Celtic well below peak condition, Hibs and Best of the Rest title


With one week before Champions League qualification gets underway, Celtic play their third and final warm-up game against Swiss’ St Gallen tonight.  Three games is not sufficient to get players anywhere near peak fitness, but next week’s opponents, Sarajevo, have played only twice since their season ended in May, their final game, a defeat on Sunday.

While we may be well below peak condition, at least we should be better prepared than the other guys.

There is always some trepidation when an unknown helicopters in to buy a football club, but most Hibs fans will be happy that Rod Petrie has been emptied out of the club today as he and Sir Tom Farmer sold their shares to a Peruvian – surely the only man from Peru called Ronald Gordon.

Hibs were the last club to win a trophy before the Celtic monopoly began.  They are now debt free, have a suitable stadium and competent backroom team.  They are also not Hearts, so have a great deal going for them.

What is not clear is why a Peruvian has bought into Scottish football or what he intends to do with Hibernian.  Putting a challenge into Celtic will be difficult, but if he can work the South American market successfully, Hibs could be in the mix for the celebrated Best of the Rest title.  Which would be fun to watch.

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  1. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    As Craig Gordon pointed out at the end of the game, from next Wednesday we are likely to play midweek games near enough every week from now until the end of December.



    The cull to the squad has been satisfying so far and there a few others that could be added to that list (Hendry, Morgan, Miller etc). However, we have’t sold anyone yet and there is seemingly a lot of interest in our players at present: Rogic, Ntcham, McGregor, Tierney and Sinclair. Its not unlikely that we will lose at least two from that list before the end of the window.



    So how many are needed to add the the first team and fill gaps? It looks like: CB, x2 LBs, x2 RBs, a striker (as NL alluded to) and at least one midfielder (if not more, depending on departures). A lot of work to be done.

  2. i think we will go through against sarajevo with the current squad, anyone dont ?

  3. !!Bada Bing!! on

    CORKCELT on 2ND JULY 2019 6:58 PM


    Just got a text that Sky Sports are saying Mbombo is en route to Celtic Park.



    Hope he’s got a key…..

  4. DubaiBhoy (nee LondonBhoy) on

    Where was Bayo tonight? Was really looking forward to seeing him in action again. Proper centre forward.

  5. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ SAINT STIVS on 2ND JULY 2019 8:29 PM



    Sarajevo drew 2-2 away to Atalanta last season. While they got battered in the return leg, they have it in them to cause a shock. We are not Atalanta either, so I wouldn’t take anything for granted.



    Hayes and Ralston are poor quality fullbacks at any level in Europe.

  6. Totally agree about the Hoops.



    Hope nb are served one with our better deal from adidas…






    It will be the one that brings in the 9 – I’ll learn to love it ?



    Good workout tonight.



    Hail Hail ??

  7. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Fk all created through MF ,can’t punt Rogic, Ntcham, without getting someone of substance in.

  8. Mike in Toronto on

    I realize that was only a practice game…. but (i) they say that you should practice the way you intend to play, and (ii) too many poor displays like that last season ….



    given that the real season starts next week, we looked a far way off from where I would like us to be …



    I was not always a fan of Calum McGregor… but, over the last few years, he has improved to such a level, that I think he is the best midfielder in Scotland by some distance…



    why, then, is Celtic’s midfield a black hole?



    Is it the way the team is coached (to play everything down the wing)? I dont think so, as he has been great at times (he seemed to be at his best when RC was beside him).



    this makes me think it is a question of the role SB plays in team.



    NFL was one of the great defensive midfielders of his time (not quite Claude Makelele good, but up there), but couldn’t find a forward pass to save his life …



    Is it NFL’s influence,then? Does he coach, like he played? I dont think so, as, (i) the team seems a bit more direct than it was under BR, and (ii) once again, we saw much of the same under BR (except, once again, when SB was absent).



    Does CMcG (and perhaps others) defer too much to SB? He is such a big personality, it is possible.



    Assuming that Ryan Christie can get back to his best after his injury, my starting midfielders would be CMcG and RC.



    Too often, we look like a bunch of skilled players, who dont train together during the week, but show up on the weekends and play together ….



    for those who see them training, any thoughts/explanations? What exactly do they do all week?

  9. SB as i said before, spends the whole game intend on slowing us down down looking more content in picking personal feuds with the opposition other than trying to be creative and drive the team forward , the game has changed and moved on , pace and high tempo as displayed by the younger players required other than the slow lethargic movement on display tonight.

  10. Only a fool looks into pre season matches too much…But this fool is slightly concerned at what I just watched.!


    If I was running Celtic I would be getting the cheque book out ASAP.


    Yes the fitness is coming along nicely but


    Exactly where is the quality?

  11. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    We miss a fit Rogic or at least an adequate alternative for the number 10 position (I agree with MIT that Christie and CMcG would make a better midfield two). JF has been tried there before and again today, but his main attributes are pace and running with the ball and those aren’t the main attributes required for a number 10.



    I imagine Christie, CMcG and Broonie will form the midfield three next week with JF, MJ and OE the three further forward.

  12. just watched the usa 2nd goal , that’s how you attack a cross ball into the box , big eddie would still be stuck at the back post.

  13. what exactly do we get when playing OE as a centre forward target man , as far as I can see absolutely nothing.

  14. MIKE IN TORONTO on 2ND JULY 2019 8:41 PM



    for those who see them training, any thoughts/explanations? What exactly do they do all week?



    I, like everyone else who you addressed with this rhetorical question, have never seen them train



    But I would imagine they would prepare in such a way that means they win enough games to win every domestic trophy available for three seasons in a row.



    What do you think they do?




    Getting their preseason in before the serious stuff starts next week

  16. LAZYDYNAMITE on 2ND JULY 2019 8:42 PM



    The sharpness comes with the fitness

  17. This is what you get when you appoint a sub standard manager I’m afraid.


    He wasn’t slow to make substitutions against Aberdeen at home, 0-0 at half time and makes 2, I’m afraid that sums him up

  18. When Rangers, albeit financially doped, were a good side, the MSSM was full of praise about their excellence and how it promoted Scottish football.Celtic fans moaned about how bad Celtic were.


    Now that Celtic are comfortably Scotland`s best side,the MSSM talk of slumps and complain about how our dominance is bad for Scottish football. Celtic fans continue to moan about how bad Celtic are.




  19. MIKE IN TORONTO RON67/ST TAMS, don’t waste your breath if celtic got beat by Gretna reserves some guys on here would say its only a blip we will get better..hh.

  20. Big Wavy



    Re. Arzani



    I too was wondering that. Was looking forward to seeing him in pre-season, however, like Kouassi, i assume he is takin it a bit easier working his way back from his ACL injury

  21. Mike in Toronto on

    Hot Smoked



    You seem to be conflating several issues. Is one teams domination good for the game, with if Celtic wins in scotland, does that make them a good team.



    Whether we finish ahead of Rangers or not is not really a measure of how good or bad Celtic are; if Rangers are shite, beating them doens’t make us good. It might mean we are good, or it could simply mean that we are less shite than them.



    The real measure of Celtic’s success, for me, is how we do in Europe against better teams. For me, what the MSM says about that is irrelevant.

  22. Still no right back. I’m afraid to say and it really disappoints me, but Ralston won’t do.


    We also have no left back, with KT unavailable

  23. weebobbycollins on

    Anyway, I didn’t watch the game…preferred to mess around with my wee grandson and his dinosaurs…popped in and out of the game but nothing caught my imagination…typical pre-season friendly I suppose…


    Roll on the real thing…

  24. MiT


    I do have a concern that Neil Lennon’s team at the moment lack a definite identity.


    A pattern of play.


    Brendan Rodgers was clearly possession based. Control the game by passing. Resist the temptation to get rid, or go long.

  25. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Mike in Toronto on 2nd July 2019 8:41PM



    Boli Mbombo has packed his trunk and said goodbye to Vienna.


    Off he went with a trumpety trump,


    His wife isn’t called Sienna.



    When the fun stops, stop.

  26. MIKE IN TORONTO on 2ND JULY 2019 9:19 PM



    So your judgement of Celtic is based on how well we do against teams who aren’t in our league and who operate in a different market to us?



    That’s nonsensical

  27. would liked to have seen gutman playing tonight other than earlier today before JH.

  28. I remember playing a pre-season friendly against a team and getting beat 8-0



    We never got near them



    We played them in the semi final of the cup that season, more or less exact same 11 v 11



    We won 2-0

  29. ST TAMS on 2ND JULY 2019 9:22 PM


    Still no right back. I’m afraid to say and it really disappoints me, but Ralston won’t do.






    6 weeks ago we had 4 Right Backs….sort of sums up our recruitment strategy in the last 24 months..

  30. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ CELTIC40ME on 2ND JULY 2019 9:27 PM



    Sorry to butt in here, but do you really think it is valid for Celtic to judge themselves against Aberdeen with a turnover of £15m or a club which was formed 7 years ago and has been in the top division for 3?

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