Flat Track Bullies and a Puncher’s Chance.
It’s never easy writing an article after a bad result,and that was definitely a bad result. But then,Fergus McCann always liked to remind us that it is not always easy being a Celtic supporter,but it is always worthwhile. And I’ll tell you something else,this mineshafting lark isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either-where’s the pleasure in being miserable when you’re right-because we’ve been beaten as forecast-and miserable when you’re wrong-because nobody likes to be wrong,even if the team win?!!!
I declared myself quite satisfied with the window just gone,as it filled a couple of immediate holes in the team,although I pointed out that it largely left the problems in defence untouched. Well,I was having a cyber-blether with Tooting Tim last night-I really must pop over for beer with him and the troops soon!-and he made a point about our defence that I had somehow overlooked.
Yes,Toljan is new to the side,we all knew that. But the others have been around for a while,and even Scott Bain has been racking up the appearances for us. But how often had ANY of them played together? And as a unit I think this was only the second time. That looked allover the case as they looked allover the place on a few occasions,not just the goals. They weren’t defending as a unit,weren’t playing to a line. The Valencia forwards couldn’t believe their luck as our defenders were continually caught out of position,or in possession,daydreaming or simply “having an off night”
All at the same bloody time,just our luck!
I made the point to THE EXILED TIM during the previous article that our players weren’t passing to the opposition,it just looked that way! In Scotland,we are used to having our opponents playing on the back foot,crowding their area with successive banks of four or five. What we are NOT used to is an opponent anticipating our pass,and being prepared for it on his front foot,nipping in and intercepting before it can reach the intended recipient. That it happened so often in dangerous areas for us was no accident-that was the result of good scouting and coaching.
And when they broke,they broke like lightning. Our midfield had little chance of harrying them,they were over the hill and far away by the time we realised we had had our pockets picked. Yet we could easily have done it to them,we have been banging a drum relentlessly in recent weeks about our surfeit of pace up front,yet we never seemed to be able to put ourselves in a position to use it. Not once did I see a ball out wide for James or Jeremy on the right to run on to at full pelt,not once did I see a ball out wide for Scott or Izzy to run on to at full pelt.
And not once did I see it played over the top for Ollie to give their defenders nightmares by beating them for pace and having a clear run on goal. I don’t think any of that changed with the substitutions either.
Overall,I’m very disappointed in the result and in the display. That we are putting out fairly disjointed sides on a regular basis due to injuries and signing policies is really no excuse-we know the situation and we failed to maximise our chances on the big occasion.
Again,because just as you all think Mahe and I throw these articles together,I could really have saved you all a lot of time-and myself a lot of effort-by reminding you all of what SETTING FREE THE BEARS said SEVEN months ago on CQN,and here-at my request-less than two weeks ago.
Last night proved once again that we are where we are. And no happyclapping or mineshafting is gonna make a blind bit of difference. We are flat track bullies,and didn’t get near to landing a blow last night. For a puncher to have a chance,he has to at least throw a bloody punch!
Above by BMCUWP.