Celtic vastly better with McGregor in deep-lying role


We have reached a point now where it is so obvious, it does not need to be said; Celtic are a vastly better team with Callum McGregor in the deep-lying midfield role.  From there he can see the game before him, which allows him to dictate where to move play, and how quickly.

Opponents are reluctant to get too close, as he has the control and speed to go past them, whereas, team-mates within 40 yards know when the ball is heading towards him, they better be on their toes, as a pass could be heading their way.

The difference between Celtic with McGregor in the deep position, and either McGregor playing elsewhere on the field, or not at all, is stark.  The former means we create a plethora of chances, the latter sees us try to pass teams into submission.

Saturday’s demolition of Hearts saw Callum at his creative best, but it was the previous week’s game at Murrayfield that was more informative.  Celtic were very ordinary before Callum moved off the wing to replace the injured Eboue Kouassi.

With Callum in this form, Ryan Christie is in the form of his life, Scott Sinclair can click through the gears, while Tom Rogic and James Forrest are under less pressure to carry the team.  At a different club, Callum would have been groomed for this role from an early age.

Founding Fathers’ Fast
Tuesday 6 November

Tomorrow is the 131st anniversary of the meeting convened by Br Walfrid, where it was decided to form a football club to feed the poor of the city.  To mark this occasion, the Celtic FC Foundation has invited Glasgow’s homeless to Celtic Park for a hot meal.

To mark the anniversary and recognise the on-going work on behalf of the homeless, the Foundation is holding the Founding Fathers’ Fast, where you are asked to fast for the day and donate £5 here in honour of those founding principles.

For most of us, a day’s fasting will do us no harm, and may even be a good thing.  More information here.

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  1. Good Afternoon. Great great win on Saturday. Good to see so many happy people after all the angst not so long ago…



    In case of interest… three new pieces.



    One about when equalities training goes wrong… https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/morons-on-an-equalities-awareness-course/



    One about the Sevco accounts… https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/a-handy-guide-to-the-latest-sevco-accounts/



    And one about a medical emergency… https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/urgent-medical-problems/

  2. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on

    Really enjoyed wee McGregor’s work all along. He is now getting to showcase his talent.



    Lang may his lum reek!







  3. Paul67


    Totally agree.


    Calmac looks a really classy player in his new role.


    What do we do when Broonie is fit again?




  4. Couldn’t agree more Paul. My worry is what BR will do when Broonie and Ntcham are fit again. Do we go back to the painful to watch side and back passing? For some reason he seems to like that. We have seen it too often for it to be accidental. Lets hope he has learned something with his enforced formation.

  5. Camacs form gives the manager a very pleasant choice.He now has many midfield options when Broony is fit.Mulumbu,Ntcham,Broony,Rogic,Calmac,Christie,gives him so many options,and lets him give players a break.


    What I would like to see happen is Celtic breaking the bank for Boyatta.No chance of us getting a sniff at Benkovic..We will never be able to afford a CH as good as Dedryk,so instead of spending millions on an inferior defender,why not see if we equal the wages he will get elsewhere,sign an extension,to keep him here until we get the ten,then let him go for big bucks.That seems logical to me.I have no faith in our scouts finding a replacement.Chance that Benkovic could go back to Leicester if Mc Guire goes in January.Big problems .

  6. Calum is a superb player, a great talent. I hope the club don’t take him for granted and reward him well for his skill and endeavour. Players like him are few and far between and are what every big club craves.



    On another note, it was good that we had the Three Musketeers because it meant that if one left for pastures new then two remained to provide each other with company and support in this land which is foreign to them. With talk in recent months linking Ollie with Porto, I hope the club are thinking of bringing in another young French player so that Odsonne will still have a mate should Ollie move on.



    I saw Matt Lindsay in yesterday’s Herald describe Saturday’s game as a damp squib! Unbelievable. All that skill on display, great goals and 90 minutes of fast flowing, attacking football. I think there are a few people hurting out there.



    It’s a great time to be a Celtic supporter.

  7. Paul67, may I be (one of) the first to say tbat last weekend’s match was actually at Murrayfield Lazy journalism, tsk tsk.

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Agreed, Paul. Been saying that for ages. With McGregor playing deeper the ball gets forward quicker. That has (had!) been a major issue for us. Also he gets to play with more of the pitch ahead of him so more space to utilise.


    Aside from his obvious qualities of passing, movement and a decent goal return, he is such an intelligent player. Always aware of where other players are. Also very industrious. A really low maintenance player – just gets on with the job. Never complains about being played “out of position”, even though he has been played in almost every position!


    A really top player in the making.




    By 10.30am I was a damp squib having got drookit on the 8 minute walk to the station.



    By not long after 3pm I was a sparkling rocket, thanks to the Tic.



    Love it when the minis are put to the sword.



    HH jg

  10. Hot Smoked on 5th November 2018 12:13 pm





    Totally agree.



    Calmac looks a really classy player in his new role.



    What do we do when Broonie is fit again?










    Playing both is an option.



    We’ll see how it goes but Celtic have a lot of games to play chasing the treble treble (and hopefully some European fitba)



    N’Cham is probably off in the summer anyway.

  11. James Forrest, the blogger, not the winger…



    Fantastic article shining the spotlight on articles I don’t read first hand but a necessary evil to perform his service. And the article in question is riddled with whataboutery and ignorance (or is is that intentionally conflating two different terms).



    I recommend it for all to read.




  12. CalMac and Christie.



    Wasn’t their a similar opporchancity a number of seasons ago when Barry Robson and Paul Hartley were pitched into the battle and won handsomely.

  13. In domestic football, particularly at Celtic Park, teams have been happy to concede possession and drop off. With Calum playing as he is that is no longer a viable option. Neither is man marking him or pressing higher up the pitch as no Scottish team is good enough to do so. Rock and a hard place.



    On Thursday RB Leipzig will, if they have done their homework, push up against Calum to stop him dictating the game. This will be a new challenge at a far higher level. More will be asked of Calum in a defensive context too. When we consider the opportunity afforded to Steven McLean on Saturday, it was a result of Calum being outmuscled by Djoum. What we gain on the ball we loss in defence.



    Overall it is clear we are a better team with Calum in the deeper midfield role. Whether this is a permanent option remains to be seen. However what it does indicate to me is the beginning of the end for Scott Brown. Still a magnificent player and captain and he has a big role to play yet. I posit however that even the Manager has been surprised at the effectiveness of the team in Scott’s absence. Interesting times ahead and I’m sure Scott is reflecting on the difference himself and what this means going forward.

  14. I see 4 people have been accused in London for wrecking an ambulance after an England game in the world Cup. One is a girl from East Kilbride. What is wrong with these people? An ambulance!



    Likewise the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is concerned for crew safety tonight from attacks by thugs.



    We grew up believing these people to be heroes.




  15. Callum son, its magical to see the transformation in you, and the team, since Brendan removed your invisibility cloak, by changing your position in the team, its along the same lines as when Mr Stein, altered the fantastic Bobby Murdoch’s position in his Celtic team, its jist grand so it is.


    Long may it continue.



    Most important, MURDOCHAULDANDHAY, thoughts, prayers, best wishes and love, for yourself, and your long suffering family, today, and for the future. God Bless you Stephen, Hail Hail.

  16. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    From Facebook. Saturday’s food drive raised £16495 plus 13 van fulls of food. A big thank you to the organisers and contributors. Irrespective of our support’s views on the Green Brigade , this is another tremendous achievement.

  17. Neil Lennon now James McClean calls out Irish Catholic racism



    We are all Irish Catholics



    I am an Irish Catholic

  18. mullet and co 2 on

    Great having football players all over the park.


    McGregors move reminds me of Paul Lambert.


    Lambert played as a traditional midfielder until Dortmund made him their midfield sitter in the mould of so many German holding midfielders.



    With Callum you get less ball winning but more retention. His ability to hit long passes is what is opening teams up. Saturday was reminiscent of Robert Prosinecki a good few years back at Celtic Park. Quarter back style chips into a space in front of our attackers.



    Honestly in general the skill on display passing movement etc is a joy.

  19. aye, callu, was rubbish till he moved to “quarter-back”.




    career total of 227 games and 49 goals.

  20. Calmac’s ability in his present role could hardly have been foreseen. He was a member of an outstanding Celtic youth team that beat Man City home and away. Other members of that team, e.g. Dylan McGeoch, looked far better prospects than Callum. His loan spell at Notts County helped his development, then Ronny gave him an extended run in the first team and since then he has made steady progress from one season to the next.


    However, BR has a difficult decision to make for Thursday’s game. Do we need a defensive midfielder alongside Calmac, with perhaps Ryan C. being sacrificed?

  21. Aye St Stivs, Kev was right all along, Cal Mac was invisible but only Kev could see that but when his friend Mr. Chocolate was finally convinced by Kev’s repeated posts on the subject, he made a change & now all is well.



    Now there are some here who might say that Kev was talking shite for years slagging a kid who had come through the ranks at Celtic with as you say 227 appearances but you and I know better.

  22. CORKCELT on 5TH NOVEMBER 2018 3:00 PM




    Nice to see you posting.


    Hope your health is good. √



  23. Not too bad Kev, nice to see you posting about the football, even though it tempted me to make a sarcastic tackle.


    Nothing will ever be perfect with Celtic or with life, Boycotting our Club is not the answer, it will just weaken us and hand the initiative to the Huns.


    Life is short, Enjoy Life, Enjoy Celtic.

  24. The problem with RB Leipzig is that they are better than Hearts or Dundee. Our front 6 Eddy, Sinclair, Forrest Rogic Christie and MacGregor is that not one of them can tackle.



    Against Hearts and Dundee we didn’t need to tackle as we had all the ball. Against Leipzig we will need to tackle.



    I think we need one from Brown Nt’cham, Mulumbu to play.

  25. Bigbhoy


    I think it’s more about forward players pressing than actually tackling – means lots of energy and stamina required

  26. Corkcelt


    We also haven’t retained possession when we get the ball – hopefully the current set up will enable us to put more pressure on the opposition. as Chris Sutton keeps saying – we need to be braver with the ball

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