A winning start

Sunshine, beautiful tifo, very strong bench, stands packed full of supporters in fine voice, an early goal.
Yesterday’s game had the potential to turn into a real spectacle, but it never happened.
Celtic werent scintillating, didn’t blow the Dandy Dons away, but accomplished the most important task in collecting all three points.
A winning start is important, well done Ange and the bhoys.


However a good performance delivers points and confidence. It’s a sign of the times many expect the team to win and play well, that was fast becoming the normal, and we heard about Ange’s teams becoming a better unit in his second year which added to the expectation of a real show from the Hoops.


Why did we not blow them away?
For starters they aren’t a bad team, workmanlike and defending in numbers, plus their defenders are big solid chaps who are happy getting their body between the ball and goal line.
Nine times out of ten they don’t concede that early Welsh goal. Each of the three taller stronger defenders seemed to leave it to the other two, their manager will be drilling them constantly to attack that ball and clean everyone out if need be.
It was a poor one to give away, cheap and unnecessary, but lady luck smiles upon us and our bhoy was in the right place at the right time. He was solid and scored, can’t ask for more from a backup player, full pass marks.


I don’t believe our team selection helped. The opening home game should be an attacking affair, the Hoops fully going for the jugular. That suggests playing your best attack minded players in an attacking system.
In that case it’s Bernabei over Taylor, and G-Mak before Kyogo for the variety of goals he can (and does) score. It’s notable that he had more chances per minute than his Japanese teammate. Kyogo prefers to run at defenders, and with the Dons sitting very deep, maybe the big bhoy leading the line was the better option.


Juranovich impressed me, but that has more to do with his composure on the ball and his reading of the game, often intercepting a pass. He wasn’t swashbuckling though did venture forward occasionally, similar to GT on the other side. Were our fullbacks playing with the handbreak on? Could they have offered more offensively?
Yes and yes, to these eyes anyway.


The victory didnt come through luck alone though. The team hustled and harried a lot, very intent on winning possession from those in red. Always a positive.
And we had a difference maker.


Jota was fantastic and my man of the match before he netted with that fabulous strike. Here, there, everywhere, he was a constant thorn in their side and by a mile the best player on the park.
We knew that, and that’s why we’ve shelled out the big bucks to capture his signature.
Quality players produce quality moments, and that’s exactly what happened to seal the three points.


But looking to Jota for a moment of magic isn’t a game plan. More savvy managers and teams would know how to negate his wizardry plus he could easily get injured.
In Europe the overall team shape and tactics are crucial,,we shall face clubs with a few difference makers and not just one.
To compete we must become more than the sum of our parts, which didn’t happen against the Dons.
We are in much better shape since Ange walked in the door, but must regain our match sharpness and quickly.


By Mahe

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Morning Mahe
Not in total agreement with your assessment, but certainly we concur on a few points.

Agree we didn’t blow the dons away. Jota Was fantastic but only intermittently.

Biggest disagreement is re Greg Taylor. Thought he had a vg match and deserved to start, based on the pre season performance of Barnabei.

I’d said in my post match assessment, prior to Ange repeating it in his, that we were wasteful in the final third, and Jota was indeed a major culprit, but we know, especially v the Dons ( who must be getting sick of the sight of him) he’s liable to do exactly what he did and find the target.

I was a big fan of Matt O’Reilly before yesterday and he cemented my view of him. We at last have a player who can accurately deliver a corner or set piece. He also has the ability to thread passes through a defence with quick thinking and he disguises those passes brilliantly. Won’t be a popular opinion I feel but he’s an improvement on Tom Rogic. I think he’ll be our POTY. He’s a bit lightweight I’d agree and not one for some of the blood and thunder matches we will encounter throughout the season but he’ll create and score plenty.

Thought young Welsh was absolutely solid yesterday too. Him and CCV look a decent pairing.

GMak and Kyogo will be trading places regularly throughout the season I suspect. Kyogo not at the races yesterday and was probably our weakest player imo.

It WAS though the opening match against a reasonably well organised side who’d been scoring for fun pre season and who will no doubt shape up better than they did last season. They could take a few points from our biggest rivals as they’ll be fitter when that tie comes around, and their manager admitted yesterday they tired v us having had to chase the ball for long periods.

As a curtain raiser yesterday I’d say we were 7/10.

I still remain concerned about Joe Hart’s positioning. On another day he was getting beat by a fekkin long clearance yesterday which fortunately drifted wide of our goal. He wasn’t getting to it had it been on target.


Have a blast on your holidays, If your lurking, this one is for you.
A joy to hear, the whole stadium singing it.



ha ha … nephews daughter recorded it at the game yesterday and sent it to her dad … he is 40 next week and still said he was nearly greeting listening to it

Cheers, just a few days away but main thing not having to log on to normality for a few weeks 🙂

Spent all day ironing clothes yesterday for wife & daughter just to fling them into their suitcases this morning

Will enjoy these daft euro qualifiers this week knowing we can worry about Europe come September

By the way, great picks on Sencel POTY 🙂


Bobby 2.03am

Just read your post 🙂

One of my best mates is a “shouter” when it comes to the horses, he can have a quid or £100 on a horse and still shouts the exact same…. a really quiet and polite person until horses & Celtic are involved then he becomes a mad raving lunatic ….

Right better go … great start to the season long may it continue

Prestonpans bhoys

Can’t complain about that opening game, the sheep had a game plan and it failed. Bernabei is an unknown quality and chucking in the first game would not be my tactical choice moreover wee Taylor played very well.

Agree with Twisty about Harty bhoy, I have said it here or the other channel he’s way way far too out. We had loads of sheep fans in the bar who were pleasant enough but as my daughter said, save judgement until they enter the ground. Proved right, I pointed out previously there seems to be a competition between them, huns and hertz for the most vile songs.

Lastly we enjoyed the day experience so much our bus decided to extended it and bursted a tyre on the M74 going home. Replacement bus arrived and we eventually got home at 10pm😕😱



Seems GT is destined to split the opinions of the support in a way not seen since,perhaps,Tommy Callaghan. Yet the greater part of complaints about him is his height-and we signed someone shorter!

I put him in the top three submitted to JOBO yesterday. He was one of our most consistent players last season,and I pointed that out often. It won’t change anyone’s mind though. And it doesn’t have to. Every time he is picked,he is picked by the only man whose opinion matters.

Re Matt,we should be putting a new contract to him.

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends. Top of the league looking down on the Sevco and the August sun is shining warm and bright in ole EK. Lifes Good!
Oh and 59 emails already sent with your valid yet varied opinions on yesterdays top 3 performers. Remember to join in the fun at sencelpoty@gmail.com
Aff oot for a walk…..



Sheep in the pub,but a different animal in the ground?


I posted yesterday about Joe Hart not getting near the high punt that thankfully went wide.

I’m sure I read about him saying he felt uncomfortable playing so far up the park when we are attacking. He added that Ange instructs him to do it and he’s getting more used to it.
Be interesting to see Siegrist‘s positioning when he plays.


Good morning all. HH


Morning all,

Enjoyable day yesterday and great atmosphere into the bargain.

Regarding Joe Hart, obviously he has been given instructions to move up the park to get involved when we have the ball. I think it’s a good idea, in principle, as it gives us that extra man, thus freeing up an extra defender, to receive the ball and initiate an attack.

Trouble is, if we lose possession it leaves us wide open to the big,bad lob !!!!!
Still seems this is what Ange wants and we need to trust him and Joe of course.

No doubt we will inevitably lose a goal or 2, but will this system playing from the back, mean we create more chances ???

Time will tell. !!!

Celtic, especially Jota and JJ, please wait till we’re 3 or 4 up before Showboating with the fancy flicks etc 😜

HH 🍀🍀🍀

Prestonpans bhoys

I’m not convinced that playing Joe so far out is a good idea. I think we all agree that his foot work is not his main asset. Does Ange think he can develop this at Joe’s age. Concentrating on someone’s weakest skill set is commendable if its a reasonable target.

Reminds me of being in charge of a finance branch and Personnel Management offered me a clerical officer who, from their previous reports, obviously couldn’t count. I asked why I had been offered this candidate the above paragraph was the answer. My reply was thanks but no thanks, if you can’t count in your late twenties then its not going to all come together😱



Last year,I watched Scotland v Czech Republic. I was in Oxford with my mate,Ian,and his girlfriend,Sally.

David Marshall got done,and rather superbly too. I just shrugged my shoulders while Ian raged at him. Pointed out that a goalkeeper only strays that far from his goal if he is so instructed by his manager.

Yes,the keeper looks like a moron-but it is rarely his fault. He has to follow instructions.

Now,I happen to think that Joe is an excellent addition to our recent litany of top class keepers. He was England’s No1 for a good while,before Guardiola arrived at Man City and asked him to do something that he could not do. He is a goalkeeper. Not a sweeper. In fact,he will probably admit to not being a good footballer at all-but a bliddy brilliant keeper!

WHEN,and it will happen,he is done by a long lob,it will not be his fault. Ange has given us a lot in his first year,and we are all so grateful-and more!-for that. But nearly sixty years ago,Jock was telling us that you don’t tell players to do what they cannot do,to play where they cannot play.

It’s horses for courses,maybe aye. But Joe is simply not comfortable in that role.






I know what your saying and it is Cardiac arrest material when Joe gets the ball but, as I said earlier, only time will tell and at this point I’ve got to trust Ange and Joe.

Wonder how many goals we score or let in when Joe has the ball and starts a move from near the halfway line ?????

Strap yourself in and have a defibrillator handy 😜😜😜



Yep. I’m sure the other keeper will follow suit. No choice I guess given what you were saying Joe was told to do. I wasn’t aware of that ( though I guessed it would be under instructions) so thanks for confirmation.

St tams

On his performance yesterday, I think Welsh deserves an extended run in the team. Even when Starfelt is fit
I’ve also noticed in pre season games and yesterday that Kyogo looks well off it . Would start with GG on Saturday.
On the Greg Taylor debate , I had him in my top 3 yesterday, although I still believe that he’s not the answer at left back and not sure about Bernabei on what I have seen if him. Although he may come good.


Hart’s positioning is an interesting situation. Firstly, it is commendable that the manager is prepared to be innovative even if his idea is controversial.

Secondly, we need to ask if this is something he intends to apply in Europe? Others have pointed out the dangers if we lose the ball. Our ability to hold possession will be different in the CL versus domestically. Domestically we shall dominate possession against most teams so the risk is minimised. In other words, domestically we shall probably get away with it without it affecting too many games. The Dons are likely to be amongst the top three teams in Scotland outside Sevco and Celtic. Even they could not exploit Hart’s positioning so it is unlikely, but possible, to affect our league challenge.

The question has to be asked, though. If we dominate possession anyway, why take the risk? We should be good enough to win most games domestically!

Looking at the game yesterday, I did not see any great advantage to playing Hart so high. If there was one, it was usually negated by the slow build up from the back, mainly CCV and Welsh.

So, where does that leave us? Is the tactic designed for the CL? Is that Ange’s thinking?

I have been wrong many times, e.g. in my assessment of Taylor and GG, but this looks like a disaster in the making. Hope I am wrong…..again.



Reading through tinternet there and came across these ratings from the express:

Agree with most but not all. You can decide for yourselves which ones you agree or disagree with. Be interesting to see how these match up v Jobo’s final result.

CELTIC ratings
Joe Hart 7 – Didn’t have too much to deal with but made a good save with ten to go from a Polvara effort.
Josip Juranovic 8 – A busy afternoon down the line, providing plenty of deliveries but often no takers. Celtic’s final ball wasn’t the best but the Croatian played well.
Cameron Carter-Vickers 7 – A cool performance from the defender despite some initial threat from Miovski.

Stephen Welsh 8 – Great start for the defender knocking a powerful header home. Little to contend with defensively some Dons chances.
Greg Taylor 6 – A workman’s showing from him, but could have had better options at times.
Callum McGregor 7 – A strong showing from the captain, making some important challenges and spreading the ball well.
Matt O’Riley 9 – A smart performance with a few chances unlucky not to be converted. Looked flawless on the ball at times.

Reo Hatate 8 – Picked up a lot of good space and linked up with forwards well.
Jota 9 – Another mesmerising display at times and was involved in all things attacking for Celtic, got his due reward with a stunning strike to top off the win.
Kyogo 6 – Always a live option but often found his chances saved or blocked in the first half, with Stewart dealing with him well. Replaced with twenty to go.

Daizen Maeda 8 – An energetic start from him down the wings but couldn’t quite get in the right spot for a few chances, an all-round good display.
Giorgos Giakoumakis 7 – Plenty of energy coming off the bench and made a difference. Missed a big chance with five minutes to go, dragging wide.
Liel Abada 6 – Was involved in a few late attacks, always offering an option.
David Turnbull 6 – A few sublime passes and could have added to the scoreline.
Anthony Ralston 5 – Solidified the result in the last ten minutes.
Aaron Mooy 5 – Played out the last ten with no issues


Totally agree.

I recall one instance when Joe was quick to come out and intercept a through ball but as you say, for the vast majority of the match, given where the action was concentrated, it seemed unnecessary.
I should add I’m very happy with Joe Hart. Been a terrific addition. As well as his shot stopping ability he seems to be a very positive influence on the team. ( a good team mate as WGS referred to often) .
Like you, and a few others though, it seems an inevitability it’ll cost us. Vg point you make about Europe.
If opposing managers are doing their homework it’s a certainty someone will be attempting to beat him from distance.

If thst does happen, it’ll be even more interesting to see what Ange’s reaction to is and whether he’ll rethink it? Unless of course he’s already one step ahead of us and will alter it for European matches.

Twisty totally agree regards Matt o Reilly clever player but not wanting to get involved as you say in the blood and thunder will stop him from being a great , unfortunately we have others in the same mould . We are also needing to put the foot through the ball more often instead of trying to walk the ball into the net . We are an excellent team but a few wee nip and tucks needed . most of us yesterday expected us to blow them away especially with the early lead , still first game back 3 points on the board , clean sheet that will do for starters , but we badly need a ball winner in the midfield to protect our tanner baw players .

The Fenian Whaler

Still think we need a quality def middy in order for us to at least compete in Europe. Big Joe playing a dual role of Keeper & Def middy isn’t going to work against quality opposition, you know it, I know it and I’m almost certain Ange knows it. Which leads to the +£30 mill question – why haven’t we invested some of the incoming CL money on a proper quality defensive middy yet?

Who knows with the continued fleecing of the support by the PLC with yet another ‘kit’ released, feckin’ horrendous it is also IMHO, perhaps they’ll have cash enough to further invest in the squad. If you or your kids want the entire ensemble of this season’s shirts it will set you back almost £200🤑🤑😲. How do we let them get away with it🤔 F*ck the Tories indeed



The Express is not a paper that I rate, largely because of its Political stance but I could say that of most old media. Perhaps sports coverage is more open and accurate.

Having said that, I do have some issues with the ratings. Mainly Maeda and Taylor. I would not rate Maeda so highly. He has very poor ball control and this negates the advantage that his speed brings. No point being fast if you cannot control the ball. His work rate, tho, is fantastic.

Taylor was outstanding yesterday. He was almost a box to box midfielder. His decision making is much improved. To rate him as a six is a mystery and probably is based on previous perceptions of him rather than what he did yesterday.

Ralston merited more than five even only for his crosses into the box.

Otherwise I could buy the ratings.



I know there is a lot of talk re a defensive mid but I have to say I am sitting on the fence. If we signed one who would he replace? Hatate, Calmac or O’Riley? Unlikely to be the captain, isn’t it?

Or would Ange totally rejig from his 433 to a 4 in the middle with 442? Perhaps, he would emulate Livingston with a 4141 with the addition playing as the first “1” in that formation? All this seems like too much surgery to accommodate a defensive player….too much for Ange’s attack philosophy.

On the other hand, when the Dons ventured out they did move through our midfield like a hot knife through butter. Fortunately, they have little punch, but better teams will!

Going to stop now because my head hurts! A wee voice tells me Mooy is how Ange sees this issue being resolved given the timing of his signing.



Again, I agree. Taylor played really well yesterday. A six is undeserving.

I didn’t t think Hatate was an eight yesterday, but I know quite a few rated him as such.

One man’s meat and all of that.

Jim, yes, nips and tucks indeed. We’re getting there. I think Ange is promoting a real positivity amongst the support. He’s trusted by the majority as a guy who sees pretty much the same as we do, and will not stop. A catchphrase has never been more apt. He never stops.


The Fenian Whaler
I think it’s starting to look unlikely we will be spending big on anyone else. You’re bang on, fir Europe, that’ll hurt!!

bada bing1

The live version of Grace pre match, was quite magnificent


Interesting read. Ty.


Jobo Baldie

Delighted that over 60 folk have already voiced their opinions. But I bet there’s loads more posters and lurkers that would like their opinions to count. An email with the name of your 3 best performers yesterday to sencelpoty@gmail.com
Poll closes at 10pm
Hail Hail


I think some of those Express ratings are very generous and some rather mean.
Late subs aside my feeling was that was a 6/7 performance across the park.
No player deserved a 5 or 8 plus.
To get a 9 you need to stand out for 90 mins – none did so yesterday.

Out tendency to take too many touches in and around the box allowed Aberdeen to get bodies in the way, and became a frustration.

Fortunately Ange is too practical and hard to please not to look for improvement on yesterday.

Positives are we scored from a set piece and shooting from outside the box should be mandatory training this week.

Decent start, but can do much better.

Prestonpans bhoys


Thanks for the link, very insightful. Bhoy knows his limitations but willing to learn, adapt and give 100%.

That whole piece tells you everything you need to know about Hartybhoy’s attitude and commitment.

How we see games different, i thught was poor first half better second and a stunning goal.Taylor for me was motm followed by the two cb’s.


Afternoon all,

Some great opinions on here and that’s why Jobo’s POTY will be so interesting.

After the game, ( 8 of us in the pub, and we all could not agree on a top 3 )

Roll on 10.00pm tonight 😜😜

Still think my top 3 of


Will be hard to beat. !!!!!!!! 💚💚💚


It does indeed show how we see things differently. It’s good to see opinions vary.

I think consensus seems to be we were around a 6.5 yesterday on average. Glimpses of 7&8 here and there with a few 5’s for good measure.

Yesterdays level would probably win us most of the 34 games outside of Newco,

That same paper that rated us as per my post above rated the Sevco match too with an average of 6.5 v the 6.9 it afforded us. From what I seen of their game, that’s generous!

I maintain it’ll be the 4 matches v them that’ll be key this term. I think we have more goalscorers in our side than them, the better midfielders and the better squad. Defensively, prior to the weekend, I’d have said they were stronger. Having seen them on Saturday, I don’t believe that to be so. Thought Souttar was rotten. Their final delivery was deplorable too. So many aimless crosses. Livvy could’ve , and should’ve went two up.

Interesting season ahead. We can hopefully put a maker down v them on September 3rd.


I went Welsh O’Reilly and Jota. Had Jota not struck that sensational goal, I’d have gone Taylor in his place.



I’m Taylor’s biggest critic but thought he did very well yesterday.

O’Reilly had great first half but faded in the second.

For me, if you score, big kudos points 👍

Hence Welsh, but could have been CCV or even Turnbull who I thought did very well when he came on.

Opinions are great, hence Jobo’s POTY is well worth a look.

HH. 🍀🍀🍀


Anyone know the score from the women’s euro final yesterday, haven’t seen any mention of it today 🙃😀


Sorry can’t help. I’ve not watched any TV today. Tried radio for about 10 minutes and gave up. Been catching up on my reading.



In alphabetical order! I went
Jota, Taylor, Welsh. All 7’s I’d say😀


I thought the Huns huffed n puffed their way to a victory.
They had more possession than we did but hardly troubled the Livi keeper in the hour or so I saw.
Main tactic seems to be hit as many crosses as possible into the box and hope for the best. Didn’t realise their new guy Colak was playing til his offside.

Their left hand side of defence is indeed rotten.
Souttar had a nightmare and Barisic is often outwitted.
I’d say they are weaker with the loss of Bassey in defence and less of a threat up top with Aribo no longer there to attack space others don’t.
Arfield made a difference in that area when he came on.

On the whole a limited team, as I often said last season, their Euro exploits notwithstanding.


A very wise move today 👌

Jobo Baldie

Latest update on the POTY thing – we now have a wonderful 77 entries and there’s still almost 4 hours to go. I should add (mischievously) that I’ve just read through today’s wonderful Sentinel Celts posts, marvelling at some of the opinions and yet I’m not sure that all of the wonderful scribes have yet emailed in their choices for top 3. Of course there’s no obligation to participate but equally, everything remains confidential so why not be part of the clique? That’s a joke, by the way!
One issue that I have realised – and it was the same last time around – is that the competition is a bit unfair on our goalkeepers. Given that we dominate most games we play, certainly domestically, then even when our goalie is flawless in the sense of no material mistakes and a clean sheet, often they don’t get a single vote.
Maybe there’s an argument that there should be some recognition for keeping a clean sheet? But how I would factor that in in terms of points – no idea!!
Keep the votes coming to sencelpoty@gmail.com


One game at a time Mahe.


CFC…I thought TRFC were poor on Saturday although they did attempt to exploit the area between the left back and the left CB with not much joy. They certainly missed Aribo who’s a fine fitba player, Bassey is a big strong unit but I don’t rate him as highly as others do. He’s better than Barisic who’s been off it for a year now and needs a confidence rebuild, I think. Souttar was really poor, Kent was taking dives, as usual, as was Barisic. I think we’ve got the stronger squad with better choices on the bench.
Rebus…some quality posts from you are so succinct it’s hard to add to them, not like the usual dross on here which needs editing and correcting!! 🤣🤣🤣
JNP…aye, the chat yesterday with Twists was good but he is a toerag that needs a watching!! 🤣🤣🤣


For you Wordle Bhoys:Ghirls,

Played 200
Winning streak 200
Percentage 100%.

I’m now retiring on an Invincible ( Ala Celtic ) streak !!!

HH 🍀🍀


Regarding Taylor yesterday, I thought it was his best performance for us. Like a few on here I’m not a fan, or wasn’t a fan, but he’s been quite impressive the last few times I’ve seen him. There’s definitely competition for his spot and he seems determined not to give up without a fight. He showed a couple of moments of real composure to get out of tight spots yesterday which suggested his confidence is high. Perhaps the words of Joe Hart about learning under Ange is benefitting the whole squad, well you’d hope that to be the case anyway but GT did not look out of place yesterday. He had a go at O’Riley and JJ for being in the wrong place yesterday, in the case of the JJ incident Taylor took a yellow for the team when JJ should have been putting in the challenge. My name is McCaff and I’m a GT convert! There, I’ve said it!! 🤣


For an opening game it was almost an excellent performance.
Some wonderful and woeful passing in equal measure.
But for the sake of inches and a more sure touch we would have won by a barrowload against a well organized opponent.
We created chances not because of opponents poor positioning or set up but by being creative.
When the above improves we will be a force.
The only downside is our team lacks balance.
Hard to pinpoint exactly where but our central midfield gives cause for concern.
If Ange can find the solution then a decent European foray is possible but if he does not we will score and concede a lot of goals.

Also whistler Walsh was his usual cheating self against us and he and his brethren will do everything to negate us.


Leggy…that’s an achievement! I struggle with the ones that have multiple options, a couple of days ago it was CRAMP. I had FIVE attempts with C R A _ _ in position and couldn’t get the right answer.
Have you tried Quordle yet?


Fan…don’t you think it’s the system that lacks balance rather than the team? If Ange is hellbent on playing all out attacking fitba he’s relying on overloads in all areas in the opposition half. This requires every available body pushing hard to press the opposition and pull players into areas they don’t want to be in. We see it in every game that we are then exposed to a counter. Is Ange a Jock Stein or a Tommy Burns that demands 4 if the opposition score 3, and will work on the faults for the 3 later!!

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