The Critics Are Telling Celtic’s Manager Again How He Should Play. What Fools They Are.

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That was hugely disappointing last night, but nobody was more disappointed than the Celtic boss. He knows exactly what went wrong and he said so. Had he been listening to Radio Scotland – the man surely had more important things to do – he would have been incredulous at their explanation for what we saw taking place.

At a time like this, everyone is an expert of course, but the sheer ignorance of what Ange has to endure at times like these is amazing. The culprit on Radio Scotland was Jim Duffy, who didn’t even wait for what Ange had to say after the game before he offered his own analysis. And you know what? They might as well have had Alan Hutton or some other ex-Ibrox goon in there for all the sense that got talked. He was abysmal.

Celtic need to be more cautious? Really? Did he watch the game? Did he listen after making those remarks to Ange’s far more precise and sophisticated analysis? It’s almost as if these people are too lazy to think properly about what it is they are saying.

We didn’t lose the game because we were too gung-ho. Ange called it right. We lost for the opposite reason; because we played with fear. We played as if we expected to be on the back foot. We weren’t cut open by being too aggressive. We sat off them, we let them control the tempo of the game, we let them do what they are so, so good at.

Of the three goals, only the first was caused by a lack of caution and foresight. Callum was too far up the pitch with the ball, and he left himself one Hell of a lot to do when he gave it away. Ultimately that was what cost him, and the team, on that one.

But the real damage was done- as Ange pointed out – by our passivity, by our lack of aggression. Had we done as Duffy suggested, and sat back, we’d have been no better off for it. The performance was not great today but it was better than the gutless, inept display from the Ibrox club at Anfield and that’s what Duffy would have had us do.

Not this Celtic team. We will succeed, or we will fail, based on the way the manager wants us to play. It is intellectually lazy and fundamentally dishonest for anyone to make the claim that Celtic lost last night because they were too gung-ho. If only they had been. Ange and the majority of the support can only lament that it was not so.

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  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    His lack of a pragmatic approach could cost us further progress in Europe this season,anyone with half a brain can see that,it’s not compromising your values by tweaking the system a little

  • Paddy Sinat says:

    I have written pretty much the same thing in an article that is going up tonight. It’s as if these people just pay no attention whatsoever to what Ange is saying

  • SSMPM says:

    Last night was frustrating but calmed down to a frenzy today. No, we weren’t too gung-ho; we weren’t too much of anything to be honest. Lacklustre? At this level, up front you have to be clinical and take your chances too; we don’t. Our midfield and defence weren’t great, and the goalie needs to screw the bobbin.
    I’m not sure we’re achieving the level we hoped to be at and therein perhaps lies the issue. Are not hoped for too much, too soon. We’re better than we were two years ago but not as good and consistent as we want to be. We are still that work in progress yet two wins away from qualifying.

  • Pcelt says:

    Still no attempt to even consider a plan B for European games,we have learnt absolutely nothing from previous games in Europe,they are fitter,stronger and better organised than us.we get away with the one dimensional tactic in the spl but not in Europe.

  • Frank Connelly says:

    I agree with your pervious comments James. We do look tired and leggy and not just in Europe. The midfield do seem to run out of gas and as a consequemce or pressing game tapers off. I have said repeatedly we are to passive & lightweight in key areas and teams do boss us physically which is hard enough in domestic football but when the teams in Europe ally this to there class then it’s a hard watch

  • MarkE says:

    The team lack shape & discipline, and are gung ho in that they continuously throw too many men forward aimlessly with no tactical plan to make the most of the numbers and ultimately pay the price for this naivety on the counter attack game after game.

    We’re far too narrow at the back, even when we have numbers in defence, with no tactical shape to the team which makes it far easier for opposition to pass through us.

    Look at reigning European Champions Real Madrid for a perfect example of how to properly balance defence and attack, with most of their emphasis being on defending first with a coherent shape and tactical plan in which each player plays a vital role they know well, which can swiftly turn into an attack coherently, as opposed to our riot of a structure that neither defends well nor attacks well bar few rare occurrences.

    We’re predictable in defence and attack, so much so that opposition know before the game kicks off exactly how to play against us, shutting down space on the wings so we can’t play out from the back, and then splitting us open on the counter attack with ease as they know we’ll have more than half our team in their third of the pitch; its a recipe for disaster that even St Mirren took full advantage of, and they won’t be the last team to until Ange makes the necessary changes, which he seems too stubborn to address as its a recurring theme

  • Johnny Green says:

    There is nothing wrong with Ange’s system other than the fact that he does not have the quality players needed to do it justice at the top level. So much for the euphoric shite that folk on here were spouting just a few weeks ago about this team, this squad, being the best since the Lisbon Lions. That didn’t take long to unravel, did it. Granted we have some very good players, but we are still far from being a great side. Give it another two years perhaps, giving Ange free reign to improve the squad and we could see a difference in our European efforts, but for now we have to be patient and satisfied with the evolution process. Until then we will just have to accept domestic domination until Ange completes his rebuild.

    • MarkE says:

      Even Real Madrid would struggle to make much of an impact playing this system, which is why they don’t

    • woodyiom says:

      Its a manager’s job to find a system that suits the players he has at his disposal NOT play a system that they are incapable of playing at the level being asked of them. He doesn’t need to rip up his philosophy but he needs to tweak it until he has the required level of player. We can still finish 2nd in this group but we could just as easily finish 4th which would be unacceptable as we have landed a relatively easy group (Real excepted obviously). Imagine what Liverpool and Napoli would do to our midfield and defence…..

    • Michael Collins says:

      I endorse everything Johnny Green says here, but we also need a rub of the green sometimes, pardon the pun, just a wee bit of luck and we would have been two points better off.

  • Robbi says:

    James Forrest, to be fair to Duffy, at no point did he say live on Radio Scotland last night that Celtic should park the bus and be ultra-defensive. All he said was that Ange should tweak things in Europe. Not be quite as expansive. And regards to Celtic getting through to the last 16, Gordon Strachan did it twice in a row by being hard to beat. And while his teams never scored many, they never conceded many either. He played the percentage game well while going up against teams playing in better leagues with a bigger budget.

  • David McDowall says:

    Hart is a calamity, he needs dropped, he persistently rushes the ball back into play when players need to recoup, he puts needless pressure on the defenders with his mistakes, sometime you get away with that in league football, much harder in European football, one good point in a match is overshadowed by his bad points.

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