Where we are and the way forward


Celtic are well behind the position they should be at this stage of the football cycle which started in the summer of 2014.  This week’s two defeats are a symptom of that.  A year ago, then-new signings Armstrong and Mackay-Stevens contributed to two highly credible performances against Inter Milan, which indicated we were on a positive trajectory, but pretty much every available indication since has pointed south.

Aberdeen were poor in the first half last night, but shortly before their opening goal om 31 minutes I noted that they were defending comfortably, despite our dominance.  We had not made a chance which tested them.  We often need a lot of possession before the goals flow.

There is a flip side to that ratio.  We often lose a lot of goals compared to the possession we allow opponents.  All teams take a direct approach to attacking Celtic – get it forward and shoot. Better still, win a corner.  Football games are about two things: scoring goals and not conceding goals.  Some work is being done on the former but I’m concerned our shape does not accommodate the achievement of the latter.

We’ve kept 4 clean sheets (Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, Partick, Stranraer ) in the 18 games since beating Dundee United 5-0 in October.  Only Thistle (1-0), Dundee (6-0) and Dundee United (5-0) have lost at Celtic Park without scoring since…………… Ross County on 1 August.

Records will show that yet again we lost a crucial goal at a corner kick.  What will be lost in time is the sheer panic caused by the Aberdeen corners which didn’t result in a goal.  I’ve never seen a team defend set pieces so poorly over such an extended period.

There could be many reasons why we’re not in the Champions League knock out stages right now, but I’m sure the reasons we’re not comfortably ahead in the league is that defensively, our shape and organisation is not good enough.  We concede too much space in dangerous areas.  This is why we’re not miles ahead of a team with vastly weaker resources.

On the way forward:

It’s of the upmost importance we win the league.  As it stands, we will achieve this.  Colin Kazim-Richards, despite being of journeyman-pro stock, gave us a dimension we’ve not had in 18 months.  He, Kris Commons, Ryan Christie, Patrick Roberts and Erik Sviatchenko will all have a positive impact on the remainder of the season.

Ronny has got a lot wrong, but he was right about one thing after the game last night, “The players need the fans’ support”.  Those who suggest that anytime is a good time for recriminations probably don’t have a good grasp on the complexities of any given situation.  There will be plenty of time for recrimination in June, right now, we need to keep our eye on the prize.

Win the league, then we’ll talk.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 20

  1. MR Pastry.


    You are at it again, using CAPITALS to try to make your point.


    You say there is not one shred of evidence that RD doesn’t have players foisted on him, fine it’s your opinion.


    There is not a shred of evidence he doesn’t have players foisted on him, in fact, there is evidence he does have players foisted on him.


    When he was appointed he was asked about the likes of Tonev, Wakasso, Gordon et all, these are players you are saying he scouted and signed, he said that they had been scouted extensivly and was happy to trust the scouts judgment.


    Now either he was lying, or you are talking pish as usual.



  2. mullet and co 2 on

    Evidence that Ronny doesn’t have the day in who we sign? Craig Gordon signed before his arrival. Tonev scouted by club before he signed for Villa signed on loan. Ronny said last year there is no point in signing other clubs players on loan as we don’t get any long term benefit. We then sign Guidetti, Denayer, Tonev, Wakaso and Berget. Lawwels son works in player recruitment and analysis at Man City. Ronny quotes indicate he has a personal relationship with City that go back to Stromso. Ronny may have a hand in getting played from City but the undeniably stronger relationship is father son. Did Ronny think Boyata was a find? He insisted on Roberts signing longer than 5 months or he wouldn’t play him. Did he want him over a permanent signing? Paul67 published an article a couple of years back around money ball and scouting and continuity with coaching staff. This article revealed that Celtic no longer relied on a coach to determine the players that would come in. It happens at a lot of clubs, big clubs so let’s be adults about this and not ignore the facts. Gordon Strachan showed his frustration with players foisted on him. ‘We like Bosnians’. Neil Lennon the same. The decision to bin Samaras? Who took that decision? Now we sign Cole on a large wedge to watch Kazim Richards from the bench. There is no doubt in my mind that the fundamental issue for us is the coaches power within the club. If the coach plays 4 2 3 1 and requires players to play that then surely you listen to his judgement based on his expertise and go with his thoughts on players to fit the system? The other issue is planning recruitment. We consistently fail to manage timescales. Ronnys appointment was a disaster in terms of getting someone in on time to have a good shot at the Champions league. We consistently fail to sign players for key positions for the qualifiers. Third issue is volume of signings. It’s no wonder our wage bill is as high as Seville season when we have about 12 players vying for 3 positions in front midfield. We have 2 players for 2 positions in the holding role and neither are suited to it! 4th issue is club loyalty or the sense of belonging. Patrick Roberts sees this as a play act for the real thing. He has no loyalty. How many of those 12 players vying for the same position feel any connection if they are rotated all the time? This lust for a 10 million sale every season is driving that culture. This is Celtic not some hawking shop for might be something somedays. A partnership with City? They are our competitor not a partner. As soon as you go down the feeder club route you are doomed. Celtic are not answerable to the public and this is a pity as something stinks with the way people are using the club. – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/aberdeen-v-celtic-live-updates-2/comment-page-33/#comment-2769443

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    we need players with a bit of bite in the midfield, the Richard fella may be a bit(e) over the top though………

  4. It’s of the upmost importance we win the league. As it stands, we will achieve this.



    The same arrogance shown by our manager and those who run the club. Arrogance that’s led to complacency and a situation where we are not guaranteed to win a one horse race. Should still win it but not a definite.

  5. Paul 67 Et Al



    True the players need the fans support, but perhaps more importantly the manager needs the fans support.



    There is no doubt our support is divided on that issue. Personally on reflection I don’t think that replacing him at this point is best for the team.




  6. Chaos defending corners, whether zonal or man-marking, and every corner/cross we put in is a lottery. No sign of any planning or strategy, so no-one running into spaces in anticipation of a particular type of cross.



    So where is the coaching? Unfair to pin all the blame on Ronny Deila – do we know that Collins and Kennedy are effective?

  7. Ronny has to go now in my opinion we are going backwards at an alarming rate. Keep him in charge and losing the league is a distinct possibility.

  8. The Battered Bunnet on




    What evidence is there that the current management team have the wherewithal to go from being “behind the position they should be at this stage of the football cycle” to back on track?



    From my own observations, there is little at all.



    By the way, we’re now onto Method 3 of defending corner kicks, Methods 1 and 2 having been tried and abandoned earlier this season.



    It gives the impression that the management team don’t know what works, what works best, and why what doesn’t work isn’t working. You could apply that to most areas of the team at the moment.



    In essence, the managment team can’t figure out why it’s not working the way it says in the book.

  9. Paul67,



    Insightful article…..it would be good to have an analysis of the elephant in the room …Mr Lawwell



    If Lawwell is a sacred cow and more important than Celtic , understood. No point in shooting our hapless manager or inexperience coaches as it will not change the downward direction of travel.

  10. prestonpans bhoys on

    themaestro72 on 4th February 2016 12:15 pm



    Exactly, should have one up front to hump the ball up to for the player to hold with our players advancing. Not hump it up and , well see it come back again.

  11. Paul 67


    Talk again in June is it, Europe on the horizon, the need for CL/EL money, not for me change it now.

  12. glendalystonsils on




    So where is the coaching? Unfair to pin all the blame on Ronny Deila – do we know that Collins and Kennedy are effective?



    Exactly. That is why the whole managerial unit needs replaced. If not now, at the end of the season.


    It is unsuccessful.

  13. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on




    I made similar point re our possession but ultimately impotence in front of goal. We made dozens of passes on the edge of their 18 yard box without having a shot,


    Hayes goal was the direct opposite – 1 pass 1 shot 1 goal. In a word Purpose.



    As for blindly support a failed manager in the hope we win the league. I’m not sure that is better than agitate for new manager who may give a greater chance of winning league. It’s a judgement call. My opinion is that any other manager would give me more confidence than Ronnie & Johnmy do. In my eyes they are proven poor .. The next guy would hopefully have a proven record of success.

  14. You cannot defend well when the personnel keeps changing by the game.



    The mouth breathers castigated Efe yet again at the week-end when 1. it was not he who allowed the ball to be played into a danger area and 2. He had absolutely NO intention of fouling, let alone tackling the St. J centre forward, how can that possibly be construed a deliberately preventing a goal scoring opportunity? Efe can defend cross balls.



    Get him and Eric in the middle of the back and do not change that for the rest of the season………….Period!!!!

  15. TET,



    I have come to accept that nobody signs our players. They must sign themselves, I don’t know if the Manager signs them, the scouts, the Board, the CEO, the owner?


    Maybe the Agents sign them? They just turn up, play for a while. If they are any good they get sold, if they don’t look good they are loaned to someone else.


    Others seem to play in the first team, sometimes out of position. Or play a game when they near the end of their contracts, looking for an extended (enhanced) deal or move on.

  16. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Paul67 – the last paragraph I agree with and it gives me hope that the wheels of change are in motion


    I’ve been saying for 3 months just win the league.




  17. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    Press conference at CelticPark at 1 pm??

  18. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on 4th February 2016 12:27 pm Press conference at CelticPark at 1 pm??



    The weekly pre-match press conference

  19. Firstly on the subject of signings, I would take some convincing that Ronny did not choose to sign the 3 players from DU. He had seen them play. In my view not one of them is good enough and/or brave enough for our club. Cifti out on loan after 6 months, Ronny stated he was his number one target, GMS and SA, wee timid boys.



    Secondly, lets be clear, keeping Ronny is a gamble, letting him go is gamble. Paul67 suggest we will win the league, really, I have never seen a Celtic team so easily beaten, as soon as teams get ahead we are in trouble.


    I suspect the players know the end is coming for Ronny, when this happens to any manager it can cause real problems.



    My view take the gamble and remove him now.

  20. Paul67


    Do you have any red lines when it comes to Ronnie?


    Do I detect I change in policy from you – I thought getting ready for the European CL Qualifies was the priority? I cant see any major changes in June helping that


    As I said earlier if even after a year and a half Ronnie suddenly miraculously organises a defence, set pieces and a plan B , how many useful tests will there be before the end of the season, if this was a year ago fair enough but he’s had his ‘judge me on’ moments – most of his signings are either already away or just plain weird/obscenely optimistic – Blackett???? Boyata ???? you make those kindoff signings when yo have a steady ship,, not to plug massive holes

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I have to ask the question just what gives young Kennedy the credentials to be a defensive coach at Celtic ? he was a young player who had his career ended by injury. I think it was good of Celtic to give him a job but in my opinion he does not have the experience to be our defensive coach and there lies one of our problems.H.H.

  22. A few bullets on my opinion.



    DD is never going to be a cash cow so forget it.


    His idea of making money is getting the club in the EPL and then selling his shares.


    He cant even be bothered to attend the AGM never mind watch the team


    PL in continuing to take a million a year out of Celtic is the real failure.


    His main purpose is to balance the books that’s all.


    We are losing a collective fortune on mainly duffers instead of spending decent money on 1 or 2 decent players.


    As long as the fans keep coming and spending these schemes will continue.


    Would like EK to beat us and lets see them defend that.


    Managers who are not happy to be puppets will not be there.

  23. MULLET AND CO 2 on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 12:07 PM



    Gordon – Signed on a free on a sort of pay per play deal til he could have proved his fitness. Ronny gave him a new contract.



    Wakaso – Shot-term loan deal. Didn’t inhibit Ronny from signing targets he identified himself.



    Tonev – See above



    Berget – Played Ronny before



    Deila said his new signing would bolster the club’s attacking options in the new season.



    “I’m really pleased that we have been able to add Jo to our squad. I know his qualities and I am sure he can add something new to the team,” added the Celtic boss.



    Ronny’s relationship with City pre-dates Lawwell’s relationship. You cannot assume that Ronny had no say in these transfers because it suits your agenda.



    To be clear, Celtic’s policy works like this:



    Lawwell sets the budget



    Manager and Park agree a criteria of player (position and style mainly)



    Park and Scouts gather targets



    Manager and Park review targets and send them to Lawwell with a preference



    Lawwell attempts to get the deal done



    It’s true that Wakaso, Tonev and Gordon fell outwith this policy because Ronny was new to the job and didn’t have time to decide what he needed. He wanted to have a look with what he had and didn’t want to waste his budget before he decided on what he had.



    Gordon, Wakaso and Tonev were brought in to provide the squads with numbers. Celtic were able to keep who they wanted and get rid of who they didn’t.

  24. Joe Filippis Haircut



    This is true, I think he should have been left with the development squad for longer. It was unfair on JK to expect to step up to such an important role in a new look management team.

  25. BELFASTBHOY0 @ 12:34 PM,



    “Do you have any red lines when it comes to Ronnie?



    Do I detect I change in policy from you – I thought getting ready for the European CL Qualifies was the priority? I cant see any major changes in June helping that



    Good post. I don’t know how long you have been reading Paul67’s articles but for some events/issues you have to read between the lines.



    Paul has not given his unreserved or even his reserved support for Ronny in some time, in fact like today, in his own inimitable way, Paul has been scathing.



    His cry is to Support the Celtic, this support includes the Celtic Manager’s position. Ronny’s in that position and gets the default support. But Season end!?



    Hail Hail

  26. How about we fill celtic park at the next home game and show this board what proper support is… I’m taking the wife and 2 bhoys also whether they want to or not hh

  27. Before a ball was kicked in earnest this season most on here were screaming for a CHALLENGE to us.



    Now you’ve got it you’re crying like babies.



    Sack this one, sack that one, chase the other one -)))



    Me ………….i’ll support my club right to the end of the season then form an opinion.

  28. mullet and co 2 on

    I thought we were o all after he transfer window?


    I’ve just posted that our lack of a plan against timescales is one of the variables in our failure. Change the coach now and replace them with someone that can pick a team from this ensemble to win the league. The same guy should be paid in line with us power and respect at the club not some lackey you bring in to pick from the players you but for him.



    How do you perm the 3 from the players mentioned Paul67?


    Kazim Richards will be a target for a red after his indiscipline last night. Commons has fallen out with Deila and its either him or Christie for the 10 position. Christie is young and will be in and out of the team. It’s more likely we will see GMS and Armstrong rotated with Forrest Johansen and McGregor and Roberts. Kazim Richards might make the position on the left of the 3 his own if he avoids the camera.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 20