Forrest, Christie and Turnbull


James Forrest’s injury in September happened three days before Jeremie Frimpong’s best performance of the season, in the home win against Hibs.  I remember using the MVP acronym for Jeremie at the time.  Team form until that point was patchy: wins with alarming defensive performances and an unmitigated disaster against Ferencvaros.  The team shape was clearly wrong and pushing Jeremie forward in James absence seemed logical.

It was the first of many changes I wanted to see, each followed by a realisation that we were groping around in the darkness, until Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull became the central points of a midfield diamond.  Having (hopefully) fixed the fundamental tactical problem, James return to full training offers Neil Lennon the flexibility he is denied on the right and enhances his option in the middle.

Ryan Christie is well short of his best form in a Celtic shirt but all of those best performances came when he played through the middle.  He can cover for James and offer options on the right while giving the manager a different option when he wants to swap out David Turnbull in the 10 position.

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  1. Struggling with the analysis.


    Our issue at the moment is that we are asking too much of IS.



    CMcG has been hopeless this season defensively.


    He has never been good but this season he has been terrible.

  2. JF(old) is a huge talent but he has not lived up to it on a consistent basis.



    Playing him week after week when he was injured shames our club and NL.


    However he has a lot to do so that his efforts match his talent.

  3. Still not getting the analysis.


    Does that mean that DT is not the future?


    We can forget about him and offer the refusenik that is RC the role through the middle?

  4. No news on new players or coaches …


    With only silence from P67 — following instructions from PL?



    I think that the exec level have given up.


    Plus DD wants to wind up the support and keep NL in place.

  5. Dont disagree with the finer points in the article.



    I still prefer to take a slightly wider view of things.



    Soro signed for us 27th Jan last year


    Klimala signed 14th Jan last year



    For neither player to have made a dent until recently, asks serious questions about either our scouting, recruitment, coaching, training or whatever.



    We discuss really detailed formational points, whilst the team is still something of a work in progress.



    Our rivals aren’t hanging around and are currently 19 points and 22 goals better off than we are. We have 3 games in hand and are averaging 2.26 points per game.



    This is not an easy fix. 1 player returning will not, sadly, see us top the league

  6. Incidentally i would love Calmac in advanced position- he’s so composed in and around the box.

  7. Let’s not be kidded into a plan coming to fruition here,Soro and Turnbull got a game through accident, rather than design,flogging the same horses,week in week out,has got us to where we are.

  8. M80 @ 12.17



    CMcG is a squad player at best.


    Not as creative as TR but with similar levels of defensive abilities.



    We need to aim for a much better MF.



    IS might be good enough.


    DT has the quality to get there.


    RC has been good enough in the past for all his rough edges.



    SB has not been good enough for 3 years at least.


    NB has never been good enough to start and now struggling to make the squad.

  9. Pingback: Forrest, Christie and Turnbull | Celtic FC News Now

  10. Melbourne Mick on




    Just answered you on the previous blog.



    MARTIM 1980


    Fancy being a striker for our club lol.


    H.H. Mick

  11. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on

    Calmac is absolutely the engine room of this Celtic team. He is not perfect, but he is perfectly good and has been my MoTM on numerous occasions. One of the first names on my teamsheet!







  12. MELBOURNE MICK on 8TH JANUARY 2021 12:37 PM



    🤣😂🤣 I wish! You make your own luck as they say, especially strikers imho

  13. Melbourne Mick on




    Think at the end of the season Calmac will win JOBO’s


    top 3.


    What ? JOBO’s done a runner?




    H.H. Mick

  14. glendalystonsils on

    Will our new CB go straight into the team on Monday?



    I know he hasn’t been unveiled yet, but we do have one signed don’t we ?



    This is , after all , a must win game , as are all league games from here on in isn’t it ?

  15. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    If we had a manager of the required level he would have seen all this for himself and taken the necessary steps to remedy it.



    Instead we have mediocrity and failure, not so much tolerated by Desmond and Lawwell as celebrated.

  16. MARTIM1980 on 8TH JANUARY 2021 12:27 PM


    Calmac is a top player.






    I have to agree with you. I hope he stays at Celtic. I agree with MadMitch about his defending but disagree about the ‘squad player’ evaluation. Calum is a terrific player going forward. He should be used to his strengths. I think some confusion has arisen from the time Broonie was out through injury and Calum played really well in a withdrawn role. He said that he could see more of the pitch in front of him and he had more options to pass to but he was playing in an offensive role. He has never been a great tackler.

  17. Paul67,



    The return of an old, flogged horse (nearing his 30th birthday) at right wing is to be welcomed (maybe not in Sydney) but also symptomatic of the wider malaise that we couldn’t compensate for his loss to the team and the over-reliance of those who have gone to the well many times and who our only rivals have sussed out a long time ago.



    The diamond should now sort out both better defensive solidity and allow us to put more creatives in the attacking midfielder role. Ironic that we have stumbled upon this at at time when we need to accomodate a winger coming back.



    No coherence to our thinking from what I see.



    A new manager would help would that though…..




  18. squire danaher on

    I can’t believe the criticism of McGregor, but pleased to see him being defended.



    How many games has he played for club and country in the past 4.5 seasons??



    He’s not been at the same high level this season and I’m sure he’d admit as much. But he’s the first name on my teamsheet every week.

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

    I see from CQN reports that we are “eyeing” a £7.2M-rated, 12-game-old ‘French teen ace’.



    I also see that we did NOT – despite rumours of sustained, long-term interest – put in any bid for £4M-rated Mark McKenzie (apparently a Rolls-Royce center-back / the next VVD).



    One feels that one’s leg is being pulled on a fairly consistent basis.






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

    IF McGregor hasn’t been at his best, it might be because he is being asked to cover about four positions during a game – left back, left mid, attacking midfield, occasionally any A.N. Other position.



    The laddie is being flogged to death covering up holes in the team due to rank-rotten organisation and structure.






  21. SB @ 12.40



    MotM — in a team that is playing poorly and is 19 points behind the TFOD2 — aye right.



    He has phoned it in all season.

  22. We definitely need a CB in recruitment but I don’t think Benkovic is the best we can get.



    One of the reasons I touted on behalf of signing the expensive Ivan Toney was because of his career path.



    Like Antony Stokes (Arsenal) before him he had ben picked up by a big club (Newcastle) as a promising youngster. It did not work out for him and he went back down the leagues, willing to go on loan for game time, and developed as a better footballer through playing and persevereance, before making it big again. I am not saying he is as good as Moussa or even Eddy but he will play for a top club one day soon, whether as starter or back up.



    Similarly, Filip Benkovic and Paddy Roberts made it to a big club early in their careers and the big clubs paid big money for both of them. But, the similarities end there.Paddy flourished , for one season at least in playing with Celtic over 3 years ago. For the past 3 years ago, he has bombed at


    Girona, Norwich and Boro. What indicators are there that his early promise is more substantial than that of Islam Feruz who managed 20 appearnces in total over 5 different clubs betwen 2014 and 2017 before leaving the game to sell hats.



    Benkovic is only 23 and that is still young for a CB to develop but the £13m that Leicester paid for him 2 and a half years ago, looks like EPL mad buying now. He has managed 2 cup appearances with Leicester, 27 with Celtic, 10 with Bristol City and only one at unimpressive Cardiff.



    He looked merely competent with Celtic, narely competent with Bristol City and fairly hapless at Cardiff. There is a chance that he might recuperate his career but that depends on unknowns like his injury prognosis. We have tried before with CBs like Moyoukolo whom we bought and Caulker, whom we avoided, to rehabilitate CBs with major injuries and it never ends well. I don’t know if Benkovic’s injuries were as bad but his form does not suggest he is currently the prospect he once was.



    Celtic cannot aford a gambling punt here unless we know something that Bristol City and Cardiff did not.



    I would be happier to see reruitment of the Preston CB, and another injury free CB this window, than exercise nostalgia in going for Benkovic or Pat Roberts.



    I don’t rate Ryan Porteus too highly as a CB ( I lke his views on supporting his sister;s sporting careeer) but he is more likely to be an effective stop gap than Benkovic. Better yet, ask Laxalt if he knows of any promising Uruguyuan defenders who would not get red carded 3 times in every SPFL match.



    The scouting world is a bigger place than just looking at guys we once knew when they played for us.

  23. squire danaher on







    Our “eyeing” is reminiscent of creepy wee guys hingin roon a dance floor lookin at burdz they’ve no chance of pullin and telling themselves the burdz are of lesser repute.




    Like before in tbr last third is where I see him a a major, majore asset- silky footballer

  25. Melbourne Mick, I hope you are enjoying the in the heat. A friend of mine who lives in Melbourne posted a picture of himself in the pub with two really cold looking pints of Guinness .



    Re your post on the last thread about Willie Garner. His first two games were in our league cup section , losing 3 1 and 2 nil to St Mirren and St Johnstone respectively . Against St Johnstone at Muirton , Tom McAdam was played at Left Back to accommodate Willie at centre half.



    From memory that was the only two first team games he played for us. He is due some credit though , he was part of our team who won the National 5 asides tournament at Wembley Arena. John Motson kept on calling him Billy Garner. We were the only Scottish team to ever win it. We beat a very strong Southampton team 1 nil in the final.

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