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. It’s a Mystery oh its a Mystery.



    Jacob didnae do a handshake when he went on stage (at a Leave means Leave youtube I watched).



    That to me is good news.



    The Biggest issue for decades nooo has been the attack on the Family.






    Plato – Oh Really



    The US Constitution – I think most people can agree has led to a lot of prosperity for so many – it is not remotely perfect, it has how many pages?



    EU stuff…. LOL @ Lisbon Treaty page numbers.



    Oh Dear. Taking the Piss.



    NJOI Celtic PLEASE, Whilst you can.



    Rezerection is having a wan aff night 6 April @ Ingliston. I have no idea if tickets are still available. I’d like to go and if any CQNers are up for it.



    NJOI & Altern8 are the Live PA’s. ;))

  2. True Love is Celtic.



    It’s Stated Ethos is what it is.



    The SNP have no dissension – Running Scotland noo. Makes sense.



    What Coward isnae able to go against the Bloc.



    The Runes says it all.



    Tyson is Furious – INCREDIBLE he was born 1lb.



    Mustard seed CELTIC.

  3. I am glad that Brendan has taken Kieran oot a few games noo. He is an incredible player, he needs to be protected from himself as he is so committed and played far too many games for a Dude his age.



    In this day and Age.

  4. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Attacks on traditional family values ? Agree wholeheartedly.



    American Constitution.


    Imagine using a law which was ratified 100 years before the foundation of Celtic to justify the right to bear arms.


    That`s 230 years.


    Maybe a few wee changes in circumstance since then.



    Mind you, it took them a long time to acknowledge that ” all men are created equal” .

  5. Thinking of relocating to Spain until May.


    Once we defeat Valencia, we could get Real Betis in the next round.


    We then have a pop at Sevilla in the quarter finals, followed by an outside chance of Villarreal making it to the semi finals, from the bottom half of our side of the draw, to face us in the semi final.







  6. Good morning friends from a very windy, but dry, East Kilbride. 1 week till Christmas and only 1 / 4 / 8 / 11 more sleeps till whichever of the 4 remaining games that you are particularly looking forward to ;-)

  7. prestonpans bhoys on

    SMSM on again about Ovie Ejaria leaving Der Hun because he couldn’t settle in Scotland; game too physical etc. Now if social media is to be believed he left due to racial abuse from the Klan.



    These continual snips at his character from the press can only have a detrimental overall effect on his creditability as a professional footballer, I think his agent would be advised to come out shooting

  8. Good morning CQN from a windy Garngad


    Good news about DB, TR, KT and RC all back training and in contention






    D. :)

  9. Apologies if the subject has ended …



    On John McGinn, I noticed he wasn’t playing for Hibs on Sunday. Presumably they were therefore a weaker team than last season. Yet they won.



    My point being, the result had nothing to do with previous transfer window. It was because we got it wrong on a number of levels; manager, coaches, team, individuals. Whilst Hibs capitalised.



    Doesn’t happen often.

  10. I know it is early for New Years resolutions but there has been a lot of angst this past week about our, admittedly poor, domestic away form. Any player whose form has been less than stellar in 2 successive games (and that’s most of them after Salzburg and Hibs) is fair game for being described as past it, throwing his toys away, seeking a move, lazy, or injured. The vagaries of form rarely ever enter into the equation of the disgruntled fan.



    So , in the New Year spirit of self-examination, can you ask yourself these questions?



    Are you a Cassandra or a boy crying wolf? Do you have a good track record of predicting doom or a high level of angst leading you to a pessimism, bordering on despair, because you fear every dropped point is a significant symbol on a par with spilled entrails or tea leaf formation?



    Have you been on CQN evey August to January period predicting that “if we play like this, the league is lost? {and just for SID, I will include the observation that you may have posted this message once only during our Invincible season :-) }



    Have you failed to mention in every February to May period that you are a rubbish predictor?



    Have you called out your fellow CQNrs as complacent because they believed , accurately as it turns out, that we had the talent and depth of squad to win each of these leagues, even when we were behind in the table?



    Have you predicted that the stands will empty and we’ll have less than 30k Season Books sold? And have you claimed success for your prediction when this size of crowd has shown up for the early round of League Cup fixtures or the Christmas season home games in sub zero temperatures?



    Have you predicted that the manager would walk or a star player would go because of Peter Lawwell or The Board? Have you failed to predict this in actual cases such as Moussa , when it did happen?



    Have you ever warned that The Rangers are coming?



    Have you ever used the quotation “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”? to get at Celtic coaches and others but failed to apply it to your own punditry?



    Have you ever lost confidence in the perspicacity of your own predictions?






    As always, I will add the caveat that, one day your repeat prediction will be proven true because all runs come to an end. No-one has ever managed to sustain success for ever.



    But, on that bleak day or year, please do not come on here and proclaim that you were right all along and that the rest of us were complacent, compliant, not true rebels, or however you characterise the glass seven-eighths empty, Private Frasier, or Chicken Little outlook on Celtic you have.



    You will just be the guy who got it right after 7, 8, 9, x number of years of getting it wrong. You will still be an unreliable wolf spotter.

  11. HEN1RIK on 18TH DECEMBER 2018 7:29 AM



    We’ve got the same number of strikers in our squad as Man City, chelsea and Tottenham

  12. SFTB…..











    “Werewolf? …..there wolf! ”



    YoungFrankenstein CSC

  13. MACJAY1@7.37



    “In the horserace of life ——-”



    That stirred a memory from a long ago O U degree (It was something to do at airports/long flights.)



    Was it Jack Lang/White Australia?

  14. “The Special One”



    Managed 2 Serie A s and 1 Champions League when he was at Inter.After he’d gone two of the players claimed that some of their training time had been devoted to “game management “-ie -the same stuff as Porto did v Celtic in Seville.

  15. So, arguably the biggest job in football management is again up for grabs. I know JM has faults, however IMO certain players at Man Utd have undermined the manager.



    The lesson is clear, be extremely careful who you sign ( ability is not the only factor) and get rid of any disruptive elements.




  16. GREENPINATA on 18TH DECEMBER 2018 10:42 AM



    You can probably include the manager in that – Mourinho seems to have been the biggest disruption to harmony there



    I know someone who is close to people to people at Chelsea and she says he was vindictive with everybody when he was there

  17. CELTIC40ME @ 8:59 AM,



    …it was ultimately his choice [BR] to sell dembele with no time for a replacement



    Well do you know I’ve read some blatant nonsense on this site in the last couple of days…



    Thought John McGinn as the new Le Petite Merde took the biscuit…



    But hat doffed to you that is another level of bunkum. Get real for goodness sake.



    Hail Hail

  18. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    SOUTH OF TUNIS on 18TH DECEMBER 2018 9:27 AM



    You`re well informed.



    Paul Keating , former PM., delivered that line.



    Jack Lang ,former NSW premier , was his mentor.



    Both Labor.

  19. CELTIC40ME



    His greatest mistake at Chelsea, from which he never recovered was Eva Carneiro




  20. MACJAY1



    Oh -I’m pleased .



    It rang a bell — unfortunately – these days – the bells that ring in my addled ole bonce often ring in the wrong room . It’s good to know that there’s still something working !

  21. Mourinho walks away with about £18Mio in his sky rocket and will resurface soon, most likely at another big club, where he can throw money away.



    Always hated him since Seville, he set up his team(s) to dive, cheat and con the referees, regardless of their abilities.



    Since Porto he’s been a cheque book manager.



    I sincerely hope he’s finished as a manager in top class football. Wouldn’t have him managing Celtic youths.

  22. Mourinho —



    Some Italian journos have long had Spalletti being shown the door at Inter . Those people had Mourinho being his replacement . We’ll know soon enough.

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