Rd1 assessment

The unexpected mini break isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it might benefit the team, and it also affords us the first opportunity to properly take stock of the campaign’s first phase, assess how equipped we look for the long haul, maybe begin to make predictions.
 
Things are going swimmingly well for the Champions despite defeat last time out. It’s not often a defeated team earns plaudits, but we’ve managed to emerge from a three goal beating with a lot of credit and enhanced reputations.
 
Automatic qualification for the Champions League afforded the opportunity to fully budget with zero guesswork involved, and having a popular manager with an eye for a player, the club duly pushed the boat out for his targets and delivered our best window ever.
Our leader is supported, wanted, and adored.
Brighton, no disrespect, but you never had a chance.
 
Our squad is the strongest I’ve ever known, with no clear gap in ability amongst the group. There’s no first choice eleven, rather two good but slightly different players for each position. The bar has been set extremely high, and already players have been benched as Ange looked for more fluidity than the early performances offered.
 
The team didn’t start the campaign firing on all cylinders, but within a month had found their mojo, and were blowing away opponents with scintillating football. We hit great form around Christmas last season, to find it earlier this time around is a good sign.
 
In great form despite being a team in transition, others would love to state that.
Our new central defensive partnership has just met, the boss approved two defensive midfielders which tells me the middle of the park shall be tinkered with, Haksa looks like he will force someone onto the bench, and Boy Wonder has stepped it up a notch and is now winning games by himself.
I’ve read Ange gets the best out of his teams during the second season but I’m starting to think next year will see the best of this group, his third year shall be his best on this occasion.
 
Domestically we look unstoppable. Our closest rivals have already been spanked, we score for fun and very rarely concede, it’s once again a case of ‘how many’ rather than will we win. That’s the sign of a good side. Given our strength in depth and style of play, its hard to imagine anything but a procession to the league title and another automatic qualification to the top table of club football.
Continentally, giving the best team a genuine fright speaks volumes, and gives confidence we can qualify from the group.
We certainly aren’t a walkover, I would be very surprised if we finished in fourth place, which is a sign of our growing strength and confidence.
Given the age of the squad and general level of ability, and with group stage entry looking like a given long term bringing experience of that level, there exists a fantastic opportunity to make a genuine impact on Europe short, medium, and even long-term.
A manager’s dream I imagine.
 
Yes it’s going swimmingly well, but it’s never perfect and I do have certain fears in the background.
 
For starters the entire operation seems to rest on one pair of broad shoulders, which has gone wrong before. He should be happy, might be long term, but shall need replaced one day and shell shocked players without their leader shall need picked up when that happens as will the support.
It’s never too early to start assembling dossiers on potential hires, and it’s best to have your ducks in a row to smooth the transition.
The club could consider setting up a scouting network under his watchful eye with the aim of continuing the talent conveyor belt, not seeing it dry up when the main spotter walks out the door.
Our one man operation is turning out very well just like Man Utd, but look what happened there when he finally departed.
I hope we are taking steps to mitigate damage when Ange leaves, and don’t scramble, that’s all I’m saying.
 

My second worry is an injury to one key player in the team. This isn’t a team of key players, all are interchangeable.
Almost all.
But in these eyes Carter Vickers is the one player who is indispensable.
His absence would really hurt the team, he’s the one injury I fear.
If he was good with his feet he would be playing for Bayern, I also suspect more than a few EPL clubs might fancy him to boost their defense come January, but don’t fear him leaving us in the lurch.
I fear him getting his ankle crunched.
 
My final worry is the finances.
There’s been a lot of expense added and the squad itself has stepped up a gear in quality which usually costs more.
In usual times we might expect half the squad on upper tier wages with half on middle tier or below.
This was accepted because there was a visible drop off in quality from first choice to second choice player.
Now that gap has been eliminated and we have an entire squad of first team ready footballers the wages shall surely increase.
 
We have a new CEO, soon a new Chairman to match our new approach to the transfer market, but our board and majority shareholder remain in situ and will have their own opinions on how big the wage bill should be allowed to grow.
 
Historically, after a big spend/period of recruitment the spigot is turned off, that’s it.
And many clubs boards have sanctioned the sale of the team’s star player to balance the books in a way they find more comforting once the figures make unpleasant viewing in their eyes.
 
It could rightfully be pointed out that we have mega bucks on the bench every week, why add to that?
Last weekend witnessed Mooy, McCarthy, Turnbull, Abildgaard, Ideoguchi, and Haksabanovic not included in the starting midfield,,that’s just one department,,most teams would be delighted fielding our backups every minute they could.
 
Just as I’m not used to seeing the squad this strong, our suits won’t be used to seeing the wages this high.
Then again they aren’t dealing with the usual Irishman in the dugout but the man who delivers trophies and spends wisely.
He’s a different kettle of fish and a valuable asset.
He doesn’t need the club.
Yet our suits simply don’t assemble this much quality under one roof without halting the party,,such as placing Martin in the slow lane.
The wage bill has the potential to become an issue, that issue then has the potential to become a big problem.
 
Overall, as a club we are overachieving again at long last. Ange is ahead of schedule with squad building and in implementing his style of play, and through a quirk of fate has delivered us Champions League football very early.
This in turn helps the finances and the club are once again expected to break the one hundred million turnover mark.
Having quite a number of high quality players helps make games themselves more interesting and exciting, the rotating of different talents is much more preferable to the same eleven weekly, especially if they don’t play attractive football.
 
We clearly won Round One, knocked down our rival, and are looking in good shape.
It’s a great time to be a Tim, savour it and remember it.
 
By Mahe
sentinelcelts@gmail.com

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Twisty

Mahe
That’s a pretty accurate assessment of where we are. I do agree CCV is very much the key man in our back line, so fingers crossed he spends very little time in the treatment room. Pretty well covered everywhere else.
Here’s a big up side in all of this though.

Those concerns we have for one position? Try our only rivals for the title. They’re short in several areas. Keeper, central defence, midfield and up front. So in fact, they’re short everywhere!

Europe is obviously different. We will have key matches v the rivals in our group that we’ve yet to face. Hopefully we can stay at full strength to help us either remain in the CL, or at worst drop into the EL, because that, will assist with the other issue you refer to. Cash.

Winning the title this year is massive. The guaranteed income allows Angie to further strengthen. The £30m guaranteed additional income, or whatever it all adds up to is undoubtedly why Ange got backed this pre season.
That amount next season, plus any additional revenue from the aforementioned European run this season, can only increase his desire to hang around, thus allaying your final concern – Ange’s longevity!

If we can continue on this cycle of Scottish champions + CL participation + strengthen team, it’ll all = PROGRESS.

We’re in a very, very good place right now.

Twisty

Naps
I’m very busy today folks so the table update will be this evening. No changes to yesterday’s update I believe. (No further winners)

A thing of beauty

Mahe,
Good article and twists reply sums up my thoughts. I do have fears that the board will cash in on a couple of assets but the difference is we already have replacements in the door – CCV – Jenz and Jota – Haksobanovic. That is how we will have to run as a football club and I’m ok with that. We don’t have the money to hold on to these players and even if we did they won’t want to stay in the SPL. If we get the back room team and scouting up to speed the front of house will take care of itself.
GFTB,
Questioning whether Neil Lennon strives to improve himself as a manager/coach is not the same as saying he brings it on himself. But you knew that anyway.

Bawheid

Jelly Babies, Jelly Babies, A sweet Open To all. The sweet, tasty, cannibalism. Chew off a head, or bite off their bums, cut the feet from them and live dangerously, its penal fee. Jelly Babies, Jelly Babies. Red and yellow, pink and green, devour an orange Jelly Baby, its liberating and please, bring back the footie ASAP.

Leggy

Morning all,

A wee joke seeing there’s no footie !!!

A pensioner drove his brand new BMW to 100 mph, looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a police car behind him. He floored it to 140 , then 150, … then 155, … Suddenly he thought,

“I’m too old for this nonsense !”

So he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the police car to catch up with him.

The officer walked up to him, looked at his watch and said,

“Sir, my shift ends in ten minutes. Today is Friday and I’m taking off for the weekend with my family. If you can give me a good reason that I’ve never heard before, why you were speeding… I’ll let you go.”

The Man looked very seriously at the police man, and replied :-

“Years ago, my wife ran off with a policeman, I thought you were bringing her back.” !!!

The Cop left saying,

” Have a good day, Sir “…

😂😂😂

SeS

Mahe

Good shout as always.

On CCV and defence in general including the guys in front of them

A huge test at a higher level on Wednesday

The Ukrainians scored 4 from 5 last week in Germany…

The discipline and concentration has to be spot on for 95 mins.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGRAILROADBLUES,BELMONTBRIAN

When is kick off on Friday?

Frodshambhoy

Mahe, I agree. That’s a very good assessment.

I think we’d be fine in Scotland with Starfelt or Welsh beside Jenz. I think Jenz is a massive plus this season.
However, Europe without CCV would be a worry.

Leggy, 😂😁😂

fan

Have to differ on CCV.
Was excellent against Benzema who was probably not fit by using his strength and one on one ability.
But when Real brought on Hazard who gave them more fluidity his weaknesses showed.
Positionally he was found wanting.
On first goal he runs past Jenz to go out to tackle wide player on left but fails to stop cross which sailed across centre of area where he should have been.
On second goal he slides himself out of position at almost half way line for a tackle he did not have to make.They then waltzed through central area he vacated for Modric to score.
On third after knockdown to Hazard from backpost CCV is a yard behind him trying to get in proper defensive position.
CCV is a great player in SPL with his toughness being too much for opposition bullies.
But in Europe he has to improve on his decision making and positional sense.

Bigrailroadblues

BMCUWP, probably between 12 and 1pm. I’ll be there at 11 to check the facilities.

SteveNaive

We may well finish fourth. The sounds emanating from the players seem to suggest that rather than being chastened they are emboldened. This is good. I’d hope that the squad and analysts have watched the RM game and learned from it. RB and Shaktar will also have watched it and I’d guess try to play the same way. We know what’s coming but so do they. No own goals off the park andI incremental progress on it, that’ll do nicely.

bada bing1

Pressure on to cancel EPL games again this weekend due to lack of police available is the reason, be prepared…….

IniquitousIV

LEGGY
Coffee spluttered over keyboard. 🤣😅😂

McCaff

Morning all…good article today, Mahe with the usual sprinkling of pessimism to balance the optimism. Or is it the other way ‘roon! Good posts too from Twists and Fan to balance the scenarios of Europe and Home.
For what it’s worth although CCV made the challenges against Real and was pulled out of postion it’s worth remembering this was 9 out of the starting 11’s first foray into the Champion’s League and against Real, too! Allowances must be made for errors and inexperience with the caveat that as long as we’re learning as we progress all is good! I’d rather have played Real and get beat 3-0 than played like TRFC and get pumped 4-0…it’s all relevant.

bada bing1

Football is back this weekend

JimmynotPaul

This is brilliant, because it happened to Rubentus/ Juventus. However, it would be a killer, if it happened to us.
The absolute SCENES.

5 minutes of mayhem!

Milik goal correctly disallowed for offside as Leonardo Bonucci attempted to play the ball, even though he didn’t touch it.

https://t.co/l2P9nemOMi

bada bing1

Scottish football clubs invited to play national anthem before matches as professional games resume😬

McCaff

Excellent scenes. JNP! Milk’s red will surely be rescinded. 😯

JimmynotPaul

Dundee United and Aberdeen trialling Sat 6.00P.M kick offs, to find out, if more fans will attend.
We can confirm our upcoming #cinchPremiership fixtures versus Aberdeen will both kick off at 6pm 🕕

🗓 Saturday 8 October (Tannadice)
🗓 Saturday 12 November (Pittodrie)

More information 👇 | #UnitedInPursuit

JimmynotPaul

McCaff 12.15.
If Sol Kitts, looks in, hopefully he could clarify.
Imagine being suspended for celebrating, scoring a goal, that VAR then disallowed.

JimmynotPaul

Jeezoh, McCaff and anyone else.
VAR didn’t check reverse angle.
He was onside.!!!!!
Giova…ma vaffanculo va https://t.co/WgKEzrGp4W

JimmynotPaul

The huge VAR error to deny Juve a 93rd-minute winner dominates the Italian papers.

Gazzetta dello Sport:
“VAR brawl – Juve rage after 3-2 disallowed” https://t.co/P7WwTBvvi1

bada bing1

Kyogo 2.25 Brighton, odds on

JimmynotPaul

Lenny giving it really right to Cypriot journalist.
Oooffftt!!!
https://t.co/vhfIsysqXm

McCaff

FFS Lenny! Magic!!

McCaff

JNP…that reverse angle gotta be a cut and paste job!! 😱

SteveNaive

Fan,

It was as you described but… Benzema, for the short time he was on, played more of a traditional centre role, possibly thinking he could better CCV. Given the European player of the year and probable Ballon D’Or winner didn’t is possible testament to CCV’s strengths and the short time one on one.
Against Hazard, who was more of a false nine, he took the bait, often with Hazard in his own half.
Dragging him out of position was central to their strategy. It worked, he’ll learn.

JimmynotPaul

McCaff. 12.33.
It’s not!!
See post at 12.25.

SteveNaive

Before it was the Vulcan pub it was Jim Brogan’s..Bar and lounge.
Nice it was too. First and last time I tried a Tequila Sunrise ( get me). Not recommend on top of eight Guinness!

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

STEVENAIVE

I’ll bet it didn’t stay on top of the eight Guinness for long!

JimmynotPaul

From W.B.A. Twitter.
We are delighted to announce the signing of Tom Rogic. 🤝

Welcome, Tom! 🇦🇺

JimmynotPaul

• £10 adult tickets
• £5 concession tickets
• Friday night football

Hibs trying Friday night ( discounted football )
Our upcoming #cinchPrem game against St Johnstone has been moved – and we’ve discounted all tickets to help pack out Easter Road Stadium for 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐍𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬! 💡⚽️

Highland Paddy

Bada bing 1 (12.12pm)…

Hopefully if they play a national anthem St. Mirren do ‘Flower of Scotland’ as it might cover her supposed love of Scotia and surely one club will consider highlighting that – (might be an idea for our chief executive to suggest that to The Paisley Saints) –

Should Saints not play ball and play the new anthem being designed for Charles the Turd, then I think we can prepare for days upon days of negative front page publicly and hour upon hour of negative sky sports reports also…

Oh and Leckie the cough chief superintendent will have his supersonic hearing tuned to the full for the hanging offence of one having to cough during any impending minute of silence…

Oh my – Could ya no have gone to the pearly gates on The 8th of June or July instead Lizzie !

Afternoon all.

Bobby, Kick off 1pm on Friday, however I believe BRRB may carry out a reconnaissance mission, the man is always thinking of others. 🙂

SteveNaive

You are indeed correct was formally owned by Jim Brogan, it was called ‘The Sportsman’s Bar’. Later it was Memory Lane, then it was called the ‘Vulcan’ a Witherspoons chain.

It is now a Free House owned by Paul Hughes, nephew of John (Yogi) Hughes.

For those who like the Gee Gee’s, the horse racing is always on the telly in the pub and there is a William Hills directly across the road from the Vulcan.

Also for those who have an interest in Irish History there is also the Margaret Skinnider centre Coatbridge, approx 500 yards from the Vulcan, not sure of the opening times though.

Brian

JimmynotPaul

Arsenal’s Europa League tie at home to PSV on Thursday has been called off due to ‘the insufficient deployment of police’ …

Bigrailroadblues

Racing on TV, Hills across the road. If carlsberg did Coatbridge Fridays….

Prestonpans bhoys

JNP

Would not surprise me in the least if all the clubs playing in London have their games cancelled

JimmynotPaul

Sevco charging £71 for the tickets freed up by banning Napoli fans.

JimmynotPaul

P.B. 2.32.
Yes, I agree.
I think their Premier league games, at the weekend, will be postponed.

SeS

Scoring from corners was a problem – now scoring fairly regularly a big improvement for us.

Scoring from so many positions and different scorers too.

What’s the deal with dead ball free kicks …

Don’t we expect to get much on the edge of a box .. so don’t prioritise?

I’d vote for more Nakamura/Griff style finishes – could be crucial against ‘better’ teams.

Who’s gonna be our deadeye Bhoy?

GG hits it with power and good control

Our Last Euro FK stoatir ??

Big Audio Dynamite

JNP, they’re doing that with a straight face? For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I feel a bit of sympathy for fellow football fans from Govan.

More i think about it, and given the current state of affairs, I find that disgusting.

JimmynotPaul

51years ago, yesterday.
I see Gers still got their usual penalty.
11th September 1971, Rangers 2:3 Celtic.

Macari, Dalglish and a last minute winner from Jinky. @LouMacari10 @kennethdalglish https://t.co/UjbSWMtjoM

Prestonpans bhoys

JNP@2:38

That’s cheered me up no end, £71 to watch them get humped😂

BAD

Have they no suffered enough……….nooooooooooooooooo😱😵

Billy Bhoy

That’s an excellent summary of where we currently are Mahe.

For me, the title was clinched last Saturday. I received a text while waiting for the teams to come out of the tunnel. It was my wee cousin seeking my prediction. I replied ” 3 or 4 nil – and the game probably over by HT. I’ve never felt so relaxed at KO v them “. He’s now addressing me as Nostradamus!

IMO they currently do not have one player who would enhance our bench and, as others have pointed out, they are severely deficient in several key areas.

I had a wee browse on FF last night. It seems like it was only a few months ago they were demanding the Board acquire Gio as manager, indeed he was the only name in the frame, and were breathlessly tracked his flight to Glasgow. Now, the Board were neglectful and made the lazy appointment!

Barring some unforseen disaster we’ll clinch the SPFL in January at Ibrox. They’d probably have lost at Pittodrie if the game had gone ahead. They’ll struggle at Hearts soon and whenever that game is rearranged. I fully expect them to be pointless after their six CL games whereas we should be good for third place or even second, although I would prefer third place at this time to give this young squad a chance to develop.

BTW I’ve just returned home from a round of golf. I had a quadruple bogey at the first. It was done purely as a mark.of respect to our beloved Majesty’s four grieving children.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉

JimmynotPaul

Billy Bhoy. 3.44.
Did you manage to score less than 100, today?
Is it still the 9 hole, par 3 course, that you are playing? 😉😯😜😂

Mike in Toronto

Sorry, but it is a few games … at this time last season, they thought they had already won the title, which they had also won the season before, when Celtic fans thought that they had no chance against a Celtic team that had won 9 in a row….and in that 9 season, at Xmas, Celtic were behind,before Sevco’s tires fell off ..so, chickens/counting/hatch …

now, I get that Celtic have a much deeper and better squad, so seem better placed to deal with such contingencies…..

but …

1. as long as they are within touching distance, a game here or there, or an injury at a bad time, can swing things quickly…

and

2. has the last decade not taught us anything?

Celtic will never allow them to fall too far behind … Scottish football isn’t a sport, so much as a pantomime … there is no Punch and Judy, without Punch …..so, the league will be ‘tweaked’ to ensure that the two are never too far apart again ….that is what Celtic and most Celtic fans wanted, and what all Celtic fans who keep paying have, tacitly at least, agreed to ….

emusanorpan

Great read Mahe! We’ve offloaded Bolingoli. Bitton and Tam away. Marcel Marceau the goalie, Ajeti, Soro? Scales, MJ, the 2 boys from Sheffield Wed, Adam Montgomery and a few others out on loan. Guys away last September too. Wage bill will have come down a bit. Remember profits made, Insurance paid out and ST’s in full paid up with reduced running costs and Furlough payments to employees.
I wouldn’t be too worried about increased costs just yet!

DannyMac23

Mahe.

Thank you for a great leading article,

A decent synopsis of where we are now .We are in a good place with a decent squad and from a great season passed we are showing improvement and progression.

On the back of a European home 3 0 defeat we concentrate on the positives and plaudits and rightly so.

We have all experienced how football changes very quickly and it is very early to predict how the rest of the season can pan out but we look like we can kick on from here.
I know in past discussions we have always said we do not strengthen when in a position of strength?To an extent I believe we have done so.

Across the way the huns conversely have not as in my opinion they lost 2 very influential players in Aribo and Bassey but did not replace them with similiar quality.

Their lack of cover at Centre half has left them very much exposed Sands is very much a weak link but if anyone has played in defence will know one decent player replaced by an inferior one totally upsets the defence in terms of movement and cover.

As stated previously they will struggle to recover as players can get the manager sacked it smacks of our guys not giving their all for the ten.

Agree with MIT on that one at some point parity must happen.Charlatans.

In the meantime we enjoy the good times under Ange.A man to a man we all adore him and I think we may well see the best football we have played in a very long time.Ange has the belief,his players believe in him and we supporters are in for some exciting breathtaking entertainment.

Both Shaktar and Leipzig play open football so we should be in for exciting games and hopefully positive results.

Wont be for the lack of effort or putting the opposition on the back foot.Thats what we pay our money for,entertainment in the Celtic way.

Billy Bhoy

JNP

I managed a 96 which given the heavy conditions underfoot I was not too disappointed with. I was playing at Hayston in Kirky. Its quite a difficult course. A smaller version of the Queens Course at Gleneagles – both designed by James Braid. I can shoot anything between 85 and 105 but usually nearer the latter unfortunately!😞

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