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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About Author





    I know you probably think you’re a genius, but you don’t need an apostrophe for plurals.



    You’re welcome.

  2. BOGNORBHOY on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 4:01 PM


    Of …


    “Kev in soil ,


    hence the resurrection of multi monikers ?”



    Aye, they’re growing alright! por cierto

  3. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Hhmm …



    An idiot and a hypocrite with no love for club yapping away on radio run a negative pitch in order to get a reaction.



    Mission accomplished?

  4. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Interesting post earlier about yet another debt for equity swap over at Sevco.



    I wasn’t aware of this one so respect to the poster.



    Wasn’t buttons either. £3.5m



    After a period of almost one-a-month debt swaps the recent M.O. has been secured loans (as per the recent fall out over the GASL’s profitable transaction).



    This U-turn could indeed signal a strengthening of short term financial commitment by directors.



    Alternatively though, it could be Sevco have bugger all fixed assets left to secure loans against.



    Everything but players (cough!) has been hawked already to all and sundry.

  5. Tom at 2:14



    That’s an interesting update on the speed of Ange’s appointment. I hadn’t realised that.


    As an aside, I have a slight concern that our then backroom team weren’t considered good enough and, had Howe brought his own, would presumably have been let go or moved down the age ranges somewhat. We seemed to have decided upon root and branch change.


    When Howe didn’t subsequently come, we did a 180 on the backroom team, who were then deemed competent.


    In the interim period, did they improve somehow or did we just lower the bar and accept a lower level of acceptable?


    Let me be clear, Ange has been superb and has surpassed my ill informed expectations, however we have done the minimum from last season. Hopefully, the turnaround is more than minimal.

  6. I was a bit suprised at how ordinary Hows interview after their match today was.


    Kinda rabbit and headlights look.

  7. Liverpool get great success out of early crosses from Robertson and Alexander. I’d like to see us try it with Juranovic and Ralston

  8. “JIMTIM on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 3:18 PM


    I seem to be in the minority as I think the subs on Thursday were crap ,”



    A minority? Apart from Paul67, who else thought the Subs were other than poor?



    PS I didn`t see the game so have not offered any comment on the quality of the subs.

  9. Tom Mc… I noticed too that KT has been dropped by Arsenal.


    I also noticed during the week that Arteta was quoted as thanking Gerard for winning Sevco the league and telling everyone how he, Arteta, was such a big ibrox fan.



    I wonder if it’s linked or if I’ve maybe just jumped to the wrong conclusion.

  10. LAXALT on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 5:17 PM


    Tom Mc… I noticed too that KT has been dropped by Arsenal.



    KT has been injured. Back today on the bench. He is the fan’s favourite player.

  11. Hot Smoked



    I think the subs had to be made.


    Unfortunately, the calibre of the subs is what was wanting

  12. Congratulations to Clydebank on their two nil win in the Scottish Cup against Clyde today. A brilliant performance by the Bankies according to my pal who was at the game.



    Our much missed Delaney’s Dunky would have been delighted seeing the Bsnkies progress into the fourth round of the cup.

  13. There is a food bank collection before tomorrow’s game being organised by the Green Brigade .



    Donations can be dropped off at the bottom of the Celtic Way , on Janefield Street at the turnstiles for access to section 111 and coming off the Gallowgate heading for the west side of Janefield Street . Cash donations will be accepted also.

  14. So we play a different way during a game


    Resulting in our professional players running out of energy and getting tired


    Oh and too many games




    How do other clubs, teams that also play a high press,manage to get players fit enough to last a full 90 mins



    nonsense and excuses

  15. Tom- KT was out injured before the international break and Tavares was his replacement.Tavares kept his place last week in the first game back after the break.And why shouldn’t he.He was played today because the manager didn’t want to dent his confidence after his performance last week at Liverpool. Again that’s understandable 🏌🏻

  16. NORRIEM on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 6:21 PM


    So we play a different way during a game





    Resulting in our professional players running out of energy and getting tired





    Oh and too many games









    How do other clubs, teams that also play a high press,manage to get players fit enough to last a full 90 mins




    nonsense and excuses




    You means the selection of English prem or German teams with guys on 80G on the bench, guys on 50G who don’t make the match day squad at clubs who make 5 subs every game?



    Nonsense and you’re just looking for moans.



    Ange has had a third of a season with these guys and 1 transfer window and the players are busting a gut for us.

  17. I am a wee bit worried that we will have some sort of lock-out or reduction in attendnace coming up.


    Much of Europe is doing so as the new varients are confirmed in their countries.



    ban international travel as a cicuit breaker first, that continues to be the daftest thing,

  18. PHILBHOY from earlier



    Re wishing to see Ronaldo get his leg broken is nothing short of a disgraceful comment and very hun like, you should be ashamed.


    The guy is a nice human being, obviously not like you. He is pretty grounded and good with the kids




  19. danny o'velinski on

    JIMTIM on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 3:18 PM



    The manager, Ange, is another who’s heading for an ignominious end, the usual ending for idealist’s!!??



    To play 2 wingers away from home against a decent, German team, go 1-2 in front, continue with 2 wingers, instead of parking the bus and kicking the ball out of play to run the clock down, he gets us undone, then not put his hands up and admit that he personally, made an ass of it, by simply being an idealist, it is either deceit, or ignorance, or blind idealism, or is Ange playing Celtic fans????



    Who would rool it out!!??



    To keep saying “We’re getting better” after another schoolboy mugging is either thick eared, or the PLC have found another manager / message bhoy to play the Celtic supporter’s?



    Even Brendan was handed his ass, more often than not, for being an idealist.



    The “Celtic Way” is a bullsh*t mind set trap for Celtic managers, if you don’t have the Lisbon Lion’s ready to take to the pitch, and even they LL, the greatest of them all, didn’t play the fabled “Celtic Way” every week!!!



    Tony Mowbray at Hibs, park the bus play on the break, and was a sensation.



    I don’t know what happened to BTM at, WBA, as he was relegated, finishing in 20th place????



    But, BTM came to us, started off half decent, won Celtic our only cup at Wembley, was robbed at Ibrox 2 mibbery penalties denied, we scored from another pen, I think?, but the sour mibbery taste seemed to make him retreat into his shell, or the PLC told him to zipp it, and just wear mibbery decisions, and I think the PLC tested BTM at this juncture, and realised that, not only was BTM a “say nothing and keep the peace good guy” but that he’d easily fall into line with the PLC’s save the oldfirm sleekitry, without even knowing that that is what he was doing? imho.



    The wicked web of Celtic PLC.



    Maybe BTM’s coping mechanism when on the receiving end of mibbery decisions, was to put his hands in his pockets and look down at his feet? Who knows?



    BTM was a decent human being, and had a personal tragedy in his time as player for us, what a cross that was to carry, with his wife, Bernadette, sadly losing her battle with cancer. May she rest in peace. 🙏 💔



    BTM, is a nice, decent, human being, the essence of Celticness, and working class ethos, is evident as soon as he starts to speak, which is a great gift to be blessed with. Channelled properly it becomes a great power, as his manager at that time, Lou Macari 1993, went out of his way to express,



    “How you can trust this loyal human being with your life…..” said Lou Macari, as he was interviewed by Paul Cooney on SSB, after he’d fired up his team to face Walter’s 6 in a row Champions, at Ibrox, with an injured(my ass) Maestro out, I say injured my ass because, Bonner, Boyd, Grant, McStay, Nicholas, and others, were part of a dressing room clique, who downed tools to get Macari the sack, because Macari wasn’t clique driven, or owned by a clique, so the mentioned clique got rid of Macari, got Tommy Burns in, and the next 3 titles went to Ibrox, thanks to the antics of the dressing room clique of legends, and dunderheid Fergus McCann, so, as I was saying, as well as no Celtic supporters allowed inside ibrox, after Macari won his first game as manager 1-2 at Ibrox in November 1993, 5 months earlier, David Murray saw in that game that, Macari played, Walter at his own game, park the bus and play on the break, and almost snatched a victory thanks to (non clique) John Collins wonderful free kick, and irony of ironies, Walter’s team got an equaliser in last few minutes, courtesy of a deflected hun shot, off BTM’s heel, and spun high over Bonner into Celtic net, a 1-1 draw in Walter’s own backyard against what were seemingly impossible odds. Maybe Macari highlighting the lack of trust elsewhere in the dressing room? as Macari himself would soon find out, with Luigi’s admiration for the fine human being that BTM is. Absolute class from 2 gents who were in effect, stitched up by the swamp that Celtic has become in the PLC era.



    Folk will cheaply say, basically because their cheap, “So if Macari was that good, what did he do when he was booted out of Celtic!!??”



    I don’t know, he was recently running a charity that houses homeless people and rebuilds them to give them another chance at life so good on him and the Macari family, beautiful people, sabotaged by not so beautiful people, at Celtic fc, deary me, but I know that tragedy struck Lou and his family when his son died, many years ago, that would dramatically change any parents, may he rest in peace. 💔 🙏



    Sadly for BTM, the working class colleague that he had in Lou Macari, was no longer in evidence at, Irish Tory PLC led, oldfirm dog fight driven Celtic PLC, when BTM returned in 2009/10.



    BTM, for me, was too nice a man to be thrust into the oldfirm dog fight, especially at a time when Celtic PLC, were sleekitly throwing titles, 2009, 2010, 2011, to keep Rangers alive, and therefore keep the oldfirm dog fight alive.



    The realistic option for replacement for WGS in 2009, whom WGS himself, came out and nominated as his replacement, was the manager who had the best free flowing football in SPL, as it was then, the best man manager, was former Celtic Centenary Year hero, Motherwell’s manager, Mark McGhee. Just ask, SFTB!!?? ✌



    McGhee was no puppet, so he was “overlooked” again, and again, and again.



    Three times snubbed = Three titles to oldfirm dog fight, PLC job done!?



    Yon poster on here who tried to tell us about, big Mark McGhee, Kev J, he certainly had a point about this episode!



    Keep well Kev J, wherever you are YNWA. 👍



    But instead PL brought in the not cynical enough, or devious enough, or big dirty bassa enough, for the oldfirm dog fight, was BTM a deliberate PLC deceit!!?? Probably deliberately? The form book says yes.



    Did PL and co know full well that McGhee wouldn’t have played the Celtic supporter’s by meekly playing along with the “Willi Flood window” and end up losing the league, even the “WFW” wasn’t enough insider cheating that season, as the untrustworthy WGS even set his team up in such a way that, Celtic had hardly a shot at goals in the last 2 games of the 2008/09 season, such was WGS’s sleekitry, what a peice of sh*t he was/is a Celtic fan like Sir Rod the Boris fan???



    Would Mark McGhee have cheated Celtic supporter’s in the same way that his pal, WGS clearly did!!??



    Clearly not, that’s why he was “undesired” by the PLC.




    Why is McGhee never invited onto the Celtic TV puppet show? Is it because he tells the truth? Is that why Murdo was gotten rid of, because he was removed from BBC sport sound for not playing along with Celtic haters?


    Folk will say nobody made him go to BBC, that’s true, just like most Celtic supporters won’t walk out of their jobs because of the ratio, landscape issue, which raises its ugly head at times, and a non favourable agreement is reached by your bosses, which doesn’t suit Timmy, and Timmy either zipps it and goes along with the outcome, or ups sticks and leaves, but leaves to go where?


    Then when big HunBilly fae across the sea arrives on the scene, and “clocks” that Timmy operates with a zipped up mouth, in and out of work, how long before big HunBilly starts to turn the screw in jobs, and a movement to punish Celtic fc because the very well paid PL kackhandedly made an ass of the abuse issue, by refusing to be interviewed by Alex Thompson of CH 4 News!!??



    As a matter of interest, does anybody think that Alex Thompson would eagerly anticipate an interview with a George Galloway led, Celtic FC Socialist Executive?



    Does anybody think that a George Galloway led Celtic would’ve ran away from Alex Thompson, or anyone else?



    What sh*tshow PL letting down any long suffering victims, and leaving Celtic FC’s moral compass lying smashed to smithereens!!??



    And also on this disgusting subject, I might’ve been ignorant, probably still am, but I recall Fergus McCann being hailed as a meticulous wee hero, as he’d “brought the Celtic abuse scandal to an end.” ????


    And then all of these new cases emerge!!??



    But back to the point about big HunBilly, if the rabid variety of HunBillys arrive in Scotland after a united Ireland, and Celtic PLC are still “dodging” the abuse issue, and that’s exactly what the PLC are doing, treating a serious abuse scandal, by deploying a school playground approach, like Sevco, my brothers bigger etc, when Celtic PLC tried embarrassingly to claim,….



    “Celtic boys club aren’t a part of, Celtic FC.” said Celtic PLC!!??



    “It wasn’t the club that died, it was the company!” said Rangers PLC!!??



    What a disgusting shambles.



    Back to WGS PLC oldfirm dog fight alive titles era…



    Where the PLC deliberately “throwing” the league by the continuation of WGS, in 2008/09 season, after fans were calling for his head, as it was looking like the fans had had enough of him, even though he ended up winning the title, all be it due to a Broony suspension!!??



    Did the PLC retain WGS because he would’ve played along and, accepted the “Willo Flood window” !!??



    Remember, this is the same WGS who only recently in his capacity as, Scotland national manager, used his office to lobby, publicly, for league reconstruction, after Sevco failed to get promotion vs Motherwell????



    Oh yes he did.



    Were the PLC deliberately “throwing” the league, AGAIN, in 2009/10 season, by appointing, BTM as manager in 2009/10 season, AGAIN, instead of Mark McGhee???



    Cue all the, “Awe naw no Mark McGhee oan anaw noo” posts to deliberately avoid reading the point being made in the post!



    To dodge the point, is to deliberately overlook the fact that, WGS was kept on as manager in 2008/09 season, which included the “Willo Flood window” to help the PLC throw the 2008/09 season, to keep the oldfirm dog fight alive.



    Oh yes they did.



    BTM was appointed in 2009/10 season because he fitted the devious PLC plan, not by playing along like sleekit WGS did the year before, but because BTM was too nice, so he’d be eaten alive in the oldfirm dog fight, and would either resign, or be sacked! This chaos is what the PLC wanted, to blow another season!



    Oh yes they did.



    The PLC knew that Mark McGhee couldn’t be bought, or bullied, so he would blow the PLC plans to cheat Celtic supporter’s out of season 2009/10 season.



    The very same thing happened in season 2010/11, NFL was promoted to manager, picked over Mark McGhee who’s Motherwell team were, AGAIN, playing the best football in the league, but that wasn’t good enough for Celtic PLC, as Mark McGhee was the [wrong sort] so NFL got the job, and his inexperience ensured another title for Rangers, as the oldfirm dog fight won again!



    Oh yes they did.



    When Mark McGhee found out he’d been overlooked for the inexperienced, NFL, MM responded by saying,



    “Neil Lennon is the manager that Celtic deserve. Good luck to him.” said Mark McGhee.



    And guess what?



    The very same, fix it for the oldfirm dog fight, PLC board are still in charge to this day, 10 years later, still fixing titles, for the oldfirm dog fight.



    2021 10 in a row season!!?? oldfirm dog fight title to Rangers PLC job done !!??



    2022 Rangers need £40 million CL money !!??



    Celtic PLC waiting in the wings !!??



    Who’s fault is that?



    Ask the folk who vote for rats to colonise the streets of Glasgow! 👍



    Qanon’s day oot CSC

  20. know that game you play with the weans “lets see who can stay quietest the longest”



    lets all have a game of “dont respond”

  21. UNCLE JIMMY @ 4:31



    Let me be clear, Ange has been superb and has surpassed my ill informed expectations, however we have done the minimum from last season. Hopefully, the turnaround is more than minimal.




    I respect your opinions on here, however can I ask how, at this stage of the season, he can be described as ‘superb”.



    Of course we are all behind him and willing him to do well, but there is insufficient evidence at present to make a measured determination.



    Our form over 25 competitive games this season has been patchy, sometimes in some games exhilarating, sometimes lacklustre & sometimes plain ordinary. We are not a ninety-minute team, that in itself is most worrying.



    In Ange’s defence we are carrying a lot ‘dead-wood’ and need to strengthen quickly. I will not make a judgement until the end of January, and even then it will be an interim one.



    I am on record in saying that we are on a 2/3 season rebuild – whether Ange will be there for the duration remains to be seen. His tenure will depend on progress & success, like every other football manager.

  22. JVR @ 5:33 pm



    I echo your congratulations to Clydebank reaching round 4 of the cup.




    And from me to the other ‘Bankies’; the Galabankies otherwise known as Annan Athletic.

  23. I’m amazed the multi moniker posters manage to log in and out so quickly and not forgot what name they are signing into this time. Can anyone remember we had Declan who was someone that was a spoof account and the actual person who was behind it forgot to sign out of his proper account and posted something from Declan. Was a while ago I think