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. Melbourne Mick on




    Put that ( browbeating ) as a general term for those that the mantra


    never changes, even when Celtic have a good day, there’s some come


    on here, and it never wavers, Broony’s done, Jamesy’s invisible, Lennon’s


    lost the dressing room, blah de blah.


    Not to mention the coneman, how insulting is that for a young Celtic


    stalwart cut down in his career prime and now a well respected coach.


    All the continued diatribe against Lennon? how easy to type Lenny ? and


    in my opinion there’s people come on here and pick up on pedantic


    negative posters and use them for their’s and the hun advantage.


    As I Said ” Take a moment ”


    H.H. Mick

  2. TAURANGABHOY- how can a player be a whipping boy,if you don’t rate him? And if he’s a good player, why are we scratching about for yet another left back, after spending £5.5 million on 2 who are useless?

  3. TET – All the best to you, your fantastic wife and the great work you do….and long may your valley be hun free.

  4. Go tell the Spartim on

    Europa League is our level both in terms of our standing in football and from our broads ambition.



    Champions League is great for the spectacle, prestige and plc bank balance but we’d never invest that in the team to ensure we were less of a whipping bhoy for the big league teams, I understand that, so we are where we are.



    At least, if last years campaign is anything to go by, were capable of getting beyond the group stage, then we blow it.



    As for some of the players linked it’s all part of the strategy to ridicule the club. We get linked with players we’ve little hope of getting and then told a) were not an attractive option and b) we can’t afford their wages



    The irony is that whilst we all know this is what happens, Smsm and bbc trying to set the tone of such narrative there are still a few fair folk that read and embrace such shite.



    GT gives 100% in all his games but then so would I, it’s the least you expect from a professional footballer, still hoping for better in his position doesn’t make you a bad supporter

  5. Pingback: Moneyball Christie, subversive right hemisphere Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  6. Onenightinlisbon I’m puzzled how on earth does one give 110%, 0-100% I understand but how can you give more than 100% ?? H H Hebcelt

  7. Good morning Celts


    I have a question for you good folks and some lurking sevco fans (smiley).



    I haven’t checked last nights results except the Celtic game which I watched. , its just the way I am, but also I had other life stuff going on so don’t know the answer to this one. Did the huns win?



    I always want that team to lose BUT, this time around I care more about my love of Celtic than laughing at the huns, so I hope they got through and have to play 2 games per week.



    So after all that my friends, back to my question, did the huns win or lose?


    Either way I’m a happy Tim



  8. Credit also to Greg Taylor, who had his best game in a Celtic shirt.



    dearie dearie , that wouldn’t have been hard to beat as he has been **** in every other game , did you count the number of times he gave the ball away in their half , makes you wonder what level of quality is acceptable to play for us.

  9. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    !!BADA BING!! on 2ND OCTOBER 2020 11:02 AM



    Draw simulator,give it a try





    Celtic, Young Boys (you can hear the ‘banter’ already), Milan and Nice



    Acht – too many options (and not enough up-to-date knowledge) to think what’s a good draw and what’s a bad one.



    Take who we get, and beat them all home and away – easy.






  10. onenightinlisbon on

    HEBCELT on 2ND OCTOBER 2020 11:10 AM



    Oh sorry, was just a turn of phrase. didn’t realise it was going to be forensically analysed!

  11. Hebcelt


    You’re 110% correct 🤭



    How’s the weather in the Hebrides – my daughter’s on her way to Lewis on Saturday – sailing from Skye.

  12. TAURANGABHOY on 2ND OCTOBER 2020 10:46 AM



    I think comments on GT are going one way or the other.



    People are being too harsh- I think it’s recognised that he is the weakest link in the starting 11, but he is giving his all- or too complimentary; Boli would get slaughtered for some of the passes and plays that Greg is making, but that gets swept under the carpet for Greg.

  13. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Oh – and I’m another who thought Taylor played well – both going forward (a couple of really cracking crosses – one in particular from fairly deep that Eddie missed by a whisker, and another one floated in subtly for Christie to run on to) and in defense, where he covered well for big Kris on a number of occasions down our left.






  14. RC,



    I don’t think Greg Taylor is sh**. I think he’s a good SPFL-level pro and we’ve speculated on a few of those down the years, some work and some don’t.



    As a reaction to some wanting more from our superior budget, many here have overdone the praise for GT as a weapon against those (like me) who question his place in the team or want to be seen as unquestionably uber in their Celticness. That’s alright but pretty transparent when you think about it.




  15. Big Wavy



    you do gaf.


    but there is a difference between the betterment of Celtic and the incessant negativity about our club at the moment.yours are generally for the better.



    we have a lot to get on with this season


    the mist and fog of hun thinking obfuscating


    and at every turn negating Celtic as a club,players etc will be met at every turn.


    especially here.



    we dont need the rekkkord or the scum now we have Celtic fans(so called) tearing our club a new one.apologies if you were offended.of course it was not meant. but as a narrative it will be questioned.



    stay calm soldier.we are going for 10 .




  16. onenightinlisbon on

    Despite young Taylor giving 120%…..he is no more than a back-up player. Left back is a priority and wee need to address this before the window closes.

  17. VMHAN



    The huns won, brilliantly according to Scottish media. They beat European giants Galatasary 2-1. Whereas we scraped through.

  18. Gene weather not great, Saturday and Sunday not too clever either but I imagine she’ll be prepared for that but has a good time. I mean that 100% H H Hebcelt

  19. TET


    Like others, hoping the news is good news today for your missus 🙏


    Stay positive with her

  20. imo boli boli and Taylor are both getting or got the same level of coaching and on how to pass the ball sideways and back at a good level but as far as passing the ball in a forward manner is shockingly poor.

  21. AT,



    I’ve no idea whether I’m a hun or not in that response :)



    I’ll stop being a nervous wreck when we start playing our best players in their best positions and ‘clicking’ like a purring wolverine.



    Until then calm is off the agenda !!!!






    Careful with all that rational perspective yer chuckin’ around there fella.


    Could mark you out as wan a them glass half full types ;)


    You’re bang on about signing windows; it’s a soap-opera with all the ‘eyeing up’, ‘contemplating a swoop’, ‘showing interest in’, ‘top of wanted list’ cliches – gossip mag tattle for blokes.


    Good appraisal of reality; seeing it, is certainly no bad thing while we keep hoping for better things. HH

  23. Melbourne Mick,



    Said from a place of care mate. No offence and sorry you took it that way.



    We all have choices in how we react. That was my point. There are ways to handle that – scroll by if it creates bad thoughts. We are merely a bunch of talkign heads on a blog who have absolutely no influence on the team’s performance this year.




  24. I make no apologies for wanting to see the best I can with my Celtic



    If Greg Taylor is the answer, we drastically need an urgent review of our Football operation


    I counted 4 times in the first 10mins he either hit the defender with an attempted cross or passed straight to the opposition


    1 cut back, behind Odsonne and 1 other cross ball got into the box, from a huge amount of space he had


    He then had a defensive tackle in the 88th minute, I would have expected from any player


    Yes 100% effort and attitude



    Too slow in both pace and thought for playing at Celtic, and his size does not help us defensively either

  25. I think our last two qualifying rounds, have to take in to account the fact that they were both Single Game Knockouts.



    If last nights game against Sarajevo and lasts week game against Riga , were both the first game of a 2 leg tie.. we would be happy with the outcome in both.



    We would have been confident that we would give a better account of ourselves at Celtic Park…..this place would also have been a lot happier.



    The fact that , in a single game knockout it can all go wrong with one mistake made for nervous play,


    nervous viewing ,


    and made us all hyper critical.




    ( I hope that was the reason)



    The Onlooker

  26. onenightinlisbon on

    I too fail to see how Taylor was viewed as having a “good match” last night. He offered exactly the same as in all of the others he has played in. Passes the ball back or across, rarely attempts to beat a player and 9 times out of ten his crossing it shocking. The lad offers little either in defence or in attack. It’s not his fault he is a square peg.

  27. THE ONLOOKER on 2ND OCTOBER 2020 11:33 AM



    I think that would be correct if we had played well domestically this year, but the European games have been a continuation of domestic form.



    I dont think anyone can point to a 90 mins where we have performed well. Even yesterday was a poor first half followed by a better 2nd half showing.



    We are getting by but against a pretty mediocre group of opponents to date. The worry is against Sevco, will that suffice?

  28. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    Simulator……..Celtic……Slavia……Cluj……Wolfsberger……………nae back backers.

  29. Melbourne Mick on




    By your own words ” we all have choices in how we react ”


    negative or positive.


    Which do you think are yours?


    H.H. Mick

  30. Ron bacardi




    and thanks for all the ither replies


    the huns still playing in Europe is a good thing imo, normally I want them gubbed every game. But his is a very special year for our club.


    I want to win this 10iar so much its hard to put into words.


    the word is Celtic 10iar CSC



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