Dropping Gordon was ballsy, now manager has other decisions to make


After the defeat at Ibrox on 29 December, we anticipated changes, but the most significant decision Brendan Rodgers made was the most unexpected.  Celtic’s man of the match that day was goalkeeper, Craig Gordon, without whom the score would have been significantly worse than the 1-0 defeat.  Remarkably, he was dropped and has not played since.

The reason for this has nothing to do with Craig’s ability between the sticks, it gets to the reason we lost control of the game: how quickly and accurately we move the ball.  Despite a man of the match performance, Craig was dropped because Brendan realised our game plan can be easily dismantled if we are pedestrian in possession.

While Scott Bain is better with the ball at his feet than Craig, and Craig’s liability in this area is limited, central midfield was significantly more culpable for what went wrong at Ibrox.

Since then Callum McGregor has been restored to his normal midfield berth, Scott Brown has retained his place and Olivier Ntcham has been absent through injury, so the manager has had no major selection choices to make in this area.  Olivier is now fit and in with a chance of making his first appearance of the year in Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie, while just as we were at Ibrox, we are short at left back, where McGregor moved to fill in.

Brendan has some big decisions to make this week.  A central mid of Brown and Ntcham is not right for the football we play.  In taking the least expected decision, to drop Gordon for Bain, I hope we saw a sign that Brendan values the velocity with which we circulate the ball.

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  1. Interesting to see how the St. J team turns out today. After 2 recent defeats, both by 2:0, I suspect their mentally strong players will come with the attitude that “we’ve run them close and this time we’ll be closer” while the rest will feel “This is gonna end as usual”. Tommy Wright is about to find out how many strong players he has.



    More important is the mentality of the Celtic players which is why I am happy to see some changes. Johnny Hayes is not a bad player; injury has affected his chance to show that he can become a useful squad player. Today, he gets another chance and I expect him to bomb on with Sinky on the left. I do love the idea of bringing hungry players of the calibre of Edouard and Weah from the bench too.



    It’s past time for the St. J keeper to have less than a superhuman game against us too.



    All that said, I’d take a boring or nervy 2:0 and keep our SC run going.

  2. Surely because it’s a cup tie today, the Hammer throwers will… Have a go …. Nah of course they won’t, what am I thinking, usual dire fare from them and a manager that knows nothing else.



    In spite of that I am going for 5-0.



    I think we are due to convert some of the chances we are creating and today is the day.



    D. :)

  3. Refs.


    Many on here say if they were the ref they would favor Celtic.


    In most 50/50 situations we would lean to our team.


    Big difference is we would understand why and recognize whereas the huns are willing to blatantly cheat without conscience.


    Sniggering and sleekit is acceptable in their culture.



    Once when my daughter was playing in an u13s friendly game the ref failed to appear so the English coach of the other team asked me if i would so the game could happen.


    I was very worried about showing bias to my team and on a few marginal calls gave the opponents the benefit.


    There was one girl on the other team who was dirty and played like a hun then moaned if anything went against her.She had one foul and tirade to many so i went to her coach and said sub her or i’m sending her off.Common sense and only a friendly.


    The parents on my team were furious and at half time gave me stick for what they saw as a biased performance.


    With a few minutes of the game left and our opponents leading one nil one of our kids was scythed down in the attacking zone and i played advantage as our centre forward latched on to ball and equalized .Meanwhile the parents of my team are giving me dogs abuse for not calling fall only to suddenly realize they had scored and changed to celebrating.


    When the game finished 1-1 and i went over to my team one of the dads said good job we scored as that was a terrible decision not to call that blatant foul.


    Sometimes the ref canny win and their nights in the lodge are no pleasant.

  4. FAN-A-TIC on 10TH FEBRUARY 2019 12:49 PM


    A good example of why most of us would run a mile from the job. I know the top Refs get £800 a game but other lower and non league refs dont get anywhere near that, if anything. They must be mad. My nephew was a non league Ref in England, threats of violence were common and on one occasion a guy was waiting for him in the car park, came to nothing but it could have. He now works for the FA teaching the rules of the game. Might ask him to visit Scotland.