Tactical experimentation ahead of Romania


With Celtic a goal up midway through the second half yesterday, we tried something new.  The back four became a back three, with three sitting in front of them.  Adam Matthews pushed into right midfield leaving Izaguirre, Denayer and van Dijk across the back.  To the left of Matthews was Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew.  It was a useful game to experiment tactically as Inverness asked questions throughout.

The most striking feature of this three at the back with three sitters was that Matthews didn’t bomb forward when Celtic were in possession, as he usually does.  He kept in line with Brown and Mulgrew.  On occasion, they were 25 yards behind their nearest team-mate, which was a bit jarring to see, as it’s so rare.

This was almost certainly a dry-run for Astra on Thursday.  Getting it right defensively in Romania is going to be key to the outcome.  On their showing at Celtic Park, Astra are a decent passing team who enjoy being on the ball.  They were less impressive in attack, as the Celtic defence and Craig Gordon did enjoy to stifle them, apart from one slip, and when we asked questions of their keeper and defence, they looked vulnerable.

I’m not sure Ronny Deila will be overly convinced that his experiments yesterday should be repeated on Thursday.  Inverness carved us open several times late in the game, but at least we’ll hopefully not be trying something out there for the first time.

You can get copies of Caesar & the Assassin, Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s accounts of managing Celtic from Jock Stein’s departure until the appointment of Liam Brady, signed by both Billy and Davie here. I’d a great chat with Billy today, he’s a man who knows how to enjoy his football.

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  1. Can someone organise a petition thingy to challenge the strength of our feeling about the same club myth?




  2. Doc (from last article) –



    I agree on both points. Which was why the quotes from Ronny interested me. Whichever view a reader holds )new club or same one) the quotes still make sense.



    Given my own personal views I’d absolutely love it (Keegan style) if the Club referred to them as a new outfit, etc. But I can’t see it happening which is why I’d still be satisfied as long as there’s no suggestion that they are the same Club – i.e. just keep all pronouncements neutral.




  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    As you see I posted after paul put new article up. I have been idle since 3rd September. No podium chasing from me. Not any more…8)

  4. Silver City 1888 on

    Individual letters work better than petitions, however many signatures. Make them heartfelt and original, no templates to print off and sign at the end.

  5. Jobo, true enough, and it may well be a tight rope the club things will satisfy everyone, I see the point.


    What I want to see is something that can’t be seen as semantics.


    We welcome The Rangers International Football Club and our first meeting with the new club.


    Or similar.



    Highly unlikely, but I live in hope.



    For evil to win good men need do nothing.


    The lie, as all lies, must be exposed.


    Corruption should not be allowed to win.


    Rangers FC are in the process of liquidation


    The Rangers International Football Club play in Blue at Ibrox.


    They are not the same club, they both exist, therefore can’t be the same.


    (I know you know)

  6. From previous article







    As Tamrabam has stated, smaller clubs than Celtic have told the truth about Sevco, why the silence from our club ?



    If we do / say nothing then our club is complicit in the big lie



    1. They are the same club


    2. They have been punished enough


    3. Rangers were relegated



    I know the truth, as do most Celtic fans, but the time has now come for our club to break the silence.



    All I am asking for is for a statement from our club telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.



    No lies, no bullshit just the truth.





    Things haven’t changed completely in Manchester- the ref has denied City 2 stonewall pens. WTF are the ‘assistants’ for? Surely if Oliver was obscured….

  8. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Arranmorebhoy & Jimnotpaul, further to your posts on the last thread about Pollok manager, Tony McInally.



    I worked with Tony as well for a number of years and a good guy.



    Even when he was amateur, his dediication to playing was incredible. He would go to a work’s night out on a Friday, not drink and leave by 9pm as he had a game the following day.



    I hope he does as good a job at Pollok as he did at Shotts Bon Accord.



    When Shotts won the junior cup two years ago, they had to play 17 games in 38 days as they were going for promotion, in the Junior Cup Final and the Euroscot league cup semi & final.



    I went to their game v East Kilbride thistle and when I spoke to Tony after the game, he said that was their third game that week. They had played, Saturday, Monday, Thursday and were playing the following Saturday.



    Two pals of mine, both season ticket holders at Celtic Park, have started going to Pollok home games and find them more enjoyable than ours, no emotional involvement.



    Clydebank fans want their home games played at Newlandsfield as they haven’t lost there for years.

  9. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Why the reticence in telling the truth



    Any obfuscation by CFC on this is unacceptable

  10. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Should have been a penalty and 2nd red card on half time



    Thought the fellaini tackle on aguerro was a pen too

  11. Dexter


    Oliver should have moved to either side to get a better view.


    Assistant would never see that from where he was.


    DOGSO and pen for me all day but only if you see it.

  12. moravcik



    I get your point mate but why would Celtic make a statement about a game that’s three months away and not at Celtic Park???



    What would the context be?




  13. 50 shades of green on

    CHEERS Paul :-)



    C/peed from last thread .



    Thought for the day.



    If we are four up at half time in the league cup semi final. Can we sing ” are you r#####s in disguise? ” to the opposing fans ( the ones that are left that is).




    Anyway Jobo mate I agree with what you typed there mate.



    I also ( maybe naively granted) think that our custodians should be mindful of the safety of our fans and perhaps not mention “inaugural or first ever meeting” in any press or website release, you and I know the truth , I would hate for one of our family to be hurt because a knuckle dragger ” bloody showed them” , because of anything we said. God knows they will be looking for enough blood as it is.




    P.s Been trying to explain to wee shades why he ain’t going to it, and hes still not talking to me, still he will thank me one day :-).



    Now got his mum on my case the wee S@@@e.

  14. I must have been watching a different game. Izzy was more like a left winger in the closing stages. Matthews played right back. We completely lost our shape in the final 10 mins or so and looked tired. Our inability to keep possession and take the sting out of the game is a worry.



    Looking at the match overall Guidetti is a good focal point for the attack, however the three supporting players were poor. Johansen is not good enough to play in the no10 role. He is a more industrious player and should be in centre midfield. Wakaso was poor and Stokes absolutely dire.



    Despite the recent good results the team still has no real shape and identity

  15. PFayr


    Because when they return and this is dipping the toe in the water it will be easier for Celtic plc to sell corporate boxes and the dining tables will be full, the reaction of the rank and file support is key here, as many are asking old club or new club , time for Celtic to decide but the impact of this decision will be momentus

  16. 50 shades of green on

    Having said all that hope we get the bassas in the Scottish cup draw on Monday.:-)





    United v lucky re the ref’s positioning



    Before red it was a poor game, but United were comfortable.



    Jovetic has done nothing. I’d stick Dzeko on against Carrick at centre back


    I doubt it matters how we refer to the team we will play in the semi-final.



    It is a competition hosted by an organisation which will promote it however they see fit. With programme notes of a similar vein.



    Asking Celtic to comment is unfair as they have no say in how others report it.

  19. Paul



    Well spotted -if that was indeed what was intended


    Personally I would doubt that we will start with a back three in an away tie in Europe when we have never played that system before


    RD would be taking a huge gamble to play 3-3- 4 away from home in Europe


    Yesterday for me was far from convincing


    I think some on here tend to forget the standard of opposition that we were facing


    ICT might be doing well but let’s not forget they are made up of journeymen from the lower reaches of the English leagues


    A bit like Hamilton -they played well but they are not Barca by any stretch of the imagination


    The substitutions were disappointing in that the later two had absolutely no positive impact on our team or performance


    In the last 10 minutes we did not seem to know what was required -to either go for the second goal or just defend the lead


    So afraid I have to disagree with your analysis and rather suggestion that AM was being pulled out of his true position at full back because young McGregor was not filling the space he should have


    Perhaps the management team could not fully see this as it was happening on the other side of the ground but I don’t think it was planned!




  20. I’m reluctantly drawn in to the debate of what our Club should call or say about Sevco. IMO, our Club should talk about us and our unbroken History and so should this blog. If the Club makes a definitive statement referring to them as a new Club, they will launch an official complaint to the SFA who will probably come out with an Official line that “they are the same Club”.


    We know they were liquidated and will never let them forget about it, they will obviously claim to be the same Club, life will go on, football matches will be played, we will rejoice, we will be heart broken, our children & grandchildren will grow up, there will be good & not so good times, we will all make individual choices about our lives and how much financial & emotional investment we will continue to make in Celtic. Some may decide to walk away, I’ll be sorry to see them go but I would ask them if they feel they have to go please leave quietly and don’t try and destroy the Club you loved by encouraging others to walk away as well. If you ever loved Celtic, why would you do that, why would you continue to try and make others as disillusioned as yourself.


    It goes without saying that I will simply continue to follow Celtic and continue to proudly proclaim our unbroken History.

  21. garygillespieshamstring on

    No intention of going to semi final.



    However any Tims purchasing a ticket should be wary of parting with cash three months ahead. I reckon there is more than a 50 percent chance that they will not survive until January.



    Buyer beware!

  22. Dallas.


    Nice post.


    Saved my sanity last time I saw Tony was at Glasgow Green. Shotts were playing Airdrie U/19s in a friendly. Until you posted I couldn’t remember who he was managing and I was determined not to look it up, so thanks.

  23. A wee bit generous P67, think it was more accident than design.Lustig looked a bit miffed when he was subbed, McGregor not the right replacement at that stage of the game IMO.

  24. Agree with croppybhoy



    McGregor showed a lack of tactical awareness when he came on. On a least a few occasions ICT got in behind us down our right hand side because he switched off.

  25. I am Not Lurking Anymore on

    Not how I seen it Matthews bombed forward a few times


    We need to learn to shut the game down when only a goal up Inverness could/should’ve scored near the end


    But a big well done to Ronny 4 home games 4 wins can’t ask for much more maybe progress has been made after all

  26. Brth, great to meet up again yesterday, hope your lovely wee ghirl has thawed out and you have no lasting effects for your chivalry

  27. So to summarise ole Jobo’s stance –



    1st preference – Club specifically refer to them as something new. But really can’t see them doing that.



    2nd preference – At least the Club are careful enough not to specifically indicate that they are the same club. I can live with that and would understand the approach.



    3rd option – Club continue the lie. I will never attend a game against them. My seat at Celtic Park will remain empty. I will hope (as in every game we play) that we win convincingly.



    But each to their own.




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