Kilmarnock remarkable defence and form

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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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326 Comments

  1. mike in toronto on

    SFTB

     

     

    was offline last night, but saw your reply this morning.

     

     

    My discussion with Kev yesterday, and an excellent article by SES on SentinelCelts this morning, got me thinking..

     

     

    I dont know if someone has already looked into this, but if not, I am thinking of writing something on antitrust exemptions as it applies to Scottish Football, and possible, what use the antitrust laws could be in cleaning up the mess.

     

     

    When I get ’round to it, I will let you know.

  2. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    I think it can be taken as read that Shankland, and any other bright light in Scottish football has beem well assessed and scrutinised.

  3. For me…

     

     

    The engine room, until either is unavailable needs to be Christie n McGregor.

     

     

    Forrest out right

     

    Rogic as No.10… if things aren’t happening for Rogic in the central role, bring Ntcham on in that position. He played as No.10 in Italy.

     

     

    Drop Sinclair, because he is generally ineffective. And has the heart the size of a pea.

     

    Play Eddy off the left, and Griff through the middle.

     

     

    Positive display, and lets go for it.

  4. traditionalist88 on

    Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on 7th December 2018 1:44 pm

     

     

    Trad88,

     

     

    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.

     

    =================

     

     

    Its a different scenario if the players mentioned are not producing the goods, as opposed to leaving them out for fear of injury. We can’t let fear rule.

     

     

    When they are fit they need to play. Forrest has been unstoppable at times this season.

     

     

    Brown like everyone needs to maintain his level and our best play this season has probably come when McGregor stepped into his role. Something to keep an eye on certainly.

     

     

    But I say be brave and pick our best available team for league games, don’t let the Motherwells, Livingstons, and Kilmarnocks off the hook. Its the same 3 points. Let the best players loose and when the jobs done get the subs on.

     

     

    Players prefer playing to training and these guys want to play. Pick our best team every week and we’ll cruise the league.

     

     

    HH

  5. Imo we have enough fringe players who don’t seem able to step up to the first team.

     

     

    I feel Shankland would just add to that number.

     

     

    We need quality, not just numbers. Our scouts must earn their wages and pull some rabbits from hats.

     

     

    HH to all.

  6. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    I hope the rumours are correct and we refuse the ticket allocation.

     

     

    UEFA has already drastically cut the allocation for fans of Europa League teams visiting that cesspit, citing safety fears following stabbings, pitch invasions, bottle-throwing etc etc etc.

     

     

    I thought King was on record in 2016 as saying that our getting the whole of the Broomloan Road stand was a condition of the Huns getting a safety certificate for the ground for games against us.

     

     

    All we need to do is point out that King has changed the rules of engagement – possibly illegally; that by King doing so the safety of our support cannot be guaranteed, and that until safety CAN be guaranteed we will be staying away.

     

     

    UEFA has already given them pariah status, to the predictable deafening silence from the SMSM. They are about to throw the book at them for a pitch invasion and bottle-throwing.

     

     

    Us returning the ticket allocation is a slam dunk IMO.

  7. Guys – our strikers are on strike. Neither Griff (the 2018 version) or Edouard look like goal scoring machines. A team that regularly has 70% plus of the ball should be creating a barrowload of chances for a Nicholas/Macca/McClair/Walker type striker to bag 30+ goals a season. Forrest and Christie are currently our most potent threats but where is our penalty box poacher?

     

    I get it that Shankland is no Henrik, but he has been banging goals in for fun for two years against teams that are equal to the likes of Dundee, Hamilton, Motherwell, St Johnstone etc so maybe we don’t need to spend 10 million to buy France’s next hot U-20 project . . . Maybe Shankland would do fine alongside Edouard when Griff is not present, physically or mentally.

  8. Apologies for suggesting a 500k Scottish player from the lower divisions could possibly be good enough to play for Celtic. God forbid that someone who scores 41 goals in 42 games and who plays every week gets a chance instead of a kid that has played half-a-dozen senior games and is doing well if he gets to sit on the bench at Maine Road or put out the cones in France . . .

     

    A I said in my initial post, I don’t see any downside. Just like with Lewis Morgan. If they don’t make the mark it won’t dent our budget plans. And if somehow in the next 3-5 weeks our Scouts happen to spot the next Dembele and get him signed up for January well that’s all the better too.

  9. glendalystonsils on

    DENIABHOY on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 4:21 PM

     

     

    Can’t argue with much of that. I think at one point in Wednesday’s match we had 93% of possession to Motherwell’s 7%……….staggering!

     

     

    Yet , the referee was able to manipulate the game to our disadvantage , because of our own failings in converting superiority into goals.

     

    Take the referees out of the equation , as Jock Stein used to say . We didn’t and paid for it.

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

    Hello this is WEE BGFC. ‘Remarkable’ is a weird word. By remarking on anything, you make it remarkable.

     

    ‘I woke up, this morning.’

     

    ‘Look, he woke up this morning.’

     

    ‘That’s remarkable.’

     

     

    HH

     

    WEE BGFC

  11. Take the referees out of the equation , as Jock Stein used to say………the worst thing he ever said imo.

     

    It’s 2018 and we are still saying this, bollix, what the board should be saying is we want a level playing field, a level playing field where the referees are accountable for their decisions, if they make a bad call they get demoted, take away their easy money, I’m sure it will help to concentrate their minds.

     

    Bring in assessors from outwith scotland, let the clubs employ the assessors, it will be money well spent at the end of the day.

     

    Why would the sfa be against something like this ?

  12. Deniabhoy

     

    ” Apologies for suggesting a 500k Scottish player from the lower divisions could possibly be good enough to play for Celtic. ”

     

     

    My view comes from having seen him play ( admittedly only a couple of times) but inin one of those he scored a hat-trick and I still didn`t rate him a anywhere near Celtic standard.

     

     

    MiT

     

     

    “antitrust exemptions as it applies to Scottish Football,”

     

    Could you explain that in layman`s terms, please? ie What does it mean?

     

     

     

    JJ

  13. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    BIG GEORGES FAN CLUB – HAIL, HAIL, WEE OSCAR on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 4:49

     

     

    GABBY. your da will kick your ass when he gets home and finds you have been sampling the christmas cake sherry.

  14. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    It’s completely ridiculous for the Foundation to revert to shaking down the supporters for a third time in four months this season. Haven’t we already endured a charity game punt and a food-bank drive? Add in the green brigade’s collection last month, why don’t we? In seven league games. We were even rattled for £3 with our season books, before a game was played.

     

     

    Of course the funds raised are to do good. The club should write a cheque to the Foundation for £1m and stop begging from us.

     

     

    Far better to publicise George Connelly’s book signing or the Dr John Conway commemoration at Dalbeth tomorrow.

  15. The Exiled Tim. 4.55.

     

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve just had the same disagreement with my son, who said we’ve only ourselves to blame for Wed.

     

    I said are you kidding me, Clancy is the ref we should fear the most, he is truly abysmal when refereeing our games.

     

    His response was we should be good enough to take the refs out the equation.

     

    Why should we!!!!?

     

    Hail Hail

  16. Repost from previous blog

     

     

    ONEMALLOY on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 2:07 PM

     

    Neustadt Braw – Happy Birthday, have a great day

     

     

    On a more sombre note my Uncle Davie who had been prayed for on the blog recently was laid to rest this morning, the funeral Mass being at St Patricks, Kilsyth.

     

     

    HH

  17. Hot Smoked – thanks for your point, and as you have seen him play fair enough. Is that not often the way with goal scorers though? They often don’t do much but they have the poachers instinct and just as you’re calling them a lazy waste of space they bag a brace and the points are in the bag.

     

    Such players are no longer in vogue and would not suit our tactics for CL games, but for the other 50 or so domestic games when we have most of the ball and don’t need our CFs back in our own penalty box, it would be nice to think someone would regularly convert the chances we create.

     

    I thought Griff was that player, but for the last 18 months or so he just hasn’t done it consistently. For whatever reason(s).

     

    I know there is a split opinion on here over BR’s favoured formation which normally means one striker in domestic games being served by two wide players. I would prefer to see two forwards, especially in domestic games when we are camped in the opponents half but maybe I’m just an old 80s new romantic.

  18. If Morron’elos is suspended for Sevco… I can see them struggling for goals away at Dens.

     

     

    Jim MacIntyre starting to get them moving in right direction.

     

     

    How funny a Kenny Miller winner at the weekend ?

  19. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Brendan after the Motherwell game:

     

     

    “Too many individual performances. The strength of us is the collective and the team, but there were too many players wanting to do what they wanted to do rather than what the team requires.”

     

     

    That’s Brendan’s equivalent of smashed teacups and the Hairdryer.

     

     

    I’m thinking we’ll see a different display tomorrow.

     

     

    (With apologies to those on here who find words like ‘collective’ and ideas like working together for a common good ideologically offensive.)

  20. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    I would rather Celtic gave the hun £10m for a proven goal scorer

     

    and nutcase than give Ayr 500k for a might be.

  21. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    JimmynoPaul,

     

    Would your bhoy agree with the same conditions in a court of law where the judge is analogous with the ref.

  22. mike in toronto on

    HotSmoked

     

     

    Typically, people think of antitrust laws as laws that are aimed at ensuring that large companies – who theoretically are competitors – do not collude to artificially manipulate markets to the detriment of others.

     

     

    the idea is that competition keeps prices fair. If two competitors secretly agree to both raise prices – or agree to take turns biidding on contracts (so as not to underbid each other), this means that the customers get cheated. This is, in a nutshell, what anti-trust laws are designed to deal with. However, they actually do much more than that.

     

     

    Most professional sports leagues (of their govening bodies) are, by their nature, collusive; they dont exist in as a free market. Owners, who should in the free market be competitors, are actually partners in some fashion. Most modern sports leagues are by their nature collusive in some fashion.

     

     

    Many sports leagues are either monopolies or monopsonies (where an employee only really has one option … for example, there is only one major league in baseball, which sets rules for how players can be employed – the draft – and how much players can be paid).

     

     

    Government and courts in the US and in the EU have dealt with this in variety of ways over the years.

     

     

    in the US, for some reason that now escapes me, baseball was historically exempt from anti-trust laws, but other sports in the US were not. However, MLS (because of its ownership structure) may be.

     

     

    In the EU, sports were not given a blanket exemption, but they were recognized as having a special status because of the unique role that sports teams/leagues play in society. So, strict compiance with antitrust laws has usually not applied. However, the scope of this is still a matter of considerable debate, and litigation but has real world applications.

     

     

    For example, Colin Kapernick (spelling?) is alleging that the owners have breached the anti-trust laws by colluding not to hire him. Since there is really no other league for him to play in, this is arguably a breach of anti-trust laws. At least that is, in part, what his lawyers will be arguing when the matter proceeds to trial.

     

     

    In football, we all remember the Bsoman (freedom of contract) case. He brought his case as, in part, an anti-trust case, claiming that the player registration system was collusive. That case was ultimately decided not on the basis of the anti-trust argument, but on the basis that the transfer system violated the EU freedom of movement laws.

     

     

    However, there there are lots of other issues related to antitrust that (i) are still being explored, and (ii) have important implications for how professional sports operate. I have oversimplified it to a ridiculous level here (in the interest of brevity), but there are several aspects which I think could have interesting implications for Scottish football.

  23. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    OneMalloy,

     

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your uncle Davie god rest him, thoughts and prayers with you and his loved ones.

  24. mike in toronto on

    Hot Smoked

     

     

    Sorry .. that is a longer ‘short answer’ than I had intended.

     

     

    I got interested in this a few years ago, and thought it had real potential to help with the Res. 12 type arguments. But, for a few reasons, (that was at the time the doc got sick, and, frankly, based on how our PLC was dealing with Res 12, I expected that they would just bury it in a filing cabinet) I didn’t really pursue it at the time, and just let it drop..

     

     

    If I have some time, and can get exercised enough about Scottish football, I will turn my mind back to it, and see if what I thought might be there, is actually there.

  25. Canamalar 5.33.

     

    Thanks, I will use that analogy the next time I have that debate with him, because it will come up soon enough again, possibly even by 16.50 tomorrow.

     

    Hail Hail

  26. AN TEARMANN on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 11:47 AM

     

     

    Just seen your post from this morning, fair point, but i agree with Gene. Hope you’re well.

  27. GreeninbingleyinOslo on 7th December 2018 5:26 pm

     

     

    Brendan after the Motherwell game:

     

     

    “Too many individual performances. The strength of us is the collective and the team, but there were too many players wanting to do what they wanted to do rather than what the team requires.”

     

     

    That’s Brendan’s equivalent of smashed teacups and the Hairdryer.

     

     

    I’m thinking we’ll see a different display tomorrow.

     

     

    (With apologies to those on here who find words like ‘collective’ and ideas like working together for a common good ideologically offensive.)

     

     

    ………………………………………………………………..

     

     

    I think you are right m8.

     

     

    We will see a very fired up team the morra.

     

     

    The Weather will again be a bit of a factor – gusty winds and persistent rain.

     

     

    We have the Pitch, Noo, at this Time of the Year, that negates that.

     

     

    Thankfully.

     

     

    On the Deck and do em.

  28. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    MIT,

     

    thanks for that brief explanation, I agree there are implication especially when the SFA are a monopoly, I am one of those who had very little idea of what anti-trust laws were for and look forward to your thoughts on the implications for Scottish football.

  29. Just received this email from the superstore – have we changed supplier to Hunmel

     

     

     

    You have pre-ordered from our new Clover New Balance range which was on pre-order until today. Unfortunately, we currently have a slight delay from the suppliers and we don’t have the stock in yet. We are hoping to resolve this next week, however we do not have a set delivery date yet. We ask that you are patient and trust that we will get your order to you as soon as we can – once the stock comes in.

  30. I often wonder what happens to Celtic players who are voted Player Of The Year and subsequently thereafter have this dip in form. We have seen it with Charlie Mulgrew, Izzy and currently Scott Sinclair. They win all the accolades and plaudits and then a nosedive in performance. Patrick Roberts was another who never really recovered his form after an outstanding first season with the HOOPs.

     

     

    Teams in the SPFL meet so frequently that players like Roberts and Sinclair become marked men by opposing teams, perhaps the answer lies somewhere there.

     

     

    Calmac has been a revelation in his new midfield quarterback role with great performances on the domestic front but proved he could also do it in Europe against the top German side Leipzig so let’s see him restored to that position on Saturday.

  31. glendalystonsils on

    ‘Taking the referee out of the equation’ might be EXACTLY what Dundee have to do against Sevco. The loss of Morelas is easily negated by a dodgy penalty and a Dundee red card. I would not be in the least surprised to see Jim McIntyre doing a Craig Levein after the match.

  32. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    TET,

     

     

    Game Management is now the ethos to which referees base their performances.

     

    Craigen let it slip on Wednesday, when trying to justify a player not being sent off.

     

     

    He stated that referees must try and keep all the players on the park.

     

     

    I believe this comes from Pierluigi Collina, UEFA’s Whistler in Chief.

     

     

    It was the doctrine pursued by his protegé, Dallas H.

     

    It is still in place with Fleming.

     

     

    While it is a laudable aim, it should not supersede the Laws of the Game.

     

     

    That is where the problem lies.

     

    Scottish refs use it to their own advantage and allows them to ignore incidents that should bring sanctions. usually to one club’s advantage.

     

     

    When a cretin like Gerrard states that Fred the Ned won’t change his style, he is throwing out a challenge to the refs.

     

     

    They either get with the programme or impose the Laws of the Game.

     

     

    If the refs adopted the latter approach, the game would be cleaned up overnight………as you have been stating for as long as I have been preaching BC or DC.

     

     

    From your uncle Felix!

  33. THOMTHETHIM FOR OSCAR OK on 7TH DECEMBER 2018 6:13 PM

     

    Yes, I broadly go along with that.

     

    Scottish referees appear to interpret the laws of the game differently from the rest.

     

    Hail Hail

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