Kilmarnock remarkable defence and form


And from nowhere, our return to Celtic Park is to play the league leaders: Kilmarnock.  Steve Clarke has a quiet demeanour but however he projects his ideas on the training field, he is vastly more effective than (arguably) any other manager in the country.  Our record against Kilmarnock under Clarke is two draws and two defeats.  For a club that spent half a century getting roundly spanked at Celtic Park, that is a remarkable stat.

Four wins in four games, all with clean sheets, means Killie will be confident of limiting Celtic to few genuine chances, especially when they review video from Wednesday’s game at Fir Park.  It is, therefore, more important that we move the ball quickly and our passing game as as crisp as possible.  This means a midfield with Christie, McGregor and Rogic.

Odsonne Eduard will lead the line on Thursday against Salzburg, but I am split on whether he or Leigh Griffiths will be best up front tomorrow.  I would be tempted to play Leigh but suspect the manager will go with Odsonne.

We held a halftime lead at Rugby Park earlier in the season before losing in the final seconds of the game.  Dropping three points from a winning position is always a sore one, the players will hopefully revisit that feeling tomorrow.

Celtic FC Foundation Christmas Appeal Bucket Collection

The Foundation undertakes work from Haiti to North Glasgow, but the Christmas Appeal concentrates on those in the UK and Ireland who need help at this time in particular.  The many homeless who need cover and will benefit from a warm meal.  The families with children without enough money to put food on the table and heat their home.

Those of us who live ‘normal’ economic lives will find extreme poverty is impossible to fully comprehend.  Because of the Foundation, some homeless will be warmer, some children will receive gifts and feel like a normal child for once.

As you enter Celtic Park tomorrow you will see people shaking a bucket to collect for the Foundation.  Bring some money along.  The magnificent work of the Foundation is yours, done in your name, fulfilling the cause of your club.

Be a part of it and tell your pals to do the same.  Thank you.

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    Play our strongest team, maximise our chances of winning.



    They are fit pros and well able for 1.5 hours (or less if subbed) twice a week for one month.



    Winning the league is our priority ergo these are our most important fixtures.



    Points won in December are as important as those in May. Lets not assume there’ll be a lot of time to put our poor away form right in time to make sure we win the league.



    There is no Champions League qualifiers without winning the domestic title.



    Do the job then give players a rest.



    These boys are chomping at the bit to play – resting them is just to make sure they dont get injured for future games. Maybe we should tell them not to get out of bed between games?!



    Pick our best available 11 on any given day and worry about future games when they are the next fixture in the diary.



    Lets not lose the momentum we built up over the few games pre-Fir Park.




  2. ——————-Bain—————



    Lustig Jozo Bencko Tierney



    ——McGregor Christie——



    Forrest Rogic Edouard




  3. Griffiths and Edouard owe us some big performances.



    Christie carrying the can too much at moment.



    Only way Edouard and Griffiths will find form, is to play through their bad form.



    Play both….. Eddy coming in from wide left… That will help solve that problem position as well.

  4. Hopefully we tell Sevco where to stick the tickets.


    The safety of our supporters in of paramount importance.

  5. I personally think refusing the 800 tickets is the wrong move.



    1) The 800 people wanting the tickets are entitled to make up their own mind. Make their own choice.



    2) The noise that has been created on the issue, would surely heighten awareness, and thus sharpen the focus on security for the Celtic fans.



    I would re-think your next move Pedro

  6. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    I am a fan of squad rotation but think rotation should be limited to 2 players maximum, I also think this should be done on a regular basis rather than only when a fixture looks like it should be won.


    Player injury will count for more rotation as the season progresses and the squad are depleted by the continual and increasing assaults on our players permitted by crooked match officials implementing their administrations agenda.


    Our strongest team is not known however a strongest team is usually the team that drop least points even compared to a team that provides the most entertainment, creates loads of chances but still drops points.


    So for example if bringing Brown into the team he replaces McGregor which then would require another change to compliment the formation most suited to Browns inclusion such as N’cham for Rogic.

  7. If we cast our minds back to this time last year, we were absolutely struggling. The month ended with terrible scoreless draw at home against Sevco. We were desperate to get to the winter break and give the players a much needed rest. I think our schedule might be even heavier this season in terms of games played and still to play before the break. I’m happy to leave it to Brendan to manage the team but, in general, I do agree with those who are advocating restricting changes to a minimum. However, Brendan managed to pull us through last season and I’m fully confident he’ll do so again.

  8. Is Scott Brown part of our best 11 now ? Has CelticbyNumbers had a look ? Do we have the patience to allow players to play themselves back in ? Ajer and Bitton back yet ? What happened to Mulumbu ?



    Interesting week coming up. Can we survive a Killie defeat and still win the league ? – Yep. Can we survive a Salzburg defeat and still proceed in the Europa ? – Nope.



    There you go. Rotate like a good un and put all egs into Thursday’s basket….



    More questions than answers csc

  9. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I agree but from a different perspective, refusing tickets lets the hun’s off with a massive polis bill. And if anyone wants to got to Ibrox knowing the risk they are taking and the contribution they are making to the coffers of the hun, then they should be allowed to depend on the polis to protect them from harm and be ready to protect themselves from the polis. They should take a brolly and a jar to collect all that money that will be donated by huns.

  10. Hello again all you young rebels.



    As regards squad rotation i think i’m on the same page as CANMAN


    why disrupt the whole playing system with players out of position?


    but then again what do we know of who’s fully fit, who’s confidence


    is rock bottom? who’s had a chippy and blackpudding supper the


    night before? or god forbid who’s been on the swally?


    Whit? did i actually say that?


    Who’d actually want to be a manager?


    So many questions, think i’ll go and have a bevvy.


    H.H Mick

  11. traditionalist88 on

    Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on 7th December 2018 12:05 pm



    Interesting comment about changes to complement the system when maybe its less clear in certain positions who the best players actually are. (I think central midfield is probably the only area we have this issue).



    I would say that there are certain players if match fit that have to start every league game (as long as the league is competitive). These include Rogic, Forrest and Edouard.



    Built the rest of the starting 11 around your best performers, don’t pick a starting 11 based on fear of who may or may not get injured and miss future games.



    3 away wins out of 8 proves we’re not good enough to get away with that. And the upcoming away games are going to be tougher than the ones we’ve already dropped points at, for the most part.




  12. Facing a team with a strong defensive unit and a well tested plan to stop us, with our misfiring strike force, is on paper a recipe for a draw or a defeat. My prediction is stacks of possession for us, endless time wasting by them, and in the end a 0-0 or 1-1.



    Ps. It should be Mcgregor before Brown without question.

  13. I understand giving Brown and Ntcham minutes, to improve their match readiness.



    However since gubbing Hearts twice, and the Leipzig game at home, we have all learned that McGregor and Christie represent our two best centre mids. Rogic, still represents our best No.10.



    If anyone is any doubt, Rodgers himself referred to Christie as a No.8… i.e a centre mid beside McGregor.



    Therefore, as I see it, Brown and Ntcham simply have to bide their time.



    When you start shunting McGregor all around the place, you do the lad a disservice. Keep him as our deep lying playmaker

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Playing style will be more significant than personnel in terms of winning the game.


    Kilmarnock will be very well organised, hard working and be difficult to break down.


    If we go with the slow build-up, sideways passing we will struggle to create chances.


    Get the ball forward quicker, stretch the pitch long and wide and use quick combination plays to break up their shape and create space.


    They offer a threat going forward too, so we will have to be switched on at the back.


    Don’t think we will lose, but not hugely confident of a win, unless we can up the tempo from recent games.

  15. simply braw…





    Saturday 7th December 1968







    I was 9 years old.







    My Dad Joseph worked in Singers of Clydebank and often worked a Saturday morning in the factory as overtime to provide that little additional income. He would finish at 12.00 and be back home about 12.50. My Mum Margaret would have soup and a sandwich ready and she normally then went into Glasgow for afternoon shopping with me sometimes tagging along. My price was an Airfix model and a bag of chips for the way home. Other times, I stayed with my Dad to watch Grandstand or World of Sport and listen to the radio to hear the Scottish football commentary.







    This Saturday he came home to find me wittering excitedly about Celtic’s game with St. Mirren that afternoon. I had not yet been to a Celtic game as he had introduced me to football via local juniors Glasgow Perthshire and Ashfield and then Partick Thistle.







    Spur of the moment decision. You know what come next!







    Quick lunch for him; quick getting ready for me; bus from Lambhill to town; bus to Gallowgate.







    It was a typical dull, dark December day at a time when Glasgow was dull and dark with soot stained buildings everywhere. I remember nothing exceptional about the journey except that he told me that I may hear things sung that he would not want me to repeat. To this day, I have never engaged in songs about some topics which have been aired at Celtic Park and I never will.







    He guided me as we approached the Jungle/”Celtic End” turnstiles and the throngs of people until I got a lift over. The official crowd was 47,000 but the real attendance was 47,001.







    We went to the corner of the “Celtic End” just under front of the cover which went about 2/3rds of the way down the terracing. (I now sit in section 443 which is pretty much above that stance)







    We only got there a few minutes before kick-off so the atmosphere had already built up. I gazed around the crowds, just overwhelmed by them and listened to the singing and chanting every time it broke out.







    As the teams came out, I finally saw John Fallon, Jim Craig, Tommy Gemmell, Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill, Jim Brogan, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Lennox, Steve Chalmers, Tommy Callaghan and John Hughes. My favourite Willie Wallace came on later for Yogi which just completed my perfect day.







    The Celtic team was rampant. Constant attacking; constant shots at goal. The man of the match was Dennis Connaghan, the St. Mirren goalkeeper. He kept the score down to 5 (Chalmers 2, Johnstone, Hughes and Gemmell)







    To a small boy, it looked easy. (How I thought back to that day in the nineties).







    That was it for me – confirmation that I would be hooked for life (as if anything other could have been pre-ordained).







    I went home very happy and wanted Monday morning to come so that I could finally let my pals know that I had been to a Celtic match.







    So, a great memory of 50 years ago today and I will re-live the experience tomorrow as I walk the last part of the journey to Celtic Park for the game with high-flying Kilmarnock.



    DAVID66 on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 7:32 AM














    HJ great post and one that we can all relate to.







    Hail Hail







    D. :)












    A very happy birthday to you.







    p.s. – love the words to that song. Emmylou and Mark Knopfler are just brilliant at it.




    smiley smiley thing ..GG …Friesdorfer (Dundee branch) thankyou…

  16. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I don’t agree that midfield is an issue area, I’d suggest its the area with the greatest number of variables, I don’t think formation and player combinations have been assessed, we appear to be limited in the formations we use. BR keeps reminding us, the players use and train at a system and they are all familiar with that now so he’s surprised when the players fail to follow the system.


    Players all have different strengths and weaknesses, blending with with team mates is a variable where some are on the same wavelength while others have a different outlook completely, groups of players who gel together but not with different groups. therefore taking one from a group and putting them into t’other group makes them look lost compared to the cohesion displayed by the group. Marrying these groups is the managers biggest problem, having a few players intelligent enough to fit into any group and keeping them fit is the biggest challenge.

  17. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    So this is where you are.



    From last thread.



    Celtic should refuse to handle tickets for Ibrox.





    Many on here have argued, rightly, that the club have a duty of care for our support.







    No one can seriously argue that the situation at Ibrox on the 29th will be anything other than a very dangerous one.





    Should any Celtic fan wish to attend, then they should secure their own ticket, possibly via the Ibrox club, if Celtic refuse to accept them.

  18. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Brown played like a sweeper the other night, if that’s what’s expected then we should go three at the back and push KT up the left.

  19. The turnaround in our form this season did not come about because of squad rotation or because of any brilliant managerial input. Christie and CalMac were gifted a rare opportunity to take over the midfield at a time when Brown was playing when not fit, Ntcham was sulking and Rogic was struggling to find any form after the World Cup. We all know we were on the verge of implosion during August/September – on and off the field. We had no sparkle, no cutting edge and the managers and players looked like they were just going through the motions (other than the one game against the huns).


    The return to form of Boyata settled the defence and Christie, Calmac and Rogic got us back to fast-flowing football instead of the tippy tapy, side-to-side stuff that had become the norm.


    Reintroduce Scott and shuffle the team on Wed to accommodate him and it was back to the summer of discontent. No room to be sentimental, Scott Brown is no longer part of our best team for the SPFL unless it is as a sub when things need to be tightened up.

  20. Paul67



    One game at a time.



    Team sheet latest……………………James Forrest



    Parking the away bus at Celtic Park consistently fails, over the piece.



    Sevco caused the away ticket fiasco under the pretence of ticket demand from their own support, whilst we all know they were revolted by seeing 9,000 celebrating Celtic supporters.,in their stadium ,we don’t even know yet if they have managed to fill the Celtic end?



    Have the security measures been met to our satisfaction , this became critical after the game at Celtic Park when massive ticket allocation changes could have ended in a human disaster.



    The Celtic status and lack of communication on this issue is as weak, as the apparent weakness that helped allow the fixture against a new club, to have equivalence to the original Rainjurz.



    The ticket allocation should have been declined when Sevco announced their intentions for their home fixture, with the caveat that any future further 800 tickets allocations would be declined also. We would hopefully then have the added bonus of never seeing Sevconians other than referees and linesman inside Paradise, on match days.



    As ever.

  21. traditionalist88 on

    Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on 7th December 2018 12:46 pm



    Its all well and good. But to bring it back to the point – there are certain players who if match fit must be in the starting 11.



    The players in question I am referring to are at the peak of their fitness and chomping at the bit to play.



    We cannot pick our team based on fear of someone getting injured. These guys don’t need a rest, they are flying and enjoying their football.



    Pick them and don’t let fear take hold.



    They all get an extended break in only 3 weeks.



    Lets get the hard work done with our best players in the side.




  22. Deniabhoy



    Spot on with that.



    My concern at moment, is we can only go to the well so often, re : Christie and Forrest. Invariably their scintillating form will subside.



    We need Edouard, Rogic to step up, and contribute equally.



    Also in the balance of fairness, we need a proper threat operating from wide left.

  23. We know there will be trouble if we take tickets for Poundland, and we know who will get the blame,take the tickets and hand them back at kick off,leave it empty.

  24. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    and when out of form ? And when does a played become out of form, and how are they then deemed to be back in form Sinky for example ?


    Are you saying Brown is no longer a first 11 player ?



    While #I agree we should keep winning team together to ensure momentum we should also be rotating the squad, changing one or two players should not make much difference when the team are on form.

  25. At the end of last season I asked on here if anyone knew why Lawrence Shankland was not being snapped up by an SPFL team – he scored 42 times last season. His form has continued this season, 16 goals so far. At 23 years of age he is entering what should be his prime years – and the talk is of Ayr not being able to turn down offers of 400-500,000.


    I don’t see any downside to signing him at that price. His confidence must be sky high and if it didn’t work out the financial hit would be minimal. We need a penalty box predator and, while Griff remains out of sorts, this would hardly be a gamble.


    He might be a player who is ready to take his chance for a bigger club, would be a shame if it happens to be for the huns.

  26. Shankland is most definitely worth a punt.



    We need that 3rd option. In terms of numbers if nothing else

  27. Alasdair MacLean on




    Look at the last (?) half million punt… young Scottish player …… Ryan Christie.



    Also, you won’t hear any complaints from this Ross County supporter.

  28. mike in toronto on




    Cant remember the source, but I do seem to recall several posters suggesting that Shankland has let it be known that was not Celtic minded, and would not want to play for us. Still doens’t explain why he hasn’t got a move to another club.



    The turnaround was at St Johnstone when we thumped them 6-0.


    A team we scraped by 1-0 in the cup two weeks before


    Ntcham played the entire 90 minutes so was not sulking.


    Edouard and Griffiths both played.


    McGregor and Ntcham played as the two deep sitting midfielders.


    It gave us better balance and allowed players ahead to take risks without the fear of us being burnt on turnovers.


    JF was instrumental in this scoring 4 goals coming inside on diagonal runs into space created by Griffiths and Ed’s movement.Something he has not done since international break.


    Wednesdays poor performance was not just down to Brown or Ntcham playing but more as a result of a poorly applied playing system and formation.



  30. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    Lawrence Shankland …….see Peter Duffield in the 90s.



    Banging them in for Airdrie (RIP) then disappeared

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