Celtic train rolls on as January signings shine again


The Celtic train rolled on against Hibernian last night.  Only a reckless late lunge on Emilio Izaguirre caused Brendan Rodgers any concern.  The prospects of Jonny Hayes at left back against Valencia one week today, or worse, a midfield without Callum McGregor, who is drafted into defence, are not inspiring.

Two of the three teams below dropped points.  Kilmarnock and Aberdeen now have 11 points to make up, while Newco have six.  When league duties resume in 10 days we return to Rugby Park, scene of Kilmarnock’s late win over the champions earlier this season.  Europe distracted Celtic on that occasion.  The next Killie game is sandwiched between matches against Valencia.  I could make the case that the visit to Ayrshire is more important than the trip to Spain.

I liked Jeremy Toljan.  He adds a speed of thought to our forward play that was missing on the right.  Much of the good passing broke down at the edge of the box, no doubt a consequence of having new faces in the striker role(s).  The impact last month’s additions are having are pronounced; still more will come.

You should only question the commitment of professionals with good evidence, but last night’s Hibs team were not sufficiently attentive looking.  They turned up for the physical challenge, but were passed through regularly.  It looks like the renascence, when they could boss any team in the league, is over.

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  1. Andy- a dash not a can-Walker knows he’s talking pish,he enjoys the notoriety and outrage to his comments,i wish he had never played for us.




    “It is clear that the current governance of Scottish football is dominated by people who are addicted to anti Irish/Catholic behaviour. I use ‘Addiction’ deliberately- no reasoning or logic will sway their compulsion – public displays of bias, incompetence and downright hostility cannot erode their approach. Like an anorexic seeing a fat person in the mirror, they cannot acknowledge the issues or begin to address them.



    They need to be removed from the equation. Our biggest problem is that many of our fellow Clubs, like Pilot Fish are wuitryhappy to live off the Shark.”






    To compare the deliberate, calculating misbehaviour of the ‘governors’ of Scottish football to that of someone suffering from the most dangerous of all psychiatric illnesses, with a mortality rate of 1in 5, is both ridiculous and offensive.



    Those at the SFA and SPFL charged with the governance of the game could change any time they wish, they simply choose not to. That is the complete opposite of a sufferer from Anorexia Nervosa, who can only make a change and begin, as you say, to acknowledge their issues or begin to address them with the support of those who love them, and, crucially, with access to specialist services, if they are fortunate enough to find any in the postcode lottery that currently exists in provision.



    In your favour, in your poor analogy you at least show more awareness of the awful experience that Anorexia Nervosa is than the recent, thankfully no longer, Scottish Minister for Mental Health, who, on a news item on Reporting Scotland last year, appeared to blame the long, life-threatening waiting times for access to specialist treatment on sufferers waiting too long before going to their GP. This was in the context of teenage sufferers. Imagine that, mentally ill kids not making rational decisions. They bring it on themselves, right enough.



    And for anyone who has a loved one currently suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, the good news is that, as dangerous as it is, it is one of the few psychiatric disorders from which a complete recovery can eventually be made.

  3. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Another game, another win for the champions. This time Hibs the vanquished opponent. Brown back to full fitness, McGregor pinging the ball around for fun, Burke showing good movement and Toljan making runs beyond the winger. Three more points in the bag and another game ticked off.


    Steven “we’re miles better than Aberdeen” Gerrard saw his team record their first win in four attempts against, er, Aberdeen. The Dons now trail the league leaders by eleven points (that’s double figures, Steven).


    With the champions now refreshed from the winter break and with the new signings making an impact on the field as well as pushing the established players, it will take a monumental effort to derail the hoops.


    Six wins and six clean sheets since the restart, as everyone other than a mainstream media “old firm title race” junkie knows, defences win league championships.


    With two gears still to go through and the likes of Tierney, Edouard, Ntcham, Bayo, Benkovic and Rogic to return for the run-in they will at least have plenty time to prepare their “feel good” articles for their loyal readers about how much “the gap” has closed and how stopping nine will be so much more fun than eight would have been anyway.


    Next (league) stop, Kilmarnock.

  4. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    I thoroughly enjoyed the game last night. The speed at which we moved the ball and our off the ball running was excellent.



    Everyone deserves high praise for last night but I just can never see past Callum McGregor.


    I think the boy is outstanding. He has been for a number of seasons now and the way he takes a pass, turns, looks up and moves is a joy to behold.


    Our most consistent player in my eyes.

  5. glendalystonsils on




    it will take a monumental effort to derail the hoops.




    Ssshhhhh! There might be referees looking in.

  6. Whilst others have had spells of excellence this season, Callum McGregor has played 50 games this season and has been consistently our best performer.



    My choice for player of the year – easily.

  7. Paul67 et al



    One thing that the signing of Burke, Weah and Toljan has disproved is the often held mantra on here that players need time to adapt at being at Celtic before they get game time. It is often used in relation to the the Champions League qualifiers, usually six months into the future. Not if you are bona fide professional footballer you don’t, even with a recent lack of game time. Olly, Timo and Jeremy have shown that it is possible to hit the ground running, and all credit to them. And credit to Brendan and co.

  8. When we pass the ball out from the back I think the support are more at ease now than at any time in the past. There is still some apprehension and I feel it myself. But when the ball arrives at the feet of Calum McGregor I feel absolutely confident that he is not going to lose possession. It’s like Calum has the ball now so I can relax.

  9. Beatbhoy


    Apologies for any offence. Anorexia is a horrible condition and no blame should attached to sufferers. A you say, a poor analogy. My point was that our powers that be cannot see what others see, you are correct when you say they could choose to change at anytime, the fact that they won’t is, I believe, because they do not see anything wrong.

  10. HRVATSKI JIM on 7TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:42 PM


    Whilst others have had spells of excellence this season, Callum McGregor has played 50 games this season and has been consistently our best performer.




    My choice for player of the year – easily






    Agree, I think there was also a wee subtle change in the shape last night. McGregor played a little bit deeper, and I think that allowed us to pass round and beyond at will.


    It also frees space for the front 3, Christie and the very dynamic Toljan!



    Love it when a plan start coming together……

  11. Worth also a shout out to the confidence we have from Bain at the back too. Impeccable with the ball.

  12. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    Hrvatski Jim,



    I totally agree as I said in an earlier post. Callum is easily my player of the year if he continues as he is.

  13. That big lad ‘did’ Izzy.


    On Celtic TV, Tom Boyd called for more hauners when one of our crew get melted like that. Hear, hear TB!


    Meanwhile downunder, ex-player, TV pundit and all-round good guy Craig Foster is campaigning for a refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi falsely imprisoned in Thailand and facing extradition back to Bahrain:





    Weren’t we wunnerful – get well soon Emilio!

  14. No doubt about Callum as POTY, my only fear for him is the amount of games he’s played, like KT and Jamesy it’ll eventually catch up with him, either through injury or tiredness.


    On another note I was told by an ex SPL manager that young Lewis Ferguson didn’t follow in his Dad or Uncles shoes as a boy, he chose to support the same team as his Mums side of the family!

  15. Jinkyredstar



    Thanks, gracious apology gladly accepted.



    The only explanation I have for them not seeing anything wrong with what they do and don’t do is it’s not a sport to them.



    Easy as ABC.

  16. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    Mate told me this one and I love it.Working on a building site conversation turns to football.Follow the football says my mate to a fellow brickie,Yes came the reply,I’m a rangers fan.My mate said right away ‘Is Berwick nice this time of year!Love it.

  17. glendalystonsils on

    I’ve seen enough of Toljan already , to convince me that we’ve got to get this guy on a contract if we can.



    Not convinced to the same degree about Burke , although at West Brom prices it might be out of the question anyway.



    One thing I am sure of , Calum is fast becoming our main man , and Craig Gordon may struggle to replace the excellent Bain.

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Callum easily the best player in Scotland this season. Always rated this bhoy. Was he always this quick and we just didn’t notice, or has he got quicker?

  19. 50 shades of green on

    6 games, 6 wins,



    crap music though,



    maybe we could just have the Green Brigade sing our songs of freedom instead of the new fangled music fae them dJ guys ,,,o wait




  20. What is the Stars on

    6 games 6 wins ( no goals conceded) is all very well


    But lets face it


    its a pub league



    If Lawwell doesnt do something soon …well some people on here are going to get very angry ..about something…Lawwell is getting it very easy on here these days…and its very disappointing


    Why wont someone speak out against him


    Whats happened


    will no one have a little dig at him…please..He is the devil….think of his bonus



    Ok Maybe wait until we drop points

  21. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    For his challenge last night, Alan McGregor has been given a lifetime ban.


    The ban has now finished…….

  22. is that no the way it works given red card , appeal and as if by magic it changes colour or dissapears.

  23. Barry Ferguson’s son went to Holy Cross High in Hamilton.


    Barry Ferguson was at his son’s christening, communion, and confirmation, at St Mary’s in Hamilton.


    Barry Ferguson was also, captain unbookable at Rangers FC.



  24. Fool Time Whistle on

    Beatbhoy & Jinkysredstar



    Well done guys.



    What this place should be like.




  25. mike in toronto on

    I will be the first to admit that I didn’t always see the true value of Calum McGregor .. partly, I think he was not being played in the right position, plus, I do have the sense that, after his arrest, he put his head down, and has become a much more mature person, both on and off the pitch.



    It was once said when Bobby Murdoch plays, Celtic plays. I am not saying that he is at the same level as BM, but I a, getting the same feeling about CMcG; his passing game is integral to the way we play; when CMcG plays, Celtic plays.

  26. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Callum Mc.Gregor is in outstanding form and has been for a while.



    A major factor in his performances, is the work that Ryan Christie puts into the game.




    He always appears to be the man supporting whoever is on the ball and the one who drops back to receive the ball from Bain, when the back four are being pressed.



    Burke works hard and keeps defenders on the hop, but he lacks the strikers speed of thought and delays his shot.



    Sinclair has a bit to go to recover his top form. Again, it is hesitancy when he receives the ball and his decision making.



    All these comments are relative and measured against the highest of standards.

  27. Christie’s contribution of 10 goals so far is very impressive,and very welcome from MF…

  28. AAfter our first game of the season at Celtic Park, I told my Dundee United supporting mate that I had already seen the PotY. Calmac.






    ” I am not saying that he is at the same level as BM,”


    I`ll say it for you, Mike :-)


    I don`t think it is possible to make an accurate comparrison of players in different eras but, right now, my opinion is that Calum McGregor is the best Scottish midfield player I have seen in Scotland.



    We now have quite a few players who make even this apprehensive Celtic supporter feel confident:


    Bain,Toljan,Ajer,Boyata, Tierney, Brown, McGregor, Christie,Forrest and Weah.


    Burke nearly does and Biton , after a few games, will probably join the band.


    Edouard and Ntcham fI would place in the same category as Burke.


    Mikey Johnston and is very close and I have high hopes for Euan Henderson.


    Happy days.




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