Pivotal shift for Celtic


Amid all the consequences of Champions League group stage qualification, lies a subtle shift in the calendar for Celtic that could prove pivotal.  The club has started competitive football for recent seasons in the first or second qualification round, often in the first week in July.  Added to our habit of reaching (and winning) the Scottish Cup final, Celtic’s close season has been truncated into a period of between six and eight weeks.

This year, we will have an impressive 11 weeks to rest and rebuild before the cinch SPFL Premiership campaign gets the competitive season underway on 30 July.  Consider what that differential means for the fitness coaches.  They were previously tasked to allow the players sufficient rest, then accelerate their return to peak condition to avert a potentially disastrous exit from European competition.

In recent years, this has resulted in giving players as much time off as possible before a three-week fitness ramp up.  You and I can speculate on what impact this has on Celtic’s multi-season catalogue of soft-tissue injuries.

Preseason is also when the base layer of endurance is laid.  Players can do speed work between games, but they cannot do endurance work and play a game five days later.  This training is only effective if it exhausts and breaks muscle fibre, allowing a natural period of regrowth, which builds the muscle.  Squad-wide, it does not happen during the season.

We have seen enough hamstring injuries, as well as Celtic players looking exhausted late in games, to know we have preparatory issues to address.  We also know the fitness coaches are not given the opportunity to work on either matter effectively.  This close season is such a change to the norm, the techs at Lennoxtown will have no realistic experience of how best to spend the valuable weeks handed to them.

Getting it right could extend the careers of the likes of Callum McGregor.  It will also make the type of football Ange Postecoglou wants to play more achievable.

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  1. Apart from the techniques mentioned, the right type of players brought in will make the way Ange wants to play possible, por cierto




    Thanks for your good wishes.



    A wee dram sounds like a good idea!



    A very good idea!!




  3. Pingback: Pivotal shift for Celtic | Celtic FC News Now

  4. AT



    Feels like a head cold with a cough.



    Not too bad, but a nuisance!



    Hope you are good!

  5. Sounds like a great opportunity and I’m sure Ange will use that wisely. Our japanese fellas need a rest, we need early calls on Jota & CCV and we should not wear, like a badge of honour, the enormous amount of minutes Callum plays. We can’t be overly dependent on him despite his importance.



    Bin the deadwood, which there are still plenty, and buy young sellable players coherent with the way we want to play – no more McCarthy’s, Scales, Shaws or Uroghide’s for example. Upgrades required if we want to be more than happy with being whipping bhoys in the ECL.



    Europa League winners 22/23 in Budapest…..let’s get ourselves there. Lots of work to do.







  6. Good morning from a steamy Texas – we hit “feels like” 102F this weekend for the first time this year – ugh.



    Does anyone know why we kick off 15 minutes ahead of the rest of the programme on Wednesday?

  7. I know this is a long shot but would anyone have one spare ticket for Tannadice on Wednesday, please?

  8. The state of the first team squad would suggest that AP has overcooked the high intensity traing over the past two months.



    Are they building a railroad out the back in L/town?


    The team is starting to look like a male version of Tenko.

  9. Park Road 67 on



    Get well soon , I had it myself about 5 weeks ago likewise felt like a bad cold , more of a nuisance as you say HH 🍀

  10. fieldofdrams on

    Rubicon at 12.24



    Have you phoned the Dundee Utd shop? They’ve been getting a few Away Support returns so you never know. Otherwise buy a home ticket and sit on your hands…

  11. Great that after so many years Celtic players will have a decent rest up and a proper pre-season particularly in the case of Calmac and our globetrotting Japanese cohort. But as mentioned here on many occasions by contributors how does it explain how it appears that Newco Rangers have the same demands but look a fitter team than us?



    Sparkling performance by the Hoops on Saturday and some terrific goals especially Jota’s wrongly disallowed score. Ange looking comfortable in the saddle as he rounds the final bend heading for the winning post.





    1. Hearts goal was very close to offside (don’t think Starfelt should have tried to play him off there). Definite VAR referral. Probably a goal as was the decision on Sat.






    Don’t disagree , however 😜 the hearts player was leaning forward and his shoulder /chest looked ahead of Starfelts heel ,so could have been given as off ?

  13. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from Shawlands. A rather grey day in old Glasgow Town.

  14. BOGNORBHOY on 9TH MAY 2022 12:47 PM




    1. Hearts goal was very close to offside (don’t think Starfelt should have tried to play him off there). Definite VAR referral. Probably a goal as was the decision on Sat.




    Don’t disagree , however 😜 the hearts player was leaning forward and his shoulder /chest looked ahead of Starfelts heel ,so could have been given as off ?




    that’s what is in store for us next season – very tight calls with those wee lines on the screen! At least the linesmen were making decisions on Sat. The previous week they were waiting for Beaton to decide which was weird at the least and we know what the worst is 😎



    Sorry to read that you are unwell with Covid.


    Get well soon mate.


    Im also stuck in the Hoose ( AGAIN), due to different health reasons which are ongoing.


    I could murder many Beers right now, But Im too feart to leave the Hoose.


    HH Mate.

  16. During the 1970’s I well remember a group of players, directly descended from the Neanderthals, used to run up and down the Gullane sand dunes as part of their pre-season fitness regime. They did this until they threw up.


    Now, it’s all about muscle fibre regrowth and avoiding soft tissue injuries. This sports science malarkey certainly doesn’t involve having any sand, or vomit, in your trainers.


    Two weeks in Torremolinos sinking the bevy followed by three weeks pre-season to sweat off the bevy, Leigh Griffiths notwithstanding. The good old close season tradition.


    Daizen Maeda will get an additional 10 days off to allow everyone else to catch up with him. If that is even possible.

  17. Presently we have the nucleus of a very good side , way too good for our league as has been proven , but we are well short of what is required for European football again as was proven . Here we have a team in a European final who we have put in there place domestically yet in Europe we lag well behind them . Where we have the flair players for our league we don’t have them for Europe , we all thought winning this league and the £40 million plus would propel us further in front of them yet it’s reported they could make almost as much . The old firm fc have a few skilful players but they have more tough battle ready ones and that’s needed in european games , I am sure ange will have noted that after the cup semi game where we were roughed up by them aided and abetted by the hun supporting referee . If old firm fc do get the same sort of money as Celtic you can be sure they will strengthen , they will want to put there boot on our neck you can take that to the bank , will our custodians be up for the fight , will they back ange to the hilt Mibbies aye probably naw . HH

  18. Late to the party — not quite getting the NL luv of last night.



    If he wasn’t good enough in 2014 then why was he good enough in 2019?



    Why actually was he shown the door in 2014?


    The story I heard was that when asked by DD where his future lay — he said the EPL.


    DD did not seemingly take too kindly to this remark.



    The other element that has seemed to grow overtime is the coaches situation.


    AT left then JM left — NL was told that RD was going to be the new coach and he took the huff.


    I still think that Case 1 was the bigger driver in his departure.



    NL2 — he should never have been offered the job.


    However he was perfect for PL — cheap / desperate / pliable.


    Still hearing stories how his “shower moment” killed the celebration of the Triple Treble.


    I was more upset that he was given the job in the Feb.


    It seemed normal business — PL / DD style — to give him the permanent gig.


    But for a lot of people he shower was what finally put them over the edge.



    After lockdown — 2020/21 season — the Dagenham Girl Pipers U16 throw in coach would have done a better job than he was able to deliver.



    It was not his fault — who would have turned us down at that time?


    But he was not up to dealing with the SPL shark pond one more time.


    At some point the full story will begin to emerge.



    The loan players treating us a beer tour was particularly hard to accept.


    Plus the muppets rattling the fence at P/head — ready made for the SPL media ludge.


    Pavlov’s dog was shaking his head at that *hite.



    Here’s hoping he does well in Cyprus.


    Could they make Europe next season?


    He deserves a good career as a coach.



    Just a case that he was never going to get it in Natland / the SPL.


    His time in Scotland and the treatment / barbarity he faced shames the nation.

  19. BIGRAILROADBLUES on 9TH MAY 2022 12:52 PM


    Good afternoon all from Shawlands. A rather grey day in old Glasgow Town.




    I am so jealous BRRB, but I can NOT leave the hoose just now cos of my health.


    Hopefully, I will catch up with you and Leggy for many Beers real soon !



    BRRB…..CQN’s roving reporter….CQN’s own ” ALAN WHICKER” !




    HH Mate.

  20. bigrailroadblues on

    Big Jimmy, all the best mate. I’ll drink your quota on Wednesday. 👍😂🍺

  21. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Great stuff Pablo.



    I’m convinced the peaks and troughs in energy levels throughout recent seasons are heavily attributable to



    – the length of season due to early start


    – attempting to hit peak in mid August !!!



    I feel pretty confident this schedule (allied to more proactive squad management) will help Ange’s phase 2.



    Arrogant perhaps but I’m feeling very confident about next season already.



    Ange has delivered a 25-5-0 streak.



    80 points from 30 games.



    2.67 ppg.



    Against a very unsettled backdrop.






    If we average 2.5 PPG across next season we’ll hit 95 points …



    .. which will be enough to win the league.



    To illustrate what 95 points could look like?



    From 38 games



    30 wins


    5 draws


    3 defeats



    If quality added, squad settled and preparation enhanced?



    Very doable.

  22. JD @ 12.56



    JW and his jungle warfare school of coaching …



    With the benefit of hindsight the Gullane Sands narrative starts to look like a cover story for other active element then in vogue regarding football fitness training / conditioning.



    The stuff than came out of a bottle provided by a “doctor”.



    The Gullane Sands stuff was pushed very hard in the media to try and make TFOD1.0 look special — explain away there surprising levels of fitness and stamina.



    The influence of Dodgy Pharma was working its way through European sport at that time — given the pressure on our friends in Govan to win the league they would be expected to work every angle.



    Scottish athletics was part of this at the time — links to US Uni teams.


    And then you have the situation that an ex player found himself in at WC78.



    Coincidence is only one of quite a few explanations.

  23. B2B @ 1.10



    That is a very selective analysis.


    AP has turned it round big style in the SPL.



    But our performances in the EuL / EuC / SC have not been anywhere as good.


    Consequently huge amounts of progress still required.



    Starting with confidence in the squad when they are faced with something new.

  24. JIMTIM @ 12:57 PM,



    Good observant post – it is now very important what we achieve in Europe, The Rangers have made it very clear they are competitive there and in one good season could eclipse our near two decades of prudence.



    Many are scratching their head wondering how they got this far.



    I’m of the view that their appointment of a recognised quality Director of Football is a key component.



    We of course are still resistant to do the same, yet if Mark Lawwell really knows his stuff, as has been suggested, our Head Scout maybe will give us more bang for buck and help Ange take the team to the next level.



    No doubts as P67 says, lots to do in the close season.



    Hail Hail

  25. A positive re VAR is that there’s no more dubiety re offside. A line is drawn, simple as that. You’re either on or off!


    Heart’s opener, VAR – Offside


    Jota 4th goal, VAR – Onside

  26. Jimtim……………You mention Newco’s players made for Europe…………..I find it hard to get my head around the fact that James Tarveneir, a full back, is the top scorer in the Europa League?

  27. Heres to clinchig the title on Wednesday. Talk of next season would be better left till after this season is finished. Heaven forbid if we lose on Wednesday

  28. JT @ 12.57



    For Euro football next season — we need confidence and appetite.


    Against B/G we had neither and AP was taught a very hard lesson.



    We are a class above them regarding talent / ability but they were prepared for the fixture and we were still in SPL / flat track bully mode. Consequently we made it easy for them.



    Next season with a quality CB and LB the defence will be better.


    Next season with a proper DM and a bit of tackle practice the MF will be better.


    Next season with a bit of focus and hunger the attack will be even better.


    Next season with more experience and better coaches then we will be better prepared.



    TFOD2.1 — they have done well in the EuL because their wages depend on it.


    If they don’t progress then they don’t eat.



    They have worked every angle this season because they have had to.


    Next season — will they be so lucky / will they meet so many low energy teams playing in testimonial mode?



    Thursday night — RBL had an 8 – 3 split.


    Eight were trying / three looked lost.


    Same next season?



    Plus they have a old squad needing to be refreshed.


    All takes effort / time / money — change is on its way and it might go against them.

  29. HR @ 1.16



    JT in the EuL — 14 games and 7 goals?


    Is this the numbers you mention?



    7 goals — all penalties?

  30. Field of dreams , many thanks for that tip. Managed to get one from a pal.


    Appreciate your kind suggestion

  31. RUBICON on 9TH MAY 2022 1:33 PM


    Field of dreams





    As you are thanking the man, get his name right :-))

  32. Aipple


    Just thank god then that Dunfermline are in the lower divisions. Otherwise it just could be possible





  33. Madmitch…………..Watching the Leipzig match last Thursday night the Scottish commentary team after Tarvenier scored from play at the post from a Kent cross Exulted in the fact that JT was the top scorer in the Europa Lge. Fact or Fiction?

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