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. My thoughts go out this evening to the three Celtic supporters who were attacked by that shower of scum bastards from Amsterdam.



    Shocking this can happen, where were the polis?? to busy harrasing the young hoops with flags no doubt.



    Pure unadulterated scum.



    I will say this again……………..stay in numbers if you’re going to Istanbul as you aint seen nothing yet.

  2. archdeaconsbench on




    Sorry mate, as I said earlier, I honestly couldn’t care less about the treble. League champions and doing ourselves justice in Europe are the be all and end all….



    If we win the treble this season then Ronny stays on, to have us asking the same questions in twelve months time, it would be nothing more than a pyrrhic victory.

  3. Canamalar the strategy of buying shares is somewhat pointless because DD owns so many and controls the others (which of course he can’t own but in all reality does).



    To enact any change we must unseat him.



    The only language he understands is money. If Celtic start to lose money and he can’t see a way into the epl he will sell. Sure as eggs is eggs he will sell.



    It’s at that point we need to be able to act.

  4. Herbo on 27th November 2015 3:11 pm



    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.




    I’d agree Hooper was better than Griff is now. I’d also say Skippy was.



    Hooper is apparently on £32k a week at Norwich, what mugs they could’ve got him for only £25k a week :O)

  5. Cultsbhoy


    Defensively our goals against in Europe are awful.


    Kennedy shoulders a lot of the blame as that is his remit.


    However a defense is only one part of the system.


    Our playing system is hard to qualify and mostly looks like a disjointed free for all.


    To often they are pulled out of position due to the poor cover and spacing in front of them.


    The defense have started to look like they are improving but still have work to do.


    One thing that is clearly noticeable is they tend to ballwatchi and the offside goal last night was a perfect example of such.


    We need to understand that until the team is formed as a complete unit rather than fractured parts the defense will always leak goals against better opposition.

  6. The Huddle



    Norwich outbid others who offered him a contract. He didn’t want to leave here. He just wanted the going rate and I can tell you for a fact. He’s missed Celtic since the day he left.

  7. I just think PL and Co threw RD right in at the deep end.


    He was not ready to be the Celtic manager.


    We needed an experienced hand.


    Now….you can defend RD all you want….that wont change the results.


    And what is the point of winning the treble in Scotland, if you are dire and get found out in Europe.


    Where’s the improvement then?


    Its because the focus has shifted from football, to corporate strategy.


    We have a group of directors who have very little in common with the supporters.


    They will not listen, yet they still expect blind loyalty and the right to charge top dollar to watch a failing team.


    That cannot go on.


    They are ruining Celtic as a historic club….our importance dwindles by the day.


    No team is afraid of Celtic Park now….because they know the team is dire.


    Best club in the world led to rack and ruin by rich halfwits.


    There will be a price to pay for their wretched old firm agenda.





  8. I think Hooper was better then Griffiths but I think Griffiths is the best we got since Hooper.


    However not everything was Rosy during Hooper’s time either, When he was good, he was very good but he had bad periods too and was the subject of a lot of criticism here, he didn’t set the world on fire after he left us either.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    NEGANON2 I accept that is your point of view but I do not recognise your spiralling out of control. I think we have a good chance of the Domestic treble this year and if we do that would be five trophies Ronny would have won in two seasons not to shabby at all. He is rebuilding the first team again after losing our two Centre backs and due to injury that is taking a bit longer than we all would like but it is hardly Ronnys fault.I am sure the board dont see things your way and I think Ronny will continue to be our manager.H.H.

  10. Herbo on 27th November 2015 3:19 pm



    The Huddle



    Norwich outbid others who offered him a contract. He didn’t want to leave here. He just wanted the going rate and I can tell you for a fact. He’s missed Celtic since the day he left.




    What did Celtic offer? Ballpark? Would be useful to judge what others are currently on.

  11. Corkcelt



    He was poor in his last 6 months here. I think he felt a bit pissed off with the negotiations. I don’t know that to be a fact but that’s how it seemed to me.

  12. The Huddle



    20 grand apparently. Again. I don’t know if that’s true but I do know he asked for 25

  13. Hooper bought a big gaff next to Bearsden golf club next to Emilio. He spent a fortune on it. He thought he was gonna be here for a long time.

  14. Haven’t read what Sutton said but all I will say is that he was dire as a manager. So, I doubt if he has anything worthwhile to contribute.



    He has to make a living and knocking Celtic whenever you can goes down well in Scotland, including it seems among a lot of like-minded Celtic supporters.

  15. The drug taking is reaching Lance Armstrong proportions on here if people think we’re a good bet to win the treble. At the minute I’d settle for 3 consecutive wins.



    RD methods are so easy to defend against and make it so difficult to defend his methods.



    Every game he is our manager, he becomes ever more predictable and no wonder, a blind man can see what he’s up to.

  16. Pumped out of the champions league and pumped out of the second rate Europa league but aye. Chris Sutton and all of you should just be thankful we’re not liquidated.




    So, Chris Sutton has nothing worthwhile to contribute…..And you do I suppose.


    Chris Sutton is a Celtic fan who is angry at seeing his team play like weans.


    He is quite rightly angry.


    What has Chris Sutton contributed to Celtic….I suggest you watch a few re-runs of his Hunskelping for example.





  18. Hooper was a non trier in his last year,he ran his Arse off when the transfer window was open though….

  19. The Green Man.



    Can you point me to the evidence that Sutton is a ‘Celtic fan’?



    I must have missed it.

  20. Neganon2,


    My point exactly, who would he sell to ?


    Your lack of strategy could prove a lot worse for the club where we end up with worse than we have now, the CT are playing a long game and for me it’s the only way to go.

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    When did Europe become the be all and end all to Celtic supporters ? for me it is the iceing on the cake winning domestic trophies is our bread and butter,However,it appears now the manager could win everything in Scotland but really would only be judged on what the team does in Europe.This to me is a new side to supporting Celtic and im certain it changes the job description of the Celtic manager, H.H.

  22. So a team in the 2nd tier of Scottish fooball decides to pay The Living Wage and yet The Champions of Scotland Dont….How much more do This Celtic board want to embarrass us..


    More Than a Club..


    Yeah the Support Are….

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

    over their respective careers – even if you standardised for level of football Griffiths will outscore Gary Hooper.



    Take that to the bank – trust me. Griffiths had a stinker last night but he’s a 1 in 2 ratio striker from the age of 16 at professional level and he doesn’t seem to be prone to injury. If he plays until he’s 36 – he will be a 1 in 2 ratio striker for 20 years.



    Griffiths has held his hand up for last night and rightly so – but its not his fault he is the only viable option up front. Take note Paul67.

  24. Cant wait to reads pauls take on the huns living wage decision….”You Spin me Right round baby Right round’…







    Why is he going off his head then….is it just for effect then?


    Is he just angry for the sake of it…ffs


    He was angry because Celtic were dire…why else would he be foaming at the mouth.

  26. Have read through all pages so far today and admit to seeing plenty of truths and valid points in the majority of opinions – be they for or against the manager/the players/the board.


    Therein lies the difficulty, we may all be Celtic supporters but beyond that opinions vary wildly on almost everything to do with the current state of the Club. So reaching any kind of a consensus on how our Club can move forward is difficult to say the least.


    My personal view is veering towards the “time for change” side. I have been impressed several times by RD’s presentation skills. He is the most articulate manager in Scotland and it is hard to not agree with most of what he says. But his post-match observations and insights don’t seem to change anything that actually happens on the park.


    Someone earlier said there is no fear factor and I agree. The players can publicly berate him and get picked the next week. The players can deliver multiple below-par performances and not get dropped. His coaches are on easy street as well. Everyone can see the defence is a shambles yet JK remains in situ. We have lost countless goals to set pieces yet we learn nothing from them (other than saying in press conferences we have learnt from them).


    I would wager a bet that RD will never get a bigger job than this one. And I don’t think he will still be in it one year from now.

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

    If Sutton isn’t a fan then he is remarkably in tune with most fans I Know..

  28. BT-just read back and also received photos of guys attacked last night. Gross negligence from the police,well known bars frequented by Celtic fans ,on the way to the park,same route the police took the most notorious fans in Europe. They have turned a blind eye obviously. Huns will have been in among the Ajax scum,wreck as you please,no chance of being lifted The Association should be asking serious questions here.

  29. Like I said…I suggest a brief glimpse of Chris Sutton playing against the Huns.


    Shocking bs on here at times.


    Take it from me…Chris Sutton is a Celtic fan.


    No wonder he is angry….I am as well.


    I want to see a Celtic team who fight for everything, right to the final whistle.





  30. BGX on 27th November 2015 3:42 pm



    Probably the only staff they have that are actually their own are the players.

  31. The Green Man.



    Sutton is a ‘Chris Sutton fan’ Luckily i have CTV and dont need to listen to him.



    I’ll give you he has a soft spot for us due to his playing career, but a fan …………………………..nae !!!



    Again i ask you to point me to the evidence, and i’ll gladly hold my hands up.

  32. Burgas Hoops



    Lets agree to differ.


    But I will say this….he is very concerned for someone who doesn’t support Celtic.





  33. Burgas Hoops – he did a Danny Kelly ‘my sporting life’ radio interview where it was pretty obvious

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

    Jesus wept – John Collins has been wheeled out to do the post apocolypse PR….




    I have nothing worthwhile to contribute either, I’m only angry at seeing my team going backwards.


    But Chris Sutton certainly has plenty to contribute….He knows what Celtic means to the supporters, no doubt about that.





  36. In terms of our reaction to what happened last night – this is really half time, lets see how we get on on Sunday. Away to Caley with a hangover and loads of key players out injured, its going to be quite a challenge for Ronnie to come up with a team that can go there and win (lets not play 3 wingers).



    For me its keep powder dry time until Sunday night. Remember ‘the establishment’ are delighted when we come up short, we don’t need to throw everybody under the bus, they’ll gladly do it for us.