Too close for comfort

Ange surprised a lot more than myself with his selections on Saturday it’s fair to say.
 
On the one hand, we emerged with the points, many players saw game time which is essential for match fitness, and there were lessons galore to be learned.
 
The young Argentinian proved an able deputy when Master Taylor needs a break, feeding our penalty box specialist can result in a goal even at the very death, and we have a wide player who can come into midfield and look comfortable.
Oh, and Joe Hart can still save games with great saves.
 
On the other hand, we got the points by the skin of our teeth which won’t always happen, we aren’t finishing teams off by being sloppy especially in the final third, the team can get a bit spooked when put under pressure, and the managers calls were strange to say the least.
 
Moving from no defensive midfielders to three was strange given it’s not very Ange-like to attempt to shut up shop, the one with arguably the worst ball skills was pushed forward to help the play and flopped, and the players they replaced were playing well, one was MOTM.
It didn’t work, we conceded and nearly dropped two points and there’s huge lessons there.
This team isn’t geared towards that approach and looked poor attempting it.
However moving Hacksabanovic infield reassures me the Greek Australian hasnt departed his attacking football philosophy.
 
I actually expect the same midfield starters again midweek given it’s a game we must win to progress (don’t blame him for going out on his shield if that happens), and Hacksabanovic showed good drive going forward. It’s almost a Cup Final and Ange did state he would aim to win finals full stop. As such an attacking side shall be named and we clearly attacked best with Reo and Saed on the park. They shall be the beating heart of Midfield Mark 3 now I believe, making a mockery of my previous article.
Eventually though, I see him battling it out with Matt for that position, Calmac and Reo behind.
Midfield Mark 4.
 
It’s very pleasing Ange saw the potential in moving a player and it paid off, this might tempt him to keep going on that front. It’s pleasing he realized our usual left back was underperforming, and he noticed the usual right back could do with a rest.
Sometimes we can all see team problems, it’s nice to know we’re reading off the same page in that regard.
I’m happy he didn’t stick to his guns and attempt to play his preferred eleven into form, but dipped into the squad. Great, that’s what it’s there for.
I wasn’t amused by his subs though, and I hope that’s the last time he attempts that experiment, brand new trio/system and Maeda when a ball carrier was needed to take the heat off the midfield.
Attack is clearly our best form of defense. Keep it going at all times, use subs to boost the attack and not with the aim of smothering the game.
 
Speaking of attack, Harry Kewell has his work cut out for him. Our title rivals are scoring more, yet with games coming thick and fast time on the training field is at a minimum.
Right now is when he learns his coin, honing our attackers is his task, and improvement is clearly needed.
That’s his responsibility and we all can’t help but judge based on results.
He’s in the big time now, at a giant club, and must justify his hiring today, not tomorrow, not on paper but on the pitch.
 
Well folks that’s game number one without the Captain under the belt, after another five we can make a judgement on our new look side.
I just hope it’s not another five heart attacks.
Over to you Bhoys.
 
By Mahe
sentinelcelts@gmail.com

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Mahe

*SENTINEL CELTS PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2022-23*
RESULTS FROM GAME #13 – ST JOHNSTONE 1 CELTIC 2 (CONSIDINE(OG), GIAKOUMAKIS)

Good evening, friends. The Celtic Rollercoaster continues with twists and turns in every passing game it seems. Yesterday’s encounter was another one that most of us will feel that we SHOULD have won more easily but in the end did it in the next best preferred manner – a very late injury time winner.
All through the game I kept mentioning to my own boys that Big Gio would score. When the usual ‘time for substitutions’ arrived I was worried that Gio might be replaced but that didn’t happen and our new Greek God was in the right place at the right time to secure all 3 points.

We have now played 13 competitive fixtures this season and have won 9 with 1 draws and 3 defeats. 35 goals scored and 12 conceded. A win rate of 69% (though domestically it’s 90%) and averaging 2.7 goals per game.

As for the voting, my thanks as always to the 71 who emailed me their choices. That’s the biggest number since the Real Madrid game (72) though still down on the 88 who voted after our 3rd game, Kilmarnock(A). I’ll let you into a wee secret. Whilst I would love to personally reply to every email I simply don’t have the time for that. However, when anyone chooses the same 3 picks as me, I do try to reply. This week I didn’t send a single email but I’m entitled to my opinion!! So, the total votes cast for each player (with my own choices asterisked) are as follows –

Hart: 4
Ralston: 6
Carter-Vickers: 13
Welsh: 9
Bernabei*: 52
O’Riley: 3
Hatate*: 56
Haksabanovic: 52
Abada*: 1 [ONE] (Don’t worry, I can stand the feedback!)
Giakoumakis: 16
Jota: 0

Maeda: 0
Abildgaard: 0
Forrest: 1
Mooy: 0
McCarthy: 0

And so, the top 5 players receiving POINTS for the game against St Johnstone are –
Hatate – 5 pts
Bernabei and Haksabanovic – 4 pts each
Giakoumakis – 2 pts
Carter-Vickers – 1 pt

As for the overall standings, I did some checking and found 2 errors. Reo had 1 point too many whilst CCV was on 1 too few. So, after 13 games played the corrected table now reads as follows –
30 points – Hatate
26 points – Jota
19 points – McGregor
18 points – Taylor
16 points – Jenz
12 points – Carter-Vickers and Juranovic
10 points – Kyogo
9 points – Abada and Welsh
8 points – O’Riley
6 points – Giakoumakis
5 points – Ralston
4 points – Bernabei, Haksabanovic and Mooy
3 points – Maeda
2 points – Turnbull
1 point – Hart
0 points – Abildgaard, Forrest, McCarthy, Siegrist and Starfelt

We now look forward to one of our biggest games of the season so far when we entertain RB Leipzig at home on Tuesday evening with an 8.00pm kick off. Please email after the final whistle. The polls will close just after Liverpool have hopefully embarrassed Sevco on Wednesday night.
Hail Hail!

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends.
Thanks for the article, Mahe and also for the repost of last nights results. I also post the results on a Celtic Minded WhatsApp Group and judging by the initial reactions on there I’ll be keeping a low profile today!!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

JOBO

Tell them that’s democracy for ye! 71 people voted,and the top three each got a vote from about 75-80% of participants.

Which only left 25% for the rest to fight over,btw…

jimthetim53

Good balanced article Mahe, highlighting the positives as well as the downside.

CFC

Mahe

Take your point about our lacklustre attack.
Been missing since the thrashing given out on Sept 3rd.
Using J B’s comp as a guide, our front three/five with subs mustered 19 points(16 for GG) out of a potential 213 on Saturday. Under 10% of the vote.
Dire by any standard, and quite typical over the last month.
In the league three games played- goals for 4, against 4.

We know how good our front guys can be, do arses need booting or is it comforting arms around shoulders?
Maybe the late winner( like Ross County last season) is the kickstart needed.

Prestonpans bhoys

Good morning from a bright and dry Trossacks, need to get back east today as something is happening tomorrow. No idea what it is⚽⚽⚽

Call me Gerry

When did Harry Kewell become the new coach’s scapegoat? 🤔

At least it gives John Kennedy a break, I guess.

HH

St tams

Morning all.
Great stuff Jobo.
I nearly choked on my breaking, cwhen I seen you voted for Abada 🤣🤣

CFC

C m G

Misfiring team is a collective failure, not poor ol’
‘arry alone!

Call me Gerry

Excellent work again, Jobo 👏

No surprise to see the top 3 players get the majority of votes.
Personally, I thought Hart would get more votes, based solely on his great save at 1-0 (when 1 on 1 with May). Surprised that he ended up 8th in voting.

No surprise to see our late goal scorer get votes (I thought he had a stinker up to that point).
CCV also had poor, important, moments in the game. Conceding needless free kicks, including poor judgement of the flight of the ball on a few occasions. The concession of the free kick, that led to the equaliser, was especially poor. Compounded again by a poorly misjudged attempt at getting to the cross into the box.
Yet CCV got more votes than 6 other starters.
Always interesting to see Jobo’s voting results. 👍

HH

Call me Gerry

CFC

Correctimundo 👍

HH

Call me Gerry

Craig76

Excellent stuff 💪💪

HH

A thing of beauty

CFC
Mahe

Take your point about our lacklustre attack.
Been missing since the thrashing given out on Sept 3rd.
Using J B’s comp as a guide, our front three/five with subs mustered 19 points(16 for GG) out of a potential 213 on Saturday. Under 10% of the vote.
Dire by any standard, and quite typical over the last month.
In the league three games played- goals for 4, against 4.

We know how good our front guys can be, do arses need booting or is it comforting arms around shoulders?
Maybe the late winner( like Ross County last season) is the kickstart needed.
////—-///——////——////——/////——////——/////——
👏👏

A thing of beauty

Our forwards are definitely off the boil. Haksabanovic has spoken about how they need to spend time after training, working on their finishing. It’s not that many years ago that we lost a title because Samaras, JVH and McDonald couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo after Christmas. I’m hoping it’s just a blip but the rot can set in and players get anxious and start snatching. Abada was a prime example of this on Saturday but at least he was there to miss. Maeda, Jota and Kyogo have been out of sorts from day one and now GG is also saying he needs to up his game. No wonder we are struggling. That all puts pressure on a defence because they know if they concede it’s going to be tight.
Talking of the defence. In my opinion we don’t lost that goal on Saturday if Starfelt is there. Balls into the box are where he excels and he’s being missed. It’s a balance because we know he’s not great with the ball at this feet but it might be a trade off we have to make. Anyone know when he is expected back? Now there’s a statement I didn’t think I would make so readily 😂😂

Craig76

ATOB
You can see what that goal ment to Giakoumakis in all the replays, if he gets a run in the team he will be banging them in

Call me Gerry 👍

bada bing1

Jota missed training today

jimthetim53

That’s the last thing we need, Jota missing in action!

CFC

A t o b

Self awareness by our strikers is a good start to dealing with the problem.
Put the extra sessions in and start converting for real.
In three European games we are at 5% conversion to total shots( 12% to shots on target)
Last three games in League 8.5% to shots(47) and 28.5% to shots on target(14).

We should be much more clinical but everyone knows that.
Time to find the shooting boots.

Twisty

JNP
If ya see this…. Your phone ok? If yes, might be an issue at my end?

Jobo Baldie

Craig76 – one of the best “unique angles” for a while.
Bada – it was certainly a surprise when Jota didn’t reappear for the 2nd half. He didn’t look too happy sitting in the stand. But maybe he was feeling unwell and perhaps still is?
Not to worry though. As long as Abada’s fit…….

Rebus67

If you follow Celtic you are never short of puzzles or conundrums to solve. Currently, performances have shaded off. That is true whether Calmac is in or out of the team. So he cannot be the sole cause.

With the caveat that I can only observe games via TV and not in person, I have noticed the following, which may or may not be relevant.

We do not appear to be moving the ball forward as quickly as we did last season, and in this season’s hames up to and including the one vs Sevco. Why? Is it the effect of CL games? In these games mistakes(e,g. Turnovers) are punished severely. Consequently, players are either coached to be more conservative or are simply more risk averse.

There is some evidence for this. Last season, Hatate pinged cross field passes out to either wing. These are high risk exercises so is his caution in CL games spilling over into domestic fixtures? Jota also seems to dribble less this season. Cutting in from wide and either dribbling into the penalty area, and/or cutting across a defence looking for a shot on goal, were key features of his game. Again both of these have the potential for a turnover. It seems he is doing less of these efforts than last season, and, thus, is less effective.

I have no stats to back up my appraisal of Abada but my impression is that he has a propensity to give the ball away. Physically he is up against it in the SPL. Has his confidence been affected by this?

The above is speculation but it is clear that something has caused performances to shade off currently. We need to find what it is quickly. Perhaps, a win in the CL will be the tonic that cures sagging confidence.

Rebus

CFC

Rebus67

We all speculate- my view is that the psychological side of the game is as important as the physical at this level.

I speculate that just being in the CL , and the learning curve that is, has eroded a wee bit of confidence despite two decent performances.
I still contend the Shakhtar draw has drained a bit of belief( could’ve, should’ve) and this is showing in poor performances.
Last second winners like Saturday’s can be a re- boot.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

CFC

I agree about the psychology,little things getting into a player’s head. Seems surprisingly contagious at Celtic.

IMO,we were undone by the short-notice cancellation due to The Queen’s death. I suggested at the time that the correct weekend for that-if any!-was the weekend of her funeral.

We all reckoned that the huns would be up against it v an in-form Aberdeen,and stretching our lead to 7 or 8 points was viable.

Cancelled the wrong weekend,lead now two points. Add to that the very strong performances against Real and Shakhtar for one lousy point,injury problems etc,it is understandable that levels can drop.

The team-and Ange-now need to get back in control and show some sadly lacking composure in ALL areas of the pitch. Write the last month off as one of those things.

But LEARN from it!

CFC

BMCUW

Agreed.

Tomorrow night will tell us a lot. A tough but not unbeatable opponent at home, under the lights, support in full voice.
Find that Shakhtar away form from the off, with added composure in front of goal, cos we are gonna need more than one goal to win any game just now.

16 roads

Bada – Pure class from the football club. 👏

bada bing1

16 Roads- i posted last night hoping the Club would acknowledge the tragedy, given the amount of support we have in Donegal, excellent stuff

16 roads

Big time Bada.

Donegal is pure Celtic.

We can all be quick to criticise the club at times, however credit where credit is due – that was a magnificent gesture.

HH. 🍀

A thing of beauty

CFC
A t o b

Self awareness by our strikers is a good start to dealing with the problem.
Put the extra sessions in and start converting for real.
In three European games we are at 5% conversion to total shots( 12% to shots on target)
Last three games in League 8.5% to shots(47) and 28.5% to shots on target(14).

We should be much more clinical but everyone knows that.
Time to find the shooting boots.
///——/////——-////——-/////——-/////
Thanks for the stats regarding our scoring stats. Quite honestly that is garbage. The front players need to step up and show they belong at this level.

Jobo Baldie
ASWGL

Good Monday morning leader Mahe

Jota reportedly pulled a muscle in the first half, and was given today off and Ange is waiting until tomorrow to see if he is in the squad

Craig 76

Is there a competion between clubs to see who can get away with the most outrageous hand ball againts us
https://twitter.com/Zeshankenzo/status/1579117447088508928?s=20&t=tgREEQEkT-BSBcLAgkogPA

Craig76

That’s nothing, compared to the so-called officials, who are in competition with each other, to see who can ignore the most blatant handball against us. They must be running a sweepstakes doon the Ludge…or something. 😀

Hail Hail.

Craig76

MAGUA
It’s going to get to the stage where a player (not the keeper) catches the ball in the penalty area and still we won’t get the penalty

A thing of beauty

But remember, we never complain so they’ll just carry on doing it. Off the top of my head we’ve had three penalties denied this season. One v Aberdeen with Hatate, one with Motherwell and one with Abada against the Huns. Now would I give the latter two, probably not but I know the Huns would get them. It’s ridiculous we don’t complain. I know John Reid is not universally popular but he was the last celtic official to question these cheating shits. We need someone of that ilk to replace Bankier.

jimthetim53

I don’t think Dermot Desmond would allow a new director to upset the ‘Old Firm’ apple cart.

Craig76

On the bright side, ‘The Celtic Jersey’ by PJD, should be hitting the shelves in a coupla weeks. Something to look forward to, I reckon.

ATOB

Well said. Hopefully that waste of space will get pelters at the AGM. Not that it would bother the useless bassa.

Hail Hail.

A thing of beauty

Magua,
It is my intention to attend the AGM to join in giving him
Pelters. He’s had his nose in our trough for too long and contributed the square root of hee haw. Charlatan.

jimthetim53

A.T,O,B. If anyone can – you can!

A thing of beauty

JTT,
All in the line of duty you understand. 😂😂

ATOB

What JTT said.

Hail Hail.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

CRAIG76

In the Operation Keeping The Huns Alive years,Michael Duberry was playing for St Johnstone. I think it was 2010/11. Convinced he had conceded a penalty,he sat on his haunches in the area with his hand on the ball.

Can’t remember the ref,but it could have been any one of them.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

ATHINGOFBEAUTY

Good stuff. I know you don’t need it,but get that tongue of yours sharpened in advance. There must be some right lazy basterts at your work to practice on.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Poor quality,and doesn’t show the original handball,but about 1’30” in here.

Prestonpans bhoys

TBH Bankier annoys me much, much more than Lawwell did. The sleeket arrogant nature of the man who has stole a wage for a decade, you wouldn’t piss on him if he was one fire😱😕

Prestonpans bhoys

I can’t remember the particular AGM, when Bankier and his mate, Blue Peter, shared an anti-Hun joke, thinking that we would be amused at their naughtiness. Nobody was. The first public statement that Bankier made, was to claim that he was a ‘Lifelong Celtic supporter.’ Utter pish, of course. We Tims, whatever our differences of opinion, recognise one of our own. This eejit never has been, never will be, and never can be, a Celtic supporter.

Hail Hail.

Prestonpans bhoys

Mague

If I remember correctly he struggled to tell what was his first Celtic game he attended as a supporter

And for full clarity mine was 1969 at Rugby Park, wee guy with red hair was having a riot, no idea who he was😂

Prestonpans bhoys

So do I. In my defence, I was 5 years old. 😀

Hail Hail.

CORKCELT

Don’t Post often but do pop in for a read,
I know the Bhoys running site are light in deleting Posts.
However the language used by Mags McGill at 9.55 is absolutely disgraceful & highly offensive.
I certainly wouldn’t want anything to do with a Celtic Site that tolerates that type of Posts,