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Celtic Changed The Playing Style Today And That Cost Us Points.

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Half time today, I was feeling very frustrated.

At full time, in spite of the tactical changes, I felt even more frustrated,

This was a game in which we totally dominated but there was very little penetration. T

he reason for that had nothing to do with the team selection, as some are already suggesting, but because we persevered with an attacking tactic which does not work and will not work no matter how often we try it

Don’t get me wrong; there will be games and moments in those games when this pays off. Because defences do make mistakes and players sometimes do edge themselves into the perfect position and get the perfect pass.

But overall, the statisticians should be studying this and returning a scathing verdict. How many times must we try the same thing before concluding that there are better ways – more likely to end in success – of putting the ball in the net?

The estimable Matthew Marr said to me earlier that it’s two steps forward and one step back. I think, in fact, that’s the perfect sentiment. Because we’re not back where we were a month ago or suddenly struggling again; I wrote earlier that the game today was partly about coming up against a scandalously negative team which made no effort to play football.

The media will not focus on that, but too many are already giving Livingston credit. But our concern is with our own club and we played wasteful horrible football. Twenty minutes into the game I was worried it would be one of those days because we were already persisting with the deep cross tactic which even SPL defences handle with ease.

And even when we changed the team in the second half, we continued doing the same damned thing. If we continue doing it, this is going to keep on costing us points. Drop enough of those points and it will almost certainly cost us the title.

So what went wrong today? What was the issue? Well, Kyogo didn’t start the match and that might be a clue. But that’s not a criticism of the decision itself. It’s a criticism of how we appeared to change the playing system to accommodate his absence in those games.

This stupid tactic of crossing balls into the box was almost entirely absent in the games we’ve recently won. Is it a coincidence that Kyogo played in those? We concentrated on playing balls to feet in those matches, instead of the cross balls … and the dividends were clear. Is that what went wrong today? Did we try to compensate? How many times can you watch a failed tactic failed before you put it where it belongs, in the bin?

That tactic, by the way, can be successful; I said to my mate at the game today though that in order to make it work you need a Peter Crouch type centre forward who is tall enough and aggressive enough to make it work. Had someone swapped Ajeti for Giakoumakis today without telling anyone, would anyone have been able to tell the difference?

I’ll tell you this; if you played Kyogo in that system you’d be as well not playing him at all. Our whole approach today was wrong. That was influenced by the team selection but it had nothing to do with the actual players we had on the pitch.

Kyogo is a real top class footballer but we cannot change our tactics just because he isn’t in the team. For the second time this season, at home, we played like Lennon’s team, trying to play a battering ram style of football without the tools for it.

And it is intensely frustrating to watch such self defeating stuff. This is not the first team who have set up to counter that system this season and they will not be the last. We need a better way to break those teams down. We were relying on our system producing mistakes and lucky breaks today and we almost got one, but we didn’t deserve it.

We will not win this league playing that type of football, it’s as simple as that. What makes it infuriating is this is not Angeball. This is Lennon football with different players, and what made his fate certain was that he had a talented enough squad to have achieved all its goals. It was those tactics which held it back.

They continue to keep this team grounded when it wants to take wing.

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13 comments

  • Smiddy says:

    Who makes the decision as to who will take the penalty , that was a woeful effort to day and summed up the complete day for me.

  • Saulgoodman says:

    As bad as it gets today – just when you think you have a proper pen taker – along comes s guy who’s done nothing yet takes the pen in the 93rd min ! Staggering- why was this allowed to happen – if kyogo needs a rest give him the 2nd half off game would be won by then

  • Roonsa says:

    McGregor should have taken the ball and handed it to Juranovic. That penalty was like a golden egg from a golden goose. I find it incredible we took a risk with it and the way he passed it back to the goalie was almost as bad as Eddie’s pen v the huns last season.

    • Dora says:

      Spot on Roonsa, captain Mc should a handed the ball to Juranovic, end of!!
      He’s been so impressive and I love the cut of his jib…so confident!
      Two very important points dropped but sevco are muck so I’m super confident Celtic will overhaul those underperforming, overrated fkwits-wangers!

      • A Hayes says:

        Piss poor performance, those results cost you the league,so fn angry,im still not sure of the manager

  • jrm63 says:

    We lost because our centre forward bottled it. I knew he had missed from the run up. Deep crosses? I only saw the second half but I must have missed that. I saw about 4 crosses in the second half one from which Jota should have pulled down rather than tried to volley. Another was straight to the keeper. Abada should not have started. The manager is right. Leagues are not won in October but they are lost on the back of results like today

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    Just not good enough today ange needs to learn quick how to break down teams who will defend 10 behind the ball bad penalty miss and the Greek lad was $hit all day as few other players hope he gets better as the season continues, ange should also have learned from our defeat by livvy earlier in the season how to play them thats worrying what a chance to go top and #uck it up and at home .

    • Roonsa says:

      The first half was better than the second half which is something Celtic have suffered from for a while now. I expected them to come out flying second half but it didn’t happen. That is a worry for me. Also not having Rogic was another problem as with him more balls would have been played through the middle instead of this insistence to get the ball out wide. It was so predictable. The crosses I was taking note of weren’t deep, they weren’t getting past the first man. So why Celtic didn’t think to have someone run across the near post was a strange one.

  • Ciaran Finn says:

    Calm down folks it was one of those days, look around the rest of the leagues in Europe. These type of days happen. We didn’t loose the unbeaten run continues. Possitive thoughts, we will survive.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    Some people saying we missed Tom Rogic today. But I doubt Rogic would have made much of a difference here. If you remember he was playing when we lost 1-0 at their ground. Getting crosses in to a big striker like GG has as much chance of success as anything else when playing against a defense of 11. But the crosses have to be good and the striker has to be good at connecting with the ball and you have to have players waiting for the second ball if there is one. I’m not worried by the performance. I think when playing against deeply defending teams your best chances come from mistakes or set pieces and if you don’t take your chances you end up how we ended up. We missed a few really good chances and a golden opportunity from a penalty. Ange needs to take this lesson to heart: don’t fix what’s not broken – Juranovic should have taken the penalty.

  • Stephen Maxwell says:

    To me as a Celtic fan I can’t understand how my team changed the penalty taker & more like a passback hail hail

  • Jim Duffy says:

    How do other teams manage to break down Livingstone , should we not copy their approach.

  • Solas sa Saoirse says:

    Most of that Celtic team did not turn up today! Out of Hart, Starfelt, Bitton, Giakoumakis, Abada, Turnbull, Jota, Carter-Vickers, McGregor, Ralson, Juranovic, only Ralston did anything to threaten the Livi goal! The rest of them did nought and could have been replaced by B-Team players and they would likely have done better! Forget systems, it is about players! Our players are better footballers than theirs. But we weren’t trying to win that match today. There’s no use blaming Livi for us not winning! Our players did not try to win that match today. Simple as that. We could just as well have handed Livi the point before the game began. And they could just as well have accepted them!

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