In Spite Of A Needed Away Win, This Celtic Team Is Going Backwards.

Image for In Spite Of A Needed Away Win, This Celtic Team Is Going Backwards.

Football teams are the sum of the parts, and we’re lucky we have more talented footballers than Aberdeen.

It is not yet clear if it will be enough over the course of this campaign.

We rode our luck today, in a dire second half which we are very fortunate to have emerged from with three points. The bad away run is over, and I suppose that’s what counts, but I saw no reason for any overload of confidence for the rest of this extremely difficult month.

And to think that it started so well.

When you have a player like Kyogo in your team, the defence has to be ever alert. Turnbull’s ball across goal was quite sublime, but the Aberdeen defence weren’t caught up by the quality of the pass as much as they were by the movement of the Japanese striker.

This is the difference between someone like Ajeti – who I more and more suspect needs to play off another striker – and someone like Furuhashi, who is super-alert and can drift around finding the space to exploit. He has the first touch and the deadly instincts of Larsson; more and more that is the comparison that people are going to make.

He has the work ethic of the Swede too.

There were points in that first half where he seemed to be popping up everywhere.

The boy covered some amount of ground, and always he was a threat.

Bitton had a decent first half as well, patrolling his position, making key passes and interceptions.

He did fall for a little Scott Brown theatricality at one of the corners, and he should have got his header on target from the first of the game … but he would have been satisfied with his first forty-five minutes in the Celtic midfield for a while.

The second half, of course, was a brutalist nightmare, the kind of performance from the whole team which was stunningly inept. Serious questions need to be asked about what in God’s name our coaches do to prepare this side.

According to Sky, we have conceded six goals in the league this season. Five of them have been from cross balls.

This problem stalks us.

It has stalked us since John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan walked through the doors.

It is absolutely abysmal that we cannot sort this out, that we cannot solve such a basic football problem.

If Ange is content to have these two jokers as his background team, then his judgement has to be questioned. If he’s been forced to accept them then he faces paying a high price for not standing up for himself. I would not put my future in the hands of those two and I am astonished that he continues to gamble with his reputation by retaining them.

There is evidence of their malignancy in more places than just the set pieces. Ange wants this team to play fast attractive football, with movement off the ball. When we did those things today they worked, and in particular for both of the goals.

But entire stretches of that match were played with all eleven of our players standing around waiting for the ball, instead of moving to open up space. There were some moments in the match, especially when we had the ball in our own half, where the lack of movement had players lingering way too long in possession or pushing it backwards.

That’s a serious problem that our coaches didn’t look like they had a clue how to resolve.

Jota saved us from a dire international break and the manager from the kind of firestorm that a lot of coaches do not survive.

His decision to bring on Ajeti instead of Giakoumakis was inexplicable. The tactical change itself worked because he pushed Jota wide right and forced him to cut into the box, where he was waiting when that late chance presented itself.

But the same problems and issues haunt us, the same problems and issues that haunted us in the last campaign. The manager has changed and the personnel has changed, so what remains the same? The coaching does.

The style of football has not progressed; it has gone backwards.

In spite of the victory today so has this team.

There are still big, big problems with this side, and that coaching team has a lot to answer for.

The manager needs to impose his will on this quickly or this entire campaign is going to disintegrate into a shambles that will make even the diehards in our support consider a scorched earth campaign against the people running the club.

Share this article


  • Peter cassidy says:

    Why is ange still letting Kennedy and co coaching the team we are mess in defence not great in midfield good on attacking players but a win is win 3 points more important than playing nice football ange needs to work on defence which would give the team more confidence going forward he will regret not getting shot of Kennedy and co its a very strange set up at present at celtic a new manager not bring in his own coaching staff what is going on has he been told he must keep these failures by despot and liewelll still lurking in the shadows what a mess.

    • Charles says:

      I’m a glass half full type of person. Everytime a celtic player touched an aberdeen player maddman game a fouls against celtic. I thought the rules had changed to there has to be enough force to put a player down for a foul or maybe it’s only against celtic players.

  • Roonsa says:

    I am glad you made this point, James, rather than focus on the result which papers over some ever widening cracks.

    Our defending from cross balls is laughably mental. How long before someone at Celtic takes responsibility for sorting it? It is apparent to me, and to anyone else who cares, that the one constant that has remained, for the time our defending from cross balls has been problematic, is the coaching staff. It is evident they are not doing their job. Why they weren’t told to GTF at the same time as Lennon is anyone’s guess. That, in itself, points to issue at Senior Mgmt level.

    The team, as has been pointed out in this article, has regressed. From being in a position, not that long ago, of making sure the huns never got a sniff of a title in our lifetime to where we are now is unacceptable. People can point the finger at Kennedy and Strachan all they want. But, for me, the root cause of our problems is the people who allow them to stay at Celtic in spite of the shambles on the pitch that they are directly responsible for.

  • Kyogos Dream Team says:

    Desmond is at St. Andrews the noo that’s how much he gives a F uk! Only took the game in on Thu bcoz he’s at the golf!

  • Saulgoodman says:

    3pts but that was brutal – I’ve got serious concerns about ange – he thinks starfelts better than Welsh!! Ralstons worst game ever , thats saying something- just humiliation asking non football defenders to pass it about in our own pen box , Russian roulette football we all know how this ends

  • Peter cassidy says:

    The celtic management are only interested in the bottom line profit and loss treat fans as customers and mugs despot not interested in football its just a business to him and his ego and a decent dividend every year doing #uck all nothing will change till he goes or gets bought out this what happens we you let someone have to many shares and power they a can control the whole company thats the big problem we now have at celtic just like the Kelly clan many years ago plus a $hit board of directors and a yes man ceo and that #uckwit liewell still lurking at the club.

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    That’s the spirit jeez

  • jrm63 says:

    We give way a lot of unnecessary fouls with hands on the back. This needs to be eradicated and could be quite easily. Both full backs today were bad. Celtic do need to make a complaint about Madden. The foul on Kyogo said it all, as did the fact that Ramirez seems to have immunity from putting his elbow in people’s faces

  • Jim Docherty says:

    Insanity is in the form if you keep doing the same thing you will get the same result.
    The fact that Celtic have the 3 same failures in the same key coaching position when they failed under Neil Lennon is no surprise that Celtic are poor. So poor they are just in the top 6.
    Until the manager brings in better coaches then the same results will prevail. They will get him the sack. Significantly 2 if there were defenders for Celtic. Says it all.!!

  • james says:

    you honestly think being terrified to make a tackle, as every one you’ve made so far has been awarded a foul against you, has no effect on our players, or on their ability to compete?.

  • John S says:

    Coaching AND Recruitment. Was it Ange himself who brought in Kyogo ? That certainly worked. But we have made a number of errors on the Transfer front in recent years and I’m curious as to whom is exactly in charge of this department. If there is a department.

  • Thewildgoose says:

    While not being a fan of Kennedy or Strachan I don’t think they can be entirely blamed for the absolute shambles that we are. From the directors to the manager to the coaching staff and the players, its simply not good enough. Continue to play like this with this team we’ll be lucky to make the top 6.

  • Tony Reynolds says:

    How can every Team in the League have better defenders than us ????get down to the English league 1 and buy 2 Centre half’s Pronto!!!!!

  • Mark B says:

    We have sold nearly 100m of players in the last four years and not replaced them with enough quality. That is why we lost ten haven’t beaten Rangers for two years In the league … yes 8 games ago. And why we are sixth and struggled to win today. Left back oh my. Centre half oh my. At least Bitton helped in midfield but we need a DM. It’s so obvious this is a transition year we may be lucky to come second.

  • John says:

    I find it absurd that when things are not going entirely to plan that John Kennedy is an easy scapegoat. When you criticise the coaching staff do you include Ange in that? It’s his style of play. These are professional football players, some of them internationals. They have to take responsibility and be able to sense danger. They shouldn’t need to be led by the hand by any coach. No amount of coaching would have eliminated some of the basic defensive mistakes if late.
    Just for the record, I happen to believe that JK and GS should have left with Lennnon and the manager allowed to bring in his own staff.

    • Roonsa says:

      Kennedy and Strachan shouldn’t be there, that’s the point. They were partly responsible for the shambles that was last season and should have left with Lennon. Ange should have brought in his own backroom staff (as Lennon should have). The fact they are still there and have been foisted on Ange says two things to me: 1) Ange and Lennon are yes men for letting that happen and 2) Somebody making the mgmt appointments has far too much influence on how the Celtic football team is coached.

  • Paul slavin says:

    Ange never expected to get a mangers job such as this.
    If the board tell him to keep Kennedy and strachan he will to get a job such as this.
    He will do whatever the board says to get this job
    We need someone like O’Neill or Rodgers

  • Iljas Baker says:

    “Just for the record, I happen to believe that JK and GS should have left with Lennon and the manager allowed to bring in his own staff.”

    According to the prevailing narrative Ange didn’t have his own coaches to bring in. Didn’t his then assistant take over management of the Japanese team?

    I’m not sure how much blame we can throw at JK and GS as none of us know what their responsibilities are and that is incredible in itself but no one has informed us. We should be informed, that’s for sure.

    One surmises JK would have the main role in coaching the defense to deal with set pieces etc. But it’s hard to assess his performance.

    He doesn’t have a lot of first team experience as a player: he played 28 games for Celtic and 18 for Norwich.

    He did well when he coached the youth, he was coach when RD won the championships, he was coach when BR won everything in Scotland. So we should be saying he is a pretty good coach should we not given those results? And certainly Rodgers is on record saying he was good and wanted to take him to Leicester.

    Unfortunately he was part of the failed 10IAR and he is tainted, rightly or wrongly by that. His little bit of experience of management post-Lennon in that failed season didn’t do his reputation any good, in fact it only worsened it in the eyes of some of the fans. But these are the same fans who blame Lennon for everything that went wrong. On the whole you’d have to say JK’s record is good most of the time.

    For all we know he may be the person who finally persuaded Ange to play Bitton in Mid-field.

    I think the main problem with the defense is their lack of experience in highly competitive games and the fact that they don’t know each other that well and the coach cannot really do much about that. Perhaps they get the drill but forget things when under pressure. Previously we didn’t have good goalkeeper, yesterday we did. But Aberdeen’s goal could have been stopped in any of three ways:
    (i) prevent the opposition player getting a free header – who was supposed to mark him or that zone – anyone know? Where they improperly coached or just blanked on the day?
    (ii) Young Montgomery misread the ball presumably and his jump was that of a player with lead in his boots – these mistakes happen to inexperienced (and sometimes experienced players) whatever the coaching.
    (iii) Big Joe Hart assumed Monty had it covered but he could have taken out Montgomery and the ball to better effect. After all he is the more experienced of the two. Joe’s failure certainly can’t be laid at the feet of JK.

    I’ve been guilty of blaming the coaches in the past as I too needed a target for the failure of 10IAR. But now I am not so sure. Definitely the optics would be better if it was someone new and with abundant experience. But let’s remember Kolo Toure was coaching the defense when Celtic got trounced by PSG and Barca – I think that was a case maybe of the manager overriding the views of the coach. Who knows?

  • Iljas Baker says:

    Actually, Tore played against Barca but not against PSG. Celtic have actually been really poor defensively in Europe for many years now and that has probably got more to do with downsizing of the club and the real lack of ambition of the board which has resulted in lesser quality players – great for SPFL where opposition are more likely to fail to punish for mistakes than is the case with the better quality European teams. Blame it on the board and DD because really it begins and ends with them. They’ll do nothing until they smell the big money in the EPL.

Comments are closed.