Perhaps it’s because it’s Christmas Eve, but I am feeling generous this morning.
Generous enough to give out some credit where it’s due, and it is due to Graeme McGarry at The Herald, a publication who I’ve given a bit of pasting to these past few weeks.
But McGarry has done his side a favour today by actually putting together a straight piece of opinion writing which is not loaded down with ignorance and/or spite.
In fact, I broadly agreed with almost all of it. It was on how clubs should line up against ourselves and the team across town at Ibrox. It was, in short, a vindication of Ange’s comments earlier in the week.
I’ll be taking later about Goodwin’s comments of yesterday, but for now let’s focus on the boss and his own ideas. What started this debate off was Goodwin’s comment about setting up to play defensive football rather than having a go at Celtic, because he’d already tried to have a go at the Ibrox club and taken a doing for it.
I have to admit, I found those comments baffling.
His team barely put up a fight at Ibrox that day, and spent most of the game in their own half. We saw a much better display against them this past week, and from Hibs too. Ross County also went after the Ibrox club last night, and when teams do that to them you notice something; they are staggering vulnerable.
McGarry’s piece suggests that teams now know the drill; come up against Celtic (and the Ibrox club) and put every man behind the ball and you get what you’re due, which is to say that you get beat. I would go further and say that you cheat your own fans when you essentially write off as many as eight fixtures every single season.
We play in a twelve team league. Ourselves and the Ibrox club play each team three times at a minimum. Which means that for some of these sides there are at least a half dozen games which they go into expecting to get nothing and setting up accordingly. You tell me how these clubs can ever expect to get anywhere with a mentality like that.
Better to go down fighting. Better to have a crack at it. And as McGarry points out, Ange doesn’t just talk a good game he actually tries to live up to that creed, especially in Europe where everyone keeps telling us to adopt a more defensive posture … and he simply won’t do it. Call it naïve, call it suicidal, but don’t call it cowardly or without some merit.
What McGarry is proposing is basically an echo of what Ange has already said; that these teams get up off the matt and start trying to play football. Give themselves at least a puncher’s chance instead of retreating and trying not to get too badly hit.
In this is the proof that Ange is doing more than winning the battle on the pitch. Our boss has started a real debate here, and it’s clear that he’s already winning the battle of ideas as well. Hell, even at Ibrox they are desperately trying to copy him.
Johnny Green says:
December 24, 2022 at 9:54 am
December 24, 2022 at 10:51 am
John Gow says:
December 24, 2022 at 7:22 pm
Yes, all valid points, but I don’t see the defensive tactics changing because of a one off Herald newspaper article. If that kicks off a groundswell of debate on the subject that would be be a very positive outcome, but I have my doubts. Regarding Celtic’s bravery in the CL group games, that is a fact, and we were badly punished for our gung ho approach, But I’m hoping the lessons learned from that campaign will better prepare us for the next one. Our approach will be the same, but we will do it with more intent and with better quality players who can meet Ange’s exacting standards. This Transfer window is already the start of Ange’s build up for the CL, we will have players bedding in and adapting to the Ange system in advance of Europe and this time I’m expecting a marked improvement, We never stop!
Been saying the same for years, if you’re going to get beat anyway you might as well go down swinging!
It won’t change without league enlargement. While every point is a hostage miserable bastards like Goodwin and Martindale will keep defending their jobs in this horrific cowardly manner…
Yeah agree and St Johnstone today did just that. No time wasting from their keeper out. Refreshing to see a team do that at Celtic Park. They were well beaten but so were that dross of a team called Livingston the other night with their time wasting defensive tactics. Changed a bit second half and it was a better game for it. Livingston are probably one of the worst teams entertaining teams that I have seen. Will be putting some cash on St J to put the Huns out of the Scottish Cup.
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