It’s probably fair to say that Celtic ground out a 2-1 win yesterday, and it’s probably fair to say that there’s still something missing from the team that prevents it from reaching the giddy heights of total football perfection that we saw prior to the injuries to both first choice centre backs.
It’s probably not quite as simple as saying that the spine of the team, and hence the confidence , has suffered a wee bit, but it’s certainly beginning to look like we could do with Starfelt and Carter Vickers back in the side.
They work together well, and inspire confidence around them.
Looking at Motherwell’s equaliser yesterday, it becomes clear that there is a little bit of confusion as to who runs the show at the back, It should be the goalkeeper, and our keeper has the experience to know that, but in what was one of those “Where were you when Kennedy was shot ? ” moments, he ran out to cover a hopeful punt, which was already covered by Josip Juranovic, and then ran back to have a lie down whilst the ball bounced into the net.
Yes, it was just one of those things, but the basics are simple, never pass back within the posts, just in case the keeper has wandered off or seen his mum in the crowd.
Ask this guy if you don;t believe me……
That rattled an already rattled Celtic, who continued where they left off in Paisley with that uncertain approach when things don;t quite go to plan, largely because it was Motherwell who came flying out of the traps and the Celts weren’t quite sure what to do.
Kyogo Fuhruhashi had given Celtic the lead when he helped a Matt O’Riley header into the net, and Reo Hatate belted one in from about three miles to restore the lead, but John Beaton, on loan from “rangers ” saw his chance to , shall we say, make his mark on the game.
When a referee cannot influence the outcome of a match, for example when the hoops storm into an early and unassailable lead, they tend just to go through the motions, and apply the rules to the best of their somewhat limited ability.
When there’s a chance to make a difference, they will take it, and quite enthusiastically so.
Beaton is known for his allegiances to another Glasgow club, having switched them over when his original favourites were placed in liquidation.
Now whilst supporters of most other clubs tend to support their own, there’s something unique about Ibrox fans, in that sometimes their hatred for Celtic overwhelms their love for their own club, which is fundamentally why their song list doesn’t include inspiring lyrics, such as Walk On, or Hail Hail, or even the Willie Maley song.
Instead it’s all about what they hate, which is usually catholic or Irish.
And it’s why that perception of bias remains, as someone who readily admits to being a part of that mindset, such as Beaton, finds it impossible to remain impartial when he is in a position to harm those he perceives to be his natural enemy….those who threaten his own way of life.
He can’t help it.
Yesterday, with Celtic ahead 2-1, Beaton “missed ” this incident….
It’s a penalty.
Motherwell then are reduced to ten men, and Celtic may well go two goals clear with less than twenty minutes left.
However, the incident passed without action from Beaton, who knows that there is still a chance Motherwell can snatch a point, especially if there’s a similar incident at the other end……
In the meantime, every Celtic foul was a foul, and every Motherwell foul wasn’t, and it certainly wasn’t bookable….after all, his early cautions for a couple of Steelmen meant the stats afterwards would show he’d been tough on them.
And then came his big moment, his chance to help his new friends…..
Hatate sees MacGregor, and plays the ball toward him quickly, but not quite accurately enough, which seems to startle the Celtic captain, who is suddenly chasing the more alert forward. There’s a bit of pushing and shoving , and MacGregor is unaware that Stephen Welsh is storming across to cover, or maybe he is aware, but decides to take one for the team, so to speak.
Beaton, who at this point is probably in a state of arousal, shows no hesitation in sending off the Celtic captain, and that means there is now a greater possibility of Celtic dropping points for the second match in succession.
Helpfully, he adds on another five minutes at the end, despite not adding anything on in the first half which contained an awful lot of time wasting and other types of gamesmanship designed to upset the pace and tempo Celtic try to set.
However, for the first time in quite a while, a Celtic manager actually said something about the incident that didn’t involve him claiming temporary blindness, and that’s encouraging…
“Hard to see it but from my angle I thought we had a covering player. But the referee’s made that decision so we’ve just got to cop it.”
BBC Sportscene mentioned the incident, and it was up to their expert, and I use that word in it’s loosest possible sense, to clarify as to why MacGregor commited the foul…..
“If he doesn’t, then it’s a straightforward chip over because Joe Hart’s in no-man’s land,”
“There is a covering player, but he’s not getting there. No way.
He [Tierney] can even take a touch towards Joe Hart and Welsh was never, ever going to get there, It’s the right decision because in the initial moment, it’s denying a goalscoring opportunity. No doubt about it.
“It’s a clever one, because had he gone through, he’s one-on-one with Joe Hart and could be lifting it over the top of him or going round him and making it 2-2. It would have been an interesting last few minutes had it been that and a chance that Celtic could have dropped more points.
“So it was a really, really clever foul. He’s had to take the punishment and they’ll have to do without their captain for the next game. But he could potentially have stopped them dropping points there.”
So that’s that then, the Motherwell forward would have simply chipped the keeper with aplomb after avoiding a defender hurtling towards him….with MacGregor still chipping at his heels, .showing a combination of composure and technical skill that means he wouldn’t have been playing for Motherwell in the first place.
But notice the narrative finishes with a well done to MacGregor, for denying a goalscoring chance no less than thirty yards form goal…..
My own take is that MacGregor didn’t see Welsh, and felt he had to commit, which maybe, once again, points to a lack of communication and awareness at the back.
Welsh, incidentally, had a decent game, and proved he’s worthy of a squad place and at the same time not deserving of the nonsense he has to put up with from some sections of the support.
There’s a clue there….support…..
Anyway, we hear Cameron Carter Vickers has a better than average chance of making the Leipzig game……..
CCV can’t get back quick enough!
I agree with some criticism of Welsh has been over the top but to day he had a good game yesterday is too much of a stretch. He wasn’t the only one, Jenz was absolutely honking for example… the amount of misplaced passes and unforced errors across pretty much the whole team was ridiculous
The tackle on Hatate is at least a yellow and possibly a red.
No Sportscene “analysis” or mention even of the handball in the box or the failure to show any colour of card for the high, studs first foul on Hatate. Why am I not surprised?
Also this game was in no way close. As Ange said we had multiple chance to bury them and were profligate in front of goal AGAIN. Converting the chances we make takes the pressure of the defence. We actually need a better return up front.
Spot on and what I was thinking we need on Wednesday.
Also hope CCV’s back soon and stays injury free as we’re not the same without him.
Ralphie why give the Billy Boys Club any credibility, do not watch or read the medias crap. Yesterday the Well came out to stick it to Celtic, Beaton as usual assisted as best he could. The red card could have gone either way, but if he was going to the Crown bar last night he only had one decision to make. You win the league with sluggish performances, but the team are not burying their chances, should have been four up at halftime. Better than the buddies, but still off par.
Hart is a mystery, sometimes he is dominant, at other times he looks lost, he should have dominated his area, and screamed ‘leave it’ also the clear foul when he was knocked out again ignored by Beathun
Sorry Welsh did not have a good game yesterday no more than a squad player, he either must improve or play his football else where
Decent analysis which was better than that of Kenny Miller esq.
Welsh had no one to mark, Jenz taking their one up. He cleared mostly as did Jenz but Welsh had to bring the ball out most often ( Jenz being poorer at this). He, Welsh, did okay in this, some basic, some good, some poor but he was there to do so. This under constant fouling and niggling which he got on with. The near hysterical clamour for his execution is over the top from some fans expecting nine every week. Others were poorer yesterday, O’Reilly vanished, Maeda can do better, Jura, and particularly Taylor, now getting a bit of what KT got and with Kyogo missing decent chances we could have dropped points… but we won.
Games and travel obviously taken their toll whereas opponents had none of that. Beaton and his team let fouling go unpunished and it’s in combatting this we need a more physically robust presence, a prerequisite for the SPL over the season.
Last point… why, at that stage of the game, is McGregor so deep he’s the last man ?
“Decent analysis which was better than that of Kenny Miller esq.”
Now, that’s damned by faint praise, if I ever heard it! 😉
Was Welsh marking anyone at the sending-off or should he have been more central to provide additional cover there?
It had some similarities to the non-sending-off in the Palace-Chelsea game. Yes, that was further wide but Silva was out of the play whereas McGregor could have still played a part if Welsh had got over.
I’ve not read any harshness towards Welsh, other than as expected from a poor performance, but I wasn’t at the last couple of games.
I thought Taylor, who’s been consistently good all season, had a poor game.
On another site Cha and at the game at St Mirren and yesterday. Welsh , aged 22 is charged with a huge role in bringing the ball out and, at times, looks ponderous but at other times plays it as, I suppose, he is told. At the Hart injury ( I think Joe knew he’d made an arse of it and hit the deck) Calmac spoke to both Jenz and Welsh, and was a bit animated in telling them what to do. Nothing wrong with that but they’ve got to know their jobs.
Agree Taylor has been really good, probably why more opponents targeting him.
The penalty would have meant a red as well so he bottled both.
“there’s still something missing from the team that prevents it from reaching the giddy heights of total football perfection that we saw prior to the injuries to both first choice centre backs.”
That’s a bit of a stretch, CCV certainly but Starfelt has been missing most of the season when we’ve been, largely, rather spiffing.
Yesterday our fans abused &ridiculed Welsh, our player who was trying his best & they did their best to destroy his football career at Celtic. Our fans shouldn’t need to be told they must support all our players if they want Celtic to win.
Yet the villain of the piece got away almost Scot free. Beaton has cheated us at every opportunity, he & his fellow cheats get away too easy. Can wee not boo them non-stop, make their visits to Celtic Pk a nightmare . Can some not visit them at work or home . We certainly shouldn’t hurt them or damage their property but make them as uncomfortable as possible
The decision to ignore the penalty was a good indicator of the referee’s mindset. It was about as obvious as obvious can be. Celtic must appeal the sending off based on the coverage that was clearly there comparing it to other teams situations recently which were similar.
Beathun does what he does knowing that his masters at the SFA totally
approve and will support him by NOT investigating his disgraceful bias
against Celtic and in favour of the *rangers.
The media are equally complicit in the “fix” to aid *rangers in every way
by printing 99.9% shiny happy stories about them while at the same time
printing ANYTHING negative that can be connected to Celtic.
Notice that Kyle Lafferty was only referred to as a Kilmarnock player, not as
an ex-*rangers player. But the other week they printed a negative story
about a guy who used to be in the Celtic youth team years ago and they
made sure to mention that even though it had FEK all to do with his offence.