Going Behind the Numbers on Celtic’s Half-Term Report Card

Celtic’s 2-1 win over Ross County on Saturday was the club’s twenty-third game of what’s been an eventful season to date. It’s been a season of much success and consistency, at least domestically.

In Europe we’ve learned some harsh lessons at the hands of more experienced teams. Teams who boast some of the world’s best players. Ange Postecoglou doesn’t have a problem with that though. He likes lessons. He likes learning. And he knows how valuable these lessons can be to his young squad.

Real Madrid’s keeper Thibaut Courtois saves from Celtic’s Daizen Maeda during the Champions League Group match at Celtic Park on September 6, 2022.(Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Lessons Learned at the Top Level

At the top level a failure to convert chances – as we witnessed against all three of our Champions League Group F opponents – will almost always come back to bite you.

Kyogo, Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada won’t have enjoyed watching some of their missed chances on the video playback after the game with Ange Postecoglou, but they’ll benefit from the experience and will be better equipped next time around.

From a collective point of view the team will also have learned the importance of producing a true 90 minute performance. For 50 minutes against Real Madrid in Glasgow we were exceptional. For 30 minutes against Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw we had them on the ropes. Even for spells in the Santiago Bernabeu we dictated the play, played football our way, and forged out several genuine chances.

But for all of our efforts we ended the group with just two draws from our six games.

Playing in spells at that level – or any level – is generally not enough and Joe Hart and others have spoken of the hard work that continues behind the scenes as the squad aims to reach those new levels.

This Season v Last Season

After fifteen games of the season we find ourselves ten points better off than at the same stage of last season’s campaign. That’s as a result of winning fourteen of those fifteen league games.

 Jota of Celtic scores Celtic’s second goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and theRangers at Celtic Park Stadium on September 03, 2022 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We’ve also scored fifty goals to last season’s thirty-three. An average of 3.33 goals per game. For Ange Postecoglou it’s about more than just goals however, more than just points, more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. His approach is all about high performance.

If the group can reach the levels he’s set for them then everything else follows as a result. The free flowing football, the league titles, and the cup success that we all yearn for then materialise as a by-product of that high performance.

Behind The Numbers

In our latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly we go behind the numbers that this Celtic side have been producing and also look at the players who have made us tick across those twenty-three games.

The appearance stats make for some interesting reading and we identify the players who Ange relies on time after time, domestically and in Europe, and the ones who reward his trust by consistently putting in match winning displays.

Listen in as we score the half-term report card and debate the ongoing evolution of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic…

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. All links and additional podcasts can be found at The Celtic Exchange website.

About Author

A child of the 80s, I have hazy memories of being at the Centenary Cup final at Hampden in May 1988 as we won the league & cup double, but then had to wait almost exactly a decade for our next league title as Wim Jansen & Co stopped the 10! I’m the founder and host of The Celtic Exchange podcast where we now produce several shows per week covering all things Celtic.

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