A Dire Away Day For Celtic Leaves All Involved With Real Questions To Answer.

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These are the ways that leagues are lost; bogey grounds, bogey teams, long runs away from home without a win but worse; the repetition of things that do not work, over and over and over and over again like a nightmare that just won’t end.

I don’t believe in bogey teams or bogey grounds.

It’s not a mystery why we got to that horrible ground and struggle on that horrible pitch.

We go there and play the same deadening, awful, ineffectual football and it doesn’t matter who’s in the dugout because if the approach is the same then we can be read like a book and the counter to it is easily applied.

The way to stop Celtic on an away ground such as this is simple; put every man behind the ball and let us fumble about hitting high crosses into a penalty box filled with opposing players who only need to hoof it or head it clear.

As long as they concentrate they are sorted.

We lack the penalty box target man who might give them something to think about, and we have for years now.

This is why we do not win at Livingston.

Lessons are not learned.

The best chances we made today were balls through the middle.

Yet constantly, over and over again, we played the ball wide.

Over and over again our players crossed it into the penalty box where it hit a wall of home shirts.

And instead of learning from it and changing it we continued doing it.

What in God’s name was our manager thinking persevering with that inept style of play?

Why didn’t Jota and Abada run into the box with the ball instead of hitting those crosses?

Why didn’t we rely more on the full-backs and let those two support the lone striker?

Is once enough from this manager?

Is he going to learn?

This is the reality of away days in the SPL.

Packed penalty boxes and teams hitting you on the break.

Real questions will be asked of this manager and this team after today and they should be.

We’ve forgiven a lot because the home football has been exhilirating. Even in midweek we showed something,

Today we were dire, and our away record in Scotland is becoming a grotesquerie.

We’ve all given out a lot of benefit of the doubt, but that doesn’t have an inexhaustible supply and all involved better know it.

You gave this team Hearts because they were coming together still.

You gave them Ibrox because that could have gone either way.

But now that away record starts to have meaning.

Now it starts to loom large.

Three away games and three losses; today’s defeat is scandalous.

Martindale’s team has won its first game of the campaign, and it’s against us … that is unacceptable however you cut it.

There is no benefit of the doubt today. Just doubt.

Nagging, gnawing doubt.

Questions we were willing to put aside are now current, and real and require answers.

The manager has failed to grasp that SPFL football away from home is different than playing at home.

The big wipe open spaces don’t exist; you have to make them.

You do not make them hitting stupid high balls from wide into a packed penalty area.

This is ABC stuff.

Livingston today used a public park football tactic and it was enough to stop us.

There are no justifications for that whatsoever.

We have fallen another point behind Ibrox and that away record is now a problem, a real one and not just something that we can blithely dismiss because this is a new campaign.

That was woeful today and there are no excuses for it.

The manager and his coaching staff – who are a big, big part of the problem – had better come up with answers and they better come up with them pronto.

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  • Don Cowie says:

    Honeymoon period over for Ange, big problem with coaching staff, no matter what new defenders are brought in, the standard of defending is the same. Must be a huge coaching problem

  • Roonsa says:

    Aye James. I did wonder why you were saying in a recent article that under Ange nobody in Scotland will be able to live with us. We’ve played 2 really good games against St Mirren and Dundee. In other games we have failed to impress, even the 3-0 game against Ross County.

    The tactics today were poor. He left it till 70 mins before making a sub when it should have been obvious at at Half Time that playing down the flanks wasn’t working. Expecially with Jota who was far too easily brushed off the ball.

  • Stephen Murray says:

    Correct, so predictable, 1 point out of 15 then they beat us , where’s the new Greek forward

  • Peter cassidy says:

    Ange better start learning very quickly and change things around if his tactics don’t work against these teams who pack 10 men behind the ball stale today and void of ideas very worrying now 4 points behind already maybe he needs a good assistant manager with him and new coaching staff if not he won’t be here by Xmas if the defeats continue just my honest opinion this is how football is now just hope he can get us challenging for the leauge ?????.,

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Neil Lennon’s book of tactics anyone? Why can’t we beat teams like Livingstone,does anyone think real betis would have got beat there today,this has got John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan written all over it , Ange better wise up quickly and dump those two jokers , Neil Lennon could have done that today, shocking for a team of our strength and so called better players.

  • Peter cassidy says:

    Very very poor today void of how to break down a $hit team ange better get his act together very quickly or he will be gone by Xmas coaching staff not up to it same old tactics against 10 men behind the ball players also need a good kick up the backside just not good enough rant over so disappointing again????.

  • Dora says:

    Same old same old at that ground with a shocker of a pitch..!
    At least that so called klub were equally poor so not much damage done..
    Can’t help feeling that once Celtic string a few wins together it’ll all slot into place so HH + Fk sevco footy klub..!!
    Im all in on Celtic being champs again and as one wise owl from sharts of Midlothian once said——normal service has resumed when Calmac lifts the trophy!!

  • MarkB says:

    Another SPL defence that can’t live with our attack… hilarious. Another away defeat another away blank. Will give Ange time but he needs to fix the basics. To not get a result a point at Hearts and Livi is woeful.

  • Francis Lester says:

    Kennedy , Strachan and the other cronies left over from lennons time must have influenced that display today, time is up for them and time fir the manager to bring in his own people as Ange would have no knowledge of that farce of a pitch and how we previously performed there. Time to fix it before we fall any further behind the govan mob who are also very poor at the minute .

  • SSMPM says:

    I started writing about blame this one and that one, then deleted it. There are no acceptable reasons only excuses. It seems like we have spent and wasted shed loads of cash over the last two seasons. It builds the hope in us but right now it feels hopeless. If Ange can’t get this sorted soon and get some consistency going then hope will be lost in him too. C’mon Hoops. HH

  • Seppington says:

    Another call to end the presence if Kennedy and Strachan (both). How can Ange not see that his defensive coach is completely useless? Baffling.

    It’s fine to have an attacking philosophy, but you need a defensive one too. Something beyond “Score more goals than them” would be a start, because you have to be able to score in the first place for that to work!

    At least the filth didn’t get a win on their pathetic fake flag day. Scum.

  • Dermot Mc Mullan says:

    Why has Celtic and Ange retained the services of two jokers of ‘coaches’ after the dire season just passed. Kennedy and Strachan should have been out the door along with Lennon, do it now Celtic and let Ange bring in his own backroom staff and not have him strangled by these charletans.

  • Martina says:

    Why do we need to refer to Rangers on a bad day for us. Why refer to them as filth. That should be below us. They are of no consequence until we get our act together.
    Too many lightweight performances today. Need our top team to play every game to string a set of results together. New players need to bed in quickly and start producing consistent performances both home and away. Defensive errors need worked on and correted quickly. New coaching team a priority for this continually failing area of the team.

  • Ange Baby says:

    After watching that today, apart from Hart and Kyogo out injured can anyone hand on heart say we have adequately replaced Broonie, Ajer, Christie?
    Abada has gone off the boil, Jota looks a showpony and Ajeti doesnt pose enough of a threat-the fantastic performances v Dundee & Hearts seem ages ago and we seem to be getting worse with each game

  • Ange Baby says:

    Agreed Martina, too much obsession with Sevco when we have plenty to worry about ourselves.
    After watching that today, apart from Hart and Kyogo can anyone, hand on heart , say our signings match the quality and influence of Broonie, Ajer, Christie?
    Abada has gone off the boil, Jota looks a showpony and Ajeti doesnt pose enough of a threat-the fantastic performances v Dundee & Hearts seem ages ago and we seem to be getting worse with each game

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