Bayo, Griffiths; Valencia third most important game of the next two weeks

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There should be no surprise that Vakoun Issouf Bayo was omitted from Celtic’s Europa League squad.  He has not played for over two months and will be well short of fitness when Valencia arrive in Glasgow.  Even when he is fit enough to play, expectations should be tempered while he adjusts to live in Scotland.

It is more important that Jeremy Toljan is fit.  For that, Brendan Rodgers will be grateful for games this week against Hibernian and (of course) St Johnstone.

I hoped we would see Leigh Griffiths back by now, only a few days short of also not playing for two months.  Leigh has trained alone throughout this period, but will be well short of match fitness when he returns to the first team squad.

Valencia loom on the near horizon, but this week has a pivotal feel to it.  Two home wins on those games against Hibs and St Johnstone will see us with at least a six point lead in the league and a place in the Scottish Cup quarter final.  Valencia has the glamour and the money, but I could make a case that the other two games are more important.

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  1. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Agreed, Paul. Much as I would like Europe to be our barometer, the league is the priority and we need to consolidate (and hopefully stretch) our lead.

     

    A win against Hibs would see us extend the lead over the team directly below us or our main rivals (or maybe even both).

     

    Focus on tomorrow. Three points please, Celtic.

  2. As we could only register 3 it had to be Tim, Ollie & Toljan, no arguments there. Having said that I’d love to see Bayo lead the line tomorrow night. So far Tim has absolutely bloomed as an impact sub, so if it aint broke don’t fix it. Keep him for that role.

     

    In my estimation the Europa is less important than the domestic trophies. We are not going to win it & whilst obviously I want us to beat Valencia and progress in Tournament, I won’t be in mourning if we don’t

  3. The league is undoubtedly more important.

     

     

    I’d take Europa progression over a Scottish Cup though.

  4. CB @ 10.15

     

     

    My comments were based on memory so some details may have been missed out.

     

     

    Regarding the informal “VAR” then in operation or potentially in operation.

     

    I was always trying to work out why Sky would show a replay ASAP and the co-commentator would shout out a summary of the event — it wasn’t for the benefit of the audience that was for sure.

     

     

    My abiding memory of the whole incident was the way — from memory AW — blurted out he got a touch as soon as the replay was shown. The rest they say is history.

     

     

    Next step is find a clip of the game to find out if my memory is playing up.

  5. There is no argument to make – the Hibs game is the most important. The other two do not matter.

     

     

    Once the Hibs game is finished then the St Johnstone game becomes the most important.

     

     

    And so it goes between now and the end of the season.

     

     

    The squad has to be managed, fitness gained, injuries nursed and players protected but that is as far as the game management has to go. Put out a team to win tomorrow, end of.

     

     

    A relentless will to take three points in each game is what is required.

     

     

     

    Needs must in terms of injury and suspension tomorrow so we might have an unorthodox looking back line and in the attacking areas we have options to cover for the absence of James Forrest. Broonie and McGregor are the two shoe ins for the midfield. Sinclair will get the nod, Christie may not be fit. Burke should start but perhaps out wide, timo up front if so.

     

     

    It will be a tough game so complete focus required.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Catching up on some of the comments about referees. Some excellent posts.

     

    Shortbread had its own – ahem – “take” on the refs last night. Conveniently managed (with great help from the Strong Rangers Association mouthpiece) to turn it into an “old firm” problem (what a surprise, eh?).

     

    Apparently referees shouldn’t have to say who they support as most of them would be “old firm” fans!

     

    They even managed to find a Celtic supporting former referee! (Did they already know who he supported when they asked him? and have they ever asked any other referees who they support?).

     

    So apparently it would be impossible to avoid referees from taking part in games involving the team they support.

     

    Quite why this should prevent them from saying who they support is not clear. If (as according to Kenny Clark) a referee would never favour the team he supports then why the need to keep it hidden? Makes no sense.

     

    We are told that referees are marked for their performances. If they declared who they support we could have analysis on whether there is any correlation between the two.

     

    Also they could ensure that all four match officials supported different teams, or at least that they didn’t all support the same team.

     

    Plenty can be done to improve things. You can only assume that the will isn’t there.

  7. Corkcelt

     

     

    I tend to agree with you regards to Weah.

     

     

    The one game he did start, he wasn’t as effective. Against Hamilton was it ?

     

    Reason being, there is limited space in the first 45mins against the likes of these teams. Its difficult as a striker to create room, and ensure sufficient involvement.

     

    However when he enters the fray later in the game. His speed and movement is an absolute nitemare to opposition defenders. By the later stages the games are more stretched

  8. Any triumphs this year will truly have been a squad achievement.

     

     

    Love to know how often we’ve had the same starting 11 available to us and how often we’ve finished a game without a player off injured.

     

     

    The sheer number of games we play as lack of rest and lack of protection from assaults on our players seems to be the main problem.

  9. Roberttressell

     

     

    I don’t have definitive on the injuries. But from what I can gather via various articles is that Boyata and Ntcham have been back in full first team training this last week. Should be near a return. Possibly tomorrow for both.

     

     

    K.T has been building up his fitness, working on an individual routine / plan. Training alone currently, he is probably a good 2 to 3 weeks away from full fitness.

     

     

    French Eddy and Christie are being assessed. Rodgers said Eddy’s injury was a bang to the top of the foot. Maybe not risked tomorrow, but I would suspect able to return for weekend.

     

    Christie… I don’t know on that one. Think he is struggling. Almost definitely out of tomorrow’s game. But whether the weekend is too soon, I don’t know.

  10. GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL

     

    We are told that referees are marked for their performances.

     

     

    There is!!!!

     

    .Dallas received the highest possible score for his St Mirren performance putting Beaton in second place.

     

    The competition will now heat up and Madden is said to be furious he has not held top spot yet.

  11. Statement out of Rangers… Gerrard fuming with Stevie Clark

     

     

    When will Gerrard realise, or at least when will someone challenge him for his hypocritical comments.

     

    1st day of the season, he makes ridiculous remarks about a tradition / history of bad decisions against rangers, stretching way back. He wasn’t in a position to comment about refereeing against Rangers in seasons gone by, because he had zero insight or knowledge.

     

     

    Yet has a pop at Stevie Clarke for his comments. He needs brought down a peg or two. I will revel in it once we sew up 8 i.a.r

  12. Glasstwothirdsfull

     

    You would also need to know the allegiance of the supervisor doing the marking, simply I do not trust referees supervisors or the governance system as it is presently implemented, nothing about Collum being removed as his last two performances where we have been playing have been utterly defying logic and fair play.

  13. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    JOHN BARNES went right up in my book after his appearance on SKY NEWS this morning.called it like it is.

  14. BSR @ 1.34

     

     

    WC was just a low rent journalist who got lucky.

     

    He got the PM job to sign a treaty with the Nazis.

     

    Expendable self publicist who was past it.

  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Dessybhoy

     

    Yeah, fair point.

     

    Can we assume nothing was done about Madden’s ” a bit silly” explanation for not booking MoreLoss?

     

    So, no action against MoreLoss for the barge, no action against Madden for not booking him. Levein complains about it and he gets a ban!

  16. Succlentlambstinks

     

    From earlier thread

     

     

    You my friend are absolutley right. The club, the support know this but for whatever reason do hee haw. To my mind either “they” have something on us or our board are happy with the “old frim ” arrangement.

     

    BUT, the board is not the club and really have little power unless we let them away with whatever their agenda is, and sadly that seems to be the case. Only us, the support have the real power, yet no one will start some kind of protest , no one. Don’t know why, really don’t. But , one thing for sure is if we do nothing, then no other bugger will. Over to us then.Won’t hold my breath!!!!

     

     

    KINGLuBO

  17. JC2 on 5TH FEBRUARY 2019 1:41 PM

     

    Keep getting kicked out

     

     

    BUT i will post my heart warming story

     

     

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/3839031/borna-barisic-church-jozo-simunovic-filip-benkovic-nikola-katic-celtic-rangers/

     

    ———————————————-

     

     

    All together now:

     

     

    “Oce Nas, koji jesi na Nebesima

     

    Sveti se ime Tvoje, Dodji Kraljevstvo Tvoje, budi volja Tvoja.

     

    Kako na nebu, tako i na zemlji.

     

    Kruh nas svagdanji daj nam danas i otpusti nama duge nase

     

    kako i mi otpustamo duznicima nasim,

     

    i ne uvedi nas u napast nego izbavi nas od zla. Amen”

  18. Hi Paul67,

     

     

    Think I’d be with An Dun on this one, would prefer to see us progress in Europe before the SFA Cup.

     

     

    Having said that, we may be the only ones to ensure Steven Gerrard’s Sevco Rangers don’t get their first trophy, so maybe we can just win all our February games.

     

     

    MADMITCH @ 1:14 PM,

     

     

    Absolutely, wasn’t trying to make a point of it and not sure how good my recollection was.

     

     

    The thing was, living in England, I showed the penalty no comment, just is it or isnt it – to a few unbiased either way people. About a dozen in the end, some football fanatics, some interested, some just watch big games and Internationals. A crossection really. Everyone thought it was a penalty, so probably remember it better than most.

     

     

    BOURNESOUPRECIPE @ 11:56 AM,

     

     

    No question the cheating has gotten worse the closer ‘the gap’ has become see John Beaton at Ibrokes they diverted because of alleged text messages ( Any charges? BTW) set up by Level5 leaving a phone number handy, and the gap didn’t exist with Cheating Rainjurz and our game at Tannadice in the days of McDonald and Dallas snr.

     

     

    Rainjurz and Sevco free days for four seasons of ‘the journey’ has only made them more determined to make Sevco the same as Rainjurz . A perception of a closing the gap has galvanised the brotherhood and their klanbase, where they boast about bluenoses in power. Tom Boyd didn’t say what he said without running it by Heated Drive Bhoy and the board IMHO

     

     

    We will not be cheated differently CSC

     

     

    Absolutely agree…

     

     

    As for Beaton’s death threats, after the pantomime of getting SFA security and Police escorts where are the charges against these heinous individuals. It should take Scotland’s finest ages to work out who sent a text…

     

     

    On another planet, far far away… well Edinburgh…

     

     

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2019/02/03/referee-luke-pearce-apologises-stuart-hogg-ruling-sublime-solo/

     

     

    Hail Hail

  19. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Europa League progress over a Scottish Cup victory? We may never live to see a Celtic Domestic Treble Treble but right now we’ve got a big chance of doing exactly that, providing we can get by St Johnstone at the weekend. 10 in a row would be a massive achievement that Sevco would never get over, a Treble Treble is in the same vain, we would get years and years of rubbing their blue noses in it out of either. On the other hand, what chance have we in the Europa League even if we get by Valencia? Normally I’d be all for Europa progress over domestic domination, but given the circumstances we find ourselves in then NO, domestic success please.

  20. GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL

     

    We are told that referees are marked for their performances.

     

    There is!!!

     

    .Dallas received the highest possible score for his St Mirren performance putting Beaton in second place.

     

    The competition will now heat up and Madden is said to be furious he has not held top spot yet.

     

     

    Lanarkshire clique ‘anything you can do i can do better…….’

  21. RUGGYGMAN on 5TH FEBRUARY 2019 1:21 PM

     

    Corkcelt

     

    I tend to agree with you regards to Weah

     

    The one game he did start, he wasn’t as effective. Against Hamilton was it ?

     

    Reason being, there is limited space in the first 45mins against the likes of these teams. Its difficult as a striker to create room, and ensure sufficient involvement.

     

     

    However when he enters the fray later in the game. His speed and movement is an absolute nitemare to opposition defenders. By the later stages the games are more stretched

     

     

    also agree , perfect player to come on.

  22. glendalystonsils on

    BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 5TH FEBRUARY 2019 3:11 PM

     

     

    I have just adjusted Craig Levein from 100% a**e ,to 99 a**e on my a**e-ometer

     

    because that was quite funny.

  23. BSR @ 3.11

     

     

    Just shows you how stupid Levein is…he wants to make a bigger proportion of the pitch the penalty box…for the huns to be falling over in….;-))

  24. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 5TH FEBRUARY 2019 3:11 PM

     

    “The imaginary 20-yard box? We’re going to get one of them down at Tynecastle. Brilliant, eh?”

     

     

     

    Fix that for craig

     

     

     

    Craig Levein 05/02/19

  25. We all have memories of getting pipped to the post domestically after the exploits of a Euro run but any European game has always got to take priority over everything. Referees are not as shocking in these games and this is good for our blood pressure. Referees are the good guys for the awfully well spoken scottish middle class media and until that saintly image of the referee is challenged the corruption will advance. Good to see Steve Clarke speaking up about the biased nature of suspensions and Gary Caldwell last week defending his Thistle team after chronic refereeing. The referee in both controversial matches was one Andrew Dallas. No Celtic involvement in that but it shows how it affects other clubs . we need to get managers of scottish teams to collaborate together on this to see some kinds of standards because the referees or the Sfa cannot regulate themselves. Referees must be accountable to the public and it has to be fully professional. Ps Spanish refs can be influential but not to this degree, if you’ll excuse the pun.

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