Why No-One At Celtic Will Be Panicking Over Rapid’s Three Goals At The Weekend.

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Some folk seem to be worried about our weekend. Others, like Keith Jackson, are reading into it what they want to, with one eye ever fixed on pleasing Ibrox. I have no such concerns, and I think that the Record trying to poke holes in Celtic’s system is nothing new and nothing to be worried about. They did it last season. It didn’t save their club.

We’ve heard all this before.

This was a defence bedding in a left back, without a first choice centre back and missing both of our right backs. It was a defence where the big lad Urhoghide is playing alongside footballers he has barely met … and it was a performance where one of the goals was the result of a dreadful mix-up between Hart and Jullien.

Did the defence look rusty? Yeah, against a team that his six pre-season matches under their belt already. Honestly, I am not in the least bit worried by it.

A lot of the concern seems focussed on the Champions League; I’ll get to that in an article later, but as far as I’m concerned worrying about how we might fare in that tournament is like worrying if the sun was going to rise. We’re certain to get at least two massive clubs, so a little realism is definitely in order before the draw is even made.

All of this is the same talk we got all last season, about how we looked shaky at the back. Odd, then, that we had the best defensive record in Scotland. Odd, then, that our defenders were amongst the best performing footballers in the country.

The manager is not unaware that there is work to be done in this area.

He wants a defensive midfield player to close the gap between the central area and the backline. He probably does have another central defender in mind; but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Urhoghide performed well in Belgium. We know Welsh is a decent centre back who is a little short of games. Jullien has something to offer, if he’s willing to stay at Parkhead.

We can’t just add bodies for the sake of it; the thing with our left back, and you presume with our coming defensive midfield player, is that we’re not just filling the squad with warm bodies, as they do across the street. We want genuine quality who are at least as good as the guys we have at the club right now. That costs money, and that takes time.

We have the money. We also, by virtue of our not having qualifiers to play, have the time.

It’s obvious from the higher quality of teams we’re playing in pre-season this year that the manager wants us tested, and in a battle, all the better to see where he needs to tweak things. But he won’t panic over one match against a side way ahead of us in fitness, with key people missing, and so neither should we.

As the streets of Scotland clean up the mess of Halloween in July, read our searing article on The Filth And The Fury, written at the time of the George Square riot but even more applicable today …

Think you know what happened last season? Take our quiz and find out!

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Celtic’s summer started disastrously when Eddie Howe turned the club down. On which date did he make that fateful decision?

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  • Tony B says:

    I agree completely with what you say, but maybe you should try telling it to the panty waist bed wetting types on CQN, who as usual have over reacted hysterically to this result.

    Who needs Keech Jackshun when you’ve got the sweetie wives on CQN?

  • Don Cowie says:

    I fall into the worried about our defence camp, not domestically so much (except set pieces) but more so in Europe. This has been going on far too long with different managers, so must be defensive coach. Is that John Kennedy? The strategy seem all wrong and we can lose the simplest of goals against decent opposition. Not holding my breath this will change any

  • Chris says:

    I don’t think the defence is as bad as made out.
    Against the top clubs in Europe we push too high and leave ourselves exposed.
    Pushing the full backs up and the high press won’t work against elite clubs who have better quality in every position.
    As James satd, the key is bringing in a quality defensive midfielder who will fill the space betwwen the defence and middle of the park.
    The full backs will obviously have to sit more.
    Will Ange do this?
    I expect he will, but he won’t go all deid rangers and park the bus.

  • jrm63 says:

    The performance of the new left back was a concern. Shades of Bolingoli in a positional sense and he looked weak physically in the tackle. Greg Taylor must have been pleased. Again the talk of a DM. The manager plays 4-3-3. The DM would have to play regularly in order to be match ready for the ties in which he is necessary. That means 1 of 3 in Hatate, Turnbull and O’Riley. Not sure a home crowd would appreciate that.

    • Chris says:

      Man City are streets ahead in the EPL of half the league.
      They still play a defensive midfielder in a lot of these matches.
      The 5 subs rule gives us plenty of leeway to keep our defensive midfielder fit because it allows Ange plenty of leeway to rotate.

      • jrm63 says:

        Hi Chris – if you had told me we were buying Rodri I would have felt a lot better. But to call him a DM is stretch. He can do everything including scoring goals. I am not quite sure we could get someone like that. Remember the quality of opposition that he plays against every week. He is an absolute necessity in that context but only that context.

  • Johnny Green says:

    The first goal we lost was not a dreadful mix up between two players, it was an out and out Joe Hart fk up. He was far too lackadaisical about it.

    Because of the change in personnel, I am not looking to apportion too much blame for the other two goals to anyone in particular, other than to say that, not dealing with high cross balls is a recurring theme for us.

    My first impression of our new LB is that we have just gotten ourselves another LB that is not a defender, in fact we have not had one of those since Kieran Tierney left. An attacking full back is a bonus, but first and foremost they should be able to defend.

    We are still in a very decent shape for the coming season but a couple of new additions are definitely needed in the key areas already identified, CB and DMF.

  • John says:

    We should all be worried if we continue to lose goals like the first one the other night whether its a pre season friendly or not.I agree with Johnny Green on this one. Dodgy pass back or not Joe Hart should have dealt with that easily. I’m sure he will be embarrassed watching that back.

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