The Get Out of Jail Card
Firstly,apologies from Mahe and myself for the lack of a new article over the weekend. I was in London on Saturday for a wee sesh with my nephew followed by a visit to my local to watch yesterday’s match,while Mahe was visiting friends. Each of us thought the other had Saturday’s article covered!
Yesterday saw an absorbing game,which is about the only decent word I can think of to describe it. But before I do,allow FAN-A-TIC to give his opinions on it.
*CELTIC: Bain; Toljan, Lustig, Ajer, Tierney; Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Johnston, Sinclair; Edouard
Subs: De Vries, Benkovic, Hayes, Henderson, Weah, Burke, Bayo.
Looks like Lennon has reacted to recent performances and decided to play a more positive team.
In Johnston,Sinclair and Forrest we have 3 wingers so interesting to see who will support Ed?
Also seems like a team with an eye on next season with Burke,Weah and Benkovic on the bench.
Scrappy start but at least a positive approach.
9minutes great one-two with McGregor and Johnston leads to a good save from McG shot.
13 – lovely over the top ball by McG to Ed falls to JF but he shoots over.Poor effort.
Madden is up to his old tricks ignoring dangerous tackles .
17- stonewall penalty denied as SS is clearly pulled back in box.
Brown shoots goalie spills SS shot blocked and Ed shot well saved.
Lack of leadership at back is allowing Dundee to much space.
Someone has to assume role.
Our corners are just awful.
JF volley blocked then cleared.
We are are entertaining but not incisive enough due to our habit of hitting the last third then hesitating..
40- SS shot saved by keeper.
44 Bain makes great one on one save after Lustig and Ajer ballwatching.
MJ not playing badly but the central area is too crowded and more than once we have got in each others way.
Second half starts and SS curls a shot just wide on 48 minutes.Corner given.
Pretty poor with no real purpose or shape
58 Hayes for MJ.Strange substitution.
73 Lustig volley easily saved.
Ajer off and Benkovic on.
In this half JF has been dreadful and SS invisible.
77 Weah on for Toljan.
Not much threat especially from our truly awful corners.
6 mins added.
Will Dundees feigning injury and time wasting come back to haunt them.
95 minutesJF finally appears and cuts back to Ed who started move to score.
How many goals would Ed have with decent service?
96 encouraged by his previous play JF hits the bar from Weah pass.
Lennon goes nuts at final whistle.
Thankful for the points but that was poor.
I have stated previously that Lennon lacks tactical acumen and seems reliant on our better players digging out results.
Today clearly showed this.
KT no longer adds anything in an attacking sense and looks hesitant in tackle.What has happened to him?
The defense clearly had no idea who was responsible for what.
A better opponent would have made us pay
Toljan was the best of the bunch and unlucky to be subbed.
Johny Hayes put in a good shift and should be given time.
Bain is excellent.
Our hopeful punts were depressing for a team with plenty of skill.
Still the points are in the bag and title inching closer.
And now mine,I had few strong complaints about the line-up,given our well-documented injury problems,and it was good to see Callum McGregor return to action. Possibly the employment of three wingers in Sinclair,Forrest and Johnstone was a trifle optimistic,not to say confusing for the players in question and the rest of the team. Add in two full-backs who like to overlap and you can see a potential for problems.
The surfeit of wingers provided another problem,namely a shortage in midfield. Relying on Broonie,who is beginning to look like the close season can’t come soon enough,and a returning-from-injury Callum,and you can see why our game plan was to get the ball forward as quickly as possible.
Michael Johnston is having a brutal run of games to be selected in,rarely being seen in his favoured role out wide in the team,and often in potentially difficult games. I’d be inclined to give him a run in home games against the likes of St Mirren,Hamilton,etc-and in his favoured slot. He’s not a bad player but he is rarely given the chance to prove he is a good one!
He wasn’t the only player not to shine,not by a long way. Ajer and Lustig didn’t click at the back,Toljan and Tierney-who actually looked to be struggling physically-barely made a telling run all day. McGregor started brightly but faded as the game wore on,and Broonie struggled to cover,especially in the second half,on a number of occasions when Dundee broke forward.
Our front men flattered to deceive for most of the day,and it would have been a brave man who ventured round to the bookies to bet in play with 85 minutes gone. Of course,the remaining time was more than doubled-much to my surprise!-when Madden added on SIX minutes due to injuries and substitutions,and it was then that we scored.
Eddy got the ball inside the box,fed Forrest on his left,who cut it back across goal for Eddy to slot into the net. The relief was as great as the joy,most of us had thought by then that we had walked once more into the open door left to us by Sevco’s draw the previous day! I know I didn’t cheer the goal,delighted as I was. It was more of an “Aw,Hallelujah!” reaction. And I wasn’t alone.
But it should never have come to this. Some heavy-duty industrial tackling by the home team was punished by a shocking SIX free-kicks and one booking against them. One tackle,about fifteen minutes in,could easily have led to a red card,but Madden saw absolutely nothing wrong with it and waved play on! This was a recurring theme throughout the match,including another howler on our right side late on. Near the corner of the box,it could have provided us with another opportunity to put a dangerous ball into their box,but since we had failed to do that thus far,despite twelve corners,it probably saved one of our players further embarrassment. And it had all started so well,we genuinely looked capable of scoring every time we went up the park in the first half,only to be denied repeatedly by the Dundee keeper and some less-than-quality finishing. Not so in the second half,where we barely looked capable of opening them up,despite laying siege to their penalty area.
Though sadly not their goal!
Would it have been different had Madden given us the penalty when Sinclair was brought down in the box? A tug on the shirt collar as you burst past your man is a foul even in rugby,ffs! It was as clear a penalty as you will see-and he saw it alright! Say what you like about him,and we did plenty of it in the pub yesterday,you can rarely fault his positioning. He didn’t give the penalty because he simply didn’t want to give it. There’s a word for that,and it isn’t refereeing.
With less than twenty minutes gone at the time,we would have seen a different game as Dundee were forced to open up and attack us.
I got the firm impression that the home team weren’t so much interested in getting a point as in denying us two points. And I’ll tell you what,if they had shown as much determination and resolve during the rest of the season as they did yesterday,they wouldn’t be in the mess that they are in now. Which is definitely not to their credit.
Still,three points and a ten point lead,and I would have taken that at the start of the weekend. So all in all,a successful weekend,as the history books will show. Which will do for me!
Above match reviews by FAN-A-TIC and BMCUWP. During the international break,we will be presenting you with the occasional Most Memorable Matches. You can provide us with one of your own-or an article on any other topic-for publication by mailing Mahe on
PS-a young fella down the pub yesterday suggested I give the following site a try. Good suggestion,Matt-now get posting on here!