No Excuses For Celtic Today As Rodgers Gets The Approach Completely Wrong.

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The team were dreadful today. The performance was dreadful today. The tactical approach to the game was just wrong, wrong, wrong. For the whole match, and long after it had become readily apparent that it was not going to work, we persevered with the shocked tactic of trying to cross a ball into a packed penalty area where we lacked the sort of physicality to make that work.

How many more times, as Celtic fans, do we need to watch that same pitiful system fail to unlock a team which just stuff the box with players and thus could read that all night and all day? We got two penalties today, and those accounted for our two of our four shots on target; that’s pathetic with 80 plus percent possession. We wasted almost all of it.

This team is far too slow. The problem with all that pretty, passing, possession based stuff is that it’s good for opening up those sides who venture over the halfway line, but against sides who are coming to sit in and sit deep it lets them keep their shape when they don’t have the ball and it allows them to re-organise when caught in possession.

I do not want to compare this style over-much with Ange’s, but his was far quicker and more aggressive, and it depended on movement, constant movement, with players drifting and out of space, pulling defenders out of their position and keeping the ball on the ground. It was fast. When teams got caught up the pitch you knew they were in trouble for the speed at which we could counter them. This team looks nothing like that.

That performance today was flat and ineffectual.

It was awful to watch. It was frustrating, but over and over the players did the same things, even when it clearly wasn’t working. Don’t even ask me about the substitutions, I have no idea. They were baffling, and they seemed to baffle the team just as much as those us watching it.

Personnel changes, even tactical changes, make no difference anyway if you are just going to persevere with the same deadening useless approach.

Fans turning up on a freezing cold day don’t want to watch one team camped in their own penalty box and the other side doing nothing but hitting in there from out wide. That’s not football.

That’s the second time this season that a team has come to Celtic Park and played dire, damage limitation football and gotten a result out of it. And that concerns me, because that happening once in a campaign is bad enough but twice is worrying. That Hibs played precisely the same way at home, and also got a result, should be a cause for concern.

This is our season in nutshell.

Teams are going to do this to us every week.

I wrote that after the Easter Road debacle on 28 October, and not a month later we’ve watched the same garbage, the same lack of effort from our opponents and the same inability to break down one of the most obvious tactics in the sport. We lacked a Plan B today, and that we’ve had the same problem twice already this season suggests we need one pronto.

I don’t want to hear any more of this nonsense about not having the players the manager wants. Regardless of how you think the summer window went – and I think it was awful – there is enough quality in this team that we shouldn’t have to watch performances like that.

The problem is not in the personnel, it’s in the setup, its in the approach and that falls on the manager who, if he completely blows a seven point lead, will have big questions to answer.

That wasn’t just a bad day at the office, not coming on the heels of the Hibs result. That’s part of worrying pattern, and suggest that we’ve got some problems.

The manager clearly intends to put his own mark on this team in January; fine. But we have to get to January first, through the swampy waters of this December fixture list.

And right now, yeah, I’m starting to get concerned about that.

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  • Johnno says:

    The sort of performance you worry about after an international break, when so many players not upon there game today?
    Our play in and around the penalty area today, just wasn’t there.
    Even on the couple of occasions we were able to find the final ball, our finishing was brutal.
    Have we ever received 2 penos in a home game and failed to win before?
    Be very surprised if we had?
    6 points dropped already against the anti football approach is a concern now also?
    Still trying to play our way through the packed defence without a big physical striker, I believe is something that we need desperately to address in January, as way to many teams are going to take the same approach against ourselves as we saw today imo?
    A totally needless corner to concede, and our set up for it was even worse, so a lack of concentration and a huge element of complacency thrown in, is not a great sign from any Celtic team either?
    A set back yes, but not looking upon it as the end of the world either.
    A few tactical adjustments wouldn’t go a miss either in those types of matches, and something Rodgers needs to work upon also?
    The lack of tempo, and lack of movement and quick touches with players getting that bit closer to one another, was nowhere to be seen today, and to easy to defend against ourselves.
    Not the greatest of starts to such a busy period of games coming up, and the missing of Hatate is going to be a worry against such an anti football approach also, as still missing the player to unlock such a deep sitting defence that has the ability to create a bit of space for themselves within tight areas?
    Even more so when a proper target man isn’t anywhere to be seen either imo

  • Eldraco says:

    This is a team in decline, managed decline,, if a team comes and play like that then embarrass them ,sit back make no effort to engage until they present a contest.

    And whatever happened to blootering a penalty straight down the guts? Seriously?!!! Ffs!!!

  • Jim Duffy says:

    I just think we are bog standard spl ,we go about we can’t compete with athletico,Lazio spending etc but we are big fish in our spl ,we wonder why we can’t results in Europe,that today shows us why ,we are fuckin pish for the money we have spent ,but how the fuck like for like ,as far as money goes we can’t beat Motherwell,we always say yea athletico Madrid and Lazio etc more money than us and fair enough in Europe that shows,but how the fuck can we not beat Motherwell when we have at least 100 times their resources? Is Brendan Rogers at fault? I think he is ,he done fuck all to change that game today even when we were toiling ,if we’re not careful sevco could win this league and they are shite ,but where are we.ive already lost faith in Brendan,I hope I’m wrong ,but we’ll see.

  • Jim Duffy says:

    You hit the nail on the head sspm,I am getting totally pissed of with Celtic at the moment,we are pish and I’ve been a Celtic supporter since the 60s ) 70s . because even in them days we never had numerical advantage over teams we have now,I don’t care what Rogers says but we should bear Motherwell,we are quick to say in Europe how teams out spend which they do .but I’d we can’t beat nothe6 what’s the fuckin point,apart from beating the scum

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Bottom line is we are shite ,and yet we go into another CL and we wonder how we get hammered,so big team ie Celtic with all the money plays wee team Motherwell nae money ,they near beat us , Europe wee team Celtic against any fuckin European team the last 20 years,beat us .and yes we can’t even beat Motherwell at home , where the fuck are we going under Rodgers,mark me sevco will win the League with their help from the men in black,and they will get all the champions league money and all because of our cheap skate Tory board led by Pete liewell.i honestly worry if we lose the league this year,and they bastards win ,they would bury us without a second thought.

  • woodyiom says:

    James – I’m more worried that it’s taken you (and others) until now to start getting worried about our style of play and lack of speed of thought/movement. It’s been evident since August when we lost in the League Cup!! Luckily for us the Huns were atrocious under Beale so we built a 7 point lead but they now have a decent manager and are gaining momentum rapidly!

    Today’s game has always been BRs style of play but too many fans seem to have forgotten this. In seasons 2 and 3 first time around we got 82 points and 87 points respectively – shockingly bad totals fora league that we were spending more than the rest combined but they were masked by us winning trebles. He has totally destroyed what was a wrecking machine in Ange’s team and Kyogo is a bit part player as a result. Make no mistake we’re in a dogfight now no matter who he buys in January!!

    • Dennis McLaughlan says:

      If we go into the winter break with a 5 or 8 point lead I can see this board sitting on it and hoping that we can see it through without spending much needed investment

  • Damian says:

    Agree on the game. That was not an enjoyable afternoon. Though it was heavily reminiscent of the days 1-1 draw at home to Motherwell last season, shortly before we won the league (I forget exactly: it’s possible we would have won the league that day with a win?). Exactly the kind of thing that could happen to Ange teams. Exactly the kind of thing I’ve seen plenty of times before and will again. Motherwell maintained their shape and discipline perfectly and got the draw.

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