Without defensive organisation, other progress is futile


Jablonec are two games into their domestic season: a 1-0 home win on the opening day against Banik and a 3-0 away defeat to Mlada Boleslavon Saturday.  Banik finished 8th last season, Mlada, 11th.  Unlike Celtic, tonight’s game is their first European qualifier of the season, so we are one competitive game ahead of them.

They have a 6,100 capacity stadium in a town that’s entire population could fit inside Celtic Park with 15,000 spare seats – by any measure, the equivalent of Hamilton Accies, although Accies will doubtlessly report a higher income for last season.

So far, so encouraging.  On the debit column, they finished the season five points behind Sparta, whom they were level with three games from the end.  That’s the same Sparta that spanked us 4-1 home and away last year.

Like any number of teams we meet in qualification, including Midtjylland, they are weaker than us in most of the key metrics, but if we turn up unprepared, as we did last week, we will lose.

While this is the classic, no win, situation, there are things beyond the result that you and I will be looking out for.  Liel Abada’s goal return so far has been impressive, even if officials incorrectly denied him at Tynecastle on Saturday.  I want to see more of his timed runs into the box.

Carl Starfelt must be desperate to get his boots on.  He had a nightmare debut, unlike Shane Duffy, who scored in wins in his first two Celtic games.  Debuts are not great indicators of persistent form, Carl can provide evidence today.

Kyogo Furuhashi’s late cameo on Saturday was too little time to allow the player to settle into the game.  I expect there will be communication challenges, but he should be as fit as anyone in the squad, so should be ready.

More than anything, I want to see Joe Hart organise a Celtic defence.  Without a massive improvement in this aspect of our play, progress elsewhere is futile.

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  1. socrates mulligan on

    After enduring the same frustrations as many others, ticket now purchased online so looks like system is now working

  2. @CelticFC v Jablonec


    Hart, Ralston, Starfelt, Bitton, Taylor, Soro, McGregor, Abada, Turnbull, Forrest, Kyogo



    Subs: Barkas, Bain, Murray, Montgomery, Urhoghide, Robertson, Rogic, Welsh, Christie, Ajeti, Edouard

  3. Timmy7…wash yer mouth out with carbolic soap



    So no Welsh with Starfelt…and Eddie dropped…hopefully Forest starts on the right

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Rumoured team























  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    POR CIERTO on 5TH AUGUST 2021 1:19 PM


    Would be good PR for PLC to let the Jablonec game be on the ST, but hey ho, por cierto.






    Totally agree.



    Missed opportunity.

  6. Two of the mistakes at Tynecastle have been repeated tonight. Forrest on the left and Bitton at CB. Concerning.

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Could easily be perceived as



    “Welcome back. We’ve missed you”



    “Not you – I was talking to your wallet”

  8. Is anyone really surprised at the ticket decision? If you are you are living in denial.

  9. Not even going to be anywhere near the game,and I am stumping up money for tickets,Arrrrggh.

  10. AP — Going all in today.


    NB stands out like a sore thumb.


    The quicker we get in LSc the better for everybody.



    The only downside is that we are strapped for cash so we need next weeks gate money to pay for him.


    Pure speculation but our current predicament means that needs must.



    JF — On the left would be a marker to stop his whining and grow a pair.


    JF — On the right and AP is being pragmatic with the hand he has been dealt with.


    He is a senior pro now and needs to behave like it.


    Huge talent who is currently phoning it in.



    Interesting game tonight — no job lot of Brazilians / West Africans trying to make the majors — their squad looks pretty local. However their league position last season would suggest quite a challenge.



    Or we were so bad last season that Casey’s Drum would have beaten us.


    Game on — I think we should do well.

  11. Friends of ours have grown-up kids who are fierce into the GAA,


    the older fella, a very good hurler who has one loads of medals at various levels, got Covid and has been goosed ever since – no stamina, little strength or much enthusiasm for the exertions of Sport, now it aint pro-level but these young ones get strength and conditioning coaches and train 3-4 times a week…………….


    Perhaps Eddy is suffering the effects of Covid more than we know?



    Hope he scores at some point.



    Any sign of Sparky?

  12. Going by the way he was on the spot to sink both goals,one ruled offside (Aye right ),Abada looks to me to be a pretty good predator.Maybe used through the middle right,striker.Jamesy wide right .


    This is not a good team we are facing.Lets not kid on.Middle to front we should be far ahead.


    Middle to back,different story.I can see a win.

  13. If we were to play SB outfield — say RW — would the bench give the starting 11 a good game?



    AP is laying down a marker that is you are mulling over a move away then you will only be played if we are short / desperate / desperately short.



    If NL had this in his locker last season we might have made a better stab at the league.

  14. RC on 5TH AUGUST 2021 3:44 PM


    Eddy dropped and not before time , been a passenger for the last 2 years.



    2 years.Oh I say,that’s a smidgen harsh.Steady on,old boy.

  15. prestonpans bhoys on

    French Eddie dropped about bloody time, no idea what the formation could be, as long as James is not on the left.



    Don’t get me started on the serial blunder bhoy Bitton, if you are playing him, play him in his position😱



    Paying for the European game, why is anyone surprised from these rogues

  16. Rolling_Stone on

    Lightweight front 3. Might work in Europe but would want more power for Scotland.



    Christie dropped multiple games in a row and now Eddy. Can only imagine both will be off this window.



    A couple of positive signings this week, but we are miles off it in terms of squad depth.



    Looking at the line up and bench, the only guy missing is Jullien (excluding Dembele and MJ as they are still youths and Griff wholly unreliable).



    We still need around at least 4 first team players and more bodies for squad depth. This could be a 50-60 game season again. Too lightweight in terms of numbers and quality to take that on.

  17. Weebobbycollins on



    I think someone yesterday suggested Paul should employ a proofreader. Hmmm!

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