Evidence is clear: Celtic are back


The evidence is clear: we’ve got our Celtic back.  The football on Saturday was better than at any point this season.  Four goals scored told only part of the story.  Odsonne Edouard alone hit the post three times, while Callum McGregor struck the crossbar and Scott Sinclair hit the post with the keeper out of his goal.

Faculties that were so elusive a few weeks ago, like passing and movement, were a joy.  Tom Rogic deserved his Man of the Match award, while Odsonne is back looking ominously difficult to play.  The loss of Scott Brown to injury was a worry, while his replacement, Scott Sinclair continues to struggle to recapture past form.  If you were within a mile of Celtic Park, you may also have heard me when Mikael Lustig was out-muscled for Hibs second goal.

Hibs looked a shadow of the team we expected in the first half.  Anyone who comes to Celtic Park with more lofty intentions than simply defending their 18-yard box had better be on form.  They objectively improved in the second half, but that would have been different if the woodwork did not come to their rescue so often.

I’m not going to tell you I’m confident about Leipzig, but I am looking forward to Murrayfield on Sunday.  We look ready to defend our treble.

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  1. Hunderbirds are Gone on



    My very best wishes to you and your family and close friends at this very difficult time.

  2. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    For the second goal, my view – both at the time and again on watching it a few times last night – Lustig was put in the position of having to come across from right back to right centre-back to cover for Derdryk who had went AWOL forward in an attempt to cut off the pass to the Hibs midfielder 20 yards inside our half.



    Derdryk missed his tackle, the Hibs midfielder played the ball forward to his colleague who had run into the space that Dedryk had wrongly vacated.



    Mikael had been covering their left-winger’s run (Boyle?), but had to to a quick about face to try to get back to cover for the missing Dedryk. Mikael was always behind the Hibs striker’s run – not his fault – I don’t think he was out-muscled as such, I just think the Hibs player had a clear run into the box because Dedryk missed his tackle.








  3. Leipzig



    If the German media are to believe midfield playmaker -Emil Forsberg -has an injury and will not play on Thursday . Very good player .



    Your lunchtime choon –





    An Italian choon from 69 .

  4. If we had a right back in the mould of Kieran Tierney, solid, reliable and an attacking threat down the right side, what a side we would have. It’s a real shame the Board didn’t back the Manager.



    Overall I agree we look very good but I worry that Eddy gets injured between now and January. We have nobody who comes close to a replacement.



    James Forrest and Rogic have a great rapport, and there are signs that all of the front players combination play is improving, hence more fluency. Sinclair is a worry for me, he is so far off the pace it stands out a mile. On Saturday he hid when we had the ball and failed to do defensive duties, those are basic requirements regardless of form. If you watch the highlights, the header from Boyle which Gordon saved first half, watch Sinclairs attempt to stop the cross from Efe, it was powderpuff.



    Anyway, really enjoyed the game and now looking forward to the games ahead.

  5. Celtic followed up their demolition of St Johnstone by sticking another four goals past a good Hibs side. They looked wobbly but a mixture of players clicking back to form and pundits playing for other teams writing them off has created a siege mentality which has kicked Celtic into another gear. The form they are now in is ominous for the rest of the league….Tam McManus-always a good read.



    In around 9 weeks we can sign new players and I think we will/should spend heavy on a striker, a right-back a goalkeeper and John McGinn.




  6. Cheating was pointless during ‘the journey’ though help was always at hand when needed, it’s clear a decision has been taken at Hampden to officially launch ‘mibbery for Sevco.’ Futile to cheat, when there is no contest unless you’re in the last minute about to pull the trigger when the Celtic penalty whistle never blows, no need, they say, when you’re going to win anyway.



    The relentless march from invincibility to eight nine or ten and beyond , is being peppered from all available arsenal, the people have been instructed, nay scripted to up their game. With establishment in full metal jacket, and all singing from the same hymn sheet, round one will be over, before this years missing Poppy money has been recounted.



    The BBC, SKY, the alternative commercial establishment at STV, are all foaming at the mouth in the race to back Seethen Gerrard’s Rainjurz who are the same poor club as Sevco have always been since inception day, when the Blue Knights had lost to Charles, Alistair and the winning Whyte Dug Shytes.



    With the cynical Celtic supporter now in limbo, Celtic, not quite standing still yet it seems, showing remarkable winning potential, signs of not giving up easily, jam tomorrow money to burn for round two, Brendan ( fenian b@@t@rd that he is, not in China ) are moved to Murrayfield – that’ll fix them, in this years ‘treble my a@se’ campaign.’



    Players retained at Celtic have stepped up to the mark, the completion of the Odsonne Edouard deal was Turpinesque by Euro, and the wrangle with Dedryk Boyata a battle clearly worthy and won by Brendan Rodgers. Filip Benkovic is a colossus in the making , and better than the CB we never signed permanently, who ever he may have been, as the Croat’s market value looks about right on £12M.



    Over at Timdom mark II signs of football operating very smoothly out of Edinburgh, the old Sevco nemesis looks more than capable of a skelp or two. ‘Brings it all on himself Lennon ‘ has made a better team with less assistance, or borrowed money.



    Whilst our domestic bliss, or rampant hunnery can’t make Murrayfield more important than Leipzig , the odds of winning can, France or Spain its all the same, Germany is for the uber Celtic travelling reveller, mibbery , fuels the Celtic fight for justice won down the years, and Celtic fans will ‘carp diem’ deep in the joy of supporting Celtic.



    Brendan Rodgers CSC

  7. SOUTH OF TUNIS on 22ND OCTOBER 2018 12:27 PM



    Your lunchtime choon –






    An Italian choon from 69 .



    *I was in Milan 1970, only European trip I’ve ever made, apart from the result it was a great day oot. Having just returned from here the previous September I was the only passenger on the flight with a real passport, the rest had visas, someone also came round with a bunnet for tips for the “driver” and another asked if we could open the windaes tae hang our scarves out lol.



    Kerry oots were opened once we entered the international zone and we were all in good shape by the time we landed, we made our way to the square and some of the phunters were climbing statues fountains etc, me and my pals went tae a cafe where I played a tune on the jukebox, it was “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Jane Birken who incidentally was married at one time to the well known James Bond movie composer, don’t know why I still know this.




    I was at that game too!



    5 of us in a Ford Corsair and only one driver!



    We stopped off at a seminary in Paris where one of the ghuys had been studying the priesthood to pick up some of his stuff. (Can’t remember the name of it)



    We were away for about 10 days and I did an interview with the BBC while washing our dishes on a Dover beach!



    Result apart it was a HOOT!

  9. South Of Tunis on

    TONTINE TIM @ 1.36 .



    I did Milan in 1970 . . Hitched it there and back . After the game I slept in an an anarchist squat in I Navighli . ( where the canals there ) . First thing I did when I got home was to go and see my GP . I was louping with Scabies . !!!.



    Going to Leipzig tomorrow via Stutgart .



    ” don’t know why I still know this ” . — My brain is the same -it remembers lots of stuff re music / books /films etc .



    Jane Birkin



  10. I don’t know about anyone else, but the Hibs result was a huge relief for me. I was nervous that the ST J game might have been a false dawn, especially as it was followed by the international break.


    Looks like something has changed and for the better, and just in time. Big two months coming up where games come every 3-4 days.


    As a glass half empty kind of guy, my next looming concern is the possibility of the defence being dismantled in January. We have two excellent centre halfs now, but one if not both could be away in 10 weeks or so.


    Brown’s injury is of a much lesser concern,we have some good options that are more than good enough for most games. A less than 100% fit Brown is not worth gambling with.

  11. mullet and co 2 on

    Did some analysis of our 33 man squad.



    17 are players not signed by Rodgers


    16 are Rodgers signings



    4 Rodgers signings don’t play and aren’t in the squad – Arzani, Compper, Benyu and De Vries.



    8 Rodgers signings are arguably squad players



    Rodgers total signings £25.5m. The squad players and those that don’t play equate to £11m spend. This includes Kouassi at £3.3m and Scott Sinclair at £3.6m. If you convert Sinclair to a first team regular it skews that figure. I didn’t have a super sub criteria though.



    Of the 8 squad players, Bain was purchased as back up to Gordon in an injury crisis, De Vries was purchased as a football playing keeper and competition for Gordon, Gamboa as competition for Lustig, Izzy as back up for Tierney, Benyu a low cost punt, Morgan low cost development player who could challenge Rogic, Kouassi to replace Brown eventually, Mulumbu just cos we didn’t get the McGinn chap, Sinclair I have covered.


    There are 3 non Rodgers signings who don’t play and 3 squad players.


    Don’t play – Allan, Ralston and Hazard


    Squad – Christie, Johnston, Bitton



    The combined cost of players signed by managers prior to Rodgers is £16.6m. £6.75m of that is apparently the signing fee of Simunovic. I have included him as a first team player but he is quickly becoming a squad player.



    So with a wage bill of almost £60m (pre loses of Dembele, Armstrong, Part year Mousonda, part yr Sviatchenko and reduction in bonus for non qualification to champions league) it would be quite easy to trim the squad.



    However that’s not accounting for how folk with contracts feel about moving on, how much Lawwell thinks he can get for them etc.



    I imagine the manager will quite rightly point at his squad list and ask why he is getting the blame for the wage bill when he has made it clear that a number are no longer required.

  12. Ticketbus,



    Hibs No. 7 was Horgan. Don’t know anything about him, just checked the line up on BBC website.

  13. South Of Tunis on




    For what it’s worth -La Gazzetta dello Sport ( Italy’s fitba pink ) – thought that Ireland improved when he replaced Shane Long in last week’s Ireland v Wales game.

  14. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    TICKETBUS on 22ND OCTOBER 2018 2:10 PM


    Anyone, who was Hibs No 7 on Saturday, thought he played well ?





    Daryll Horgan. Played for, I think, Dundalk in Ireland and is in the periphery of MON’s squad.





    A fine defiant post, mon ami.



    Michel Lustig is at the trade off point in his career.



    The trade being that,what he has lost in pace, he compensates with experience, which our defence still needs.



    Martin Boyle will outpace any defender in the SPFL from a standing start.



    I think the “Board didn’t back Brendan” narrative is wearing a bit thin.



    In a recent interview, BR said that the main reason for players not coming in was the refusal of some other players refusing to move on, which was their right.



    Rodgers, like every manager in the game, has a budget. He spent much of his, presumably on Eduoard and new contracts for other players.



    I suggest that he was required to shift a host of others, who were not featuring, but no other club would/could match their current salaries.



    The club needed to free up wages and pegs in the dressing room to accommodate new arrivals.



    Surely Brendan was disappointed. I suspect everyone at the club was disappointes, as were we, the fans.



    But, it is a business and it has to be run as a business.


    We have to be sustainable and viable to survive.



    Anyone who was around in the 90’s knows that.


    There was no help ready to come in and prop up a money losing operation, overseen by the limited company board.



    We were on the way out, until a wee Celtic supporting, Canadian immigrant, put his money up. along with a few notable others.



    He left us with a vibrant, successful working model of a modern football club.



    All my uninformed opinion, of course.

  15. What is the Stars on

    Hibs No.7 Daryl Horgan was a star for Dundalk ,current League of Ireland Champions who have dominated the League of Ireland scene for the last few years ( though Cork have been snapping at their heels and won the league last year)


    Horgan was the best player in the League and stood out in Dundalk’s European run when they got to the group stages of the Europa League


    He went to Preston and seemed to be doing well there so I was surprised he ended up at Hibs ( on less money i would presume)


    He is a very decent player and I would hope that Celtic monitor the League of Ireland as there are some very decent young players playing there.

  16. Sounds to me like we are paying our squad/fringe/project players too much if we can’t move them on. I think we should realistically know after a season whether a player has a future with us. It’s fair enough that we pay more than other clubs in Scotland in order to help attract them, but not so much that we can’t get rid when it doesn’t work out. Say 1,000 per week more than our opposition.



    it’s horses for courses. Different rules apply when it’s a proven talent and we are up against clubs in England. I’m talking about riskier players.



    In the Civil Service you don’t start on the full whack, you get an annual increase until you reach the full wage in about 3 or 4 years. Maybe not a good comparison but I wouldn’t start many players on 7,8,9 , 10 k PW. They should be proven Celtic standard before they earn 10K+

  17. MULLET AND CO 2 on 22ND OCTOBER 2018 2:12 PM



    Excellent comprehensive analysis of our 33 man squad.



    I don’t think it will be easy to move some of them on., and that is a problem. Who wants to take a drop in wages ?




  18. Mullet,



    Interesting analysis. Benyu, Allan, and De Vries should be moved on soonest. Allan would be in demand but would anyone match his wage? From his perspective it is better to see out his contract and getva signing-on fee from his next club. Benyu…not marketable. He would need to be paid off. Same with De Vries, who was, strangely, extended!



    Similar stories exist for the rest. So it is either pay off or come to a mutual arrangement to terminate a contract given that another club will sign them. Conclusion: easy in theory to say trim the squad, but not in practice, if the intent is o save money in the short term.



    The lesson is to be very careful who you sign, else you will only buy a cost with no benefits throughout their contract. Commper is the classic example…and that must stick in PL’s craw.




  19. ThomTheThim



    I agree re Mikael.



    Whether we like it or not, ‘ the board did not back Brendan theory ‘ remains speculation ‘



    Even if it were true and verbatim from the Daily Rainjur whose theory on Celtic ‘failed signings’ is identical it’s still speculative that the board, did not back Brendan.



    I prefer that ‘the alleged signing’ chose elsewhere before Celtic, probably for a massively higher wage ala McGinn, and its good we were at least shopping in Harrods this time, and not for another Cristian Gamboa.


    ( who he?)



    Mikael’s eventual replacement should have similar status or potential, to super servant.



    With regard to moving on players, I think the theory that we stand alone kicked in big time especially since relations with Hibs and Aberdeen in particular, were naturally, at a low ebb . It takes time to shift Celtic players because of the wages they earn whilst having failed to establish themselves.



    It’ll all depend the degree of success this season, Brendan has already proved he doesn’t need the money, but the next round of transfers is critical at Celtic, as ever.

  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Once again I find myself in agreement. Your trip fairly sharpened your mind !!?

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