Valencia draw gives Celtic a chance, lessons from Easter Road


Those suggesting Sunday was the worst Celtic performance of the season have short memories.  The campaign was full of days like this until the emergence of Ryan Christie and halftime in the League Cup semi-final at Murrayfield.

Brendan Rodgers acknowledged he got things wrong.  Three at the back works on paper when you are a few full backs down, but we simply did not know how to defend the flanks when Hibs broke with speed, which fortunately they didn’t do too often.

Every team has to compensate for absences, often with a straight choice: find a direct replacement but maintain the structural integrity of the team, or give the pack a significant shuffle in an attempt to shake things up.  Celtic’s away form this term has been such that Brendan cannot by criticised for wanting to try something new, but 46 seconds into the game it was evident the players did not know what to do.

So what did we learn?  Brendan will not deploy the same line-up/tactics combination again.  We know already we are heavily dependent on fast-thinking-fleet-of-foot players like Ryan Christie, with Callum McGregor in the deep playmaker role.  We know we need a striker to assist Odsonne carry the load – Brendan wants two.  We know energy levels are low with the squad facing two games a week, pretty much since June.

Valencia beat Manchester United last week in the Champions League, so will have no fears of travelling to Celtic Park in the next round of the Europa League, but this draw is neither impossible nor the easiest possible for Celtic.

The Spanish club are 14th in La Liga, a healthy five points above relegation, but will surely be more focussed on getting their domestic results sorted than hoping for Europa glory.  The teams last met in competitive action in 2001, when two home 1-0 wins saw the Uefa Cup tie go to penalty kicks, which Valencia won 5-4, with Larsson, Petrov and Valgaeren all missing for Celtic.

Valencia were also Celtic’s very first European opponents.  The teams met in the 1962 Fairs Cup, Valencia winning the first leg 4-2 before the teams drew 2-2 at Celtic Park, when John Clark missed a penalty.

The games do not take place until February, but Brendan Rodgers will be encouraged his team are in with a chance.  Practice penalties, please.

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  1. CELTIC40ME on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 2:27 PM


    How did we “dither?” By not paying over the odds and not matching Hibs’s valuation when it didn’t look like anyone else was in for him, for a non-essential bench player with a year left on his contract?




    Hibs were quite right to hold out for top dollar in the hope that someone would come along and push his price up.




    We always seem to see these things from our perspective, like it’s all within our control and if things fail it’s always down to our failings. There are other parties involved and circumstances beyond our control.




    It all worked out ok anyway, if we had signed Mcginn it’s unlikely Christie would have got his chance, I doubt mcginn would have had anything like the impact Christie has had







    One thing is for sure, John McGinn wouldn’t have pranced around the pitch like Ntcham and Sinclair did yesterday. A disgraceful lack of effort and heart on both counts.

  2. mike in toronto on

    CQNErs get a hootenanny. … do the long suffering partners of CQNErs get a party? Surely they deserve one




  3. RON67 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 3:28 PM


    one of our main issues in yesterday’s abysmal performance was playing SB and ON together, doesn’t work especially as both players are very slow in thought and mind.



    When we beat Sevco at CP this season Brown and Ntcham, were the best players on the park IMO,Broonie just getting over injury, Ntcham playing a different position anytime he plays now,wide left and wide right doesn’t suit him,centre mid is his best position HH

  4. A ‘failed transfer policy’ that has seen Celtic win 7 titles in a row, completed a double treble and onwards to eight.



    Just think what Celtic could have achieved if they had a ‘working transfer policy”



    Lost for words where do you even start that CSC

  5. Bournesouprecipe



    What influence did this year’s shambolic window have in the past?


    Everyone’s delighted with our recent success , some would like it too continue and recognise theirs no reason why it shouldn’t.


    You getting lazy?


    Laziness is successes nemesis.




    Yes well said. There are a few teams wish they were as ” poor ” as us.



    Sunday was bad enough without getting the John McGinn saga all over again.


    He was in that studio as a wind up, nothing more,as for his ability,he does not have the class of Christie,who will I’m sure be a key player for us for years.



    Lets cut to the chase and it has nothing to do with the Board or PL being slow,agreements were in place,they were not honoured,leaving us looking foolish for being trusting.



    In my view, McGinn has as much integrity as M.Johnson, or for that matter Brian McClair who also changed his mind overnight to embarrass the then Celtic Chairman, ironically Jack McGinn.




  7. 50 shades of green on

    !!BADA BING!! on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 2:53 PM


    Home game v Murderwell will get moved to the Sunday after Thursday game in Valencia.






    Also due to play Hearts away the Tuesday after the Mwell game, so that might get moved.

  8. What is the Stars on

    After yesterdays debacle I think Brendan should insist that he picks the team himself from now on.


    Allowing Peter Lawwell to pick the team and decide on tactics and formation is shocking.



    Never again

  9. Ex Cathedra. Comparing McGinn to Judas is a step too far. He is a young lad nobody outside his family know the details. Could have been 5 or 10 thousand a week between Villa & Celtic in wages.


    He never publicly committed to Celtic, like most young fellas he went for the dosh. Hardly a hanging offence.

  10. Celtic are beginning to look leg-weary and it’s not surprising after playing sixteen games in Europe and all the domestic stuff of Cup and Championship and the hangover from Thursday night was evident when Hibs were deserving winners. The energy of young Tierney and Christie was badly missed and the good news is that Ryan’s injury is not as serious as it looked.



    Reflecting on last week’s European competitions, Salzburg surprised me with their committment particularly as they had already qualified and obviously doing their level best to catapult the other Red Bull financed Leipzig to join them in the last 32. It was interesting that Spurs were hailed as heroic when they made progressed to the next stage of the Champions league with a mere 8 points and Liverpool on 9 points. Of course Celtic were deemed to have scraped through by pundits on 9 points in Europa.



    Brendan has got to rotate the side with so much football to be played and Celtic will bounce back no doubt. Let’s hope this business of treble trebles is binned for good and let the team concentrate on winning the League Title which looks like being tight this season. We need some additional signings but I’m not convinced about the January market. Scott Brown is a very good player and has to stay.



    The break in the season is coming just at the right time for the players and with two home games coming up gives the team a real opportunity to bounce back before the trip accross town.




    Absolutely, John McGinn was invited by SKY to reopen the ‘Celtic dithered agenda’.



    Celtic get gubbed, John McGinn chose Aston Villa, which he merely reaffirmed.



    Boom………………….. job done, the Celtic cynics return to the tired mantra of board bashing with a defeat to





    Celtic fans taking it badly when targets sign for other clubs is boring.



    Yawn CSC

  12. What I’d advise, if anyone is interested in the John McGinn chapter of the 2018 summer fiasco, is to listen to what JMcG said over the weekend and read what Brendan Rodgers said at the time…






    Use the power of reasoning and work out what happened…



    …from my perspective John McGinn had every right to tell what went on from his perspective. He could well see himself compared with the petite merde, or even the Brian McClair category!?!



    If you don’t prepare to succeed, prepare to fail…



    Hail Hail

  13. JIMTHETIM53 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 4:54 PM


    Big Packy, get yourself back on. Don’t take things too much to heart.



    agree c’mon pal , it’s lonely on here.



  14. Bournesouprecipe



    Raises an interesting point, should we rest on our laurels?


    Stop striving to improve, be happy with 7 titles, give someone else a chance of glory.



    I often wonder about Tiger Woods who looked destined to break Jack Nicholas record of 18 majors and be the most successful golfer in history.


    How much does Tiger blame himself?


    He obviously was distracted by the drink and personal issues and once that foot came off the accelerator it was never a case off continuing where he left off and racking them up like before.



    According to our host titles are a given, maybe they are, its not my experience of top level sport, but even if they are shouldnt we strive to be the best we can be?

  15. WHAT IS THE STARS @ 4:44 PM,



    You may have a point, during Lenny’s tenure when it was decided against his will to play..






    Through all Celtic teams and bring Ronny Delia in as a specialist Coach, the decision was very controversial.



    However, as this is also Brendan’s favoured formation I’m sure Celtic are in unison on this…



    Why we still lack the players and ability to perform consistently is another question…



    Shoulders to the wheel in January me thinks…



    Hail Hail

  16. John McGinn never had the chance to choose Celtic cos Celtic couldn’t close the deal, it’s not rocket science, but it doesn’t suit the Pedro arse lickers agenda, everyone else is to blame bar Pedro.

  17. CORKCELT on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 4:47 PM



    Thanks for the reply,you actually hit on the key phrase.



    “He is a young lad nobody outside his family know the details.” Correct.!!!!!!!!!!

  18. What is the Stars



    Some might say Peter Lawwels influence on team selection was in the summer , our manager was off that view.


    He also had an influence around 10 years ago when despite our manager wanting a player who was an in law of mine Peter Lawwell rejected his wish because of a nominal fee.



    Your joke has an element of truth in it.?

  19. I am not sure if our Away form is `dreadful` but, if it is poor, is it not possible that the difference between the Celtic Park playing surface and that of many of the other SPFL clubs is a real factor in that form?




  20. THE EXILED TIM on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 5:01 PM



    Sorry,I don’t normally indulge in tit for tat,but you are wrong.


    John McGinn had every chance to choose Celtic,and he did,only to reverse it.



    Position was sorted,don’t believe the Daily Record.

  21. Yep Ex Cathedra, I don’t know, you don’t know but you are comparing him to Judas all I’m saying is give the lad a break.

  22. Fck John McGinn. Could have signed for Celtic if he wanted to.






    Roon him.



    Young Corpus Christie has been a welcome revelation. Probably wouldn’t have gotten a look-in if McGinn had joined. Siver linings.




    Valencia – will be up for it to get their fans off their backs after a poor domestic season to date.



    If we can bring our Leipzig A-game we will make a contest of it.



    Who did the Huns get?



    Oh, that’s right…

  23. Ray Winstone's Big Disembodied Heid on

    The McGinn deal didn’t happen and he doesn’t play for Celtic. That is the end of my intrerest in him except for one observation………………………………………………………..



    He is WAAAAAY too ugly to play for the ‘Tic.

  24. What is the Stars on

    Personally I think Lawwell should get the blame for everything that goes wrong and should get no credit for anything that goes right.

  25. Sid @ 4.25



    It wasn’t a good window and this has been widely acknowledged.



    What hasn’t and won’t be, is nobody outwith the Celtic hierarchy know why it wasn’t a good window. Especially not the man on the Clapham Omnibus, or the No18 to Rutherglen. Celtic fans with an appreciation of how Celtic’s wealth should be spent, especially in relation to hyper inflated ( because of Sky ) transfer fees, and wages, fare much better in their understanding of how Celtic need to survive and flourish collecting all the baubles, none of which we’ve dropped , as yet.



    Do we want Amido Balde at £1.5M or Mo (the bounce) Bangura for £1M or more of the same?



    No, I don’t think so, BR said that the transfer window woud be reviewed and analysed that’s good enough for me. The wages system without EBT’s or side contracts will do me nicely too thanks, and whatever Christopher McKay and Peter Lawwell say we can afford, will do likewise.



    I trust Celtic and they’ll continue to get my money and support including in this January window where I expect we’ll strengthen, exposed weakness.

  26. CORKCELT on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 5:12 PM


    Yep Ex Cathedra, I don’t know, you don’t know but you are comparing him to Judas all I’m saying is give the lad a break.




    He did exactly to us recently,what Judas did all those years ago,he allowed our Club to be de-stabilized by those crying out for an opportunity.


    Of course, as an individual there is no comparison to MJ ,but his thoughtlessness with regard to ramifications for Celtic were not well thought out and make no mistake he knows it.

  27. bournesouprecipe



    you are right, to many Celtic fans on here and elsewhere are prepared to dance to the medias agenda. The media concerned are no friends of celtic and their editorial policy is firmly anti-Celtic.



    We should no better

  28. EX44


    Fine, you believe what you want, I will believe what I want.


    But one thing for sure, you will never hear me calling our manager a liar, nor will I ever call John McGinn a liar, unlike you and a few others have done.

  29. Bigbhoy


    I believe that we cannot think for ourselves. Genes,where and how we were brought up, friends , circumstance etc all play a part in shaping how we are going to perceive any and all events.


    If we accept that our views are , in a sense, predestined, then we might have a better chance of seeing things more accurately.