Another One Of Those Nights

Morning,all.

I was really disappointed once again last night,another European night where we did so much right,too much wrong and the the scoreline flattered the opposition. Even if the result didn’t.

I’m not sure if this was the first time that we have had a female referee,but I wasn’t particularly impressed by her. She awarded two penalties against us in the first twenty minutes,both converted to put the game out of our reach at an early stage. The first one was a fairly straightforward decision to take,and I have no complaints about it after the ball clearly hit a falling Jenz on his trailing arm.

The second,though,was also a straightforward decision-and she got that one right too! The ball was fired at O’Riley from almost point-blank range and was going well wide. She ignored the Real appeals,only to succumb to a vigorous request from the VAR officials. Two penalties,two down,and we were going nowhere.

Incredibly,we then got a penalty of our own-and as usual,made a hash of it. Abada burst into the box and was cleaned out. Juranovic hit probably his worst penalty yet for us,too near the keeper and at an easy height too. All too reminiscent of those days in the early 80s before Roy Aitken started blasting them as hard as he could,almost daring the keeper to get in the way. For years,I didn’t watch us take penalties. I think I’ll revert to that.

Carl Starfelt made his comeback in his first game since August,and his first alongside Jenz. Never a wise idea to blood a new partnership in such a difficult match,but it was a decision forced upon us by the enforced absence of CCV. Yes,we missed him,but I doubt he would have made much of a difference. Jura was in for Ralston,the midfield was as usual,and we had Abada,Kyogo and Maeda up front. An attacking formation,and we did try to take the match to Real Madrid. As expected. But also as expected,we paid the penalty for being so adventurous.

We had fourteen attempts on goal,eight of which were on target. Courtois had some really good saves,although even if the shots were hit with some venom,they were too often fired straight down his throat. Mooy should have done better early in the second half,but showed once again why he gets a nosebleed being so far forward,a lack of composure again letting him down.

There was a multiple substitution just after the hour-I commend the comment from MACCARGO about an hour before the match which predicted this-but at that stage we were four down and soon to be five. Of those subs,Jota was the most effective,being twice denied by Courtois. He then got his chance for third time lucky,this time with a free kick about 25 yards out.

For once,Courtois was helpless,watching as the ball flew past him. The best thing about our night,in fact. And you could say that we finished our campaign on a high,having scored the final goal! That though would be a cop-out,to deny the reality.

The reality is that being drawn against the near-perennial holders plus the semi-finalists from two years ago was always going to be a nigh-impossible task. Those two finished with 13 and 12 points respectively. Being drawn also against Shakhtar,who have long been regulars at this level,even made the possibility of third place a difficult one at best. We should remember that this is the first time we have been at this level in five years,and that few of our players have any experience in it at all. And far too often,that showed.

Yet what are the positives to take from it? Well,we have shown that we can compete for large spells of the game,so the potential is there. We have had over eighty attempts at goal,so the midfield are clearly able to link up with our forwards and supply the ammunition. Only having four goals to show in six games though suggests that we are either snatching at those chances or are simply not good enough to get it over the line.

The negatives are the fifteen goals we conceded,and the number of chances the opposition created against us. Less than eighty,btw! Which suggests that the midfield are simply not capable of protecting our defence,the latter of which creaks and finally collapses under such exposure.

Overall,I’m proud of the effort we put in and the quality which we displayed-albeit not for the duration required to be successful. I don’t think we got the results we deserved,yet the table does not lie. And I think that with a bit of tweaking,some more coaching on performing at this level,maybe the occasional upgrade in personnel,that we will be stronger and more prepared next season.

Disappointed but not disheartened. There has been enough on show to suggest that we can get there.It’s been a while since we could say that about Europe.

<><><><><> 

Above article by BMCUWP

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Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends.
Thanks for the match summary Bobby. I thought Starfelt did pretty well in the circumstances. And a few of our other players also had good games as reflected in the early emails that I’ve received.
The 2 early penalties turned our uphill fight into a mountain to climb. I thought Ange spoke well after the game when he suggested that had we scored our own penalty it would have increased our confidence but probably wouldn’t have altered the final outcome.
I’ve enjoyed our 6 European games much more than I expected to. After we won the league last May I mentioned a few times on here that I’d have preferred to be in the Europa League rather than facing 6 drubbings in the top competition. I’m glad I was wrong on that. And whilst 5-1 is a sore one to take I’d argue that it wasn’t a ‘behind the sofa’ watch and that we stuck to our own way of playing, trying our best against far better opposition.
I remain on board the Ange Express.
Hope loads of posters and lurkers get their votes in today 😉

jayhawlk

Hi M..”I find our football joyful and intoxicating” copyright Anthony……..

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JAYHAWK

Yes,indeed. A very apt description of how we set out to play these days.

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JOBO

I was over in my local pub watching with some friends. None of whom are fellow Celts,I may add. They couldn’t believe that second penalty decision,but praised our Bhoys for not letting their heads go down at any stage and giving it a go.

From anyone else,that could have been patronising nonsense,but that isn’t their style.

Would we have done better with ten men behind the ball? Probably not against a team with Real’s quality.

GER57

Ange called it right. We can’t expect to rejoin the elite league after 5 years and succeed. He has a goal for us to keep improving, and he has a very open, attacking style of play.
I have certainly bought into his ideas about the players constantly trying to improve themselves as individuals and as contributors to the team. Greg Taylor embodies Ange’s philosophy for me.
There are clearly many on here who want us to “tighten up” when playing the better sides. I don’t like getting grubbed 5-1, but that score probably fairly reflected the gulf between the teams in terms of ball control, passing, running and finishing. It could easily have been 7-3.
We at least fought and lost. Had we set out to defend/keep the score down, Ange and us will never test his philosophy about the game. We have contributed to some great games and showed that we do create good chances, even against Real in the Bernabau.
I reckon our stock is rising in Europe because of our playing style. The best in Europe play that way. So should we.

GER57

Mags,
Oh the Rangers are shite,
Oh the Rangers are shite
……. repeat till hoarse.

Its the answer to your perennial question.

jimbo67

Morning BMCUWP, morning all

Not a lot I can disagree with you on there, mister. 2nd pen is one we would have shouted for if we had been the attacking side -especially after seeing the replay, so I am not that upset about it although I would cynically suggest that we would not have been awarded it in the Bernabeau or in Scotland had the scores been level or there was only one goal between the teams.

As for our taking penalties we have not been reliable since Tommy Gemmell when the pressure has been on us. Big Tam missed plenty when we were 2 or three up but if we really needed it – think Racing Club in Argentina or St Etienne just before half time a year later- he usually scored. Henrik v Boavista in the home game, Samaras to virtually tie up the league at Ibrox in 2011 and Dembele in the Camp Nou 6 years ago were massive misses and typical of us, jeez I can even remember a tight game at Bayview when Harry Hood, Bobby Murdoch and Kenny Dalglish all missed from the spot.

Where do we go from here? I think we have to live with been crap at penalties and there are players I think we have who are never going to get any better, but I do feel that plenty of our players might get better although Jota aside I do think even the good ones still have a fair bit to do. Only 4 of the shots on target actually ending up as goals – and one of them was an own goal- is, however, woeful. The old adage about the harder you practise the better you get is true but as with putting at golf in pressure situations there is more to things than possessing the skill – the coach can only do so much it is down to the player to sharpen himself up mentally.

A lack of strength in midfield has been a failing of ours since at least the tail end of Neil Lennon’s playing career save for the brief period Wanyama was in the team. Ange does not seem interested in having a midfield anchor a la Victor- although as I recall the Kenyan could play a bit too- and he should maybe look at himself and wonder if his own thinking needs revised. The big Dane – Oliver Abildgaard- has been touted as a more defensive midfielder but although he has been played 180 minutes, I cannot recall him making a single contribution. I am increasingly unimpressed by Mooy so now might be the time to see what Oliver can do.

And now a bit of a rant.

I wish that Celtic – the plc and support if not manager and coach- could stop judging everything against Rangers. I know they are our biggest rivals and free from Europe they could come to life domestically, but they do not look like a good team to me. It really pissed me off 10 years ago when Rangers went bust and the main chant became ‘here we go 10-in-a-row.’ This played into the hands of Lawwell who having been gifted an opportunity to help the manager/coach properly build a team instead just kept things ticking over enough to keep us winning the league. I could go on about how wrong so much that man did at Celtic was- and don’t tell me avoiding us going bust was some sort of masterstroke, to congratulate a CEO for keeping a prosperous company from insolvency is like congratulating a driver for managing to not crash the car into a stationary lorry – but I won’t. Beating Rangers is great, and I am glad they are rubbish and all that but just wanting to be better than them is setting your sights low. You aim high you might get something a wee bit lower, but you actually might just hit what you are aiming for- you aim low to begin with and you will never end up getting something higher. I think Ange is aiming high and deserves to be supported by us and his employers for doing so.

Have a good day and sorry for rabbiting on.

Jimbo

St tams

Bobby,
Good summary of last night.
HH from Madrid

Morning all! Compare and contrast the Youth team against RM yesterday and the big team – the youths set up in a 4/5/1 obviously to try to defend and hit on the break. They had a couple of decent chances but lost 4-1 to a very comfortable RM side. Ange set up in his usual 4/3/3 and lost 5-1, which included a couple of very early penalties and a few chances again where we probably should have done better.
I don’t know if there’s a right or a wrong way to play a team that are so obviously better than you but it’s hard to argue that this has been a successful campaign despite the fact that we’ve had a proper go at teams. Hopefully next season will be the time to show how far we’ve improved under Ange.
Incidentally, Ange not normally one for showing emotion on the touchline but last night you could easily see his frustration at some of our slack play and missed chances.
It’s been a great ride this season but hugely disappointing at times!

SeS

Bobby

I agree with you. The gender of the referee wasn’t a factor at all. The examples of referees making ridiculous decisions are legendary.

The folk in the VAR unit are being allowed to interfere too much.

Our footballing philosophy might be winning admiring glances, but who is quoted as saying this? – outside of Celtic fans, claiming they are still on the Ange bus!

When any player gets in front of a set of goals they should know how to strike the ball … too often ours don’t… and this is a problem in all games we play.

As far as I can see it’s got hee haw to do with levels of opposing team. Admittedly a better standard of keeper might save a higher percentage.

Are we practising enough shooting at goal? – I’d advocate utilising those full length, but only knee high, goals for practice games.

Really not kidding.

The constant sloppiness we see week in week out in domestic football- we get away with – is translated into doings in Europe.

Does everyone here feel we really improved in Europe this season ( factoring the higher level competition)?

If we expect to see better results next season we must work longer and harder at the footballing basics – touch, pass/move, shooting …

I’d add tackling – it is woefully weak.

We are still lacking in physicality – and the new reported CH just over 183cm/6’ – just not big enough to match opponents.

There are blind spots .. accept they are probably mine alone.

Yet Another year wasted in Europe.

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SALTIRES

I hadn’t noticed how clumsy my description of the referee and her performance was. My apologies to the site for that.

Yes,I made it plain that I wasn’t too impressed,particularly the ease with which she succumbed to the VAR demand. But I pointed out that she had got the three penalty calls correct at the time. Just that she wasn’t strong enough to stand by her convictions. Did I mean to convey that a male referee would have been stronger? Actually,no. My point was that I think this was the first time with a female referee,and it was her inexperience at this level which was the deciding factor. That would probably have been the case,no matter the gender of an inexperienced ref. They are eager to please.

However unintentionally,it was misogynistic and I apologise again,and particularly to the ref. And thanks for pointing it out.

SeS

Jimbo67

A great post

Resonating on the “Here we go 10 in a row .. “ point.

Recall being in Turin and ritually humped by Juventus, having being absolutely embarrassed at Celtic Park… our fans were singing ‘ here we go 10 in a row ‘ for about 40 minutes constantly in the second half ( taps aff in February )

Now the Juve fans were impressed with this show of support/defiance and some beside us stood up and openly applauded our fans.

At the time my memory went back to a nite at the Emirates as Arsenal finished us off in similar fashion .. our fans doing a version of what suspiciously looked and sounded like ‘The Bouncy’ ( never seen it since)

After both games we reached the conclusion that a significant number of Celtic fans just see Europe as a ‘beano’ and are more interested in getting it up Old Rangers/Sevvies

We’ve got posters telling us the league is all that matters and more recently referencing OF …

Don’t get me wrong when Sevvies match the record of their Old Rangers predecessors and achieve the worst ever campaign … I’ll laugh until my sides hurt. However, Maggs was absolutely spot on pointing to our forthcoming tie.

Losing 5 goals in any game is just unacceptable. All the mile long Corteos and massive Tifo’s and hunners of Smoke and Drums won’t disguise that.

We simply can’t do the basics on the pitch. Where and when it matters.

10 years and more… wasted!

SeS

Bobby

Being too hard on yersel’ there buddy – my only point was that referees have been getting it wrong forever.. now they have VAR to help them fek it right up even more.

HH

Jobo Baldie

And as for VAR, I think it’s great for offside decisions, a black or white issue. But the rest – I thought VAR was only meant to point out “clear and obvious errors”, pretty much missed by the ref. Instead, it seems that for the important decisions it’s the VAR team making the decision, not the ref. Madrid first penalty looked a penalty in real time. The 2nd one certainly didn’t and for them to benefit from the attacker slicing his shot miles wide but catching Matt’s elbow was just wrong.
Aff oot for most of the daylight hours but please, everyone, dont forget to vote- SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM

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SALTIRES

Not really. I should have checked it over before I published it. Or taken more time when writing it in the first place.

Anyway,I’ll leave the article unamended,along with my mea culpa. Might help concentrate my mind a bit in future.

St tams

One thing from this CL campaign has shown us.
Is that 5/6 of our players are just not good enough for this level.

jayhawlk

@p hope your well ..kieran would like to meet you at untd game…will be at jinky….

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JOBO

Clear and obvious is how I too remember the description when VAR was first introduced. That certainly seems to have changed.

Another thing that annoys me about the current penalty interpretation is when a player has been judged to have been fouled when he has just made contact first,with a touch which would have seen the ball go out of play anyway.

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ST TAMS

Any luck getting a ticket? My sisters,niece and their pal drew a blank,sadly.

St tams

Bobby
I had a ticket for Celtic end .
But ended up sitting behind the goal in the first tier with Madrid supporters .
It was a great experience.

Saltires

Remember the Juve game but not the Arsenal one- circumstances dictated I was only able to see game in the International Bar near Tollcross in Edinburgh.

My upbringing has a lot to do with my feelings towatds Rangers in purely football terms. The 57 League Cup final was obviously a deservedly famous result but for my parents and uncles the greatest triumph of the 50s was the Coronation Cup because we beat 2 grand English teams and a Hibs side regarded by many as the best Scottish ever up to thst point. Personally , I think being around during our great era of 67-74 is also a contributory factor to my having a different outlook to playing Rangers #1 & #2 to younger supporters noe. They had a good team almost all of that era and beating them meant a lot more in strictly football terms compared with now but beating the likes of Leeds, Red Star, Ujpest etc was seem as a step up in significance. But even then there were plenty who did not agree. Stein aimed high and in doing so the league almost looked after that almost by itself- and when we did need to stretch ourselves to win it we invariably did. The 4-0 Cup final win of 1969, the trio of wins at Ibrox in 28 days of 1971 and the 4-2 game of 1979 are I’d accept pretty close to those European triumphs as is possibly the 6-2 game of 2000.

I do think that there are some who look beyond next door’s back garden. One of the more personally pleasing memories of beating Liverpool was a younger supporter saying to me that he never thought anything could top us beating Rangers 6-2 but that this did. I daresay that there are plenty now who would, if they really thought about it, trealise being consistenty good in Europe is preferable to just being better than a team which is the all time worst team in the history of the competition*. Unfortunately too many are more interested in being a big fish in a puddle.

Jimbo

* And I do admit I smiled typing this last bit.

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ST TAMS

Lucky sod. Glad the trip went well,though. Pretty sure that the girls are having a great time too,and didn’t let the ticket situation get them down.

Prestonpans bhoys

Penalties…..the second one was beyond belief, as for the first Madrid player duffs his shot. If not Jenz blocks it with his body however he makes an arse of it, ball hits the ground bounces up to a Jenz falling to the ground, right arm out to break the fall. Common sense would have dismissed the claim.

Auldbhoy67

Good morning BMCUW

Well that’s European interest for me gone for another season I’m afraid. I have zero interest now in seeing who progresses to the final and lifts the trophy. After every game I have read who is to blame for our defeat or downfall ranging from so called experts to Jack the lad on one of our own club supporter blogs.
In my opinion (and let me say I’m no expert just a guy with time on his hands ) the main blame lies with UEFA as they are the people responsible for reformatting the tournament in the mid 1990s to accommodate Liverpool if I remember correctly. Doing this and further formatting has given countries classed as the big 5 a huge advantage which has now become unsurmountable for the vast majority of European clubs outwith those countries. I have drawn up a few stats which might bore some people reading them but proves a point to some extent.
From its 1st year 1955 to 1995 ( main change) 40 finals were played totalling 80 teams. Of those 80 SPAIN 13 ENGLAND 10 ITALY 18 GERMANY 10 FRANCE 5 included PORTUGAL 8 HOLLAND 8. That leaves 8 teams from other countries. Scotland 2 Yugoslavia 2 Greece Sweden Belgium and Roumania all 1. When you browse the teams who reached the finals in this 40 years its amazing to see some of the names who have more chance of flying in the space shuttle now than repeating it .
Notts Forest. Aston Villa Reims Fiorentina Hamburg E Frankfurt Steaua Bucharest panathinikos Sampdoria Malmo Bruges and unfortunately ourselves. Compare these stats to the next 26 years up to 2021/22 final which totals 52 teams.
SPAIN 16 3 finals had both clubs. ENGLAND 15. 3 finals had both clubs. ITALY 9 . 1 final both teams. GERMANY 9. 1 final both teams. FRANCE 2 zero with both teams. That equals 51 of the 52 teams . Holland who had 8 teams prior to 95 have had zero since and only Porto have broken the 5 big league stronghold.
I say with confidence now that only another change to the format OR an act of God can help bring this tournament back to being a reality for the smaller nations and leagues therein. As for me and many others I know it has been ruined as an interest after the group stages. People will use the old money excuse for the gulf in class etc and to a certain extent that might be true but just take a look at some of the teams who automatically enter the group stages and tell me they are better than we are this season. A champions league full of 2nd 3rd and4th placed clubs from 5 çountries is a mockery.
As far as finances are concerned the best we and many others in Europe can hope for is group stages followed by Europa league qualification through being 3rd placed. The dream of UCL final has gone now . For some that may be seen as a defeatist comment and attitude but for me it’s a reality currently backed up by the facts above.

Auldheid
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JIMBO67

I’ve said for years that we should not judge ourselves by them.

Re the (largely) successful era since Jock,I think our generation were spoiled by it! Just recently I was checking our honours list,and it reminded me of the trauma that my Dad and his generation must have endured. Until the arrival of Jock,he had seen us win ONE title,two Scottish cups and two League cups,plus of course the Coronation Cup.

He was 27yo before we won the second title in his lifetime. No wonder they were called the famine years.

Frodshambhoy

McCaff
Morning all! Compare and contrast the Youth team against RM yesterday and the big team – the youths set up in a 4/5/1 obviously to try to defend and hit on the break. They had a couple of decent chances but lost 4-1 to a very comfortable RM side. Ange set up in his usual 4/3/3 and lost 5-1,

Why are we using different formations if we want kids to develop and progress to the first team.
Could also argue that Youths were at home and big team were away so tactics were wrong way round

St tams

Bobby.
Madrid really is a fantastic city.
I’m sure the Ghirls would have had great time

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AULDHEID

Damning statistics,and definitive proof of how much the tournament has been skewed away from its original purpose. When the “big” leagues and “big” clubs flexed their muscles in the mid-90s,UEFA should have flexed theirs in response.

Reminded them of their responsibilities to the game,and of who controlled the competition. Or,if you don’t like it-GTF!

Worth remembering that the tv money back then was minimal,and the reason for the new group format a few years earlier was to avoid teams being knocked out early and only getting gate money for one tie. Well,that is fine as far as it goes,but allowing the entry of third and fourth place teams from certain leagues at the expense of the actual champions from other leagues was,as we have seen,the thin end of the wedge.

Lokk at the superleague proposals from eighteen months ago. Driven purely by greed and the lure of the now massive tv money,and intended simply to cut the competition up amongst themselves. Instead of quashing it-assisted by public protests-UEFA should have told the clubs to go ahead-and instructed their member associations to expel any member club from their league.

European competition laws would have been twisted in knots by that. The clubs could argue that barriers have been put up against them and UEFA could argue back that they had indeed permitted competition,etc. And applied the rules accordingly.

Auldheid

On VAR and penalties.

I think the direction of travel of the ball should be factor in making a decision.
If on target or going to a player in the clear a goal scoring opportunity is lost so a penalty.

If the ball is not going in direction of either then no opportunity lost so no penalty.

Football is not a game of black and white but the treatment by VAR on hand ball treats it as a black and white matter.

Its alien to the nature of the game.

Auldheid

BMCUW

Your thinking aligns with that of the Liga chap speaking at the Lisbon event about FSR.

They (UEFA) better ÷=×_# mean it.

Sometimes the consequences of laxity need to be painfully felt before remedies are taken.

The future of European football AS WELL AS UEFA is now at stake.

Self preservation is a helluva strong motivation.

SeS

Auldheid – some useful stats in there and well presented … as ever … stark contrasts

Anyhoo

All the best tomorrow morning around 11:30 a.m. Paradise time.

Frodshambhoy

Auldheid
Staggering stats on European cup v Champions League
Makes you wonder why we bothered turning up. Also adds strength to the argument that we should aim for 3rd place in a CL group. This, of course, is against the spirit of sport and competition but hey ho.

Rebus67

Firstly, let me say that my admiration for what Ange has achieved in Scotland is unbounded. To inherit that shambles and craft a championship team is remarkable. Also, he has a refreshing style dealing with the media. He is a great ambassador for the club. The new CEO seems happy to let him be the face of the club, which is a change from the previous incumbent.

Europe, particularly the CL, is a big step up and one that might require incremental steps to see improvement. In fact, I am not convinced that the current structure for European competitions is a fair one. Apart from money what is the point of most Pot4 teams taking part? Teams like Plzen, Copenhagen, Maccabi, Sevco and ourselves simply get hammered. Half of the eight groups are not competitive for the 3/4 positions. Plzen 7 behind; Sevco 6 behind; Celtic 4 behind, and Juventus/Maccabi both on 3 points but 11 behind the second placed team. These teams need to be structured into something in which they can be competitive.

However, I digress. My main concern is about the manager. I cannot make my mind up if he has got it right. We better hope so because this Aussie is not for turning. Each match I watch I try to determine if his philosophy is working or could work. I analyse his selections and his in game adjustments, which are few a far between, incidentally. I do not just look at the result. I hoped that seeing Ange pit wits against Ancellotti would provide the evidence that I need to determine if Ange can really make us a competitive team in Europe. Unfortunately, I am just as bemused as ever.

Firstly, his team selection…..very hard to judge this because he has a policy of rotating his players because of fixture congestion. Add in injuries, such as CCV, and it is difficult to judge one particular team selection. On the face of it, Abada and Maeda should not be first choices. However, he could be thinking that Maeda can cover for his FB as he goes forward and he did set up Kyogo in the first half. Abada won a penalty at a crucial stage of the game. If we had scored that, I think the result would have been the same, but the game may have been closer. Starfelt was a crazy risk. To bring him back for this game was either crazy, or a no other choice available, if Welsh was unfit. I do not know which was true.

The midfield of Mooy, O’Riley and Hatate is favoured by Ange, given that Calmac is out. Hatate is a stick on; the other two blow hot and cold. O’Riley, in his defence, is playing out of position and that shows at points in most games, but particularly last night. Incidentally, I do not blame him for the penalty, or non penalty. Should I blame Ange for selecting him in that position? Not really, because what is the alternative?

On the second issue, in game management, things are a bit clearer. Not only does Ange rotate his first choices, he uses subs around the 60 minute mark. Exceptions are for injury. If we take last night as an example, the subs came on too late to have a hope of turning the game around. Haksa and Jota made a difference but arrived too late. Did Ange see that the game was over and wished to preserve legs for a winable domestic game? Who knows? To me, there needs to be more flexibility in the timing of subs, so they have a chance to change a game. i get it that our high intensity style burns players out by the 60 minute mark so that is a time for subs. However, if the game is rapidly heading out of sight before the hour mark, surely, you need to change it up?
Madrid scored two goals from long range shots from outside the area. The, I think, Asensio one, showed up the lack of a defensive midfielder. Our defence could clear balls but they had no cover to complete or block the second balls. Should Abilgaard have been on when it became obvious that this was a threat? Heck, I do not even know if he could do that job because we hardly see him for longer than 10 minutes!

Hanging over all of this is my suspicion that a high intensity style is not sustainable over a long season. Players will burn out and lose heart eventually.

So, I am no further forward. If our CL effort is to be judged a failure, it should be on the basis of our results against Shaktar, not the other two major league teams. For me, that is where the real disappointment and disillusion lies.

Rebus

Auldheid

SeS
Frodshambhoy
Folks

The stats arent mine its Auldbhoy67 (no relation) that did the informative research.

Auldheid

If you could sum up the difference in the teams in a single moment then watch the technique at the moment the Madrid player hit the ball for their third goal. He wasnt the only one with it, they all had it.

That technique comes at a price a price Celtic cannot afford yet look at the difference it made when it comes to the most important point of football – scoring goals.

Jota is probably the nearest we come to that technical level.

Angel Gabriel

Jimbo 9.20am

I agree with every word of yer “ rant “ .

Spot on .
HH

BMCUWP @ 11.19

My dad did see some of the Exhibition Cup team – Jimmy Delaney , Johnny Crum and Malky MacDonald certainly- but he did not actually think he saw them play until after the war started although we did win the title in 36 and 38. (He was born in 1930 and lived in Polmont) so he’d be 36 when we won only the 4th title of his life and only the second of his adult life.

It is easy to turn into a bit of an old bore – comes effortlessly to me!- about the Great Celtic team but instead of just paying lip service by saying what an inspiration the Lions were , those around now should actually really believe it and not just give up. I think if you have not been in the Champions League for 5 years then you probably are allowed a season of getting used to it but going into it next year as though it’s all just some big adventure and not some serious attempt to go far in it is doing both the supporters and the Greats a disservice.

As for the CL itself it is a tournament I have come to loath despite the many good games. A tournament begun to suit Barcelona, AC Milan and Marseille because they thought spending big sums of money on players gave them a right to not be punished for making an erse of it on one evening in September. The antithesis of what any sport should be.

Jimbo

bada bing1

Shouldn’t have to apologise for criticising the referee, man or woman, she was totally out of her depth and hopeless, would she have done Liverpool v Napoli on Tuesday? Absolutely no chance, a PR stunt by UEFA IMO.

Craig76

MAGUA/ SES
A book that may be of interest to you both

https://twitter.com/55McCallum/status/1588109160272510977?s=20&t=RVhWc7XjLH4_pOS25ACIbA

This link takes you to all the books in the series
https://www.theglasgowirish.com/buy

Craig76
CFC

Auldbhoy 67

A excellent piece of analysis.
Very interesting stats and the direction of travel UEFA have endorsed is evident. Parochialise the minnows and maximise the wealth pot for the most populous leagues.

The only line I’d take issue with is you state:
“but just take a look at some of the teams who automatically enter the group stages and tell me they are better than we are this season.”
I take it you mean non Champions.
Off the top of my head I’d suggest there’s quite a few, Liverpool and Napoli for starters, Leipzig obviously, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Chelsea, Tottenham. There may be others – need to look at the various tables.

We are a pot 4 team for a reason.
And will remain so, as we will not significantly improve our coefficient getting battered by the big boys. The skewed nature of the format pointed out by you confirms this.

Our progress, as things stand, is dependent on beating the likes of Shakhtar to third and gaining vital coefficient points in the EL.

Craig76

Someone put the bat signal out for ASWGL 😃🤣

Auldheid

BMCUW

A bit of a mix up in my reply to you referring to FSR.

I thought you were referring to Phil’s blog I linked to when you addressed your post to me but I see it should have been addressed to Auldbhoy67.who did the excellent research.

My reply is still apt in that UEFA are aware of the danger big clubs with oil money backing are causing the game and so too are league bosses when they say UEFA better do what it says on the FSR tin.

Mike in Toronto

Auldheid @ Nov. 2 @ 11:16pm

Mike in Toronto

BAD

Clearly, there are a lot more on here that share your views than share mine. There is a part of me that will always hold out some hope that Celtic will be what I once thought they were.
=============
What did you think they once were? Anyone?

******************************************

Auldheid,

Got my 5th Covid jag and my flu shot yesterday, and they knocked the stuffing out of me last night, so missed your post until my read back this am.

I think your question is an important one.

For me, the short answer is, while it is a company, it is a company that has its roots in, as one of the club’s famous sons once said, ‘a people and a cause’. And while the company must make money, it should not do something that is inimical to those people or cause.

Is my view romanticized? perhaps. naive? perhaps.

But, for me, Celtic was more than just a sports team, and more than an excuse to get out doing chores on a Saturday; the love of Celtic I inherited from my dad went hand in hand with the other things I inherited from him: my faith (Catholic) and my politics (preferential option for the underdog, and belief in a free and independent Ireland ).

I’m not saying that anyone has to be Catholic to support Celtic… it is open to all …but I dont see how someone who is hostile to those ideas could or would want to support Celtic (at least the Irish and Catholic part … the politics part is, admittedly, more complicated, which may be a reflection of Catholicism’s somewhat conflicted relationship with politics… only 18 years before Celtic was formed, the Church declared the doctrine of Papal Supremacy, which was a response to Italian Republicanism, and only 3 years after Catholic brother was establishing Celtic to help the poor in the east end of Glasgow, the Pius IX promulgated the encyclical Rerum Novarum which was explicitly intended to rebut ‘the scourge of socialism’

But without that moral and historical touchstone at is heart, Celtic is just a team in green, and Sevco are just a team in blue… and are otherwise interchangeable …

it does seem that, at present, Celtic pay lip service to its history (I got an email this week about a mass at St. Mary’s), but when pressed to do anything to protect those communities (like banning Sevco fans unless they stop singing songs of hate against those communities), they stay silent.

Was it always this way? Perhaps, but personally, I think religion and community meant more in the past than it does today. Not just in this context, but in society generally.

Others who lived through the old regimes, may correct me on this.

Havent really thought this answer through, but wanted to at least acknowledge your question and give a reply. So, there are probably big problems/issues with this answer, but I am always happy to discuss further if anyone has thoughts/comments/questions/criticisms.

madmitch

The SPL is killing us — generates bad habits and sloppy finishing.
Miss a chance then no matter another will be along soon enough — 99% of the time.

I think the article overplays the opposition.

RM are not vintage this season.
RBL are a curate’s egg of quality and quantity in equal measure.
SD are lost souls with too much on their plate.

We lacked resilience / on field intelligence and leadership / precision finishing.

If their GK had lost the use of his arms he would be in hospital suffering from match-ball induced GBH — target fixation took over and we hammered every shot at him. In contrast they aimed for the side netting and prospered.

The CL was too much for us this season — not the quality of player we were up against but the pressure / expectation / mental challenges that it produces.

10 players had no experience and it showed.
1 player re-found all his demons and it was not pretty.
That has been the situation over the whole campaign but it was especially bad last night.

GT played well for 80% of the time then his football brain stopped functioning and he stumbled up blind alleys to give them opening after opening and he was not alone in that.

Big rebuild required — individual players need to be coached to handle both sides of the game. It would appear that the current focus is attack but our defensive shape / tactics looks poor for a pub team. When RM got us on the turn the stampede to the 6 yard box blocked JH’s view and opened up a prairie sized space on the 18 yard line.

They saw it and made use of it.

And then we had the two corners at the end.

Gaps left in the squad came back to haunt us — MoJ is as raw as sushi / good punt as a squad filler to take a look at him. Totally out of his depth last night as a starter. MO’R is not now a DM/pivot and playing him there left us bereft of nous / vision / defensive capability.

Two things at the end showed the difference in class and attitude.

DT tries to stop an advancing player by grabbing at his jersey — he gets a hold of the player and then he lets go as the player still tries to play on and he doesn’t have the confidence to follow his intention through.
Half hearted in spades.

JNPF comes on and starts to make progress / make forward runs.
The RM right back — 5-1 up / easy street — starts to put in the heavy tackles / boots just to let JNPF know that there is still a game going on.
Winner to the core.

That is what we need to fix as well as a lot of other stuff.

madmitch

Any issues with the site background?
Or is it just my laptop giving up?

fan

Impossible to read!!!!!!

Prestonpans bhoys

If you can read this you win a coconut😱😂

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