Despite the result, Brendan was right to rest five players

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Yes, the Filip Benkovic’s goal should have stood and we really should learn to convert penalties, but Celtic did not cause Motherwell sufficient alarm to make the points safe before a late equaliser.  This was our fifth consecutive game away from Celtic Park in an intense period for the players.  It was also the first game after Sundays’ cup final party, the chance of points being dropped was high.

We have not looked so pedestrian since……… the last time Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham started.  I’m not sure what conclusions to draw from this, if any.  Ryan Christie delivered again.  His impact on the team since late October has been incredible, without him, you would be feeling slightly less easy about our position.

Brendan Rodgers rested James Forrest, Mikael Lustig, Scott Sinclair, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic from the starting line-up.  Despite the result, I still think this was the right decision.  Salzburg have this midweek off and face bottom of the Austrian table Admira on Saturday.

They will arrive in Glasgow next week fully rested with only one game to go before a two month winter break.  With a 14-point lead in the league, they will be resting no one against Celtic.  The Austrians are likely to be the strongest team we face this season and if we are to have any chance against them, we need to be as physically prepared as they are.

The ‘Always play your strongest team’ mantra just weakens your strongest team for when you really need it.  This month’s priorities were the League Cup Final, Salzburg, the visit to Ibrox and the visit to Pittodrie, in that order.  We should be utilising the squad on other occasions.

Kilmarnock top of the league in December is noteworthy.  They will not finish the season within 10 points of the top and, in all likelihood, their stay will last no more than three days, but this is a remarkable overachievement by a team who found their managerial maestro.  They also lost their best player to Celtic in the summer.  Credit where due.

Celtic Foundation letter from Santa

As part of this year’s Christmas Appeal, the Foundation have arranged a letter from Santa to be sent to any child (or good adult) you know.  For a £5 donation the recipient will receive a letter signed by Santa, the signature of their favourite Celtic player, their name, age and what they would like for Christmas.

You must know someone who would like this, even if what they want for Christmas is another 1-5 win at Ibrox.  Details here.

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  1. Maybe if we can win these games away to Livi St Mirren Motherwell then trips to Ibrox Tynecastle and Pittodrie beocme more important for them , not us, these are now very important to both sides, to complain that an opponent has had any easy weak and are coasting their league is wishful thinking , but is also the product of a club with a squad that can step up when needed, unlike it would seem ours.

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Another great goal from Christie. Love the way he attacks the space. That is what you need against teams who defend – players who can create space and players who can utilise it.

     

    Maybe a bit lacking in the former at the moment.

     

    Could have done better at their goal, but he isn’t an experienced player and he isn’t a defender. Would have expected one of the others to give him a shout to go with Johnson, with Gamboa out of action. Maybe Boyata would have?

     

    Issues to be resolved re squad depth/quality and style of play.

  3. I also think that the Scott Brown issue is dragging on a bit, is he staying, if so Wullie Miller said last night he was playing like a sweeper, this is too deep and invites problems ,I hope this does not become the modern day Lambert situation when he was given a 2 yr deal to do his badges in Germany, total waste of the budget as he did not play, I do not think Scott would do that and would want to play, I’m sure BR is giving this some thought.

  4. They also lost their best player to Celtic in the summer. Credit where due.

     

     

    but where is he , nowhere near first 11.

  5. All our games are important even against teams in the bottom half. Win these games early and sub players…Brendan should not have made 7 changes he previously said he wouldn’t do this again. Thought the shape of the team looked wrong as well has his starting line up (I discussed this when I saw the line up) and in the second half their keeper never made a save. Brendan was clearly displeased at the performance and rightly so but should shoulder some of the criticism however we shouldn’t be too hard on him as he has delivered for us in spades.

     

    I believe our next two games are season defining and I’m sure Brendan will play his strongest 11 in both Boyata excepted.

     

    Hopefully at the end of the season the game will be a footnote but away from home we shouldn’t write off teams when their dander is up against us and we have the ref factor.

     

    On to 8 and a Rebel Treble starting Saturday 🍀🍀🍀

  6. we have a first team squad of around 34 players , how many from that squad really deserve to be at celtic park.

  7. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Rangers (sic) manager Steven Gerrard will block any attempt by Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka to take centre-half Joe Worrall back from his season-long loan at Ibrox and there is no clause in the contract allowing it.

     

    ——–

     

    So if the contract doesn’t allow it, why would there be any need to “block” it?

     

    Are people really so stupid as to be taken in by this guff?

     

    Hey guys – look – Super Stevie has told Forest where to go. What a guy. He is the real deal. 55 will be this season!

  8. I hope we’re looking at the left-midfield position in the transfer window – Sinclair posted missing in too many games this season (and last).

  9. To me the Europa League is a bit of a distraction. Sure I’d like to see us progress into knock out stage but the main Competition for me is the League.

     

    I think we need to treat Killie game on Saturday as if it was a Cup Final. Best eleven out from the start , nothing short of 3 points will do.

  10. I thought we were poor last night. The build up was too slow and I thought we were holding on for a 1-0 win. Griffiths was poor and none of the subs improved the team.

     

     

    Most teams in the league can make something of set pieces. Penalties missed, freekicks and corners wasted by Celtic. This is reducing us scoring and therefore in nights like last night they cost us points. If there is no improvement then we could not win this League.

     

     

    WE should have had at least a 3-0 lead at Half time Christie goal, Benkovic goal and Griffiths penalty. We would have been able to sit on that surely.

     

     

    It is very obvious that we need work in these areas.

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

    @ DESSYBHOY on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 12:39 PM

     

     

    Bit of a conundrum on SB.

     

     

    I don’t think SB should be a first team starter anymore. At first I thought he would be dropped for the games when we played SPL fodder- St Mirren, Dundee etc- after all, what is the point of playing a defensive midfielder with few attacking attributes against teams that will play 10 men behind the ball- but brought back for the big games.

     

     

    However, it now looks like SB could be dropped for the big games as well. We have played a cup final, an away European game and a top German team at home with the Christie/McGregor combination starting and won all three. Christie/McGregor have proved that they can both attack and defend and provide adequate cover to the defence.

     

     

    For me SB is a third or fourth choice central midfielder at the club (depending on the game) just now.

  12. The problem with Scott Sinclair is he’s easily marked and nullified. All you have to do is keep him on his left foot and ensure another player is near hand when he tries to cut onto his right.

     

     

    I have been hoping against hope that he would come good again but unfortunately i think his 25k a week or whatever it is could be better used somewhere else

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

    @ CORKCELT on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 1:00 PM

     

     

    I would have agreed with that position at the outset of the campaign, but now that we have progression to the knockout rounds within sight and within our own hands, I think we have to focus on it.

     

     

    A defeat against Salzburg at home would have a big psychological impact on the team (especially as Sevco still have a chance of progressing as well). However, if we progress and Sevco go out it would provide a big boost heading into the Christmas fixture.

     

     

    We also have to think about our co-efficient as that will determine seeding for next season’s CL qualification.

  14. BR wants Europa progression because he knows outwith Scotland no one will take notice of another Celtic treble.

     

     

    He’s right.

     

     

    As a club we need Europe. Knocking Leipzig out would be a fantastic achievement.

     

     

    I’d personally take a Europa quarter final over the Scottish Cup. The league is of course priority number 1 but I want to see us get a good run in Europe.

  15. I’d personally take a Europa quarter final over the Scottish Cup. The league is of course priority number 1 but I want to see us get a good run in Europe.

     

     

    naw Scottish cup for me , europa no way.

  16. I didn’t see the game last night – before the game I posted that the team selection looked like a narrow back and across type of set-up. Sounds like I wasn’t far off the mark – but will be happy to be corrected

  17. Resting the players was only part of the problem.

     

    Return of a system that has struggled to produce goals was also a factor.

     

    The 6-0 defeat of St Johnstone was a refreshing reply to a turgid start to our season.

     

    We had only managed 5 goals in the previous 6 spl fixtures.

     

    We played Ed and Griffiths up front that day with Ntcham and McGregor playing side by side in a deeper role with Rogic ahead.

     

    There was clearly defined role for every player and we excelled.

     

    We then went on a decent run scoring freely until the dismal 0-0 draw against Livingston.

     

    With Ntcham injured and without a deep lying partner McGregor had become reluctant to take the higher risk pass and his form was tailing off.

     

    Likewise Rogic became less effective as he was working in a more crowded area and when he gave the ball away our poor system left centre of the field exposed making him more of a liability than asset.

     

    Since the international break scoring goals has again become a problem.

     

    Time of Brendan and coaches to view tapes of games and see what the difference between our free scoring Celtic was and the shot shy one of recently.

  18. traditionalist88 on

    Absolute nonsense resting players in your most important competition when it took months to reach the top and we are trying to make a bit of breathing space at the top, without giving any encouragement to the Sevcos, Hearts or Killies. With difficult away trips to Pittodrie and Ibrox to end the month we should be doing our utmost to get every point in the bag now and not go into these games trailing at the top in case the unthinkable happens and Sevco beat us eventually.

     

     

    The time to rest players is when we are 2 or 3-0 up in league games and in League Cup games.

     

     

    Also the Europa League is not a priority.

     

     

    Seen it too many times before where a club rests players for an upcoming game and ends up fecking up both of the games.

     

     

    Lets pick our best side available on the day and worry about next Thursday when it is the next fixture in the diary. Give players extra recovery time if they are really struggling.

     

     

    FFS.

     

     

    HH

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