Once Again, Dumb Hacks Seek To Give The Celtic Boss Advice On His Tactical Approach

Image for Once Again, Dumb Hacks Seek To Give The Celtic Boss Advice On His Tactical Approach

It’s always nice to get an expert opinion on something. But how many times have sought somebody’s views, listened to them for five minutes and realised “this person doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about”?

Even worse when you haven’t specifically solicited someone’s advice and they offer it anyway and don’t have a single sensible word to say.

This morning, Matthew Lindsay of The Evening Times has offered his take on our European campaign, and so many hacks did at the start of it he has suggested that we will get nowhere under the current approach. So we should change it. In fact, according to him we have to change it … which will have Ange reaching for the tactics board I’m sure.

Or maybe not. I rather suspect he’ll ignore this.

One of the reasons he’ll ignore it is that Matthew Lindsay is barely qualified for the job that he currently holds. He has not the least bit of knowledge or skill or understanding when it comes to tactics and tactical analysis. Our manager has forgotten more of that stuff than he will ever know, and of course Lindsay’s prescribed solution is pitifully dumb.

“A little more emphasis on containing and less of a focus on creating would not go amiss,” he says, which has all the substance of air and the smell of something noxious briefly drifting in it.

What does it mean?

Sit back and give a team that already had too much of the ball even more of it? Perhaps he didn’t notice that we made some basic errors for the third and fourth goals. The third comes when there are no fewer than six outfield players between the scorer and the goal. The fourth is a ball across the face of goal which a defence should deal with better.

The fifth is a classic example of what happens when too many players are already behind the ball and a guy is allowed to take a shot from the edge of the box without being closed down. That’s the team not doing the basic stuff Ange instructed them to do.

What isn’t immediately clear from these goals is how sitting back would have made our position any better. This was simply a consequence of a better quality team doing the things that elite teams frequently do when they come up against non-elite teams.

If we had sat back in all six of those games we would probably be no better off for it, and there would be none of the optimism that the fans feel for the next evolution of this team. Ange will not change our approach; our approach was not to blame for that pasting that we took. What we saw was a gulf in quality on the night, that’s all.

This is a media which lauds the tactics of a football throwback like David Martindale. It should not surprise us that they struggle to understand that our basic football philosophy is the correct one and that Ange is right to say – as he has said repeatedly – that our best hope of matching these teams is to go for their throats and try to take them on.

Dundee Utd are coming to Parkhead today, after losing by nine clear goals to us earlier in the season in a game where they tried to contain us. Watch what they try to do today. Watch the results of that effort. Since we hit our stride last season after a shaky start, so many, many teams have attempted to sit back and soak up pressure … nearly all have paid a high price for it.

These people simply do not listen when Ange lays out his rationale for doing things this way. You can sit back and wait to be picked off and then destroyed, or you can adopt an offensive posture and try to shake these teams and put them on the back foot.

We have seen our side draw two games and lose four, but we have gone down swinging, we have gone down fighting, and because we did that and because we know that with some better finishing that we could, and would, have gotten more from some of these games there is no despondency around Celtic over our performances.

Lessons have been handed out, and lessons will have been learned. From what happened on the pitch. From the chances we failed to take. From the ABC stuff that we didn’t do right.

But there are no lessons to be learned in the columns of daft Scottish journalists who are still struggling with joined up writing but somehow think they are tactical gurus. “A little more emphasis on containing and less of a focus on creating” is the sum total of their genius.

I doubt Ange has anything to learn from these people.

Share this article


  • Frankie says:

    Brilliant James ,Celtic have always played attacking football and it’s great that Ange continues this.

  • John Copeland says:

    Mathew Lyndsay types for the Glasgow Times , a cheap rag who sells about 165 copies ,give or take daily ! The thing is up to its wishbone in debt and ineptitude . Little old ladies walking their dogs stories ! That’s the quality of one of Glasgow’s embarrassment ‘s . He lectures about less focus on creation ,not going amiss . The thing is ,if his employers had focused on creation , the tabloid may well have been a credible part of the Glasgow fabric in usage .

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Should stick tae offerin his favourite manager GVB his ‘expert’ analysis and advice. Fuckin numbskull.

  • Finbar muldoon says:

    Ange should tell them at the next press conference, “The first person who asks me if I’m changing my approach, can f@ck off”. “And the next person who asks, can f@ck off an all”. HH

  • Tom-M says:

    If anyone chose to listen to Ange’s first Europa interview last year they would understand.
    he basically stated that going toe to toe with the bigger teams we would progress.
    because camping in the box and hoofing the ball up the park leaves you with the question what do you do the next game but keep camping in.

    Attacking means you may lose but then the proceeding matches you may lose less or draw or win then get better and better. you also see the deficiencies in the team.

  • John S says:

    Should we be worried that the Board will sack Ange and replace him with Matthew Lindsay ?

  • Jack says:

    Big Ange is the man and he totally knows what he’s doing in terms of tactics. I think he’s got it right and it will work in the Champions League given time. Our strikers had a very respectable number of viable chances in the group games. We could easily have scored two or three goals in each game. This means the tactics are okay. Unfortunately they missed most of them (far too many). The reason we didn’t win any of our games is our opponents strikers were absolutely lethal on most occasions and their goals killed us. The answer therefore is for our strikers to improve and start converting good chances, or for big Ange to move them on or get better strikers.

  • Bennybhoy57 says:

    Ange system was carving CL teams open home and away.
    good few chances in every game that should have been converted.
    Inexperienced players this season, will be more experienced players next season.
    Trust in Ange…let the press talk nonsense .

Comments are closed.