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. Let’s all do the huddle.



    1f we cant trust politicians then who can we trust?





    Peter Lawwell.

  2. Let’s all do…



    The numbers jumped, as was anticipated, when we relaxed some of our restrictions. Anyone out and about on our streets and talking to friends could see and hear a growing frustration at having to abide by the restrictions.



    We relaxed our guard, the infection rate surged on again, and now we are back to proposing a drastic reduction again with a less willing general population.



    Margaret Ferrier is a symptom of this, not a cause, though it is still a hugely uncaring attitude that she took.

  3. lets all do the huddle on







    but it just looked too big an immediate increase right after their speeches



    as if they had to justify their speeches with big numbers



    a bit strange to me

  4. lets all do the huddle on

    1f we cant trust politicians then who can we trust?




    Peter Lawwell.





    indeed, we can trust him to make himself as much cash as possible!!



    and he clearly isnt interfering too much in team selections or he would have told NL to get a grip and start playing his best team in the big games

  5. Reporting high infection rates is not good for politicians – it highlights their ineffectiveness in dealing with the pandemic.

  6. lets all do the huddle on

    Reporting high infection rates is not good for politicians – it highlights their ineffectiveness in dealing with the pandemic.




    but it also justifies their strict lockdown measures



    but i wouldnt want to be in any of their shoes just now



    especially nicola’s.



    my feet are too big to get into them

  7. Lets all do……





    but it just looked too big an immediate increase right after their speeches


    as if they had to justify their speeches with big numbers”





    The simpler explanation is that the numbers increasing led to the increased speechifying.



    These people are not bright enough nor quiet enough to spring a conspiracy.



    This is, as usual, cock-up territory.

  8. Very pleased we are in the Europa and got a cracking draw, hopefully this team finds it’s mojo and we see some great games.



    SAINT STIVS @ 12:33 PM,



    “uefa guy gives continuity lie live on screen,”



    Unfortunately continuity is not a lie, it is a fact, backed by every football authority. Also by Celtic Foitball Club.



    The continuity myth refers to the notion that the continuity made Sevco Rangers the “same club” as Rangers, which of course is a lie.



    Hail Hail

  9. lets all do the huddle on

    im always the first to slag politicians of any creed



    but i dont think any of them could have been trained for this shitey virus



    so i dont think think there is any party political mileage to be made for or against any of them in trying to deal with it




    Uncle: Was at the NI v Scotland game in 1965 when Crossan scored in a 3-2 win for the Irish, big Gilzean scored twice for Scotland. Knew I was at the game and guess what..the game was played Oct/2/1965. Settle for a cup of tea…wobbly water days are gone!



    *Johhny Crossan, I cringe when I hear his name now as he was one that go away.



    Johnny began his career with his local side Derry where he attracted the attention of several leading English clubs, including the Arse and Sunderland.



    When the latter made a substantial offer, Derry offered him a payment deal, which he rejected, then when the Sunderland negotiations broke down, he was dropped so he signed for local rivals Coleraine but never kicked a ball for them.



    Derry now urinated off by his actions reported themselves ??? to the Football League authorities for technical breaches of regulations, thus ensuring that he would face disciplinary action.



    He was found guilty by the Irish League of being paid as an amateur and asking for more than £750 signing-on fee in a projected transfer from Coleraine to Bristol City and banned from all forms of football for life.



    A partial lifting of the ban was allowed following an appeal and 4 months later he signed for the then Dutch Champions Sparta Rotterdam where he was first called up to the black north national squad before moving to Standard Liège in Belgium as one of only two permitted foreign players the following year.



    While with Standard he played in the semis of the Big Cup against Real Madrid, he had scored 2 against deidco in the previous round in a 4-1 victory for the sprouts.



    The following season after his UK ban was lifted we went in for him; he was not known at the time as a prolific goal scorer but was an excellent play-maker in the old inside forward position.



    He would have been perfect for us but unfortunately chose Sunderland, the same month we signed Bobby Craig, no offence tae Bobby a well loved Celt over here who helped establish the Toronto CSC, but he was just a journeyman player while Johnny was an international who would eventually play 24 games for his country scoring 10 goals. IMHO if he had signed for us we would have not been humiliated by deidco at hunden 6 months later.



    He went to Man City from Sunderland for a £40,000 fee after scoring 48 goals in just 99 appearances at Roker Park, 48%, including in the promotion-winning season of 1963/64 where he starred alongside Cloughie where, after the £20 maximum wage was abolished, he was getting paid more much tae the chagrin of “big ‘ead”.



    He captained City to promotion and was adored by fans of the Maine Road club but after being left out of the team or ‘rested’ as manager Joe Mercer had put it after a loss of form following a car crash and other health problems he requested a transfer and moved to Middlesbrough in August 1967.



    After 3 seasons at Ayresome Park he moved back to Belgium before retiring 5 years later.



    Johhny Crossan is still known as the finest player Derry ever produced, aye even better than the Derry Pele. But what is it about Derry mhnen and Sunderland; even MON has stated they were his favourite team growing up and not us.



    I suppose it could be worse with fraudgers and Sheffield Wednesday although I have been acquainted with some Falls Road Fenians that liked us but favoured manure, even the nephew of a true Celtic legend who I saw walking through a Wal-Mart Store with a Red Devils trackie on, although to be fair one of them told me that only getting English games on the tele was a factor in this.

  11. lets all do the huddle on

    The economy is tanking – lockdown only makes it worse




    i agree



    which is why i have never indulged in lockdown!



    which probably makes me a selfish c**t



    cant win either way

  12. Uefa relies on information from Scotland regarding the Scottish clubs history, etc. Say no more.

  13. Odds for the teams in our groupTo win the Europa League Cup::


    Pot 1 team: 50/1


    Pot 2 team: 28/1


    Pot 3 team: 10/1


    Pot 4 team: 250/1.



    Something not right there…..and I don`t think it lies with the odds setter.

  14. Lenny is far to nice.




    The Ultimate winner.



    My Heart soared when he WARNED about Leigh Griffiths.




    Getting Mad?



    Stevie G, now has a very good SQUAD.



    Nothing is Easy.



    Getting 10




  15. Chairbhoy



    Unfortunately continuity is not a lie, it is a fact, backed by every football authority. Also by Celtic Football Club.





    Its a bit more complicated than that. Despite finishing second in 2012 “Rangers” did not play in Europe the following season, entered Division Three and were unseeded in both domestic cups. So, that’s EUFA, SPL and SFA all treating them like a new club.



    Sadly, your second point is 100% correct – apart from Lawwell’s Rory Bremner comment.



    Jamesgang –




    Exec summary? Don’t you know the kids use TLDR?




    Get with it granddad 🤟🏽





    I must be an auld fart, cos I have no idea what you’re on about.



    SFTB – thanks for your thanks. Means a lot. And I agree with you!



    HH jg

  17. Billybhoy1967 @ 5:46pm:



    `Despite finishing second in 2012 “Rangers” did not play in Europe the following season,`



    Unless there is something missing from the above, I would like to see Celtic supporters ( and supporters of all other Clubs ) highlighting it at every opportunity.

  18. Jamesgang


    Thanks for that 3:58 link.


    I can`t read it just now but my first impressions , based on the opening paragraphs, are very positive. I`ve got the feeling I am going to study the article and become an expert on the subject !


    Seriously, it looks like an excellent article. Thanks.


    Cheerio for now,



  19. outside of the 10 – everything else is a side show. I’m happy with the draw – it will be difficult for the media to write negatively about results since we are clear underdogs in a tough group. We also know what we are up against and the travel aint so bad.



    I’m hoping we sign a lefty, a defender and a loan creative player.



    Our midfield lacks a player with potential to become a EPL player – the number of runs not picked out last night was frustrating. Turnbull has the vision but I think Lennon likes the simple pass.



    Time for the board to show some respect and sign the players we need!

  20. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    The BertKassies web pages give a match sequence for the Champions League groups. The order for Pot 1 teams is the following;



    4v1, 1v2, 3v1, 1v3, 1v4, 2v1.



    Happy days should our competition pan out the same way. Back to back against Milan and away in Prague on the last matchday.



    I’m not expecting it. The Italian clubs will decide as always.