Sarajevo 1 – 3 Glasgow Celtic
It was hot , humid , hostile , but it wasnt to be Hell .
The Mighty Glasgow Celtic walk away victorious to leave an impression on a second class Sarajevo that couldn’t hang in there with a better class of player once we found a bit of rhythm.
In a throwback stadium with a hardy partizan vocal crowd despite the downfall it should have been clear that we would face “ fully committed “ players as such a crowd in that city would accept no less.
Hard places breed hard people,,and hard people are likely to not be happy should they see their players not give it all for them once they put that strip on.
Its a demand even if you are technically outclassed or happen to lose.
You fight,,and as such it was never going to be easy so well done to the Hoops to get that tricky away negotiated .
The main thing here was to not get beaten and hopefully score away,,with the result being more important that the performance and so it was to be.
The first game is no time to judge players, but you can look for hints at what is to come in the future such as selection and shape / tactics .
The players have hardly had a break or are new , there will be plenty time yet to judge them as the season progresses.
The starting eleven contained Bitton and possible surprise Mikey Johnson with Mbombo getting a debut to remember indeed.
Im delighted the centrebacks pairing wasnt messed around with for Julien meaning Kris and Jozo walked out together once again the towers at the back with Bitton given a defence role which will surely go to the starting right back we havent landed yet.
Boli seemed to have a great engine and loved going forward, caught a few times the other way.
The middle of the park seen Broonie and Calmac deep , and old favourite that has issues , with Christie thrown wide left and James right as usual.
The top two floated as thats the type of player they are. Griff is more a classic striker than both.
Our style of play seemed to be quick tempo passing which on that surface and with the rain was ballsy , mingled with a pressing game that worked for the most part.
The home team kept having to resort to punts and channel balls and were fortunate that the defence threw a goal at them in what was admittedly a nervy night at the back sometimes.
Big Jules might bring a lot of calm and surely he will be a starter at that age and price tag but a settled back four would help any nervy nights be a rarity ( usually ) and at the actual goal I didnt think our Captain covered himself in glory .
Mikey’s goal paid back every penny of the faithfuls travel expenses though.
Another thing of beauty she flew high and proud into the back of the net still rising and the young man has surely earned himself a starting berth for a few games. I’m delighted at that,,he has talent galore and it shows more youth a path,plus the faithful love a youngun.
Our other striker got on the score sheet with a classic great close control for a big man goal after a couple challenges just couldnt stop him,,the usual really and he’s back in business already ! The big man is quality,,him and Mikey a partnership? Good start to it.
Sinky with a right time right place deft finish rounded off a nice in the rain to avoid away pain.
Good man Scotty, yer a player I didnt expect to see around this season and if he is going to then maybe Lenny can get a tune outta him .
Slight negatives would be Boli Mbombo leaving the field injured , though Hayes is fit and available.
The axis in the centre doesnt seem the best although that looks like being worked on plus young Luca has joined us ,, Ewan also has shown talent there. It needs rejigged in the centre and its good to know it will be.
Bitton isnt a right sided defender despite the result. Hopefully thats his one time slotting in there.
We missed that out ball ol Mik gave us and yes it was strange not seeing him there wasn’t it !
Positives are its done , lovely jubbly now its home for a few goals and lets see a new bhoy or two given a run out for a wee taster of whats to come.
Both strikers scored,,always nice and a hat tip to the manager imo for going with two when a win the battle midfield would have been easy.
Hat tip also for going with Mikey.
You’ll win everything with kids.
Overall Well done , job done. Good start to the season.