Substitutions were not wrong


I see Ange getting a bit of grief for making the wrong substitutions in Leverkusen last night.  His first decision, on 72 minutes, was to swap James Forrest and Jota for Liel Abada and Mikey Johnston.  Four minutes later, he hooked Nir Bitton and Kyogo for James McCarthy and Albian Ajeti.  There were mitigating factors.

That 72 minutes was James’ longest outing in 14 weeks.  His race was run and keeping the player on would only have led to different negative events.

Until this point in the game there were several potential man of the match candidates, all of them in Celtic colours, but mine was unequivocally Nir Bitton.  He had a knack of making the important interception around the edge of the box.  Composed in possession, he carried the ball out of the Celtic defensive third and brought others into play.  Of course, he also made the lung-bursting run to support the break that resulted in Jota’s goal.

Losing Nir was in itself the major change to affect Celtic’s play, but he was injured, as with James, there was no decision to be made.

Callum McGregor was moved back to the 6 position when James McCarthy replaced Bitton.  It didn’t work, but even with this knowledge, is anyone offering an alternative suggestion?  In the circumstances, it was the right decision.

Liel Abada is not known for his defensive duties.  He is a player with huge potential who I suspect is more of a striker than winger and who has already delivered for us in his short time at the club.  Granted, he is not an ideal sub to take on when you need to defend a lead away from home in Europe, but the alternative would be to break and remould the team shape – something that feels OK for the final few minutes when you can hoof the ball forward, but not for longer.

Like you, I think Kyogo can do anything and everything, I see no limits to his energy or abilities.  No player has reminded me of the Great Swede as much in the last 17 years, he too seemed to be physically without limits.  This faith is possibly overstated.

While I am burdening our current talent with unhelpful comparisons, Jota’s impact on Celtic is comparable to that of Scott Sinclair, when he arrived in 2016.   Two transformational players who lifted Celtic to a level higher.

Ange is not a man who lives in the moment.  He knows the stamina levels of Kyogo and Jota.  He also knows what he wants from the players on Sunday.  Yesterday I wrote that our priority was the forthcoming Aberdeen game.  If you are not ruthless to the plan, do not bother planning at all.  Be in no doubt, Jota and Kyogo were substituted to give them every chance of performing fully on Sunday.  I like a manager who is strong enough to make difficult decisions like this, as do you, really.

The material change on the game was the injury to Nit Bitton, without which, there is a chance we would have won the game.  Everything else is just noise, a distraction from what actually happened.  Nir’s injury was not the only reason we lost last night, but the substitutions, if not right, were not entirely wrong.

Our thoughts to Bertie Auld’s family and friends as they gather to say goodbye to his mortal remains today.  The rest of us have many memories of Bertie, those are immortal.  What a gift he was.

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  1. 31003, Ahh but you didn’t say that ! so mibbies aye miibbies naw ! anyway good night god bless!! me personally the guy was right 😉

  2. Wishaw Tim



    Not for me to say



    It’s a character in a film


    It’s his line


    Nothing to do with me


    Who said it…which film



  3. 31003 on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 12:47 AM


    What’s a Scobbie.




    Surely you jest You really don’t have a CLUE ? Where are you ?



    Scoobie -doo, big mad shaggy dug that rhymes with ( you guessed it ) CLUE. 🤣🤣

  4. My friends in Celtic,



    As stated earlier, I would like to see Ange with at least one of his own backroom picks.


    Someone he trusts and can bounce ideas off. Someone who is on the same wave length and is there through choice rather than imposition.



    Even Broken Horse has brought in his own choice swiftly. A fellow Dutch man.( What is it with the huns and under 18 coaches ? )



    OK, even if John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan have to stay , I think that Ange needs and should have one of his own around him.



    Our manager deserves enormous praise for what he has achieved to date, it can’t be easy.


    How he would revel in having a hand picked assistant.




  5. Hopefully a Crackin’ weekend for Celtic this weekend.



    The Mighty Celtic winning and Winning well alongside the Newco losing/drawing would be a Beautiful Sunday!!!

  6. Good morning all from a very cold but quite calm Garngad



    Patricia Ferns – Garngad tune. Lovely.



    We move onto the sheep at Paradise yes Paradise Paul, please do not travel up to Pittodrie.



    Any win and get the momentum going again after Thursday not that we lost it, I thought we played great just could not keep a real good european team out at the end.



    So come on The Bhoys



    D :)

  7. Lionroars67 – Thanks for that about Bayern. It’s not just our board that are totally corrupt bunch of self centred winkers.



    D :)

  8. LIONROARS67 on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 8:24 AM




    After listening to their supporters,I think I am now a Bayern Fan :-))

  9. Various reports that deal to sign Japanese player Reo Hatate is almost done and dusted. Will be happy if he is half as good as Kyogo

  10. Who is responsible for the side articles on CQN?


    In one, Chris Sutton says this:



    ” I do think there are some massive signs of progress under Postecoglou….


    “They went toe-to-toe with Bayer and almost got out of Germany with a remarkable result.”



    but the Article writer chose this headline:






    I know Sutton does point out problems as he sees them and I have no qualms with that but is the headline justified on a CELTIC site?

  11. The N H S like the BB C is a gravy train ,which opens corruption ,8 Senior people employed in the N H S stealing millions of pound are from Scotland,I hope the squad keep making enquiries regarding these big Companies or Corporations.

  12. The McCarthy and Scales buys happened soon after DD said he would get things moving in the transfer window after Ange sort of complained. So DD being a nostalgic Irishman goes for JMcC and McC sees DDs desperation of needing to put his money where his mouth is forces DD into a 4 year deal. Scales is from Shamrock Rovers and DD is now a major shareholder there. That’s all you need to know. The fact that neither player have had much time in Ange’s set up tells you everything. After all his talk about needing players that are ready to go, he certainly wasn’t going to sign players that aren’t fit or don’t play his way or both in the case of JMcC. I believe Scales was fit as he played for Shamrock Rovers in the Europa earlier in the season. Ange makes every decision on the basis of football DD doesn’t.

  13. Sorry about my comment on Ronaldo.



    I didn’t realise he is the centre of the footballing universe and we should all love and respect his completely selfish motives.



    The sooner Man U get rid of him the better.

  14. Paul is 100% right on the substitutions. Tired players struggling leads to a poorer performance and the likelihood of an injury. The upcoming Aberdeen game is too important for Ange to risk injury. His problem was he has no real bench to speak of. Perhaps he thought the substitutes would raise their game. Ange learned a lot. The guy is really honest and I like him better than any manager we’ve had since MON. As I said Ange learned a lot but the question is did the Board? And even if they did do they care enough to invest?

  15. ILJASB on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 10:14 AM



    but the question is did the Board?…………



    the worry is the board could be saying fek it, nae europe so nae transfer budget, work with what you’ve got!!

  16. “PHILBHOY on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 10:14 AM


    What would you say if Kyogo says he won’t play in the Conference, it’s beneath him?”



    I would say that he would be reflecting the view which would no doubt be promoted in the MSSM if Sevco are in the Europa and we are in the Conference :-)

  17. Sevco reportedly did another loan to equity swap yesterday, worth £3.5 million.



    It appears that talk of their directors no longer being willing to fund their losses are wide of the mark.

  18. SCULLYBHOY on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 10:55 AM



    I think I can add Judge Ranaghan`s name to that of the Bayern Munich supporters on my list of new pals :-))

  19. AN DÚN on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 11:01 AM



    Rightly or wrongly, I have always felt, and still feel, that those directors will never give up on `their` Club.

  20. Ange seems perfectly happy with his backroom staff.He has said it a few times.Not the type of guy to sit back if things are not right,as Australia found out.If he wanted someone in,he would get him.


    Why is this any sort of issue?.

  21. Can I ask,


    Why or how are professional football players at Celtic, getting tired during a game


    Are players not trained to last 120mins, in preparation for any game that may have to go that long.


    So certain players, cannot even last 90mins 🤔

  22. NORRIEM on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 11:58 AM



    We were blowing out our backsides after 60 minutes at the start of the season – we’re now getting to the 70 minute mark before players are empty. It’s an improvement at least.

  23. The Odd Couple on Radio Scotland talking arrant nonsense about the ticket allocation for the League Cup Final. Cowan reckons few Celtic supporters attended the semi-final before going to Seville (could anyone give the numbers who were at Parkhead for that game). His mate suggested that the SFA could charge the SPFL with bringing the game into disrepute.