4 at the back, Shane, Neil and Gordon


We got a fascinating insight into the complex layers of management through comments before, during and after the game from Gordon Strachan, and post-match from Neil Lennon.  Before kick-off, Gordon was asked about Neil’s decision to play three at the back, a formation that was exploited at the weekend (and praised by me last month).

Our former boss, once manager to Neil Lennon, father of Gavin, now a Celtic first team coach, deflected.  “I’m not the manager.”  Gordon was there as a pundit, but pulled his punch on this occasion and again at halftime.  After the second half, when Celtic improved significantly with four at the back, Gordon declined to judge the starting formation harshly, postulating that we will never know what would have happened had Celtic started with four at the back.

Then Neil Lennon explained what Gordon Strachan almost certainly knew before the match.  His choice was not to start with three at the back, but he did not have fit personnel to start and play the majority of a game with four in defence, specifically, a wide right forward.  Ryan Christie was not allowed to leave his home for two weeks, at this level, that is a long time without training.

A few weeks ago, we discussed that it was absurd that tens of thousands of Celtic fans knew something to be an absolute truth, which Neil Lennon was oblivious to (think central mid).  We agreed (I’m sure we did) that this is nonsense.  Instead, we had to accept that the manager sees complex layers that we do not.  Who knew there were concerns about the match fitness of Ryan Christie, apart from Gordon Strachan, of course?

It will be four at the back whenever fitness permits.  The two central defenders will be Kristoffer Ajer (who was immense last night) and Christopher Jullien.  Shane Duffy is struggling.  At 28, there is plenty of fuel in the tank, so he may find form, but right now he looks like a player on the bus out of Brighton.  Some you win.

In football, or in life generally, the direction of travel is often more important that your absolute position.  Are things getting better, or are they getting worse?  Therein lies whatever consolation there was in defeat to a superior Milan last night.  It was still a defeat, but losing to a better team while competing for large periods of the game, is better than being schooled by a team of never-won-anythings.

We did no more to Milan than Motherwell will do to us next month, but that direction of travel offers some consolation ahead of Sunday.

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  1. Micro Marxist @ 7.43



    You are very quiet regarding your own political affiliations.


    Surprising given how quick you are to comment about everything else.



    Although I have a feeling that you are a fan of the upcoming Irish film — “They shoot journalists don’t they”.



    Consequently keep howling at the moon from underneath your bridge.

  2. An employee in my work had to self isolate as him, his brother and sister were in contact with his I’ll mother who then got tested possitive. Ttack and trace then contacted him, passed on the self isolation note for employer to myself thru email.


    One of many employees we have had to help thru this.



    What is the difference with football players???



    Oh none unless you are Sevco player in fair old caledonia.



    D :)

  3. PHILBHOY-a friend of mines nephew lost his wife.52 years of age ffs.


    It’s getting closer to home everyday


    God love your friends dad 🍀




    His dad was 75 and suffered from copd and had a heart issue.



    He was dead within 10 days of the diagnosis.



    Horrible disease!

  5. FAIRHILL BHOY on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 8:26 PM


    The Huns goal the other night although good was absolute luck.He couldn’t do it again if his the rangers career depended on it 🤷‍♀️



    och puttin my own bias aside it was a good goal.he could leave now and still have a career too :-)




  6. PHILBHOY-on the phone to my dad today and he honestly thinks he’s immune.Thinks because he’s 80 and still driving,playing golf and telling me of that makes him good to go.Hes probably right

  7. AN TEARMANN-it was a last minute get the ball as far up the park as I can hit it kinda goal.


    It was a good goal,but it was a lucky goal

  8. PHILBHOY-it’s funny you should mention genes.


    I was talking to my work nebour this week and commented that I’ve had nothing really go wrong with me .I haven’t seen a doctor in 20yrs. It’s probably going to hit me in a wanner 🤷‍♀️😉




    I think you’ll take after your Dad right enough!



    I’ve been pretty lucky too.



    A few issues but nothing major.



    However, sometimes I think old age is catching me up!



    Take care!

  10. GORDYBHOY64-how’s things mate.Tracy got a new iPad for her birthday and the photos from our holiday and her hen weekend are worth a watching again 😉


    Hope you’re all good buddy 🍀

  11. God Bless ye Fairhill Bhoy.



    Last week hurt a lot.



    We are only at the Raphael Van der Vaart.



    End Times soon Scooby Dooby do.

  12. spikeysauldman on

    brilliant – when the rest of the team and manager are pish, broonie gets the blame …


    couple of years ago, its was the huns and the laptop loyal who had it in for him, now its us



    btw, with regards duffy, i’m not a big fan and admittedly pish last couple of games, compare media treatment with that given to gouldson – was pish from day 1 (aberdeens goal), outed by his manager for a euro howler away, and regularly gash last year – he has been given all the time he needs to settle by the hun hordes and the laptop loyal – us ?

  13. lets all do the huddle on

    back to the horse racing from earlier when irish horse macswiney won the big race at doncaster



    jim bolger who trains it said to sky sports racing



    “i must have known he was good back in January when I named him Mac Swiney, it wouldn’t have been good for me or anyone around here to name a horse after a Cork man if he wasn’t very good.



    “He’s one of our outstanding patriots and I’m thrilled for his memory that this fellow was able to go back to England 100 years after his death and win like he did”



    i think jim bolger is a rebel 🇮🇪 😄




    Exactly my thoughts. Our players are given no time and every mistake is magnified.



    Sadly guys like Sutton are at the front of the queue to put the boot in.



    They wouldn’t dare give the Huns the same treatment.



    Hail Hail.




    I am assuming, apologies if not, you are talking to me.



    Scott is an All Time Celtic Great, of that there is no doubt.



    IMHO, It just isnae there anymore. Fitba wise.

  16. Petec, talking to all of US. My question is, who has shown up better ? IMO various players have been very inconsistent/pish/even hiding. Not one player has been 7/10 in every game played. Even the praise given to DL (and I’m a fan) the other night, ignores how easy the cross for the first goal came in.

  17. Seen a clip of The Green Brigade up at Lennoxtown,what put the damper on it for me was the two Parks of Hamilton coaches with all Celtic Personnel on board ,talk about helping Sevco to keep the lights on,can’t understand how a Football Club like Celtic don’t have there own form off transport.

  18. Spikeysauldman,



    I hope we get the 3 points the morra.



    Scott doing his job to a tee.



    His first touch is letting him down now, sad to say.

  19. lets all do the huddle on

    Exactly my thoughts. Our players are given no time and every mistake is magnified.



    Sadly guys like Sutton are at the front of the queue to put the boot in.







    in other circumstances that comment has been 100% right



    but our players have been given plenty of time this season, i.e. from the start of it, and we have been turgid almost every game



    im not saying its all the players fault, or the managers fault or PLs fault or DDs fault



    probably all of the above have a part in it



    but we have been shite this season and i cant see how its going to get better



    because none of those i mentioned above who are in a position to make it better actually look interested in doing so

  20. Terence McSwiney, Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, 100th Anniversary of his Death tomorrow after 74 days of Hunger Strike,


    It was his sacrifice more than anything that sparked the Revolution in Cork, that eventually led to the freedom of 26 of our Counties.



    His song is called ,Shall my Soul pass through Ireland.



    In a dreary Brixton prison where an Irish rebel lay


    By his side a priest was standing ere his soul should pass away


    And he faintly murmured father as he clasped him by the hand


    Tell me this before I die shall my soul pass through Ireland



    Shall my soul pass through old Ireland pass through Cork city grand


    Shall I see that old cathedral where Saint Patrick took his stand


    Shall I see that little chapel where I placed my heart in hand


    Father tell me ere I die shall my soul pass through Ireland



    ‘Twas for loving dear old Ireland in this prison cell I lie


    ‘Twas for loving dear old Ireland in this foreign land I die


    Will you meet my little daughter will you make her understand


    But Father tell me ere I die shall my soul pass through Ireland



    With his heart pure as a lily and his body sanctified


    In that dreary British prison our brave Irish rebel died


    Prayed the priest that wish be granted as in blessing raised his hand


    Father grant this brave man’s prayer may his soul pass through Ireland


    Oh, may his soul pass through Ireland

  21. MADMITCH on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 8:38pm



    1.Micro Marxist @ 7.43


    2.You are very quiet regarding your own political affiliations.


    3Surprising given how quick you are to comment about everything else.


    4.Although I have a feeling that you are a fan of the upcoming Irish film — “They shoot journalists don’t they”.


    5Consequently keep howling at the moon from underneath your bridge




    1.you do not know what you are.so do pause with categorizing others.you fail badly.


    2.no i am not.we have had this conversation.it ceased when you were asked to answer your own question that of mship of a party


    3.i comment on what i want here.


    4 Ernie lynch can you help me out here.lost.fanx.:-) mm i am genuinely interested in your reference here.if i give you a fag packet lol


    5 As i dont understand 4 you can consequently do one? still using your “under a bridge” metaphor on a Celtic blog without explanation.under a bridge is a known derogatory slur on the homeless.you know that.desist please ta




  22. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    God, see when you read through links you come across reading about MacSwiney, you get a good reminder about how widespread the horror of the ‘Empire’ truly was.



    Slaughter and persecution in India mirrors the horrors inflicted on Ireland by the English, and on the Scots in the 17th century. Historical evidence paints them in a similar vein to the Nazis.



    Truly horrendous stuff – rampant racism and brutality.



    Also read earlier this week about the Tulsa Massacre a hundred years ago – similar racist backdrop, and – like most of the other atrocities carried out by ‘our side’ (and I mean that very-much ironically ) – not taught in our schools.



    Awful what humans can do to their fellow man.






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