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“Controlling The Game” Was Not Enough Today And We Shouldn’t Pretend Otherwise

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Ange’s pre-match press conference today turned out to be pretty bad; he says he thought that we we “controlled the game” and that our performance didn’t get what it deserved.

I thought we got exactly what we deserved.

For the first time this season I’m going to say it; if he believes that he watched a different match than the one I did.

At a time like this there’s always a certain amount of protecting players from a harsh verdict which in hindsight they might not deserve. But anyone who watched that today knows it was the complete opposite of excellent. Our first half display here last time we visited Easter Road was excellent; we scored three and could have scored more.

It would have taken an act of God to get us three today from that insipid garbage we had to watch, that one-note football.

I refuse to accept that verdict, it is just wrong in every way.

When he said in midweek, after Bodo, that we played better against Leverkusen at Celtic Park on the night they stuck four past us I agreed wholeheartedly. You can lose games and offer more than we did this afternoon.

We have lost games this season where we offered more.

That performance does not merit his protecting the players from the harsh reality.

In fact, it’s too important a point in the season for him to even pretend to be satisfied with that sort of dreck.

If he’s genuinely telling us what he thinks instead of hiding his frustration and saving it for the dressing room then for the first time in a while we have cause for concern.

No manager who watched a team such as ours, with the players available to us, toil for an entire 90 minutes like that can possibly be satisfied with it far less think it was excellent.

That didn’t even meet the definition of acceptable.

This is exactly what I was writing about the other day when I talked about symbolic victories; controlling the game is worthless if you lack the cutting edge to secure the points.

You don’t get trophies at the end of the season for the games you control.

You get them for the ones you win.

We got out of jail in a big way today. I refuse to believe that he is happy with what he witnessed.

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  • jrm63 says:

    The ball is not moving quickly enough down the flanks. You saw the difference when O’Riley started to move it on at pace. McGregor could do the same on the other side. The question remains whether McCarthy is fit enough to play the central holding role

    • Dannybhoy says:

      Wee Liam Shaw came on for the well at halftime and helped inspired an unlikely comeback the feel good factor is still with us a would certainly have him over McCarthy next season for the midfield guy deserves a chance

  • Funtime frankie says:

    Starting to get very rusty, today’s showing was terrible midfield starting to have no idea what to do,it was as if they had no idea how to break teams down in past 2 games.

  • jrm63 says:

    The only consolation from today is that Rangers lost a 2 goal lead at Ibrox. They must be even more hacked off than we are

  • Bob (original) says:

    Yes, poor game but didn’t lose and we got very lucky to maintain the 3 point lead.

    As long as we get back up to speed for next game we should be OK.

    It could be an option for Ange to settle on his first 11 – and stick with that until season end?
    (Kyogo excepted of course.)

  • Al says:

    We were very flat. Ange should have nade more changes in the game. Forrest, Dembele etc

  • Iljas baker says:

    I think you mean “post-match conference” James.

    Entirely agree with your comments. This was an abysmal performance individually and collectively. Our Japanese players were very poor, their running accomplished little or nothing. After Tom Rogic, Leo Hatate was probably the worst passer of the ball. Play broke down rapidly when he was involved. What is going on? And Maeda is not a striker, all those high crosses were completely lost on him. Doubling up on Jota and Abada effectively nullified our attack. CCV is an excellent defender but he slows down our transition from defense to attack and allows the opposition to get organized. And Jota’s shooting – totally unprofessional at times. This team looked like it had been assembled of strangers who just met 5 minutes before kick off. Absolutely no coherence to their play.

    We’ve got a big squad but it means nothing if there’s no interchangeability. Most players playing poorly yet we made one substitution – tells you what value Ange places on his bench.

    I think you are right to raise alarm bells. We haven’t played well for a while and players are regressing and our bench is losing its value rapidly.

    So what is going on that accounts for such insipid performances?

    Either players are exhausted mentally as much as physically playing Angeball – when did we last actually play it?

    Or else players upped their game when they first came on board and now are reverting to their usual level, especially as opposition managers are becoming more astute in nullifying our attacking play.

    Perhaps our manager is not the god we thought. He can’t seem to motivate the players these days and some of his signings are proving not to be as exciting as he told us they would be. We were all excited by the exotic but to be honest only Kyogo has been a revelation, the others have been pedestrian or worse except for Hatate’s 2 goals against rangers. What will take us forward? If Ange’s post match comments truly reflect his thinking then I’m worried because he is not seeing what most of us are seeing and that means he doesn’t know how to fix things – he’ll blame bad luck and encourage players to finish more clinically and you have to ask: is that really coaching?

  • Stevie says:

    I said after the midweek game Ange ain’t the tactician some think he is. Great man manager but not a tactician. That game showed that. Our luck ran out.
    However I do feel sorry for Ange in that he has absolutely no help from the bench behind him. Can anyone tell me what Kennedy, McManus and Strachan actually offer during a game??
    I’ve accepted that we cannot buy the very best players but there is absolutely no reason why we can’t have the highest standard of coaches at our club. This is the key to Celtic going forward and it’s high time we stop this ridiculous policy of employing coaches purely because they once played for the club.

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