Central-mid quandary for Celtic


We know what to expect from Aberdeen tonight.  They will flood (pardon the pun) central midfield, defend deeply and, let’s be clear, they will score any time we allow them the kind of space they exploited at Celtic Park this month.

Question is, what will Celtic do about it?  If Stefan Johansen’s ankle knock keeps him out the central-mid triangle of Johansen, Brown and Biton will be disrupted, and surely Neil Lennon will not revert to a central two after the Scottish Cup lesson.  The picture is further complicated by the injury to Emilio Izaguirre, which forced Charlie Mulgrew back at the weekend.  Mulgrew would be a suitable direct replacement for Johansen.

In 10 years doing this stuff I’ve probably used no more than a few dozen words to praise emerging young talent; it’s been a rough decade in that respect.  Without wanting to go overboard in any way, Darnell Fisher has looked more than comfortable at right back in the absence of Mikael Lustig and Adam Matthews.  Darnell’s problem going forward will be that he has two excellent international players ahead of him in the pecking order, but for tonight, I would be tempted to bring Matthews to left back (if he can do it against Barcelona….) and restore Fisher to the right back slot.  This would allow Charlie to sit alongside Scott Brown and Nir Biton in central-mid.

Well done to Frank McAvennie, who is jumping out of an aeroplane 15,000 feet in the air.  You can play your part in this exercise by supporting the Quarriers run, Chavey Down residential home, in Newton Mearns, which helps young people up to the age of 16.

The need is for sensory equipment, toys and wheelchair-appropriate play areas.  To contribute, go to Frank’s JustGiving page, or text FMSD 89 followed by £1, 2, 3, 5, 10 to 70070.

If you would like to read the new CQN Magazine, GO HERE to read properly, and for FREE, the graphic below is just a taster.
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  1. TD…..lovely thoughts about Celtic. I think they may take a wee turn to the negative if you



    a) spend a wee bit cash on the Tims…for a dubious return


    b) feel the cold on a Tues night in Sheep-land ,loving your team, and get to bed at 0200.


    c) share some of your views with supporters at the games rather than fellow lounge lizards



    I believe one or all of the above will change you views on Celtic.




  2. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    NatKnow – Supporting Wee Oscar



    I did not mate. The usual home carnage when their is a chance of getting out for the game.


    Wee man wouldn’t settle. He was probably want to watch the game!


    Radio does me. We were going to get beat at some point.




  3. TT



    “There in lies the difference in my eyes between a mineshafter and a happy clapper .



    Realism before blind optimism.”




    I think The Honest Mistake has already gutted this point effectively.



    To add to it, might I remind you that I have always foretold that we were due a mighty drubbing at CL level and it came this year at the hands of Barcelona. I am not looking for praise here as it was a dead easy prediction to make as it has happened to stronger squads than ours.



    The point I make is that the realism is there on the other side of the equation too. I find the mineshafters wildly optimistic in their expectation of what a squad assembled at moderate and affordable expense can achieve at top European level. Having that unrealistic expectation allows them to believe that it is the fault of the manager, the players, the Board or the Masons that we do not do better.



    In the post-Bosman, post bloated-TV money world, we have had 15 years of peering at the top elite clubs and having our status elevated from the level of irrelevant club (1980- 1999) to plucky but lightweight contender. A position we share with former Euro giants like Anderlecht who suffer from exactly the same forces we do. Even a slightly more advantaged team, at a slightly higher level, say Ajax or Porto, will have no prospect of breaking through the CL glass ceiling of last 8 with the way this game is heading.



    Until the league set up changes.

  4. NatKnow - Supporting Wee Oscar on





    12:05 on 26 February, 2014







    I reckon Griffiths playing off Amido is an ideal combination for Europe,set up for breaking on the counter.



    Hopefully they will get the chance to prove me right,or even wrong.




    Well, the remainder of the season is the opportunity to try that out and hopefully we will experiment a bit.

  5. NatKnow - Supporting Wee Oscar on





    12:25 on 26 February, 2014




    Any news on when the ‘standing area’ will be complete ?




    Why Kev – are you going to use it?

  6. kitalba



    “We were not a selling club back then, we did not need the money to survive, the players just wanted more than Celtic were prepared to pay.”




    Ti a certain extent, I agree with the distinction.



    However, we did nearly go bust in the mid 90s ( I know it was mostly vindictive banking but we could not have been that healthy) and nowadays, the players want to leave too. Joe Ledley might have loved the club but not at the expense of and extra 10k per week.



    Are you sure we can afford to pay the likes of Joe an extra 10k (or 5k or 6k) per week?



    Are you sure we can afford to top up the queue of players who come along in his wake demanding that their wage differentials are restored in line with Joe Ledley’s new found wealth?





    I couldn’t possibly comment,but I hope he never tries to pee on a fire to put it out….

  8. Tinytim10-41


    (Surely it is what you do in the present that affects the future.)


    Which is why playing a guy who won’t be here next season at the expense of players who will be is poor forward planning.


    Also those who constantly defend the coach for not giving youth a chance by saying if Neil thought they were good enough they would be played.


    On the evidence of players like Henderson they have surely looked good enough and are not played.


    Fisher only got a chance through injuries and played well to be subsequently dropped for a half fit Mathews.


    When coach cautious gives youngsters a decent run in the team then we can judge them.