Well, that’s that then.
Ange Postecoglou’s baptismal Champions League campaign shuddered to a halt last night as Leipzig stunned the hoops with two second half goals.
Celtic, as per usual, rattled the woodwork, missed a few sitters and generally will be a little annoyed that yet again, despite making a fist of it, there’s still the cold hard fact that one point out of a possible twelve simply isn’t good enough.
But it’s not time to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet, and for the next couple of days, just before you send that tweet about what you would have done instead, maybe remember that it’s unlikely Michael Nicholson will be ringing you to tell you you were right all along and that you can start on Monday.
In the four games so far, Celtic have created 53..or 54…depending on which statistical source you believe……chances.
And scored two.
That may point to a lack of top class forwards, or it may point to something else….those fine margins we talked about a few weeks back.
An inch to the left and Matt O’Riley’s daisycutter opens the scoring last night, or an inch lower and the follow up does the job.
In the opening match against Real Madrid it was a similar story with Calum MacGregor’s effort, or even the early chance that swept past the post.
Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.
This time, well, 53 or 54 times, they didn’t.
All is not absolutely lost, there’s still a remote chance of getting third place, if the other teams all withdraw, or if we play for snookers, but there’s probably little point in putting any money aside for a European trip in the New Year.
We had a go, but fell just short of what was required. We’ll get better.
Which is why I’m a little amazed at some of the social media outbursts post match. We expect a certain level of disrespect from the media.
Maybe even gloating or downright abuse.
We expect them to put further pressure on what really is a fledgling team at this level, probably to disrupt the build and maybe even coax players to leave, so that we never get the chance to see where we’ll be next year , or the year after, if we continue to progress at the rate we have in the last twelve months or so.
But do we need our support to pick out the scapegoats ?
Given the amount of advice flying around last night, Ange must be sitting there this morning feeling like he’s won the lottery, having so much knowledge and wisdom to fall back on, with fans telling him how to utilise players they’ve never met into a style they cannot comprehend at a level they can only dream of playing at.
Yes, we all have our opinions, and we should be free to air them.
But I’d wager a shiny shilling that not one of us has the experience or knowledge of what it takes to mould a side to be successful at that level.
We want two things from our football.
Entertainment, and with that comes the drama, the disappointment and the tears, alongside the glory , the laughter and the cheers.
We’ve got that.
We haven’t done too badly, domestically at least, and if we had been completely outclassed, not retaining possession, or creating chances in the UCL, then maybe we could say we’ve reached our ceiling, but we have competed, and we have been perhaps unlucky.
Certainly we’ve missed key players at different times, and that we’ve still had a go is a credit to all of them, players, coaches and management.
As long as we can say we’re getting better, moving forward and progressing, then we should stick with the plan.
I’ve seen some say that we should change, undo all the work that has been put in so far, and those doubts are probably echoed among the players.
We needed a break in one of our games to remove thiose doubts completely, it didn’t happen, but if we keep doing what we have been doing and keep believing in why we’re doing it, success at a higher level in a way that will make us proud will come.
I believe the phrase is Keep the Faith
Once again for the umpteenth time, our misfiring offensive side of things have failed, do they ever practice putting shots/headers on target?
The level of mowing is ridiculous. Even from kick off. Seems a lot of our fans have inherited a sense of entitlement from across the river. I wonder if some of these feelings come across from the terraces and make our players play with a bit of trepidation, snapping at chances. Yes criticise when due but it’s just way over the top. Far too many online managers.
You probably thought those protesting against the old board were ‘ ruffians ‘ .
Was that post your anus horriblis Michael ?
If so then simply stop talking oot yer Erchie old bean ;-D
Well said! Couldn’t agree more, Onwards and upwards! HH
About what I anticipated last night. Our finishing has been off as it was at St Mirren, Motherwell, St Johnstone, Leipzig away. It is the reason we did not lay a glove, I think most of other aspects were fine, yes mistakes were made, always will be but I have no idea what Ange needs to do. It is a form thing and it will change but when? I am in for the long haul. It is Ange’s first CL and most of the team’s also. Is it an experience thing?
I agree, a disappointing night indeed but it’s only been a year, we need to keep the faith
Sorry not having that. So when we witness shortcomings in the team we should pat them on the back and say never mind? Ange and the team have had plenty of praise they will just need to accept the criticism. When does rigidly sticking to your principles move from becoming something to admire to becoming sheer bloody mindedness. I’d love to cut a swathe through the CL playing swashbuckling football but it isn’t going to happen.
And BTW this isn’t all on Ange, the players let him down as well. Quite possibly that was the worst match played by Kyogo and Hatate, they lost possession countless times, never mind not pulling the trigger. And here’s something to note, when you keep telling the opposition how you are going to play then it makes it easier for them to develop a strategy to counter that.
I couldn’t believe how many times Leipzig were able to hit long cross balls behind our full backs last night to defeat the press. Clearly something they identified before the game. The more I see of Juranovic the more he convinces me he’s not a defender, almost everything of note from Leipzip came down their left flank. I dunno maybe he isn’t getting the support required. But there’s a problem there.
Overall I’m more than happy with the progress made, but the support needs to be able to comment on performances that aren’t great. For his first CL Ange probably gets a free hit. He needs to get us back there next year but is anybody telling me if he doesn’t retain the title this year everyone will say ah well still a fledgling team. He’s set his own standards, last night wasn’t up to them.
It always strikes me as odd that bloggers/commentators/diarists, who by definition have their own say, decry others having theirs.
It’s not up to anyone to deligitimise others’ comments, fine, argue against it, criticise but if others feel like ranting then that’s their right.
I hate the complacency that, somehow, it’s all going to be better next year etc.
That’s not going to just happen, especially if we lose players, manager (god no), others go backwards in their development, new players not up to scratch etc.
We certainly won’t get better, if we simply write off this campaign as due to bad luck.
Yes, that happen in the odd game or 2 but, when the same failings happen 4 games in a row, it’s not down to luck.
I don’t know any Celtic fan who wants us to fail, even those that criticise. We all want us to succeed.
Absolutely but this acceptance of failure (we’re unlucky, too wee, too poor etc) does my head in.
The board knew they could rely on that during the “not the 10” season and do nothing, whereas at much more successful clubs, fans would have forced change, when there was still a chance at getting back on track.
We’ve failed in the Champions League this season and almost certainly won’t make the Europa League.
That’s what we need to address and not any complacent “oh it was all down to bad luck and next season that will change”.
Probably agree with all that, I have no or problem with the criticism but it must be tempered with reality. It has been a long time since Scottish clubs were dominant in Europe, it’s not just about population size, does the League act as a barrier somehow? Other relatively small countries out perform us.
Other sides from countries on a par with us outperform us because of the way we are forced t,o play in Scotland. Other Leagues in comparable Countries are more competitive resulting in maybe 4 or 5 Clubs being in a position to challenge for the League title. In not so fair Alba the set up, Football Governance, Refereeing, the Media has an institutional bias in favour of the zombie Club from the Sou’Side.
The other clubs by and large, excluding the likes of the Dons, Hibees, Mini Huns, are no better than amateurs posing as professionals. They indulge in the agricultural style of football and take no prisoners when playing Celtic and are given a free pass by the Officials with their uniquely Scottish interpretation of the rules of the game.
Scottish Football is basically a them and us game that is so rigged that Celtic have to be twice as good to overcome the ‘circling the wagons’ style of defending and hoping to hit us on the breaks type of football and the Ludge enablers that constitute the 12th man on the opposing side.
The overall consequence is that our own game, or style of playing is generally a war of attrition.
Our domestic players are generally unsuited for the more technical, competitive nature of the European game. The standard of coaching and Sports Science involvement is light years ahead of our own efforts.
The lack of development opportunities for Young Players trying to break through is a further drain on our game and stops the standards from improving.
Scottish Football, and by definition Celtic, will never compete to the same degree as our same size opponents at European level until the Scottish game itself changes in all its aspects and that is never going to happen.
The SFA won’t change ( the 5 Way Agreement sees to that), Refereeing Standards won’t improve despite the imminent introduction of VAR.
There is no appetite for change from the other Clubs. The Chairmen are all quite happy to be seen as the ‘ local boy done good’ successful businessman, he/she owns 2 Chip Shops a Sauna/Tatto Parlour and a bed sit for rent. This guarantees them their place in Scottish Society, The Rotary Club, Ludge and or O.O. Their entry level fee to the ‘ Greasy Pole’ of SFA Committee appointments and Office Bearers is
for them to not rock the boat.
Toute ça change …… and all that
Both Club Brugge and Ajax who do better than us spend twice as much on their squads. It’s not down to population size as you can buy players from all over the world – as we do. It’s down to quality of the players. Both Ajax and Club Brugge buy more expensive players but get more for their subsequent transfer to bigger clubs.
It’s the same when we play the Huns. The only time they look dangerous is when The Tav and Barastitch get forward (no laughing) and double up on our fullbacks, as they can whip in a decent cross.
We are a great attacking unit, but not a great defending unit.
Hopefully back to scoring form on Saturday. COYBIG!
We were in there for 70 minutes boxing away ( if not always clever) but ultimately a good big one beats a goodish small one. We didnt land our punches when needed and paid the price.
Mcklintop made a good point regards the full backs but I think it was more a height issue than our tactics…Taylor was always in place but ball was 3 feet above him for tall attacker to win.
Ange isnt immune. I have no idea what position Abada was meant to be playing and I dont think he knew either…looked totally lost out there in no mans land.
It was another wee reminder that The Squad isnt as great as we assumed. David Turnbull passing the ball backwards 3 times in a row, fuck me, how annoying.
Still, a good first half and missing 2 best players. We just need to find the goal. Get back concentrating on the league wins and I suspect Ange will want to kick on with some bigger better faster player purchases over next few windows.
Totally agree Desi
Yes it was a height advantage, But the Leipzig coach spotted that and made it their tactic. And very effective it was too. We needed to adapt and didn’t.
Desimond, watching the match I thought the same about the height difference you mentioned. Leipzig were able to win most of the high balls with ease and gallop away with it while we chased around trying to pick up scraps. We should have been aware of their advantage and kept the passes fast and low. When big Giaky (spell it yourself) came on we finally had a half chance in the goalmouth due to his physique. I’m sure Ange, the coaching staff and the players will have gone over the match video and discussed the shortcomings. Hopefully this is a lesson learned. Added to that we had too many off form players…so much poor control of the ball from players who normally control and pass with ease.
At least now they’ve had a sample of what Champions League level football is…it’s definitely not Cinch level.
There’s not much left to say except we can go out with a bang or a whimper., win the League and come back next season stronger and better prepared. HH
Spot on, we are still progressing at a rate that no one this time last year remotely expected. Keep believing and supporting Ange and the Bhoys.HH
Not won a CL game at Celtic Park since 2013 lost last 7 not good in fact shocking, it’s been a step to far for the Japanese players but they have the talent and they will improve, oh and stop being nice if an opponent is on the deck leave him get on with the game stop being nice, can’t remember winning a 50/50 ball last night that must change things will get better players will learn our luck will change someone is going to get a doing from us stay calm keep the faith in Ange we trust Hail Hail
The astute observation here is that we last won a CL game at home in 2013. This covers old CEO, New CEO, a few managers and a couple of groups of players. This team and manager are working on a path which they have yet to perfect. We are marking the chances to win we are simply an inch off here and there. A good pass here and there and self belief that we belong at this level. We have yet to be torn apart embarrassingly like we have been before and we seem to be able to go about 70 minutes toe to toe. That despite our disappointment seems like some progress. Not a pat on the back for losing but a sense of progress and still we lost. More progress to go. As for those who want to play like Ross County or Livingston do when they play us at Celtic Park and once every 6 years get a draw – no thanks
We are moving in the right direction, playing some of the best football I’ve seen in years, the striking will be sorted by ange I’m sure, keep believing
Opposing get chances too. We need to improve our defending pronto.
If you got points for hitting posts and bars, Celtic would win the ECL We must do it at least twice every game.
Surely there has to be a way of tweaking this so that the ball actually hits the target instead.
Just don’t get Meada, think to many small players, easily brushed off ball, and players dead on their feet after 60 minutes chasing balls when losing possession
100% agree Ralph
A kid with zero youth setup experience or long term coaching took his chance v the best side in Europe for a decade(perhaps ever) in front of 60,000 and on the biggest Anniversary in years.
That kid was playing football up the Park with his pals unattached to any Club just 2 years previous.
he had two one on ones that night in his short cameo role as match winner.
He was pulled down on the 2nd with Mascherano gulping for air trying to stop him.
he took his chance with the calmness of a kid playing up the Park with his pals with no one watching but the 60,000 in his heid screaming his name.
Thats the difference at any level.
The goal size doesn’t change at Celtic Park on a Champions League night but unfortunately the hype does.
Ignore the hype and do what you are paid huge sums (by comparison to To y Watt that night) to do on a daily basis.
Tony Watt cost Celtic the equivalent of 10 Empty Ginger bottles.
Ffs Ange stop making excuses for them and find players who can and will take their clear chances on any night or any day regardless of hype or occasion.
Tony Watt wasn’t playing the occasion,no he was simply doing what he had always done.
Rattled it into the far corner leaving Valdez no flunking chance.
Giakoumakis was fouled btw.
What I found particularly frustrating was our inability to ‘defend’ the obvious path of a pass from German to German. Take their 2nd goal. More Celtic players than Leipzig players in our 18 yd box, yet the simple cut back or rather its ‘path’ wasn’t anticipated and blocked. Some of our players were or rather appeared to be stationary/switched off. On too many occasions it was the old ‘hot knife thru butter’ re Leipzig attacks. Fresh air will never score a goal. Players and the passing route to them need to be anticipated/defended.
Oh…..and can we please practice shooting!
Daizen Maeda never fails to live up to my confirmation bias, he has ten bob feet on on ski’s
My money is on the sevco accounts being squirrled out between 7 and 10 minutes before tonight’s kick off which will hopefully be the only time the gullibles will be be in full bigot mode as Liverpool should hopefully take 3+ off them this week.
They had joy they had fun…
Oh Ibrox (not) in the sun
Liverpool 7 Huns 1
Young team pelting scousers with coins. That’ll teach any of them that think their clubs have links.
Like I said weeks ago when the print media referred to it as “Geo’s era” before a ball had been kicked by his team….he’ll be out on his “era” fairly soon methinks.
I believe they’ll have a difficult job writing a positive slant for tomorrow’s editions.
They’ll go with both equally bad, even though we’re close and they’re miles away.
At 1-0 they must have been dreaming of all the Rangers Magic, Celtic Tragic, Rangers top European team etc stories they could write.
Not so now, which is a shame. 😉
God’s a Tim…just watched “them” getting their arrses handed to them by Liverpool and well on their way to a record “worst exit” from the Champions League…zero points, 1 goal scored and goal difference of -15—MINUS 15…and still two humpings to come from Napoli and Ajax.
The Daily Scrotum takes great delight in dissecting Ange’s tactics and the team’s performance when they lose….let’s see how they polish this turd. I thought I felt bad with our result yesterday, but who’d want to be a hun today? The staunch loyal fans were leaving the stadium in their droves with 15 minutes left. They were lucky this was an “under performing” Liverpool team.
This doesn’t erase our poor results, but at least we don’t need to hide indoors tomorrow. GIRFUT.
Napoli away next and then a pissed off Ajax at Ayebrokes 😀
10 minutes before the game …
81 minutes into the game …
I just saw the headline on BBC Sport “6 minute Salah treble inspires Liverpool” what a very kind headline. Where is “Rangers humiliated at home” “rangers outclassed” “ manager must go” etc? “Need to change game plan” I’m waiting SMS?
To make their night complete the loss of Goldson, who could be out long term, will be a crushing blow as that defence will be very vulnerable without him. Once they drop 5-6 points behind us in the league Gio is likely to get his jotters. But who gives a toss about the monkeys fae Ibrox? Fukkem, let them wallow in their own misery. We’ve got enough problems of our own to sort out and a lot of serious challenges ahead, starting with Hibs at the weekend. Got to be a lot more clinical up front, battle harder in midfield and iron out our errors at the back. Hope to see Jota and Abada back on the field very soon.