Celtic Needs A Better Plan For Winning At Livingston On That Godawful Pitch.

Image for Celtic Needs A Better Plan For Winning At Livingston On That Godawful Pitch.

On Sunday we go to Livingston, and coming out of the game on Wednesday night I said to my mate that we cannot go there and try to play tippy-tappy slow build up football against that packed defence or theirs or we will endure a horrible afternoon.

We can’t afford for the game on Sunday to turn into a grind.

That ground is frustrating at the best of times. If we don’t score early it’s going to be a long afternoon.

Of course, if we do score early then the ball is up on the slates for Martindale and their disgustingly negative football is already a bust. So we need to push, and push hard, for that quick goal.

If we get sucked into a grind and we try that simple passing and crosses into a packed penalty area style we will not win the game.

We will drop two points at the very least.

This team knows how we play and we know how they play.

They will not adapt, and why should they?

They know their system works. We know ours does not.

We are the ones who are going to have to change.

I know Ange doesn’t like to do that.

I know, in fact, that he loathes the very idea. But we can either learn and adapt or pay for not doing so.

The best thing he can do is play a slightly different style. Ditch the boring, side-to-side football we’ve seen and get more direct. It may be ugly but sometimes you have to win ugly. Our opponents know that.

We need to run at that defence.

Get the ball on the deck and give those defenders the chance to make tackles.

Make them afraid.

We have the footballers to do it; Abada and Jota and Hatate. These guys can terrorise their defence. If we’re going to play the ball out wide, do so and draw their players out and get others running into space for the killer pass.

But on no account must we resort to wasteful crosses which will bounce off their defenders.

The team needs to play as one functioning unit.

Every mistake the opposition makes – however minor – has to be punished.

Our players need to concentrate, fully, at all times.

In short, everything needs to be done quicker and instead of crossing the ball our wide players need to move with it at their feet.

Anything else, and we’re in trouble.

On the other hand, if we do score quickly you watch them panic.

If they realise that they will have to venture up the park our job of opening up space will be much easier.

I really think we need to. The fans will be buoyed, their player’s morale will take a hit and they will have to ditch the grotesquely negative football. Do it right and we’ll win comfortably.

Any victory, no matter how it is achieved, will be a major result.

This is the one where we’re expected to slip.

If we win this, watch what it does to morale elsewhere, especially if the Ibrox club struggles the day before.

Share this article


  • Martin says:

    100% agree. Our recent tactics of going wide and crossing are generally useless, but will be even more so against Livingstone at the pastadome. We don’t have the height, we don’t have the muscle, we don’t have the men.

    Livingstone are not going to go on the attack against us early, even a counter seems unlikely. Their plan is 0-0 at 30 minutes and we will get frustrated. So absolutely batter them for the first 10. leave 2 men in our half and go hell for leather for the opener. by the time they react we may be 1-0 up, and then we change our tactics so they don’t just catch us on the break. Livi are playing for a 0-0. We get an early goal and their entire plan is Donald Ducked.

    So please, Celtic. Stop the slow sideways build up, to then hit the goal line and play a cross. Get it central and run or shoot, or run and shoot. They’ve packed the box? Good. Hit the ball hard and low, hope for a deflection or a handball. I’d rather 100 shots thatn 100 crosses, because we’ve already watched our last 100 crosses and absolutely nothing comes of them.

  • Jocsoc says:

    Livingston are fourth in the league in a Euro spot. If they have European ambitions, they can’t afford to play their usual ” park the bus ” football against us which should give us the opportunity to cash in.

  • SSMPM says:

    Keep doing what you always done and you’ll keep getting what you always got. Said this yesterday, get on them the whole of the first half, b of the bang and at ’em, don’t relent. Less tippy tappy more, up and have it. I like to see big G start this one if fit, his bigger stature, height, presence, and front post acumen may be useful in the assault. Also he owes them.
    One Celtic goal in the first half will not settle the nerves or make them change their methodology. They were a goal behind on Wednesday and showed some resilience to fight back, overtake and win but if we play it right we can pretty much have the game controlled by the halftime whistle. Time for a change, to bin predictability, time for the tactician in Ange to come out and happyslap the hun media again. HH

  • jrm63 says:

    There is not going to be a change of tactics. Overload the flanks and get the ball across. That will be the approach. 4-3-3, with Abada and Jota wide. But the midfield outer 2 also play wide leaving McGregor largely on his own and often overwhelmed. Hibs also man marked Rogic and O’Riley who were playing those roles. It did not work against Hibs, it did work against Rangers. Bodo just ran through the middle in a narrow formation. The central midfield is McGregor. On Sunday it might be Bitton but that will be it. There is little room for change with a 4-3-3 and the personnel we have. I would move Jota inside to the edge of the penalty area where Kent plays. When was the last time a Celtic player actually beat a player inside the penalty box? Invite a trailing leg but inside the box. Rangers do it all the time. We need to be clinical. Celtic missed 2 easy chances in the first half against St.Mirren. Abada and Juranovic should have scored

  • Charlie Green says:

    As much as Ange has been a revelation he seems stuck in his ways. I have been saying for weeks we have to run at defences. The usual midfield passing out to the wing only to have the ball returned to a ruck of eleven defenders is madness, given what Einstein said. Hart likes to come out to the midfield and watch but he won’t travel 3 yards to cut out a cross ball preferring to stay on his line.
    As I see it, the play seems to go through Starfelt who makes the play but he consistently fails to utilise his undoubted passing ability.
    The Japanese contingent as talented as they are seem to be quite lax in their passing.
    What is going on? Don’t the people who can make the changes not see it?

Comments are closed.