Unprepared Celtic


Shakhter Karagandy covered 5k more ground than Celtic last night, 500m per outfield player.  That’s 5.5m per minute, per player, or an extra meter every 10 seconds or so.  That kind of advantage means that when the ball breaks loose in and around the danger area, the more active team are in space – which happened at both goals.

Conversely, when Celtic were in advanced positions Shakhter players were there in numbers. The difference was not caused by exceptional exertion by Shakhter, in their match with Maribor last night, Viktoria Plzen covered 11k more than Celtic, or a clear 2 meters every 10 seconds per outfield player.

Despite enjoying the vast majority of possession the Celtic players were lacking in movement and ideas. Being short of ideas is one thing but lack of movement is altogether unacceptable. We have to prepare fitness levels ahead of the second leg meticulously; Inverness on Saturday is only relevant for those who need game time ahead of Wednesday.

The Mouhokolo-van Dijk novice partnership was a surprise; a lot of faith was shown in players few of us know much about.  Could we have held Kelvin for another few weeks?  Would it have been less of a risk to play Ambrose and/or Mulgrew in defence? Yes to both, I suspect.

We learned Georgios is not a striker in 2009.  He is one of our most effective players when away from home but not as a striker.  Anthony Stokes is a striker but his style is just as unsuited to the formation we played last night as Georgios’. We seemed to pick a team to combat Shakhter’s strengths which didn’t play to our own.

I’m not convinced signing a player one week before an important game is an ideal preparation but taking the money early for Hooper, weeks before Amido Balde (or anyone else) has settled and considered a viable starter, is a calculated risk which is now in sharp focus.

We should also show some respect to Shakhter.  The club are miles out of their depth at this stage of European football but they left with all the credit.  After the game, manager Kumykov played down his chances, “we are not the favourites”.  He’s a clever man who knows what he is doing.

It is possible Celtic will play as badly next week but it’s more likely that we will put on a vastly better performance. Between now and then we have plenty of opportunity to wallow in an embarrassing defeat, so knock yourself out, but I’ll hold fire until the tie is decided, which I expect to be in Celtic’s favour. Bring it on.

You got to love European football.

Penalty kick practice, please……
[calameo code=0003901713852289beccb lang=en page=90 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 32

  1. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on

    Dexter @ 1202 on previous article



    Largely agree with much of what you posted.



    Team performance was well short of what they are capable of against a very beatable team. Commons was our best player and maybe is the captain in disguise.



    My apologies if any words yesterday caused offence. Defeat can bring out the worst in us.




  2. For anyone currently at home and eating their lunch – flick onto the Eden channel, there’s a baboon getting dissected, lovely!



    Any similarity to any Huns dead or alive is purely coincidental.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    The ole Seal Clubbers are out in force the day.



    2 nil is a funny lead; we’ve taken a similar lead into second legs and often come a cropper.



    An early goal for us next Wednesday gives the team a shot in the arm and we’re back in the tie.




  4. Think all postings show. – hindsight is a great thing!



    Curiously this “big team” and goalie were vulnerable at high cross balls as shown by first 10 mins!



    Balde up front return leg for me

  5. Estadio Nacional on

    Joe Filippis Haircut 11:45



    Another one…



    Jock Stein’s Dunfermline v Valencia



    4-0 In Valencia



    6-2 in Fife.



    Wonder what he would think of the current football/tactics….





  6. Bottom line IMO, we are not doing enough given the resources we have.



    Dire to watch increasingly, bereft of ideas at times, players played out of position when players are on the bench who could play in position.

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    macjay1 for Neil Lennon


    12:25 on


    21 August, 2013





    but i think it was either joe or charlie that was following the attacking player in and instead of putting his laces through it tried to protect the ball



    No,pal.Neither was following the scorer.He came from the edge of the box,behind Joe and Charlie.


    The attacking player was behind them,but in front of Izzy.


    He was Izzy`s man.Missing in action.

  8. Celtic goes back to its roots to help people in need



    By: Newsroom Staff on 21 Aug, 2013 11:49



    CELTIC Football Club is proud to announce that, 125 years after it was established by Brother Walfrid ´for the maintenance of dinner tables for children and the unemployed´, it will once again engage with that unique heritage by contributing to a local charity providing emergency food to men, women and children experiencing crisis in Glasgow.



    Through next month’s charity match, from which Stiliyan Petrov’s foundation will also benefit, Celtic has plans to make a financial contribution to Glasgow NE Foodbank, who will open in September in response to growing levels of food poverty impacting men, women and children across the North and East of the city.



    The Foodbank is one of four in Glasgow operating in partnership with The Trussell Trust, a charity responsible for the launch of over 370 Foodbanks throughout the UK.



    The contribution will be made from revenue generated at the forthcoming Stiliyan Petrov Legends’ Charity Match on Sunday 8 September, 2013.


    Tickets are selling well but a full house would enable a donation that would ensure around 6,000 men, women and children could access emergency food over the next two years.



    Celtic is calling on its fans across the country to pull together on this momentous occasion to help reach that target.



    At 2pm on Sunday 8 September, footballing stars from past and present will participate in a Legends’ Charity Match to celebrate the incredible career of Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with and has fought a courageous battle against leukaemia.



    To assist others who have been diagnosed with the illness, he is set to establish a charitable foundation and some of the match proceeds will help fund that.



    Already confirmed are managers Kenny Dalglish and Martin O’Neill as well as starts of Celtic’s ‘Seville’ squad such as Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, plus Roy Keane, Dimitar Berbatov, Gareth Barry and many, many more household names.



    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “Celtic was formed to help those who need our help the most and 125 years later we are proud to be involved with this initiative.



    “We have a huge part to play in our local community and I am delighted that both our neighbours and Stiliyan Petrov’s Foundation can benefit from this match.



    “I would like to thank the Celtic supporters who have bought match tickets. Their generosity means that many less fortunate people can start to re-build their lives.”



    Ewan Gurr, Scotland Development Officer for The Trussell Trust, said: “Celtic Football Club has a unique and very rich heritage of community-based crisis intervention and a sell-out crowd will utterly transform numerous lives in some of the hardest-hit households in Glasgow.



    “We are very pleased that Celtic and its charitable arm want to work with us on this venture in the city.”



    Tony Hamilton, CEO of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “The Trussell Trust are a great partner for us and we are very pleased that through the continued generosity of the Celtic support we can make a difference to the lives of people in Glasgow who need it most.”



    Tickets for the match on Sunday, September 8 are now on general sale, on a first come, first served basis priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. They are available to purchase online HERE, by calling 0871 226 1888** or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office.



    Premium tickets (£25) and corporate packages (£120) are also available by calling 0871 226 1888**, Option 4 or emailing matchdayhospitality.co.uk



    ** Calls cost up to 10p per minute, telecoms provider dependent. Mobile and other provider charges may vary.

  9. We saw from the early stages that their keeper isn’t good on crosses. That should be a clue for the second leg. Use the width, get the ball into the box earlier and we will make chances.



    We are down at half time. It’s not a good place to be, but we are not out of this tie.

  10. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I saw the The Mouhokolo-van Dijk Novice Partnership a few years back, in the heyday of the ooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllle Burns Howff.



    Less of a surprise than a complete waste of time and money.

  11. Doctor Whatfor on

    I said this last night. If we get to the by-line and fire in good strong crosses then we’ll score. Their goalie is a flapper in those situations. If we can score earlyish and keep up that tactic we are likely to get a penalty as their defence will become unsettled. Izzy can do this for us. He is, however suspect in getting back on time and just as suspect when he does get back.


    I repeat, there should be no threat from a long throw in. The ball is in the air for ages and defenders get a good look at it and should be getting to it first. Crosses ripped in with pace are dangerous and I saw none of that from them last night.


    Get Mulgrew to CH. he was Scotland’s player of the year in that position.


    Put the boy Balde on from the start to rumble up that keeper.


    Up the work rate – by an enormous factor.

  12. So we don’t work hard enough and make basic errors which cost the goal, I felt watching Celtic in Europe we had a method of going away and getting a result, this is now up in the air, I am not in the least comforted by the comments of Joe Ledley or Charlie Mulgrew and I’m certain that Celtic Park will not faze the Kazachs, so who carries the can for this, is it down to the contracts situation of players and staff which have yet to be signed, negligence in preparation, fitness attitude or commitment. Perhaps some and all of these but going out to this team who are very limited will be a disaster should it happen

  13. There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the Board asked the team to lose by a margin that would ensure a full house at Celtic Park next week ;-)



    All joking aside, I thought for the first 5 minutes of last night’s game that we were going to sweep them off the park, they seemed to have trouble dealing with crosses and their goal keeper looked far from confident, I won’t mention FF, but therein lies the problem we don’t have a big centre forward that can can attack high balls.


    I also think that it is time we gave Amido Balde a chance to show his worth, IMHO he should be in the starting line-up this Saturday against ICT and both centre backs should be paired again to give them game time together.


    I find Izzy very frustrating, there is no doubting that he is a skilful footballer but as a defender he lacks that desire to get back into position, I personally would try somebody else at left back for the next 2 games.


    Next Wednesday, players being fit, I would go with Sammi on the right, Derk on the left and possibly Amido through the centre.






    Lustig, Mouyokolo, Van Dijk, Matthews



    Sammi, Brown, Ledley, Boerrigter,







  14. Henriks Sombrero on

    I’d love to see a comparison with other teams in the qualifiers in relation to selling and buying.



    I agree Paul, signing a player a week before this game is not ideal, but it’s far better than punting your two best players prior to the game and not replacing.



    Agreed that Neil’s selection and tactics were not the best, but he’s having to shuffle what he’s got to try to make up for the players who have been sold.

  15. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    Celtic will win next Wednesday.


    Celtic will go through.


    Celtic will not need penalties.




  16. Oscar Knox is my Hero – RWE



    Agree Commons was our best player but did you see how angry and frustrated he got with his team mates? Kris lack of real pace is offset by his football intelligence and craft but he needs runners, inside forwards to pass the ball to, often last night he was surrounded by two or three defenders while our Bhoys stood around wondering” How’s Kris going to get out of this one”



    No leaders on the park and I am wondering about our fitness, okay that team have been in their season since March but often I watch teams play against us and I see how they close down and how they move up and down the park as units, the midfield four for instance, our lacks genuine pace in the middle to be dangerous and once you’ve worked out that we play from the wings we’re not the hardest team to defend against.



    If Kayal is not trusted to play in the middle of the park then get someone in who is or promote one of the youth team, that game was crying out last night for a striker in the second half and I can only assume that both strikers were unfit otherwise it is a tactical mistake from the bench.



    We have a huge game this weekend time to focus!!



    Hail Hail

  17. There was a lot wrong last night. Neil got the formation wrong and paid too much respect to the opposition. Let them worry about us is what I say.Their manager said he was worried pre game by big Sammi. What happened, Neil said to himself, ah good he;s worried about Sammi, let’s play him through the middle then, aaagghh!


    I’m not too convinced about young JF either. He just did not show at all. Again we saw the pressing need for a creative midfielder, the midfiled lat night was shocking. Still not a Broony fan, is he fit??


    We must must must play with swashbuckling swagger next week if we are to stand a chance against their obvious “all men behind the ball” tactics, and who can blame them,eh?


    Why was Tony Watt not playing last night, am I missing something or just stupid?


    Hail Hail and hoping for the best,




  18. I think our lack of movement is less to do with laziness and more to do with the players not knowing where to move to.



    We have serious difficulty in knowing how to break down defences at home and in europe.

  19. Hi Paul67,



    That’s an amazing statistic re;distance, they certainly looked the fitter team on the last third of the game.



    Do you have the stats 1st half V 2nd?



    Hail Hail

  20. I remember being 0-3 down to kilmarnock at half time, with Wanyama and Hooper on the pitch


    We scored 3 in 2nd half without either of them



    We can still win this tie! IMO

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    Mother and child reunion is only a motion away.


    Chicken and egg on the same plate.



  22. williebhoy supporting Wee Oscar on

    We SHOULD see a better performance next week, but no reason why we won’t see another abysmal performance either.



    Top clubs have standards that over the course of a season they produce more often than not…as we saw last year we are just as likely to produce a woeful inept display evne in Europe. For whatever reason some players simply think they have done enough when handed a jersey.



    Chasing at LEAST 3 goals and our best striker is Sammi who will barely score 10 goals a season. Forster SHOULD be much more commanding in goal, even more so with new defenders ahead of him – he is far too quiet, accepting of poor marking – needs to sharpen up on all points if he hopes to get any recognition down south.

  23. Boerrigter & Balde will be the key to success next week. Drop Commons a bit deeper to try and get some forward momentum and creativity from central midfield.





    Matthews VanDijk Mulgrew Izaguirre


    Brown Ledley Commons


    Samaras Balde Boerrigter



    Forget resting players on Saturday. Play this team and give them a chance together. We have the perfect opportunity against a team who will sit in and defend in numbers like SK will

  24. Return leg



    Nae side passes


    Ball in the box as much as possible


    Balde holding ball up and winning scraps


    Commons feeding off




  25. Academy Update – Mid August




    Posted On 21 Aug, 2013 – By lostbhoys – With 0 Comments



    Jackson IrvineI must admit that I love to attend games at Lennoxtown. As the Maestro would say, “there’s a buzz about the place”.



    Having said that however, it would be foolish to deny the fact that some are of the opinion that the Celtic FC Training Centre has not been a success. Some wonder what has been gained. And at an alleged construction cost of £8mill, the question is … have any of the young players delivered on the field of play?



    Well, to be brief, the answer so far must be yes. The classic examples of Aiden McGeady, James Forrest and Tony Watt are testament to that.



    Aiden went for £9million and James helped guide us into the Champions League group stages. And although Tony may not have come wholly through the Celtic academy, having been previously at Airdrie, his goal against Barcelona was surely worth a few million on its own, enough to pay for the entire academy for a season or two. And what value on the shear joy of that moment? Some may say it was priceless.



    And yet still the questions are there … have players developed? Can each of them make good use both their left foot and their right foot? Like Ross Barkley at the weekend. Have plenty of players been trained as the next Nakamura free-kick expert? 500 free-kicks per week. How are we at throw-in’s, set-plays, the taking of penalties?



    Are goalkeepers being trained in the art of saving penalties? In the art of quick and sudden Schemichel-esque counter-attacking passes from well-defended set-plays out to an attacking position on the counter-attacking halfway line within a 2-second time-frame? And do we adopt he most-recent and up-to-date, cutting-edge technologies of the day? Or do we slumber along swinging in the dark hoping for the occasional success?



    The Coerver skills coaching program is something I would like to see implemented. Although, not exactly new, the fundamental principles would be yet another way of improving our academy players. It involves the development of individual ball skills, practicing moves over and over again in order to beat a player on the spot, get into an advanced position via step-over, spins, flicks, tricks and so on to beat a man – a bit like we have seen with Jinky, Messi, Aiden, Neymar and others. I am sure that much of this is already in place. My question would be toward how much and to how well-structured it all is at Lennoxtown etc.



    On another issue, some say that the Lennoxtown facility has brought a disconnect between the fans and the club, due to the distance away from Celtic Park. Whereas, the training ground at Barrowfield is only within a mile of the stadium. I would love to see the players in an around Celtic Park on a more regular basis, at the very least to say hello to the faithful fans. Such a gesture would be greatly appreciated.



    So what about Barrowfield?



    Well, it’s still in use and available. That’s for sure. In fact, when I first attended youth matches, several of the games were played there. And indeed, the first team were training there for a day last week. On the old hallowed ground.



    However, this past season, the u20 youth team games have been being played in stadia. Not at Barrowfield and not at Celtic Park. But at Firhill, for example. And at Livingston and Dumbarton this season.



    What is the point of this, some wonder? Yes, there is the feel of a stadium, the layout, the dressing rooms etc. But the matches are often played in front of crowds of around 100 or less. And those 100 folk are more removed from the action, even although the pitch dimensions are still the same for the player.



    I suppose however that there is true value in preparing the player to be in a professional an environment as possible, even though there is only a small crowd.



    This past year or two, a few of our young players have made their way fully through this system. Jackson Irvine is now out on loan for 6 months to Kilmarnock and Callum McGregor is on loan to Notts County. Following a successful summer including three games for Australia at the u20 World Cup in Isreal and a star performance in Dublin against Liverpool, Jackson played his first game for Killie at the weekend in a 1-1 draw with St Mirren. He was unlucky for the goal where the deflected ball accidentally rebounded off his arm and landed at the foot of the St Mirren player for an easy tap-in.



    The latest on Callum at Notts County, including a man-of-the-match performance, is here … http://www.nottscountyfc.co.uk/news/article/another-day-its-a-hat-trick-1000317.aspx



    In other news, a few weeks ago I heard that young Irish captain and midfielder Brandon Payne had previously broken his leg causing a delay in his arrival at the Celtic academy. I await an update as to when he is due back to full fitness. The break was a few months ago. Get well soon, Brandon. Looking forward to seeing you when you come over. http://www.joe.ie/football/football-news/hoop-dreams-for-irish-under-15-skipper-snapped-up-by-celtic/



    To finish my ramblings today, please find below the latest results, involving a number of the young Celtic players.



    Tuesday 6th August, u20’s played against a good Dundee United side at the Energy Assets Arena, Livingstone. The result was a 1-0 victory for Celtic with the deflected goal scored off the head of Denny Johnstone at the edge of the box following a long range effort from Stuart Findlay near the end of the first half. This was the first game of the new u20 season. Matches will be played at Livingstone and occasionally at Dumbarton. The great Billy McNeill was present. It was an honour to meet him.



    Sunday 11th August, u17’s played Manchester City at Lennoxtown at 12noon and won by 3-2 with goals by Kieran Tierney, Ciaran Lafferty and Sean McIntosh.


    Then, at 2pm, u16’s team played against a club called Atletico Arad of Romania – Celtic won 3-0.



    Tuesday 13th August, u20’s won 3-2 away to ICT – two goals by Paul McMullan and a penalty from Patrik Twardik were enough to maintain the team’s 100% record in the league so far. The first goal by Paul McMullan was a belter from outside the box. Next game is away on Tuesday 20th August 6pm at Links Park v Aberdeen (P2 L2).



    Tuesday 13th August, Dylan McGeouch and Tony Watt involved in 6-0 defeat v England u21’s at Bramell Lane – Stuart Findlay was an used substitute. Billy Stark is the manager. Everton’s Ross Barkley played in the second half.


    Wednesday 14th August, behind closed doors match involving a young Irish national team. If anyone knows the details, please advise, thanks.



    Sunday 18th August – u16’s Aaron Comrie and Connor McLaren scored in a 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock FC u17’s. Well done lads! A word for young Jack Mooney who is out for the season with another injury. Keep the faith, Jack. Step-by-step, fella. You can do it!



    Tuesday August 13th – Saturday 17th, six of the Celtic u16s played four games for Scotland in Russia v Ukraine(2-2), Hungary(0-1), Cyprus (3-2) and Russia(1-0) – Ross Doohan, Calvin Miller, Regan Hendry, Theo Archibald, Aidan Quinn and Daniel Higgins – Regan Hendry scored two goals including the winner v Russia. Terrific effort lads, well done.



    Full report and team line-ups for these matches …












    16th – 18th August, u15’s played in the Hibernia Trophy in Dublin – Celtic finished in 4th place losing on penalties to Linfield in the 3rd/4th place play-off having previously lost 1-0 to Villareal. Other results included victories over St Jospehs’, Wolves (4-0) and Liverpool (2-0). Overall winners were Villareal on penalties from Leicester City.


    Well done once again to all the young players including their families, friends and coaching staff. Stick in there. Step-by-step, day-by-day.


    Please feel free to comment on any of the above.



    Twitter contact is @TonyCassidy123




  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 32