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Managers are keen to use record transfer players

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Football is all about the creation and utilisation of space.  The first thing Leigh Griffiths did to create the goal last night was leave space in the box for him to exploit.  If Leigh occupied the traditional centre forward position, there would have been no space for him to leave his marker and the goal would not have happened.  This is a striking example of football intelligence.

Until that moment, Celtic were disarmingly impotent.  Too often this season we have been dependent on opponents making a defensive mistake, and, if like St Mirren they don’t, we look laboured.

It was difficult to assess Filip Benkovic against St Mirren on Friday, he was never pressed and was skinned once, but you could see what all the fuss was about last night.  The Croat looks the real deal: fast, good in the air and comfortable on the ball.  He will take more responsibility in the weeks to come.

Celtic improved when Brendan Rodgers abandoned his initial plan on 57 mins, replacing Tom Rogic and Forrest with Scott Sinclair and Mikey Johnston.  Almost immediately, Callum McGregor burst into newly available space (my word of the day) in the box.  From then on Rosenborg were under pressure.  The entire stadium knew the game was there to be won, we just needed our chief goal-scorer on the field.

When managers break transfer records for a player they are keen to play him, but leaving Odsonne alone inside the box isn’t working.  We have options for Rugby Park on Sunday, but our treble goes on the line at the League Cup quarter-final at McDiarmid on Wednesday.  We need to be ready for it.

I’m nine days from the Great Scottish Run half marathon, which I’m totally unprepared for.  The ‘Why did I say I’d do this?’ thought has occurred, but you know why.  If you and I cannot do our best for the Celtic FC Foundation, we are missing a whole lot of what it means to be Celtic.

The Foundation means we can connect right back to that hall in Calton in November 1887, when Bro Walfrid said, “Let’s form a football team to help feed the poor.”  This is where we came from and, if you and I have any say in the matter, it remains a central part of where we are going.

If you can help sponsor me for the Foundation, please do so here.

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  1. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Apparently the much maligned green brigade had to show the rest how to support the team,

  2. Eddy can earn his stripes the hard way. Leigh already has and should start every game until eddy takes the lead. Mon the griff.

  3. My team for Killie in a 3:5:2 formation

     

     

    Gordon (or Bain, if he is needed for artificial surfaces)

     

     

    Ajer Boyata Benkovic

     

     

    Johnston (or Morgan or Forrest) Brown Ntcham McGregor (or Rogic) Tierney

     

     

    Edouard Griffiths

     

     

     

    I include some off-form players as I don’t think the changes should be wholesale but we need some freshening.

     

     

    The change in formation is more important than the personnel, though. It is dangerous to play 3:5:2 if Killie’s winger, Jordan Jones is in form and can exploit the wing space but it should mean that, with 3 CB’s playing, rather than a back 4, we might be more wary of playing the safe back pass if the numbers there are reduced.

     

     

    I still have a buzz about last night’s result but nobody is fooled by the performance, least of all the manager, who recognised that we passed back too often.

  4. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Would be replacing Ncham with Mulumbu, if he wants a big money move then he needs to earn it by regaining his place and remaining consistent.

  5. glendalystonsils on

    Record signing or not , it’s Eddie who should be playing his way into the team , not Griff.

     

     

    Although Eddie is not the only key player to be suffering a dip in form.

  6. P67 — please, please no more analysis.

     

    If you want to understand the goal look at the positioning of their left back.

     

     

    Route one football out of desperation.

     

    We played as if it was a passing drill.

     

     

    The squad needs a total revamp.

     

    TR and CMcG in the same team is not working.

     

    Plus JF had a very off night and ML looked lame.

     

     

    Nothing comes through the middle and our passing is slow most of the time.

     

    And then there is the debacle that is our set piece routine — we looked scared of the ball.

  7. Ntcham’s wayward passing last night could have cost us dear. Time to give Molumbu a chance and Killie is the ideal opportunity. He knows how to play on that surface.

     

    Has to be LG up front. If OE thinks he can follow MD hebneeds a 30+ goals season (or two). At the moment he looks lost.

  8. glendalystonsils on

    I have read a lot of criticism of our tactics and gameplan but I’m reluctant to pin too much blame on Brendan Rodgers. We seem to be playing without confidence or imagination at the moment and that comes from within the individual player. It’s a pity Griff can’t share some of his gallusness around.

  9. Hope the manager sticks with the 433 formation he switched to when the subs were made last night. Brown in front of the two centre half’s with the other two midfielders pushing forward in support of the front three, a front three that includes Griffiths and Edouard. Forrest needs a rest, Rogic needs dropped.

     

     

    Bain

     

    Lustig Boyata Benkovic Tierney

     

    Mulumbu Brown McGregor

     

    Johnston Griffiths Edouard

  10. One thing which encourages me is that our defence looks more solid than it has for some time. 5 clean sheets on the spin? Who’d a thunk it?

     

    All wee need now is for the midfield and strikers to up their game too. Easy, he says.

  11. lets all do the huddle ? on

    Apparently the much maligned green brigade had to show the rest how to support the team,

     

    ———–

     

     

    wish they wuld shut that fekin drum up tho

     

     

    does ma nut in

  12. Gary67 @ 1.07pm

     

     

    I like the look of that team.

     

    If Emilio is fit could KT replace ML.

     

    KT cutting in on his left foot could up the goal threat.

     

     

    HH

  13. GARY67 on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018 1:07 PM

     

    Hope the manager sticks with the 433 formation he switched to when the subs were made last night. Brown in front of the two centre half’s with the other two midfielders pushing forward in support of the front three, a front three that includes Griffiths and Edouard. Forrest needs a rest, Rogic needs dropped.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bain

     

     

     

     

    Lustig Boyata Benkovic Tierney

     

     

    Mulumbu Brown McGregor

     

     

    Johnston Griffiths Edouard

     

    _________________

     

    I wouldn’t be averse to going with that lineup tomorrow, albeit I didn’t think Mikey did particularly well when he came on (tended to drift inside too much and could have made himself available to Lustig more often). I’d definitely stick with that back four and weirdly it’s now the defence that looks the best part of the team. Benkovic is looking very good, plus he looks like he can mix it a bit. Unfortunately, we need to be ready to buy two centre backs, a right back and a striker in January. No messing around, get them in quick as both Boyata and Benkovic will be offski by the summer (at the latest).

  14. Team for Sunday :

     

     

    ————————-Gordon————————–

     

     

    Lustig Boyata Benkovick Tierney

     

     

    ————-Brown Mulumbu——————

     

     

    Forrest Rogic Sinclair

     

     

    —————-Griffiths ————————

  15. I thought at first Griff might be offside but their LB was playing him and Boyata on.

     

     

    In fact, apart from blaming the defender, kudos to Dedryck for spotting that.

  16. Eddy is still learning the game, playing as a lone striker at Celtic when you’re 20 years old and it isn’t necessarily your natural game is a big ask. He’s obviously got bags of ability but he’ll only learn to play what’s probably the toughest role on the pitch by playing.

     

     

    Michael Stewart made a good point about Griff, he’s obviously someone who needs to be challenged. Hopefully his new deal gives him enough security so he feels loved but Brendan can keep on challenging him to prove himself.

     

     

    I’ve thought he looks a bit overweight after the summer which is disappointing but I might be wrong

  17. Last night was pretty much as I expected. We huff and puffed and toiled and tried but no end product was coming. The team selection was predictable. BR seems to have his favourites, his go-to guys as he sees them. Well its time for change. McGregor, Forrest, Sinclair, Rogic should no longer be considered automatic selections. I’m not saying drop them all at once but its time for some evolution of the team. Johnston, Morgan, Christie, Mulumbu, Arzani should all be introduced over the coming weeks, If they prove themselves they should stay in the team, I believe Johnston already has, at least give them a chance.

     

    IMHO of course. HH

  18. Interesting – so have we set aside the salary pay off for the manager who insisted on signing him then?

     

     

    After all I assume the thinking is we could get Steve Clark for a fraction of the salary, sign who Peter Lawwell wants with the odd Desmond wild card and end up still qualifying for the Champions League once every two seasons?

     

     

    I’d have to ask why anyone would be satisfied with Griffiths though given his lack of application at training and lack of diligence to body shape and becoming a better athelete? A guy wins you a double treble, makes players infinitely better, doubles turnover, record player sales, record profit.

     

     

    Edouard plays how many games now this season without a goal and already the knives are out for a young guy learning his trade. I don’t think Edouard had it easy growing up. How do you think he feels with the crowd on his back favouring a guy who cares not about applying himself in training or eating properly?

     

    The manager signed Edouard in spite of Lawwell moneyball approach and has fought hard to keep the players that will make us better. Edouard needs time not fickle fans getting on his back a handful of games into the season.

     

     

    So what happens in this next season with Clark in charge after a few games of parking the bus and signing more moneyball players? Do we get bored with that after 12 months and another ramshackle summer and go round Lennies house looking for cheap help?

     

     

    How many millions in the bank? No ambition.

  19. Paul…. ” replacing Tom Rogic and Forrest with Scott Sinclair and Mikey Johnston. Almost immediately, Callum McGregor burst into newly available space (my word of the day) in the box. ”

     

     

     

    This is the key point… Space.

     

     

    I don’t think its the fact that McGregor and Rogic have become incapable all of a sudden. I think the team shape is prohibitive. It is too congested through the middle. It’s the problem of the 3-4-2-1 shape. Both Rogic and McGregor operating as No.10’s behind Edouard. Cramping each others style.

     

     

    If we revert to one or the other deployed in the No.10 role, I think we will see either of these players becoming more effective instantly.

  20. The key is finding ways to move players around and create space. None of the front 4 would have been capable of finding the ball that Boyata played into Griffiths. Variation and retaining the ball at 0-0 in your first Europa home tie is a difficult balance. Had Boyata played into the hands of the goalkeeper we could have been looking at a draw or them scoring with a counter.

     

     

    By the way that was Boyata again who would have been sold but for the intervention of the manager!

  21. Go tell the Spartim on

    We all love the Griff and what he can bring, this article seems like a perfect source for confirmation bias however. Neither Griff or Eddy are lone strikers, that is our issue now with the swift departure of Dembele.

  22. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018 2:07 PM

     

     

    I think Brendan always had that in mind for him eventually, maybe not quite so soon though

  23. In the £100m+ turnover article Paul wrote…

     

     

    ‘so buying wisely and selling before players exhaust their contracts or lose form is critical to the operation’

     

     

    I presume the ‘exhausting their contracts’ reference has some relation to the Boyata situation.

     

     

    As I posted earlier the team have been rock solid at the back since Dedryck came back into the team. 5 clean sheets out of 5. Clearly our chances of qualifying for the UCL were greatly reduced by the players absence.

     

     

    What I suspect happened here is what I also suspect what happened with Dembele. I suspect that PL and the Agent tried to engineer a move away. What we ended up with is two unsettled players much to the detriment of the team and the Manager. Meddling from the Board in the name of cashing in unnecessarily. When it comes to our Board you follow the money.

     

     

    We have seen the value to the team in keeping Dedryck, who deserves enormous praise for his professionalism. Selling him would have been very problematic for us, based on the evidence. We did not need to sell him, it was certainly not ‘critical’.

     

     

    Changes are needed in the Boardroom.

  24. MULLET AND CO 2 on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018 1:59 PM

     

     

    Had Boyata played into the hands of the goalkeeper we could have been looking at a draw or them scoring with a counter.

     

     

    100% accurate, for once

  25. Anyone been on Celtic Noise? Dummies being spat out. Tims all falling out with one another, lots of swearies,

     

    in fact its a lot like swallow swallow. Ran by our own, or is it ex, winning captains too, whodda thunk it.

     

     

    PS, they’ve got a dilligaf too but I swear its not me.

  26. My friends in Celtic.

     

     

    I will follow Moussa Dembele’s career with interest.On and off the bench.

     

     

    There is absolutely no doubting his impact when he is playing at his peak . The problem we had was that we never saw it regularly.

     

     

    Even if we had forced him to stay against his will after undermining our manager , the chances are that he would not have featured in many games.

     

     

    I wish Moussa all the best, but his move freed up a space on our treatment table.

     

     

    We move on.

     

    HH.

  27. DAVID17 on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018 2:11 PM

     

     

    Boyata wanted away, his head was turned by the offer to play in the EPL. Despite being offered 9m for a player who we’ll get zip for in the summer and who will be possibly be half the player after he signs a pre contract in January Brendan got his way and he stayed. You could argue that that’s backing the manager to the tune of £9m because that’s what we’re looking to lose out in for the sake of one season. Or, probably half that when he signs a pre contract and goes in January.

     

     

    Dembele was staying right up until a couple of days before the window shut, when Lyon were forced to sell a striker, got a load of cash and needed a replacement sharpish. Still, Moussa was staying right up until Brendan told him to go.

     

     

    It certainly looks like Brendan had the ultimate say in both cases

  28. glendalystonsils on

    GREENPINATA on 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018 2:26 PM

     

     

    I would much rather have freed up big Marvin’s treatment table:-))

     

     

    He’s got one with his own name on it you know!

  29. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Greenpinata,

     

    You maintain MD would have been forced to stay against his will while ignoring the most likely scenario that had the agent not been give permission to find a new club the player would not have had his head turned by the big money until his agent was given permission on the managers terms.

  30. Canamalar,

     

     

    Yes I believe if it wasn’t for his training ground tantrum and subsequent tweets he would be in exactly the same situation as Boyata.

     

     

    Our manager had no choice but to effectively ” bin ” him.

     

     

    HH.

  31. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Celtic40me,

     

    More fantasy to support failed asset management and demonstrable lack of support for the manager. The manager was clear he wanted DB and MD this season to build on and improve the team and still their agents were given permission to find other clubs, explain how that can possibly be considered backing the manager.

  32. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Greenpinata,

     

    What do you suggest was the reason behind his tantrum?

     

     

    There would have been no tantrum had his agent not been given permission to find another club, as there would have been no offer.

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