Burning candle at both ends will catch up


For a while, Celtic burned the candle at both ends: reaching both domestic finals, and navigating four European qualification rounds, six group stage games, then a knock out round.  Callum McGregor was always first choice while simultaneously fulfilling international duties.

To add insult to lack of injury, he was never injured, resulting in the accolade of him playing more football than anyone else in the world.  This was an achievement, but an unsustainable one which would inevitably blunt his effectiveness.

Callum’s season ended last night, 50 weeks after he started preseason training. This time, there was an injury, resulting in him missing 12 games, although he still managed to appear in 53.  Last week the Celtic captain turned 30.  If we are to get the most from the remaining years of Callum’s career, this landmark should be recognised as a watershed, where business as usual cannot be allowed to continue.

Fortunately, we have no European qualifiers this summer, but Callum can now expect to compete in Euro 2024, which starts on 14 June, his 31st birthday, just three weeks after the Scottish Cup Final.  He may play wall-to-wall football for the next two years of his life.  What chance his body will remain fit and sharp throughout, 10%?

There are few enough benefits of competing in a weaker league, so for the sake of our senior players, we have to make the most of them.  Callum should be rested wherever possible during the coming season.  This may be disrespectful to opponents, but if we cannot resource a trip to the likes of Dingwall without him, we have bigger problems.

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  1. bournesouprecipe on

    I counted all the Brendan’s hounded out and counted all the Brendan’s hounded back in.

  2. NOTTHEBUS on 21ST JUNE 2023 12:08 PM


    He will be off to Spurs anyway.




    Callum is a magnificent footballer and athlete, but thankfully I think he is too old for a substantial transfer to the EPL.




  3. Elephant in the room.



    Callum is entering a period of decline as an athlete. Mother time catches up and so we need to bear in mind that sentiment and European ambitions aren’t great bedfellows.



    So don’t come at me if you think I’m binning Callum. I’m not. He’s our leader and a terrific footballer but the way we play versus the players at our disposal will make a huge difference to our hit rate in Europe (not Scotland).



    One for Brendan to unlock in the years ahead.




  4. This can be extended beyond CalMac with the Asian Cup on the horizon. Resting a couple of starters should be a given to keep everyone fresh.



    I criticised Ange last season for not resting players, in our league, we can afford to rest two or three players for most of our home games at least. Guys like Ralston and Bernabie going weeks without competitively kicking a ball was doing them no favours.

  5. bournesouprecipe on

    The Green Brigade are quite right to recount Brendan Rodger’s time at Celtic, however they wish, even if it amounts to daft tweeting differently. Rank and file supporters just don’t care, SMSM were sharpening their knives on the Celtic support, for any potential Brendan backlash from when news of a return broke.



    The GB does not with a handful of official members and some North Curve influence become representative. They do however give Scotland a consistent outball, and sometimes more reason to be overtly openly anti Celtic.



    It’s bad enough Scotland suffering an all conquering Celtic year in, year out, but having a better organised Champions League level ultra group is taking it too far. The GB’s edgy intent gets used as a stick with which to beat our club. Food banks and Tifos are ignored only recognised by Celtic and our support, but not Scotland at large.



    Pretentious faux reporting that Celtic are divided over this, that or the next thing is a way of life for some. The overwhelming majority view is ‘good appointment’ but where Celtic are concerned there always has to be a but, in la la land.



    Summer so far, is a sweep, sweep, sweep under the carpet you go, with real Celtic world records .

  6. BIG WAVY on 21ST JUNE 2023 12:21 PM



    Brendan needs to up his game or we’re finishing fourth. I think we need to be realistic about it – his and our records against teams from the top 5 leagues is depressingly similar. He’s won 4, drawn 6 and lost 18 as manager of Liverpool Celtic and Leicester. That’s both in the CL and the EL



    It’ll be very interesting to see what he does to change – more of the same won’t do, even with a better squad than first time round.

  7. What is the Starz on

    Will Brendan bring Calmac to Bournemouth with him or will Jim Goodwin and Jonny Hayes insist on Calumn staying when they are negotiating with Pedro.


    Busy time ahead for Mr Lawwell

  8. bigrailroadblues on

    Prestonpans from previous blog;


    I was visiting an old team mate who has not been keeping so great recently. He clocked me through the window, told his Mrs to lock the drink up and suffered a relapse. Ingratitude, I tell ye.

  9. SFtBs @ 11:43 AM,



    Hope you have a grand time down south…



    As you are offski and we are finishing the narrative I’d normally leave things there



    However you are repeating the hearsay and social media nonsense of 2019 that has been disproved, so I’ll briefly tell you what happened.



    1. Dermot Desmond clearly states in his interview with The Athletic that it was Brendan Rodgers that told him of the approach from China.



    Brendan Rodgers got several approaches from Clubs while he was at Celtic, including Arsenal, BR was seen as a top manager and, at that time China was approaching all the top managers, it would have been more of a surprise had Brendan not been approached by China



    2. Moussa Dembele had agreed to come to Celtic in June 2016 after a meeting with Brendan Rodgers, Brendan had promised MD many things including top class coaching, European football and a transfer to a top Club/League



    Over the seasons there had been a couple of clubs interested in Moussa, including Brighton and WBA, they didn’t float Moussa’s boat and there were no formal offers.



    At the end of the summer transfer window of 2018 Lyon came in with a lucrative move for MD, Brendan vetoed it, Moussa was livid as he seen this as BR going back on his promise when Moussa had signed him for Celtic



    Thems the facts, DD, PL, BR, MD may or may not come out of them looking good but this stuff happens in football all the time



    Hail Hail

  10. CELTIC40ME on 21ST JUNE 2023 1:31 PM



    Big 5? We’ve been chinned by Bodo, Midgetland, Sparta & Copenhagen in the last few years.



    Let’s constantly gub them before thinking of the souped-up big yins.



    Lots to prove as a club and a manager.



    Maybe we’ve finally, and accidentally again, reached that turning point.




  11. Show me the outworkings of the MSM, who have briefed their ‘news’ team to have a pop at Celtic, from any obscure angle they can find:



    Daily Record Sport @Record_Sport


    St Mirren’s relegated squad from 2015 now has collectively more Scotland caps than Celtic’s iconic Lisbon Lions 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿



    Jeezy Peeps !!!




  12. BIG WAVY on 21ST JUNE 2023 1:38 PM



    We have 4, very possibly 6 games against top 5 league teams next season. European progress will be judged by how we do in the group stages



    We need to work out how to get results in those games

  13. bigrailroadblues on



    Carry on with the debate with ole Chairbhoy when yer on holiday. Selfish git. 😂

  14. It’s just too soon to set aims for Europe. Our expectations will vary considerably if we’re in a group of Feyenoord, Porto and Donesk as opposed to City, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

  15. Rodgers wasnt offered the Arsenal job. He wasn’t even interviewed for it when Wenger left

  16. Celtic40me,



    I hear you. Progress is third and a knockout in the Europa to go on and win.



    That means finishing higher than pot 3, which consists of:



    Ukranian, Austrian, Croatian, Portuguese & Serbian teams.




  17. Hopefully Brendan’s luck changes because we had little of it in his 3 seasons as far as groups went. Even getting the RB teams for the europa was ridiculously tough.

  18. AN DÚN on 21ST JUNE 2023 1:59 PM



    3rd as a target. 2nd a stretch…..



    Europa League knockout progression beyond Round of 32.



    That would indicate progress from the norm.




  19. CELTIC40ME @ 1:59 PM,



    Yes, that’s very true, at the time Arsenal approached Celtic and asked permission to speak to Brendan Rodgers.



    Celtic agreed to this, but Brendan didn’t make the short list of six…



    Hail Hail

  20. BIG WAVY on 21ST JUNE 2023 2:02 PM



    Last I looked there were two Italian teams Newcastle and possibly a Spanish team

  21. Brendan should rest players… right up to 12 minutes into the match and 2 misplaced passes when Brendan should always play the strongest team for every match…

  22. CHAIRBHOY on 21ST JUNE 2023 2:06 PM



    “Doubts about his personality and stature” apparently



    not sure how that makes an approach “a fact”

  23. CELTIC40ME on 21ST JUNE 2023 2:15 PM


    BIG WAVY on 21ST JUNE 2023 2:02 PM


    Last I looked there were two Italian teams Newcastle and possibly a Spanish team



    AC & Lazio are there.


    Newcastle a pot 4 team.


    No french, spanish, english or German.



    Bit of luck and that’s who you beat to get 3rd.




  24. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the International Bar. As my Mother will say “Flaming June”.🥵

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