Rogic, Benkovic, Simunovic


So what went right?  Tom Rogic was back to his imposing best, using his frame to hold-off opponents, while delicately pinging balls into the box to create clear goal-scoring chances.  When he faded, Celtic faded.  There will be games ahead when we need Scott Brown (Murrayfield, Ibrox), but he was not missed yesterday.  Using the skipper more sparingly is something we should be prepared to contemplate.  He is 33-years-old and has enjoyed good fitness for two years, but we cannot take this for granted.

James Forrest needs space to fully utilise his talents and he found acres of it at McDiarmid Park.  On this form, in this space, he is unstoppable.  Danny Swanson’s lunge at James’ ankles was payback for earlier punishment.  There were no legal ways to stop the Celtic winger.  It is early, but there are signs Odsonne Eduard has recovered confidence.  I noticed an uplift after he struck the bar with a shot against Aberdeen a week ago, the opener in Salzburg and yesterday’s second indicates the player is back on form.

Those saying St Johnstone were poor are correct, but you can only beat the team in front of you and Celtic managed this in near historic quantities, despite kicking off only 67 hours after leaving the field in Austria.  This could be the last time for some months we see a Scottish team be bold enough to create two attempts on target in the opening minutes of a game.

The six goal thrashing aside, the return to action of Filip Benkovic and Jozo Simunovic was a major boost.  Jozo has had his moments, but both are comfortable on the ball and will be needed in the months ahead.  We have been relatively solid defensively this season, but getting it right at the back contributes to more than just goals against.

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    Anything less than six every week heralds a return to lowered standards.

  2. No negatives from yesterday from me. On another day that would have been double figures, but Clark in goals was their MOTM.



    A real team performance and long overdue.



    Brendan’s post match interview was a strange one, but in a roubabout way he’s thrown down a gauntlet to a number of players to prove they are worthy of a jersey and being at Celtic.

  3. D17


    From previous blog


    We have known for past 2 seasons we have quite a few who need to be moved on, unfortunately they will not get the package they currently receive from Celtic, hence some may be with us a wee bit longer,




    There is still a few need moved out


    Brendan’s wish, smaller squad of better quality, needs time to create, with legacy issues to be dealt with

  4. I said it on the last article. Rogic requires space.



    He was aided by McGregor playing in the deeper position beside Ntcham.



    Most of this season they have cramped each others style.

  5. St. Johnstone made the mistake of trying to play football and paid the penalty. We will see many more ‘parked busses’ this season but the incisive forward passing from the back yesterday was the way forward.

  6. Madmitch



    Apples n’ Pears



    James Forrest “didn’t get his big move” but may be looked on as being more successful in football by Celtic fans.



    IMHO AMcG peaked at Celtic and was a bit of a ‘trickster’ compared with Forrest the athlete. His career hardly flourished though his wallet expanded, and he has many, many rivals that exited Parkhead to follow a similar path, see Stuart Armstrong for the latest.



    Hardly a criticism that James Forrest has kept his bhoyish looks whilst keeping his place at Celtic, and I hope EBT McLeish continues to undervalue him, like many others undervalue certain Celtic players.



    Fortunately for us Celtic don’t.

  7. Paul67



    I was thinking along similar lines yesterday. Broonie has been almost TOO important for us. Yesterday indicated that he does not need to play every game. That could be hugely beneficial to us as a fresh Scott Brown is a huge asset.





    What went right ?


    St. J didn`t park the bus.”


    That certainly went through my mind as well and as the human lot seems to be to always worry about something, I thought it might make future, Scottish opponents even more determined to play a blanket defence.



  8. It’s EDOUARD and I think it’s very generous to suggest Swanson went for his ankles, contact was closer to his waist.

  9. Me and most others assumed Malumba and Ntcham would be the pairing to allow Broonie rest time. Never get the hang of this team selection game. BR was destroyed on here before KO for his selecton. A few apologies due.

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Very welcome return to goalscoring form. Moved the ball much quicker and really stretched StJ. Not really been mentioned, but I thought Griffiths did a lot of unselfish running, dragging defenders out of position and leaving space for Forrest to attack.


    Thought StJ were a bit more open than they were in the cup game or than St Mirren were or even some teams in the second half of last season, so it will be interesting to see if we can get the better of a parked bus. That will require using more width.


    Anyway, that’s a problem for another day! Today we are three points nearer the top and looking good.

  11. BSR @ 12:36



    Although your words might have been spoken in jest, there could actually be SOME truth in that.


    WildRover CSC



    What went right ?



    St. J didn`t park the bus.





    Spot on, so we can’t expect to play against a set up like that for the rest of the season, unless the huns believe their hype….here’s hoping thems do.

  13. My friends in Celtic,



    Our squad size demonstrates just how difficult it is to move players on. However we need to move at least 8 .



    Imagine we had signed 4 additional players in the summer. We would have a squad circa 37 players with a wage bill of around a staggering £70m.



    Yes we need new faces in January, including an out and out target man, but equally important is to offload surplus players.



    Quality only now Celtic.



    HH to all on this fine Monday.

  14. Apart from the odd exception, it is great the way a very good result lifts the mood on CQN.


    Weans R`Us.CSC

  15. Try playing against Hibernian without Brown or Mulumbu and see how that goes. It’s all very well McGregor and Ntcham getting on the ball yesterday and looking lovely. But, the notion that we can go forward without a proper sitting midfielder is ludicrous, Brown gives you leadership, he’s tough, wins tackles and picks up second balls, matches runs from deep and screens the defence and backs up generally everyone. Without him we would get bullied in midfield in tougher games than yesterday. There is an argument however that he could sit out games against the proper diddy teams when we need more fluency.

  16. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Tommy Wright apparently fell for the Boydian view that Celtic were a riven club and thereby fancied his chances.


    He made the same mistake recently at Ibrox.



    Buoyed by his almost good result in the LC, opened his team up to try and compete.



    It is a mistake not many managers will make.

  17. DB- true, I questioned why Molumbu didn’t start before the game yesterday, but I agree with D17s post above. HH

  18. BSR @ 12.34



    AMcG go shoved out the door to provide NL with a transfer budget.


    His ego and his reputation helped but he was pushed.



    JF vs AMcG …


    JF is more of a striker, goal scorer and has more natural pace.


    AMcG has more of a personality and more of an attitude but less raw talent.


    In Big Auto this would be a case of Design vs Development.


    Both scenarios have won out in the past so the ball is in JF’s court.



    However for someone who is 27 year old footballer with a CV to match he does not have the presence on the field that he should have by now. I think there is a lot to come as he matures and grows up.



    Being a bit immature for your age and being a bit shy holds a lot of people back when they are 20 but is should diminish as they get older. Consequently I hope he kicks on and delivers more days like yesterday.

  19. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.



    However let’s not underestimate the value of thus result.


    We have to go back to the Lisbon Lions where we scored 6.


    6- 1 being the score.



    This was Brendan’s biggest ever victory for the hoops. And Celtic’ s greatest ever victory against St Johnstone?



    It is a marker.




  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Sorry for repeating what other perceptive posters had written.


    Hadn’t read back.


    Stuck in Edinburgh, waiting for the bliddy stork, who must have a faulty Satnav!

  21. Sometimes whilst watching Sevco on Sportscene, I wonder why teams don`t open up for us the way they seem to do against them. Yesterday, St J played as though Sevco was the opposition.


    The above in no way undermines my view of the excellence of Tom and Jamesie opening and exploiting such opening up :-))



  22. Would have loved it if Brendan had pulled wee Jamesie after a couple of ridiculous tackles early in the second half and sent a message to………..Sorry, wrong country.

  23. MM- I would disagree that James had more natural talent than Aiden mate….I remember a coach at CP telling me when Aiden was doing well at Celtic, that he was ‘uncoachable’,meaning he was unable to play in certain team formations,as he would end up playing for himself. Turned out to be true,but I won’t criticise Aiden, as for a couple of seasons, he was the only guy in the team who entertained me.HH

  24. TTT


    No need to apologise. I thought your use of `Buoyed` was clever word play after referencing Monster Munch.




  25. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Hot Smoked,



    Thank you.


    Truth to tell, it was only after I had written it did I realise what a clever old goat am I.

  26. A lot of things worked well yesterday and it was as entertaining a first half as we’ve seen for a while.



    One of the things that stuck out for me was Boyata’s passing from the back. Rather than the predictable sideways pass often the big man played forward, precise passes that bypassed most of the St J midfield and had us quickly playing the the final third of the pitch.



    I hope this continues. After all we have players who are good enough to receive and retain a ball played forward from the back.



    Hail Hail

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