Despite the result, Brendan was right to rest five players


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. SAINT STIVS on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 1:35 PM


    The workers pulled the boat up, Their families and some possessions saved, they come to the biggest town, and look for help from the parish priest.







    Father, 30 years now we are cutting the logs from the forest, and every year these floods get worse, we are washed out again, out homes are under water. We clear vast areas of the land, and were promised a better life than our existance before, but ever year god brings these terrible floods, and each year its worse than the year before. Why does God do this to us ?







    The parish priest wants to defend God, but cant find the words, so he says, let me ask the bishop.





    He calls the Bishop and says the same things, and ends with “why does God do this to this most worshipful and dutiful and believing people. The bishop says I dont know, but let me phone the Arch Bishop.







    The Bishop wants to defend God, and again ask the archbishop, why does our God do these things to our people, we promise them a better life through prayer and devotion, and still the floods come, Only the businessess get bigger, and they make more money, and the people have some material things, but every year its swept away. Some people are questioning their faith. The archbishop says, this is so serious I am going to ask the pope for his guidance,







    The archbishop calls the Pope, and starts with saying offcourse our god works in mysterious ways, and I need your help to settle the people and defend our god, and I want to help the people as well, every year the floods get worse and the people are affected, but when the waters recede, they must go back to cutting the logs , and making the fires, and pushing away the animals, and for this they get money and goods, and shelter , well until the next bigger flood. The pope says, I understand all that you say, I have many of our people praying to me, and telling me of these things, all around the world, they must take the resources, to make the life now, and ever year there are disasters than come worse and bigger than before, they then ask our god, “why do you do this to us, do we not pray, are we not dutiful do we come to the churches and praise you “. The pope a most learned and humble man , from a very poor beginning , is hurt and feels the pain of the people and says “i will talk to God” and surely he will tell us the way.







    The Pope goes into a deep medidation, He opens up the Channel to God. Because he can. He tells God all he has heard, he is distressed but calm in telling it all, but allways he comes back to the people ask “God why do you do this to us”.







    God, was waiting for this, he knew the conversation would come, he wanted it to happen, he needed the Pope to speak, and he needed the pope to hear and understand.







    Francis , I do not do the things that the people suffer. I gave man free will to determine their lives, I gave them the most resourced planet , I gave then food and an abundance of water, animals and the sun and the stars and the chance to live, and the planet had enough of everything for everyone for all time. But, like in Moses time , some people take more than they need and force others to do their bidding ignoring the harm they do, they take too much and destroy too much and the impacts worsen for many millions. If we leave them to free will, the end of days will come, and in an apocalyptic way.







    Francis, I gave the earth science, I gave the most intelligent people the chance to learn and influence the world for good, I gave these people the chance to discover the worst and to warn the people. Hawking and Attenborough giants of men, their voices must be heard, but they are not.







    Francis, you are my representative on earth, you are my voice, you must address the people and preach the message, you must tell the people of the errors of their ways, you are me on earth and when you talk it if for me.







    Francis understands, he has to speak out, he is the man on earth to represent and speak for God, The people will get the message, God does not do these things, man does, and man must fix it, or the end of days is upon us. I know when I speak I speak for God.







    Francis and God are ready, they are about to go their ways, when there is a slight cough and a mumble to the side, Saint Peter slightly flustered, a little ashen faced, a little nervous, lifts his head some and asks “can I speak”.







    God, says yes, my most trusted adviser, the first Pope, and my new best Pope together , you both carried me on earth, and both speak for me to the peoples. Please speak now







    Saint Peter begins,







    “Oh Holy father, and all wise all knowing all powerful, all seeing , the creator of heaven and earth, and our beloved Francis, a real channel of your peace, a pope for the people , helping the people, leading the people, and now wanting to save the people, you look after 2 billion people on earth and your knowledge is unsurpassed.







    well I just want to say, its all very well trying to save the planet, and all that good stuff,





    but have you asked MacJay for his approval first.

  2. So it’s no coincidence that these referees have all become bad overnight.



    Get ready for Craig Thomson to referee the new firm game ??

  3. The defence picks itself.



    Edouard is definitely ahead of Griff upfront.



    Forrest and Christie are nailed on starts.



    McGregor is close behind them in his deeper role.



    The imbalance for me is down the left – Sinclair isn’t producing and he has no obvious replacement. Playing Ntcham, Rogic or McGregor out there negates their best attributes.



    I’d go for Ntcham and McGregor in the middle, Forrest out right. Rogic and Christie dropping behind Edouard and out the left in place of Sinclair.



    Sinclair should be dropped. Playing a non performing player most weeks is a sporting cancer inside a good team.

  4. Can anyone tell me if Ntcham was injured last night, or was taken off for standing on the left wing in a huff.


    His body language told you he did’t want to be there

  5. Should have won that game but did not, we need a good january. Need a forward to hold up play, big target man. We can then push eduard out on the left which gives us better balance. We need a better rightback and we need a centreback so we are covered when boyata and benkovic leave.




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

    @ ST TAMS on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 1:44 PM



    I think being played as a left winger may have contributed to his poor disposition. Bit of a strange choice (although, admittedly, we have no other fit wingers at the club) for him to play there.

  7. Now that I’ve had time to calm doon and reflect on last nights game…..



    …..in Brendan I trust ;-))

  8. traditionalist88 on

    ron67 on 6th December 2018 1:52 pm






    my feelings entirely, agree 100%





    Yeah, Its a nonsense alright. Self inflicted wounds decreasing our own chances of collecting 3 points in an important league match?!



    Momentum built up over last few weeks gets lost and competitors sense a bit of blood. When we lose momentum it is gained elsewhere, we may be lucky it is ‘only’ by Killie this time.



    Taking heart that Killie will be 10 points adrift at the end of the season is laughable. Now wheres the evidence for that so far!



    We’ve already lost at Tynecastle and Killie, and dropped points at St Mirren, Livingston and now Motherwell.



    We have Ibrox and Pittodrie at the end of the month. We should be doing our utmost to get the highest points total we can in advance of those trips.



    Resting players does not help that aim. How much more evidence do we need that we don’t have the quality in depth to do that and expect the same consistency?



    Keep going like this and we’ll be in a real title fight which could come down to the bounce of a ball or a bad refereeing decision. And for what?




  9. traditionalist88 on

    TheLurkinTim on 6th December 2018 2:18 pm



    We’ve won 3 out of 8 away games, and haven’t been to Ibrox or Pittodrie yet.



    Shooting ourselves in the foot by fielding a weakened team is not a good idea.



    If we don’t win the league come May last night is the type of game we will look back on.



    Lets not wait till May to realise our mistakes. Its December and not only have we not pulled clear yet we are not even top.



    How much encouragement do we want to give our opponents? Law of averages unfortunately says Sevco will probably beat us at some stage, lets hope its at a time it doesn’t matter.



    But right now it does and we’re in no position to be thinking we can rest key players and expect to win.




  10. So some are saying that we should play the same team every week.60 odd games a season.With this going on,we could leave the big money transfers that they also want on the bench.I also did not know that Broony and Ollie playing was “Weakening the team”.Such short memories,eh.You can include Griff in that.


    We had all the chances to win last night at a venue some forget,that has been difficult for us many times in the past.Easily have been 3-0 at half time.Would anyone be mentioning the changes today,no.


    God,I think I will try Man U,or Chelsea Quick News for a bit of light relief.

  11. traditionalist88 on

    Turkeybhoy on 6th December 2018 2:41 pm



    So some are saying that we should play the same team every week.60 odd games a season.





    Thats a long league season, didnt know we had that many league games. You learn something new (or bs) every day on here.



    Forrest, Edouard and Rogic should have been in the starting 11 last night.

  12. RON67


    I dont agreewigh your assessment of Ed.


    He is excellent when played in the right formation.


    In the 6-0 rout of St Johnstone he was involved in a few of the goals and scored one.


    He was Playing to the left of Griff that day and their movement created a lot of space for JF to score 4 that day.


    Ed is not a lone striker so either we give him a partner or play someone to attack the spaces and flick ons he gives.


    Unfortunately since the international break JF has decided to face backwards when receiving a pass and usually returns it to where it came so no longer contributes much to the attack.Against Rosenberg he took his man on once and crossed for the goal yet thereafter stood facing his own goalie.Is he following instruction?


    For what reason i cannot understand.


    Now having SS on the left we have two wide men who give little in the final third leaving Ed to battle on with no service.


    SS also fills in the space Ed likes to cut in from so reduces his options even more.


    We need a striker so Ed can really blossom from left side of attack.

  13. The bank of putin fc have lost their last 2 away games and the home game in between was a narrow 2-0 victory over local rivals bottom of the league Fulham who have conceded 36 goals so far this season.



    They are at home to first bank of Abu Dhabi fc this weekend, I wonder of chelski quick news or even sevco quick news is in melt down the day

  14. traditionalist88 on

    Tontine Tim on 6th December 2018 2:53 pm



    When IS a good time to make the necessary tweaks and do something about our poor away league form?



    Halfway through the season?


    3/4 of the way through the season?


    With 1 game to go?





    Just play our strongest 11 in our most important competition. One extra round in the Europa League would be nice but nothing to say we won’t achieve that too.



    But the league is our priority and we are showing signs of weakness that others are noticing. Self fulfilling prophecies etc.



    Rest players when we’re 2/3-0 up in league games and give them an extra half day/full day after matches. A game every 3/4 days right now with rest in between and a few weeks in January to recharge. So be it.



    But do what we need to do to maximise our chances of 3 points in league games….that means picking our best players, who, I’m sure, are probably itching to play.




  15. Corkcelt et al,



    The Europa league is mega important. The game against Salzburg is massive. Great publicly, great promotion and a really, really great night under the new lights.



    Our reputation and our ability to attract players is defined on legendary European nights.



    Trebles are excellent for stastics, it could be argued that they hamper player progression. ( Ie Seven changes would normally be made on domestic cup duty ) but European football is what keeps us above the mediocrity and ensures we remain relevant attraction to Players outwith Scotland.



    HH to all.

  16. traditionalist88 on

    Greenpinata on 6th December 2018 3:25 pm


    European football is what keeps us above the mediocrity and ensures we remain relevant attraction to Players outwith Scotland.





    We’ve won 3 out of 8 away games!



    At the very least flirting dangerously with the mediocrity.



    We’d better hope that the 100% home record is maintained and the away record gets no worse.




  17. Traditionalist88,



    I understand where you’re coming from but I hold no fear for the team rising to the occassion and getting the 3 points at both the Pen or Greyskull….the biggest obstacle in my opinion is focussing on ten…stopping 10 was the undoing of the late great Tommy Burns RIP….and I can see 10 again becoming a sideshow that over-runs our thinking….



    Next game is important…3 points is uppermost…whether it b a route or a 1-0 win….but a league is a marathon and I won’t give up my belief in the team or manager just because we had a bad night at the office….







  18. Big Stevie Clark insane that big, he stands at 5ft 10 inches.


    Small fry.



    In Brendan we trust and onto 8 IAR



    COYBIG £49ers



    D. :)




    True, but we’ve also won every domestic honour up for grabs since BR arrived. And long may it continue.




  20. FAN-A-TIC on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 2:47 PM





    I dont agreewigh your assessment of Ed.



    OE is as you say is not a target man(he has a terrible first touch) , his best position is on the left running and and attacking defenders at pace , my beef is with ON who i feel plays for the team only when he is up for it.

  21. glendalystonsils on

    The team we put out last night was more than good enough to beat the journeymen cluggers of Motherwell.


    The ref and a poorly taken penalty ensured that we didn’t.



    Some poor passing last night but none poorer than Craig Gordon. His distribution is woeful.



    Some poor passing last night but none poorer than Craig Gordon. His distribution is woeful.



    agree his distribution is woeful but not only last night , we are talking period.



    The team we put out last night was more than good enough to beat the journeymen cluggers of Motherwell ,


    yes but we didn’t.

  23. traditionalist88 on

    TheLurkinTim on 6th December 2018 3:37 pm



    It just kills the momentum we’ve built up.



    Let me assure you, I am only thinking about 8, not 10 in a row.



    The away record is not good, it wasn’t just last night. We can all forgive/expect it not to go right all the time. But its December, its only 17 weeks until the league split, and that includes the January break.



    Lets not assume there’ll be lots of time at the end of the season to put this right. And why put ourselves in that position?



    One bad bounce/ref decision and we could slip up at Ibrox or Pittodrie. We’re not as strong as when we went to Ibrox previously, and it was still tough.



    Throwing away the momentum of our own accord would be unforgivable.



    By fielding a weakened team we are increasing our chances of dropping points and by definition increasing the chances of us not winning the league. Medals may be handed out in May but the points gained in December are just as vital.




  24. traditionalist88 on

    Greenpinata on 6th December 2018 3:39 pm






    True, but we’ve also won every domestic honour up for grabs since BR arrived. And long may it continue.








    Yeah, but we don’t get bonus points for that in the league this season.



    Points have to be earned and you can maximise your chances by picking your best and on form players.




  25. What makes me smile is thinking of all the adverse comments against Lustig, you know the stuff, his legs have gone, he’s too slow etc etc etc. The guy is a class act and sadly his deputy is not. Sure, we need cover in case Mikael is injured but those on here who knock him should have a word with themselves.


    We have all these squad players, who to me anyway , are simply not good enough, with a few exceptions obviously. We really need to strengthen next month, no doubt about it.


    I feel there is something under the surface going on with Griff, don’ know what it is but the guy is not showing anything like his potential.


    But on last night, ‘fraid I lay all the blame with BR sadly


    We SHALL overcome



    Hail Hail




  26. I have copied the FT article that was highlighted the other day but now is a subcription access.






    its kind of long , and the best parts are the graphs.



    Anyone want to see it ? Dont want to post a giant post if its just a nuisance for others.



    thoughts ?

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

    @ SAINT STIVS on 6TH DECEMBER 2018 4:25 PM



    Would happily read it but my two cents is that a united Ireland would be cataclysmic for Scotland; every bigot unwilling to live under Dublin rule would de-camp to Ayrshire, bringing their hatred and bile with them.

  28. P67 ‘We have not looked so pedestrian since……… the last time Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham started.’




    They both started the 1-0 pumping of the Huns in September.



    Nobody criticised the pairing then.



    Too easy to scapegoat single players when the collective mentality caused the tempo to slow. I’d look at the impact of our fleet-footed wunderkind who aren’t doing the business- Sincy last night, Hayes – these are the guys who should be on it, providing the runs and space for the defensive mids to start something snappy.

  29. And regards resting players:



    The time to rest players is last night at half-time when you’re 3-0 up and can make 3 subs.



    And on Saturday when you’re 3 up at half time and can make 3 subs…



    Ad infinitum – play your best players, kill off the game, dish out the second-half rests.

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