Celtic struggling with game management and seeing games out

Yesterday was another forget it and move on affair. There was absolutely nothing in that one apart from James Forrest’s magnificent double – that really got us out of jail might I add – worth talking about. For some reason we just didn’t look up for it at Dens Park and the game was in serious danger of running away from us in that second 45 minutes.

They all kept trying to fire the ball to each other and every pass was overcooked. Alistair Johnston and Nicolas Kühn really had matches to forget, as some of their so-called link-up play left a lot to be desired. The report card could have been so much different yesterday had that chance that was flagged for offside, which was tight to say the least, not have been squandered by the Dundee forward.

The amount of corners the home side had seemed like it was never ending and many of them we had given away so cheaply and unnecessarily against Tony Docherty’s men. That link between the defence and midfield was non-existent for large parts of the game and it meant that the severely limited capabilities of Liam Scales on the ball were broadcast before our very eyes once more.

McGregor was well off it again, although you can tell he’s still getting back to his best. Hatate was okay in flashes, as was O’Riley. But they all seemed utterly intent on overlooking their passes to one another and firing it into their teammates at times. It was every few seconds a misplaced or overhit pass was delivered by someone and it allowed Dundee to really make a good fist of it. We allowed a scrappy game to unfold at certain times.

If we are to win this Scottish Premiership title, we really have to get better at our game-management too. Far too many times this season we haven’t seen games out or contrived to make things more difficult for ourselves en-route to that final whistle. Europe was just disastrous on that front, meanwhile at home, we have given too many goals away terribly cheaply. That one from the Dundee corner was a result of plain old-fashioned no pressure on the ball and it just floated into the net it seemed like.

We have to manage these games better. We simply have to – or it could be an agonising finish to the campaign.

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.


  1. Rob O’Keeffe on

    This season’s end can’t come quickly enough which is amazing considering we are going for a League and Cup double.Really dire stuff to watch.Get rid of Rodgers and several of this underwhelming squad.Get decent,real deal players,not loans or project players,in and bedded(careful).Could you imagine this tripe in a CL group? I don’t want to hear about the newish club/company,they have their own massive problems.We have to get over the line and rebuild a decent team.KTF?

  2. Our game management hasn’t been in existence all season, with still waiting for a 90 minute performance to be produced?
    Was actually shocked at just how poor we were with the use of the football yesterday, and a reoccurring theme from this team all season?
    We looked threatening enough in the first 5/10 minutes and then nothing of any real note?
    Even our 2 goals came from a superb strike from forrest after kyogo never controlled the ball properly, and defensive mistakes made for the 2nd?
    Conceded a ridiculous goal that was only fit for putting under a Christmas tree, and easily could have been more?
    Really didn’t like the attitude shown from to many of our player’s yesterday in a must win game?
    Such a poor attitude towards a big game hasn’t really been associated with our team, maybe since the 10iar season?
    But way to many times this season, this squad has left question marks against itself regarding the appetite for that winning mentality?
    Scraping results might get pass marks at this stage of the season with the stakes as high as they are?
    But it’s certainly not the “Celtic way” at present

  3. I thought the only player that showed any real hunger yesterday was was Harata the rest looked like they were on holiday all ready I was not there but the middle to front was a nightmare Callum mcgregor was way off it but he’s just back the only other pass mark was James forest if we play like this against Hearts we won’t get away with it ! Get Rid of Rodgers he’s had his day we need someone with that hunger !

    • Stuart Saunders on

      Love all your comments and agree with most of them. But Hatate is a joke plays one maybe two good games then he is terrible, passing is poor ,to easy pushed of the ball and falls over too much. O Riley has talent but cannot see the simple pass and he is trying be fancy all the time . We need a playmaker in the midfield who can do the killer pass asking defenders to do this is a joke . It all comes down to the manager and the back room staff tactics which is none existent . They all need to go and time to bring in Fresh ideas .

  4. This is an article for the season end, no matter how true it is. There’s enough in this country who take great delight in the timing of knocking us without our own joining them.

    The Celtic fans aren’t daft they know our capabilities however now isn’t the time, also Dundee are a big physical team and if you consider that pitch this is a banana skin (ask Sevco) out the way.

    The fan’s patience in the next two defining home games are going to be tested. However, supporting the team through and through is what we do.

    In fact, it is THE difference between us & them…..


    • Stuart Saunders on

      You are saying playing Dundee is a bananas skin game , this is what we are saying it shouldn’t be . Last season would playing Dundee be classed as a banana skin game ,No,Rodger’s is the problem since he has come in we have been average to poor all season .

  5. 4-3-3 no matter who we play—–Even ” Hammerings” in Europe during Rodger’s first session at Celtic didn’t teach him the error of his ways . Celtic desperately need a left-back ( two identical goals against Aberdeen ) should have shown Rodger’s & Co. what the fans have been saying all season . Scales is a “journeyman” defender ( a good squad player but far from Celtic class) .
    We have a ” Tippy-Tappy ” midfield who coudn’t take sweets off a baby and that includes when Calum McGregor is fit . O’Riley hasn’t kicked a ball since interest was shown by Athletico Madrid and that was before last Christmas . James Forest has shown that ; even beyond his “Sell-buy” date , he is the best winger we have so what does that tell you about the club ? We don’t have any characters in the team to manage and see-out games and the team lacks strength and stamina .
    Having said all this and although we are S**t* we are still a lot better than the other load of S**T* down Govan way . We will win the LEAGUE but only just and relish in the fact that the “Govanites” by that time will be well and truly ” SKINT” and heading for another bout of liquidation . The moral is , therefore. that all is not “Doom and gloom” and even our duds should be capable of seeing-off the ” Huns” a week on Saturday and again in the Scottish Cup Final . So keep the Faith and everything will right itself next season—We hope ??????