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. CMcG is a good player who is improving but he is not good enough to be an automatic starter in our MF.



    That is if we aspire to any level of Eu success.


    When he plays there is a huge defensive hole in the team given his responsibilities.


    Also has a tendency to disappear in tough games.



    He is limited player who has developed his career to the max.


    Consequently he has a value to the club but he should not be a starter.


    His form and effort has been shocking this season.



    If BR wats him — surely a joke — he is welcome to him.



    All the noise in support shows how far our standards have dropped.

  2. In Germany I think they talk about 6’s 8’s and 10’s positionally.



    Calmac in my opinion, is hampered by the fact he is very good in all three positions, though I take some peoples points that his defending, especially in Milan has been poor at times. However, he can play deep midfield and start moves, he can play further up in the heart of everything and he is also a goal threat at no10.



    His touch, passing and football brain is second to none. Quicker than we might think as well.



    Excellent player and tremendous pro as his consistency and number of games suggest.







    Crowd? What crowd?!












    Sorry just seen this eeehhmmm the virtuam crowd? Carboard cutouts ? Ambulance people? 🤣😂

  4. Madmitch,



    I really cant understand the comments about McGregors effort.



    He is perpetual motion, every game !!




  5. Sorry MM but i don’t think I have ever disagreed about a player as much than I do about Calmac.



    Superb footballer. My favourite part of his play is the effort he makes when passing to his teamates. Watch closely- their touch looks better from quality of his pass. Class.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    McGregor is our best midfielder by some distance and one of the three genuine high quality players we have left (with Ajer and Edouard) following the departures of Dembele, Tierney and Gordon.


    His game has certainly levelled off (at best) under a manager who didn’t give him a single game in his first spell, but we would be even worse off without him.


    As for the old “he can’t defend” – look at how quickly he gets behind the ball after an attack breaks down. Look at how he closes off the passing lanes.


    With a good coach (and he will probably need to leave to get that) he would get to a really high level, getting the best of him in a 4-3-3.

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Complex stuff this squad management lark.



    James Forrest hasn’t been at his best for a while but he is a useful player to have and (IMHO) we have missed him.



    Hope he can get properly match fit soon.



    Lots of games in January and February.

  8. Squire , I meant to add , three games Willie played , three defeats. The four remaining games of that league cup section , we were unstoppable. 17 goals scored 4 conceded. Hibs were the other team in that group.

  9. Just what should be CMcG starting position — apart from sitting on the bench?



    IS has produced more forward passes than him this season.



    TR is a better playmaker.


    DT has the potential to be a better No.10.


    RC is more dynamic and better tackler / defensive cover.



    CMcG scores one in 4 and hides for the other 3.



    He is not box to box because he is a calamity waiting to happen oion our box — he either takes out out one of his own team or he gives away a penalty.



    He has been very poor this season — both form and effort — and he is one of the Scotland Squad group who have fallen out big style with NL.



    At his best he is an attacking MF’er sitting on the left — he has surprising pace and he has shown in the past that he can shoot with the best of them.



    However you need to set up the MF to make the best use of his talent and that talent is too limited to set up the rest of the team to support him.



    Consequently too me he is a good squad player but not a starter.



    Currently we need another hard tackling MF in the squad.


    IS cannot do it all on his own.

  10. squire danaher on







    We actually thought he’d be an upgrade.



    I recall being at Easter Road that day and Garner laughing like a drain in front of the away end after missing a sitter for an equaliser near the end. He nearly caused a riot.

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






    Aye – where the poor lassie was classed as a ‘tart’ – or worse – only because she knocked you back but danced with someone else :-((



    Saying that – that never happened to me, of course…honest








    And while I have you – I love the Quiet Man – have visited loads of the locations and even found the real White O’ Morn cottage (not the fake tourist one at Peacocke’s Cross). Sadly the real one is now little more than a pile of rubble, but a great nostalgic visit nevertheless!!!

  12. SFTB,



    McKenzie went to Genk for $6m or about £4.4m……



    I think we went for £2m for Duffy being better value (or cheaper…)




  13. Wednesday 25 November 1981 1900 KO Daily Express Five-a-Side Challenge Cup Round 1



    NEUTRAL – WEMBLEY ARENA WATFORD ENGLAND W 3 0 Ref – C Downey, C White or B Newsome Scorers – Nicholas, Crainie, McStay Tickets – South Upper Tier £2.50, East Terrace £4.50 Tournament Programme issued – 40p



    Wednesday 25 November 1981 2031 approx KO Daily Express Five-a-Side Challenge Cup Round 2



    NEUTRAL – WEMBLEY ARENA MANCHESTER UNITED ENGLAND W 2 0 Ref – C Downey, C White or B Newsome Scorer – Crainie 2 Tickets – South Upper Tier £2.50, East Terrace £4.50 Tournament Programme issued – 40p



    Wednesday 25 November 1981 2114 KO Daily Express Five-a-Side Challenge Cup SEMI



    NEUTRAL – WEMBLEY ARENA IPSWICH TOWN ENGLAND W 3 1 Ref – C Downey, C White or B Newsome Scorers – Nicholas 2, Crainie Tickets – South Upper Tier £2.50, East Terrace £4.50 Tournament Programme issued – 40p



    Wednesday 25 November 1981 2155 Daily Express Five-a-Side Challenge Cup FINAL



    NEUTRAL – WEMBLEY ARENA SOUTHAMPTON ENGLAND W 1 0 Ref – C Downey, C White or B Newsome Scorer – Nicholas



    Celtic became first and only Scottish club to win this competition. Squad :- Latchford, W McStay, Garner, Nicholas, Crainie, Weir, Coach :- Jim Lumsden Tickets – South Upper Tier £2.50, East Terrace £4.50 Tournament Programme issued – 40p

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





    I think McKenzie went for a good deal more than £4m




    Cheers SFTB. ESPN quoting $6M plus add-ons but I expect you are probably right – complex financing means it is not easy to work out what money actually changes hands.



    State of our defence – particularly lack of a settled central, solid, injury-resistant pairing – has been a real problem for years now.






  15. Paul67



    Jeremie Frimpong has two assists all season in the Premier League, if he’s seen as cover for James Forrest no wonder, we’re so far behind. Let’s not talk about the Europa.



    We’ve haven’t solved any problems in scoring or sieve.



    C’est la vie 2020 / 21 CSC

  16. Reading chairbhoy very good post regarding bekovitch…. Would it not be better going for the captain of Cardiff who is obviously a far better player.. Turning 30 today I believe

  17. squire danaher on




    Good man yourself ha ha



    Herself is always threatenin a Donnybrook in this house tonight when I start on TQM ha



    To be fair, she sat and watched it wi me on Christmas Eve ha ha



    Gerry McNee wrote a good book on the movie and its development called In Search of The Quiet Man. It’s still available on eBay and recommended if you like the movie.

  18. SQ



    I visited Cong (the Quiet man setting) in 2005 when my brother in law was getting married at nearby Ashford Castle.



    Nearing the height of the Celtic Tiger boom, that weekend cost me an arm and a leg but the biggest mistake was sleeping through breakfast.



    2 club sandwiches and a pot of tea set me back €45!



    PS drove hire car from Knock to Galway on the N17 but couldn’t think of any relevant song to sing😉

  19. spikeysauldman on

    calmacs defensive problem is that he gets back in the first place


    Have yet to see him do anything worthwhile when hes back, more often than not getting in the way, turning his back on shots, mistimed tackles – shocking defensively


    Still a good player tho

  20. Earlier in the boardroom …



    Somebody. Said



    “We are quite desperate for an experienced center half a good solid pro preferably not a project. ”



    A board member. Replies.



    “Another one ok we should be able to manage something soon. I am hoping to try and move one or 2 out. … Would. Henry being recalled. Or Mr Filip Benković cut the mustard. Could we sell that ”



    Somebody said .. in response. “To be honest. Is better than nothing ”



    A board member replied


    “Ok I doubt there anything much more we can do I will get out media pals to start selling it ”



    “Ok but. Can we get whatever we are doing done over next few days. Our need is urgent”



    Replies the Celtic employee




    “Leave it with me I will get what I can done ”


    Have this board ever let you down? “

  21. prestonpans bhoys on

    MARTIM1980 on 8TH JANUARY 2021 12:06 PM


    Now to read the article after 2 in a row…



    If you make it three in a row you get a special award🎁

  22. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Laxalt can at least tackle and is seldom knocked over! It used to be said a good big one beats a good wee one… even more relevant now.


    I am of the opinion that we will stick with what we’ve got till not mathematically possible to win the league and then pay off NFL.

  23. glendalystonsils on




    We’ve haven’t solved any problems in scoring or sieve.



    One of the reasons I’m in the ‘play Callum further forward’ club .



    Because he has duracell batteries, he’s being used to plug the dyke but we are missing a trick by using him in this way .

  24. glendalystonsils on

    Jeremie has had 2 assists and 2,000 opportunities to assist . Lift your head up before you put the ball in , Jeremie.

  25. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Latest Huddle podcast is a good listen with Celtic by numbers of this parish and Juco James. Quite damning of player decision making and NL’s approach in 2nd half, not just before the red card.



    Is anyone doing similar analysis of our performances at the club and are the coaching staff listening with DD/PL taking note?



    Surely if fan media can highlight this all season then our professional football club has resources who can do same and address it.



    I know the answer… so frustrating to watch 10iar slip away due to poor coaching/tactical management and lack of responsibility from PL/DD to address the root cause.



  26. We need a big target man striker like hartson or sutton..


    Haven’t had one since big Jan..


    Eddie and Griff would have a field day..


    Cal mac. First on my team sheet but playing further forward..


    Wasted at def mid…


    HH. ☘

  27. CONEYBHOY on 8TH JANUARY 2021 1:52 PM





    PS drove hire car from Knock to Galway on the N17 but couldn’t think of any relevant song to sing😉






    Galway Bay?

  28. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    MADMITCH on 8TH JANUARY 2021 12:14 PM



    No news on new players or coaches …



    With only silence from P67 — following instructions from PL?






    I’m hearing that PL has a hot line direct to P67’s office for whenever he wants to manipulate the Celtic support. Yeah, PL actually believes he can address the Celtic supporters via CQN – the mans a fool I tell ye!

  29. Come into the comments section under an article about Forrest, Christie and Turnbull and discover it should really have been about Macgregors shortcomings.



    I’m glad footballers aren’t robots, the game would be boring if it wasn’t played by human beings with faults and failings, but if you were designing an extremely effective central midfielder who could play 60 games a season for Celtic year after year he’d look like Calmac



    Easy to forget that he’s only 27, and still isnt at his peak. Scott Briwn won the Spl Poty at 33, what’s the betting calmac won’t do it a couple of times before then



    Reasons to be cheerful: in all probability we’ll start next season with these midfielders in the squad



    Macgregor: presently 27


    Forrest: 29 (not 30)


    Turnbull: 21


    Soro: 22


    Johnston: 21


    Frimpong: 20


    Henderson 20



    More experienced, better paid and poorer performing midfielders will go and be replaced.

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