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. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    CULTSBHOY. John Collins is assistant manager why would he not be used to talk to the MSM ? it appears for some on CQN Celtic can do nothing right, H.H.

  2. The Green Man



    For sure mate it’s only opinions at the end of the day.



    coolmore mafia



    I heard him on talksport with A.Brazil a few yrs ago now and he said his team would have been Nottingham Forrest…………………..go figure eh?

  3. Oh No. Think Collins made a Boo Boo when he said Tierney was playing like a 5 million pound full back. That is the last type of measurement scale that Celtic Supporters want their up and coming players rated by.

  4. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    SMSM reporting that Sevco will pay the Living Wage.



    Before I despair can I just check – have they said that they will be an accredited employer of the Living Wage Foundation? Thought not.

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

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 27th November 2015 4:06 pm



    Collins and delia both talk keech in my opinion but at least delia is likable with it. Collins is not a PR amn’s dream in any shape or form and I suggest if the fans need reassured he is not the man to do it given he has near universal zero credibility. I say near zero as clearly some folk like yourself are enamoured by him…. Incidentally – why do you feel he is a good PR choice?

  6. mike in toronto on

    I agree with some of the happy clappers that many love to see infighting at Celtic… and I am loath to give them that satisfaction … but, at the end of the day, what the LL or the zombies think is – or at least should be – irrelevant to what we do.



    As has been said about players … the jersey doesn’t shrink … some players, as much as they might be good guys or even good tims, just weren’t or arent’ good enough to play for Celtic …. otherwise, everyone on CQN could claim a jersey…. and tough decisions sometimes have to be made …



    and that expression fits equally to managers as well as players … RD just doesn’t seem to be doing his job (coaching the team) well enough…. it is no slight on him personally … and in time, he might become a very good manager …. he just isn’t the right guy at the right time for us ….

  7. Id say that the Celtic PLC….want to be the ‘establishment’.


    That’s why they have so many of these types on the board.


    Businessmen, Tories, and Freemasons.


    You are seeing a transition in the agenda.


    The attempted disassociation of Celtic from their Irish roots(PL)


    The glorification of bigots and cheats(DD)


    And the contempt and smearing of Celtic supporters(IB)


    They want to dilute the traditions of Celtic, for the traditions of Conservatism and Freemasonry.


    They should be stopped.


    Secret Handshakes all round.





  8. mike in toronto on

    sorry .. I should have been clear .. the ‘many that love to see problems at celtic’ is not a reference to anyone on here, or celtic fans generally …. no tim likes to see problems… we lal want what is best for the club … we just disagree on how to achieve that ….



    the ‘many’ I was referring to are outwith the club …e.g., sevconians, LL, etc.

  9. The biggest concern the board should have just now is the growing apathy affecting the support.


    The club is moribund. We are going nowhere fast. We need the real power brokers at the club – DD and DO’B to sit down and really think about where they want the club to go from here. We need fresh ideas because the Ronnie experiment isn’t going to work. Even should he manage to bring through a group of 5 or 6 young players at the one time – in itself unlikely given our history- then as soon as they start hitting it off we will lose them to the big money on offer in England. Thus we will never be in a position of growing a team. Looking at clubs across Europe including the much heralded Ajax – the evidence suggests that there is no sure fire way of producing player after player to take the place of those who move on. So why go to all the time,trouble and expense of trying – better to use funds on wages to buy the best we can afford both in the dugout and on the pitch!




  10. 50 shades of green on

    Bollocks, since its Black Friday here, think I will go and see if the ghills is offering cheap Guinness.



    What do you mean thats not what Black Friday is about. :

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

    Mike in Toronto



    I share your view on RD – I’d go further that he could become a very good manager in time as he has the mana management potential but he is tactically niave in the extreme and lacks the credibility to assert himself with Lawwell etc. He’s if anything ( perhaps not surprisingly) too indebited to Lawwell for giving him an opportunity way beyond what he might reasonably have expected given his CV….Probably just the way Lawwell likes it.

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut



    I agree entirely



    This is the first manager in Celtics history who is solely being judged on European performance.



    In my view its media driven and there’s more than a few on here falling for it.



    Its turning in to a witchhunt

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




    It would be lunacy to judge a Celtic manager in the current league on domestic success alone.



    Nobody is demanding last 16 of Champion’s League but nobody is accepting 2 points from 5 games in Europa League either.



    I think the majority expect last 32 of CL or post Christmas in Europa.



    In 2 years time when winning the SPFL is not a gimme – expectations may change but surely you don’t expect RD to be judged on domestic success alone in the current context?

  14. I’m glad we’re out of Europe. We’re just not good enough to compete with any consistency and I’m tired of the disappointment. Ronnie has not shown any improvement over 18 months. Poor in Europe and just good enough in Scotland. We look amateur against European teams which is the biggest yardstick on progress. He will be kept on because the business strategy is to win in Scotland, which at the end of the day, is not too difficult.




    Considering the importance of the money that can be made from doing well in Europe.


    Isnt it obvious why Celtic need to be doing better?


    There is no witchunt….it works like this, if you are not getting the results as a manager….you get sacked.


    Ask David Moyes.


    No manager can be a success, if he keeps getting beat.


    European money is vital to Celtic.


    Change is normal in football.




  16. mike in toronto on

    Cultsbhoy @ 4:29 … agree …. no other manager in Celtic’s history has had such limited opposition in the SPL … and, didn’t RD himself say that he should be judged after a year and, in part, on our CL results ….

  17. foghorn leghorn on

    27TH NOVEMBER 2015 4:31 PM



    Which ex Celtic player has won a league medal with three different Scottish clubs?





    kenny miller?

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



    In my view its lunacy to change a manager after 18 monthsy.



    Celtic have been mediocre in Europe for the vast majority of our history. . SO we are mediocre again this year…so what!



    We are clearly in translation and are attempting to blood your Scottish players into our team to build for the future.



    In the meantime Ronnie is imperious domestically. Why is domestic success swept aside as if its an irrelevance. Check Neil Lennon’s record on domestic silverware even without Rangers.



    The SMSM led by Jackson and Keevins are rewriting the rule book to have a go at our Manager.Success in Europe or hes a dud!. Unfortunately quite a few on here are of the same opinion.

  19. Chris Sutton a celtic supporter?.


    He says he is, that’s good enough for me!.






    Oh and everything he said post match, spot on, IMHO.

  20. Mncelt



    My mate said the same to me today.



    I’m no buying it. How can you be glad we’re out of Europe? Disnay make sense.

  21. PL will want to increase STs by £50 + next season if the Huns come up,is RD going to make that fly? I don’t think so.

  22. Evening my fellow Rebels. Is it worth reading back the last 19 hours or so or will I just have a stab in the dark at what’s been said :-)




    Where do we get the money for decent players then?


    If we don’t do well in Europe, there is no budget.


    We get 2m off the SPL for winning the league…..We get millions more for doing well in the CL.


    No Europe…No Budget…No decent players.


    We need to test ourselves in Europe…otherwise, how will we know when we have a good team?


    If VVD hadn’t played in the CL….do you think we would have got 13 million for him.


    Fraser Forster made his name against Barcelona…..and so on.


    You get my point?





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