Hamstrung Celtic have to be pioneers


The closing 8 minutes against St Johnstone, after Nir Bitton put Celtic 1-3 ahead, allowed you and me, the manager and the players, to close out a game in a relaxed mood for the first time since the win over Dundee United seven games ago.

The intensity of Celtic’s games in recent months has seen wins over the Tayside trio of St Johnstone, Dundee United and Dundee provide the only relaxed closing moments in 14 games, 11 of which went into the final moment with points or a trophy on the line.  Only twice in that run, at Leverkusen and Paisley, were Celtic denied a win, testament to their ability to get the job done when the chips are down.

There is more to our contagion of hamstring injuries than sheer workload, but we have to consider this factor in assessing why so many players are out with the same injury at the same time.

Hamstring injuries are a curse.  I tore mine (right leg) well over a decade ago, it remains weaker than my left and probably always will be.  The new Hibernian manager, Shaun Maloney, was robbed of unknown triumphs by the failure of his hamstring to fully heal.  It is an injury that lies dormant, then cuts you down as though a sniper was on hand.

The first reaction to a hamstring injury is to check the warm-up.  Muscles need to be carefully stretched before being asked to deliver explosive power.  When an injury happens in the early stages of a game, or of the second half, as Kyogo’s did on Sunday, the warm-up is an obvious place to look, but I honestly doubt this is the case here.  Celtic will be pouring over this issue, every detail will be examined, especially for Kyogo on Sunday.

What you cannot do midseason is set down a base layer of fitness.  Players have to conserve energy in their legs, they do not have time to redevelop their muscle patterns, that is work that is done preseason, although a three week winter break permits a very short window of remedial work.

Preseason 2021-22 was not ideal at Lennoxtown.  The players ended the previous season with no manager in place to lay down his requirements for preseason.  When Ange Postecoglou was eventually appointed, he had to wait weeks before getting to work with the players, not to mention those he was working on signing.

None of this is easy to get right.  Most Celtic players play international football, they usually get to two domestic cup finals, and the club play more European football than any other (it’s true, check it).  All this, while competing until the final kick of the ball.  Celtic are at the bleeding edge of fitness requirements for football players, the parts that bleed first are hamstrings.

It is up to the sports scientists to pioneer and find a fix for this, but the tools they work with leave them little scope until June next year.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4

  1. SFTB,



    That is the exact question I asked @ 07.54pm .



    I can only guesstimate, the qualified people with relevant ologies can give a professional answer.




  2. Bourne, I like your posts. In fact I read all posts and appreciate all the opinions. The wee add on where you said we were mediocore in midfield and that was even when David Turnbull was fit is one where I disagree. Hell be a player that becomes better the longer hes out in my very humble opinion. I hope everyone here has had a happy and peaceful Christmas. (Im in the David Turnbull fanclub)🍀

  3. Magical place this sometimes when you get to speak or email another CQNer. Had a great chat with ZBYSZEk during the first wave and just had a nice email to and fro with INIQUITOUSIV.



    It’s a big bad world out there made smaller and more pleasant for this dear green place.



    Long may it last.



    HH all.

  4. STEPHENOFDERBY @ ages ago



    David Turnbull is a lovely Celtic player, and we’re lucky big daftie Peter Lawwell pursued him with his pen, even a year after young David’s old injury surfaced .



    Same old Celtic, always signing, there was no inference, when I said our midfield needs variation and strengthened, the grapevine suggests a full term hammy as opposed to the Celtic hammy.



    Soro ? Henderson ? Bitton ? McCarthy etc etc now we need stars not filled jerseys



    Hail Hail

  5. This ” Hammy” thing annoys the hell outta me…..?



    WHY is that ” For YEARS as a young Fit man, I played at least TWO ORGANISED Games a week, Trained maybe TWICE a week, played for around 4 HOURS in a Kickabout on a Sunday involving maybe 16 a side…OH.. and also WORKING for 40 HOURS a Week including walking for miles and climbing THOUSANDS of Stairs in Closes, to do my JOB, In ALL kinds of WEATHER …… and I STILL cant remember EVER getting a ” Hammy” ?


    Maybe we AULD Yins were made from sterner stuff….it must have been the sliced banana and plenty of sugar in my cornflakes ?



  6. Or…maybe it was the REGULAR FRY UPS ?


    When was the last time one of these so called modern Celtic Fitba players had a right good FRY UP ?






  7. Good morning all.



    Going back to the original post, the bit that worries me most is that once you have torn a hamstring, the recovery from it is not guaranteed. Repeat injuries become more likely. The toll on the player who has suffered hamstring injuries is not just physical, it is mental too. Less willing to go at 100% just in case . . . and when it does go again the doubts will grow stronger.


    Whether it is due to over training, too much football, not enough rest, poor flexibility, DNA or whatever, it is a problem that is hurting the team badly this season.

  8. This is good if you want to delve a bit deeper on hamstring injury.







    “Several authors have identified that the best predictor for a hamstring injury is a prior hamstring injury. There are other risk factors involved in predicting vulnerability to hamstring injury, but none have proven more consistent than prior injury. This is not to say that if one suffers a hamstring injury they will definitively suffer another. However, the probability of re‐injuring the same hamstring in the future becomes considerably higher.”

  9. I read somewhere that players with explosive pace were


    more prone to hamstring problems which would maybe


    explain the problems James Forrest has had with his





    But David Turnbull definitely does not have explosive pace


    so as someone pointed out there is no real pattern to


    who has hamstring problems



    I remember Scott Brown pointed out that Gordon Strachan


    had recommended to James Forrest to eat more bananas


    as part of his diet so maybe BIG JIMMY s right on that one

  10. Good morning all from a Groundhog day in the Garngad



    Big Jimmy we are all well, hope you are to.



    D :)

  11. Evening bhoys


    4 weeks till next game


    Hope everyone is safe


    Hopefully Ange is demanding spare Cash is put into Team. Ange is suffering due priority of cash in bank and CEO bonus put before team



    Question , usually accounts had breakdown of executive salaries and bonus’s


    But 2021 accounts didn’t have this



    Any news on CEO bonus for season


    20/21. Just want to make sure that main person


    Responsible for shambles last year has not been rewarded

  12. DAVID66 on 29TH DECEMBER 2021 8:50 AM


    Good morning all from a Groundhog day in the Garngad







    Big Jimmy we are all well, hope you are to.







    D :)




    I am okay for now Davie Bhoy….and I can safely say that I do NOT have any Hamstring Issues at this time as I have CUT OUT any thoughts of DISCO DANCING for now !


    Let me know when you are ready for a Bevvy ?


    Stay safe,


    HH Mate.

  13. As someone mentioned earlier, we don`t subject other teams to the samescrutiny as our own .


    I would guess that the same applies to player rotation.I have never heard supporters of other teams talking of players being tired but two considerations spring to mind :



    I don`t read Blogs of other teams;


    Only Sevco play as many games as we do.


    Do their fans talk of tired players?


    Maybe one of the interlopers could help :-))

  14. Big Jimmy


    Lke yourself, I never suffered from hamstring injury and I played football into my early fifties. I suspect the main difference is that the input of the modern , professional footballer far exceeds anything I ever did ( even when I was training for the many road races and marathons I competed in).


    Even then, I sometimes had to be careful with my training as I sensed that an injury might be close. Professional footballers don`t usually have that luxury.

  15. SYDNEYTIM on 29TH DECEMBER 2021 9:54 AM



    Question , usually accounts had breakdown of executive salaries and bonus’s


    But 2021 accounts didn’t have this





    Happy to help you out there, SYDNEYTIM.


    Straight from page 66 of the 2021 Annual Report. Under Directors’ Emoluments:


    T Allison £24,583


    I Bankier £78,667


    D Desmond £24,583


    P Lawwell £1,166,245


    C McKay £200,169


    B Wilson £24,583


    S Brown £30,400



    The Executive Long Term Performance Incentive Plan (ELTPIP) was introduced in 2016, by the PLC, basically to give P Lawwell a bonus on top of his usual bonus. It was not payable at it is dependent on participation in the group stages of the UCL.

  16. With the Greatest respect, Playing for the Hoops means Excellence in Every aspect.



    Our Bhoys on the Park are giving Everything. January will be very interesting.

  17. Big Jimmy


    100% correct ,I have porridge and banana every morning for breakfast and never had problems with my hamstrings.HH

  18. Perhaps Celtic require a musical director to and not a director of football to get our hamstring quintet playing sweet music again. Any word on our big Greek lump coming back from the land of the lame and lazy to start playing football again, long time no see.



    Just wondered if our Japanese superstar has to be running all over the place like a blue arsed fly during a match putting his suspect hamstrings …..there’s the dreaded word again………..under pressure.



    We notice all the media attention is on Ange while Van Bronchorst goes along nicely under the radar getting results.

  19. We need, now more than ever, an Awe Naw take on the hammie debacle.



    Come back Awe Naw



    Night night y’all




  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4