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.

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  1. Starry Plough


    We need to acquire a side in financial peril.


    One in the lower English league.


    Take their membership and go from there.



    There may be moral issues ,but these can be dealt with.




  2. I sincerely hope the contract offer to James Forrest is now off the table. An empty jersey who doesn’t want to be there.

  3. I don’t know why people insist that a defensive coach will solve our problems. Ronny Deila sets the team up – his 4-2-3-1 is actually more of a 4-2-4 cos those 3 behind Griffiths contribute nothing defensively. So when we give the ball away it’s really easy for opponents to get at our defence, especially in wide areas. As we don’t have a dominant centre half it leaves us very exposed. Quick counters lead to good chances on goal or corners. Our corners are shambolic because our team has too many short guys and even the tall ones have no bravery or intelligence about them.



    I’d get rid of Ronny today because his allegedly open, attacking style is actually crap. We need to score twice to win any game and at the top level that’s asking too much. If we go into the CL qualifiers with Deila in charge it’ll be the same story as this season’s – soft goals caused by very naive tactics will put us out.

  4. You know that old saying aim for the stars and maybe you’ll hit the trees


    We’ll we had visions of Pepe Guardiola and instead got visions of Pepe LePeu and his team of little flowerpots

  5. What is the Stars



    Having worked for a national corporate company for 22 years ,I decided to go into competition against them.


    I’m not one for acting rashly.(:-)




  6. TINYTIM on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:25 PM


    Starry Plough





    We need to acquire a side in financial peril.





    One in the lower English league.





    Take their membership and go from there.







    There may be moral issues ,but these can be dealt with.



    The biggest moral issue would be that, just as THEY are not Rangers, we would not be Celtic.



    Just let us accept that we are where we are and completely dominate where we are.




    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/where-we-are-and-the-way-forward/comment-page-3/#comment-2769569

  7. TINYTIM on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:11 PM


    The Battered Bunnet.



    I like David Low’s comments too except the one about RD having the worst ever Euro record is just blatantly untrue.



    It matter’s not whether he recognises that we need to be in EPL to get back to Euro competitiveness.. He can’t get us there.

  8. All this talk of getting rid of Ronny is a lot of pish.


    He would simply be replaced by another PL/DD lapdog.

  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    Tiny Tim



    Forget moral issues: Isn’t that simply a Zombie proposition?



    The Fastest way to get change in the European football landscape is to get on a do it. A regionalised European League. Right now’s a fine time with UEFA and FIFA in turmoil. Crack on.



    The Fastest way to get into the EPL is to get on with changing the European football landscape. As soon as the EPL sees a competitor (for its TV money) emerging, it’ll kill it by bringing the protagonists into the big leagues.



    The EPL managed to sink the Atlantic League by flashing a smile at Celtic and Rangers. It was that easy. I imagine it’ll need a little more substance this time.

  10. Starry Plough





    In relative terms we are in the wilderness now.



    Our support will stand by us if they see that the board have genuine ambition.



    We are dying because our board have decided that we are a selling club, and that they will just settle for that.



    Celtic could be right up there with Man U ,Barca,RN ,Bayern ,Juve on a regular basis.



    That cannot be done from within Scottish football ,on a regular basis.



    We need successful ingenuity ,determination and focus from our board.



    At present there is very little.




  11. We play far to open, and we seem to have devolved a knack of letting the opposition score with their first attack. It is time to stand up and be counted the title race is on right now I am concerned that we will not win it. Turn up against Celtic play hard swamp the midfield . The Aberdeen fans I talked to last nite were full of confidence of winning. Ronnie is not doing it, we are too easy to play against. As for corners if defenders attack the ball then you defend the corner if they watch it then u let in goals. BBtw boyatta is scared of his own shadow and needs to be dropped.

  12. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    I assume that wee snide comment was aimed at me ..



    the answer is none …just like vocal support doesnt make a crap manager good

  13. TBB



    You make a good point .



    What ever the solution is.


    It isn’t the SPFL.






    Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawell have said that we have to wait on an invite.


    That isn’t going to happen.



    Turkeys don’t vote for Xmas.




  14. QUONNO on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:34 PM


    All this talk of getting rid of Ronny is a lot of pish.





    He would simply be replaced by another PL/DD lapdog.



    -too true mate,but their must be better lapdogs out there……HH

  15. I would like RD to succeed obviously as in doing so Celtic succeed.


    However he is making it hard,we did NOT need to win that game,we should have boxed clever 4 at the back 5 in the middle 1 up front. Too many lightweights.



    I said before even average players who work hard can contribute,see McGinn,Hayes,and Gardyne,yet our Manager 2 weeks in a row puts on Forrest with 15 mins to go,a player who does not make an input when on for 90 mins,and does not chase or close down.



    As a wise man said ” Doing the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result is the first signs of madness”


    I would suggest Hayes is probably on a third of the money Forrest is on,it does not show does it.

  16. Weeminger



    Maybe he couldn’t get us there ,but I think his mindset is one that try to make it happen.



    Or he would push for change harder on a European level.




  17. !!BADA BING!! on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:43 PM


    QUONNO on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:34 PM





    All this talk of getting rid of Ronny is a lot of pish.











    He would simply be replaced by another PL/DD lapdog.







    -too true mate,but their must be better lapdogs out there……HH



    Yup. But they will cost more.



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/where-we-are-and-the-way-forward/comment-page-4/#comment-2769582

  18. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    CHAIRBHOY on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:17 PM









    If my aul’ maw couldn’t convince me to give up on the tic, don’t think Derek McInnes will:)







    Anyway, we are favourites and we should win it but no more complacency.







    The Champions League needs a strong Hibs.







    Hail Hail






    Absolutely, no more complacency. We are now involved in a genuine competitive title chase. Isn’t this what everyone wants? A genuine challenge. I thought this could only happen from next season when Sevco come to the rescue of Scottish football and provide a “real” challenge. Aberdeen are not sticking to the script. They’re providing a real challenge and making it exciting without the involvement of the undead team. It’s supposed to be Armageddon for Scottish football but they’ve got everyone on CQN debating and actually talking about Celtic rather than yon dead team. The fans of the other clubs will get excited and hope The Dandy Dons can pull it off at least for a few weeks until we st day the ship and slap them down again. That’s what we’re supposed to believe (Armaggedon) but now we’ve got a real title race and we’re actually at the top of the pile and everybody’s moaning about it. ( Jim Traynor sits back in Level 5 mansions and smugly strokes his cat. Mission accomplished. Get the Timothy of the land to turn on each other, the Board, the manager and the players) and we have a cheek to laugh at the Gullibillies. The league title is our bread and butter. Let’s win it first and then leave managerial appointments and decisions to that time.

  19. L.I.D. Let it develope, is a phrase I have heard used by mechanics regaurding certain situations where they are unsure what the real problem is. Let it develope until we can better identify the problem, and how to fix it.


    I think the situation at Celtic has developed and we all know in our hearts, this will only end one way, so why delay the inevitable?


    I cannot see anything to be gained by allowing Ronnie & co to continue

  20. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Clear the dugout – Davie hay and Tom boyd with Chris Sutton as waterbhoy

  21. JinkyvJohnGreig-saysitall on

    Feed the bear – anyone got Roy Aitken’s number to show the sieve how to defend (or see if he’ll bring his boots)?

  22. pootiemad on 4th February 2016 2:47 pm




    And precisely who do we replace him with?


    There is no use taking a scattergun approach of anyone would be better.

  23. Regarding moving to other leagues and cross border leagues. There was a time where this blog spoke excitedly about the moves in Russia and Ukraine to create the first large scale cross border league within UEFA’s jurisdiction. Unfortunately, conflict stopped that proposed merger in its tracks, so that line of conversation has gone quiet.



    I remember at the time that a major factor that the proposed merger had going for it was that there were noises that Gazprom would be a financial backer of the league. The name of Gazprom, being one of UEFA’s biggest revenue streams from advertising, added some weight to the proposal.



    Now, if we hypothetically resurrect the idea of the Atlantic League, would we require a Gazprom-type to underwrite such a venture in order for it to take off? Or is the will of clubs enough to set out with?

  24. Haven’t had time to read back, but I have managed to dip in at times this morning. A fair number of thoughtful posts.


    Some of the thoughts that have been troubling me are:


    Firstly, along with many others on the blog I have seen the urgent need for a proper defensive midfielder in our team. Does anyone disagree? I cannot fathom why our coaching staff do not see this and have made no attempt to address this deficiency.


    Secondly, I think we all expected a hard game last night, but we didn’t set the team up to meet Aberdeen’s challenge. We went into the match 6 points clear. Returning from Pittodrie with that lead intact would have been job done in my book. Instead a lightweight group of players were out-muscled and once we conceded we never looked like getting anything out of the game.


    Looking at the big picture, we have failed to take advantage of the situation we found ourselves in 4 years ago. We had an almost guaranteed shot at Champions League group qualification for the foreseeable future. That should have been the focus above everything else. The tasks set for qualification in the last two seasons should have been achievable. Maribor and Malmo beat us from situations where better leadership and game management would have seen us through.


    I understand selling to Southampton, but I don’t understand neglecting building a team with part of the proceeds.

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



    I was just passing on rumour from KDS… Ultimately ( and sadly) wishful thinking:-(





    Clear the dugout – Davie hay and Tom boyd



    You’re onto something here TBJ -))



    Get them involved in the 1st team talks up at bobbylennoxtown, the guys who think they’ve “Arrived” at Celtic and need do no more need to be reminded that arriving is just the start of the hard work required to be a Celtic player.



    GMS & Armstrong imho fall into that category.

  27. STARRY PLOUGH on 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 2:21 PM



    It’s not the clubs you have to convince, it’s their paymasters ie the broadcasters.

  28. Quonno




    You are correct .


    We should do our homework on future managers.



    It would be negligent if the board weren’t continually paying attention as to who our next managerial candidates could be.



    I think that we will find that Ronnie will be “oot the door ” in the summer ,and that the board have been considering his replacement for quite some time.



    Hopefully we can thank him for a double and wish him well on his next journey.



    But whatever happens.


    IMHO The board have already decided his time is up.


    He may even have been told that he has the rest of the season ,but at the end of it ,your out.



    I have no way of knowing, I just suspect that that is the case.




  29. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    One of the advantages of being in the septuagenarian bracket is that it gives you 60+ years of Celtic to look back on and any opinion of teams/games gone by are your own, right or wrong.



    The Celtic Way of playing football is a much lauded of myth. It provided intermittent successful performances, surrounded by moral victories and other such near misses.



    This was basically the story of post War Celtic.


    Mc.Grory/ Kelly’s Celtic fitted this blueprint.



    It all changed when Stein took over. He not only did a job on the team’s mentality, but he also re-educated us, the support.



    Out went the cavalier approach of storming up the park, dribbling till possession was lost and also games.


    He had a more pragmatic approach, based on being strong and consistent at the back.



    He only changed his defence through injury or suspension or a collapse in a player’s form, which was very rare in the case of the latter.



    His strength was in the midfield and in the movement of the four.



    Big Billy did well in his tenure, but after that, we more or less resorted to the “Traditional” way, with the traditional results.



    Liam Brady, Tommy Burns, Tony Mowbrey all tried to play the Celtic Way and all were managerial failures.



    Dr.Jo, Wim, Mon and GS were much more pragmatic and got results, in most cases, to justify that approach.



    One thing that the former three managers mentioned have in common and you can include Ronny Deila in this, is that they were all nice, decent men.



    Nice guys can’t handle a group of young self centred professionals. A manager has to be able to instil fear into his players as well as respect….not easy, but necessary.



    In no way would I describe myself as a “nice guy”, but I recall a journeyman I had as an apprentice telling me that I would never be a gaffer.



    “Why”, I asked him.



    “Because you wouldn’t be enough of a b……”!



    The moral of the story.



    I don’t want a nice guy managing Celtic.

  30. Is there any more on the stories on the alleged malcontents/discontented players within the team, the stories that surfaced earlier on in the season?



    I can remember names being mentioned at the time and I sometimes wonder just how injured some players are, whether they’re faking it or whether they’ve been suspended from the team.


    Discontent within a group can erode morale and team spirit and can be difficult to deal with.



    If there are any players in the situation I’ve asked about and Ronny Deila goes, then those players should be out the door just in front of him. Player power in that situation is dangerous in termrs of discipline – just ask Paul Le Guen and the Deadclub.




    Too true.



    We are where we are and need to get on with it. The Challenge is good for the Scottish game but from where we are the League is ours to loose.



    I think Hearts had a good transfer window, if they could put a run together it will make it even better.



    How do L5 spin that. Scottish Football surviving without the chooses ones.



    Also, if new Rangers come up, to take “their rightful place” they may well be thwarted by better sides. The competition for European places will be tuff.



    Still we have a double to win…



    Hail Hail

  32. Quonno on 4th Feb 2016 2.51PM



    That is the problem, one would hope that a club as big as ours would be run in such a way, that a situation like this could be sorted out quickly, but we know the football world is different.


    I could throw in a handful of names, the usual suspects etc but my point is, Ronnie is the proverbial ‘dead man walking’ and I would like to see the situation sorted sooner rather than later. That is a job for the very well paid Mr Lawell, I wont hold my breath.

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