Scottish club bosses keep saying one thing before doing the complete opposite against Celtic
As Celtic’s reputation has increased more and more across Scottish football as the season as gone on, we’ve noticed a lot more teams sitting in with low blocks.
Indeed, they’ve watched the games Celtic have dropped points in. Livingston away. St Mirren away. Livingston at home. All of those slip-ups came thanks to teams camping 2 defensive blocks in our final third with the main target of stopping us playing.
You can understand that. They have to try and produce a way of playing that gets them the result, even if it isn’t easy on the eye. After all, this managerial lark is a cut-throat business, results over performances matter to many of them.
But what has been frustrating is the amount of managers in Scottish football totally fabricating how they’ll approach games against us. Far too many have been quick to lie about how they’ll get at us or look to pass around us, only to be found wanting for that level of confidence when kickoff comes around.
Take St Mirren last week. Steve Robinson stated that his side would look to pass themselves out of danger and play an easy-on-the-eye style based on bravery and confidence in their own ability. He stated that it wasn’t all about defending [Daily Record]. Yet come the game, which Celtic won 2-0, his side could barely string any coherent moves together. Hart didn’t have a single save to make, and St Mirren consistently cleared their lines instead of looking to play their way out.
He isn’t the only one of course. Days earlier, we had Shaun Maloney stating that he wanted his Hibs side to be aggressive and create chances against Celtic [Four Four Two]. Instead, what we watched in the 0-0 draw as an overly-negative approach based solely on stopping the Hoops as the Hibees played for a draw.
Managers struggling to stick to their word in Scotland when it comes to facing Celtic
Of course, Maloney did state why he didn’t go after Celtic in his post-match comments [Edinburgh Evening News]. He stated it was down to the injury problems he was suffering. But in fairness, he knew the injuries he had heading into the game to begin with.
Not to mention Stephen Glass said similar before Aberdeen faced Celtic [Aberdeen website]. Yet it took the Dons until the second half to create their first proper chance against us as they again sat off in the opening 45.
This is becoming a running theme. Managers in Scotland stating that they’re going to come after us before cowering on the day. Perhaps it’s a ploy to have us fooled heading into the game, but 9 wins in 10 league games since we’ve returned suggests it isn’t really working.
But it is frustrating to watch. It’s just a constant pattern of Celtic having all of the possession and being forced to try and break down 10-man walls.
Granted, we’re getting better at it. The more experience we have of facing stubborn opposition like this, the better equipped we’ll be for the next team who tries it. Look at how easily Livingston were dismantled on Sunday for example.
But it can’t be an enjoyable watch for Ange or a pleasurable experience for the players. They want to be facing teams who are willing to open up and have a go at us. Unfortunately, not many in Scotland are willing to do that despite what they say to the press.