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Squad game as some will need rest for Champions League

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Last month Efe Ambrose and Saidy Janko played in what will be some of the biggest games of our season. It didn’t go well. Saidy has since moved out on loan, while Efe is behind Toure, Sviatchenko, Simunovic, O’Connell, Boyata and (maybe) Lustig for a place in central defence.

From that list, Simunovic and Boyata are unlikely to be ready for the Camp Nou, but O’Connell will be no less prepared than John Kennedy was 12 years ago when he deputised for suspended Bobo Balde at the same location. Central defence has gone from being our weakest department to our strongest in a matter of weeks.

My expectation is that Brendan will play Toure, Sviatchenko and Lustig as a back three, with Kieran Tierney and Cristian Gamboa as full backs. That will be a leap of faith for Cristian, who, only five days from Barcelona, has yet to even train with the club. He’ll arrive in Glasgow today after last night’s national team game in Costa Rica.

Despite this schedule, we should look to give Cristian some game time on Saturday, I’d be reluctant to throw him into the Camp Nou cold. This would allow us to rest Mikael Lustig, who played for Sweden on Tuesday, and who will need to be at the top of his game for Barcelona.

Another player who could do with a rest on Saturday is Tom Rogic. Tom has played in Australia and the UAE since we last saw him, eclipsing whatever jetlag Cristian will go through. I’m not sure Brendan will see it the same way, as an offensive midfielder like Tom may be sacrificed for a more defensive player at the Camp Nou. We’ll touch on how to attack later.

I watched Israel-Italy on Monday. Nir Bitton did well against a superior team; it was a good run-through for the Champions League, as he will be asked to play a similar, tactically disciplined, role for Celtic. As the game was Monday, I don’t think he’ll need a rest at the weekend, although we should perhaps consider giving him around 60 minutes.

Football’s a squad game, let’s remember that this week.  It’s been nearly three years since we’ve been to the Camp Nou, these occasions don’t come round often, so we need to prepare properly.

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  1. Good Afternoon.

     

     

    In case of interest, it was a busy day in Clumpany Towers yesterday…

     

     

    One about the Herald seeming to play the ‘Irish’ card:

     

    https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/not-just-a-pub-but-an-irish-one/

     

     

    One about the likes of you and me who are utterly invisible to the Scottish sports media:

     

    https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/not-just-a-pub-but-an-irish-one/

     

     

    And one about an opportunity for you to vote for The Clumpany in the Football Blogging Awards (or to tell me to get lost..!):

     

    https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/giving-the-clumpany-a-good-kicking/

     

     

    Have a great afternoon!

  2. traditionalist88 on

    Priority = next game, whoever its against.

     

     

    Do the job then think about who we can rest,

     

     

    HH

  3. IMG_0962.JPG

     

    Turn in Uefa’s rich and poor battle, Messi will be ready 515

     

    BY PAUL67 ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 2016 CQN BLOG & COMMENTS

     

    Amid the noise ahead of our Champions League duties the most important news in European football went largely below radar. Angel Maria Villar Llona pulled out of the race to become Uefa president ahead of next week’s election. This leaves former Ajax chief, Michael van Praag and Slovenian FA president, Aleksander Ceferin, left in the race.

     

     

    This is good news. The big Spanish clubs have been prime movers in clawing as much power for Europe’s richest leagues, their cause would have been boosted if Villar Llona was elected. By contrast, van Praag’s Ajax heritage reflects those marginalised by smaller TV deals, including Celtic.

     

     

    We don’t want an inextricable slide towards a Champions League where meritocracy is replaced by the rich looking after themselves. This is the desire of rich clubs in Spain and Germany, who worry about the commercial drift towards the FA Premier League.

     

     

    Instead, regionalisation of Europe’s leagues is a far better option, even for the Spanish, who if they want to earn commercial deals comparable to the English and Welsh league should team up with Portugal and France.

     

     

    Every month I’m asked by an 11-year-old, “Will Celtic win the Champions League in my lifetime?” If we want to be champions of Europe again we need to end the national league structure which has disenfranchised more than half of the continent already, including many former powers in the game.

     

     

    News that Leonel Messi has returned to light training after injury means he is almost certain to start against Celtic on Tuesday. His base fitness and lifestyle is such that a few days training is all that he’ll need to be match ready.

     

     

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    515 COMMENTS

     

    PAGES:«1…7891011121314

     

     

    MOONBEAMSWD ‘STAND UP ON 15 FOR THE GB’ on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:22 AM

     

    Kingoh

     

     

     

    succinctly in terms of ‘clearly put’ rather than ‘brief’ :-)

     

     

     

    MWD

     

    MOONBEAMSWD ‘STAND UP ON 15 FOR THE GB’ on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:28 AM

     

    Kingoh

     

     

     

    An interseting comment from an old Rangers supporter on JohnJames that backs up your hopes..

     

     

     

    The Mensch says:

     

     

    September 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

     

     

    I do enjoy your Dear JJ articles. Very amusing.

     

     

     

    I checked out the Scottish edition of The Times this morning. There is a good piece in the sports section by Michael Grant (he writes well and is a superior writer, in my view, to the lazy style of Spiers). The headline is all about ‘A pivotal day for Rangers’ relationships’.

     

     

     

    Pivotal for Barton. Pivotal for Warbuton. And pivotal for King.

     

     

     

    Grant ridicules King’s empty promises and investment figures plucked from the air, starting at £50m, then £30m then…….nothing.

     

     

     

    King was outed on this site a long time ago and, before that, on the LSE share site which several of us here contributed to.

     

     

     

    JJ was outraged that a crook like King could be accepted by the fans. I waded in and we predicted that he would drive the share price down, have the club delisted and gain control for NOTHING.

     

     

     

    We received bundles of abuse on a site which was poorly moderated (I can’t bring myself to share with you what I was called).

     

     

     

    But we called it right.

     

     

     

    I shall not be watching the game at Celtic Park. I shall watch the Manchester derby.

     

     

     

    I haven’t seen either Celtic or Rangers this season. I expect Celtic to prevail.

     

     

     

    And if Celtic win by a hefty margin, the lenses will be firmly focused on King, his empty promises and his Dad’s Army of a team.

     

     

     

    This indeed could be a pivotal moment for King and his Bouffant Boy.

     

     

     

    It could finally be the moment when he gets found our and the gullible masses wake up. They won’t wake up smelling coffee. It will be something more noxious, a substance with which Dave King excels.

     

     

     

    MWD

     

    BEATBHOY on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:35 AM

     

    Hunderbirdsaregone.

     

     

     

    To paraphrase:

     

     

     

    “Look at the horror!

     

     

     

    And you’re going on about Sevco and Resolution 12 ”

     

     

     

    As Giant squirrels go, that one’s huckin’ fuuuuuuuuuge!

     

    GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:37 AM

     

    Caught a few minutes of Talksport earlier. Kelly and Quinn were on and Jim (insert own preferred rhyming slang) White came on to speak about his show. Maybe an interview with Joey Barton where he could ask him how he was so good?

     

     

    Anyway, Quinn said he had received some emails from Celtic supporters saying it was a new Rangers (liquidation / no relegation).

     

     

    Well, cue chaos and denial. Mr _hite said it must be Rangers – they were playing in blue. Presumably that must have been “Rangers” we beat at Perth a few weeks ago then.

     

     

    Kelly then posed the question of how could it not be “Rangers” if there were so many people going to the game.

     

     

    Well this one really had me stumped. Celtic supporters going to a game involving Celtic – who could they POSSIBLY be going to watch????? Would I be over-analysing the situation to suggest maybe – err – Celtic…..?

     

    FIELDOFDRAMS on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:39 AM

     

    VFR800A8,

     

     

     

    Thanks for the VFR800 info, looking for a good used one with luggage. Would go for a new one, but saving up for another Gold Wing, nothing quite like a ‘Wing…

     

    SOM MES QUE UN CLUB on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:48 AM

     

    Griffiths out for weeks?

     

    DAVIDOPOULOS on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:51 AM

     

    Som mes que un club

     

     

     

    I think there is a little bit of this going on…

     

     

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dHUfy_YBps

     

    HUGH BONKLE FAE DALLAS on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:52 AM

     

    Trouble at t’mill with the EPFL statement this morning. Seems like the rest of the European leagues aren’t happy with the proposed carve up of the CL by the big 4 leagues. Interesting to see how that plays out.

     

    SOM MES QUE UN CLUB on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:54 AM

     

    Davidopolous

     

     

     

    :-)

     

     

     

    I hope so….

     

    DAVIDOPOULOS on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:54 AM

     

    Although Paul the Tim has tweeted that he is out. Must be true!

     

    HUNDERBIRDS ARE GONE on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 11:58 AM

     

    BT Sport 3

     

    TONYDONNELLY67 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:07 PM

     

    Loved the bit in the sky news piece…Rangers where Liquidated, and then reformed…

     

     

    Wut! Like Frankenstein’s Monster?

     

     

    Priceless am tellin Yi the depths they go to on continuation of a dead club is bottomless.

     

    TONYDONNELLY67 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:11 PM

     

    Some tips for you lads if your interested, gamble sensible now.

     

     

     

    http://www.scottishfootballtips.com/celtic-v-rangers-betting-tips-and-predictions/

     

    CATMAN on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:12 PM

     

    It looks like Saturday could be a big day for Dembele

     

     

     

    HH

     

    GARY67 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:13 PM

     

    Griffiths misses training today. SSN BReaking News

     

    DAVIDOPOULOS on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:14 PM

     

    Well, we do need Dembele on the pitch for the penalty that Willie Collum will doubtlessly give us…

     

    TONYDONNELLY67 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:16 PM

     

    Dembele would do a turn I think, if that’s it then that’s what we go with, and should be good enough to beat thems IMO.

     

    SOM MES QUE UN CLUB on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:19 PM

     

    Mmmm. …..

     

     

     

    Time for Mousa to step up to the plate

     

     

     

    4-0 to the Good Guys.

     

    BUTSYBHOY on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:20 PM

     

    Get into them

     

     

    Get into them

     

     

     

    No queue at the ticket office 11.30am

     

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

    PAUL67 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:22 PM

     

    new article posted.

     

    BABASONICOS71 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:27 PM

     

    G’day fholks.

     

     

     

    TTR…

     

     

    Happy birthday,many hoopy returns. \○/

     

     

    = = = = = = = = = =

     

     

    Norman Cook,DJ = Fatboy Slim

     

     

    BFDJ = Fat

     

     

    Speaking of corpulent huns…Sevco’s 2nd greatest and worst manager in their 4 year history says i’m a dafty.Good job I know he’s a cheeky chappy or i’d take umbrage with that.What’s he like eh?!McCoist-the man,the mirth,the myth. ;))

  4. TRADITIONALIST88 on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:25 PM

     

    Priority = next game, whoever its against.

     

     

     

    Do the job then think about who we can rest,

     

     

     

    HH

     

     

    Right on the money.

     

     

    Saturday represents tree points in a league competition that we can win.

     

    Barcelona represents one of six matches in a section that we are highly unlikely to win.

  5. traditionalist88 on

    quonno on 8th September 2016 12:29 pm

     

     

    Spot on.

     

     

    Resting fit players in September is wrapping them in cotton wool and for what?! The amount of times managers rest players and end up losing both games they seemingly meticulously planned for is ridiculous.

     

     

    Get the best team on the pitch every week!

     

     

    HH

  6. MoonbeamsWD ‘Stand up on 15 for the GB’ on 8th September 2016 11:18 am

     

     

    KINGOH on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 9:43 AM

     

     

    Good post buddy. Sums it up succinctly.

     

     

    Pump them and all Kings men won’t be able to put them back together again.

     

     

    MWD

     

     

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

     

    Thanks for reducing my lengthy post to basically a one liner!!

  7. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Watching the half hour highlights of the Tony Watt game, it occurred to me that playing Adam Matthews (Izzy injured I think) at left back probably won us that game.

     

     

    Barca never look to “get to the bye line and cross”. They always want to move the ball across the box to create chances. As they turned inside from wide right, Matthews was making effective tackles, leading with his natural right foot.

     

     

    So Brendan, if you’re reading this, swap positions between Lustig and Tierney. This would go a long way towards blunting Barca’s attacking threat.

     

     

    Itseasyfromthecouchthismanagementlark. CSC

  8. Som mes que un club on

    If Christian was playing last night in Costa Rica, almost impossible for him to be in Glasgow today.

     

     

    Most likely PM tomorrow.

     

     

    Less than ideal preparation in my opinion. .

  9. LOSTINBENIDORMONTHEWAYTOBARCA on

    Last time I was in the camp nou, I met the blessed Tommy Burns.

     

    Stood at the urinal!

     

    I washed my hands and then shook ands with TB to the riotous applause and chants of his name.

     

    Wha a man. A real Gentleman and an amazing human being

     

    A true celt!

     

     

    HH

  10. I think I know what you’re trying to do this week and play down Saturday’s game to an almost insignificant level but the fact remains there are a vital 3 points up for grabs which we are more than capable of taking if we are focussed on the job in hand. If we take our eye off the ball there remains the danger of an upset. I’ll have my fun with zombie friends (I have a couple) and work colleagues about this being the biggest game of their season and it not even being our biggest game of the week etc but I’m concerned many (normally fairly sensible) fans seem to think we just need to turn up and we’ll roll them over. Last season’s draw in the semi proved that and although I believe we’re in a much better place with Brendan Rodgers and some of the player additions let’s focus on the next game, put a marker down and put them in their place…

     

     

    The glamour of the Champions League and Barca will look after itself… HH

  11. WEST END OF EAST END…

     

     

    I believe you are a Greenockian (at least resident) so please forgive a fellow townsmhan for my error.Maybe Sally was right and I,indeed,am a dafty. ;))

     

     

    NOTREDAMEcsc

  12. BULL67

     

     

    Good post….but let yourself down with the confession re your ‘friends’!

     

     

    I agree though. All this nonsense of playing it down like it’s a home game against Killie.

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    So the “old firm” ramp-up continues apace. The BBC website has an article by Tom English (the “sensible” one on last night’s Sportsound, although the competition was not exactly very high!).

     

    The Brown-Barton battle! “Scott Brown and Joey Barton will come face to face on Saturday after months of verbal jousting”.

     

    As far as I am aware, Scott Brown’s contribution to this “verbal jousting” consists of one minor quip about Barton being a Celtic fan (been better if he hadn’t said anything, but never mind).

     

    Maybe someone at the BBC could explain why this constitutes “months of verbal jousting”. Is Scott Brown the world’s slowest speaker?

     

    To be fair to Mr English, the article does not include this claim, so it may well have been a headline written by someone on a different “Level”…..

  14. Time to visit the scene of one of footballs greatest story’s .. Estadio nacional

     

     

    God bless the Lisbon Lions

  15. Som mes que,

     

     

    Christian played in the early hours of yesterday morning.

     

     

    Either a minor slip from paul or he wrote the blog yesterday :)

     

     

    HH

  16. I’ve been off blog since yesterday at work so apologies if it’s been asked…

     

     

    But seeing as the Celtic View will have hit the doorsteps in the last day or so, what’s their take on the weekends game? Somebody on here must still buy it :)

     

     

    Tia

     

     

    HH

  17. Som mes que un club on

    Geordie

     

     

    Thanks for clearing up. I assume they were playing Tuesday night local time, therefore Wednesday morning CP time.

     

     

    This would make more sense as Wednesday overnight flight would arrive here today.

  18. proudbhoy on 8th September 2016 1:02 pm

     

     

    I’d appreciate a wee write up on your visit when you return, I’m booked up to go on the 50th anniversary weekend.

     

     

    Cheers.

  19. SOM MES QUE UN CLUB on 8TH SEPTEMBER 2016 1:12 PM

     

    Geordie

     

    Thanks for clearing up. I assume they were playing Tuesday night local time, therefore Wednesday morning CP time.

     

    _______________

     

    Christian was on bench – unused sub.

  20. One game at a time please. Lets get the game at the weekend out the way first.

     

     

    If Griffiths is struggling with a hamstring he could be out for a few weeks so time for Dembele to step up, changes the team dynamics as well.

     

     

    I would play Gamboa in Barcelona in a back five but not on Saturday.

     

     

    If Griffiths is out its a choice between Paddy and Jamesie for the right of the front three. Otherwise I think we can guess the rest.

  21. Its all very well and good us ignoring the huns and treating them like the nobodies they are, but the fact remains, across the rest of the country, this game is being built up in one sense or another. Therefore, Let’s just go out and bury the horrible’s on Saturday. We want these 3 points, but an emphatic annihilation of the bassas, will send the message out loud and clear, and to all corners, that WE are the Champions and miles ahead of that lot and they are a mere nuisance that stained our shoe soles and are way beneath us!!

     

     

    DESTROY THEM BRENDAN AND BHOYS!!!!

     

     

    Barca game will take care of itself.

     

     

    HAIL! HAIL!

     

    Token

  22. The Token Tim

     

     

    Good to see you post ya oul rascal! :-)

     

     

    Nope, just took the chance to post during my break.

     

     

    Hope you and the girls are all well.

  23. Proudbhoy

     

     

    40 years since I made the pilgrimage.

     

     

    A unique, magical place for a unique, magical team.

     

     

    I got a piece of the turf. . . Not that anyone ever believed me!

     

     

    “That’s oot yer back gairden!”.

     

     

    Enjoy a few Sagres after you’ve savoured the place and its memories.

     

     

    Cost 10p a bottle when I was there!

  24. coatbridge paper bhoy on

    TIMMY_7NOTED,

     

    Hope your staying at Palacio , I’m in the process of making a booking for myself and the good lady.

     

    Will have to be back in Glasgow on the Friday , the same as the Lions.

     

    Also Scottish cup final ( fingers crossed ) on the Saturday.

     

    Beers on me on the 25 th may.

     

    Gb

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