Celtic v Motherwell – Review & ratings

Well yesterday produced  one upset Brass Monkey and no mistake!

Talk about cauld!

It was Baltic just up the road from the old Baltic Fleeto.

It was so cold that in the Main stand, one punter produced a thermal blanket!

 

 

 

It will be flasks of soup next!

As for the game, well it kinda reflected the bitter East end weather; Even though the sun occasionally shone, it was mostly a case of “what we doing here today!”.

Don’t get me wrong, a 2-0 win against a robust Motherwell and hopeless Referee was welcome enough but we never really got going and seemed a little tired and stiff across the side bar wing backs Frimpong and Hayes.

The wing-backs tried to fire us up and onwards but would sadly see the ball just head back towards Broony, then he would pass to Jullien or Ajer who would then send a long ball back to Forster to either start same move all over again or just punt it needlessly up the middle of the park to no-one.

The Celtic play occasionally spluttered into life, especially in the move for the 2nd goal,  but in truth we had a few players off the pace and not quite on their game, which was maybe understandable after the huglights ( copyright Etims – Ed) and adrenaline rush of Thursdays events in Rome.

In response to that night and squad availability, Lenny had attempted a slight freshening up and started with Forter and then on either side of Jullien and Ajer,  we had Frimpong back on the right, Hayes on the left.

Frimpong and Hayes were our best players. Frimpong showed a great attitude and skill and even when he made the occasional mistake, he would go chasing and harrying to win the ball back. The wee man cant  win a header to save himself, but jump every time nonetheless he does and you cant dispute his efforts. Over on the left though Hayes was the stand-out. Up and down the pitch, creating the 2nd goal with a marvelous pass, run and cross move with Eddy and a special note to Hayes for some great crosses in the first half, the sort of corners we have been crying out for but sadly no-one was up to putting them in the net.

Lennon also started N’tcham in the middle instead of Christie. While a lot of folk were heralding N’tchams performance  I thought he just kinda died away in the second half and these are the games he could be taking by the scruff of the neck rather than just the occasional flash of brilliance here and there. He had some nice moves with Eddy or Mo but they were rare rather than regular.

Also in midfield, beside N’tcham and the Broony and Calmac pendulum, we had James Forrest. It was one of those days for our Lazio scoring star. Nothing went right and despite a few crosses, he looked stiff and uncomfortable and in need of some wintergreen on his cold legs ( one for Celtic dads – Ed). Hopefully the International break can help Forrest get some sort of rest and come back fresh for the big December run in.

Having a similar game to Forrest was Mohamed Elyounoussi. He huffed and puffed but it just wasnt working. Even worse was I had him for first goalscorer and when  Calmac slipped him through, I knew it was gonna be one of those days when he fluffed a decent chance.

Still we cant complain, the guy and Forrest have both did really well for us and these games will happen.

Up front and showing class in spurts rather than abundance was Eddy.Eddy scored his goal, and could have had a few others perhaps but it just wasn’t to be. These are the sort of games he could be getting a rest with 30 mins to go but we have no other striker available. He stroked his goal home with ease and also played in Hayes to send in the cross for the 2nd goal..a decent return for Edouard. The highlight though is watching him dribble with such composure…at one point 4 Motherwell players tried to shadow him and he still beat the lot of them to release a pass.

Ive seen folk actually start to complain about his work-rate…the Larsson Spoilt Effect I call it. How many of our best strikers have ran about like Henrik chasing and harrying defenders? Probably none. He was a one off.  Eddy is a totally different player, a different body shape and different skill-set. Our team weren’t set out for a high press yesterday, more a “Can you move a little, you’re hogging all the quilt!” formation.

A wins a win and after such a great result in Italy, we remain top of the League. It was another clean sheet and the goals will return, of that I have no doubt.

Hopefully we might get another striker to help out. either Griff, Bayo or Mr Jan Signing or last minute loanee knowing Mr Lawwell.

A Bhoy can dream.

 


 

Ratings

Forster 6 – Not much to do and out early 2nd half practicing his kicks. More practice needed.

Hayes – 9 – Great showing. The MOTM was energetic despite conditions and caused 2nd goal and sent in great crosses.

Ajer – 7 – Cleared his lines and tried to bring ball out but just not enough to make a massive difference

Jullien – 7 – Kept it clean at the back and battled with the Well #44 . Should now work with Hayes on corners.

Frimpong – 8 – Up and down and round and round. Good show from the young right back.

Calmac – 7 – Passed with ease and kept composure. One great tackle immediately set up a chance that Mo Elyounoussi should have scored.

Broony -6 –  Seemed to be on edges of the game for me..take it and pass it style  with no major push forward

Ntcham – 6 – Occasional spark or twist to make us smile but not enough to make a big impression.

Forrest – 5 – Not really firing. One of those missing days

Elyounoussi – 5 – More miss than hit. Committed but it just wasn’t there.

Eddie – 7 – Good goal and good passing but lots of balls bouncing away or a step too far with dribble to be a great showing

 

Manager – 9

This game was all about the 3 points, job done.

A great week so no complaints. Attempted to freshen it up a little so again no complaints. Top of the league and qualified for European football after Xmas, so no complaints.

 

Fans –

Interesting start to the game when Green Brigade stayed outside during the Remembrance event. They then arrived inside after an impeccable Minutes silence. The rest of the game saw them  singing the old IRA songs which no-one seemed bothered about but cue lots of boos from a lot of folk, in all areas of the crowd when they started singing “You can stick your fucking poppy up your arse!“.

Maybe best sticking with a protest  TIFO for such complaints if the old yins reactions beside me was anything to go by.

A special salute to The Kano Foundation who celebrated reaching the 10’000 mark for  children benefiting from their fantastic efforts. A worthy round of applause was given by the crowd in respect to their tremendous efforts at getting kids into watch games at Celtic Park.

 

 

 

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Carljunglebhoy

Quite strange to think that v ‘Well our full backs were (possibly) our best players when, not so long ago, we were all worried (/moaning) about those positions. Now we have a total of 6 players battling for those positions – Frimpers, Elhamed & Bauer at RB and Hayes, Boli & Taylor at LB. Whilst we might still have questions about recruitment, every now & then they do seem to listen.

Yoker Bhoy

The young full back O’Connor is also highly rated and could get his chance to impress later this season.

Paddy Mo

But just how bad was the referee? I mean, he wasn’t the full John Beaton, but he wisnae far off.

The Cha

“we have no other striker available”

Griffiths was available but we elected to not have a striker on the bench.

Make of that what you will.

If we did a 4-3-3 then the three up front become a striking force: Forrest/Edouard/Mo
Forrest/Christie/Johnston
Shved/Rogic/Sinclair etc.
If Edouad is injured and Griff and Bayo not yet up to it, we can go with an attacking front 3.
Midfield could be Brown/Ntcham/McGregor
Brwown/Bitton/Ntcham
Brown/Christie/McGregor etc.
So 4-3-3
Forster
Elhamed/Ajer/Jullien/Boli
Brown/Christie/McGregor
Forrest/Rogic/Mo
We still need another striker.Also, in January a straight swap with cash adjustment Sinclair to Leicester for Benkovic. Rodgers still rates Sinclair highly and we could use another CB which also frees Ajer up for a midfield role. Jullien and Benkovic would be a great pairing.

BJF

I think the Green Brigade did the right thing, their anti war stance has much to commend it and they avoid any charge of hypocrisy given their public condemnation of fascism. The corner boy swearing was, I presume, from a small group of immature, not very bright individuals who couldn’t hold their drink, all Clubs even the Green Brigade have those that embarrass them. I prefer to think of the sacrifice made by 35000 men born in what became the Free State and the 6 Celtic men killed in the Great War. Yesterday Celtic were off the pace as we… Read more »

Monti

Desi,
Is that your thermal blanket, did you get a free prawn sandwich with it?

GBTGB!

Where has the REPLY function gone ffs

Monti

Weered,
It’s Desi that’s in charge of the controls, he is not as technically savvy as Ralph…..cough 🙂

Monti

Celtic need a top striker in January, Griffiths is permanently unavailable & Bayo doesn’t convince.
I’d also be tempted to move for Benkovic to strengthen the defence.
The board need to deliver a WOW signing!

Monti… Put 3 shovels against a wall and tell Desi to take his pick 😉

Monti

🙂

The Cha

@Monti Agree we need a top notch striker in January, as we’re vulnerable both now and for CL qualifiers, as Eddy may be unavailable due to Olympics, never mind injuries or anything else. He’s needed now and not in the summer less we end up with a Julian/Boli situation where he’s not up to speed for vital games. Oh and not Shankland, Russell or any other hasbeen/never have been! I don’t know what happened to Griffiths as all the noise before the game was that he was fit and available and in the provisional squad. Then, not even on the… Read more »

The Cha

Meant to add, I’m not sure about Benkovic, as although he did impress when played, he did have a lot of minor injuries.

This seems to have continued at Leicester and not sure if they reckon he’s not tough enough for the demands.

Hopefully not another Jozo but we need to be careful especially as it would no doubt be a substantial investment.

Monti

Cha,
Agree with you on all points you make here apart from Benkovic, i think the guy is class & just needs to play games.
Seen enough of him to make my mind up.
The striker position is the one we need to get right, if we can we should be going for a name here, not an up & coming but an established.
Look at the impact Sutton & Hartson made with us, time to go all out here!

HH

Iancelt67

Agree here. I think Ajer is superb not convinced he’s a cb though more of a cdm a perfect replacement for broonie if it happens he stays. But if it’s a swap for benkovic then that’s ok. I think. Mind you if I was right all the time I’d be a manager. Instead of a pleb on a forum

Iancelt67

Our defence has been the best it has been since o Neil days. Totally contributing to our recent successes. Rodgers was clueless with our defence. Cavalier and trying to get football happening at the back with players incapable of doing so. Lennon’s done well here and John Kennedy

Under Brendan, lesser teams could guess that we would always play from the back and often box us in. Lenny is more pragmatic and keeps em’ guessing. The long ball is just an option, not a way of life! Our task now is to put some daylight between us and the Orcs.

The Cha

and yet with that crap defence, we won a Treble Treble, 69 game unbeaten run etc.

What a man to manage all of that without being able to manage a defence.

Iancelt67

Playing against what? He was found wanting in Europe. The Astana game away was the worst defensive performance from Celtic since god knows when. Against Maccabi as well hardly powerhouses . Record blow out defeats and utter embarrassment.

The Cha

Those were CL qualifiers, both where we qualified.

Worse than Cluj at home?

Oh do sober up!

Iancelt67

Sober or drunk. Regardless of qualifying for the games. Rodgers was supposed to be improving the team here. We were terrible in Europe bar anderlecht game and man city
If Leicester get to Europe he’ll fuck up again he’s an English league manager and never will do fuck all in Europe. They’ve got his number. He’s limited he’s no Klopp

Buzz Bomb

Your can’t say I didn’t warn you about the board’s treachery against our fans & club, Res 12 has proven I was right, but who’s gonna mention the 1.4 billion in Ooerating Expenses since they took over 21 years ago? That’s another 87.4 million gone this year too, on top of the 87 million from last year. So just the 178 million of Celtic fans’ money gone in the pas5 2 years then … Oh, and whether you publish this post or not, I do know you’ll read it. So just have a wee think about it or, better still… Read more »

Iancelt67

Yeah cha. Much worse. Just a Scott brown fuck up really compared to keystone cop defending under Rodgers. Too fkn arrogant to buy proper defenders because he can coach anyone(Rodgers)

Iancelt67

Cyprus goal well over the line totally outplayed here. Scotland are a joke

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