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Lustig a gamble too far for final

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There is an argument that Kieran Tierney should have been operated on earlier in the season, when the extent of his injury became clear, but if he is fit to start against Hearts on Saturday, he should play.  A few days delay to his op and convalescence will make little difference.

The same is not true of Mikael Lustig.  Mikael has been injured four times since November and is clearly in a fragile state.  Starting him on Saturday risks a repeat of a scene we have become familiar with: Mikael hobbling off early in a game and curtailing the manager’s tactical options.

Jeremy Toljan and Anthony Ralston can both deputise at Hampden, one of whom should start.  Neither Mikael or Neil Lennon will know for sure if the full back will remain at Celtic after the Cup Final, but thoughts of an on-field farewell should be kept until after the game is won.

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    AVB would be a very interesting move but slightly concerning that his stints in charge wherever he has been have all been pretty short. Only 1 year at every club except Zenit (2 years).

     

     

    Still, all will be revealed next week hopefully.

     

     

    HH

  2. There’s a guy on the huddle board offering a wager of £500 to a charity of your choice that Rafa Benitez will be announced as Celtic manager on Monday.

  3. The chronological hierarchy of who knows who the next Celtic manager will be:

     

     

     

    1. The Great Desmondo

     

     

     

    2. Peter Lawwell

     

     

     

    3. The new manage, his agent, his immediate family, his advisers.

     

     

     

    4. NFL

     

     

     

    5. Staff and players.

     

     

     

    6. The world at large.

     

     

     

    The question is, at what stage do the pundits, bookies and assorted others access that cascade to gain their inside info?

  4. celticforever on

    With regards to Lenny it may explain why his face has been tripping

     

    him in the dugout for the last 2 weeks

     

     

    Perhaps he has been told already that he will not be getting the job

     

     

    Who knows

  5. ERNIE LYNCH on 22ND MAY 2019 11:04 AM

     

     

    The question is, at what stage do the pundits, bookies and assorted others access that cascade to gain their inside info?

     

     

    ___

     

     

    The top 4 will be the only ones who know anything right now.

     

     

    If there is a leak it’s most likely to come from the new manager’s representatives. Celtic are good at keeping tight lipped.

     

     

    I think it’s fair to say the bookies know nothing.

  6. Erratum in my previous post.

     

     

    Between items 1. and 2. insert ‘1(a) paulthetim’.

  7. if ML is unfit , would go with a back 3 and play JH wide left midfield in from of KT , AR or JT not for me.

  8. Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail is one of the few journalists worth listening to and one of a few that PL apparently communicates with. McGowan said PL will sit down with NL next week to discuss the position.

     

     

    John James says NL has already been told its not his. I find that hard to believe, why would Celtic demotivate the Manager before a Cup Final and surely it would be foolish to reduce our options if another deal was to fall through.

     

     

    I would guess that McGowan is more on the ball than John James.

     

     

    There are probably a few options of which i think the Board would favour Lennon or Moyes. AVB is another option. I cannot see anyone currently in another job being appointed.

  9. Timbhoy2

     

    I was at that semi-final v Ross County, and my recollection is that Big Sammy was the one getting pelters that day, rather than Lenny.

  10. traditionalist88 on

    DAVID17 on 22ND MAY 2019 11:40 AM

     

     

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

     

     

    Time is of the essence with return to pre-season training only a few weeks after the cup final.

     

     

    Planning has probably already started with the new manager, whether its Neil Lennon or someone else. Players are being linked.

     

     

    The squad needs a fair bit of work and to wait and in the interests of openness I’d say Neil Lennon has been told already, either way, in case there is a leak. And not to give him false hope if it isn’t him.

     

     

    An announcement can then be made on Sunday or Monday and the process of sorting out our squad for next season can continue/be ramped up a notch.

     

     

    HH

  11. Knightswoodbhoy on

    David 17 a quick couple of points, surely Neil has motivation enough to win as it is a chance to make history and probably earn a very lucrative bonus. If the board or more accurately DD have decided on another candidate I personally think it is much more honourable and decent to have told Neil than string him along till Saturday night.

  12. glendalystonsils on

    DAVID17 on 22ND MAY 2019 11:40 AM

     

     

    What you say makes a lot of sense. Neil Lennon may not have been told the job is his , but what’s the sense in telling him the job definitely isn’t his?

     

    NL seems to have a good relationship with PL who is likely to have been honest with him about the situation.

  13. Looking at the game on Saturday, i thought it might be worth reviewing the likely Hearts team and where they might cause us problems(every team has their moments in a final)

     

    As most of the doubtful players are training, i think they will start

     

     

    Likely: Zlamal, Smith, Souttar, Berra, Shaughnessy, Haring, Edwards, Clare, Mulraney, Djoum, Ikpeazu

     

     

    One up front in a 4-5-1. McLean as back up if they are losing.

     

     

    Hearts have not impressed me in any of the games this season against us or against the Huns , Killie , Aberdeen. They look good against the Hibbees on the big occasion

     

     

    I know they beat us 1-0 in Aug but we were Lillian Gish that day and they scored a great goal and held it. Not a classic perf for me.

     

     

    Levein will look to flood midfield and put us off our stride in the 1st half. They will go long to their big CF and look for free kicks. They will also look to break up the wings with over the top balls when we hit a brick wall and lose possession

     

     

    This is a percentage game for them so every break or corner/FK will be hotly contested and every trick used.

     

     

    If we stay strong in the CH positions and don’t overcommit our FBs, we will prevail over 90 mins but i expect a lot of huff and puff 1st half to break them down so patience from us is key

     

     

    I think if all our fitness doubts make it, we will go like this (no big surprises):

     

     

    Bain, Lustig, Ajer, Simunovic, Tierney, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair, Edouard

  14. Excellent article from the Celtic Star – thanks to Chairbhoy for signposting. HH

  15. Coneybhoy

     

     

    I hope we bring our A game, attack them at pace from the off and recognise our superiority is the ingredient to win the game. Some of those Hearts guys mentiend are walking wounded (the big lump up front) and will be blowing out their arses after 30 minutes.

     

     

    Play at pace and be relentless without worrying about them. Bring on wee Dembele and Johnstone 2nd half and run them ragged.

     

     

    Celtic 4 Hearts 0

     

     

    History to be made.

  16. We need to ensure that we dominate the midfield on Saturday v Hearts, and not be outnumbered as has happened on several occasions recently. If necessary, match up and our quality should prevail. But, key is to move the ball quickly, and forward, with good movement. So, if we need to go 4-5-1, then so be it. Do not let them get in behind.

     

    HH

  17. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    CONEYBHOY

     

     

    I think that is a pretty fair assessment of what will happen.

     

    It is the blueprint of every team that has had any kind of success against us.

     

    Last Sunday’s game will have no relevance to the Final.

  18. DAVID17 on 22ND MAY 2019 11:40 AM

     

     

    Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail is one of the few journalists worth listening to and one of a few that PL apparently communicates with. McGowan said PL will sit down with NL next week to discuss the position.

     

     

    John James says NL has already been told its not his. I find that hard to believe, why would Celtic demotivate the Manager before a Cup Final and surely it would be foolish to reduce our options if another deal was to fall through.

     

     

    I would guess that McGowan is more on the ball than John James.

     

    ___

     

     

    The Celtic Board are way more discrete than the various warring factions in the Govan boardroom.

     

     

    For example, Phil Mac is a good source of information for Sports Direct vs Sevco stuff. He seems to have Sports Direct sources. However, he’s way off the mark when it comes to Celtic’s boardroom.

     

     

    McGowan and Paul67 are probably the most reliable sources regarding the Celtic boardroom. JohnJames has form for making grand proclamations that come to nothing.

     

     

    I agree NL will believe he’s still in the running.

  19. CHAIRBHOY on 22ND MAY 2019 11:55 AM

     

     

    Good article but it does make certain assumptions. For example:

     

     

    “Let’s be clear and we all know it. We got very lucky. Mr Lawwell was very fortuitous indeed that a certain dyed in the wool Celtic man, with experience of managing Celtic through choppy waters and to silverware had just so happened to have mutually agreed to leave his former employer an hour along the M8.”

     

     

    BR made his intentions known to Celtic in the summer of 2018. I doubt the board believed he would be in charge come summer 2019.

     

     

    The board didn’t agree to let BR go and suddenly look for a manager. The appointment of NL agreed and lined up before BR’s compensation was agreed.

     

     

    I don’t really see the luck. If NL wasn’t available somebody else (like David Moyes) would have been lined up in the background.

     

     

    “Neil Lennon aside, fortitude also played its part when John Kennedy remained with the ship as the vessel took on water.”

     

     

    John Kennedy was Celtic’s man. Not chosen by BR. Is it fortunate that BR didn’t want to take him?

  20. Paul67

     

     

    Interesting but disagree and think Mikael Lustig will start.

     

     

    Jeremy Toljan might be needed to cover on the left for Kieran, and Anthony Ralston was less than ready against Hearts.

  21. whitedoghunch on

    the young MrRalston who overlapped at the first goal averting defenders eyes causing a little panic/space

     

    He’ll do for me

  22. !!Bada Bing!! on

    One thing is for sure, PL’s placeman,John Kennedy will be in the dugout next season.

  23. TIMALOY29 @ 12:44 PM,

     

     

    Yes, Of course you are right, when putting a piece like that together some subjective views and assumptions will be at play…

     

     

    In fact with a EPL record breaking compensation fund we could have got aul’ Jose in to see out the season at his modest one mil a month..:)

     

     

    We will see in June I think how fortuitous it was for either PL or Lenny that Neil parted company with Hibs when he did.

     

     

    Something happened at Hibs, now I’m not alluding to anything and I make absolutely no judgement, but it was well before the Lenny break up and ultimate departure. It seemed to me the catalyst for what followed and Hibs results at the time fell off a cliff.

     

     

    Now, if that hadn’t happened and Lenny topped his 2017/18 Season at Hibs he may have been in the running for thee job.

     

     

    Also John Kennedy is Celtic’s man in the dug out, I’m sure he wasn’t part of BR’s plan and was always key to Celtic’s limited continuity planning.

     

     

    So maybe fortuitous in some ways but I don’t see aul’ serendipity taking a part here.

     

     

    The thing is, we need better strategic and continuity planning on the Football side. The risks involved to the “business” of not winning a trophy or even a championship is limited, it doesn’t cost that much. Yet from a Football perspective it means the world to us.

     

     

    The two seasons previous to this one has shown us, that a well run and successful Football operation makes great business sense… it’s a win, win, win;)

     

     

    Hail Hail

  24. glendalystonsils on

    I hope Mr Toljan neither starts nor comes off the bench . Saturday is no game for the half-hearted.

     

    We saw a very rusty version of Ralston on Sunday, compared to the promising pre-injury version but at least there is no half-heartedness about him.

  25. MIkael for me. But if it’ss too much of a risk then Anthony is my preferred alternative.

  26. The Battered Bunnet on

    I thought young Ralston was rather playing by numbers on Saturday, doing a deliberate thing given the circumstances. For example:

     

     

    Keeper has the ball – run to touchline at halfway.

     

    Johnston cutting inside – overlap on the outside.

     

    Toljan in possession – stay in line with the centre backs.

     

     

    And so on, until…

     

     

    Hearts’ winger is running at me – go to ball.

     

    He’s passed it inside and gone wide – back track into…shit, that boy’s quick.

     

     

    Being kind, he seemed a very methodical player, perhaps lacking confidence, but in any event, somewhat limited by his method.

  27. CHAIRBHOY on 22ND MAY 2019 1:21 PM

     

     

    The thing is, we need better strategic and continuity planning on the Football side. The risks involved to the “business” of not winning a trophy or even a championship is limited, it doesn’t cost that much. Yet from a Football perspective it means the world to us.

     

     

    ____

     

     

    That’s fine in principle. There is definitely more scope for changing the structure.

     

     

    The football department was shaped with BR’s wishes. He got his head of recruitment hired and has now taken him with him.

     

     

    There was a plan with Boyata. It was Marvin Compper and Jack Hendry. You can plan, plan and plan. But if you sign bad players it won’t work.

  28. Big Wavy 12.14

     

     

    I agree with you that we could blow them away , but if we don’t our fitness should tell second half. Brown has to start moving the ball faster, even if it back to CH. He is getting hunted down in recent games and either passes out the park or gets mugged as he runs out of space and time. A few Lennonesque back and forth passes with back 4 and keeper is OK in his position; others are there to play the passes. I though Ntcham played really well last weekend , right up in their faces. think we will see him at some point in the game. May even start instead of Rogic?

     

     

    Thomthetim

     

     

    I agree it will be different. i hope it is Big Wavy’s different and not mine!

     

     

    Mon The Hoops

  29. CHAIRBHOY on 22ND MAY 2019 11:55 AM

     

    Interesting piece in the Celtic Star…

     

     

    Calling for the strategic vision and forward planning, that is second nature in so much of Celtic FC PLC’s business model to be implemented in the Football Club.

     

     

    https://thecelticstar.com/peter-lawwell-and-an-improved-strategic-vision-for-celtic/

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A lot of uncommon sense there…

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

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

     

    I did a fast read of the article which is thought provoking.

     

     

    My observation from experience of dealing with Celtic on Res12 and improving communications is that the capacity to do what is suggested does not exist or if it does, not to the required degree.

     

     

    The result is micro management that means too little time to make informed decisions.

     

     

    The work suggested in the article requires a team not necessarily large but a team with the ability to plan ahead based on the global contractual information available to them and of that data does not exist to the required degree then it needs to be gathered, which needs the capacity to do it.

     

     

    The costs would be offset by the losses that result from not planning properly.

     

     

    If that capacity already exists to required level then I’ve missed evidence of it and the article suggests it doesn’t.

     

     

    For an orchestra to produce perfect music it does need a conductor, but it more importantly needs the individual musicians free to play the music.

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