Martindale’s Latest Surrender Shows Celtic The Dangers Of A Cautious Approach In Europe.

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At the 65th minute of that game today, before the two goals in two minutes, I was struck by a thought; a quote from Game Of Thrones, one fans will recognise. “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”

The long-ball punt style which Van Bronckhorst has perfected only works if you surrender the midfield to their team and let them aim those balls into the box. Martindale is a third rate manager, and one who had written this game off already. At no point did I expect his team to win, although the Ibrox club look very, very ordinary.

So I’m not disappointed in today’s outcome; I expected nothing less, and would have been honestly astonished had the home side gotten a result. What comes through most is that you have one team which wants to win and one which doesn’t want to lose, and is playing like a team that is intent on hanging on for dear life that’s the outcome they virtually assured.

That is why I am a firm believer in what Ange wants us to do in Europe. If I were a Livingston fan I would not be leaving that game thinking I had watched my team simply be unlucky.

If you sit with every man behind the ball for an entire half of football you are asking to be beaten. You are inviting it. You can’t be surprised by it and you aren’t allowed to claim some sort of moral or footballing victory. You got what you deserved.

Martindale is a Sevconian.

If you were devising a strategy for allowing your opponents back into a game then sitting with every man behind the ball and making no effort whatsoever to do more than defend is assured to be a success.

Those who think we should adopt a more cautious approach in Europe are talking, in the main, about us doing exactly this. Against the super-clubs the temptation to do it would overwhelm a less confident manager.

Thank the Gods that we don’t have one of those, because even that deadening, boring, Ibrox team found a way through a packed defence today … a decent side would make you pay for that sitting back a hundred times over.

You saw the reaction of the Livingston players to losing even the first goal; once the strategy had failed in its primary objective they chucked it because there was no other plan.

At that point, you’re not going up the pitch to try and score a winner; it’s cling on for dear life to a point, and that didn’t even last 120 seconds. Beyond that point it was nothing more than damage limitation.

I would be appalled to watch a Celtic side attempt that in Europe.

I would feel angrier walking out of a narrow defeat in which we played savagely negative football than I would be walking out of a game where we’d tried to match a top club blow for blow and simply couldn’t manage a result.

That is not how I want to see us play our football.

Tomorrow we’re going to show this entire division how real football is played.

Tomorrow it’s the turn of the champions, and I expect a better game of football than the one I just watched and I certainly expect better than two awful teams one led by a manager who simply had no interest in winning the game at all.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    I watched the game myself and, although the best team won, they were far from impressive. They huns huffed and puffed and eventually got the result they needed, but their defence did struggle at times.and Souttar had a nightmare. Right now I don’t see anything there for us to worry about and they might well also struggle on Tuesday night in Europe.

  • John Copeland says:

    David Martindale,Livingston manager, the Rangers fanboy, job done! Job’s a good yin!

  • Frankie says:

    Did you see the cardigan Boyd was wearing was it his wee brothers,if they buttons popped under the strain. They could have taken someone’s eye out.

  • Pan says:

    I can’t find any fault in your article.
    It is what I expected from Martindale.

  • MarkE says:

    Livingston need to keep the ball on the ground and pass their way forward. Fair enough the sevvies closed them down quickly at every opportunity, but lumping the ball forward meant they’d be straight back under the cosh a few seconds later… better to get the practice in and try pass it forward, and slowly improve upon it, than panic n punt week after week and get nowhere; they might have got something from todays game with cooler heads on the ball.

    Surprisingly Livi scored twice with ease, though the second was chopped off(the ref did blow the whistle for a foul before the ball was hit home, but i didn’t see a replay of the foul itself, and there didn’t appear to be any incident that would have caused the ref to award a freekick?

    Sevco look sus at the back, and pretty ordinary up front, though they do graft.

    I see your point about the way Livingston defend, and I’m one of the supporters who want us to be a bit more defensively minded in Europe, but not in that fashion; there’s a common ground between packing 9 men around your box and leaving yourself short at the back by throwing 9 men forward.

    Looking forward to tomorrow now, and glad the fitbas finally back.

  • Gerry Graham says:

    What else did you expect from that coke dealing hun..I told my Son last nite what would happen today and I’ve been proved spot on..They packed there box and handed the game to the Huns

  • Seppington says:

    Said the same thing just the other day – better to fight for a victory than to meekly await the inevitable. If Livi had a real non-hun criminal manager they could’ve opened their campaign with a win but “Nope can’t have that” says their loyal bluenose manager. If I was one of their players I’d be asking him why he didn’t ask them to go for a second goal but said “Let ra Rainjurrrzzzzzzz skoar…er Ah mean defend wur lead boyz!””

  • Starman says:

    The FILTH are PISH yet celebrated like they’d won the World Cup lol! The REAL surprise tae me wiz the Union Pussy Knuckodraggaz refrained fae invading the pitch BAWAHAHAHAHAHA!! After 2mro we’ll be where we’ll stay the ENTIRE SEASON.. TAP AE THE LEAGUE.. HH!!

  • FSTB says:

    Something tells me martindale wont be losing any sleep over today’s result

  • Pcelt says:

    Jose mourinho has won numerous trophies playing with these tactics,we need a plan B to have any chance of doing anything in Europe,we conceded more goals last year in Europe than any other team.

  • FSTB says:

    Here’s the thing why are we afraid of a different approach to european football
    It’s not as of our previous approach has brought too mu h success .
    Who k ows our pressi g style might just take a few fat cat players by surprise

  • harold shand says:

    Martindale’s interview after the game

    ” Wee Scotty ” and ” Tav “

  • Bigmick says:

    Didn’t see the game today, but i demand to know why The Gonks didn’t get a penalty. ?

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Only needed tae hear the way he was speakin about sevco players to notice he wasn’t ‘too upset’ with the result. Have noticed tho, strange how regularly he either sets up his team before, or even durin a game that ends up suitin that mob. No imaginin things, just an observation.

  • Geoff McLean says:

    After match interview on Clyde was an eye opener
    Then Scotty scored a beauty and Tav does what Tav does
    Anyone ever remember any manager talking about our players scoring against them and using pet names?

  • PearyBhoy says:

    Mate, livi tried not to get beat. That is there aim. They came close & gave them a fright, this tactic will b their season. Why scrutinise it? Their approach won’t any different against Celtic or other top 6 teams.
    BTW it was never a free kick for the 2nd goal.

  • Peterbrady says:

    Want a bet Peary buoy if the wee baldy fat hun scum is not sacked before they play us they will be on a high press kicking anything in hoops while the hun scum in black willgive them carte blanche to maim our bhoys you can bet your mortgage on it

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