Armstrong shows benefit of 36% fewer minutes played


In different times, it would be difficult not to consider a run of 18 wins and a draw in our most recent 19 fixtures across all competitions as anything other than a performance highpoint. But we were made to fight to hold onto our advantage late in the game against Dundee yesterday, while Newco snatched a late equaliser a week earlier – a goal which had been on the cards for some minutes.

Tiredness looks to have crept in.

Like Aberdeen, Celtic had six European games to contend with over the summer, although the intensity of five of Celtic’s games was of a higher level than that of Aberdeen’s. Then there is the matter of the Champions League group stage; six nights of the most acute energy sapping football available, and that’s just for the fans.

There is also the matter of the new regime to factor in. Training changed when Brendan Rodgers arrived, new levels of fitness were required and reached.

Talk to any athlete and they’ll tell you their fitness varies in a planned manner across the year. There is a recovery period, a time when they lay down base fitness, a time for improvement, then peak fitness is reached. But peak fitness doesn’t last forever, you have a window before burn-out, then often a cliff-edge.

Body and mind become tired as the athlete approaches the recovery period. The January break will have helped, but that wasn’t long enough to go through the cycle of recovery-to-peak. Evidence for this is most readily available in our current star performer, Stuart Armstrong, who has played 36% fewer minutes than club captain, Scott Brown.

While many Scottish clubs will look ahead to the international break in anticipation their players will get some time off, Celtic will lose the vast majority of their squad to full and youth international sides. The playing surface at Celtic Park might get a rest during international weeks, but the players don’t.

Despite this, I expect we’ll cling on to top spot and take the title. If we get the win at Tynecastle next time out, I also expect Brendan to prioritise the Scottish Cup, and rest significant numbers for the games against Partick, Kilmarnock and Ross County.

We’ll pounce onto the Hampden surface with renewed purpose.

In different times (#2), news that Rangers’ QC, Andrew Thornill, who led their defence against HMRC for their use of EBTs, has been made bankrupt by HMRC would be too ridiculous to be true.  But for that lot, it’s just a minor footnote in the final chapters of their ridiculous history.



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  1. I would rest kieran moussa and sinky.



    I thought all looked tired these last two weeks.



    Able stand ins with Izzy Griff and paddy.



    Given their lack of minutes they must all be ready to go.

  2. No football for a fortnight.


    Just need to get my Celtic fix on Monday night’s training!







  3. ” peak fitness doesn’t last forever, ”


    I agree, Paul. Another aspect to consider is that, with the Title a formality now, we only have the desire to go unbeaten to fire our players. I am not sure how important this is to them and to us, the support. Of course we would like it but it is mainly for bragging rights. Our opponents, though, really would gain kudos for being the first Scottish team to beat us this season. That, I believe, has them more fired up than our players .I am confident our players give it everything in every game but certain situations make it difficult to go the extra mile. Such, I believe , has been the case for our players over the last few weeks.




  4. I could have started this page with a `Thank you` to all of those who congratulated me on winning the Goals for Shay competition but I was too keen for the podium that I rushed in !


    I had though there was another week to go so was only aware of my success on reading the good wishes of so many good ghuys. There was, of course, a lot of luck involved in my `victory` . The real credit in this whole affair goes to Jobo and CRC. Well done you two.




  5. South Of Tunis on

    Andrew -” Conduct that is likely to bring the profession into disrepute ,compromising professional independence and or accepting monies that led to a compromise of professional independence” Thornhill.

  6. Paul67 et al



    …36% fewer minutes played…..


    Or has Stuart had 36% less game time?

  7. With the exception of Brown, every player has had spells out of the team for varying reasons. We are playing one game a week now after enjoying a sunshine break in Dubai. Yesterday was more complacency than tiredness. Tierney does look tired though I concede that. It’s so important to protect young players physically and mentally from burnout. Hopefully WGS has the wisdom to rest him over the next two weeks.

  8. Just bumped into your inexperienced manager there down at Dobbies. He was in buying those plastic cheap buscuit tin tables and chairs for your training ground breaks. I was in purchasing the top of the range one off design oak tables and chairs with cushions for my superior talented lads.



    I bought Brendan a wee coffee, he was skint, and we sat down for a wee chat. Boy your boss is obsessed with this domestic unbeaten record even though we won 1-1 last week against you. I explained he needs to calm down and look at the bigger picture and forget the domestic unbeaten run. I suggested and he agreed it’s over as my wonderful Champions of Europe elect side already have the Scottish cup semi in the bag. Brendan said he will be there to support me for the final.



    Obsession is not good hence why I only post on here a couple of times a day. Anymore and your obsession with me and my amazing squad would become unbearable.

  9. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Brendan is going to manage his squad carefully towards the latter stages of the season.



    Between a possible cup final and International fixtures, there will be a very short close season before the qualifiers kick in.



    Ronnie attempted to do it last season by using some fringe players.



    I see a cup final as being the biggest obstacle in having key players properly rested for Season 2017-18.

  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    I hope that Melbourne has no objection to my reposting his delightful post .






    MELBOURNE MICK on 20TH MARCH 2017 11:34 AM


    Hello again all you young rebels.




    Hail glorious St Patrick what a weekend for our peninsula rebels



    Glorious sunshine 30 odd degrees and hoops everywhere our wee



    town was packed with tourists and they were greeted by the site



    of our massive tricolour hanging in it’s usual place down the front



    of our club building, the local council jobsworths wisely decided



    discretion is the better part of valour a stayed away, so the flag was



    up for the whole weekend, just as well because those Irish ghirls



    have terrible tempers.



    Kudos to Melbourne Victory for sending down their first team squad



    to our new football ground, they certainly know how to make friends



    and influence people and gather supporters from a young age, they



    handed out trinkets signed autographs etc. but i don’t think our bhoys



    were too impressed, probably because they were not getting their



    usual attention from the girls as they were too busy following the



    Aussie stars about. The under 15’s played a bounce game against the



    14’s and before kick off the Aussie stars got the teams together and



    asked them if they had any questions for them, of course the wee



    mhans hand shot up right away ” wid ye like tae play fur the Celtic like



    Tom Rogic ”



    Diplomatically the Aussie said ” My dad and uncles are Celtic fans but



    i’m with Victory now but who knows and our coach Kevin Muscat is



    always going on about how exiting old firm games are ”



    Wee mhans pal ” Thirs nae old furm ragers ur deid an ma da said



    Muscat wiz jist a clugger.



    O.k guys have we got any questions about Melbourne Victory?



    Wee mhan ” aye yeez played the Celtic a few years ago in a friendly



    and we beat youz 1-0 wid ye like to play them again?



    That was my cue to go and check the nets.



    You can take the bhoys out of Glasgow but…….



    H.H Mick

  11. AuroraBorealis79 on

    Pedro ya just canne hide your love for the Celts…….. Well, while you’re blowin Aw tjat Green & White smoke out your arsenic.

  12. If Stuart Armstrong continues to play the way he has been over the last few months, and score goals, he must be one of the leading contenders for the end of season POTY awards.



    The period he spent out injured seems to have done him no harm at all.



    He is turning into the player I thought and hoped he would.



    International breaks are rubbish, btw!




  13. Off the theme Bhoys, but I have an immaculate copy of a Scottish ” newspaper” from April 1967, just a few short weeks before Lisbon.


    There are photos and brief comments about the Celtic fans featured ( Including my dad twice), and how they are making their way to Lisbon. I had the original for years, but like me whenever Celts don’t win 17-0, it was very distressed, but I contacted the “newspaper” a few years ago and they provided me with immacule copies free of charge, after I had provided them with the date of the article. Its a full page in black and white.


    I just wonder if anyone on here has any “connections” at Celtic Park who might be interested in getting a copy from me, which could be framed and on display especially this being the 50th anniversary ?


    There is also a piece on this page that the Celtic squad including manager and backroom staff being insured for the princely sum of £100,000, for the trip to Lisbon and back !


    Thanks to Almore for his warm welcome back.


    Hail Hail.

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Our fitness methods are way behind other teams. Pedro Caixinha only needs to look at the Sevco players and they become immediately fitter!

  15. Hot Smoked on 20th March 2017 12:21 pm



    Congratulations on GFS victory and well said about Jobo and CRC, these guys do some work in running this and many more beside a true credit to the Celtic family




  16. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    EmeraldBee\o/ still proud to be an internet bampot on 20th March 2017 9:59 am



    Don’t bank on presentation day being the last game; depending on the games we have to play we may not be at home. There is also a potential that Sevco could make a 3rd appearance at CP this season. We will have St Johnstone at home, Hertz at home, Aberdeen away, and Thistle away. As the team coming up they should have one game less at home if there is a fixture imbalance.



    They should be away to Aberdeen and Thistle; Home to St Johnstone and Hearts so it should be a 3rd home game for them but it all depends on how the home/away split goes with the other teams.



    It will become clear when the post-split fixtures are available.





  17. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Said sevco to Pedro, we’ve naewhere tae play


    The taxman is selling the big hoose the day


    So you better jist beat it, cos guess what my fiend,


    Us payin your salary has come to end


    Too ra loo, too fa loo,


    and leave yur coat also, we’ll sell that as well



    I’ll put the lights out after me … hahahaha

  18. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Big Jimmy on 20th March 2017 12:45 pm



    Contact Kerry in the media team at Celtic Park or John Paul Taylor.





  19. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I think Brendan will still go for the unbeaten record,some squad management needed from the boss

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    From the DR-‘Pedro masterminded the 4-0 win over the Accies…..’ seriously…..?

  21. FAO VFR800.


    Thanks for your help.


    I have just emailed John Paul about the excellent article.


    i must also apologise, I’ve just read the article again and the Celts were insured for £750,000 for the trip to Lisbon and NOT the smaller figure I stated earlier.


    I need to go to Specsavers, and join the long queue behind all those MIB !



  22. Geordie Munro on

    Congratulations Jim on your success.



    The milky bars are on you ;)



    Congratulations too to the guys who organise and run the competition.




  23. Attitude plays a significant role too. SB looked to have more energy than most yesterday despite number of games played. SS MD and KT all looked off the pace but hopefully the internationals will give them a rest.



    Eboue should have been match fit on arrival as he was midway through the Russian season but unfortunately is nowhere near ready.



    CG could give ML a rest too. Plenty of good options around but I would tell SB to forget about Scotland and concentrate on extending his club career.

  24. The Green Jedi on

    I thought Kouassi looked decidedly uncertain and off the pace yesterday when he came on, he was brought on to see the game out and I feel all we did was invite Dundee back into it. A silly booking for shirt pulling, giving away another silly free which was then quickly taken which led to their cracking strike of a goal. As previous poster had pointed out he arrived here from mid season in Russia where he should’ve been match fit before we signed him, he’s here almost 3 months at a cost of £2m, (I hope his English lessons are progressing ) I honestly thought this guy was First Team ready back at the end of January but clearly not based on his final 22 minutes yesterday. But hopefully he will go on to prove me wrong

  25. JJ



    I do believe, as well as the domestic unbeaten run the fact that that involves a treble for us and another bit of silver wear should be enough to keep players motivated.




  26. CHARLIE72 / The Green Jedi



    Not only was Eboue Kourassi unfit when he arrived at Celtic, he was quite ill with fairly serious illness


    and was treated as such for a number of weeks, before he could even train.

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