Midfield must change, we have options available


There is a decent possibility that Celtic’s apparent malaise over the six games since the win at Fir Park has something to do with opposition teams closing space our midfielders used to so much effect against Newco at the start of February.

That game was such a platform for our midfield to demonstrate their ability to find and exploit space.  Sure, form slips, but opponents watch and learn.  Consequentially, Celtic must continue to change the script.

Through this period, Callum McGregor has continued to dominate his area as teams fall deeper, but the two more advanced midfielders, paired from Matt O’Riley, Tom Rogic and Reo Hatate, have been denied the acres available to them against Newco and Motherwell.

We cycled through Rogic-Hatate, O’Riley-Hatate and O’Riley-Rogic combinations during this period, to little effect.  The latter combo looked the least effective, but that was against Bodo/Glimt, by far the better opponents.

Meanwhile, Yosuke Ideguchi waits in the dugout.  We don’t know enough about Yosuke to make a proper judgement.  He made his debut as a late substitute against Hibs in January before being injured at Alloa on his next outing.  His only subsequent game time was again as a late sub against Raith.

When played, Yosuke has filled the deep-lying role.  Nir Bitton can play here too.  I cannot offer any great recommendation for either player, but I would like to see Callum McGregor higher up the field against St Mirren tomorrow, with Yosuke or Nir behind him.

For all the disappointments in Norway last week, Celtic improved when Callum came on to play in front of Bitton.  When he steps into the final third, he brings a presence no one else in the squad has.  I’m not going to tell you this should be a regular gig for him, but we need to change this area of the park for tomorrow and Sunday.  We have options, let’s use them.

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  1. We should have no fear about going to ibrox. We were the better team there early in the season. We lost to a goal from a corner. We must have the biggest disparity of any team in the country between scoring from free kicks and corners to conceding from free kicks and corners. We have had years to sort this problem out.

  2. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “but the two more advanced midfielders, paired from Matt O’Riley, Tom Rogic and Reo Hatate, have been denied the acres available to them against Newco and Motherwell”



    The most effective weapon against “space deniers” is SPEED.



    If you routinely create space quicker than they close it down … the rest almost takes care of itself.



    Deploy speed please Ange.

  3. The tweet by Celtic by numbers about Hibs tactical approach to Sunday’s game explains all this very well






    It also goes a long way to showing how 0-0 was always going to be the likely result against a decent team at a ground where we generally don’t win.



    St Mirren aren’t likely to be as tactically sophisticated tomorrow night which doesn’t mean it will be any less of a challenge, but a different one

  4. One man’s troll is another man’s pixie.



    Of course troll or pixie doesn’t have to be male.

  5. not sure midfield personnel is the sole issue.



    Zero threat from corners, Zero direct effect from freekicks, minimal goals from outaide the box.



    Goals change games, we simply dont sore enough goals

  6. Pingback: Midfield must change, we have options available | Celtic FC News Now

  7. “Malaise….form slips…..change the script… …..little effect…..least effective……disappointments in Norway”


    Yikes, you’ll be getting pelters for that Mr B.


    Negatron or bedwetter, I’d wager.



    (tongue firmly in cheek!)

  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-60570893



    A judge has given the go-ahead for sex abuse survivors to launch a multi-million pound claim against Celtic FC.



    Lord Arthurson gave permission for 22 former Celtic Boys Club players to launch a US-style “class action” group claim against the club.



    Advocate Ian Mackay QC, representing the men who were abused while at the youth team, said Celtic FC and the boys club were “intimately connected”.



    Celtic FC denied the claim and said the organisations were separate entities.



    During a virtual hearing of the Court of Session on Tuesday, Lord Arthurson said the legal criteria for allowing the action to proceed had been met.



    Celtic to face ‘class action’ over Boys Club abuse


    The 22 former players came forward seeking compensation after being sexually assaulted while playing for Celtic Boys Club.



    They brought “group proceedings” against Celtic FC PLC – a procedure similar to US class action style litigations.



    Group proceedings were brought in to Scots law in 2020. They allow groups of two or more people with the same, or similar, claims to raise a single action in the Court of Session.



    court of session




    Image caption,


    At the Court of Session Lord Arthurson said legal criteria for allowing the action to proceed had been met


    On Monday, Mr Mackay had told the court that lawyers for the men uncovered evidence which showed apparent close links between Celtic Boys Club and Celtic FC.



    He said evidence showed that Celtic FC first became “aware” about rumours of abuse in 1970, with allegations repeatedly raised at club board meetings throughout the 1980s and 1990s.



    Mr Mackay said: “Celtic Boys Club was intimately connected to Celtic Football Club – it was branded as being closely connected to Celtic Football Club.



    “Players played in Celtic strips and wore blazers which were virtually identical to those worn by Celtic FC players.



    “Football kit, holdalls and training gear were provided by Celtic Football Club. The pursuers’ understanding was that they were playing for the boys club of Celtic Football Club.



    ‘Fair trial’


    He added: “Celtic Football Club exercised control over who played for Celtic Boys Club because scouts recruited players who they considered were good enough to play for Celtic Football Club.



    “The Boys Club was a nursery for senior team players. Celtic Boys Club was in effect what could be now known as the academy of Celtic Football Club.



    “Celtic is vicariously liable for assaults.”



    Roddy Dunlop QC, for Celtic FC, had told Lord Arthurson that the action should not be allowed to proceed.



    He said his clients believed they would not get a “fair trial” because documents which would be key to their case – that the boys club and Celtic FC were different entities were missing.



    Lord Arthurson said the issues being faced by Celtic were not so great as to force the action to stop.



    He also passed a court order prohibiting the identification of the people who had brought the legal action.



    Lord Arthurson said: “The common issue in the proceedings is the question of the vicarious liability of the defenders for the actions of these individuals. The court accordingly grants the permission application.”



    Thompsons Solicitors partner Patrick McGuire, leading the legal team representing the men, said the judge’s ruling was a “watershed moment”



    He added: “Celtic must now face up to those responsibilities and immediately begin meaningful discussions towards ensuring that every survivor receives full financial justice and compensation.”

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Reports of our demise is greatly exaggerated IMO, we are top of the league by 3 points and 9 goals, with 10 games left.No Club goes through a season, without hitting a sticky patch,look at the lead Man City had a few weeks ago, and could have been cut again but for a shocking VAR decision. Sure we aren’t as fluid in play as we were a few weeks ago, there are mitigating factors, poor pitches,a few tired players, 4 new players in January still finding their feet,keep the faith.Ih and BTW, our throw ins have been hopeless since i have watched Celtic 🧨

  10. CELTIC MAC on 1ST MARCH 2022 11:53 AM


    ‘For those with a genuine interest in the background to the war in the Ukraine there was an interesting discussion on Radio 4 this morning hosted by Ed Stourton at 9.00am. ‘Ukraine: How Did We Get Here?’ Only half an hour long, but very informative within that. You will find it on the BBC Sounds website.’








    No mention of the 1917 Revolution, no explanation of how Ukraine was a founding member of the USSR, no mention of Lenin, nothing about how Stalin’s Russification programme was a reversal of Lenin’s approach.



    I’m not sure how anyone is excepted to get an informed view of what is currently happening without being at least aware of those parts of the story.

  11. We face the 2 teams with the joint second best form in the league tomorrow and Sunday



    Hopefully they’ll be confident enough to have a go instead of the usual bus parking

  12. !!BADA BING!! on 1ST MARCH 2022 12:31 PM


    Apologies for the football post….






    While I agree with your post good sir, enough of the fitba chat.

  13. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 1ST MARCH 2022 12:28 PM


    ‘Judge decides that action against Celtic FC can go ahead.’







    Pretty much as expected.

  14. Any lawyers on here? Would it be a reasonable guess to assume that we have kept money in the bank these past few years for this eventuality? If the class action is successful, is there any guidance as to how much the victims can expect? Maybe other clubs have paid compensation already that a judge would use to guide him/her?


    I also wonder if Celtic will want to contest this in court or reach a settlement? The publicity around a court case will not be pretty, regardless of the verdict.

  15. Lokomotiv Moscow’s manager, Markus Gisdol, has resigned in protest at Russia’s war on Ukraine.



    “I can’t stand at the training ground in Moscow and coach the players, ask them to be professional when a few kilometres away there are orders given that brings suffering to the people of a whole country. This is my personal decision and I am absolutely convinced it is the right one.”

  16. Its funny after a terrific performance against the huns……we’ve not started ONE game with the same team……I find this utterly astonishing!!


    So tomorrow please..Hart, JJ, CCV, Taylor..hatate, mcgregor o Riley, abada, GG , Jota



    Big Jimmy if you’re reading this keep on keeping on pal…miss you calling out the CHUMPS bug time…….and they ARE!!

  17. DENIABHOY on 1ST MARCH 2022 12:39 PM




    I assume it’s covered by insurance and the insurers will be running the case, not Celtic. Not sure what the limit of cover will be.

  18. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    St Mirren arrive tomorrow with a new manager. They felt aggrieved at the weekend with some decisions so that, along with Stephen Robinson in the dug out makes them a team who will be determined to prove a point. They are also having a decent season, 2 points off 4th place.



    We will need to be wary of them but obviously I feel with a fast confident start, we can nullify them early and score goals.



    We need to be on it from the first whistle, don’t allow them to take the sting out of the game.


    Do them Celtic and do them good.

  19. Thanks Ernie. Never thought about that. Had no idea that insurance could cover this type of claim.

  20. TOM MCLAUGHLIN @ 12:28




    Yes indeed, and now that which has been ‘on the back burner’ for a period of time, will become front-page news. There are many people & organisations who will now use this class action as a stick with which to beat Celtic.



    Not a good day for our club!

  21. ‘for gravitas’ and ’emphasis’ and ‘self importance’ I shall mostly be posting ‘like this’

  22. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Need to get the ball moving quicker. More combination plays in the wide areas, more dummy runs and cutbacks. Don’t know the stats on goals from crosses from wide areas but I’d guess it’s a pretty low hit-rate. If we are going to be crossing, try some from a different angle. McGregor put in one from the half-space against Dundee which Maeda should have scored from. Much easier to get in round the back of the defence from these “straighter” angles.

  23. From previous thread…




    CELTIC MAC on 1ST MARCH 2022 11:39 AM


    ernie lynch



    Not often I agree with you, but I do here, suggested something similar a few days back.



    In the circumstances we stand aside and enable the Ukraine to progress….




    Should FIFA simply hand the World Cup to Ukraine now, and be done with remaining qualifiers & tournament?



    Asking for a friend (who likes a punt)…




  24. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    It was said last week too, against packed defences, shoot from distance.



    We have seen Rogic, Hatate, O’Riley score from distance lately.



    O’Riley’s shot took a massive deflection but that is also a big part of shooting from distance.



    Shot goes straight in, takes a deflection wrong footing the keeper or the keeper spills it for one of our players to knock it in.



    It doesn’t always have to be pretty football around the box.

  25. From what I’ve seen of the court judgement this morning, Celtic put up a pretty weak argument to bring the claim to a halt.



    Young boys went to play football on the premise that they could one day play for Celtic FC. They were sold a dream but instead were abused by evil.



    Celtic plc should settle these claims as soon as possible.

  26. The weaponisation of CBC abuse allegations in this country is as nauseating as it is unsurprising. Will we seek a judicial review of this morning’s decision ?



    Thompsons (will they be working pro bono on this ? ….no I don’t think so either) will prepare this schedules of loss featuring past loss of earnings contentions ie absent the index abuse my client would have been this, that, or the other. That will push their overall pleadings up dramatically as best scenario arguments will likely be used.



    But I’m sure the Scottish Government, who facilitated this class action, will be pleased as will most of the country for their own reasons.


    Insurance wouldn’t normally cover criminality but I could be wrong in this specific case.



    Be worth keeping an eye on how any future class action judgements pan out.

  27. ernie lynch



    Well I wouldn’t expect Paul67 to write the history of Celtic FC from 1887 every time he writes about the problems facing CalMac in midfield but I take your point. Only so much you can cover in thirty minutes so focus may tend towards more recent events eg post 1990. If you are interested in the bigger picture I’ll refer you Vlad Putin’s speech from a few days back, that goes back 1000 years. Lenin gets a mention too.




  28. Tom McLaughlin on

    It is utterly ridiculous to suggest that Scotland should withdraw from World Cup qualifiers to let Ukraine go through unchallenged. I’m sure the Ukrainian FA and players would not be happy at such a surrender.



    And what if Wales or Austria decide to play them and win?

  29. CALL ME GERRY on 1ST MARCH 2022 12:54 PM




    I think FIFA should be put on the spot over the issue.

  30. Tom McLaughlin on




    ERNIE is right. The documentary didn’t even mention the Romans.

  31. CELTIC MAC on 1ST MARCH 2022 12:59 PM



    Putin pretty much blamed Lenin. That’s why you can’t understand what’s happening now without being aware of that chapter of the history.