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. A wee simple question. Are Celtic, or are Celtic not, in the majority of games, domestic and European, pure piss to watch?

  2. I thought the Evil Genius was genuinely emotional last night.



    However, he is playing to BTSport’s gallery, – how come they never interview Auldheid, The Battered Bunnet, or setting free the bears?



    The Three Musketeers csc

  3. Badabing 4.30



    good luck to the new FD,he will have his work cut out for him.:-)


    i agree with you re john parks a light needs to be shone on what he does and where he fits at our club.





    have a good night Celts




  4. Burgas



    Moyes? The DJ?!






    It will happen soon heading to a 21st. Hope you’re well sir.






    Nice try but you’re not getting rid of me so easily! X

  5. archdeaconsbench on




    Yes, they are.


    Unfortunately, in stating the obvious you leave yourself open to all manner of accusations.

  6. The Green Man



    We have the same goal. We need to strive to be a force in Europe.Our history tells us that we aren’t on a sustainable basis.Our history also tells us we cannot compete in the transfer market.We CANT buy a CL player.



    Our policy in recent years has been very hit and miss. For ever VWD there has been a Pukki , for every FF there has been a Balde



    In order to achieve a sustainable European record we need to grow our own stars and develop them .



    Exactly what the current manager is charged with doing.Copping and changing ever 18months is extremely high risk with no evidence to suggest this is a quicker rout to success.



    you get my point?

  7. Wooft…the world will truly collapse if Celtic sack a failing manager.


    Where the feck have you all been…..is this the first time it has happened.


    Remember John Barnes….Tony Mowbray…..REMEMBER.


    And the simple solution was to change the failing manager….like every other club in football have to do now and again.


    RD will have to go….get used to it




  8. Canamalar



    Just read back the last two pages and saw your post about the Trust buying more shares. That’s the aim. We were planning on having a recruitment drive at the Hamilton game until we discovered that the Foundation are collecting that day. Not wanting to impact on their initiative, we’ve moved ours to another date.



    It’s always been £10 to become a member but the plan is to reduce this to £1. Those existing members or new members who wish to pay the £10 can still do so and the other £9 will go towards buying shares.

  9. had a quick look back on here, from what I can gather Sutton is a hero when he says it as he sees it about Orcs v Dunfermline but a disgrace when he does the same thing about our European performances?



    Just watched SSN News there and they have edited the John Collins interview to make him look seriously shady, or is he just beginning to see what the future holds?



    We, our club, is losing EL status quicker than we lost CL status, is that progress?



    That’s just some questions I would ask of the collective….oh and forget about Moyes unless DD is worried about that fact that Dave King is splashing other peoples cash about.

  10. The Green Man on 27th November 2015 4:45 pm






    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?




    I must be missing your point. This was the strategy that we tried, had some success, then failed with. Unless you can guarantee that you can find a cheap like for like replacement every time we sell our stars (ie every summer) then you will eventually end up where we are at the moment.

  11. HT,


    It was your post about that I was referring to.


    A few years ago I suggested the trust opened an account with a trader that would make the purchasing of shares easier and cheaper for Celtic supporters. I can only hope this is a great success.


    My first share was a gift as a birthday present, one share cost over £50, I’ve absolutely no doubt one of our major shareholders is making an absolute killing on that and is very unlikely to be counted as income from the club.

  12. Canamalar



    I’m pretty sure there’s a link on the homepage which will take you to a broker who deals with Celtic shares.

  13. The_Huddle,


    From what I remember everytime we had a manger making inroads into regular qualification we got rid of them.


    Just when Lenny proved himself worthy and ready, he was undermined how did that help us go in any direction except down.

  14. I’ve lots of persepective and I want rid of Ronny now.



    FFS, are we really that completely bereft of ambition or indeed respect that we’re prepared to accept this shyte ?



    It wasn’t just about last night. The man’s record in Europe is a car crash. We can act now or act after we’ve made it 3 years on the spin without the champions league.

  15. HT,


    My idea was that the CT had their own dealer and when enough was raised for a bulk buy then the trade was made. The Trust would then advise the new shareholders howmany shares the Trust were holding in the name of each donor.


    A fair bit of organisation and administration involved but it would be moving towards the aim of supporter ownership which is what I’d say anyone contributing want.


    The letter of award would be a legal document of entitlement, it would also give the trust automatic power of proxy.

  16. If you think the Fitbaw is poor now. Wait till ye see a team under Davie Moyes



    Fact is. Doesn’t matter who’s wearing the overpriced trackie. He’s not gonnay be allowed to manage under the current regime. He’s just a 1st team coach. That’s where we are.

  17. I can understand the disappointment I’m angry myself but the result/game last night wasn’t why we failed in Europe. In fact the way we set up & played against a technically sound Ajax was a vast improvement on what’s gone before. It’s quite possibly too late for Ronny but injuries & suspensions to key players may just have shown him the way. If only he had adopted this style of play earlier in the campaign with our first choice team, who knows we may have even made the CPL proper?



    I see many comments praising the contributions of Siminuovic & Tierney. On the latter I couldn’t agree more, the kid deserves all the praise on offer. However on Jozo, I have severe doubts. I see no fire in him, just a player with one gear, poor positioning, easily bullied, not great in the air & limited in possession. I’m almost of the opinion that he’s yet another dud. Hopefully I’ll be proven completely wrong but I suspect it won’t be long before more find him out.



    On the criticism of Chris Sutton, for me he’s bang on with his assessment of our signing policy & there needs to be a massive rethink. Mistakes were made in the summer & were highlighted by many on here at the time. Examples – Selling Matthews so early in the window when Lustig was not 100% & replacing him with a kid with no experience was puzzling & weakened us. However more so was our failure to use VVD’s future transfer fee to front load our European challenge. Sometimes you have to be proactive & plan ahead, instead of always being blinded by the possibility of turning a tidy profit & then reacting when it’s too late.



    Small amounts of money has been spent on a plethora of diddies & we now have so much deadwood at the club a clear out is much needed in January. I’ve heard it being suggested that this season is a period of transition. Well the transition period is likely to be prolonged, given the numbers that must be moved on. January should be a pivotal month for the club & if we have any ambition at all for next seasons CPL. Then we must bring in two or three quality signings & bed them in. Failure to speculate last summer cost us this years riches & it will do so again next year if January is allowed to go by without significant recruits.



    No doubt difficult decisions have to be made on the manager but whatever is decided, Ronny’s rigid 4-2-3-1 for Europe can’t continue. The penny must surely have dropped after last nights performance but if Ronny is still married to his failed philosophy then I’m sorry it’s time to show him the door.



    Ultimately its up to the board to come up with a new plan to make us more competitive, I hope they are formulating one as we speak. Whether it involves Ronny or not? Whatever they decide it better be more affective than buy cheap, develop & sell on at the first sign of a profit. The current model has failed us that much is clear, repeating it again & again will only bring the same results.



    Over to you Peter we need a new plan…..oh & it would be nice if you’d articulate what it is to the fans.




  18. Can’t believe people are still talking about clear outs, there can’t be any clear outs without the players agreeing to it and howmany players are going to volunteer to go on the bru ffs.


    Stop haverin about clear outs it’s not and never was going to happen.

  19. mullet and co 2 on 27th November 2015 12:12 pm –


    hh m&cO2 Spot on with your verdict. AS many others have said too! Same old same old. How many chances do we give a man who has no clue how to play against European opposition., and comes out with the same tactics week in week out and its oh so predictable. Paul (No disrespect) you have a job to do too, but for once just admit the Management team are Naïve and have been found out time and time again. We shold have won the game, but we are sick of hearing it. blah blah blah,. Celtic fans are sick and tired of hearing it. And soukous, I am with you, I’d take Davie Moyes as I think he has way more idea on how to plan and pick a team, and If Paul “Hartley was given a chance that be my second choice, or maybe Jackie Mac. How does PL sit in the stands watching a movie he knows the ending too every fkn Wed or Thurs during our limp effort in Europe… an embarrassment to our name CELTIC!!

  20. Welcome to the board Christopher, Ginty and her storm troopers won’t like this, it’s what the C T do.




    CELTIC are delighted to announce that Chris McKay will join the board as Financial Director with effect from January 1, 2016. Chris takes over from Eric Riley, who resigns as Financial Director with effect from December 31, 2015 and will be appointed as a non-executive director for the period from January 1, 2016 until June 30, 2016. Eric will also remain as a non-executive director of The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited.


    Chris has spent the last 18 years in professional services and is leaving a senior position with global consultancy firm Deloitte to join the Club.


    He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in 2000 and has spent the last 15 years within the Financial Advisory area. He has extensive advisory experience in many industries across the UK and International Markets.


    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “The standard of applicant for this important role was excellent and those we interviewed were of the highest calibre.


    “We are delighted to welcome an individual with Christopher’s qualities and experience to the Board at Celtic and I look forward to working with him as we take the Company forward.”


    Chris McKay said: “As a lifelong Celtic supporter I am delighted to take this opportunity to be a part of the executive management team and the Board at Celtic.


    “I am very much looking forward to building upon the fantastic legacy left by Eric Riley with a view to bringing success to what is a highly-regarded Scottish footballing institution.”

  21. Enough supporters buying into it, and the trust would not need to ask permission for a representative on the board.

  22. Anyone looking forward to propaganda hour on STV news, Radio Wide and the BBC Loyal ( media branch)?


    Predict a few mentions of Ashley” being served notice”, Sevco ” the caring employer” , ” Celtic crisis ” and no doubt ” January war chest” ….anyone for a game of bullshit bingo?

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