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



    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.






    Shame,………… you started off not bothering whether we signed John McGinn or not, but inevitably Pedro gets it in the neck, along with anybody with a different Celtic view .

  2. Bournesouprecipe



    Not a lot id disagree with there except the weaknesses now were the weaknesses glaring in the summer, i was also not happy with the January window.


    I can only speak for myself but if you think im influenced by our media having spent my life involved in football your way off target.

  3. THE EXILED TIM on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 5:28 PM



    I never used that word,anywhere.I merely stated facts.



    You take care.

  4. Peter Lawwell talks about value, so lets talk about value. PL doesn’t like to let players run down their contracts. So lets think about that in the context of Boyata. What was the value in unsettling the player and those around him, Moussa, Ntcham etc? What was the value of losing out on the UCL as a direct result of trying to offload a player under contract? What was the value of not signing John Mcginn for what he was worth in the opinion of the most important individual at the football Club, Brendan Rodgers? What was the value in getting into a d*** swinging contest with Rod Petrie? Is the value on the pitch and on paper of John McGinn greater the asking price of £3-4m? What is the value of unsettling the best Manager we have had in 50 years? What is the value of not learning the lessons from the Steven Fletcher fiasco which he even admitted himself was a huge mistake? What was the value in not signing a right back at the Managers request? What is the value of unsettling an entire Club which was on the crest of a wave?



    Where the Club is now from where it was 6 months ago is an utter disgrace. I blame Peter Lawwell and his Board colleagues.




  5. mike in toronto on




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



    I get that we are supposed to be a club open to all …. but Predestination?! Calvinism?! Where do we draw the line?.




  6. THE EXILED TIM on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 5:30 PM





    I also think it’s pathetic to accuse me of reading let alone believe what the record says, utterly pathetic.




    I will concede that was insensitive and not my intention to accuse you,however my usage of ” Record” is a euphemism for all the anti Celtic outlets be they Sky,BT,the Sun or the Record.


    I’ll buy you a Bovril at Ibrox on the 29th to make up.:)

  7. Hot Smoked……….without doubt a very good point although Easter Road pitch looked OK yesterday. Celtic play their best football at Celtic Park and Ibrox, yesI have to admit.

  8. Sid @ 4.25



    Whether, we’re influenced by SMSM or we influence them is older than the internet, sub consciously or not, anti Celtic coverage is older than tea.



    We should have signed a full back ( common knowledge ) we gambled on Dembele and Boyata both of whom threw toys from the pram, late doors.



    Anybody that reads this Blog must know by now that I, and better posters know full well Celtic must sign more Wanyama’s and fewer Bangura’s



    Lets see what January brings where I expect us to blow away the Sevco bosmans


    whoever they are.

  9. MiT


    I knew that `predestined` was not the word I was looking for but I thought I would get away with it. I didn`t know you were lurking !!


    I kind of meant programmed, conditioned by experience, shaped by all that had gone before, the sum of everything in our life that had preceded this moment etc. How am I doing?




  10. Hot Smoked…



    No doubt your argument has merit and it is very true we are a product of our environment…



    However, we are more than capable of reason and can obtain wisdom and knowledge and grow as free thinkers…



    When I was a child coming out of Scotland I was steeped in dogma…



    Roman Catholicism






    The belief Scotland was the Greatest wee Country on Earth



    Its tuff for sure… but we can examine our dogmas and influences and grow as free thinkers…



    Hail Hail

  11. Gerryfaethebrig on




    You are some man



    Never happy :-)



    Get smiling we live in great Celtic times anymore of your unhappiness I will join Sentinel Celts to make you happy :-)



    Franny67 no way am scrolling back to 1.47pm life is far too short if it’s about Gamboa ? I don’t think he is the wurst, he had a terrific World Cup



    SSB time smile and be happy we at least wake up Celtic supporters ?

  12. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Pretty plain that we are suffering the ramifications of that utter train-crash of a summer transfer window.



    Hopefully that is behind us and the issues it raised have been resolved.



    Namely, that Brendan runs the football operation and Peter Lawwell seals the deals and counts the beans. Brendan is good at football, and PL is good at balance sheets.



    Surely it is a straightforward case of strengthening the team where we all know it needs strengthening, with 3 or 4 signings of quality, and offloading a fair few rich contracts of squad players who are nowhere near the first-pick 11 and never will be?



    And if that means taking a financial hit for ripping up a few contracts, then so be it.



    Brendan has said since he got here that the squad is too big – yet here we still are, years down the line, and the squad size is pretty much unchanged.



    We are haemorrhaging big money out on players who will never make an impact for us, or who have stopped doing so, while we really really need a handful of quality players. To me, its a straight swap.



    Brendan as manager. Money in the bank. Valencia in Europe in February. A more than fair chance of a shot at CL football again in 2019-2020.



    I know the January window is difficult, but if you can’t entice a few quality footballers with all of that, we might as well give up.



    This window is bloody crucial.

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    I think Broony & Ntcham were off the pace … players have to play to reach their maximum … Steven GERRARD is comedy gold ;-)

  14. DAVID17 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 5:40 PM



    I blame Peter Lawwell and his Board colleagues.




    No way

  15. Here is some sports humor to cheer you up after a dismal Sunday…………..HH





    Don Meredith , Dallas Cowboy Quarterback once said: “Coach Tom Landry is such a perfectionist that if he was married to Raquel Welsh, he would expect her to cook. ‿



    Harry Neale, professional hockey coach: “Last year we couldn’t win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure as a coach was that I couldn’t think of anyplace else to play. ‿



    Reggie Jackson, commenting on Tom Seaver: “Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch.”



    Doug Sanders, professional golfer: “I’m working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time. If I can just die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect.”



    Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers pitcher: “All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, ‘See, there’s a fat guy doing okay. Bring me another beer.'”



    Tommy LaSorda, L A Dodgers manager: “I found out that it’s not good to talk about my troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear them don’t care and the other twenty percent are glad I’m having them.”



    E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations: “My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget.”



    Vic Braden, tennis instructor: “My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis.



    If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren’t as good. ‿



    Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry ever smiles: “I don’t know. I only played there for nine years.”



    John Breen, Houston Oilers: “We were tipping off our plays. Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one was pale as a ghost. ‿



    Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints, after viewing a lopsided loss to the Atlanta Falcons: “The film looks suspiciously like the game itself.”



    Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher: “When I’m on the road, my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo.”



    Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon: “Because if it didn’t work out, I didn’t want to blow the whole day.”



    Lou Holtz , football coach: “I have a lifetime contract. That means I can’t be fired during the third quarter if we’re ahead and moving the ball.”



    Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game: “I won’t know until my barber tells me on Monday.”



    Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers: “I learned a long time ago that ‘minor surgery’ is when they do the operation on someone else, not you”



    George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores: “Our biggest concern this season will be diaper rash.”



    Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach: “The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday.






    Virus-free. http://www.avast.com



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  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Utter train crash ???



    We broke our transfer record by a mile but don’t let the facts get in the way :-)

  17. BSR


    Why is it a shame, I couldn’t care one way or another, if the truth be told I am glad we didn’t sign him as I don’t think he is or will ever be good enough, but that is NOT the point, people are posting stuff that is patently untrue, that is what I am posting about, the manager obviously felt so upset about it that he went public on the situation, the boy himself has said that there was no deal, if there was no deal how the ef can he choose between clubs, but I keep seeing post after post saying he CHOSE Villa, and he went for more money, as the boy has said Villa was his only choice as Celtic couldn’t close out a deal with Hibs.


    So as for Pedro getting it in the neck, for sure, he deserves everything that comes his way at times, in this instance he deserves it, when he does good he rightly gets praise from me.






    I will, and I will never ever set foot in that bigot dome again :-)

  18. Fan-A-Tic



    “Looking at the performance of Red Bull structure on the field and financially if i was Celtic i would be examining the structures they have in place that has fueled their success on and off the field.”



    What is the USP of their structure?



    All I saw was that they sold their best palyers to an other Red Bull team in Leipzig and they bought cheaply their development players from another Red Bull team in the Austrian 2nd tier.



    Replicating that would involve Dermot Desmond & pals buying a wee Celtic team and a bigger Celtic team in one of the big 5 leagues.

  19. David 17



    “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.”




    One thing is even surer – John McGinn would be getting it in the neck from the modern day entitled supporter in every 2nd game.



    And so would Henrik Larsson

  20. Hot Smoked & MIT



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





    I get that we are supposed to be a club open to all …. but Predestination?! Calvinism?! Where do we draw the line?






    I remember (no! I wasn’t there at the time) when some theologians were inventing the wheeze that became Protestantism.



    They come up with idea of predestination and told their adherents that some of them had been stamped for heaven before they were born and others weren’t. Thay also told them that it did not matter how good a life you lead as your after-life prognosis was pre-determined by God and you could not alter his decision.



    Unsurprisingly to all (well, apart from said theologians) this information led to a widespread outbreak of indiscriminate shagging and general debauchery.



    This in turn, led to a wee conference amongst the theologians who concluded – “Lads- we might not have worked this one out right! We better tell them that , even though you cannot know the destination that has been pre-destined for you, living a good and a godly life is a fairly reliable sign of where you are going.”



    And thus, Protestantism was saved in its infancy.



    Well…… saved from having a good time anyway.

  21. SFTB.


    Scott’s yellow card yesterday.


    These are the kind of tackles that I,normally, wish refs would give red cards for, invariably they issue yellows.


    As it was Scott, I was pleased that the ref decided it was a yellow card offence.




    Hail Hail

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    JNP 6.43pm



    I think Broony made that stupid tackle as he was off the pace



    I know you like a bet now and again Alaves are a terrific price tonight

  23. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Strong Rangers Association mouthpiece and failed Dundee manager on shortbread saying Celtic were lucky to qualify. Expert analysis!

  24. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Glass two thirds



    Celtic are in the same position as Salzburg and Eintract Frankfurt who I think won all their games … competition football is just about staying in the competition:-)

  25. Gerryfaethebrig.


    I’ve not even looked tonight.


    I will keep an eye on the score now.


    Have you bet them?


    Hail Hail

  26. SFTB


    You know that was not my point.


    Was the overall cohesion in their transfer structure and excellent coaching.



    (What is the USP of their structure?)


    How would i know?I could form an opinion like you but haven’t.


    I merely suggested that Celtic took a look at their set up to see if any of it could be emulated to improve their own systems

  27. Gerryfaethebrig on

    JNP 6.50pm



    Am on the Alaves at 17/10… finished up on Thursday and off till Christmas Eve so will get my apologies in early for boring the blog with my happy clapping … it doesn’t happen very often but my Hills, Corals, Ladbrokes, Skybet & Betfred accounts were all in profit this morning so a decent start to my annual leave … they will probably all be in the negative tomorrow :-) gamble responsibly… in fact I think Lazio & Derby are good things as well

  28. TET



    Like you I was easy ozzy on John McGinn, still am having seen Ryan Christie.



    BR didn’t go public because he was upset, he went public because he was asked, he also managed to get over the loss of John McGinn much better than the cynical Celtic supporter.



    ‘Peter Lawwell deserves it’ because you and others say so,? “



    “Peter Lawwell deserves it because he refused to smash the Celtic wage structure “



    I know which you prefer, and whether you like it or not its Daily Rainjurz.

  29. Gerryfaethebrig on

    I didn’t think Ryan Christie was good enough for Celtic ….



    Delighted to be incorrect yet again :-)

  30. GreeninbingleyinOslo on



    Utter train crash ???






    Agreed we signed up Odsonne, which delighted me, but we needed quality additions that were identified by Brendan and were within the budget, and we didn’t get them.



    We were thin at the back and up front – desperately so once Moussa walked, which wasn’t exactly a surprise.



    That window was also the one where we should have thinned down the squad.



    So aye, I think it was a bit of a disaster. We have a 20-year-old leading our line, being played out of position and my heart goes out to him.



    We need to sort it in January, but I think we will. :)

  31. Gerryfaethebrig on




    I hope you are correct …



    Remember, players need to want to join us, Valencia tie could entice some