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Bolingoli, Elyounoussi and Alan Thompson

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BT Sport had Alan Thompson on at the weekend previewing the Cup Final and I was reminiscing about him.  When he played, I wrote he was the most influential Celtic midfielder since the Lisbon Lions.  Not the most talented, McStay and Collins among others could claim to be more gifted, by Thompson pushed Celtic into places none of the others managed.

His goals in Europe and against Rangers are legend, and his assists record is outstanding, but despite my complete adoration of the player, he had a clear drawback.  Whenever he was absent through injury, it took weeks in the first team before he looked moderately competent.  So much of his game was about sheer physical effort that anything below 100% fitness made him ineffective.

This week Boli Bolingoli, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Leigh Griffiths, Jonny Hayes and Mikey Johnston started games for the first time after injury.  Bolingoli (that corner kick!) and Elyounoussi both reminded me of Alan Thompson returning from injury.  We should cut them some slack as they build fitness.

The same cannot be said for Leigh Griffiths, who looks as sharp as a tack.  He will benefit from 90 minutes last night but he is ready to lead the line, if required.

Scott Robertson looked the part, especially early on, when Celtic had more shape than they did at the end of the game.  Delighted too that Karamoko Dembele got his first outing of the season.  He was not able to contribute much but he is a lad we should have plans to develop into a first team player.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the raffle for Tom Rogic’s signed shirt for the Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas appeal. It is humbling to see Celtic fans in action like this.  The winner has been informed by email – so check your inbox!

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409 Comments

  1. Eurochamps67

     

     

    There you go,I would switch Robertson and bring in Tom rogic on the bench.it shows the task ahead of Neil,keepin them all sharp as a squad

     

     

    HH

  2. Greg Taylor at left back ahead of Bolingoli for me

     

    That’s if

     

    Jonny Hayes doesn’t make it 😂😂😂

  3. More than sure El Hammed still a wee bit away but Eduard fit to play … I need to say I look forward to Neil’s starting 11, we all our own personal favourites keeping this squad happy or even content is a tough task in itself

     

     

    Any win will do with a rejuvenated Griff on the scoresheet would be lovely

  4. Which of these players are going step up and perform for Celtic helping the ‘close to burned out’ Champions?

     

     

    Strikers

     

     

    El Younoussi

     

    Griffiths

     

    Bayo

     

    Johnston

     

     

    Midfielders

     

     

    Ntcham

     

    Rogic

     

    Shved

     

    Sinclair

     

    Kouassi

     

     

    Defenders

     

     

    El Hamed

     

    Bolingoli

     

    Taylor

     

    Simunovic

     

    Bauer

     

     

    Time for some of these guys to earn their high wages instead of picking them up for free whilst injured or just sporadically unfit.

     

     

    The next sequence of games is always the most important, but December really is, with Celtic two points clear, awaiting the Europa draw and the League Cup in the trophy room, its time for squad men to pick up the baton.

     

     

    That’s a big squad and a list of players yet to make a sustained contribution.

     

     

    Score forecast

     

     

    Celtic 2 Hibernian 0

  5. The Griff has been out for over 12 months now

     

    With real limited appearances since

     

    No idea what some expect him deliver on a return ??

  6. glendalystonsils on

    I thought Griff played well on Thursday , on limited rations. Looked much more like his old self then he did in the two previous sub appearances.

  7. Under Armour👍

     

    Hat, scarf & gloves👍

     

    Fleece lined trousers👍

     

    4 layers & jacket👍

     

    Boots👍

     

     

    All set for Burnside, Gazebo then Paradise.

  8. C’mon Celtic…………..

     

     

    Keep on, keepin’ on……………………

     

     

    The fire is lit in Corcaigh, the missus is rearranging favourite deccies, the dogs are asleep beside an evergreen tree and lunch is in the oven.

     

     

    It’s Good To Be A Tim.

     

     

    Santa’s CSC

  9. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    David66: It was indeed 1943.

     

    When I go now I see babies who when my age will have been going for 80 years

     

    I was 4 and half and middle of three boys and older brother didn’t like football and my mother wasn’t being left with all three😀😀

  10. They are achin’ to gie thems a pen……………………an’ send a home team player aff.

     

     

    aye!

  11. Huns score to go 2 up. El Buffalo gets a 2nd yellow apparently for inappropriate celebrating. Appears to give an eff off gesture to Motherwell fans.

     

    I assume he will miss Hibs match now, Yes/No?

  12. Corkcelt

     

     

    He misses Hibs on Friday… a poor yellow card for me, I would have preferred the two kick outs earlier in the game to be “noticed” by the officials

  13. Shortie………

     

     

    ” Haw! How cum Fat Charlie gets his marchin’ oardurs fur just celeberatin’ a guid goal ………..?”

  14. My first visit to Celtic park was in early sixties when an evening visit to training was arranged for our boys guild. We were met and shown round by Jimmy McGrory. The floodlights were switched on for us when we walked down the tunnel and onto the pitch.

  15. Paul,

     

    Never one to complain because I love this site and all it’s readers, BUT, it kinda looks to me that you have become disinterested in it and maybe that is why so many have stopped using it annd gone elsewhere. That really is sad because in it’s heyday this blog was untouchable , such a shame.

     

    So if I was your school teacher I’d report, must do better and pull you socks up, else the blog will continue in it’s current direction.

     

    Come on Paul, you know you can do it.

     

     

    KINGLuBO

  16. jinkyredstar ‘Frimpong Merrily on High’ on

    Eyes from Celtic- our league record against Hibs is not great. They play some good stuff and are quick on the counter attack.

     

     

    Broony and big Fraser have plastered over the cracks recently, we need everyone to be totally focussed and bring their A Game today or the Laptop Loyal will be melting their keyboards in joy at 5pm

  17. Great game at Celtic Park, great CQN company and another three points secured by the champions, in a mildly Christmas distracted crowd.

     

     

    Was a bit of a surprise NFL opted for a back three of Bitton, Jullien, but Ajer none of them put a foot wrong all afternoon and countered the rejuvenated big men from the capital, in ninety odd minutes of football. With Boli Bolingoli restored as the first choice left wing back, and the phenomenal Frimpong on the right, Celtic set about Hibs from the off.

     

     

    Hibs remained dangerous on the break, but to be honest it was only a matter of when Celtic would break the deadlock and the goal came via classy Edouard who when put in front of goal, had the wisdom to assist,instead of shooting as many a lesser striker would have done?

     

     

    Frimpong took his chance and Celtic were fairly comfortable without ever looking prolific, and we had to wait until Bolingoli’s flighted cross fell to James Forrest, then Eddy for the releiving second goal, that sealed the points. Playing a back three was like having a man over, and Ntcham McGregor and Brown got the better of Hibs, as you’d expect at home, be interesting to see how December pans out for Hibs.

     

     

    James Forrest’s level has dipped but going from right winger to playing off Eddy in the left channel, would put anybody off their game and filling the Lewis Morgan lone furrow, is an awkward not easy shift, for the big wee man.

     

     

    Bitton was superb, and were it not for Jeremie he’d have had stadium man of the match, Leigh Griffiths needs a goal and there will be plenty of December opportunities made for him, even if its from the bench.

     

     

    M.O.M Jeremie Frimpong

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