Is Celtic's European success limited without a Plan B?

The talk before Thursday evening's visit to the Bay Arena was that Celtic needed to nick a point in Germany to keep their qualification hopes for the last 32 of the Europa League alive. It was going to be a big ask, but there was a quiet optimism among the fans with Postecoglou's side currently on a run of nine games unbeaten since the 4-0 defeat by Leverkusen in the reverse fixture.


Fast forward 81 minutes and Celtic were leading the German giants 2-1. Group G's live league table had Celtic leapfrogging Betis into 2nd place, with the visit of the Spaniards to Celtic Park to come in Matchday 6. See out the game and a point at home against the team from Seville would clinch qualification.


As that potential situation began to crystalise, unwanted flashbacks of letting a two-goal lead slip in Matchday 1 appeared. But I made peace with myself that we'd come a long way since that fixture and we wouldn't be that careless again.


Okay, the German's are a quality outfit so we can't rule out a late equaliser, but losing the match isn't an option from this position. Well, we all know what happened after that...



Granted, it's not as easy to hold out for the final ten minutes of a European match as it is to say it, but surely our game management has to better.


Ange's attacking philosophy got us in a fantastic position - one that many thought was beyond us before a ball had been kicked - but a lack of pragmatism cost us in the end.


Whilst it's fair to say that most Celtic fans are enjoying this brand of football more than ever, especially after some of the performances last season under Lennon, there's a line where entertainment and success cross with this gung-ho style of play, particularly against quality opposition.


Postecoglou once again changed the front three in the final quarter of the game and replaced Bitton with McCarthy in midfield. I think there was an opportunity to be cleverer with these substitutions given what was at stake, but Big Ange is resolute in his beliefs and on another day that would be admired.


The question we need to ask ourselves is "Are we happy being entertained but disappointed or streetwise and successful?"


What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.