his late headed equaliser



    A late header by Ryan Giggs gave United a deserved point in this thoroughly entertaining Champions League match.



    The home crowd were ecstatic when Scott McDonald’s delightful lob from 14 yards gave Celtic a 13th-minute lead.



    United pinned Celtic back for much of the first half, but stout defending limited the Red Devils to half chances.



    Giggs headed an 84th-minute equaliser when Artur Boruc could only parry a Cristiano Ronaldo shot, then Dimitar Berbatov missed a great late chance.



    The result leaves United requiring a point for certain qualification, while for Celtic, with Villarreal six points ahead, they must win their last two matches and hope the Spaniards fail to take a further point.



    When United took to the field on a crisp Glasgow evening wearing their all-blue strip, you suspected former Rangers striker Sir Alex Ferguson was enjoying a joke.



    With a noticeable difference in quality between the squads, Celtic were hoping that the noise and passion created by their fans could unsettle the visitors and embolden their own starting 11, which was minus the talents of the injured Aiden McGeady.



    Having played McDonald as a lone striker at Old Trafford, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan gave 19-year-old Cillian Sheridan his Champions League debut, believing the Irishman’s physical presence could test Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.



    The match started at a frantic pace, with Giggs, partnering Carlos Tevez up front, looking in the mood to inflict damage on Celtic’s European hopes.






    For once it was a week when the English super-powers in Europe’s elite trophy did not get things all their own way 




    A brutal challenge by Barry Robson on his international team-mate Darren Fletcher allowed Ronaldo to have a crack at goal, though his free-kick sailed a few yards over Boruc’s bar.



    Celtic caught their breath and began to venture forward with runs by Maloney.



    If the opening exchanges were characterised by passing and shooting that lacked precision, the opening goal was an example of perfect finishing.



    A speculative header found Gary Caldwell at the edge of the United box and his cushioned header set up McDonald, in the inside left position, who remained composed to lob Ben Foster, in only his second start, from 14 yards.



    Media conference: Strachan happy at draw but frustrated with injuries



    It was Celtic’s first goal in the Champions League this season and the first conceded by the cup holders.



    United responded by increasing the pace of their play. Michael Carrick, Tevez, Fletcher and Ronaldo had Strachan’s men pinned back.



    Ferdinand volleyed an awkward ball over from three yards, a Vidic header was cleared off the line by Celtic captain Stephen McManus and the same player went close from one of many United corners.



    Former Villa striker Maloney offered the home defence occasional relief. On the half-hour mark he cut inside from the left wing and rifled a dipping shot directly at Foster, who gathered well.



    Celtic’s Scott McDonald is congratulated on his first-half goal



    United looked most menacing when they played the ball quickly through midfield. In one such spurt, Giggs seized on an error by Paul Hartley, ran at the Celtic rearguard and ought to have tested Boruc.



    Instead he slid the ball wide of Nani and the chance to equalise was gone.



    For all the Red Devils’ superior technique and movement, in open play Celtic were able to frustrate the visitors on their raids.



    On numerous occasions, Caldwell and McManus and a retreating midfield got in the way of United’s efforts at goal.



    Strachan will have been satisfied at the workrate and intelligence of his players. Scott Brown, Barry Robson and Paul Hartley hounded Carrick and Fletcher incessantly and for the greater part, held on to the ball when they could.



    Ferguson’s half-time talk encouraged United to up their game at the re-start, but not before Maloney curled a long-range shot in at Foster.



    In a raucous atmosphere, the Celtic fans cheered their team on as they stymied successive waves of United attacks.



    Caldwell cleared a dangerous low cross by Tevez, then a low left-footed shot by Ronaldo found the grateful gloves of Celtic’s Polish keeper Boruc.



    Substitute Berbatov came close when his flick-on from five yards was cleared off the line by Maloney.



    Rooney came on for Tevez for the last 20 minutes and his first involvement in the game was a long-range shot which Boruc turned round the post.



    News conference – Ryan Giggs



    With just six minutes remaining, United levelled the match.



    Boruc was unable to hold a thunderous swerving shot by Ronaldo from 25 yards and in rushed the veteran Giggs to head home as Boruc lay helpless.



    United could have snatched a victory in the final seconds when the ball was played into Berbatov.



    His shot on the turn whipped past Boruc’s right-hand post and Celtic’s slim chances of reaching the knockout stages remained intact.



    A fan came onto the pitch during the game, causing the match to be stopped for a few moments.



    Strathclyde Police said a 19-year-old man was detained in connection with the incident, and would appear before Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday.



    Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Wilson, Hartley, Scott Brown, Robson, Maloney (O’Dea 75), McDonald (Hutchinson 81), Sheridan (Donati 63). 


    Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Naylor, Nakamura, Caddis.

  3. South Of Tunis


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


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


    That brightened up a very dull Friday afternoon.


    Can we expect your Xmas playlist this year?

  4. TBB






    Caldwell and McManus. My how we loved them. Would we replace what we have with their modern equivalents?

  5. South of Tunis



    Lol :-)



    Ye know wit am sayin.



    Btw. I’ve never engaged with you before so Ill take this opperchancity to tell you I thoroughly enjoy your posts.



    Good man yersel

  6. HERBO on 27TH NOVEMBER 2015 2:00 PM


    Does anyone know of any other PLC the size of Celtic that has had the same CEO for 12 years?



    Perhaps that question should read.


    Does anyone know of any other PLC the size of Celtic that has seen the quality of its main product deteriorate and its customer base shrink over twelve years.


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/some-perspective/comment-page-5/#comments



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/some-perspective/comment-page-5/#comments

  7. I for one do not think the squad is as bad as others do.


    It’s definitely not balanced and that points a finger at the recruitment process.


    Whoever does needs to be questioned.


    Ronny is good for soundbites but unless he starts to replicate those onto the playing field he should go..


    Last night Ajax produced a far better pressing game than us.


    Ronny so far has seemed incapable of implementing his vision.


    Is that down to the limitations of our clubs strategy?


    Also the ongoing poor substitutions and lack of being able to react to game situations points to his own limitations.


    GMS was subbed last night when he was starting to have influence.


    Rogic was poor and should have been off earlier.


    Why not the more athletic Efe instead of slow footed Mulgrew as was a fast paced game?


    Change is needed at the club.


    At coaching level Ronny has to start producing on his promises,either he changes tactics and takes an honest look at a lot of his own deficiencies or he goes.


    The way the club is run also needs to be questioned.

  8. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on




    “Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Wilson, Hartley, Scott Brown, Robson, Maloney (O’Dea 75), McDonald (Hutchinson 81), Sheridan (Donati 63).”



    That cannot be correct! According to so many on here we are rubbish now and were much better in the past.


    Only an in form Boruc from that team would be preferred ( by me) to anyone in the current `First `team.


    Even the current Scott Brown is better than the one who played then!




  9. mike in toronto on

    corkcelt @2:23 …. a lot of sense in that post.



    One thing I wonder about …. the 3 DU players you mentioned …. all looked like decent players on the few times I saw them before they joined Celtic. And GMS looked great for a few weeks after he joined us… but then he didn’t.



    So, were they all bad players? If so, why did we buy them? Who bought them?



    Personally, I dont think all 3 were or are bad players. I think they were all good players at DU. Now some players look good playing for smaller clubs, but dont make the leap up to playing for a bigger club in front of bigger crowds, with bigger expectations. It happens. So, if 1 of the 3 had played poorly at Celtic, I would understand and put it down to paying for prospects (which is largely what Celtic is forced to do … buy low, hope to improve them, and sell on for more).



    And, given that there is probably better fitness, training, etc. at Celtic, and they are playing with better players (which, generally, raises ones own level), we could reasonably expect at least one or 2 of the DU3 to have improved since joining Celtic.



    However, all 3 players seem to have regressed since joining Celtic. That suggests to me that the problem is at Celtic, and particularly, the coaching they are getting. Fitness-wise, we seem to have regressed from last years’ improvements. And there is no discernible tactic for the team …. I dont know what they do at training during the week, but, based on games, it seems they stand still …. basic things like moving, passing are missing from Celtic’s game …



    At DU, GMS looked like your typical scottish winger …. up and down, but on his day, a joy to watch … full of confidence …. but, now he looks like he has lost that joy in his game and lost his confidence in taking men on …. that to me suggests that there is a problem with the coatching….



    I like RD … he seems like a genuinely decent guy … but, there is something lacking in the coaching at the moment ….



    that isn’t to say the players shouldn’t be responsible… or that there aren’t problems at the board level …..



    but, I think we have a decent squad of decent players …. we just aren’t getting anywhere near what we should from the group of players we have …. to me, that is the manager’s responsibility …



    and, if changes do need to be made (and results suggest they do … we live or die on euro money), the board aint going to quit, and we cant fire all the players …. so, unfortunately, the manager is the likely necessary change.

  10. Auldheid I read the tims article and it really is a series of what ifs and maybes. It is also a litany of feeble excuses for failure. Furthermore it treats lasts nights game in glorious isolation from the numerous other ga,es that went before it.



    Now you choose to call that reality and then insist on the rest of it that it is reality. I find that pretty rich comingroma chap,who,likes to lecture us in seeing other perspectives and what not.



    Your thin veneer of academic teachings is slipping Auldheid. Let me put it to you that it is you who can’t see reality because you cannot see past your need to defend Celtic and the board. Perhaps your engagement with Celtic over res 12 is clouding your judgement and means you can no longer take an impartial stance on these matters.



    It obvious to a blind man and his dug that Celtic are now spiralling out of control and that the boards so called strategy has failed spectacularly.



    But like I say it’s okay. Because this is the stuff that revolutions are made of.



    Perspectives eh.



    Funny things.

  11. 67 European Cup Winners on

    the_huddle on 27th November 2015 2:09 pm


    Well to answer your question yes it does – I get that – I am not suggesting that we go out and spend a load of money


    But I am suggesting we get a manager that gets the team punching above its weight – at the moment we are punching below our weight


    I don’t expect to win the CL but I would like to qualify for it


    And if we don’t at leat we can have a run in the Europa League – oh wait no we cant !!





  12. Ronny isn’t very good. I hope the board are looking at replacements but I will still support the team every week



    Moyes won’t come. If all we care about is Europe then somebody in the Strachan/Lennon mold of being hard to beat is the straightforward choice



    Either way, I’ve heard enough from the keyboard rebels for one day

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

    There’s only one way the fans can communicate with the Board in a way they will take note..

  14. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    ARCHDEACONSBENCH. I would class myself as being realistic the chances due to finance of winning a European competition are virtually non existent the best we can hope for in my opinion is to be in Europe after Christmas. Our bread and butter is Scotland and if we challenge consistently for the treble and we have not in our history had to many managers who did that.Now Ronny came close last season and it is still possible this season and yet you guys want to sack him. I have said this before sometimes you do not know how good things are until after you change them Ronny in my view will get us to where we want to go given time. H.H.

  15. Excellent post by Neganon there.



    I agree 100%



    I regard Morrissey as a friend but to be honest, after 3 years I really don’t know where the requisitioners are on this. I’m not in the know but I don’t trust any of our board members whatsoever.

  16. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    ” It obvious to a blind man and his dug that Celtic are now spiralling out of control ”



    I am left wondering if maybe I should consult my friend`s dog because this wild spiralling of which you speak is not obvious to me.


    I think I have had enough for today from TGFITW.


    Cheerio ,



  17. Assume for a moment that Ronny is right and things really are on the up and up.


    What strategy is in place to ensure that come next summer to ensure that a rapidly improved side is retained?

  18. quonno on 27th November 2015 2:54 pm



    Assume for a moment that Ronny is right and things really are on the up and up.



    What strategy is in place to ensure that come next summer to ensure that a rapidly improved side is retained?




    I don’t think we can ever stop a player leaving us if a decent offer comes in and they want to go.



    That’s why i think the strategy changed with signing more Scottish players and, hopefully promoting more from the youth ranks. These guys are less likely to leave at the first sign of moving to England.

  19. Canamalar you are of course correct. Very often it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire. I would dearly love Celtic to be fan owned via a membership approach to ownership. It’s probably not realistic but it should be our goal.



    So is there risk in regime change? Absolutely.



    There is however certainty in disaster if we allow this mob to continue.



    So we should at least start the journey and try and mound it to the right outcome.



    As the film says. Get busy living or get busy dying.



    At least it’s a pretty easy choice n,est pas?



    Turkeybhoy you remain my favourite furious sychophant. I have an image of you furiously wringing your cloth cap in your hands with a big red angry face.

  20. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    NEGANON2. Spiralling out of Contro,l are you drinking fella ? as your getting wilder by the post.I suggest you check where we are in Scottish football our bread and butter you will see we are doing fine domestically. I accept we need to do better in Europe but I believe Ronny will get it sorted and unlike yourself I am not panicking. H.H.

  21. Ah I see…we just have to put up with it….RD says give me another year…..blah, blah, blah.


    But you know….in reality, its not credible is it?


    Really…I don’t see what the problem is….Managers who are not a success, get sacked.


    This is the whole basis of club football…..if its not working, you change it.


    Now…I wouldn’t call routine change, revolutionary.


    Why are people so frightened of losing a manager who is failing badly?.


    We will not improve under the current coaching regime, they have had plenty of chances.


    Give someone else a chance…..that is the nature of football.


    So…stop greetin about it….change it now.


    Man up.


    Change is good.





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

    almost all Celtic fans I know find Ronnie an genuine and engaging man. Almost all do not on the other hand regard him as a manager with sufficient competency to mange Celtic at this point. So he’s a nice guy but not yet cut out for the task in hand.



    That leaves us with 2 options , we hope that he grows and develops the skills to be a better manager quickly or we replace him.



    I’m reluctantly of the mind that he needs replaced as I don’t really see improvement.



    I actually thought last night’s game was a lot like school boy games with both teams surging forward in search of goals whenever in possession with next to no regard for defensive responsibilities. I’m astonished it only ended 2-1. Had it been 5-4 it would not have come as surprise to me.



    If he doesnt go then he should be allowed to bring in his own assistant at least – no way he chose Collins or Kennedy – both of whom have now served any purpose they may have had. Ronnie is settled in. He knows Glasgow and he knows Celtic. Coliins, God knows what his job is but it is clearly not working and he is upsetting players as he has at all sets ups where he has been involved. Just as Commons..or any of the Hibs boys he managed briefly..or any ex team mates.


    Kennedy as defensive coach needs to reconsider his career on the basis of our 15 goals lost in 7 game european campaign, I’d suggest…

  23. mike in toronto on

    The Huddle @ 2:58 …



    Interesting post …. but it begs the question of why scottish players are less likely to leave …. given that they would be paid much more in England even while playing in lower leagues ….



    the honest answer is, I believe, that Scottish players are less desirable today than they were previously … and that is because the standard of scottish football (and, hence, scottish players) has decreased significantly ….



    very few scottish players transfer for large sums to countries outwith scotland … admittedly some move for large sums (Ross McCormack, S. Fletcher ..) but usually only after they have played outside of scotland for some period ….



    why all of this is, is a much larger question … and one for sociologists and economists … and maybe psychologists ….



    I agree that the way forward is to sign scottish players … but we have to figure out a way to improve them … as, by and large, they are no longer competitive with most of the european counterparts ….



    funny, but I think scotland still produces decent young players … but, at some point in the process …. early teens, a disproportionate number of them fail to kick on and keep improving ….



    there is something systemically wrong with the game in scotland that needs addressed.

  24. MikeinToronto, I don’t disagree with your analysis. I think Ronny and his Management team have to be classed as failures at this stage.


    However I don’t think they will be fired this year, I reckon they will still be in charge come The European qualifiers. So they will still have time to redeem themselves.


    At this stage I think we should try & get Derk, Blackett, Stokes (or play him) Mulgrew, GMS & Ciftci off the pay roll, get in a defensive midfielder and make yet another attempt to get a Striker.


    Ronny made a huge deal of diet & fitness but it hasn’t made a blind bit of difference.

  25. Timaloy



    Nonsense. Leigh Griffiths is no where near Gary Hoopers standard. Or the standard Gary was at Celtic.



    Leigh Griffiths has scored a barraload I’ll grant you. But like last night. He missed far more than he scored.



    Gary’s record was 83 goals in 132 games. There was more competition then all over the country and we were in the UCL every year.

  26. Neganon2,


    I don’t subscribe to that strategy as it would cause the ill feeling and that would likely be enough to to ensure the club was moved further from the fans reach if just to teach a lesson.


    A decent strategy is needed before anyone goes about trying to chase the current inch ants out.


    I see the CT have embarked on a fund to start buying shares, it may take a while but it’s the best strategy there is and IMO the only way forward for anyone who wants change.

  27. Joe fillipi there is no panic from me. All of this is inevitable and playing out as many of us thought. It’s just a slow car crash. We are still spiralling out of control. The board had a disasterous agm and are now in hiding. The manager is clueless. The squad terrible. The fans at the very least disaffected.



    And Celtic intend to keep going the way we are.



    So not learning and getting worse. Out of control……….

  28. mike in toronto on 27th November 2015 3:05 pm





    Yep, the “glamour” of Scots players just isn’t there so they would have to be exceptional to warrant any sort of bid. They also don’t have a national team that will show them in a good light, again making them less desireable to other clubs.



    And I do think many of them could have decent careers in other leagues (like McCormack and Fletcher).



    Ironically I’d have signed neither of those 2 for Celtic :o)

  29. Kjam



    I know him personally. And his dad, his uncle and his wee brother. Believe me or don’t belive me. Upto yersel.

  30. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    The Rangers become a living wage employer.



    They may not pay over any Tax or Ni deductions right enough




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