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……
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  1. Paul 67



    The opposition ran about more because they were chasing the ball , just unfortunate that we could not do anything with it.



    Izzy getting stick for the First goal (rightly) but when he is attacking , it ought to be job of left mid (chas) to provide cover and Ledley to push over.



    There is a reason why Chas is in midfield in European games : he is too slow in defence – remember Helingsborg away, so Chas will not be allowed near the defence for the return.



    Both Shakter full backs should be the focus of our attention as Jamsie with the purchase on the grass will get by his man, as will Izzy.



    For me next week , Chas drops out for Stokesie , Adam in if Mikal crocked. No panic changes.



    On our general play , the safe possession works well in the SPFL as most opposition will cough up a goal or two , as they tire chasing the game. I suspect this season that Neil is looking for other options with Derk and Amido ….. we should have enough to win next week but the alternative script is worryingly also possible.



    Highlighting the problem of turning the team round every 2 years – unfortunately Gary’s replacements Micu and Lassad could not adapt to the Scottish game ; and we are left chasing around for someone better than Stokesy who is prepared to play in Scotland

  2. Snake Plissken on

    I simply don’t see where people are getting the idea where we’re going to see Celtic steamroller this side.



    What are you basing it on?



    Last time we scored more than 3 goals at home in Europe was Bratislava 8 years ago.



    Since then we’ve beaten Benfica 3-0 once. All our other victories have been 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1 – none of those results are good enough other than 2-0 for extra time and even then the whole thing is on a knife edge – one goal and we’re out.



    Based on the personnel available and the lack of goals in the team at present what the hell are you basing this on?



    The fans?



    As we were told before the Juve game – I’ve never seen a fan score a goal.



    Sure we’ll get behind the team but that wasn’t enough against Bratislava from a worse position.



    Some folk really need to get real.



    we had no creativity


    We have a vastly reduced goal threat in the teams judging on performances so far


    We have an over cautious manager who plays his favourites no matter how they play


    We have very limited options to change last nights team short of throwing in youngsters.



    And we’re meant to wipe the floor with a team that tall, that defensive and that organised who put out Bate Borisov?



    You’re either brave or foolish if you think that.

  3. .



    Oh..And a Wee Side Issue..



    Would All..



    “well known Celtic bloggers”



    If You want to Stay a Well Know Celtic Bloggers..Stop having Snipes at Each other because You are Now making money from Celtic or Not Making Money from Celtic..



    In a Job..



    Out of a Job..



    I am Still a Celtic Supporter..






  4. BobbyLennoxtownbhoys on

    Left Click Tic



    so am i born n bred not a immigrant like u lol


    love n peece HH



  5. leftclicktic-That would mean dropping the Golden Child,i would play Matthews as he can cross a decent ball,and take a long throw to hit Balde,van Dijk etc.Might be a bit agricultural but MON’s teams got the ball forward quickly and supported it.They will have 5 at the back with 4 in front of them,if we pass it constantly across the park we will be wasting our own time.

  6. Hiro Nakamura


    13:22 on


    21 August, 2013


    So we lost because we didn’t run around as much as Shakter?



    Because all the top teams run about daft, don’t they?






    We didn’t work as hard as Shakter. Not enough running with the ball, not enough running without the ball.

  7. What happened to Bring back the thunder???? Is this the part of the story when the hangover kicks in and the whole thing comes off at the wheels?? Nice to be marched upto the top of the hill to show us what we could have every year just to be promptly marched back down again dismantling the team, the passion, the entertainment factor, the hope, the green brigade and any hope of ever being anything other than an SPL team playing mediocre teams in a mediocre league. All this for a few nickles and dimes in the greater scheme of things. The biscuit tin is broken.

  8. “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”



    Only one stat matters from that match yesterday.



    I think at 1-0 some more experienced managers would have said, “That’ll do. It’s just not our day” and taken that home. For all the chances Celtic had, I thought we could have been 3-0 down before the end. I hope the manager learns from this, 2-0 down is not the end of the world, but 1-0 down at this point in the tie would have seemed no problem, especially after what we saw of the opposition.



    I’m sure the team could have gotten a 1-0 defeat and covered a lot less ground.



    I’m also sure that a much more positive result could have been achieved covering even less ground than that.





  9. cliftonville celt from belfast praying for Oscar the wee legend on

    Some questions for our management team I like most other fans want answered :



    Why Mathews doesn’t start ?


    Why Sammi up front ?


    Chas in midfield ?


    No striker but 3 on bench ?


    JF ????


    Why does it take so long to change things when they aren’t working/going wrong ?



    Big week next week or we will be in for a long year !!!!!!



    Say what you like about Shaktar but they are the equivilant of a scottish 2nd division team if we had been beaten 2 nil by one of them we would be looking for heads to roll !!!



    We are CELTIC we should give them some respect but should also attack from the word go and look to rip them to pieces home or away !!!!!



    Fed up

  10. Let me start on a positive, we can and win the return leg.



    On last night’s performance, it was poor very poor.



    Why, did we go with a new CH pairing in such an important game?



    Why did we not go with a recognised goal scorer? The signs were there at Aberdeen, we are lacking in creativity middle to front.



    Neil has said we had enough chances to win the game, so why didn’t we go with a recognised striker, that would have done the job had we done so. Why did we miss those chances alluded to by Neil, could it be that we let three strikers go, one of whom was our top goal poacher with a fourth on the bench but not fit and have not been successful in bringing anybody in…Mmm, I wonder!



    Neil was on record last week that we should bring somebody in by last Friday, why say such things, he is only trying to please the fans but it led to false hope and it did not materialise. Why doesn’t Neil simply say, we are trying but cannot say when or say refer the question to Peter!



    When we brought in Balde and Virgil, I started to think, yes, we are doing our business early and augers well and are trying to get bodies in to bed in for the assault on the UCL. However, with the only other arrival that could potentially win a game has been Boerrtiger and unfortunately he is injured.



    Last night’s result is down to both the Players and Neil, wrong selections, tactics and brought on Balde too late.



    Shaktar are no better that the average SPL Teams. Yes we can beat them and will if we take our chances. Boerrtiger, Commons and Stokes must start but who ever does start they must be on their game.



    I’m a sentimentalist, I was there when we beat Sporting Lisbon 5-0 and Cologne 3-0 to overcome 2-0 first leg defeats, I am positive that we will do the same again.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!

  11. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Snake -all managers play theirfavourites.



    And an over-cautious manager might not have thrown in a new pairing in the heart of the defence.



    it’s 2-0 at half time, the situation is neither hopeless nor serious .

  12. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    FC Parahandy keeper is a flapper according to some



    that`ll make two flappers on the pitch next Wednesday



    the great wall ….picket fence more like

  13. Snake Plissken on




    He had no real choices with the defence. It was those two or Efe and Charlie – none of the four would have been any different.

  14. Snake Plissken



    Snake I don’t know if you saw the Bate game extended highlights, Shaktar had one shot a goal, Bate were all over them, their goal came when the Bate keeper came out to clear and miskicked totally, I think Shaktar were more surprised than anybody to have gone through..



    Since when were we scared of Tall teams, their defence looked shaky all night last night and if we press them as we can at Celtic Park you will see them make mistakes and give away more fouls, agreed we didn’t play well last night but we should and can beat this team at home..

  15. The Honest Mistake loves being first on



    I would rather be brave and foolish than a towel chucking smarty pants with no cojones.


    Celtic play to the final whistle. I believe in Celtic till the final whistle.


    If Celtic gave up when you threw in the towel then we’d be on the wrong end of 5 in a row now.

  16. prestonpans bhoys on



    12:56 on


    21 August, 2013



    Rewards from Celtic. Knowing how our ticket office works if we got to a final and I mean any final then those guys who were there last night would not get a ticket!

  17. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on




    Makes sense to me too.



    Juxtaposing two sets of stats was clearly too much for me.



    But the ground covered/possession discrepancy does suggest that having the ball is not enough. The result confirmed that.



    It just seemed to me that we did cover a lot of ground and I was surprised at the stats.



    If asked to guess stats on ground covered, I would have got it wildly wrong.



    When you’re emotionally invested in a game anything can happen….




  18. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    Jonny the Tim supporting wee Oscar



    Celtic will go through.






  19. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    weeminger 12-53







    bet they`d stuff us



    selling is fine ..if you have in house replacements or buy some in



    we sold the spine of our team and last night was the result



    all is not lost …but on that performance that CFC team will get horsed in the CL



    i watched the other CL qualification games yesterday …night and day …ours looked like a Sunday league match in comparison

  20. Snake Plissken on

    starry plough forza oscar



    I think we will win next week but not by the required margin. I think they’ll score and as you’ve pointed out every piece of luck has gone for this team so far as it did yesterday. I see no way that will change -they are too organised and the only way we’ll force them into mistakes is by a hell of an improvement.



    The Honest Mistake loves being first



    based on what I’ve seen so far this season and pre-season I don’t think this Celtic team can do it. I’ll be delighted to be proved wrong but I am only basing it on what I’ve viewed preseason and so far.



    But for the bounce of the ball we’ve have been behind in Sweden with the same level of performance and that wasn’t the huge journey yesterday was.



    If looking at your team’s shape and form and seeing no real reasons for optimism is chucking it then fine have it your way but I’m calling it as I see it and not going on blind faith.



    Yes Celtic can win next week but can they keep them out?



    Every long throw was a nightmare and we were watching from behind the sofa. What’s going to change in a week to stop them from doing that again?

  21. Snake



    Completely agree.



    We simply aren’t good enough to expect to romp to victory. We will win at home, of that I have little to no doubt. But for us to win 3-0 or better will be more down to how they play than us.



    I can’t see us keeping a clean sheet. Can anyone see us scoring 4?

  22. gallowgate mad squad



    13:19 on 21 August, 2013


    VHMAN- I’m not asking you personally to pay for 100 plus seats. A large group of people damaged a large number of seats in an area populated by the GB. I’m no Sherlock Holmes but my guess is people affiliated with the GB did the damage. Is this a reasonable assumption or is everyone just going to go off their heads at such a suggestion? If it’s not reasonable, could someone can give me a rational explanation about who damaged 100 plus seats. I’ll be online waiting. We all just want this resolved asap.




    Never ever seen that type of damage, my ST is in 111, I wonder why the plc board are believed over the Celtic supporters in 111.


    There’s some damage but there is a lie there as well.


    If I was you and expecting people to pay, why don’t you ask the plc board what efforts they’ve made to support the GBs wonderful efforts against the likes of Barcelona.

  23. Summa of Sammi….


    13:32 on


    21 August, 2013








    looking up statistics?

  24. “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.”





    Oh really Paul?



    …….and we have depth to spare?



    I think not…………the stats don’t lie.

  25. JinkyvJohnGreig-saysitall on

    Got my ticket for next Wednesday this morning. A poor result last night, but for me the script was written when I first saw their captain. Was a cross between Phil Collins and a hun I know.



    I fear another 3-1 Basle result in reverse.



    Phil Collins, Switzerland…..



    Hope I’m wrong and I hope we are all feeling positive and making lots of noise come 7.45pm on the 28th. You’d have to fear qualification again will become even harder unless this one can be turned around.






    Something in the Air CSC

  26. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    If we get an early goal I can see us pushing on to score 3 or 4.



    Or even the desired 5



    My turf accountant, Mr Ian Black, has urged me to put the ole shirt on it.

  27. Beamishismypint on

    From SSN:



    Italian press reports claim that Celtic’s search for a striker has led them to Switzerland international Innocent Emeghara. The 24-year-old Nigerian-born forward spent last season on loan with Siena from Lorient.


    by Jon Holmes 12:56 PM

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