Special players make the difference for Celtic


The ball from Joto ranged across the field, landing precisely where intended.  So much in football is about the first touch and Kyogo’s did not disappoint.  The ball came from behind him, was allowed to bounce then he cushioned it, simultaneously taking pace off the ball and directing it towards goal.

If the keeper looked stranded, it was because within two touches play moved from possession 70 yards from goal to a shooting opportunity on the edge of the penalty area.  Kyogo rolled the ball between keeper and post to the relief of the 50,000 + crowd.

That moment transformed what was a nervous game, filled by Celtic’s nervy unenforced errors and Ferencvaros’ dogged defending.  Jota’s pass for the second goal was more prosaic but undernotes the contribution he is making to our season.  He later missed a gilt-edged chance, made less noteworthy because it was part of a congregation of missed gilt-edged chances by David Turnbull, twice, and Callum McGregor, from the penalty spot.

Turnbull recovered from his first miss, a fresh air shot from six yards, to bundle the ball over the line.  Ange will doubtlessly ponder that we got away with one after missing a penalty, we will continue to pay a penalty if this weakness is not resolved and a reliable taker found.

We have special players, enjoy them.

Yesterday afternoon’s attendance, during school and daytime working hours, matched any home attendance Oldco or Newco have enjoyed since Roy Aitken scored twice at Ibrox when Celtic took a point there in 1977.  The sheer scale of Celtic is remarkable.

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  1. Keep up the pressure on the Sevvies. They can’t handle it. Anything less than a victory in their must-win on Thursday should have them panicking



    Don’t give them an easy ride

  2. Oooor wee “Rob Roy” McGregor is the player that bully gulmer would like tae be as would the smsm



    As for missing penalties, big Tam, arguably the best penalty taker for the bhoys in my lifetime, took 34 and missed 3.



    One of those at swinecastle he as usual thumped it so hard that after it bounced off Jim Cruikshank’s trailing leg it rebounded almost tae the hauf way line meaning no following up players managed tae reach it.

  3. Three games — very harsh.


    Looks like the SPL / SFA are making sure no-one repeats it.



    Full on TFOD2.1 help at the moment.

  4. snowing in moscow, and a reduced crowd at the spartak, leicester match due to reimposed restrictions.



    even with vaccinations, we are reaching a new point of lesser effectivemness until we get our boosters,



    i think circuit breaker restrictions will be coming,

  5. Yesterday was my first ‘in person’ match since pre Covid


    It was amazing to be back in paradise. I was nervous ref Covid. Having been, I still am.



    The first half was a nice, easy on the eye game of football between two well matched teams of moderate talent. Fine for neutrals. It was made all the better by the company and patter of someone who knows everyone in Glasgow. And stops to talk to each one of them!



    The second half was great. The first goal was sublime….the second goal was…..well it was a goal.


    Profligate in front of goal. Missed some stunning chances. That in itself is progress, given that by this time last season we’d forgotten what a chance looked like.



    There’s a lot to like about Ange and the commitment shown by his squad. Personified by our Japanese Bhoy and our upgrade on Fraser Forster.



    MOTM CalMac barring one pass or Jota because of one pass? 🤷🏼‍♂️



    HH jg

  6. Penalties are not really synonymous with Celtic in my view. Correct me if I´m wrong but Larsson has scored more penalties than any other Celtic player…and he missed a few too. It´s not the classic Celtic way of putting the ball into the net. In the Forties and Fifties Celtic had their best ever hitman from the spot. A very special player, Mike Haughney scored 23 penalties out of 25, over a ten year period. Tells you something also about how often Celtic get penalties. Although he also played in other positions Mike was a full back . Think back to our first Europa league encounter, who was it who stood the pressure to take the penalty to put us 2-0 up? Juranovic the no-nonsense full back, so he should still be our first option. If he is not on the field then I would choose Abada or Ralston, they look like they have the bottle. Kyogo might want to take them now that McGregor missed his so let´s see. Odsonne and Dembele were cool from the spot, Griffiths is not here either so we need to work on this.



    The fact we got 3 bookings and Ferencvaros only 1 while we committed fewer fouls than them during a CLEAN and SPORTING match shows that UEFA don´t offer level playing fields either. Well done to those who told them where to go yesterday. As for resolution 12, albeit a worthy cause, are UEFA really going to impart justice? Good luck to those who continue to champion this cause but be prepared for disappointment if you have any faith in UEFA.

  7. St. Stivs



    “so it was moved again to the tuesday, but would not be allowed at sametime as CL fixtures. so moved to early kick off time. ”



    Isn’t it Uefa who insisted it could NOT be an evening kick off on Tuesday? If so the GB sentiments are apt in my opinion. An EFL fixture took place last evening in competition with all those CL ties. Does anybody think that a Celtic vs Ferencvaros tie was going to diminish the audience for any of those CL ties last night. It made no difference to my viewing habits as I did not watch any of the CL ties, nor would I have done if allowed to watch Celtic at the same time.



    I think UEFA are largely to blame for our match timing. They bully any clubs outwith the top 5 leagues into complying with their diktats.

  8. TONTINE TIM @ 3:15


    I think I saw most of Tam’s penalties apart from the one he scored in Buenos Aires against Racing Club. He inspired confidence, and you just took it for granted he was going to score.


    Matt Le Tissier missed only 1 out of 48 penalties he took in his professional career. He practiced relentlessly, as did Naka with free kicks. And the more they practiced, the luckier they got! The South African Johnny Hubbard playing for the original Club out of Govan also practiced a lot and missed very few.



    I haven’t checked, but Mo Salah is building a very consistent penalty record.



    I might be totally off base, but I see little evidence that we practice set pieces. Edouard was hit or miss. Scores a Panenka against Gordon, but was prone to hit his penalties weakly, with scoring a lottery.



    And I have yet to see a current Celtic player consistently hit corners like Tully, Gallagher or Moravcik, or Beckham, and more tellingly, like Erin Cuthbert, Mia Hamm ( retired ) and several players on the present U.S. Women’s National Team. These players hit the ball in a very relaxed fashion, almost like a golfer chipping a No7 or No9 iron.



    These corners curve in, inside the penalty spot, but too far out for the goalie to reach, and in between the posts at a perfect height for an attacker. Because of the sheer number of corners we win, we do get it right from time to time, but we would be a lot more productive if we could just develop more consistency. All it needs is practice.



    How many times do we see players belting the ball well beyond the far post (with no one to meet it), hit the first defender, or simply place it in the goalie’s arms? I noticed that Hearts were very smart in the last minute against the Zombie Club when they had a corner. No Hearts player was within yards of McGregor, so the MIB couldn’t give the automatic honest mistake while the ball was in the air. It wasn’t even a good corner, either! Maybe we could learn from that.

  9. INIQUITOUSIV on 20TH OCTOBER 2021 3:55 PM


    It wasn’t even a good corner, either! Maybe we could learn from that.



    But our best ‘terrible corner taker’ is now at Bournemouth!



  10. Jamesgang: Glad you enjoyed your first game since the start of the pandemic.



    I’ve yet to be back but looking forward to my own first game at the end of November.

  11. spikeysauldman on

    “The need to be rebellious & controversial is child-like”


    Phrases like the above and others like “grown up discussion”, “real world” etc are usually used by any generation of older folk who have got this poxy world into the sad and sorry state that needs protested and rebelled against.

  12. JHB



    I think you proved in your last exchange with Auldheid that you totally misunderstood the terms of reference for Res 12 and had mistaken it for a previous concern. It should, therefore, not surprise me that you are equally mistaken on the motives of those behind res. 12 or the varying degrees of enthusiasm with which they support it.



    I also recall that, on your entry to this Forum, you suggested that our Host, Paul 67 , had been trying to prevent or dissuade you from taking part and you were complaining volubly elsewhere about this treatment. Do you think that Paul 67 had a point? Do you feel you have been at all successful in persuading anyone to support your myriad views? What was the point?



    You are a uniquely unpersuasive advocate whose only purpose appears to be to deflate any confidence in the Celtic team by extolling the virues of Stevie G’s mob, and to confirm in the eyes of our Scottish Nationalist colleagues that there is such a thing as a Red Rose Tory, even though I have not encountered veiws like yours within any Labour Party Forum. You’re not Tom Harris are you?

  13. glendalystonsils on

    !!BADA BING!! on 20TH OCTOBER 2021 4:08 PM


    Abada was wanting to take a penalty, until Eddy took it from him a few weeks ago



    Eddy had probably seen enough of his crossing! -)))

  14. good shout re not surrounding opposing goalkeepers at corners , always thought it gave the MIB an easy reason to award a free kick against us.

  15. INIQUITOUSIV on 20TH OCTOBER 2021 3:55





    “Matt Le Tissier missed only 1 out of 48 penalties he took in his professional career. He practiced relentlessly,”






    CalMac looked a bit nervous before he took the penalty.



    Matt le Tissier ,in an interview, once gave an insight into why he scored so many penalties.



    I’m paraphrasing , but it went something like



    “I always scored , because I knew I was going to score, I only had to decide which part of the net I was going to hit”



    If you practice repeatedly , you get to the level where you can rely on your technique , and your confidence rises. There are parts of the goal where the keeper can never save a well struck penalty.


    If a player can practice that shot , he can rely on the mechanics of execution.


    The next task is to work on the psychological pressure that a match day penalty puts on the player. Many teams work on this.



    TWELVE YARDS : The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty Kick


    by Ben Lyttleton is well worth reading .




    The Onlooker

  16. Le Tissier also said something similar to –



    ‘A free shot at goal from 12 yards with only the keeper to beat ? What’s not to like about that ?’.



    Poitive attitude, definitely.



    We’ve missed a lot of important penalties both in big Euro games and against Oldco.



    The latter along with Newco rarely miss unless it’s in an unimportant match where they are already winning comfortably.



    Only exception I can remember is Morelos against FF in th the LC final of 2019.

  17. For those in need of some facts relating to Callum yesterday, how do you like these apples:



    “McGregor, who was accurate on 100 out of 105 passes overall, and 25 of 26 in the final third. As the team’s most central and ball-dominant player in possession, facing an opponent from whom counter attacks were probably by far the biggest threat, that security was huge, IMO.



    He also made 14 progressive passes, received 7 more, and had 0.11 xA on his 2 shot assists- both Jota chances. Scoring the penalty could have catapulted him to my MOTM”.






    Penalty aside, frickin awesome stats.




  18. Once Juranuvic is fit and back in the team, I would expect he will take any penalties that we might get. Took a good one against Betis.

  19. Tommy Gemmell missed 3 out of 34 penalties.



    Around 75% of penalties are converted (not in the Ryan Christie Rugby Union Sense) though a survey found 83% of EPL pens had been scored.



    Around 15% of penalties are saved by the keeper.



    A piece of research which analysed 129 penalties in World Cup and Champions League finals found that actually, the less powerful you hit your shot, the less likely you were to miss, but the more likely your spot-kick was to be saved:



    Older players seem to cope better with pens but older keepers (up to a popint obviously) seem to do well too.



    I suspect Celtic’s pen scoring return in the 21st Century is below that 75% figure

  20. Got home late yesterday evening and was delighted on hearing on the radio that Celtic had bagged a 2-0 result but nearly choked on my sheperds pie by the reported 55,0000 attendance figures. A phenomenal crowd for a midweek game and revived memories of those old black and white photos of midweek FA Cup matches down south before the advent of floodlights.



    Celtic continue to build a nice momentum with Jota in a starring role again after Motherwell and ace striker Kyogo with another crucial score and young Turnbull with another goal to his credit after Saturday.



    Downside was Calmac’s penalty miss which could have allowed the Hungarians a way back into the match, undeservedly and needs to be sorted. Wonderful crowd support for the team and rewarded with a fine result.

  21. Big Tam had a ferocious shot as we all know, including penalties. I witnessed one of his misses at the New Years game against deidco at the Hun end when he unusually tried tae place it, the Hun keeper had an easy save that afternoon. That miss cost us full points as we tied the game.

  22. Tom McLaughlin on




    I remember that game when Tam changed tack and tried to place the ball with the side of his foot and the Rangers keeper saved his effort.



    Only one thing though. It wasn’t a draw. Celtic won 1-0.

  23. fourstonecoppi on

    Hi Folks,


    How do i go about getting my QR code thingy for Saturdays and all other games?

  24. Just been reading that every single penalty Callum McGregor has taken for Celtic and Scotland has gone to the goalkeepers left.



    The keeper had obviously done his homework, but surely our coaches should have told him to mix it up.




  25. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Lots of bites this afternoon.



    Keeps the blog fresh and healthy.



    My nibbles as follows.



    No big issue with this banner. It didn’t actually say “F**k” or “UEFA” …. instead mentioning a UK clothing company by name plus a jumble of 4 letters.



    The banner designer presumably thought, based on the above, that UEFA has no basis to fine Celtic for it.



    Time will tell.



    83% penalty conversion is 5 from 6.



    I’d sign up to that in a heartbeat. Don’t have data but I suspect our 20 year average is way below this.



    Ban BBC Sport Scotland? Works for me.



    Alastair Lamont? Happy to accept at face value the earlier suggestion that he doesn’t have a poisoned personal background.



    Maybe it’s the place he works?



    His description of Dave King’s criminal career lives long in my memory …




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