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4 at the back, Shane, Neil and Gordon

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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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530 Comments

  1. TB- yes I was,and I’m sticking by him,he was excellent last week in a couple of Republic games last week, playing in a back 4,he was poor on Thursday, but he will prove to be an excellent signing IMO.

  2. TB- a wee aside,the ‘lifelong Celtic fan’, who couldn’t leave the mighty Bolton, played for them 45 times.

  3. Man C,with De Bruyne,Sterling,Mahrez,Aguero,showing how hard it is to break down 11 man defence.1-1.

  4. Shane Duffy is and will be a good signing for us.

     

     

    Big Jimmy – here’s hoping forvthexwee fella Rocky. 🙏🙏🙏

     

    Not had many pets apart from when the kids were young we had a wee dog and their affection toward humans is incredible.

     

    Therefor the bond that grows can be amazing.

     

     

    How disgusting are these Tory rats not allowing free school meals during holidays whilst giving themselves a recent pay/expense rise.

     

     

    Hunbeilavable

     

     

    D :)

  5. I am on BEIN at the moment,and for my mortal sins,I am listening to the biggest pair of trumpets on air,Richard Keys ,and Andy Gray.Dear God.So far up each others bahookys,cringeworthy.

  6. SFTBs,

     

    Watching Question Time,and the Tory on there was saying,the children’s meals might have been passed,if the word scum was not used in the debate.EH!!!!.We will let kids go hungry,because someone was offended.

     

    TOTAL SCUM.

  7. Just finished the awesome 2 part series,The Comey Rule.All about the corrupt,evil Trump.Brendan Gleeson gives a sensational Trump.Great cast,great insight,into Trump.Unmissable.

  8. What is the Stars on

    Another Martyr for aul ireland

     

    Terence MacSwiney strikes back

     

    Its not those who can inflict the most….

  9. BIG JIMMY

     

    I know what you are going through.

     

    I lost one of my Labradoodles 6 weeks ago. Miss him so much.

     

    Hope Rocky is ok

  10. lets all do the huddle on

    tomorrow will be the 100th anniversary of macswineys death in brixton prison

     

     

    the omens were there for that tip

     

     

    wish i had taken it!

  11. My team for tomorrow….

     

    …………………….. Barkas

     

     

    Frimpong…..Duffy……Ajer…….Laxalt

     

     

    ………………………Brown

     

    ……….Ntcham……………….McGregor

     

     

    ……………..Rogic…………Christie

     

     

    ………………………..Ajeti

     

     

    Subs Bain,Welsh, Taylor, Soro, Turnbull, Griffiths, Klymala.

  12. ONENIGHTINLISBON on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:32 PM

     

    AN TEARMANN on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:16 PM

     

    narratives develop fostered v much by our own rekkord and scum wannabees.

     

     

    Our board are supremely professional, I mean look at the way they have handled res 12…

     

     

    i agree they are professional.but it wont help your unhappiness.that will always be there til you find again how Celtic brings you joy.some get on with it.some moan and wallow in negativity.keep safe and keep posting :-)

     

     

    hh

  13. My team for tomorrow….

     

     

     

     

    …………………….. Barkas

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Frimpong…..Duffy……Ajer…….Laxalt

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ………………………Brown

     

     

     

     

    ……….Christie……………….McGregor

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ……………..Rogic…………

     

     

     

     

     

     

    …………Griffiths……………..Ajeti

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Subs Bain,Welsh, Taylor, Soro, Turnbull, Ntcham, Klymala.

  14. FRITZSONG on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 12:20 PM

     

     

    Just heard the start of ‘Off The Ball’. Must confess I don’t particularly like Cowan. I saw one of his performances in Port Glasgow. A picture dictionary would have his photo framed beside the word, ‘sleaze’.

     

     

    Anyway, dentist professor and anti-Christmas campaign campaigner, Leitch, is to be asked if the season will come to a premature end. Is this them softening us up?

     

    ———————————————————

     

    yawn yawn yawn fritzsong

     

     

    ‘dentist professor’anti christmas’

     

     

    geeza a f…n brek!

     

    your reeking of envy.

     

     

    anti christmas- hardly unusual for a wee socialisty socialist to quote a murdoch headline.absolute pish and hypocrisy from you.ruperts ‘handy’ to know.my question is which hand did Tony use as he rogered the working class from the inside,

     

     

    fettescum

     

     

    hh

  15. onenightinlisbon on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:49 PM

     

     

     

    100% – Desmond was devastated the hun was out the league. The board love the “Old Firm” pish…

  16. lets all do the huddle on

    100% – Desmond was devastated the hun was out the league. The board love the “Old Firm” pish…

     

    —-

     

     

    Desmond isnt on the board is he?

  17. 10-3 Ireland at the Rugger.

     

     

    How the Dublin economy must be taking a hit today with no pubs open for the Rugby.🏈

     

     

    D :)

  18. ERNIE LYNCH on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:49 PM

     

    ONENIGHTINLISBON on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:32 PM

     

     

    AN TEARMANN on 24TH OCTOBER 2020 1:16 PM

     

    narratives develop fostered v much by our own rekkord and scum wannabees.

     

     

    Our board are supremely professional, I mean look at the way they have handled res 12…

     

     

    ####

     

    And an absentee owner who talks about the huns having been relegated.

     

     

    Celtic fan my arse.

     

     

    Correction- he does not own Celtic.no matter how much you try to square peg that narrative into a round hole,you are incorrect.largest shareholder yes.owner not.

     

     

    Does he speak for Celtic?- not on my behalf

     

    as i believe we are Celtic.

     

     

    Am sure he is loosing sleep over what your typing

     

     

    stay safe

     

     

    hh