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. Sorry to hear of the loss suffered by one of our frequent posters on here.


    In no way connected however I see we are anticipating another meltdown at Ipox.


    I think we have been here before, many times, and guess what? They’re still around. It pains me to see it.

  2. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Well, after a beautiful St Patricks weekend we now have the


    Melbourne monsoon this morning but just as well the grass


    ( not Lee Wallace ) needs it :-))




    Ta for the reposting of my comments last night as i said ” you


    can take the bhoys out of Glasgow….


    Condolences to TD67 for the loss of his mother.


    and to the family of the young Irish player who died so young.


    H.H Mick



    Thanks for the reply . I spoke , last week to a friend of my wife ,whose youngest son (11) is a cracking wee player . He is now signed up with Ayr United . Trains or plays 3 /4 days a week .


    They have to drive him to each . They struggle for petrol money and other costs associated , as mm the boy has 3 other brothers or sisters still at school .


    His parents acknowledge how much the boy loves his fitba but struggle for time and money to keep him at the level he’s now at .



    Adi . Unfortunately , nothing about the SFA would surprise me .

  4. Tony Donnelly: Sincerest condolences to you on the loss of your mother.



    Ar dheis láimh Dhé go raibh a hanam uasal.

  5. TD67. Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. You referred very lovingly to her on here and, in the longer term, your happy memories will overcome the grief at this time of loss.





    On a journey to a meeting today, I heard Dr.Karanfil on Radio Scotland suggesting that The Rangers and Celtic should work together to “ramp up” the rivalry between the clubs as he sees it from his academic’s chair in France.



    Good for business for both clubs, he thinks.



    Now…after me….



    “For he’s a jolly good fellow.


    For he’s a jolly good fellow.


    For he’s a jolly good fellow!


    Which nobody can deny.


    Which nobody can deny.


    Which nobody can deny.


    For he’s a jolly good fellow.


    Which nobody can deny.”

  6. Rip Annie Donnelly.


    May the memories of your mother help you cope during these difficult times.



  7. I bid you all goodnight with a wee belter from Monkey Media.




    Jasper Blues


    First Team


    Jasper Blues


    First Team




    297 posts






    Posted 3 hours ago · Report post


    Just wondering if there will be a place for Nico in Pedro’s midfield.



    Will the style suit him?



    Will the fact that Hyndman and Toral are in there to supply the killer passes mean Nico is excess to requirements?





    I think the biggest drawback to this is,both are on loan,and will be off next year.


    How stupid are these Peepul.

  8. Condolences to tony d on your families loss.






    Finance matters.



    Passing Ferguson’s shipyard tonight.



    The investment in the rebuilding of the yard is incredible. And a boat in construction as it goes on.



    That Jim McColl is incredible.



    A real business man, and former rangers supporter-

  9. Tony Donnelly



    Just caught the news about your mother, fella. Dreadfully sorry to hear it. Thinking of you and yours, and hope you’re all able to get through it and focus on the wonderful memories you must have.



    I don’t spend as much time on this blog as I used to, and I know we don’t see eye to eye a lot, but your passion and your love for our club and where it’s from has always stood out a mile; that stuff comes from the people we grow up with. I’m guessing a lot of it was from her.



    Hail hail.






    On another note, guys, here’s a piece that might interest some of you.



    Auldheid, some excellent points on Twitter on this and peripheral matters.



    The flame still burns. No way we’re dropping these issues.




  10. Call_of_Juarez on

    St Stivs



    Jim McColl was the man most likely to have given the huns respectability. We should be grateful he decided not to rescue them.




    A proper businessman mate. Legit money, no dodgy ties.



    He knows what anyone like him does, that Ibrox is a black hole. You could pour money into it all day, every day, and not a bean would ever come back. The Peepil have a voracious appetite, like locusts.

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

    I never look at any of the ‘The Rangers’ websites, but just did the usual internet link…to link…to link and ended up on Follow-Follow.



    My God, they really are a nasty lot. Almost all of them seem to have vile thoughts, and express them in brutal language – horrible to read, even briefly.



    They really do not like us (no Sh!t Sherlock, says you!!).






  13. For celts now not aware of how much ryan mcbride was loved by Derry fans .



    Think kieran Tierney aged 27 .. captain of celtic and pouring pints in the brazen head every weekend .



    That’s big ryan.. loved his town and football club .



    They don’t make them like big ryan often.

  14. Sincere Condolences to TD67.


    Tony losing a beloved Mother is one of the hardest things in life but you never lose the Memories and in time these memories ease away the pain and when thoughts of her do flash into your mind it will bring smiles & laughter.


    Just now however it is tough and you just have to fight your way through it.


    God Bless Annie.



  15. TD67, sincere condolences on the loss of your mother,. RIP Annie. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family at this sad time.

  16. TD67


    Condolences on the loss of your mother.


    May she rest in peace and may God give you and your family the strength to bear your loss.


    May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

  17. TonyD



    So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.



    May perpetual light shine upon her and may she Rest in Peace. Amen