Well it was what it was.
Class will out in the end and all that.
To be fair, class was out at the start of this one and we were looking in very dodgy territory after only 10 mins. The 3-0 victory for the hosts could have been a lot more and even though we had a few chances and found the woodwork, ultimately, we were handed a big fat reality check that the Paradise Windfall would find hard to outshine.
They say in Chess, you never get any better playing lesser players, the question is are we still holding Draught pieces compared to boys at the top tables.
Sounds harsh perhaps but it the cold light of day, its not the end of the world. Bayern have ambitions of winning or at least getting to the semi-finals of the competition, whereas Celtic hope to be in Europe after Xmas. The stories of Bayern in decline after a sluggish ( for them) start to the season meant nothing when the sides faced up and they duly showed their superiority, as expected. The goal for Celtric remains on track and we continue to hope the experiences against the modern football Elite stand players like Tierney, Ntcham and Boyata in good stead as this Celtic side moves forward.
And so to the Ratings:
Gordon – 7
Did well I thought, including a great save towards the end that may have just saved the side slipping into full on feel-sorry-for-themselves mode before domestic duties call for a big effort on Saturday ( great scheduling btw!) and next Wednesday. Only grumble I had was the attempts to kick out high to Tierney repeatedly went short and narrow, Gordon clearly prefers sending same ball to Lustig on right hand side, so that’s something to work on for our keeper.
Tierney – 6
Not a great night and took until the second half to get into the game and play his own style. Encapsulated the Celtic teams predicament in first half when pictured angrily screaming “COME ON!” when trying to find a guy in space to give the ball too. Had a great run and a good shot in second half and continues to edge his way towards the future captaincy.
Boyata – 7
I thought he was our joint best outfield player despite the score-line. Cleared where he could and up against “Big Rab” for Bayern so a real football challenge and no mistake. Hopefully can keep fit and once again be our number 1 defender in same vein he finished last season.
Lustig – 6
Have to be honest, I don’t see Mikael as a Celtic Centre half and find that while he has effort and can occasionally place himself in right position, I just don’t feel comfortable with him outside his right back berth. Tried his best as always but I, and suspect so will he, hope to see Lustig back in usual position come return leg.
Gamboa – 4
Played like a reserve right back who isn’t relied upon. Who expected anything else other than a troubled night?. Chris Sutton was going tonto at the right back who saw wave after wave of Bayern attack fly passed him whilst I was just sat wondering “If I could see it coming, why couldn’t Brendan?”.
After throwing Ralston in against PSG and now Gamboa against Bayern, its time Rodgers at least considered a 3 at the back if he has no decent Right back AND centre pairing available. Hold on..doesn’t Tierney play right back for Scotland…shush..forget I even said that..do we even have a left back back-up?
Armstrong – 5
Was expecting to say ran about like a headless chicken but I’m not even sure he did that. Like a ghost most of the game, which amazingly seems better than some Celtic players who when they tried to get into the game, were found truly wanting. Got a foot in here and there and had a run or two but all came to nothing and questions continue to rise on what exactly has Callum McGregor done to see Armstrong get the nod on current form.
Ntcham – 5
On first half form this could have been a 4 along with Gamboa. Our ball playing-holding midfielder was a yard slow in both pace and mind for around 60 minutes. Brendan was screaming at him to press the midfielder on the ball just before Bayern first and then Ntcham resorted to a mad punt whilst having time on the ball that led to the second goal. Showed occasion composure and dig and will get benefit of the doubt but all those “Wow, what a purchase” claims at the start of the season are a distant memory and he needs to find some quality form, like a lot of the current squad in truth
Broony – 7
Its starting to worry me. Once again, in Europe, Broony was the only player in Hoops who knew what to do with the ball, especially in a torrid first half. He has vision and composure to pause, step, play where the ball needs to go. No big long dribbles, just pass the thing to another player. Easy to say yet so difficult under pressure. We could really be doing with another Broony next to him to help calm things down and keep the ball. I expect him to be a Mascherano centre half style player come seasons end given our fragile centre backs and that might actually be no bad thing, that’s if current midfielders can step up to fill such a massive void of course.
Roberts – 6
Had some decent breaks and tried to provide a threat on rare occasions we had the ball in first half. The mazy dribbles are good and the runs are impressive but the final heads up action still needs work. Its clear Paddy lifts the attacking value of the side but it comes with a cost to cover at the back and Brendan needs to find some sort of balance when trying to accommodate Armstrong, Sinclair and Roberts in a side which is trying to go toe-to-toe with some of the worlds best and is being found wanting defensively.
Sinclair – 5
Had a decent end to the game with a few shots and disallowed goal but all too little too late for me. I know I am a hard critic on Sinclair but it is only because I want him stepping up a lot more than he does. I have the confidence he can be that player and that presence. Behind Broony, he should be the star man, a player of prestige and experience. If he isn’t going to get attacks flowing then he needs to cover for his defender, currently he just seems to be lost somewhere between the two.
Griffiths – 5
Only scores 5 as couldn’t get into the game and wasn’t really his fault. The ball getting pumped high was no use and he had no channels to run into and no ball to feet. Up against some of the worlds best defenders and when the ball did come near, was soon knocked away to a player in red.
Rogic – 5
Had some nice wee dribbles and intelligent passes. Should be a starter come Saturday.
Forrest – 5
Great run and decent shot and again may have just reminded Brendan a winger who can cover back might be handy now and again in Europe.
Dembele – 4
Looked like he couldn’t really get into the game after coming on but had a touch or two to suggest that he’s getting there, if rather slowly. Hopefully he is ready for the return leg as physical status needed badly at this level
Manager – 4
“We won’t change our game plan despite Champions League beatings”
That was Brendan after Bayern last night.
‘I want us to go into the Champions League and impose our way of playing and our way of working.’
That was Brendan after the PSG mauling in Paradise.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game and we’ll go there and play how we’ve played before, with no fear and going to look to attack the game.
That was Brendan before a Man City 3-1 defeat for Liverpool at Etihad in 2014
Anyone see a pattern here?
It’s great having a football philosophy, but reality bites. Brendan must have known we had severe weaknesses playing Gamboa at right back which also weakened Lustigs contribution to the side by moving him inside. Saying it all helps with players experience is fine, BUT, and its a big BUT, what experience is Brendan benefitting from when he keeps repeating the same approach and getting the same results.
I know I know nothing but I also know:
- I don’t know why we didn’t play 3 at the back and at least 5 across the middle.
- I don’t know why we want to play a midfield full of attack attack attack players.
- I don’t know why we sacrifice our wiry striker against giants like Hummels.
- I don’t know what players are getting better at ball retention up against big sides as only Broony seems to be able to handle it at present.
I know its a wonderful achievement to get there and I know that PSG and Bayern are in the elite. I also know that doesn’t mean you play against them in the same manner you play against Dundee or Hamilton, especially away from home.
I don’t want to see us being overly defensive, I really don’t but WGS, Lenny and MON showed there are ways to stand up against the Elite when you adopt some pragmatism and Brendan has to allow reality into his plans. If your defensive players aren’t up to scratch, change the formation, or charge down the Boards door and demand the players you want rather than squad filler.