Celtic Utterly Ruthless In Punishing Another Futile Display Of Totally Negative Football.

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There are basically two articles to write about this game and I’ll do the other later on. But for the moment I just want to talk about the tactics of the opposition today because although there will be a media spin on this game which it’s important to knock down, and we do that best talking about our own tactics, it would be remiss not to talk about theirs.

A lot of people will try out the “hard luck story” for size here. St Mirren’s manager might try it himself. But the truth is, there was no hard luck to be had here. We beat a team that had no intention of even trying to play football in this match, and not for the first time this season. I never cease to be amazed at how so many teams try this.

My old man said to me during the first half that it’s hard to watch Celtic games sometimes this season, and not because we’re not doing things right. It’s because every opponent now just wants to pack the penalty area and play this dreadful spoiler stuff.

But for God’s sake, look at the league table. Look across at Ibrox at The Mooch going on a long run without defeat in the league, and his team facing much the same stuff every week. Here’s the news for all those clubs who haven’t twigged this yet.

It. Does. Not. Work. It is ugly to watch. But it is also ineffective.

Had St Mirren got something today there are people who would have hailed Robinson as some kind of tactical genius and asked what he’s doing right that everyone else is doing wrong. The same honey was being poured on Martindale not that long ago, but there’s no secret to it. It’s just as Tom Petty says; “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.”

If these tactics were effective at all we’d not have won so many matches. Hell, if they were effective at all why aren’t these teams using them every week, against every opponent? If you can successfully stifle Celtic you can surely keep out Hibs, Motherwell and Aberdeen, right? So what’s the thinking? Why bother to change that system if it works?

Because it doesn’t work, and if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result then we have a league full of mad men.

At some point someone is going to take the hint, and especially against Ibrox there’s a chance of producing at least a point. But fans would also be rewarded to watch something like football.

Only one team wanted to play that stuff today, and that’s why we won.

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  • Benjamin says:

    Stephen Robinson is a good manager. The negative tactics employed today rarely work against a far better club like ours, but coming out and trying to play attacking football works zero percent of the time and will result in a thumping every time. Dundee United learned that the hard way earlier this season. Keep the score down and there’s always a chance Lady Luck or the Scottish referees come to the rescue. St. Mirren have a realistic chance at qualifying for European football this season, and I hope they make it. They’d represent Scotland far better than Aberdeen or Hibs at this point in time, and they’d have a fighting chance of getting a result or two in the Conference League against opposition that is more comparable to themselves than a Celtic or Rangers in terms of resources.

  • Neil Smith says:

    The game today. Ball boys nowhere to be seen. Outrageous. They are there to keep the game moving. Not today players had to retrieve the ball or not in saints case. Many precious minutes lost. Question are they optional???? I honestly didn’t see them involved at all.

    • Michael Collins says:

      I thought the exact same thing Neil. you took the words right out of my mouth.

  • John L says:

    Great result . Var as per usual can’t wait to give penalties against us and also can’t wait to dismisse any penalty claims we have. Sitting in the var room with their rangers scarfs on. Huns

  • Darren Kerr says:

    Today we played a bunch of hammer throwers who hope to get a lucky bounce or decision. Scottish football has strangled itself to death. What keeps Mordor and the Mooch in a title hunt is the other teams are full of negativity and dross…..and endless VAR shite

  • Johnno says:

    Bit harsh there James imo, especially against ourselves who are far the best team in Scotland on the 2 sides of the game of with and without the football.
    Most teams will work harder without the football as they get very little opportunity to use the ball, so in fairness St mirren were able to match ourselves in the 1st half with them arguably better without the football than we were with it.
    Once our improvement came with the use of the ball then only going to be one winner, no matter how many players we were up against.
    The beauty of this celtic now is that you very rarely feel any sense of panic with such a belief throughout this team, even when a few weren’t really on top of their game today, yet still win so comfortably in the end

  • Finbar muldoon says:

    Last 3 games v st mirren. 14 goals. WTF is Robinson up to? HH

  • Tony B says:

    St Midden players time wasting, pulling jerseys, kicking the ball away at Celtic free kicks and obstructing players at every opportunity from the word go.

    I have no sympathy for these negative numpties.

    Fuck them and all their ilk.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I don’t care what tactics they employ as long as as we are good enough to overcome them. I thought all 3 VAR decisions were correct, so no complaints there. Another game ticked off as a victory and winning the Title is getting so much closer. Well done Celtic, we go marching on, on on.

    • Scud Missile says:

      Johnnybag I can just see those tears dropping down your face had points been dropped today which would have been down to the officials not our play.
      To think we will continue to outplay teams and pick up 3 points is alright by your at the wrong game,these officials will cost us points and you will be the Christmas card on here complaining about.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Why didn’t dallas tell dickenson tae check the var screen for kyogo’s and then told him tae check for oh’s, which was the far easier and most blatant. Obviously worried in case dickenson gave it for kyogo’s. Couldnae bring himself tae give us a straight decision even when the game was won wi oh’s. He’s a disgrace tae his profession.

    • Martin says:

      If VAR agrees with onfield decision, no need to send ref to screen.

      • Kevan McKeown says:

        Well we don’t know for sure if Dickenson agreed dae we. Point is, in somethin that close he shouldve at least been sent tae double check.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I do have one negative comment to make, I’m not convinced yet about OH. A strong boy is about the best I can say for him so far, give him time of course, but the jury’s out.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      Agree wi that. He’s no done much and so far, no seein any potential. Still a bit early, tho considerin he’s our only back up striker, it’s a concern, cannae ignore that.

    • Benjamin says:

      Give him time. It took Giakomakis about 6 months to start scoring too. Oh has only played 129 minutes so far and he’s already gotten a goal. More will come with the number of chances this team generates.

  • Martin says:

    It was important we won and won handsomely today, lest that performance set the template for teams against us: batter the ball into the box at arm height, score penalty, sit back even more than normal.

    I think the penalty was a penalty BTW, but I also think that 99/100 any handball in our box is resulting in a penalty.

    • Antony Ivatt says:

      I agree but it’s the ones other teams get away with that’s the annoying part.*rangers/sevco have both went on record breaking runs for penalties given against. Its blatant.its not just the big decisions though,it’s the dozens of “challanges” we make that results in fouls awarded against us. opposition players are half way down before our players get there. Yet they’re allowed constant niggles with wee sneaky late bites at our players. Or the the time wasting from the first minute until they find themselves goals down

  • SSMPM says:

    If we keep doing what we do then we’ll keep getting what we get. Ange and the Bhoys keep the focus on what we need to put in and therein lies our successes. The other teams’ tactics, though frustrating as hell, are not and should not be in our thinking or game plan and why should we let them divert any attention from the Celtic way.
    I would definitely keep VAR, as it continues to highlight what we all know about the majority of Scottish refs, even if they don’t give us positive decisions until we’re away and clear in a game in an attempt to mask balance.
    If as a kid you’re brought up in a certain culture, parents, wider family, friends, neighbourhood, school, etc, then it’s pretty likely that you’ll take their values into your adult life. I couldn’t agree more – Andrew Dallas.

  • John says:

    Unfair James and I normally agree with you but St Mirren absolutely did not just sit in first half. They got in our faces and pressed up all over the park and they did this very well. We struggled to deal with it.
    The 2nd half yes they did sit in but being 1-0 up and down to 10 men you can’t hold that against them.
    Look at the performance from Ibrox first half and compare the effort and desire to want St Mirren gave us in that first half. St Mirren tested us far more than Sevco did.

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