Football’s hard, Armstrong, McNeill v Greig


Last week I suggested we were better with yesterday’s game over and done with, but I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying the occasion.  It may not have been the derby of Old, but it had traces of familiarity from my youth, when managers Billy McNeill and John Greig faced each other.

I watched the game back on television last night.  What an absolute pair of trumpets Warburton and Weir are!  Weir was sent to the stand for demanding Mikael Lustig receive a second yellow card, despite not receiving his first.  Warburton then explained this to the media, indignant that Lustig wasn’t dismissed for two yellows, still totally oblivious to the fact he hadn’t been booked.

Football’s hard.  Referees make mistakes.  But keeping track of who has been booked is remarkably simple.  It was Nir Bitton, not Mikael, who was booked early in the game.  Nir and Mikael have a similar, slight, build, but there’s 7cm between them, with different skin and hair pantones.

What does this tell us?  That the Newco management didn’t know their opponents well enough to tell them apart, never mind how they would play.  Remarkable, considering how often we’ve been on television this season.

Two weeks ago a Dundee United fan asked me what we’d done to Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.  Armstrong, he explained, was never going to make it as a wide player, he was effective for United through the middle.

I think we suffered for the loss of Tom Rogic, as Stuart edged himself into the occasion, but it may be Ronny Deila deployed him incorrectly.

Moments to cherish from the game: Moussa Dembele’s first touch to control Lustig’s cross at the fourth, and his reverse pass for Scott Sinclair at the third.  You’ve not seen control and awareness like that from a Celtic striker in over a decade.

We’ll touch on the longer-term issues of yesterday at a later date, after we’ve got Barcelona out of our system.

The one thing we all wanted from yesterday was to come through the game without further injuries.  Both Scott Brown and Tom Rogic, two of our central midfield three, retired early.  I’m not going to tell you we’ll take anything from Barcelona on Tuesday, but having Brown, Rogic and Bitton in the team will allow us to at least face the game in decent condition.


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  1. I’d play Gordon on Tuesday. He is an excellent shot stopper. I reckon we will need that more than distribution from the back.



    I’m totally on board with idea of playing out from the back and the keeper focusing on possession. However Barca are the absolute best in the world at the pressing game that we are trying to emulate. If we try and play it around Neymar, Suarez and Messi we will likely get caught out. So not this game.



    I just don’t see us pushing up the park and relying on a sweeper keeper against them.






    Seems they are genuine , utterly disgusted .

  3. Fan_A-Tic



    “Cant agree on your assertion that the form of Bitton.Brown.McGregor and Rogic kept Armstrong from the central berth last season.





    Only Rogic from above list showed any measure of form last season. ”




    I did not say they had good form last year, just better the year before than Armstrong. I like Stuart as a squad player but he was not any clear improvement last year than any of the other options RD chose to go with and one good game yesterday does not prove anyone wrong

  4. Celtic are 28/1 to win on Tuesday night.



    I doubt if we’ve ever been on such long odds anytime.



    Probably the same odds as for non league opposition playing at CP.

  5. I can’t accept the suggestion that Stuart Armstrong has been miraculously transformed by Brendan. He came on yesterday against a demoralised team and against 10 men for most of his time on the pitch. And he played well – but he was MOTM in the great performance in Ronny’s last match, the 7 goal humping of Motherwell, and don’t forget he scored two goals against Inter Milan.


    His form was up and down under Ronny. I think he can play either wide left or more central midfield. Either way he has the energy to make good runs. His weakness is not always retaining possession. He’ll be an important squad player. I hope he can eventually become an automatic pick.

  6. The TimReaper, That lad used to be known as “Mad Pup” in Belfast, was knee capped when he was just 17 by his father’s organisation. Although by that time his father had been sidelined.


    Hadn’t heard a word about him for many years, never realised he was living in Scotland. He was born into the middle of an extremely violent place at a very violent time. Never stood a chance of having a normal life.

  7. BARNEY67



    Yesterday Sky said Celtic fans were ‘suddenly feeling good again’ the coverage of Ronny Deila will it seems always be a great deal worse than Ronny Deila.



    lazy journalism csc

  8. Unfortunately Proudbhoy they were genuine. A couple of guys on here last night verified that. It had nothing to do with Green Brigade, apparently it was opposite part of ground from standing section.


    Guy comes up with idea in a pub seems funny at the time, in cold light of day it’s tasteless & repugnant.

  9. Evening Timland from a very warm hun free mountain valley.


    Back to bearable temps, mid 30s, bliss.


    The blow up dolls, ill advised me thinks, I understand they were to signify them allowing their club to die, but it will get distorted by the media, I can see it on here already.

  10. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    jf – a very good point from the celticblog – warburton will have replace the duds – and there’s quite a few – where and what will the money be for that

  11. saint stivs 5..02



    good post



    There is so much faux indignation about the size of the gap between Celtic and Sevco its unreal.



    How can they challenge Celtic fresh from the first division when they can’t even spend a fiver for one of our tenners?

  12. 79caps,


    You make a fair point, he cannot be judged solely on yesterday as indeed neither can Dembele. In the joy of a victory like yesterday we all lose a bit of sense & start to think we have a team of super stars.


    I think what is without question is that Brendan is improving players. Also the players he brought in have improved the team.


    There was a lot of angst on here on last day of transfer window at our failure to bring in a creative midfielder some person made the point that it gave Brendan the opportunity to bring on a player from our own ranks.


    Too early to say for sure but all of Rogic, Forrest & Armstrong (yesterday) are looking better. Brendan also extended the contracts of Tom & James looks a shrewd bit of business now.


    Best bit of Business of all was bringing in Brendan himself, hopefully the Club have now got the message no more yellow packs buy the genuine article.

  13. THE EXILED TIM on 11TH SEPTEMBER 2016 6:13 PM



    ‘they were to signify them allowing their club to die’






    Whoever came up with the idea is either thick as pig shit or utterly devoid of human empathy.



    There was a muppet on here earlier trying to defend it. An Old Firm fan I suspect.

  14. 79CAPS


    Nobody is claiming a remarkable transformation in Armstrong.


    People are just pointing out his effectiveness when playing in an area that suits him.


    I expect his possession stats will improve playing in a team that has off the ball movement.


    Last year our slower build up allowed teams to put more players in defensive positions making passing in the attacking zone difficult.


    This year our movement and speed will make it more difficult for opponents to pack defensive zone.


    Others possession stats may change as Brendan will expect them to pass the ball forward more which carries a lower completion rate than the 3 yards sideways and backward passes.

  15. AB It was in the same statement made by our board that the team we played yesterday was not the same club. The Polis issued a further statement that the supporters involved in yesterdays vandalism at CP were the those of the former Rangers FC and therefore any liability belongs to the now defunct oldco. And Celltic fc must wait to be paid behind the face painters and newsagent. Hh



    ‘Has the club released statement regarding the vandalism caused by the Sevco support?’







    From the Scotsman.



    ‘Police Scotland said they were aware of the damage but that Celtic FC were dealing with the situation as an internal matter.’

  17. Stuart Armstrong is a braw footballer…canny wait till his wee pal is back playing …they will be a great double act …squad squad squad….there will be enough kudos for everyone …


    And that is grand…



    Let the people sing…




  18. All I’m saying is OK Ronnie had his faults, inflexibility being one. But if we do get to the 10, he won 2 for us.


    BTW I think the sfa will redesign the league b4 they let it happen.


    War Burton’s a phony with no class.

  19. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    Ha, ha, just watched the (lack of extended) highlights on Sportscene.



    Bhoy, they are hurting!







  20. It’s not distorted TET, they were female dolls with their hands tied behind their backs hanging by the neck.


    Whoever came up with the stunt didn’t think it through. It was disgraceful pure & simple and nobody should attempt to justify it.


    By the way, I’m off to Benalmadena in about 10 days. Last time out, the Tim pub in Cariheula seemed to have disappeared. Is our Celtic Publican still in business, has he moved premises or was I just looking in the wrong place?.

  21. SFTB@6-01PM


    I never said anyone was wrong.


    I said i disagreed with the notion that the form of others kept him out of central area.


    I felt it was a coaching decision that i personally thought was flawed

  22. Corkcelt and Fan-a-tic


    OK, but as SettingFreetheBears has pointed out, our three away games in Europe do not yet suggest a revolution. We still find it hard to keep possession against European opposition. The best players we faced yesterday were a former Accrington Stanley player and old Kenny Miller, who is no longer capable of playing 90 minutes. That says it all about our opponents.

  23. Trevor Sinclair (scorer of the best goal in EPL history) is just after tweeting that the one team he wished he’d played for is……



    Celtic of course




  24. 79 caps If and when we get the ball on Tuesday night we must keep it as long as possible. And most definitely not give it to the majestic Andreas Inniesta.Hh

  25. Having seen Sevco ‘live’ for the first time they are rank rotten they’ve made rANGERs like mistakes sleepwalking into making bad deals ‘for names’. This will haunt them as they struggle against the better sides in the SPL..



    Paying a wage fortune for Kranjcar who was retired in the American B division takes bad deals to a whole new level.



    This type of player can’t deliver in a frenetic SPL where much younger players will run them off their feet, week in week out.

  26. Did you hear our Brendan praising Moussa,s agent ???


    Brendan is a braw lad….



    He will stay a guid while…. Watch that smile….




  27. The Sevco players will find it tougher the longer the season goes. In Scotland the winter and heavy parks will take their toll on their arguing limbs. Most of the Sevco signings are on 2 or 3 year contracts and will be there longer than Warbuton as they build up their retirement fund.



    Warbs now realises there is a huge gulf in class ; more importantly his experienced players know it’s checkmate. They also know the manager called it wrong at the beginning and throughout the game. They will see him as a youth club coach who got lucky and became Sevco manager. The SC Final defeat and the surrender yesterday showed the experienced players Coco the Clown is in charge. He has the Hat just needs the red nose and rosy cheeks —although I seen signs of that yesterday.



    I expect Warbuton to be gone by Christmas as the league gap will be well into double digits.

  28. 67 European Cup Winners on

    A word on the Huns (I have a sympathetic nature)


    I actually felt sorry for that young boy McKay – I thought he looked like a lost boy but had a bit of determination about him to do his best


    Probably a good honest to God footballer hindered by chaos



    Get a loan move in January to Hibs Niel will look after you





  29. 67 European Cup Winners on

    A word on Warburton – he has peaked – he peaked at Hampden against us never will he reach that level again


    But he like Joey and Niko (how bad was he) will not be bought by anyone so The Hun will run their contract – they have nowhere to run


    And now they have a toilet bill coming their way


    Silly silly stupid Huns




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