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Philadelphia Union 1-0 Celtic. Rustiness to blame more than anything else.

July 15, 2010

Little to garner from this game as it was more of a fitness and sharpness exercise than anything else and it showed in the only goal (which can be seen here).

Celtic went for a straight-forward 4-4-2, a formation which is not dead (though in a bit of trouble). This may be Lennon’s preferred system for the coming season (as it was last season) or it may have just been the most suitable given the circumstances – a number of fringe/youth players and most players not used to each other and 4-4-2 is probably the easiest ‘default’ formation for most British and British based players to slot into. If it is indeed Lennon’s preference this season then one point of interest is the selection of Scott Brown in centre of midfield. There are doubts about his effectiveness in a midfield two, so it could be interesting to see how this develops.

The above image shows how the goal came about. Scott Brown (highlighted in green) closes down the ball carrier (Eduardo Coudet) but is fooled by a dummy leaving him too far away to block off any action Coudet may choose to make. Coudet is left with plenty of time and space (shown in yellow) to do what he wants. He passes to the goalscorer (La Toux, highlighted in blue) who is standing in a huge space between the two Celtic cental defenders. They are both too wide apart and are part of a defensive line that is staggered. The red line shows this starting with the left-back at the top of the screen and finishing out of picture, the other central defender being a few more yards to the left of and deeper than his central partner. The left-back (Milan Misun) meanwhile is deepest of all and doesn’t push up with the rest of his defence, playing La Toux onside. La Toux probably would have been onside even if Misun had pushed up but the fact he remained stationary as his team-mates stepped forward showed a lack of communication and concentration within the defence.

These sort of problems are expected in pre-season as they are mostly down to a lack of match sharpness, as well as the fact that Caddis, Misun, Hooiveld and Loovens are not particularly familiar with each other. Scott Brown is a slight concern as he has had a tendency to be caught out of position due to chasing the ball over the past few seasons but he gets the pre-season benefit of the doubt.

Also noteworthy:

  • Jos Hooiveld showed he has a good shot. He was involved in a nicely worked ‘training ground’ free kick (always nice to see) and hit a dangerous one from long distance.
  • A number of younger players got a run out, most notably Jame Forrest. In the brief time he was on the field he showed some nice touches and put a couple of devilish crosses into dangerous areas. One was an excellent left-footed cross that resulted in Paul Caddis’ disallowed goal. Watch this space…
  • The players showed a real desire to get an equaliser towards the end (the Lenny effect?) and often had four or five bodies in the opposition area, with more in support just outside. Will this be a feature of our play this season? It wasn’t regularly enough last season.

Lineup:

Cervi;

Hinkel, Loovens, Hooiveld (Mulgrew 45, Rogne 72), Misun;

Caddis, Brown (Wilson 45), Crosas (Ledley 45) McCourt (Forrest 61);

Rasmussen (Hutchinson 61), McGowan (Sheridan 75)

Sub not Used: Zaluska

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One Comment leave one →
  1. michael g permalink
    July 15, 2010 10:21 pm

    looking forward to seeing more forrest and finally getting 2 c big jos. hail hail

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