RB Leipzig v Celtic: This is the Day, This is the Day…

There is a certain fatalism, one feels, about Celtic playing away from home in Europe. Too often we associate it with disappointment with missed chances, awful defending (Chris Sutton always used the word “sloppy”!) and lethargic performances. But we hope that Ange has sorted such things out, and we have turned over a new leaf in Europe.

Photo: NEWSPIX.PL — Newspix.pl

The game in Poland against Shakhtar Donetsk was disappointing as well – but in a different sense. We really should have won that game, and we were disappointed with the draw, even though the draw was generally regarded as a good result. Now is the time to deliver the away result that we have been waiting for.

No one will minimise the extent of the job in hand, but I cannot believe that RB Leipzig, who are 11th in the Bundesliga, are beyond us. We need to play sensibly with tight defensive play, and above all else, we must take every chance that is offered us. No more blasting over the bar, no more shooting straight at the goalkeeper! We need to be clinical in front of goal.

Greg Taylor and Stephen Welsh, Celtic against Aberdeen on flag day.(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

It seems that our central defensive pairing may not be what we would ideally wish for. Carter-Vickers with his calm assurance has been a big miss, but we trust that he will be back soon – for Perth perhaps, if not Leipzig. This leaves a heavy responsibility on Stephen Welsh, a boy who, although he has been with us for a few years now, is still learning. He was not at his best on Saturday, but I feel he deserves our support.

Up front, I feel that Kyogu lacks height and I was certainly surprised in the St Mirren game to see the amount of high balls that were sent across when we did not have anyone who could capitalise. Perhaps Giakoumakis might be a better bet, if he is fit?

Giorgos Giakoumakis applauds at the end the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Celtic and Real Madrid, at the Celtic Park on September 6, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The phrase “quality ball” is heard a lot. There is no point in “skinning” a defender, if the ball is then blasted across the penalty area “on a wing and a prayer”. We must find our man, and “our man” (whoever he may be) must be ready to score. Must has also been talked about “squad rotation” and did Ange make a mistake by too much rotation in the St Mirren game? I don’t know, but what I would say to the fringe players who may find themselves in the action at some point soon, is that they must seize their chance when it is given.

Above all else, I don’t want to see a cautious Celtic side. Don’t die wondering! I want to see confidence and conviction. Believe, Celtic!

Oh, and I want to see the green and white jersey tonight! No doubt someone will dig up some obscure European rule that may stop us doing that, but if we are compelled to do that, let’s have something green – like the all green strip that was frequently used in the 1960s, the lime green strip that we have used in the past, or even the white with green sleeves that was used long, long ago. But no more of any black, yellow or (worse still) grey rubbish that has masqueraded as Celtic strips in the past. We have worn the green and white horizontals since 1903; we have made it the most famous strip on earth; let us keep using it!

Let us hope we are all happy tonight. A win would be outstanding – and we are certainly capable of it – a draw would not be the world’s worth disaster, but a defeat might well mean that European football stops for the season in November. No self destruction, Celtic! Believe, and do it!

David Potter


About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

1 Comment

  1. I thought Welsh played well on Saturday. His only 2 faults i saw were his solo run where he had the opportunity to pass to Kyogo outside Motherwell’s box but instead took another few touches himself and lost possession deep in opposition territory, and, he lost a tussle in the middle of the park that again came to nothing.

    Other than that, he was pretty solid, though his positioning was questionable when McGregor saw red, but thats on Ange and the system he has this team playing.

    The squad rotation might pay dividends now McGregor is serving a ban and we are short in numbers elsewhere in the team, with the fringe players having minutes under their belts.

    Tonights game will probably suit Kyogo & Giakoumakis given the system RBL play; i expect our forwards to get space, if not time, on the ball. Its up to them to earn their wages.

    A defensive set up similar to the first half v’s Real Madrid would be ideal, as would the chances created at the other end so long as the players take them