Challenge for makeshift Celtic


Anyone who thinks that Rangers will arrive at Celtic Park on Wednesday evening low on confidence or strategy better think again.  For all their poor recent form they are top of the league, beat Celtic comfortably earlier this season and have a squad full of players who know what it’s like to win the league.

They will revert to a familiar strategy.  Pack the midfield, deny Celtic’s creative players space, take no chances at the back and wait for a seasonal gift from Celtic.  I watched their recent defeat to St Mirren and I think it’s possible to question some players’ attitude to the game but things will be different at Celtic Park.  Already written off by many, ironically, they will arrive with the confidence only a team with nothing to lose can muster.

Celtic’s league form over the last two months has been exceptional and their Europa League performances indicate there is a lot more to come from this squad but they still have plenty to prove.  A particular concern will be the lack of a settled team in recent months.  Kelvin Wilson is likely to start his first game in months and I’d not be surprised to see Emilio Izaguirre back.

The front pairing is also a concern.  Georgios Samaras is back to his best form but he and Hooper have never convinced as a partnership.  We have to hope that Victor Wanyama can be relieved of central defensive duties to allow him to anchor midfield alongside Beram Kayal.  Neither Brown nor Ki are sufficiently imposing in the crucial central midfield area.  No matter how Celtic start on Wednesday the team will have a makeshift feel to it, any win will be hard earned.

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    Blinkin’ flip,buddy.



    You’ve surpassed yourself again,stunning stuff!

  2. Im in total agreement with Paul’s article….


    Any win will be a hard fought one!



    We are falling into the same position as the last derby …


    Over confident in turning the Orc over.



    This game WON’T be pretty!



    And elbows being allowed into this game with a suspension overhanging gives him


    A free card to kick our team up and doon the park…


    Collum WON’T give him another!



    And I guarantee he will be instructed to get a reaction out of broon!


    As will many others !



    Broon needs to be a wise leader ! When the tackles come flying he MUST make a meal of the challenge! And our squad MUST surround collum! … He is weak and I guarantee that they will be on collums case from the kick off!



    Kayal will need to wear the same cap as broon!



    They will be dirty .. They will scratch… They will square up


    We must not! Or we will be brought down to their level!

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    THE EXILED TIM My friend it was your response to Awe Naw that got me thinking as Celtic supporters I think we have many differences they can be language, they can be sense of humour,they can be social structure.However,I beleive deep within our being and we sometimes call that our soul we Celtic supporters are one and the same we have Brother Walfreds ideals as our common ground.That is what makes us different unique and is why we will never be beaten because we care for each other we forgive each other and we are as one.So my friend I hope that explains why I responded to your post.H.H.

  4. Thinking ahead to Wednesday, there is no doubt we will see some of this:


    Bartley’s assault on Scott Brown after three minutes, Bougherra’s studs down the calf of Gary Hooper, Craig Moore’s cowardly lunge on Henrik Larsson at the touchline, Lafferty’s attempted leg breaker on Andreas Hinkel, Naismith waist high challenge on Mark Wilson, Whittakers two fOted tackle on Emilio Izzaguirre, any tackle by Alan McLaren, John Greig booting Jimmy Johnstone on to the track three times in succession, Ian Ferguson repeatedly fouling Paolo Di Canio before bottling a square go in the tunnel, Weir’s disgraceful over the top tackle on Scott McDonald, Miller’s disgraceful over the top tackle on Darren O’Dea, Mel Sterlan on Paul McStay in the 1989 final, Bougherra on Commons on the touchline, Bougherra unpunished x7 on Robbie Keane, Hurlock tearing the material on Gerry Creaney’s shorts in the St Patrick’s day massacre, Cousin on Stephen McManus, any tackle by the beast Souness.



    To combat the thuggery we must play the Celtic way, and:



    We need a Robson haymaker on Christian Dailly, Hartley sorting out McCulloch, Thompson cementing Novo, preferable legally.


    And lastly maybe somebody can direct me to the Celtic – Rangers game at Paradise, possibly 83-84 where a young Paul McStay absoloutely CLEANS OUT a Rangers player while winning the ball before following the move up to tap in at the Celtic end after Judas? has his shot parried?




  5. Joe Filippis Haircut says:


    26 December, 2011 at 22:09



    Excellent contribution. After watching some youtube links posted by Kitalba this morning (Thanks kit) I decided to watch the celtic ‘History DVD’s (four of them) that have been collecting dust on the self for the last few years.



    I ended up watcing all four DVD’s over a 7 hour period. A great set of DVD’s btw and I would urge everyone to invest the money and time on this DVD. Your post demonstrates to me the difference between Celtic supporters and those wo follow other clubs – We are more than a football club – we are all Celtic supporters.




  6. McLean’s co-pilot is….



    Jim Goodwin, whom I played against several times in the Glasgow Cup when he was a Celtic youth.


    How will he call the red cards????





  7. Joe Filippis Haircut



    I didn’t respond to Awe Naw, I responded to Partizan.



    But I know what you mean mi amigo, Celtic are special, we are second to none, I am privilaged to be part of the Celtic family, it’s an honour that I try to uphold, I must have been a good bloke in my past life to be allowed to be a Celtic supporter.



    I try to get the Celtic ethos over to my friends out here, I don’t have to try too hard, football people here understand what Celtic are all about, we are admired, and after Sevilla, the Spanish were in awe of us, they still talk about it.


    They also know all about the hun.



    I don’t mean to nitpick but yer man is called Brother Walfrid.




  8. Tommyjoad, the game that you are thinking of was the 3-2 game against them in Oct 1982, and it was Murdo who had the shot.Was very young, and very drunk, that night . Happy days

  9. Brilliant, Jelly legs sets up Saints winner.


    Elbows red cast iron. Rat.


    No footage of Jelly legs and Davis at the end?


    Or, the Lafferty tackle, where young McGowan suggests he tried to break his leg?


    BBC edits, shameful



  10. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Lubo. Thank you for your kind words but I agree we are special different we are Celtic supporters.Most of us live in a land where we are not welcomed I can go further and say hated and yet we accept our place in this bigoted society.However, every one of us will not accept that negative view of ourselves we continue to probe and to push in order to bring equality to our homeland.We alone understand without us this land we live in would be a far poorer place without us.H.H.

  11. Tommy Joad says:


    26 December, 2011 at 22:42′



    WEE correction to yer post and, fantasy etc.



    Di Canio shat it from Ferguson in the tunnel.




  12. Tommy Joad says:


    “Or, the Lafferty tackle, where young McGowan suggests he tried to break his leg?


    BBC edits, shameful”



    They did show it in the analysis.


    I have seen reds given for that but fair dos to McLean because I would not have expected him to give such significant decisions against Ragers.

  13. iki, yep I posted before the analysis section.



    It’s a bad tackle, could be yellow or red.




  14. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Remember McDonald’s volley v them inbetween Xmas and new year a few years ago, beautiful

  15. Tommy Joad and hamiltontim,



    Especially hamiltontim,



    Ask his best pal.



    My young cousin Neil (lurking fecker)!



    And, he was also going to go to Di Canio’s house that night to sort it.

  16. Dannygall, thanks.



    Don’t understand the abuse Murdo takes from Hoops fans, I think he is honest and calls it as he sees it. Scored some belters and helped stop the ten.



    I’m biased though he signed me as an S form and I can confirm he had a fondness for the dark side in his younger years




  17. Calton Tongues,



    My assertion that the rat Ferguson boTtled a squee jee with Di Canio is based on two things:



    Footage from the game – Paolo goes looking for him at full time, Fergies does a hawd me back styLe you’re gettin it before going into a dignified huddled.


    Di Canio’s comments in interviews since suggest the thig wasnt interested in sorting it out.



    I am baffled that you have labelled me a fantasist on the say so of what I can only assume to be Fergusons best friend?? Have I read you correctly?


    Apologies if I have misunderstood.




  18. With all these big clubs like qpr liverpool fulham etc tracking jevalic…talking in terms of bids 10 million…wonder if they realise that other guy who was spoken highly of …was even said by some to be better than henrik larsson…..oh yes the guy they call chris boyd ….wonder if they know hees available….yes the daily record certainly got an eye for a footballer ….go on trainor fill them in

  19. No m8!



    We have been on a good run of form but I feel we haven’t played to our potential in recent weeks and I was thinking maybe missing big dan and maybe brown coming back in hasn’t helped but just an opinion I could be wrong.



    The reason I mention brown is because the team were playing well and you just knew Neil would bring brown in but in my opinion players must earn their right to get back in.

  20. up_over_goal says:


    26 December, 2011 at 23:51





    (Hope I’m not interrupting)










    Think we have the forum to ourselves so no one will interupt lol

  21. henr1k



    I’ll attempt to advance it, then. Do you?



    If not, in which areas are we failing, in your opinion?

  22. hen1rik says:


    26 December, 2011 at 23:56



    Think Broonie was always coming back for this game, unfortunately different ball game from anyone, we need to win the battle in midfield before we can play any football, which means another reshuffle at centre back to bring Big Vic back in there.


    Think we need our captain back

  23. I prefer big wanyama in centre and I also have a sneaky feeling Forrest will be dropped on wed but I hope I’m wrong.

  24. Hen1rik


    I don’t think we have been particularly entertaining in the last few weeks, we havent had that free flowing Celtic style . – the sort which often costs us away goals in Europe.



    To answer your question have we been playing well .


    9 wins out of 9 – the stats speak for themselves.


    We are now getting into the business end of the season , and we are doing what is required.


    So , IMHO, yes we are playing well.

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