Brendan the man-manager, Leigh – smarter than you may think


It’s really refreshing to hear the positivity towards the manager from senior players at the club. He has the squad pulling in his direction like no one has since Martin O’Neill. This hasn’t come about by chance. When a player asked Brendan if he could arrive late one day this week to see his child start school, training was changed for the entire first team squad.

With term starting across several days at the start of this week, training at Lennoxtown started at 11:30 Monday and Tuesday (we’d a game on Wednesday, in case you forgot). The fathers all got to see their kids start, or return to, school, while the others fell into line.

This kind of family support is credit in the bank for Brendan (a lot more than some entire clubs have). Players want to him.

I watched highlights of the Hapoel game and caught things I’d missed on the night. Leigh Griffiths’ delayed run for his first goal being the most striking. As Scott Sinclair pushed the ball right to James Forrest, Leigh stopped his forward run, waiting at the left edge of the box.

This created space. With that space, he built-up sufficient momentum to out-jump a defender and power a header into the net. It was a stunningly intelligent thing to do.

I had a word with a Celtic coach a while back on how intelligent you need to be to be a modern footballer. It turns out footballers need to be smarter than you probably think. There are outstanding talents in football, and we’ve had more than a few at Celtic, who are just not clever enough to understand how and when to use an abstract entity like space.

Today’s great teams deploy very complicated tactical systems in defence and in possession. It doesn’t matter how good you are with the ball at your feet, if you can’t keep up with the tactical demands of the game, you’ll bounce around clubs never quite fulfilling your early promise.

Some big decisions for Brendan about the line-up tomorrow. McDiarmid has often been a tricky place to go, so resting players could result in points being dropped. We’re three days away from the >£20m game in Israel, which I’d be reluctant to take risks with, despite the three goal advantage.

It’s probably a good opportunity for us to have a look at Dorus de Vries but I’d be reluctant to tamper too much. Only the two big Glasgow clubs haven’t dropped points yet, and I’d like us to be the last man standing in that race. A win for us in Perth and a draw at Pittodrie tomorrow would do nicely.

Sorry to see Scott Brown retire from international duty but it’s unquestionably the right decision. It’s also an acknowledgement that he needs to manage his fitness and recovery cycles carefully.

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  1. Ignore the Lescott/Senderos/Barton/Krancjar hype –



    the Hun signing to watch out for is Rossiter.



    Every time I’ve seen him he’s been excellent. Brings a smile to the face with his performances. Whether as Rigsby or Reggie Perrin, he’s excelled.

  2. ‘When a player asked Brendan if he could arrive late one day this week to see his child start school, training was changed for the entire first team squad.’



    That’s becasue Griff’s school run takes in five different districts and takes 3 hours.

  3. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Skid row will be in meltdown as Lescott says….thanks, but no thanks:)


    This could get hilarious.




  4. Griffiths first 45 mins on Wednesday was the best I’ve seen in a long time. The two centre halves could not cope with him. He held the ball up, won every header, ran the channels, layed the ball off, the reverse pass for the 1st goal was sublime, his header was outstanding, and the free kick world class.

  5. I have not felt as confident in a manager and his decision making since the days of MON. There is a total trust in BR. You do not second guess him or wonder “why has he done that?”.



    We are in very capable hands and are very lucky to have such a talent to take us on.



    Exciting times ahead and as my all time hero would say “there is a buzz about the place”.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Like the way Leigh is moving around the pitch a bit more now – dropping off to play the pass through for the first goal, the run down the left wing for the winner v Hearts.


    Also notice young Kieran is using his right foot more now. Apart from a slightly wild shot early on, all shots, crosses and passes were very effective.


    Certainly gives opposition defenders more to think about if they don’t know which side you are going to go on.


    Credit to the lad for putting in the work on this.

  7. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on




    Can’t do the link thingy,but the beeb are saying he failed


    the medical.

  8. traditionalist88 on

    Would be so convenient if Lescott happens to pass a medical at, say, Sunderland, over the next couple of days:)



    Failed the part where he agrees to sign, more like.




  9. “and we’ve had more than a few at Celtic, who are just not clever enough to understand how and when to use an abstract entity like space.”




    That’s nothing – there are players at Ibrox who are just not clever enough to understand how and when to use a concrete entity like a microwave.

  10. Delaneys Dunky on

    The Clumpany



    A very funny lunchtime read.


    The token blue nose in work has dramatically changed his tune regarding Lescott. Even funnier to witness. :)

  11. Sandman


    He was very entertaining in this too.





    I loved the game on Weds, and thought the team worked really hard.


    I love big ML, but thought he was our weak link at the back. I would have SJ at right back on Tuesday. This tie is far from over so we should rest as many as possible against. St. Johnstone.

  12. Hi,



    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the craic on Wednesday with Blantyre Tim, Old Tim, SOAL and briefly, DessertBhoy.



    All too short, but will make it over again, now I know where your hidey hole is:-)



    Árd Macha

  13. Pity this guy is not coming to The Rangers:



    In a quickly deleted tweet, Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott took to Twitter to blast Aston Villa fans following a 6-0 pummeling at the hands of Liverpool. A season that has been full of low points, today may have been the lowest of points for an Aston Villa team who is on a one way track to relegation.



    Fans have been upset at the team and been accusing the players of not trying, as fans argued with Micah Richards after their FA Cup game against Wycombe Wanderers. Today, after the game, Lescott went off on Villa fans who are upset at the team and tweeted the following (now deleted).



    “Get stuffed with the abuse. We all gave 100%. I’m gonna go home to my model wife, big house, cars, and I’m gonna count all my money.”




    He must keep all of his charm for his model wife.

  14. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    It was a pleasure to finally meet you mate


    Did you meet Fess19 in the hotel later on too

  15. Funny how the Lescott story was blown up as we were making progress in the big cup. I also hear that the Preston boy is not anywhere near over the line yet. Different era and different caliber of player but this has Jardel type scenario written all over it.



    What’s that you say Mr L5 PR man?? We need a distraction? We need to show the Bears we are not being left behind? Let me come up with some sh8te to send them off the scent. I know that other mob are looking dynamite, better make something up pronto! get the bears salivating (more than usual I may add).



    Stupid Stupid Huns will never learn! This new mob they all follow follow are going to go down the tubes too, oh how we will laugh again again and again!



    The Glib will retreat into the abyss with his pal Minty and the porn star.

  16. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Leftfield…Not Forgotten…Live.


    One of the best bands for that time in the distant past.




  17. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    Aston Villa bent over backwards to get Lescott to sevco. They tweeted last night that as well as not receiving a fee they had agreed to pay a % of his wages at Sevco.


    Clyde were salivating as this showed that sevco were a big team. Oh dear…..

  18. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Skid Row hits rock bottom.


    Half-wits and bigots all.







  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Maybe Lescott spotted that his wages would be paid twice a year – on the 31st of November and April…..

  20. A band I never seen Live. I really don’t know why.



    Brendan has a Wonderful smile but is obviously Ruthless.



    Celtic required it.

  21. JOLEON LESCOTT has rejected a move to Rangers at the 11th hour.



    The Aston Villa centre back looked poised to sign for Mark Warburton after the Ibrox manager had applied the personal touch by meeting him in Manchester in an attempt to lure him north.



    But he has now turned down the offer for “family reasons”.

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