Managing McGregor


Celtic players will begin arriving back from international duty today and tomorrow ahead of a six week, 13 game, run that will go a long way to determining the success or otherwise of their season.  Highest on my anxiety list is the condition of injured Cameron Carter-Vickers.  Noises from the US national team were that his condition was not concerning.  We should cope without him at home to Motherwell on Saturday, but he is one man you want fit and on the plane that departs for Germany on Tuesday.

My only other concern is with our perennial metronome, Callum McGregor.  Callum is relied upon by domestic and international managers in equal measure.  Memories of how we complained that Gordon Strachan overlooked the player seem foolish now.  How Ange manages the player during the next six weeks is important.  Get the job done early on Saturday then hook the captain.

A small encouragement, I know, but we still have to beat a Ukrainian team at Celtic Park next month, so the fact that some players we will face lost in Glasgow and drew in Poland to a Scotland side is a mental marker.   Well done to Callum, Greg Taylor, Anthony Ralston, Steve Clarke and the rest of the international squad.

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  1. BoE in full RNLI mode — having to launch a lifeboat.


    KK is hopeless / clueless in equal measure and LT is even worse.



    The BoE’s original plan to sell some of its stock of Gilts was asking for trouble given the state of the economy that BoJo left us with — KK and his longest financial suicide note in history was just Gary from Accounts not being able to read the room or reality.

  2. P67 — surely now is the time to start building a MF without CMcG as the DM / pivot?



    Regarding our issues at CB — what is JD up to at the moment?


    If he is a free agent would he be worth a punt?

  3. Pingback: Managing McGregor - Celtic News

  4. Great seeing praise for the Scotland NT and our bhoys



    International football is a stark reality and all the top players represent their NTs



    We know that technical ability, knowledge and experience is integral in making top quality modern footballers.



    Calmac is a much better player for the games he’s played.



    Hail Hail

  5. My friends in Celtic ( past and present)



    We never stop.



    And rightly so. However this buzz phrase must also refer to the whole football operation. Yesterday I again mentioned summer football. Think of the positives, not least that we would not be competing directly with the world’s richest league. Arguably we would also be more prepared for European football.



    As for our academy. We are losing far too many young players to richer leagues. There is a plan B , emulate Brentford, learn and apply.



    This is what Brentford said :-



    “The development of young players must make sense from a business perspective. The review has highlighted that, in a football environment where the biggest Premier League clubs seek to sign the best young players before they can graduate through an Academy system, the challenge of developing value through that system is extremely difficult.”



    That is the very scenario that we face, and face it we must.



    This is what Brentford did ;-



    Put simply, the B Team model was seen as the best way of producing first-team players for Brentford. Leaning on their extensive data systems, they focused on targeting young players released by Premier League academies as well as acquiring talent from perceived undervalued markets overseas. When needed, the better players would be given opportunities in the first team.



    Our games are selling out, we are competently navigating the Ange journey but there is a lot more to do. Paul 67 mentioned the youth dimension in Australia.



    I liked the fact that Dominic Mckay was to bring new initiative into the club.



    Dominic has departed, but we still need imaginative initiative.



    HH to all.

  6. Players in the NT — SPL players vs EPL players?



    I think that the SPL players are missing an element of physicality.


    Ukraine were not holding back — ninja tackling from the off.



    I think that some of our EPL players handled it better than the SPL players.


    JMcG seemed to be our best player regarding a physical response.


    CA also seemed to be able to hold his own.



    The SPL players took time to get up to the physical intensity of the game.


    RJ looked lost from the off — he was so out of his depth all you could see were the bubles.



    Finally JH — where did that all come from?


    His reading of the game / covering were a feature of our performance.


    Shows what a new challenge and coaching can deliver.

  7. Imo, Callum McGregor is being overplayed. The stats speak volumes. Callum will always want to represent his country, so tough decisions must be taken by his employer.



    Stating the obvious but ; When you are overplayed it can be counter productive.




  8. MADMITCH on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:05 PM



    Denayer signed for a team in one of the stupid oil state leagues the other day

  9. MM, Jimbo67 et al…



    We really need to up our game in the youth and “B” teams, investing large in the development areas of the Club will pay back ten fold.



    Steve Clarke started the last leg of the Nation’s league campaign with sixteen players injured – we took on the Ukraine with the highly experienced Craig Gordon in goal, Calmac in midfield and eight EPL players.



    After more injuries, bans and illness, threadbare Scotland could still put out a team of quality to get a result away against the Ukraine.



    The myth that Scotland can’t produce footballers is busted and Scotland’s biggest club should be at the fore front




    This article on Ben Doak is interesting…





    “Six months ago you would never have found me defending whatsoever. And that’s the difference between making it into a first team player rather than just a youth player.



    “I am trying to turn my all-round game into a strength.



    “I have not seen the first team too often, but I think that’s deliberate and to make you want to get up there. If I saw them all the time it wouldn’t be normal. It should be a privilege to be up there.”



    On his Hoops exit Doak said: “I was just trying to think of the best path to go down to get better as a football player.



    “But once I went down there to Liverpool and saw the standards and the facilities, it’s top, top level. You don’t get any better than where I am at right now.



    “I’m in the best place.



    Celtic can offer developing footballers Celtic B games and UEFA Youth League games against the best young talent in Europe.



    Build it and they will come



    Hail Hail

  10. GP @ 12.10



    Nearly agree with you — in full.


    The B team angle would appear to be the way forward for us.



    Get them in at 17/18 — coach / work them hard and move them up to the first team squad at 20/21. Worldies can move up earlier but that would be the basic plan.



    Where I probably disagree is what do we do about the plooky youths on our doorstep / rest of Scotland?



    Surely we have to be active in this market or do we just retire and leave the door open to TFOD2.1?



    B/ford / London is a special case.


    Will CP give up on their youth teams — no chance.


    B/ford were late to the party so second rate.


    They made their decision in that context.

  11. Chairbhoy/Greenpinata



    Well done on football posts.



    To all- Please ignore the abbreviating Troll



    It does not go near Celtic




  12. GREENPINATA @ 12:10 PM,



    Good post, the Brentford model is very interesting, they can now buy young players who are first team ready.



    Hail Hail

  13. GREENPINATA on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:10 PM



    Benfield at Brentford seems to be an extremely shrewd guy so it’s always sensible to look at what he’s doing but they had different aims and faced different challenges to us when they were in the championship and now they’re in the prem.



    They’ve started up the academy again, although it might just be because they have to have on in the EPL and it’s done as cheaply as possible. And they seem to be concentrating on staying in the division to generate the income that they received from player trading before. Promotion seemed to be an aim, but making money from developing players seemed more important with promotion being secondary. Success on the pitch wasn’t necessarily an existential issue for them, unlike with us where the need for results puts added pressure on and development players



    Is the SPL like the EPL – do we need to have an academy?

  14. CB @ 12.21



    L/town was very much a budget version of a training complex when it was built.


    The indoor hall was proof positive of that — 1200M2 of space / big gym at best.



    We had 13/14 years to improve it.


    Nothing happened until AP turned up.



    Compare and contrast — Ongoing investment at L/town vs PL’s bonus payments.



    Investment @ B/field — new indoor pitch.


    Budget version with green and white hoops to warm the support.


    The changing rooms / gym / treatment rooms = posh portacabin.


    Anything PL touched was low rent / cheap.



    We need to spend big on facilities.


    We need a B Team stadium.



    We seem to have missed the boat with Crownpoint.



    Others are moving forward but CQN has a Yeti tendency.


    The Abominable No-man.

  15. Notwithstanding the fact we got soundly beaten in Paisley, looking at our league fixtures, we’ve nothing that should concern us too much until we rock up to Livi and Hearts at the end of October. Resting 2-3 players in rotation should be a feature in our league games for the next four weeks.



    As for CCV and Germany, take no risks. If he’s 100% then great, if not, give him the time he needs. A home win and away loss is ok against Liepzig. Our CL fate will not be decided in Germany.

  16. Crazy to think Calmac is only 29



    Without wanting to start up an old debate again, I thought he was the most consistent Scottish midfielder over the recent games. You could forgive McGinn for a bit of an off night last night but he was poor I thought. Calmacs performance levels never drop

  17. Tiny Trot @ 12.22



    Or should that be mentalist Orange Book Liberal from Crawley …


    Handy for your career as a City bean counter no doubt.



    How about you offer some comment / ideas?



    Or are you just interested in your own wealth / situation — just like your voting record.

  18. Chairbhoy @ 12.21



    I think by far the most illuminating part of Doak’s article were where he says that 6 months ago he would not have been found defending. That is quite alarming as ever since the days of Ronny Deila we have been supposedly bringing in a top down way of playing – the academy youth teams and their players playing the same way as the first team.



    A ‘hard press’ or even ‘total football’ or whatever you want to call it would be our way of playing and youngsters would not need a crash course in how the first team plays when – as happened last Boxing Day- we suddenly had to call on B Team players. ( albeit the lads did well that day).



    Anyway I am off to buy wrapping paper and a belt for my breeks. Be civil. All of us.




  19. JIMBO67 on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:37 PM



    You should look up the interview Darren O’Dea’s gave recently. He was saying that Ange has taken more control over how all the teams approach playing.

  20. C0 @ 12.36



    JMcG is a limited but very effective player.


    CMcG is a much more dynamic / expansive player.



    However JMcG can play / be effective at a much higher level than CMcG.


    He can deal with the physicality of top level football much better than CMcG.


    Basically he knows how to both tackle / throw it about — much more than CMcG.



    CMcG is a poor tackler and he knows it — backs off far too much.


    If he throws it about then he gets sent off.


    Not good.

  21. Timmy7



    Thanks for your reply


    Garry,DelaneysDonkey was one of our own and a much missed as s poster and friend,


    Not forgetting your great pal and great blog contributor Squire Danaher,much missed mate.


    Great Celts both of them.


    All the best,



    Hail Hail

  22. JMcG’s big problem is when he tries to play the MF dynamo / playmaker role.


    He just doesn’t have the skillset or footballing depth / vision to do it.



    More limited role and he excels.

  23. Toaty Trot @ 12.22



    Any chance of some football comments?


    your thoughts on our youth set up / JMcG’s goal scoring record?

  24. Brentford



    Stay in the Championship, buy young, develop in a credible competitive league with a roughly similar style to the EPL where players can settle (or not) and be scouted easily. Hope for promotion but don’t have it as essential for your business model.



    When they are in the EPL they would look to establish themselves as exactly the sort of club they previously sold to. Take advantage of the easier tv money, but to stay in the EPL, sell your development players to the bigger clubs for more money.



    Results are a bit more critical than in the championship but mid table mediocrity is still an aim for financial success



    It’s a simplistic take, and I think Benfield is a Brentford fan so he might have loftier ambitions for his team, but he does seem to be looking at a smart way of being a benefactor – he’s put £100m of his own cash into them iirc.



    I dont know if being an established EPL club makes the Brentford academy more atttactive to younger players than Chelsea’s. Maybe he thinks it is, abd maybe he sees the new uefa regs that put a limit on the number of young players clubs can have out on loan as putting a stop to them pinching so many players for smaller clubs academies

  25. Our youth set up — nod attentively and carry on ego tripping.



    RD — wants to make changes / not around long enough.


    BR — first team focus with no desire to stick his nose in.


    NL2 — struggles to focus on the 1st team never mind the youths / CoViD19 just makes things worse.


    AP — Emergency Ward 10 getting the 1st team fixed.



    Next step the B team hopefully the Youths are next.


    Much more active / engaged / evidence based.


    Head nodding will not be enough.

  26. glendalystonsils on

    CELTIC40ME on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 12:36 PM



    I thought the very same thing last night . Callum was a country mile better than John McGinn and I doubt if the latter would have displaced anyone in our midfield on last night’s form .

  27. C40 @ 12.58



    B/ford want to develop as a football team.


    When they got the chance they were desperate to get into the EPL.


    I think they will just tweak the original plan and up the budget.



    Regarding potential 1st team players — there are or were a big rival to us.


    See IT / AH for evidence — players that would have been good additions to our squad.


    Even KA plays into this — we have more ambition / AP a year earlier — we keep him for longer and sell him to a bigger club.



    ECh — they looked for £5mill / £7mill buys.


    EPL — they look for £15mill / £20mill buys.


    If we want to be CL contenders going forward we will need to fish in the same pond.


    Might not catch as many but we need to be able to work / understand this market.



    B Team angle — we need to work this to the max.


    Buy players for the team / give them visibility — no hiding in the shadows.


    More publicity / more TV exposure / more focus / more demands.

  28. Hello again all you young rebels.



    God bless Garry Duncan, sorely missed on here.


    A lovely ghuy and one of the first winners of our little quiz PADDYMACOZ


    and myself used to do on here, and he was so happy with his little bag


    of Celtic goodies we sent him over from our CSC.




    Thanks for the good wishes, at this moment I’m fine, but the princess now


    positive, she’ll get the proper test in the morn.


    I’m having to take antiviral tablets 4 twice a day, feck nearly the weekend.


    Do they work o.k with the Red Biddy ? 😜


    H.H. Mick

  29. CELTIC40ME on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 1:25 PM



    AN TEARMANN on 28TH SEPTEMBER 2022 1:16 PM



    Give it a rest with that patter ffs





    Patter,I wish it was patter.



    Give it a rest- what just normalise abuse?



    Chase yourself,it can hardly type a sentence without abuse




    Who knows how he’d do under Ange who has improved every player, but I wouldn’t have him ahead of our attacking mids at the moment. Maybe a viable alternative to Calmac but that’s a very specific technical role these days, and I’m not sure he has the technical ability for it.

  31. Thoughts will all those that knew DELANEYS DUNKY the person. Read some good stories about the mhan last night.



    Blog was a better place when we had those sorts posting. An Ange man from the start it seems.



    HH all and try and act with some decorum.

  32. garygillespieshamstring on

    An article on the CalMac scandal.



    Why was he played for 270 minutes in three games in a pretendy international tournament and Celtic have nothing to say to Clarke about his prolonged failure to take care of our player?



    This is the CalMac scandal.


    More important to me than Nicola’s inability to get her boats fixed. :)

  33. Ben Doaks comments are interesting…all about standard and facilities and nothing about the 12k a week hes on ……if Liverpool had offered him the same money as celtic …he’d still be here ….its a nonsense to think otherwise!!!



    I’m not sure that’s correct.


    In England, they are only allowed to pay youth players £800 /week until they reach 18.


    He only turned 17 a few weeks ago.



    Then again Mikey Johnston has been on £12 k for the last 3 years.


    Now that is a waste of money

  35. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I might be mistaken – but I believe that Brentford are being forced to reinstate their academy as a condition of being able to compete in UEFA competitions.



    From what I have read, I think that their intention at the moment is to run an academy and a “B Team” in parallel – not one or the other.



    Brentford’s academy was one of the better ones in London but they abandoned it as they were losing their best to Man City etc.


    The benefit of the “B Team” concept is that the players they bring in are expected to compete for a first team squad place within two years – if they dont make it, they are loaned out, transferred or released.

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