Too Close For Comfort-Again!

Morning,all.

Firstly,my apologies for what is going to be a rather strange “match review”. Not only did I not take up the offer of a ticket,I didn’t even watch the game elsewhere. The rest of my family did,but I had other plans which could only take place last night. No apologies for that,as the company was excellent,and included some people who I will most certainly not wait so long to meet the next time. Over thirty years in one case,much to my shame. 

Plan B,of course,was for match highlights via the BBC,aye really. Nope,the BBC had plans of their own. As,sadly,did the SPFL channel. I doubt this will be a regular occurrence though,so I’ll do my best from the few avenues left open to me. 

Firstly,we controlled the game throughout-up until a break from Livi,deep in injury time,gave us a dose of the vapours. We had barely gone two up via Kyogo and were probably preening ourselves for a welcome chorus of cheers heading for the interval when we lost a cheap goal. Rather than fire us up for the second half,we resorted to running about like headless chickens,spraying passes everywhere bar their intended target and generally making life easy for the opposition. 

That the opposition were restricted to three shots on goal is testament to our dominance in possession. That two of them were on target-one for the goal and the other needing a decent save from Joe Hart-strongly suggests that Ange and his players need to do some hard yards in training and elsewhere. 

Teams should not be so dominant,yet so weak in the finish as we are at the moment.

We were expecting the side to come out firing on all cylinders after the winter break,but we are largely firing blanks. Yet we had plenty of low crosses hitting the danger area,a route which has served us well in the past,with no takers in the zone. Either the players aren’t “in the zone” to begin with,or they’ve forgotten the game plan! Yes,it was terrific to have Kyogo back on the score sheet,but for once the service was available and the finisher was largely absent! 

We haven’t yet got back up to our early season pace and confidence,and the amount of time taken by some players to receive and control,think and pass is a genuine worry. Are they losing the instincts that initially brought them to our attention? Are they over-thinking,or simply unable to mentally be that step ahead of the game that the top players possess? If so,why-because all of them had that in their locker not so long ago.

Is it too easy to suggest that they need to get back to doing the simple things well,or is that asking something of them that they either don’t have-or have they forgotten? I dunno,but hopefully Ange does,and will remedy matters with all haste. 

We should not be having around 80% possession over two matches,and having only two single-goal victories to show for it. We have the quality in midfield and up front to have so much more of a return than that-yet the table does not lie. Six points from six,difficult to complain. Churlish,even. But a single goal advantage is never a comfortable one-just ask the huns’ last two opponents. Even two goals is no guarantee-the World Cup final proved that. The day before,Swansea came from three down to merit a draw!

Nothing is safe when the side is worried about losing a goal,concerned about the likelihood of one. We are playing on the edge at the moment,completely lacking in the free-flowing football that a confident side has. We need to knock that out of our system darn quick,and we need to have the mojo back and firing over the next two matches. 

Because hanging on against the odds-by which,I mean that we should never be in that situation in the first place!- is a surefire way to the runners-up spot. Get it sorted please,Ange.
<><><><><>

Above article by BMCUWP

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BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKE
December 22, 2022 9:32 am

JOBO POTY Competition…

sencelpoty@gmail.com

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKE
December 22, 2022 9:33 am
BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
December 22, 2022 9:37 am

Test

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 9:38 am

Well said Bobby can’t disagree with any of that. As I said last night, that second half was utter shite😈

Rebus67
December 22, 2022 10:25 am

Yes, finally we are talking about the problem that has been staring us in the face. It was there as we limped to the break. It was there in Australia and Portugal, and,it is still present in the two games we have played since the re-start.

It is not a temporary problem and it is not due to lack of effort. It is a fundamental problem because the players we have do not fit the formation that we play. Kyogo and GG have not become poor players suddenly. Cross after cross along the ground with nobody near enough to tap in a goal. High crosses into a small striker are not going to work.

We shall not fix this, long term, by buying another striker, at least not one tgat is within our budget. Sometimes you feel that we could play for a week and not score. It is the formation that is the problem. More specifically, it is playing one striker that is the issue. Neither GG alone nor Kyogo on his own can get sufficient goals to make victories more comfortable. The formation has to be changed to play two strikers. So either a wide player or a midfielder has to be sacrificed to free up a space for the second striker. I am not sure Ange is flexible enough to do this. January 2 may provide the crisis that will force change. A home game versus StJ is likely to produce another see-saw result that can go either way, if we persist with the same shape.

Rebus

Leggy
December 22, 2022 10:46 am

Morning all,

A Mini Hoot/ Gathering/Bevi Session has been arranged for Friday 20th January 2023 in East Kilbride.

Venue is Barocco ( Formerly Legends) in the Village Area and starts at 1.00 pm.

Everyone is invited and if you are a possibility for attending let me know ( Just an estimate for possible numbers)

I’ll give instructions on trains and buses nearer the time.

Cheers 🍀🍀

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 10:50 am

That embarrassing moment when even the DR don’t contest Adada’s goal……….

Bigrailroadblues
December 22, 2022 10:50 am

I’m in. 🍺🍺🍺🍺

Bigrailroadblues
December 22, 2022 10:52 am

Prestonpans
Fancy a trip through to EK for a swally? Spare room at Leggys. 🤣🤣

Jobo Baldie
December 22, 2022 10:56 am

Good morning, friends.
A pretty slow start to the ole voting from last night’s games but plenty of time to send your 3 nominations – SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM

St tams
December 22, 2022 10:59 am

Very good summary Bobby.
Our performances are very worrying and goes back to before the break.

St tams
December 22, 2022 11:04 am

Rebus67
Ange had the opportunity to go to 3 at the back last night when Ralston went off. Instead he put Taylor who can’t use his right foot at right back.

St tams
December 22, 2022 11:06 am

Leggy
Will EK not be under snow 🌨 then 🤣

fan
December 22, 2022 11:07 am

Rebus67
Good post.
Agree that the system does not have the players required.
The flawed midfield still exists and that’s causing the service to front players to be easily nullified by even limited opponents.
Everything goes wide followed by hopeful crosses to an outmanned Kyogo and whoever comes in towards backpost.
It often leaves 2 of our players against 6 opponents as our midfield have stopped any pretense of attacking final third.
The central area of midfield now consists of McGregor,Hatate and O’Riley playing the footballing equivalent of pass the parcel to each other.
We need Hatate to have more freedom to express himself.O’Riley to get back to his pass and move game and McGregor to show more positive movement and use his shooting ability.
Or maybe we should recognize that this trio is not that adept at attacking or defending so the lack of balance and vulnerability is predictable.

Leggy
December 22, 2022 11:07 am

St Tams,

We are under snow in the Summer so should be able to cope 😜😜😜😜

Frodshambhoy
December 22, 2022 11:22 am

Morning all from hospital in Glasgow

Jobo sorry didn’t see the game link didn’t work

Leggy as you know EK can cope with snow.
When I moved South in 1984 about an inch of snow fell in Brighton. It caused chaos and featured on the local radio and TV news.

Rebus I’ve been saying for ages we should try 2 up front. We have a little and large duo so don’t know why we don’t give it a go. I know it’s about systems but some systems work with 2 up top

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 11:55 am

Bigrailroadblues@10:52

Nocando that’s a family event weekend and just noticed a cup game that weekend too.

Jobo Baldie
December 22, 2022 12:08 pm

Leggy at 10.46. I’ll do my best to attend for some of the fun. If I have no babysitting obligations (won’t know that till the week berfore) then I might even manage 2 or 3 pints!!!!

SFTB
December 22, 2022 12:16 pm

Superbru update

Nearing the end stage of first set of prizes now with only 2 sets of fixtures left.

Round 17 saw a triple tie for first place with Raplochbhus, Hopeful Hoops and Celticrollercoaster on 9.5 points for the week. This week’s wooden spoon recipient was Pro Cierto on 1 point though he had 2 non participants below him.

The race for the prizes (going to Top 3 only) looks like this:-

1. A Thing of Beauty -105 pts.
2. Leggy – 103 pts
3. Ayrshire Tim- 97.5 pts
4. Tirconnell- 93
5. celticrollercoaster- 92
6. Bognorbhoy- 90.5
7. Call Me Gerry- 89
8. Hutchybhoy- 88.5
9. TravelBhoy- 87.5
10- Apple- 87

With 12 fixtures to go , we could still see a 3rd prize go to someone outside this top 10 but congratulations to the two who broke the 100 points barrier this week.

Conanh25 is in the lead for the Wooden spoon on 34.5 with wee McCaff and Craig 76 on 43 and 49 respectively. these guys should maybe concentrate on trying to win the final end of season prize for highest weekly total of 14.5 points. I intend to award the wooden spoon to an active participant (to the end of the season) low scorer rather than to someone who could not keep up with participation, as I understand some posters have dropped out (a genuine thank you for your support BTW).

Next set of fixtures begin tomorrow at 7.30 pm with 2 SPFL fixtures and 4 more on Saturday- early kick off for Celtic. The final 6 fixtures are on Wed. 28th December at 7.45 pm. I hope to be sober enough to announce winners on the 29th.

As always, thank you for your support and interest. Enjoy Christmas and a 9 point lead.

Rebus67
December 22, 2022 12:24 pm

I think belief in Ange’s all action system started to die on European fields. Many of the players saw that flat out effort was not enough to gain points.

May be it was inevitable that a system based on out running, out challenging the opposition would not be sustainable.

It is very concerning that our performances do not match the player advantage that we have over teams in the SPL.

The evidence is stark.

On Sept 18, Celtic lost to StM by two goals. The team could have played all night and not scored.

Since then, we have played 10 league games and 7 of them have resulted in single goal victories. 2-1 is the most common score occurring in half of our games, including last night. In only 1 of these games can we say we completely blew the opposition away, 6-1 versus Hibs. The next most decisive result was 3-0 versus our opponents from last night.

On this form, Celtic are on track to drop points.

Add in our European results and it is hard not to conclude that what we are doing on the field is not purring along as hoped.

Otherwise, player development, recruitment, planning, we are performing well. However, to fans, it is on field performance that matters.

Rebus

bada Bing 1
December 22, 2022 12:41 pm

We are watching rules getting re-written and invented as we watch,if we don’t flag it up before the 2nd,we are sitting ducks.

16 roads
December 22, 2022 12:45 pm

What alternative is there though, when a team is faced with packed defenses?

I’ve read Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers being criticised because their teams apparently played “sidewards” football.

That Barcelona side of Messi,Xavi & Inesta were the antidote to park the bus opposition , however they were unique.

Obviously one could respond with the obvious – European sides attack Celtic yet the team couldn’t compete on our terms – resources obvious difference – same as the domestic teams are at a disadvantage when they place us.

Do we revert to a more pragmatic system for Europe,or play our own style?

The results are inevitably the same regardless.

Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t change it for the European games, Lenny on the other hand always seemed to have his teams punching well above their weight against superior continental teams.

It’s a difficult question, one which I don’t have the answer to, unfortunately.

HH.🍀

McCaff
December 22, 2022 1:23 pm

As ever, it is easy to criticise when things appear to go against us in terms of results.
I’m no tactician nor am I really a stats man but I can see the flaws in our set up and playing style.
I’m not sure I agree the style of play is the issue, we used it last year and blew teams away. We are still creating bundles of chances – 33 against Aberdeen – but not taking them. The goals to chances ratio appears to be an issue which in my opinion is down to strikers/forwards anticipating the moves. Last season we had Maeda, Abada, Jota, Kyogo all moving across the box or coming in at the back post in expectation of a low cross fired into the six yard box and we regularly got the rewards for it. That’s not been happening this season so far.
Have teams learned to play against us, have we made it easier by becoming less adventurous or more controlled? Has Ange tried to ensure less chances conceded in games to try to develop the squad to play at a higher level?
Last night we had a few opportunities to lob a diagonal from the corner of the 18 into the 6 yard box but opted to play square or go wide. Too safe? A quick diagonal would have put Livi under pressure, quicker and had them in the turn. Why aren’t we doing it?
All of that before we talk about Livi players fouling at will but Celtic players (Starfelt) being spoken to after one tackle, or Bernabei getting booked for bouncing the ball off the ground in frustration whilst the Livi no 11 and no 33 both foul without recourse.
Bottom line is we won, not as comfortably as we should have, but after a 5/6 week break from competitive fitba we’ve come back and taken 6 from 6 without playing well. We’ve got new players already lined up for January which should tell us the Ange isn’t 100% with how things are shaping up!

McCaff
December 22, 2022 1:27 pm

Incidentally, the ball behind the defence for Abada to run onto was different class and a perfect example of how patience does pay off sometimes!

Rebus67
December 22, 2022 1:31 pm

16 Roads,

Yes, it is a difficult problem and one that I do not have a solution that is sure to provide a fix. That is what Ange is paid to do.

I think Ange is too experienced and smart not to realise that there is an issue. Seventy percent of your victories being single goal margins, is great for excitement levels but, given the opposition, smells of under achievement. Of course, we have no right to expect to thrash every SPL team but only doing it once, perhaps twice, in 10 games should not be acceptable.

Still, it is Christmas, and thoughts should turn to happy things.

Rebus

JimDom
December 22, 2022 1:33 pm

Usually at this time in December we are playing game after game and looking forward to the January winter break. Our December performances are very often narrow win affairs. And not particularly easy on the eye.

The World Cup has completely skewed the schedule, and with no post-Christmas Euro tie to look forward to, the rest of the season could be more about player motivation than anything else. Five months of domestic drudgery beckons ? Hopefully not.

Would it be blasphemous to suggest that the current football under Ange Postecoglou is both boring and predictable ? From me to you, from you to me. And this against the journeymen pros of the SPFL. We give these limited ability opposition players far too much respect. Let them have the ball, they are not going to do much with it.

Saturday versus St Johnstone will probably be another example of Einstein’s definition of insanity. But it needn’t be.

JimmynotPaul
December 22, 2022 1:48 pm

I can’t see Ange being happy with this.
G.G. may have a point, but no way Ange will accept this, in my opinion.
Looks like G.G. starting to work his ticket, he must know manager won’t be happy.
Giorgos Giakoumakis takes to Instagram with a simple ⏳ emoji.

He was subbed on in the 82nd minute of our victory over Livingston last night. https://t.co/vzpUw0uXUE

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 1:58 pm

Popped over to Ibrox Noise for a laugh, now this has not been awnawed………

We know the BBC are filled with Celtic and Aberdeen fans, and Pacific Quay is rife with them 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😀😀😀😀

16 roads
December 22, 2022 1:59 pm

Totally agree Rebus67.

It is indeed Christmas, and we are top of the league.

Happy now, I’ll be on cloud 9 though when we scalp the new entity, January 2nd 2023..if God spares me of course.

HH. 🙂🍀

Rebus67
December 22, 2022 3:13 pm

There is good news!

Things are getting busy here and I am unlikely to be on again for a wee while.

Did you know that Christmas Eve is the big day in Sweden?

Families have a Swedish buffet and open their presents on that night.

Have a Happy Holiday with family, friends and your supernatural concepts.

From the Rebus family to yours,

Healthy Times Ahead

Rebus

timhorton
December 22, 2022 3:27 pm

REBUS67
All the best for Christmas and New Year to you and family.
I think we can use a few more goals from the midfield and the odd one from a defender,i don’t know when O’Reilly chipped in with a goal or two same as Hatate…………top of the league🍻

JimmynotPaul
December 22, 2022 3:40 pm

Celtic away to St J, moved for live T.V.
Sunday February 5: St Johnstone v Celtic, kick-off 12pm

Leggy
December 22, 2022 3:50 pm

Rebus67,

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a

Happy, Hoopy 3, points New Year 💚💚💚

HH 🍀🍀

Auldheid
December 22, 2022 4:23 pm

oH oH oH

Sentinel Celts playing Santa walking and talking backwards as Christmas approaches.

TGM posted yesterday about how fear can dominate our thinking, so what is the fear of maybe dropping a point or two whilst 9 in front?

How realistic is it?

Are players affected by it, being cut from same human cloth as the rest of us. (bar me of course. I lie on the cutting room floor trapped by an attitude of gratitude 🙂

Except for 90 plus minutes watching Celtic when the bpms per minute overheat my Galaxy Wear whose rubber strap has caused my right arm wrist to itch.

I changed it over the other day but I lose a second answering the dear lady (she is not that expensive actually) when she asks the time as I first look at the wrong wrist – but enough of my insignificant travails.

Where was I?

Oh yes gratitude. Where to start?

I’m grateful to Sentinel Celts for providing a platform to express my whimsys.

I’m grateful for the friends that I have made here and other blogs in the past. (even Mags and his brothers lol)

I’m grateful for the friends I have still to make or meet in the future.

I’m grateful Ange has turned up, a mature honest chap whose values I hope are infectious at Celtic.

I’m grateful we are 9 points in front, otherwise I’ll need to get a new Galaxy Wear or something more robust , like Big Ben digitised to sit on my wrist, no rubber strap obviously.

I’m grateful Celtic have recruited a squad of players that allow us to grind out a results when packed defenses get even more packed by putting more strikers in the box.

I look forward to being grateful when Ange has sorted that out for he was one unhappy bunny in his post match interview.

On a more personal level I’m grateful for the family and life I’ve been given. So far , so good.

Finally I’m grateful for the attitude of gratitude that comes to my rescue when fears arise. They are never what we fear.

Ho Ho Ho everyone, what are you grateful for?

Madmitch
December 22, 2022 4:25 pm

Reading back — all the issues / fears / uncertainty are now out in the open.
Just a case how do we make things better / what do we need to improve?

My thoughts are that we are currently very disjointed — not playing with any sort of belief or fluidity.

Things were poor with MO’R playing at DM / pivot.
Things have not got any better with CMcG back in the team.
In fact it is now probably worse as the expectation levels are higher.

Not sure if there is an easy fix to all of this.
The malaise looks as if it has infected just about the whole team.

The CL campaign took a lot out of us.
Form some it was aggravated by the old demons returning.
I think AP was looking for more and these demands are starting to lose some in the squad.
Plus the transfer window is causing a few to lose focus on the SPL.

Hopefully things start to improve.
We are currently not looking like a SPL winning team.

The 31 days of January will tell us where we really are.

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 4:30 pm

Rebus67
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes👍

On another note, just noticed the Manc v Liverpool tonight. Need to charge up the tablet as no chance of the big telly until after nine😕

Auldheid
December 22, 2022 4:34 pm

Mad Mitch

I think O Reilly has not been as effective as before.

I though Hatate slowed down play looking for a world cup pass and McGegor is McGregor.

Mooy looked hungry when he came on and I would not be surprised if he started in the defensive role replacing O Reilly or Hatate.

Big Audio Dynamite
December 22, 2022 4:46 pm

So we are only happy if we are skelping everyone 5 and 6 nil, and playing like Brazil1970?

It’s gonna be some read on here if we ever lose 2 or 3 games.

Fuck me!

Jobo Baldie
December 22, 2022 4:51 pm

Good afternoon, friends.
I appreciate that it was a tough decision in trying to determine which 3 players were most deserving of your vote. I’m hoping that many of you are still taking time deliberating over this as so far we haven’t even reached 40 emails. Nevertheless, someone is going to walk away with the points although there’s still loadsa time to vote. The polls close officially at 10pm. But as I won’t be finalising the results until tomorrow morning then any that come in overnight might also sneak into the final count. SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM

fan
December 22, 2022 5:35 pm

B.A.D.
(So we are only happy if we are skelping everyone 5 and 6 nil, and playing like Brazil1970?)
Don’t recall reading that on here?
I think people have written with concern over performances where we have labored despite having a huge possession advantage.
Should everyone just follow the CQN tradition of happy clapping and Lawwell loving?

St tams
December 22, 2022 5:40 pm

Overall, I would say that as a team we have not improved from last season and that is disappointing.
Would like to see some more additions coming in during January.

Billy Bhoy
December 22, 2022 5:46 pm

I’m bemused that some are expressing anger at the criticism of last nights performance. It was lacklustre and Ange was clearly as frustrated and disappointed as the majority of us on here. It’s the closest he’s come to being overtly critical of them following a domestic win. To me, he seemed to just stop short of accusing them of not working hard enough to get on the end of the numerous crosses that went into the box.

Let’s hope we see a big improvement on Saturday.

My top 3 were Abada, CCV and Ralston. I’m not sure that there were any other contenders mind you! 🙄

Prestonpans bhoys
December 22, 2022 5:46 pm

Fan

That last sentence of yours was in my heed too😱😂😂😂

A thing of beauty
December 22, 2022 5:51 pm

No happy clapping from me. We have been dire since we stuffed the Huns and it seems to me that Ange is feeling much the same way after his comments last night. He spoke of people not getting into the proper positions when we attack and 33 shots, 81% possession and one goal against Aberdeen as an example bear this out. The problem we have is why are people not doing as they are being asked? Auldheid says players possibly have their eye on a move. Giakoumakis’ Instagram post would seem to point to that being the case for him. If players want to move then the price must be right and then they go. We have recent history of holding on to unhappy players and it doesn’t work.
I really thought last night would see us get back to form but it did not happen. Hatate can look like a wonderful player but sometimes he wants to slow everything down as though the hurly burly of the SPL is beneath him. It results in tippy tappy between him and the two nearest players, usually Jota and Taylor. I also note that Jota has been subbed in the last two games – deservedly so and I feel Ange is looking for a lot more from him.
The scatter gun is out as my post shows but I think that just illustrates how many of our players are out of form. We are in grave danger of dropping points just now. Winning so many games by the odd goal will catch up eventually.
As for the ref last night. Hun hun hun hun hun hun hun hun hun bstrd. Why oh why do we allow this to happen. Get them told Celtic. And none of your behind closed doors shite. Out in the open plain speaking is required here. Though maybe not as plain as mine 😂😂

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
December 22, 2022 6:18 pm

ATHINGOFBEAUTY

Our spineless board will run a mile rather than face up to their responsibilities to the club they are supposed to represent. Dr Reid had that shown to him,along with the door,in 2008.

I’ve got an article in waiting on this subject,probably for about a week from now. I suspect it will need updating long before publication!

CFC
December 22, 2022 6:19 pm

It is likely to be same again on Saturday v St J.

Surely time to try something different.
Assuming another 75%plus possessions rate why bother with inverted full backs when possession in midfield is a given against all our domestic opponents.

Our defence will have to police one frontman, so why not go three at the back
Starfelt CCV Taylor

Mooy deserves a run out from the start.
Drop either Reo or Matt and play Calmac forward.

Play Kyogo and GG up top.

Try something different

Auldheid
December 22, 2022 6:39 pm

ATOB

Auldheid says players possibly have their eye on a move. Giakoumakis’ Instagram post would seem to point to that being the case for him.
======================
Whilst that might be a factor for GG I was thinking that being 9 in front introduces and element of complacency, enough to take the edge off. We go 2 up and get slack right afterwards.

When Dundee Utd equalised late on, our edge came back with afterburners.

Competition or a belief that it is real can make a difference.

It’s a balancing act between comfort and anxiety for supporters and I think players are not immune to it.

Anxiety takes us out of our comfort zone to get us back into it.

It’s nice to feel comfortable but comfort zones can stop anxiety happening.

In short, its attitude.

Auldheid
December 22, 2022 6:41 pm

CFC
It is likely to be same again on Saturday v St J.

Surely time to try something different.
Assuming another 75%plus possessions rate why bother with inverted full backs when possession in midfield is a given against all our domestic opponents.

Our defence will have to police one frontman, so why not go three at the back
Starfelt CCV Taylor

Mooy deserves a run out from the start.
Drop either Reo or Matt and play Calmac forward.

Play Kyogo and GG up top.

Try something different
===============
Yup

Big Audio Dynamite
December 22, 2022 6:47 pm

Fan, we don’t seem to be getting a lot of joy out of winning.

You know there are always a percentage of games you win while not playing great.

Our consistency of results is actually amazing, but you wouldn’t know it reading the support right now.

Just find it all a bit strange.

Big Audio Dynamite
December 22, 2022 6:49 pm

As usual, i’d bet we are the form team in Britain right now.

Same as it ever was.