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2000-07-22: Celtic 2-4 Bordeaux, Friendly
|Match Pictures | Matches: 2000 - 2001 | 2000-2001 Pictures|
- Competition was hotting up for the signature of Joos Valgaeren with Leeds becoming the main club contending for the Belgian. The Herald went one further saying Celtic had missed out on signing Valgaeren. Alan Thompson was also being actively sought from Aston Villa.
- Meanwhile intense scrutiny was going into the negotiations of Neil Lennon at Leicester City. Lennon had been one of O’Neill’s golden players at Leicester and the club were doing their level best to hold on to the player offering him £30,000 per week to stay. Celtic made a formal offer believed to be over £6.00million to test the water.
- Ex-Celt Gerry Creaney signed for Raith Rovers.
- Scotland U19’s called up three young Celtic players: - Ryan McCann, Marc Cocozza and Liam Keogh.
ReviewA happy sunny day and a chance to meet the manager before proceedings got under way. It then became apparent that Bordeaux were vastly superior and that the Celtic defense in particular had got to be tightened up from the sieve-like performance exhibited in this game. What started pleasantly gradually degenerated with a lot of off-the-balls and niggles flying everywhere culminating in Laurent Battles being sent off for a swipe at Berkovic.
Kerr, Riseth, Mahe, Rafael (Boyd, 46), Stubbs, Tebily, Lambert, Petrov, Berkovic, Larsson, Burchill.
Non Used Subs: Gould, Johnson, Petta, Moravcik, Fotheringham, Kennedy.
Goals: Larsson (pen, 45); Burchill (54)
Roux, Bonnissel, Pavon, Smertin (Battles, 7), Laslandes (Basto, 75), Legwinski, Grenet (Jemmali, 74), Sommeil, Afanou, Dugarry (Feindouno, 58), Wilmots.
Non Used Subs: Saveljik, Alicarte, Darocha, Lopez, Sahnoun, Kossonogov.
Goals: Wilmots (32), Laslandes (67), Feindouno (70), Bonnissel (86)
Red Card: Battles (Bordeaux, 64)
Referee:: Willie Young (Scotland)
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||6||6|
Celtic show the cracks
Scotland on Sunday 23/07/2000Andrew Smith AT CELTIC PARK
THERE was genuine warmth in the welcome accorded Martin O'Neill during what is now, the annual meet-the-new-manager ceremony. It extended to sympathetic laughter for a joke that fell flat.
The Ulsterman's voice started to crack, but he insisted it was down to a dodgy PA and not a fault of his own making. And O'Neill himself requires incredible mental fortitude not to crack up in rectifying the faults not of his own making that are endemic in the squad he has inherited.
It is a Forth Road Bridge-painting job for the man that must possess a masochistic streak to have left such a rewarding post with Leicester City for one that appears so unpromising.
In starting to pinpoint the areas of the Celtic team that require remedial action it is possible to go on for ever.
He could begin with a goalkeeper, Stewart Kerr, doing himself no favours in allowing Lilian Lisandes's tamely-struck free-kick to slip through his hands and gift Bordeaux a second goal. But the deficiencies in this department are positively small potatoes set against the horrendous problems in central defence.
The wacky combination of Rafael and Olivier Tebily in a three-man central unit, with Alan Stubbs sweeping behind, could be viewed by some as a cunning ploy to make the Englishman up sticks before his contract expires next summer. You had to feel for Stubbs with both the Brazilian and the Ivory Coast player so often appearing vacant at crucial moments. Tebily's casual, half-**** approach to defending is excruciating to watch and accounted for the opening goal in the 32nd minute when he took a lazy swipe on a through ball and only succeeded in kneeing it into the path of Marc Wilmots, who stepped forward and drilled an angled shot low into the corner of Kerr's net.
The absence of reliable wide players, the thinness of personnel for midfield and a similar concern in respect of O'Neill's attacking options suggest there is not a department in the side to make moves to strengthen that it would not be justifiable.
There were the predictable bright spots, or rather the bright spot that goes by the name of Henrik Larsson, who marked Celtic's first home game of the term with a goal that came from the penalty spot in the 44th minute after a neat interchange between the Swede and Eyal Berkovic ended in handball by Michel Pavon.
Larsson was also central to his side's second which came nine minutes after the interval with a jinking run along the byeline that ended with him skipping over a cross that Mark Burchill nodded into an unguarded net.
The petty niggling that was apparent throughout the game at various stages threatened to boil over, but it also produced an amusing incident when Cristophe Dugarry, Euro 2000 winner with France, took exception to Tebily's man-marking becoming manhandling and simply walked off the field before a substitute could be introduced in his place. It appeared a sign that Bordeaux had lost interest finally, and, with Larsson coming alive, the chances began to flow for Celtic, the Swede close with a delightful scissors kick having smoked a drive just beyond the post minutes earlier.
Everything changed in the 65th minute, and, perversely, it was after Bordeaux were reduced to 10 men by referee Willie Young following a lunge by the aptly-named Laurent Battles on Berkovic. The Israeli's writhings clearly incensed the Bordeaux man who, just for good measure, kicked out at Berkovic as he was leaving the field. Five minutes later Tebily appeared to spot one of those imaginary butterflies as his eyes wandered and the ball sailed over his head to land at the feet of the onrushing Pascale Feindouno who applied a clinical finish. Four minutes from time Jerome Bonnissel did likewise, sauntering past Tom Boyd before firing a unstoppable shot beyond Kerr.
O'Neill admitted the game proved he had problems, or rather his players did. He said: "We lost poor goals. It's my team now, and I've got to rectify the situation. If the same thing continues to happen, it would be a crisis."
He opted to use only one substitute, Boyd replacing Rafael just after the second half started and afterwards he declared the Brazilian was "extremely knackered". The Irishman said he would be looking to make changes for West Ham's visit to Celtic Park on Tuesday, the last match before Dundee United next Sunday.
The one fresh face that O'Neill has acquired, pounds 6m signing Chris Sutton, is expected to recover from an ankle knock in order to make the midweek friendly, but there are only so many changes the Celtic manager can make. "Maybe the fans want 10 or 11 changes but that can't realistically happen," he stated. "I want to change things relatively quickly but with players who can have both short and long- term influences." O'Neill will no doubt be aware of the maxim stating that you can either define the moment or the moment will define you.
PA Sport Match Report
- Manager Interview
"I am not going to go into names. All I would say is I am aware of the fans' reservations.
"I will not get overly-excited about the goals we conceded. They were poor goals to lose but that seems to be the way it's been here.
"If the same things happen continually it will be a crisis but at the moment I am only looking at players.
"The performance of Larsson was excellent. The determination to adapt to my philosophy of the game was also good.
"It is pretty apparent we need players to supplement the squad but I am not looking to the short term. I want players who will have a long-term influence."
“Rafael was extremely knackered because, in fairness to the lad, he has had a lot of injuries since coming here."
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