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Celtic Diary Monday February 28: Ain’t So Bad

Celtic managers, if you were to believe social or mainstream media, come in two types.

 

Shite, or Not Shite.

 

This can vary on a week to week basis, depending on results or if they do as we, the support, think they should when it comes to selections, formations and tactics.

 

Despite still being three points clear at the top of the table with just ten games left..it might be eleven…Ange Postecoglou is now a shite manager because Celtic didn’t beat Hibernian at Easter Road.

 

Fortunately, the bubble at Ibrox has well and truly burst, as they failed to hold on to a two goal lead against Motherwell, choosing instead to self destruct and throw away a chance to close the gap at the top.

 

Thats the way it goes sometimes.

 

However, that’s not to say Ange is exempt from criticism, he maybe could have made a few changes earlier when , as he put it, the ball wasn’t bounding for his players, a polite way of saying a few of them were having an off day, and although his style of play is exhilirating to watch, sometimes those quick passes don’t come off, sometimes the ball goes the wrong side of the post and sometimes the opposition will play above themselves.

 

Sean Maloney had his team organised yesterday, just as the Bodo glimt coach had a plan for his.

 

The problem, as far as i can see it, is that having a set style where a manager refuses to deviate is easier for the opposition to try to counter.

 

The plan is to play at such a tempo that the opposition can;t cope with it, either falling to an early blitz or being worn down over an hour and a half of pressure.

 

Sometimes, though, you get the feeling that when it doesn’t work early on, and things don’t go to plan, the players start to lose a little bit of faith in the system, which is natural, and we’ve seen them return to the sidieways football of old, where patient probing for an opening slows the game down, instead of consistently forcing the play, which will force errors and eventually lead to goals.

 

 

We don’t so much need a plan b as someone , on the pitch, to force plan a through when those doubts creep in.

 

Calum MacGregor is a little too cerebral for this role, but may yet grow into it.

 

But it’s true that you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

 

The last couple of games have been crying out for Scott Brown to strut up and down the pitch, injecting that enthusiasm not by cajoling or persuading, but by example.

 

Like MacGregor did against “rangers “, in fact.

 

 

As the season moves into it’s final phase, players who have been over the course, proven winners, such as MacGregor, Forrest , even Biton and Rogic, need to step up a bit more.

The new players will need a hand in getting used to the circus of Scottish football and it’s accompanying hysteria.

 

 

Speaking of Rogic, who got into his head when he was over in Australia on international duty ?

 

He has come back a different player, and that may be that his trip abroad made him a little homesick. Before the arrival of Postecoglou, he wanted away, to be closer to home could have been a factor, and maybe he’s starting to think that way again.

 

Or maybe he’s just tired. He has put in some tremendous shifts this term, and for much longer than we’re used to.

 

 

Nir biton might be a liability sometimes, but his steadiness in midfield, combined with his, er, pragmatism when it comes to stopping opponents is also valuable when protecting a lead.

 

Forrest has been over the course as well, and can pop up with vital goals at vital times, as he isn;t affected by a fear of making a mistake in perhaps the way a less experienced player is. He may be suffering the effects of being booted up and down the park for a decade, but he’s certainly one to call on when a defence is proving too stubborn to break down.

 

And MacGregor ?

 

He should stop trying to be all things to all men, and play his natural game. Whatever that is.

 

 

 

Social media has seen an awful lot of wet pants flung at the screen from hoops fans, and you would be forgiven for thinking it was Celtic who were three points adrift and struggling to get a result.

 

Have a look at this, the current form table….

 

Image

 

 

 

We’ve won more, scored more and conceded less than anyone else.

 

If you don’t count Dundee united’s goals against, that is, so I won’t.

 

 

Maybe we thought that the style of football we play would have meant we would storm to the title this season, and maybe we still will.

 

 

But as far as i’m concerned, I’d take stumbling across the line and winning it on the toss of a coin, as long as we win it.

 

 

You might feel a little bit down this morning , despite the league table, and perhaps a feeling of impending doom is beginning to settle in.

 

 

Don;t worry. Here’s a video of alan MacGregor in action to cheer you up…..

 

 

 

 

If you think we’ve got something to moan about, then you should look at how they see things from over the river…

 

 

Or, indeed, at the BBC….

 

 

Image

 

 

 

Or in the stands…. after Celtic drew…

 

 

Image

 

 

 

Then after they chucked away their lead….

 

 

Image

 

 

So remember this, the season is three quarters done, one trophy is in the bag and we sit on top of the league.

 

Without sounding like a happy clapper, maybe we should, er start to sound like happy clappers and do a wee bit of supporting. It’s not as bad as some would have you believe.

 

Yes, there’s room for improvement, but we’re not in a bad place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact, let’s cheer ourselves up with this image, and ponder what it might mean…

 

 

Image

 

 

 

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James
11 months ago

Another friendly,hand picked Administrator would make sure a name like that wouldn’t have to be used lol As for us, the players n manager deserve all the criticism they get,it’s been pish since the Huns game,I can actually accept a draw away to Hibs under Maloney especially if the wee man takes points off the Huns but what I can’t accept is watching such talented players do virtually nothing in such an important game,the players are too reliant on Jota it’s no wonder he’s fell off recently and can players not take a man on these days n show a bit of gallusness instead of hiding behind passes which end up going backwards?

Cartvale88
11 months ago

Gives the Hibees their due, they closed and defended brilliantly, note they did not have one shot on target, years ago this was the tactic used by Inter against Celtic. The start was ferocious but The team then drifted into a ball possession mode looking for a gap, no one took responsibility, it was to you to me style of game. At least that is another hurdle enroute to the Championship, Ange has arrived and overall moved forward winning a trophy, gaining the top of the league also being skilled in Europe, but it is a learning curve. My only concern is we need a strong Central defender, Starfeldt is a weak link, but then again they have McGregor in goals and Fortress Ibrokes as the media tossers call it is becoming Crumbledome
HH

highseastim
11 months ago
Reply to  Cartvale88

It was made easy for them to defend well, due to our slow deliberate build up, leaving them plenty of time to get organised, whatever has happened to our energy levels. Too much tippy tappy pish at the back from Hart, Starfelt and CCV, full backs poor, midfield horrendous all game, Jota’s end product woeful and Maeda running about like a headless chicken with no positional sense.
As for corners, been saying all season, we must have the worst stats in the league, by a country mile, for getting on the end of corners, in fact the players now don’t seem to be busting a gut to get on the end of them, same with crosses. It’s little wonder we get so many corners, teams have sussed out that there’s absolutely no danger from them!!

Rant over.

Cartvale88
11 months ago

Apologies should be skinned in Europe.

11 months ago

The staunch Steward refused to let anyone leave early..

Frankie Saiz Relax
11 months ago

28 Games Played:

Last Season :

2angers Goal Difference +60 Points 76
Celtic Goal Difference +41 Points 61

This Season :

Celtic Goal Difference +43 Points 67
2angers Goal Difference +34 Points 64

A swing of 18 points in favour of the good guys in real terms.

This is not a blip for them Celtic have the momentum and have done since Christmas.
Celtic had a blip at the beginning of the Season as we were effectively bedding in a new squad under a new Manager deploying a new approach.
An approach that required greater fitness levels.
All of this was always going to take time and patience which as we know in Social Media and Blog Land is in short supply at the best of times.

Last Season was a departure from the norm in many ways including results going off Previous Seasons.
This Season is now shaping up to be a return to the norm as witnessed before.
A Cup already bagged,a mixed bag in Europe and a strong push to the finish line.
They have had a good run in Europe ,fucked it in the Cup and a serious meltdown in Jan.
The Manager has stated his teams tend to finish a Season stronger than they start due to the training demands.

All of this despite the injuries and disruption to Ange Postecoglou’s plans.
Form is temporary class is permanent.

Sancheto
11 months ago

Hibs, and other teams played/play exactly how I expected, sit deep, don’t allow any space in behind for our wingers/runners and it leaves no option for the team but to try and probe for a very precise pass to be met by our player at exactly the right time to get a strike in and hope it is not deflected by the crowd of players or even saved by the GK. It isn’t pretty but what do you expect a weaker team to do? We have seen this before with BR, to start with we were ripping teams apart then they got wise to it and sat deep, parked the bus to prevent any space in behind or if an attacking runner lost his man it was so congested that another defender was always close enough to block or clar the danger. Even Man City have had to adapt their style to suit, it is call being pragmatic, may not be pretty but needs must. With that in mind we did miss GG’s strength/height yesterday as this unsettles defenders in the the box and leads to more defensive mistakes and therefore more attacking opportunities! We are a tiny team with only possibly 4 players out of Ange’s starting 11 anywhere near 6ft, it is an issue which will need to be addressed going forward but we are 3pts to the good so we roll on to Wednesday and hopefully a win 1st and foremost and a good performance to go with the 3pts!

Pissed Off Bhoy
11 months ago

The next direct free kick we’re awarded, I’d let Hart take it. Tell him to kick it row Z for a throw in .
Then let him do interview afterwards explaining that we, the supporters, are pissed off with refs failing to give us 10 yards time after time.
Yesterday , I reckon the 2 before half time were 8 yards away at the most…

Clancy is a shite ref, the others are corrupt/ huns/ shite or can’t judge 10 yards.

I remember vividly, watching 1970 World cup and seeing exceptional goals from free kicks.
Did the ball move better in high humid atmosphere, or did the refs pace it outproperly?
Probably both .

Read lots of criticism of EPL referees re decisions (VARetc ) but my God they can pace out 10Yards….

Joe, ROW Z at the corner flag, please.

11 months ago

Would be a good interview. Make it happen Joe.

But, where would the throw in be taken ….probably nearer the 18 yardline as opposed to corner flag.
Celtic have been penalised twice, for foul throw ins recently…..I don’ t remember any other team being pulled up..

Woof Charlie
11 months ago

At times like this the 2 losses and 6 draws of 66/67 are worth mentioning. Younger readers may groan “no again” but actually Hibs are a decent team, we played mid-week on the edge of a frozen Walls pudding and the last time I checked we don’t have any entitlement to win every game we play despite the impression that FB Celtic forums often give. Ange actually laughed out loud at the sportsound cub making it out to be a mini crisis. He better get used to it. This season was a rebuild and progress so far has been exceptional.

TicToc
11 months ago
Reply to  Woof Charlie

WC, thanks for your decency and advice recently. I did what you advised. It was determined and hung around for a while but it left mostly on Friday and hasn’t been seen since. Well, except for a wee while yesterday but Motherwell chased it TF! Cheers.
HH

Whitearra
11 months ago

Surely its time for Callum to tell referees before kick-off that we don’t want corners or free-kicks because they are a f##king waste of time. Btw, how much time was wasted by the Hibs keeper yesterday with no reaction from Clancey?

R.St.Parsley
11 months ago

Caption:
Another disappointing turnout at the annual ‘Sell Morales’ auction.

BJF
11 months ago

A couple of things apply. We often struggle after an away European trip, Chelsea, the new club et al also finding mid week games sapping. I do not care what Ange says to the media, irrelevant. I do care that he wins trophies.
Yes Rogic, Reo, whoever plays left back, Carter Vickers, and to an extend Maieda are off the boil. Have been since we hammered the new club. I believe Ange will sort it but please whatever he or Lennon said was for a hostile press. Only what he says and does in the dressing room counts. Three points ahead, I like but it is not over yet.

Morto
11 months ago

I was feeling ok about the weekend result, wee bit concerned about the ultra slow play but expecting Ange to kick some bottoms this morning.
However, your form table put the Sh*ters right up me.
If I remember right we have Livi, St Mirren, Ross County and Dundee United this month which seemed like a good run till I seen how well they are all doing.
Thanks for that, ruined my Monday.

Morto
11 months ago

Caption: Just couldn’t hold that pish in any longer, wonder if anyone will notice?

TicToc
11 months ago

Caption: Young fella just out of pic “Haw mister is there a game on here today?”
“Naw son, the football club went bust 10 years ago. It’s a car park noo but you might like the penny bazaar. Just go up the stairs behind me and in where the lights are.”

TicToc
11 months ago

It was a sore one to watch yesterday but I agree with the positives on here. We’re still 3 pts clear! When up against teams that try to cram the penalty box and with us lacking height up front we need to try different ways. Wingers need to go wider, not cut into congested areas and smash the ball in low at the 6 yard line. Goals WILL come doing that. Putting in high crosses to bigger players is evidently a failing. Strange that? We’ve got enough talent we just need more variety in our attempts to break teams down. Get intae thum!

Bognorbhoy
11 months ago

Caption …
Ok shagger you ca..no wait there’s still a few fans hinging aboot , I’ll gie ye a shout when they’ve gone…don’t know why they are blaming you , the defence wis shite …

The Cha
11 months ago

Asked if he thought the display matched Celtic domestic form this year, Postecoglou replied: “Absolutely. We didn’t get the goal we deserved. That’s something we have to accept.”

He’s been refreshingly honest this season but that was a poor performance yesterday and the form has dipped markedly in the last 6 games since the Motherwell game (Hibs and Bodo aside).

The Athletic has an article, Resting players in Europe backfired for Celtic – and could yet have a more damning impact, that covers the worrying trend.

We are still in a good position, not just in being 3 points ahead but also we’ve played 2 more away games and the Huns 2 less and this is where the majority of points should be dropped.

Caption – For feck sake, Get Liquidation Done, I’ve been standing here for 10 years!

The Cha
11 months ago
Reply to  The Cha
TicToc
11 months ago
Reply to  The Cha

Big Ange will have the morons in the press/TV scared shitless and we’ve needed that approach for a long time. Terrific!
BTW, a favourite of mine was The Holy Goalie when asked why he wouldn’t shake hands with ‘them’ after a game Big Artur said” I don’t like their club and I don’t like their players. Why would I shake hands with them?” Pure, dead brilliant! GIRUT.

Woof Charlie
11 months ago

Caption: After Shug had a near death experience and saw this in a vision he started going back to mass.

BJF
11 months ago

My last 3 posts have disappeared, never thought I was controversial enough to be subject to censorship!

Funkyy
11 months ago

I still have a strong suspicion that they p*ssed off the referees with their complaint letter. The “offside” decisions given against them yesterday would definitely have gone in their favour a few weeks ago. So, as we have always known, their successes have been built on guaranteed help from the officials. Now without that help they show they cannae cope with a level playing field.

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