How ready are we for Malmö or HJK ?

Marstonbear

Well-Known Member
I really don't understand why the Scottish league season doesn't start on 1st July to give our teams the best possible chance in Europe. Yes, there will be a few players who will be away on international duty but that's only ever going to impact on Celtic and ourselves and we should be able to cope.

The whole idea of the league cup starting early was to help the teams in Europe, and they then gave those teams a bye which makes no sense.

So for me, start the league on 1st July to get teams up to speed. Move the league cup games to the midweeks of the Champions League (or even the weekends after to give European teams a break). Take a longer winter break if need be - or reduce the number of midweek fixtures.
If the season had started on 1/7, we’d have done a full pre-season without any of our players involved in Euro 2020 or Alfie.

We “should be able to cope” wouldn’t cut much ice if a tight title race prevailed and we lost the league by virtue of a couple of poor results at the start when playing with half a dozen players missing
 

Davie2021

Well-Known Member
When was the last time we played a qualifier having already played a competitive match?
We have normally had a couple of easier qualifiers by now , we haven’t been straight into this round for over a decade . So we have had games like red imps , for example , home and away to build up match fitness . This will be a different test .
 

bkerr72

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know when Morelos, Borna and Hellander are due back in training?

Im also hoping Kent’s injury, whatever it is, is minor and he will be back flying soon
Helander is back in, Borna going from his Instagram is still in Croatia and Alfie was still on colombia at the weekend. He then has his isolation to do as well so who knows when he'll be back.

Gerrard said the injuries the players had were being managed but were it a competitive game they would be fine to play just don't want to risk it in a friendly game. That's maybe what we are doing with Kent unless he has picked up another knock in training.
 

JW1988

Well-Known Member
IMO we are usually at a massive disadvantage in qualifiers simply because other nations are half way through their domestic season while we have players coming back in clusters from internationals, or a bit of time off. The international guys should be ok as they've been playing or training with a view to playing. My main worry is I think we've looked quite pedestrian in pre season so far. (YES I know its only pre season)
Its got shades of post winter break (last season apart) when we just couldn't get going again. Its maybe the scar tissue of those memories but I can't say it doesn't have me concerned.
 

bkerr72

Well-Known Member
Roofe is out the qualifiers as he has 4 games, is Kamara on 4 aswell or was his reduced to 3?
Kamara was reduced to 3 so he's available for the 2nd leg of the playoff round. Roofe wasn't a regular for us in Europe last season it's probably frustrating though because Alfie isn't back in yet.
 

Spittal-Loyal

New Member
Suspensions and the international tournaments haven't done us any favours but have to believe that we will be too strong for either opponent in spite of that. 2 friendlies and a league game beforehand should see us get the minutes into the legs where it's required.
 

Chimo

Well-Known Member
When we were playing in the first qualifying round for the EL plenty folk on here said it was too early, not enough of a break for the players and a chance chance to get caught off guard.

Now we are into Q3 of the CL people are upset we don't have earlier games, amazing.
 

GF1872

Well-Known Member
We have normally had a couple of easier qualifiers by now , we haven’t been straight into this round for over a decade . So we have had games like red imps , for example , home and away to build up match fitness . This will be a different test .
It will be a different test but SG has had the team ready every time qualifiers have come round, theres no reason this season will be any different. Early round ties offer little more than friendlies imo.
 

MightyGersLand!

Well-Known Member
3 competitive games before the second leg, one of which is the first leg.
You are of course correct.
Which makes the return at Ibrox the 6th game we play.

This is your quintessential glass half empty/ half full debate.
B-)

You'd expect we'll be capable at this stage of the season to keep the ball, conserve energy, get some ball time and fitness into the legs during the 4th game from now, without losing 3-0 away.
And I'd expect that at home, in the 6th game from now after having already played 2 friendlies before this weekends, we can get a 2 goal win at home v some solid yet mediocre teams.
 

Godrup99

Well-Known Member
As this tie gets nearer and nearer we have a few problems with the squad that worries me.

Kamara and Roofe banned.

Morelos not back in the country and others, transfer speculation that won’t go away not just with him but also with a few of our squad. A couple of players still to agree extensions. Ryan Kent, a very important player especially in Europe, has hardly been seen so far.

This tie will not be as easy as people think especially with these teams twelve or more games into their season.

Compare last pre season with this one and it seems night and day. This tie is mega important for us.

I just think things could have been a lot smoother for us and could have an adverse effect on the tie.
It's pre season. I don't get the panic, we've had hundreds of them. They are what they are, actual matches are very different to shape testing fitness building practice ones
 

MightyGersLand!

Well-Known Member
I’m glass half full, don’t worry mate :))
You are of course correct.
Which makes the return at Ibrox the 6th game we play.

This is your quintessential glass half empty/ half full debate.
B-)

You'd expect we'll be capable at this stage of the season to keep the ball, conserve energy, get some ball time and fitness into the legs during the 4th game from now, without losing 3-0 away.
And I'd expect that at home, in the 6th game from now after having already played 2 friendlies before this weekends, we can get a 2 goal win at home v some solid yet mediocre teams.
I expanded on that while you were posting.

Us fans getting complacent isn't really an issue as long as Gerrard has the players in the right frame of mind.
 

Devil's Advocate

Active Member
A bit nervous given injuries/suspensions. I actually kind of preffered the long qualifying route of the last couple of years as it gave us plenty of games against cannon fodder to get us ready for the harder ties.

We'll still do it though.
 

Wishbone

Well-Known Member
The truth is none of us can say how ready we will be other than SG and the management team. The friendlies were purely about getting minutes in legs and shouldn't be judged to gauge our readiness or otherwise. I think its telling that the training videos have been few and far between and whilst i miss watching them i think this is perhaps on instruction from The Gaffer of whom I have total confidence in preparing the squad appropriately.
 

bkerr72

Well-Known Member
I think we will be fine for the tie against Malmo. Suspensions and injuries are all part of the game so it's something that we will just need to deal with when it comes round.

The pre-seasons games so far haven't been that great but need to remember the players are doing double sessions before them and being run into the ground so they look leggy etc. The squad we have available for the tie is more than strong enough and if we lose then we don't deserve to be there.

I've got a feeling too many are building up the qualifiers this season. Yeah it would be great for us to get to the group stages for the money but given we are more than likely now to be unseeded in the draw next week then for me the league is more important this season. Winning the league then gives us the automatic place straight into the group stages next season so for me if we do go out it's not a disaster as another year in the Europa does us no harm.
 

RedWhiteBlue

Well-Known Member
I am expecting a slow and uncertain start to the season all round. Missing the Blackpool game didn't help.

Reckon we will try to just contain Malmö/Helsinki in the first leg and then take them at Ibrox when we will be in a better spot.

I dread the Play Off round to be honest. Hope that we can somehow just get the luck of the draw there.

Thing is it's been a long time since we lost a league game and a long time since we dropped any points when we didn't have a comfortable lead. Same with Europe where we lost to Slavia but the circumstances meant the result felt unimportant.

Not looking forward to the reactions when we don't get a perfect start to the season.
 

Sandbear

Well-Known Member
We are not as fluent as we were at this time last year and we have players either not back yet or who will miss the tie. So I’m not as confident as I would be playing these teams in a month or so.
Tight tie with us getting through narrowly.
 

Macca

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
More than ready and the strongest squad we've had for a very long time.

Quality options and depth, all over the park.
Not sure anyone disputing that MU. I think the worry is the fragmented pre-season we have had with players not coming back until late due to tournaments. The big worry is match sharpness across 4 or 5 players
 

JFK-1

Well-Known Member
On paper Malmo should be no problem for us if transfermarkt has any credibility and I believe it does. It's a good rule of thumb when it comes to squad values.

I'm in the US so I see the values in dollars. Malmo are valued at $27.47 million. Rangers $116.93 million.

Incidentally the yahoos are valued at $87.86 million. We're valued at a shade more than both combined. That indicates to me that we have a depth of quality that should overcome Malmo if not easily at least with a degree of comfort.

And they're the ones who should be trembling because aside from the depth of quality they can't match Steven Gerrard has prior to this managed 11 Euro qualifying rounds and won all of them. A 100% record and he probably did the bulk of it with weaker squads than this one.
 

Gibraltar Loyal

Well-Known Member
I really don't understand why the Scottish league season doesn't start on 1st July to give our teams the best possible chance in Europe. Yes, there will be a few players who will be away on international duty but that's only ever going to impact on Celtic and ourselves and we should be able to cope.

The whole idea of the league cup starting early was to help the teams in Europe, and they then gave those teams a bye which makes no sense.

So for me, start the league on 1st July to get teams up to speed. Move the league cup games to the midweeks of the Champions League (or even the weekends after to give European teams a break). Take a longer winter break if need be - or reduce the number of midweek fixtures.
Great idea. Patterson, McLaughlin, Helander, Barisic, Kamara and Morelos missing for at least a month. Do you think we can cope without them in Europe?
 

Angrybluebear

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
I stand corrected, not sure on number of games but forgetting league had kicked off. Previous seasons qualification games were earlier I believe, before the season has started.

To be fair last season was a complete freak we had the Leverkusen away leg carried over from the season before which was after our first game of the season.

Scottish clubs always seem to be caught out with early Euro ties before competitive games. This will no doubt set off the usual suspects but we played Progres Niedercorn on 29 June which was 5 weeks after the previous season finished and 4 weeks before the new one started.

Strachan lost his first game 5-0 to Artmedia and went out on aggregate, he went on to win the double.

Rodgers lost his first game to Lincoln Red Imps, he went on to win the treble.

We struggled Gerrard‘s first season against Shkupi then even more so Osijek, all 4 games before we played a domestic tie.

Scottish teams record in Europe is shocking because they are generally knocked out before they are match fit.

I think that is why 2 seasons ago we had friendlies 4 Saturdays in a row at Ibrox, having played 2 the week before, so we were ready for the step up in qualifiers. That season we had 4 ties before our first league game then Midtjyland immediately away on 8 August. Then Legia Warsaw 2 league and 1 cup games in. So basically 7 Euro ties 3 domestic matches, crazy.
 

Louch

Well-Known Member
Players have been away playing at elite tournaments. Most you see still training when off. If you right give them a break their is more chance they would break down. A week/10 days at training will bring their levels up easily.
 

jprfc

Well-Known Member
All the top clubs around Europe have the same problem after the euros/ copa America, I seen Chelsea return to training last week with a virtual reserve squad...they even had to give Danny Drinkwater a game in their 1st friendly !!
 

Old man of Hoy

Active Member
Have full faith in our management to have us ready for whoever progresses, I expect it to be Malmo however wouldn't write off Helsinki either, no disrespect to Helsinki but Malmo pose the bigger threat although I don't believe they are as strong as the Malmo side who knocked us out under McCoist in 2011, decent start to their Allsvenskan campaign sitting top, Croatian forward Colak being their main man, been to quite a few Malmo games at the Eleda whilst across in Sweden with work, cracking wee Stadium with an electric atmosphere, all that being said this is the stage Steven Gerrard knows best, 110% we will be ready for whatever either side throw at us.
 

bar72bear

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
I think it’s natural to worry given we haven’t seen our main players yet ( Morelos, Kent, aribo, barasic). Let’s just hope they are up to speed straight away as it’s massive to get through this tie
 

Euro Scooter

Well-Known Member
Two things I'm really not understanding about those who are all in a flap over these qualifiers:

  1. Have you not been paying attention to our qualifiers since Gerrard took over?
  2. Both teams may have started their league season but they have just had a near two month suspension of those leagues to accommodate Euro 2020. They are not months ahead in their fitness
We will be fine, even with a few players missing. Not a walkover, maybe, but we will be fine.
 

Ron Swanson

Well-Known Member
This has probably been the most disjointed pre-season we have had under Gerrard.

Really need to get minutes in the legs of Borna, Helander, Aribo, Kent, Kamara, Sakala and Alfie.

Jack being back fit would be a huge boost but think it will come to soon for him.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
Not sure anyone disputing that MU. I think the worry is the fragmented pre-season we have had with players not coming back until late due to tournaments. The big worry is match sharpness across 4 or 5 players


We've got 3 matches before we play Champions League mate and that will allow us to get plenty minutes into all the players, probably bar Borna and Alfredo.

It was only a couple of years ago we were starting off in the first round of the Europa and we dealt with that fine.

Our coaching staff will make sure everyone will get the minutes they need this weekend.

After watching that game last night, I'd say we'll have way too much quality for either of those sides mate.
 

Valley Bluenose

Well-Known Member
For me we've had a very disjointed pre-season. Players away, some still not back, cancelled matches etc. That has been reflected, not unsurprisingly, in the performances. Things need to improve this weekend and, hopefully, they will. Most of the squad are now back - are Borna and Alfie the only two still to return? - so everyone should see some gametime over the weekend.

We need to hit the ground running on 31 July. Right at it from the off.
 

Great white tadpole

Well-Known Member
Morelos should be back and leading the line against livi and Malmö/Helsinki he never really played any minutes at the copa America only trained so should be fully fit when he comes back, I think the worry is if he comes back overweight he won’t be in a fit state to play if that is the case I imagine he will be dealt with .
 

Bigbluebear

Well-Known Member
If we go into the tie with a team like this

McGregor

Tav
Goldson
Helander
Barisic / Bassey

Davis
Lundstram
Aribo

Wright / Hagi
Sakala
Kent

Then you have to think that's strong enough to get through
 

Old man of Hoy

Active Member
Two things I'm really not understanding about those who are all in a flap over these qualifiers:

  1. Have you not been paying attention to our qualifiers since Gerrard took over?
  2. Both teams may have started their league season but they have just had a near two month suspension of those leagues to accommodate Euro 2020. They are not months ahead in their fitness
We will be fine, even with a few players missing. Not a walkover, maybe, but we will be fine.
Malmos longest period without a game was just over 2 weeks at the end of May, they played 4 or 5 friendlies in June and started again beginning of July for Allsvenskan and CL qualifiers, they will be upto speed.
 
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