Moneyball Christie, subversive right hemisphere


Celtic always had the look of winners last night, but until Odsonne Edouard pounced on the rebound from Ryan Christie’s shot, the outcome was in the balance.  We are going to face a lot of packed defences like that this season, though fortunately or not, that could be the last we see of them in the Europa League.

Christie was back to his best.  I know his stats are far from impressive and he is criticised (by others) for his decision making, but I spent almost three years during Brendan Rodgers time wanting someone to mix it up.  Take shots that would force the keeper to work or a defender to block, or play the low percentage pass that we all know is going to miss most of the time, but will result in loose balls in dangerous areas.

Those poor stats are a consequence of randomness, which is something we loved in Frank McGarvey, but that was before the stats came along to both inform and confuse.  Stats are all about interpretation, which is the real lesson of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball for those who never read the book, or those who did, but didn’t understand it.

I tried most of the second half to figure out what changes Neil Lennon made at halftime that freed up Jeremie Frimpong.  During the first half, he was so well shackled, I considered the Sarajevo left back as a possible recruit.  At the break, the suggestion was made to me, maybe he is better as an impact player?

Sarajevo certainly opened up at the break, which may have helped, but Jeremie was back at his impactful self during the second period.  Credit also to Greg Taylor, who had his best game in a Celtic shirt.

I’m still pretty gutted about not being in the Champions League and at the manner of our exit, but Pot 1 seed in the Europa is an important place to land.  Last week we spoke about how it was to our advantage that all domestic rivals also reach the group stage.  We didn’t want them having a week to plan games against St Mirren etc., while we traverse the Continent.  Not this season.

That kind of left hemisphere thinking was nowhere to be found once kick offs were underway last night.  You can’t fake this stuff, it is just not possible to subvert the tribal instinct (which is why nationalism is so potent, and why Celtic is my only identity).  But, in a crisp and sunny autumnal morning, logic is back on top.  No one will get an easy pass to the title this season, including Celtic.

Uefa’s methods of seeding have never been perfect, this is not tennis, but those pots are full of variance.  I’m hoping to avoid sides from the big nations.  Farewell, Copenhagen, Basel, Sporting, Rosenborg, Legia (sorry, Zbyszek) and yes, even Galatasaray.  Strong sides are out of Europe, the potential to join them was real.

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  1. Frisdorfer…whit the hell is an HDMI switcher? Computer to tv link? Without the wifi…genuinely curious

  2. 1st for me…checking out the Alcohol Act Scotland…nae buying beer b4 10am….and I thought it was 11…things you learn ;-))

  3. 21-5-79….the POS…never caught Covid…but it’s a nice distraction from his not condemning white supremacists…his massive tax dodging and only paying $750 once lately…as a decent guy, I hate to say it…but I mean it…fuck him

  4. My friends in Celtic,



    The young team have it easy.



    The daddy of all the fortified wines was Lanliq. What a nightmare to drink and keep down.


    Don’t be a fan@y ask for Lannie. Guarenteed to have you blootered in 5.



    The ” cheapest” was Vordo, although the fines certainly boosted the overall cost.😀



    HH to all.

  5. Suggested, team for the day – poor pitch, poor opposition in poor form. Play to our strengths. 3 points and get out of dodge:






    Julien——- Duffy——-Ajer












    Cameos for Turnbull, Griffiths, Rogic.



    5-0 Celts.

  6. GreenPinata…given those recommendations…I really don’t feel as if I’ve missed out…but am glad you didn’t lol




  7. Today’s starting line up v St Johnstone ……


    Turnbull, Barkas; ElHamed, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, McGregor, Turnbull, Taylor, Christie, Elyounoussi, Edouard


    Subs: Bain, Jullien, Soro, Welsh, Rogic, Brown, Ntcham, Griffiths, Klimala

  8. Today’s starting line up v St Johnstone ……



    Barkas; ElHamed, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, Turnbull, Ntcham, McGregor, Taylor, Elyounoussi, Edouard


    Subs: Bain, Jullien, Soro, Welsh, Rogic, Brown, Christie Griffiths, Klimala



    Too excited about the Turbull start

  9. Re mentions of electric soup style beverages, embdy else had a brush w Mad Dog 20/20?


    I tried it back when there was only one flavour – rocket fuel. Hooly-dooly – never been back to Fort William, the scene of the crime, since.


    NEILLENNON&MACARTNEY – hat-tip re story about the 80-yr old Woolongonian fitba player. Inspirational bud!


    Nice to see NFL mixing it up a bit. How long into game b4 he’s castigated for doing just that??


    Mon the bhoys!

  10. Strong 11, strong bench…if am allowed only 1 gripe,,, it’s start wae Griffalo…Elyounoussi…as am impact sub…




  11. a one nil win for the Bhoys and a delicious 3 points………….and I’m sorted.






    In ither news………..



    Fat Charlie…………………( tumbleweed?)



    <4 HHH.