Is it ok to have doubts? I think it is. When those missed chances start popping up in your mind when you’re sitting at traffic lights or making lunch. When you see other results and see managers bemoaning missed chances and not being ruthless. Not burying the games when they are on top. Losing games. Losing ties.
Football fan logic is that we created before and we will do again. That forgets that it’s a completely different game, different set of circumstances and a different mindset. We had a mindset of doubt from the first whistle to the last. Our opponents were out of Europe before the game kicked off but their name was in the hat as soon as they scored. They didn’t need to implement their game plan – when to twist – we did it for them.
We were far too passive and just didn’t look like we knew what we wanted to do. The mistake saw us go from passive to panic and never recover. The coaching staff will need to look at how they approached this game as it went so wrong on every level.
In saying all that, for all our shortcomings on the night individual errors are the reason we are out. The manager can’t do much about that but he needs to look at how the players got into the mindset in the first place.
Our first defeat of 2020 is a sore one to take. As it lacked any features that have made this Europa League adventure such fun. But, we need to pick ourselves up and the great thing about football is that we go again on Sunday.Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind with ACE CITY RACERS
Where to start with this one?
Had Celtic taken their chances in Copenhagen, the tie could very well have been over within the first 30 minutes of last week’s first leg. Instead, Celtic’s wastefulness in front of goal left the tie open and very much still alive coming into this evening’s second leg.
But, with home advantage and the full support of the Celtic faithful behind them, it was not an unreasonable thought that Celtic might just have enough to see this one through.
However, even from the earliest moments in the game, it felt like we were watching a re-run of an old movie, the only question was which one; the one where Celtic don’t quite turn up yet scrape a result, or the one where Celtic don’t turn up and take a beating. The scorer of the first goal usually answers that question and unfortunately for us, we were watching the latter movie.
At no point in the game did Celtic look in control, like they had a plan on how they were going to win this game. Brown, arguably not fit enough to play, was a passenger; Jozo, at fault for the opener, was an accident waiting to happen all night; Edouard, glorious Panenka aside looked out-of-sorts without Griff up in front of him in support. The entire team flat and lethargic, despite the rousing encouragement from the stands.
In truth, Copenhagen came to sit deep and frustrate. It was a plan that worked. It stopped Celtic’s attacking players from finding space, who, in turn, refused to look for any spaces to exploit. Sit in and hit on the break was the Copenhagen plan and it paid off as Celtic, unsure whether to stick or twist, gifted up clear chances on goal.
There’s little point dwelling on the goals conceded – all avoidable and all individual errors – but having watched this movie’s sequels featuring Cluj and Rangers, surely there are lessons to be learned; don’t play unfit players, play to our strengths, have a Plan B for when Plan A doesn’t work.
Tonight hurts and it will still hurt in the morning. The European adventure is over, let’s make sure of 9-in-a-row and a quadruple treble.
🍀 A CELTIC STATE OF MIND
⭐️ Man of the Match
🇩🇰 Celtic 1 Copenhagen 3
1️⃣ Tom Rogic
2️⃣ Mo Elyounoussi
3️⃣ Christopher Jullien