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. GFTB



    Peter Lawwell makes his own decisions he may have parameters to work too but he’s not constantly on the phone to Desmond.

  2. TinyTim


    A lot of those players were not Brendan’s signings, Dembele for a start, but your point still stands, a fair few of the ones that were down to him haven’t set the heather on fire.


    You missed out Musonda ;-)

  3. The January transfer window will be instructive imo. Brendan will be looking for at least 3 quality additions, possibly more. I will be happy to be proved wrong but i don’t think Peter Lawwell will deliver. If Boyata is sold and the quality doesn’t come in then i fear the worst, not just for the rest of our season but for Brendan’s future. There is an awful lot at stake and the ball is very much in the Board’s court.

  4. DAVID17 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 8:56 PM


    I will be happy to be proved wrong but i don’t think Peter Lawwell will deliver.



    News to nobody

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    TONTINE TIM on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 7:16 PM


    Fully concur with corkcelt, John McGinn is nae dirty wee sleekit roger hunt neither is he choccy, I would liken him more with Harry Hood and Anthony Stokes, 2 players who chose Sunderland over us and yet came back tae star for the hoops. Whose tae say the young Duntocher Tim won’t in a couple of years once he’s honed his skills down in brum.






    As I said at the time.



    First look after the family finances and in 18 months head back to Celtic as Broony is being eased out .

  6. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Big bad Peter :-)



    Who would you or any others replace him with ???



    It’s easy having a pop with no alternative

  7. mike in toronto on




    I may have mentioned this fella before, and even if I haven’t you may be aware of him… but, if not, I think you might enjoy Sorren MaClean’s music … here is a sample








    You have my permission to use that song … except not against me, of course!




  8. SID on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 8:56 PM






    Peter Lawwell makes his own decisions he may have parameters to work too but he’s not constantly on the phone to Desmond.






    In my limited experience of the inner workings of Celtic, it is very much an insular community within which the majority of decisions revolve around Lawwell. When you talk to people it’s Peter this and Peter that. It is imo a very unhealthy situation. I seriously doubt the Board have the personality to hold PL to account. I often wonder if and when PL is ever held to account by anybody.

  9. Gerryfromthebrig



    My point is aimed at his ability to spot a player and the person he has appointed to pick the targets for him,Lee Congerton.



    I will answer your question.








    Made worse.


    Griffiths ,Sinclair (over the last year)




  10. Melbourne Mick many thanks for your kind words, in Apollo Beach at the moment heading for Melbourne in two or three hours. It was great to meet up with you, Maisie, Paddymacoz and Cathie/Kathy, you are all great ambassadors for our great club. What has impressed me most about Celtic supporters, especially in Oz is getting up in the middle of the night to watch the games although sometimes like Sunday it must disappoint- did’nt see that one coming!! So I doff my hat to you and Paddy for all the wonderful work you do for local charities and how you keep the Celtic ethos alive in this part of the world. Working on a plan to repay your generosity. Hail Hail. Hebcelt

  11. TET



    I forgot about Musonda.


    I wasn’t sure if he signed Dembele,but I don’t think he did.


    He was a Bosman signed in the Jan window before Brendan came in the summer.




  12. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Don’t believe the hype



    Scott Sinclair has been a terrific Brendan signing …



    Look at his goals to game ratio



    I think BR has improved Lustig, Kieran, Dedryck, Ntcham … and from over my right hand shoulder MissGFTB just said “what about Edouard” fling in Rogic & MacGregor :-)




    as braw as it gets …a Glesga born loon….



    Piper to the End


    Mark Knopfler


    When I leave this world behind me


    To another I will go


    And if there are no pipes in heaven


    I’ll be going down below


    If friends in time be severed


    Someday we will meet again


    I’ll return to leave you never


    Be a piper to the end


    This has been a day to die for


    Now the day is almost done


    Up above, a quiet seabird


    Turns to face the setting sun


    Now the evening dove is calling


    And all the hills are burning red


    And before the night comes falling


    Clouds are lined with golden thread


    We watched the fires together


    Shared our quarters for a while


    Walked the dusty roads together


    Came so many miles


    This has been a day to die on


    Now the day is almost done


    Here the pipes will lay beside me


    Silent with the battle drum


    If friends in time be severed


    Someday here we will meet again


    I’ll return to leave you never


    Be a piper to the end



    smiley Saor Alba soon soon thing




  14. TET



    My last word ever on John McGinn, ( promise to self )



    Nobody has the facts of the John McGinn ‘alleged’ failed signing fiasco, which is part of the same alleged ‘failed policy’ that’s signed nearly all of the current seven times title winning double treble winning squad.



    What Celtic fans have is what they’ve read on the internet or heard elsewhere in SMSM from which to make up their mind.



    Celtic fans on both sides of the SMSM permanent continually driven anti Celtic ‘great board divide’ fill Celtic Park every other week, much to the annoyance of at least one CQN’er.



    The internet wins hands down on whining over winning and this Blog gets busy again when Celtic get beaten, , but was empty when we won the Betfred Cup in the first leg of BR next treble.



    Plus ca change CSC

  15. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Slick visual presentation.


    Marvellous instrumental skills.



    For commercial success rather than niche success , perhaps a vocalist .



    Collar Rod next time he`s at Celtic Park.


    In fact ,perhaps send a copy to him.


    That`s what the Tim connection might be able to deliver.

  16. I agree with Boyata.


    The rest will have improved with age with or without BR.



    Edouard is being ruined at present.


    Lustig isn’t better now than when we signed him.



    He has is also making Craig Gordon do something he is not comfortable with.


    Play as an extra defender and distribute the ball.



    Makes Craig look very bad at times as it isn’t one of his strengths.




  17. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    CELTIC40ME on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 8:58 PM


    DAVID17 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 8:56 PM




    I will be happy to be proved wrong but i don’t think Peter Lawwell will deliver.



    News to nobody






    PL is a CEO , not a magician.



    I think Brendan deserves credit for improving a lot of our players individually.


    But have to disagree on KT.


    He has lost some of his qualities adhering to Brendans instructions.


    I feel he was a far superior and more effective player under Ronnie than he is now.

  19. Hello again all you young rebels.



    John McGinn who he? would rather talk about those young


    kids who came into the Dubliner on Sun. when you were there,


    they played in our wee fitba tourny last week,all with the hoops


    on, thats our Celtic, anything else is just noise.


    Hope you enjoy the rest of your tour of the southern hemisphere


    and we see you again.


    H.H Mick

  20. That post was for HEBCELT.


    Oh and our Celtic Santa is on his way with the kids pressies.


    The Celtic family eh……..


    H.H Mick

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    THE EXILED TIM on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 8:48 PM






    True agents can be pure winkers, but I don’t believe the boy was telling lies yesterday.





    Neither do I.

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    So Craig Gordon & Kieran have regressed under Brendan’s tutelage (if that’s the correct word)






    I want my goalkeeper to be a goalie not a sweeper… would leave that to one of the centre halves



    KT in my opinion is exceptional

  23. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    DAVID17 on 17TH DECEMBER 2018 9:05 PM



    If thats the case , then the Board is to blame , not P.L.

  24. BSR


    We are really not that far apart at the end of the day, the club is doing great on the field but could always do better, we have wheans of money in the bank, down to the manager and the players, full houses every game, again down to the manager and the players, seven baubles in a row, down to the manager and the players.


    I credit where we are just now to the manager and the players, others give Pedro the credit, if anyone from the board deserves the credit it’s Dermo for appointing Brendan, with total respect to you and others, I am mystified why Pedro is fawned over like he is.


    I can post without mentioning the Villa player :-)



    I think KT is an exceptional talent and i hope he becomes our captain and leader.


    But i feel he is regressing and has been less effective under Brendan.


    Our style of play and system nullifies a lot of his better qualities.


    Earlier in the season i felt i was judging him harshly so took his stats in the first half of a league game.


    He had a lot more backward passes than forward one’s, a few sideways and only one cross.


    That is not using his better attributes .

  26. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Peter Lawell is a terrific CEO :-)



    If he wasn’t he would have been sacked by now … Dermot Desmond doesn’t suffer fools gladly