Celtic Needs To Up The Tempo And Take More Risks On The Field.

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A lot of the debate on this site of late has been focussed on the board of directors, and as a result of that some people think that we’ve given the manager a free ride. But there’s been some really intelligent discussion and analysis on some of the podcasts about where we’ve gone wrong on the pitch, and some of it is very similar to stuff we’ve talked about here.

Of particular interest are those who are talking about speeding up the play, because to me that’s everything that has been wrong with this team since the first ball was kicked. We are too damned slow and there’s little movement off the ball.

Why is that? It has to be something the manager wants the team to do, but it means we’re playing like a side which is fearful, a side which is scared of its own shadow. I’ve rarely seen a Celtic side which is this risk averse, and it’s painful to watch.

We’re at a point in this season where risk averse isn’t going to cut it though. Every point is going to count now, and we’d be crazy to be playing so cautiously. If we were more aggressive at the start of games we might not spend the last third of the game waiting to be hit by a sucker punch, because we’d be putting teams away more readily.

We’ve conceded roughly the same number of goals we did at this stage in the last campaign. The problems, all of them, are at the other end of the pitch, and that’s a consequence of this possession-based nonsense we’re trying to make work.

This is most recognisable in the number of side-to-side and backwards passes. I appreciate that there’s a plan behind this, that it’s about trying to force the opposition to come after you and try to break your shape, but we don’t seem to handle it well when they maintain their shape but get in our faces. Those teams which simply stay in their positions end up playing deep and dig in and we allow them all the time in the world to organise.

We need to unshackle these players from this scared stiff style of football. Did McGregor and Taylor, in their comments to the media, suggest that the players may have told the manager something similar? I reckon they did. I think that was part of the discussion that was had. This team was used to playing front-foot football. This style must be driving them crazy.

If the players have told the manager to loosen the constraints and let them get forward more that might be the spark we need. You get the feeling, nagging away at us, that there’s not much that has gone wrong here and it will only take one minor tweak to get these players firing again and getting this team scoring more goals.

We have to do something. The current system is very obviously not working, and if we stick with it we are going to drop more points and we are going to lose this league. Cautious and careful are not going to get this done. We need to take risks, or we’re risking it all.

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  • Gerry says:

    The time for caution has long gone. As we’ve all seen this season, possession is worthless without an end product. It was none other than the great Cruyff that said ‘ “Possession for itself is worthless if you don’t know what to do with the ball later. Possession creates space, But understanding space creates purpose”

    In so many games there has been no end product or purpose to our play. I agree that we have to start speeding things up, instead of this slow, methodical build up and trying to walk the ball in the net, which allows teams to sit in, stay in shape and be so hard to score against.
    On Sunday, let us see a Celtic team that is aggressive, fast with the ball, and willing to be brave for 90 mins. If we can achieve that, take our chances and get the 3 pts then it may well kickstart a good run of form to the title !

  • Effarr says:

    Celtic has the single-goal-lead syndrome. i would rather they went in at half-time drawing or even a goal down. With only the one goal advantage the opposing teams try the nothing-to-lose tactics, even OF Sevco does it, hence the second half onslaughts. If they went in at half time losing by the single goal, I am certain the nerves would be better in the second half with the shoe on the other foot. Or maybe boots on the other feet. McInnes, Naismith and the rest are made to look better tacticians than they actually are because they can throw caution to the wind and fortunately for them this is the one year that it has worked. It was tried against Postecoglou but with lesser success. At the end of the day, the league could be lost by all the missed sitters before half time. If Celtic had went into
    their dressing rooms more than two up at half time, the opposing plans would be more
    inclined to damage limitation than the Charge of the Light Brigade stuff. When Celtic won the European Cup the accusation then was that they won by the same tactics as we are seeing now in the SPFL. It was called a cavalry charge by the bigots of that time.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Well, this is when BR can confirm that he is indeed an

    ‘elite’ manager, and well worth his £3M a year.

    It’s down to BR to shake things up, get the players fired up,

    AND he himself has to tweak his style, approach and tactics,

    to get us over the line.

    Many have already written off our chances of retaining the league title,

    BUT we do have a proper, highly experienced manager who does have the

    intelligence and ability to get the job done.

    It’s been mince football all season:

    now it’s for the manager to step up – and show us all what he can do?

  • Charlie Green says:

    I know there will be many who will disagree but the player in the photo at the top is part of the reason we are in trouble. I am not saying he is a bad player but his passing to the guy next to him and then pointing to where he should play it, is as comical as it is useless. The midfield should be able to run with the ball and create chances, as it is, it is down to the defense, inc the much and wrongly maligned Scales to do the creating. It also needs Ralston to get to the by-line as the wingers aren’t doing it and the reason they are always caught out of position when the opposition decide to attack.This is week in week out.
    Once when Brown was out injured they suspended the nonsensical “holding role” and started to win 4 and 5 nil. Brown came back and we got beat I think it was with St Mirren and the goals dried up. I rate Brown highly as a player but was never used correctly.

    Make Joe a goalkeeping coach as he has great experience but we need a younger guy in now.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Can’t score in a fcukin whore house and Shankland or Miovski or both were available for what to Celtic FC was washers…

    But Rodgers and Sonny Lawwell knew better eh –

    Oh Jeez – Just watch Sevco show us next season how to tramp on an enemy rivals throat with jackboots…

    Because they very much will !

  • Michael Clark says:

    Your right, we have given the board a major amount of stick and I’m one of them. Now were taking aim at the manager and your maybe right there too but your asking a manager who’s been at big clubs to change his formation because we want him too. Its just not going to happen and we will continue to drop points and we probably will gift the league title to them because they’ll stick with Rogers till its too late, just look at Lennon. I don’t know what terms and conditions he was given on arrival but this guy told us before the winter break that Celtic were going to bring in quality…. well we now all know it was just a load of bullshit. Something is far wrong, nothing but nothing is making sense. We take a guy in from Norwich who can’t get a game for them and we put the best striker in Scotland Kyogo Furuhashi on the bench.

  • Jim says:

    It’s, good and bad to hear that McGregor has supposedly spoken to Rodgers regarding the teams lack of urgency, firstly the manager should see this rather than the captain telling him this and secondly surely the manager should know how to change things when this is apparent.

    The performances have been poor and the same tactics are obviously not been getting results, if it takes the team to point this out what is Rodgers being paid for , corner kicks, no goals, same amount against opposing teams are getting better results than we are, we cannot defend set pieces , teams can read us like a book , are no-one training the team regarding this matter.

    There are coaches at celtic so surely someone must be pointing this out .
    The team doesn’t seem to know what is required consistently.

    Playing a more direct attacking, fast passing football is celtic,s DNA , this team has won a treble and more seemingly seems to tremble.

    Hopefully if the comments have some weight behind them then we should see us firing on all cylinders again and get back to how the team should be playing and start blowing the opposing team away which they are more than capable of .

  • Roonsa says:

    Whilst I agree with all that, I have come to the conclusion that Rodgers is done. He realises for him, it’s time to go but he wants his payoff. Just like Lennon did 3 seasons ago. The difference being that a lot of the fans, if not most, aren’t putting Rodgers under the same pressure to resign. He’s not daft. He knows he can walk away with a tidy sum and a general perception he was dealt a shitty hand.

    As such, he doesn’t really care about taking chances and getting us back on track. The only thing he cares about is putting this sorry mess behind him and sailing off into the sunset with 3 years worth of cash for 8 or 9 months of work.

    What we are witnessing now is a game of brinkmanship between Rodgers and the board. And, as always, we are the ones who pay the price to watch it.

    Come Sunday. It could be game over for everyone. Great, eh?

  • Jim Duffy says:

    I think the 1-0 up syndrome used to even effect great managers,I remember Martin o Neil in some European games we’d go 1 -0 up and then it was do we sit tight and defend or go all out to get more goals which was always tricky against good European teams,so I think even Martin used to get in this quandary but I think it’s different when we’re up against poor SPFL opposition.

  • Chris Gibbons says:

    It is with reluctance that we all have to agree that Brendan’s tactics are wrong. Scales is a good defender but he is not Liam Brady. It would probably be better if he was rested and Nawrochi took his place.

    Our wingers apart from Maieda may not be quite good enough. They somehow along with the wingbacks have got to get to the by line and cross. Kyoko will take the chances if they can give him the ball. Idah is a complete waste of space. He is not a goal scorer and is third or fourth choice in an English Championship side.

    Everyone keeps talking about this world class coach Brendan Rodgers. What the hell has he done that was world class? He buggered it up at Liverpool. He buggered it up at Leicester and he is buggering it up at Celtic.

    You don’t always get appointments right. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. It’s time for Brendan to go and not take money that is due to him from the club, as Gordon Strachen did down here in England. There is no disgrace. It just hasn’t worked.

    The team appears to have dropped their fitness levels this season as well which is embarrassing to see.

    The team looks glum and dispirited as does Brendan. It’s time to get back to the Ange Postecoglou tactics and time for Brendan to go.

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