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Celtic Diary Sunday July 5: Calm Down Dear, It’s Only A Friendly

Pre season friendlies are not the most important games you’ll ever watch.

Which, given Celtic’s good hiding at the hands of Dukla Prague yesterday, is probably a good thing.

Ronny Deila won’t have learned much about his players, or formations, or even who he is prepared to offload. Nothing in the game would have changed his mind about any long term plans he might have, except maybe that Deydrick Boyata needs to stop getting in everyone’s way.

And we probably need another goalkeeper. Leo Fasan shows promise, but he’s not ready to step into the first team should anything happen to Craig Gordon.

Celtic were comfortably beaten by a better side 5-3, and never looked like winning, or even making a game of it. The Czechs were way ahead in fitness, cohesion and ability, and seemed to be capable of scoring at will.

The hoops never got going, and weren’t exactly out of sorts, but there was the feeling that they have a way to go before the visit of Icelandic champions Stjarnan next week.

Still, if nothing else, the game was a reality check, and everyone now knows exactly what needs to be done.

I had to feel for John Collins, when ronny turned to him and asked

” What the fuck have you been doing with them all week ? ”

Anyway, at least we know where we are now.

Ronny didn’t blame anyone in particular, but had a few words to say afterwards;

 “Defensively we didn’t play well. We lost the ball far too easily and they got past us.

“We scored a couple of nice goals and created some chances but defensively we were a big distance from where we normally are.

“We were always half a metre behind but we have to give credit to Dukla. It was a good test.

“You could see some players are behind others in terms of sharpness. But I have to fix these problems in 10 days and we can do that.

“The Stjarnan coach saw some possibilities today – but he will see a different Celtic team.

“We can’t play like this or we will have big problems whoever we play, whether it isSt Johnstone, Stjarnan or Barcelona.

“I’m happy with what we have defensively. It’s not about quality, it’s about sharpness. We need to win the ball quicker. But we would also like to get another keeper because we need three.”

Even playing three keepers yesterday probably wouldn’t have helped.

 Though I have to say it was somewhat immature of Deila and Colllins  to adopt the ” Barry Ferguson ” style of dealing with criticism;

Image result for ronny deila v Dukla Prague

Overall, the manager was realistic about the game;

We met a good team today. We had a good test and we have a lot of things to work on. But there are lots of things we have to forget as well, as you know when the sharpness returns that we will not come up with a situation like we did today.

“This is good, though, as we want to play good teams and stretch ourselves. Dukla Prague had played four games before they played us and had more matches under their belt and you could see that today. We will use video analysis to get the players aware of they did well and what they can do better.” 

Ronny will now take the squad  away for a couple of days to a training camp where he can kick their heads fucking heads in.

Of course, he was a little more diplomatic about that;

“We have had good exercise and haven’t used a lot of time travelling which is a positive.

“It’s going to be good to have a couple of days away. We have a couple of new players and we can get all the players connected which is important.

“Having a couple of days together is the most important thing now. We will enjoy them and then will have a big training week ahead of the Real Sociedad game.”

Runar Pall Sigmundsen, the manager of Stjarnan, was at the game, and  it’s unlikely he will have learned anything he didn’t already know, he said;

 “We know Celtic is just starting their pre-season and we know they are a very good team, with great players and a great coach, It’s good for us to see how they are trying to play.

“There is a very big gap between the teams – this is our first time in the Champions League. We are semi-professional – our players don’t have great salaries.” 

We like to play in Europe It’s a great feeling for everyone around the club and we will enjoy the moment. Everyone needs to have the game of their lives for us to get a result.

“There is always a chance in football. We know it will be very difficult but we are optimistic. We believe in our team and in our system.”

Or, as the Sun interpreted it;

EXCLUSIVE: 'You don’t scare us' Stjarnan boss Runar Pall Sigmundsson warns Euro rivals Celtic   

Should we be worried ?

Probably not.

There’s one big difference in the way the two sides approached the game, illustrated by this, from the Dukla Praha website;

FK Dukla Praha

Celtic Glasgow

28′  Griffiths • 43′  Mackay-Steven • 83′  Dijk
konec zápasu

FK Dukla Praha

14′  Hanousek • 36′  Hanousek • 49′  Hanousek • 59′  Mareš • 85′  Přikryl
Gordon (46. Fasan) – Lustig (46. Fisher), Boyata (46. Ambrose), Mulgrew (62. Tierney), Izaguirre (62. Stokes) – Brown, Rogic (46. van Dijk) – Forrest (70. Donnely), Johansen, Mackay-Steven (62. Henderson) – Griffiths (70. Scepovic).
Rada – Gedeon, Berger, Mareš, Matěj Hanousek, Marek Hanousek, Štetina, Beauguel, Považanec (60. Néstor), Jeřábek, Jurendič.

Notice how many players they used…

One player in particular caught the eye, Marek Hanousek, who scored three times and laid on another. That prompted a wave of “sign him up ” by some sections of the on line support,

Those three goals took his career total to , er , eighteen. From 117 games.

So, it looks like we’ll be stuck with Nadir Ciftci, who , along with his agent, the former Celt Pierre van Hooijdonk. Van Hooijdonk has probably matured a little since his “seven grand a week is good if you are homeless ” jibe, and is by all accounts a very nice chap these days.

But he’s not one of my favourites. He treated Celtic, and Fergus McCann, who plucked him from obscurity so he could moan about his wages and go back to obscurity, with little more than contempt, and there’s a kind of poetry in that he represents the thouroughly distasteful Ciftci.

 Whoever it is who scouts our strikers has to get one right sooner or later. This may be his last chance, and it seems odd he’s gone for one with so much baggage.

Maybe the feeling is that having spotted so many duds overseas, the time has come to pick what he thinks is the best of the bunch available domestically.

 Or maybe the time has come to pick someone else to run the rule over forwards.

Gary Hooper is available on loan. If we haven’t already, we should be at least sounding him out about a move back. Get Commons and his missus on the case.

 We know that the manager is big on team spirit. Ciftci, and his agent , think that’s a song by Nirvana.

Whilst the Turk may score goals, and may “bully ” the opposition defenders, his attitude and personality don’t make  “Celtic player ” come easily to mind.

 Meanwhile, social media let fly at Charlie Mulgrew after he failed to shine yesterday. Celtic fans will always need a scapegoat, and now that Adam Matthews has gone, the baton has passed to the likeable big utility player.

 Who, somewhat unfortunately, was on the back page of the paper this morning;

Embedded image permalink

Probably not the best timing.

Mulgrew is an important part of the squad. Ronny knows this, and so therefore he will have a part to play this season. Not as a regular first teamer, but as cover for the midfield, the left back , the centre halfs…

 He’s experienced and capable. But then again, one duff game in a friendly and your career is over.

On that basis, we’d be getting rid of everybody.

 I was a little disappointed with a recent poll. Far too close for comfort;

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Celtic being only a fraction more popular than a club that no longer exists due to financial misadventure, cheating, tax dodging, institutional bigotry and racism has left me questioning my own values.

I suppose it is possible to remain popular after death. after all, there was a big feature on Dracula actor Christopher Lee in the Sun when he passed away recently.

Oddly enough, he didn’t appear in the Mirror.

I’m here all week. Try the veal, etc.

Nw, they haven’t had much to cheer about over Ibrox way recently. Sure , they had their we walkabout yesterday, but the raindances held all over Timland seem to have worked, and for the second time this year their little get togethers have been cleansed by the holy rain.

So I thought i’d cheer them up, with a memory of a time gone by, when all was rosy in the garden, when the moon was beaming down benevolently on their famous club;

Probably a bit of work still to be done, I suppose.

 Fridays picture of Scott Brown playing for Hibs prompted a few memories.

Anyone have any memories or stories of this guy, or his brothers ?

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8 years ago

Fat Pat.

Charlie Saiz
8 years ago

My thoughts on yesterday were this..
Dukla played really well looked like a team in full flow and already into their Season stride.
I thought the guy Mares was excellent and gave Lustig a hiding at right back though it has to be said he has been out for a very long time and it showed.
Same could be levelled at Izzy in the left back slot he like Lustig was caught so many times up the park it was becoming a joke.
His distribution at times was brutal seemingly unable to pass a ball 15′ to feet?
I thought Fasan had a shocker and looked very uncomfortable from the moment he came on.
Being culpable for their goal after we drew level certainly did not help his case mind.
Radislaw Cierzniak on a free anyone?
On a positive not I thought Ambrose Brown Rogic Forrest Mackay-Smiler Johansen and Griffiths all looked sharp,fit and hungry.
I also thought Fisher Tierney and Donnelly looked fine when they came on.
All wanting the ball and prepared to run with it at players which is what we want to see at this stage in their development.
It will be good to see Janko get a start he must have looked at Izzy and Lustig and thought yaldy I’m in here no danger.
The results in pre-season mean little it is purely a fitness and stamina exercise with a bit of competitive opposition flung in for good measure.
I rarely take any notice of the result and concentrate more on the individual performances at this early stage of the Season.
When the real stuff come we will be a far different proposition to any side that’s for sure.
On MUlgrew I think every side needs one or two Utility men these types ae hard to come by and can dig you out of an injury crisis should it arrive.
His delivery and range of passing is bette than most too at Celtic so he does have things to offer.
He’s one of only a few who can pick out a 40 yard diagonal ball to change the play in an instant and that is something you need against a stubborn defence.

8 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

Mulgrew! No foot speed (pace), no agility, no quickness. Lets not forget how well he can jump. Think I saw day light under his cleats once. Gets caught flat footed way to often then sticks out a leg and what do u know? PENALTY! Wants to finish his career at Celtic? His career is pretty much finished now. Delia says he is a hard worker. Could be. BUT, If you have very little athletic ability, you can work as hard as you want, but the results will not improve.

8 years ago

Pat McCluskey. A wee memory about him was him and Paul Wilson ‘guesting’ for a Combernauld Tryst staff team when my late father worked at the pool there. They were regulars there at the time. He and Paul were clearly moonlighting ant the Celtic coaching staff would have went apeshit had they known.

8 years ago

Had the misfortune to get caught in the walk on the High Street yesterday. Some of the sights were hilarious but what saddened me was there was a lot of respectable looking people there and a lot of kids decked out in colours. They can dress it up all they want but it’s a catholic hating organisation and to bring your kids up to hate anyone because of their faith is a disgrace! Will never get my head round it.

8 years ago
Reply to  Bhoris

I caught a late night taxi last night from the city centre, the driver asked if it was okay to take the motorway, I suggested Duke Street but he explained that he didn’t want to use Duke Street as they’d been fighting and causing trouble amongst one another outside the three bars (Alexandra, Louden & Bristol). A truly horrible hate filled organisation bigoted to the core.

8 years ago

C’mon Ralph , one duff game and your career over ? Let’s not crucify Charlie Mulgrew but by fuck his resurrection is long overdue ? One duff game , was it you who compared the new Hun cornerback to Dani Alves ? Last decent outing for Charlie was at CP against Ireland. As for 40 yard balls , your android TV box must have a 10 month ( live) delay . Samaras is gone ! Sutton and big Hartson are wonderful long gone memories, all players adept at controlling , keeping and laying off Mulgrew’s missiles .
Hope Charlie finds his fire again SOON,and Ralph , sober up or go for a cure.
2015/16 Treble Winners

Saint Marys Bhoy
8 years ago

Boris, i couldn’t agree with you more.

I was in glasgow city centre yesterday as i am about once a month with my 4 year old son.

Usually the atmosphere is friendly and positive.

Yesterday it was poisonous and intimidating.

I cannot comprehend why this drunken mob of bigots are still permitted by the authorities to do this.. Think we all know the reason why!

Sorry, i was going to speak about the football but had to get this off my chest.

I am so angry that my young son had to see grown men, children and women shout ftp continually, piss openly in the city centre and the good people of glasgow are supposed to turn a blind eye…..

8 years ago

‘Fat’ pat mcluskey served celtic very well in the 70’s . Versatile defender and big jock always seemed to rely on him even after he was involved in the Copenhagen fracas and banned from representing his country along with few others by the sfa mainly ernie walker in those days. Pat always reliable at slotting away spot kicks I also remember a 2-1 victory against St Johnstone at the old muirton park . Pat duly obliged with all three goals that day , two for us and even knocked in an own goal for saints. Yes pat mcluskey really was a true Tim very similar to his predecessor Jim brogan, a no nonsense hard tackler who wasn’t to be messed with . Remember him fondly

8 years ago

First:- I know it’s a weird kind of reverse logic, but I’d rather we lost and/or played badly in these friendly matches. Winning them all 3 or 4-0 would have us all carried away ( admit it guys) and maybe the players would get complacent going into the Champions qualifiers. I much prefer they get reminded that it’s very easy, but not acceptable, to let standards slip. It would be harder for Ronny to get more out of them if they thought they had already done enough in the friendlies.

Second:- Boris, you nailed it mate. Those are my feelings exactly. I’m now in a 95% Catholic country..I’d like tae se the bassas try a wee walk here.

Third:- How come the police don’t kettle them? Surely they are much more offensive than a bunch of wee boys going to a match? Bonnie Scotland?…indeed.

Fourth:- Ciftci is coming (cIFtci for Pensionerbhoy lol)…be afraid, be very afraid!! A good few of you will have to eat humble pie when he starts banging in the goals…I’ll remind you don’t worry!!! lol

salad gueen
8 years ago

Alvin Stardust.

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