Welcome to the new look Celtic Quick News.
There are a few changes. We are on a new version of WordPress and are using a more modern template (which we’ve been using for CQN Magazine for some time) but your existing user name and login details will still work. The old WordPress was years out of date and we were beginning to run into issues as a consequence. To get to the comments section scroll to the bottom of the page and login as usual. The Magazine site is no longer a separate entity, news items, which previously appeared there, will now appear below the most recent two blog articles on the Celtic Quick News home page – most recent article top left, second mode recent, top right.
We’ll be making modifications over the next few days. I’ve moved server environments (from three dedicated physical servers to a modifiable virtual environment). Not convinced we have the balance right here so there’s likely to be some tweeking ahead. Also, please ignore any CQNMagazine livery for now, it’ll be replaced in due course.
Today’s article appears below but was originally published on the old template. I’ve not had a chance to copy comments from this article yet but comments from previous articles are on the new version.
Hope you like it (don’t hate it too much!).
Last night’s article:
Last night played out pretty much as I hoped and expected. A win to zero was what I asked for, while Qarabag demonstrated the kind of resistance which served them so well last season, before tiring late on.
Craig Gordon didn’t have a save to make. What worries there were at the back came from the sudden realisation that Qarabag were up-field and within the kind of range that a hit-and-hope effort could fly in. Concerns in Celtic’s final third are a bit more pronounced. Up against a well organised defence, we created very little and again relied upon a set-piece to break the deadlock.
Did you notice the passing issues we had in the first half? Individual players can have days when passing just isn’t right but when things go wrong on an industrial scale, there’s usually a reason for it.
For me it looked like we were not compact enough. It’s normal to spread across the field when dealing with a packed defence, but we were invariably over-ambitious with our passing. Try to think of partnerships which looked good last night? Apart from the central defensive paring I can’t think of any. Lots of good performances, but the first half was marked by poor passing and players not in-tune with each other.
The change to 4-4-2, which is naturally more compact, helped, even as it came at the cost of our best player until then, Nir Bitton. There are lots of reasons why most of the time we are going to stay with 4-2-3-1, but we need to learn how to be more compact in this formation.
I was reluctant to see Kris Commons make an appearance, as tense Celtic Park crowds are not the most understanding of players who are short of fitness. Fortunately, Kris didn’t need to cover a lot of ground, but his first touch of the season was good enough to create the best opening of the game. Thereafter he brought a tangible change in the goal threat.
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth restating. To win tight games you often need to create seven or eight good chances. Without Kris Commons we rarely do this.
We will be clear favourites now to progress, and although Qarabag are a decent team, we saw nothing too concerning, but the tie is far from finished. Get the tactics wrong out there, fail to create partnerships from middle to forward, and we’ll be turfed out.