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. JHB on 27TH NOVEMBER 2021 7:33 PM



    `has been superb `is not the same as ` he can be described as ‘superb”. `



    I take the the former to mean that there are some areas where he has, indeed, been superb and not that he has reached a complete `superb` just yet.

  2. HOT SMOKED @ 8:00


    `has been superb `is not the same as ` he can be described as ‘superb”. `



    I take the the former to mean that there are some areas where he has, indeed, been superb and not that he has reached a complete `superb` just yet.




    Very diplomatic – no big disagreement from me. I’m not at all fiercely critical of Ange – there are extenuating circumstances.

  3. What kind of reception will Broonie get tomorrow? Will he start the game?


    Ideal for me would be for us to be comfortably ahead and the inimitable Scott is brought on to a rapturous reception but is not able to effect any significant change :-)

  4. Martim1980



    I am not having a moan


    I am simply asking, how comments on our team, relate to players being knackered, when they have not completed a 90 min game


    Irrespective of earnings – nonsense you quote


    These guys are professionals,and should be fully fit to complete a 90 min game


    And yes at least twice a week.



    How often do you see any of our defence not lasting 90 mins ??? Due to being knackered ? Or a Calum McGregor.


    I can understand the Bitton substitution, and to a lesser extent James Forrest, as he will be needing match sharpness


    All other changes were tactical, and did not work


    Nothing to do with comments on players being knackered

  5. Kinglubo



    My old enemy resurrected but still talkin’ pish.



    Ronaldo has been described by better men than me as scum.



    And by women.

  6. PHILBHOY- Imade a promise to stop the shite.So it doesn’t leave me with much else 😉👍


    Hope you’re well buddy

  7. Can one of the bhoys answer me this question,I’m a season ticket holder ,but tomorrow’s game v Aberdeen I can’t manage ,I said to myself that’s fine I’ll watch it on my Celtic Pass ,but no avail,They are saying it’s a PPV game is that right .

  8. VogueP – just double checked and mines is ready to rumble too – with the Doomsday clock for Aberdeen.



    Celtic is a must watch team right now!!!!

  9. Broony at CH tomorrow !!!!!!!.Aberdeen seriously hampered by injuries.Not that we are’nt.


    Could be few goals tomorrow.

  10. Petecand Voguepunter ,Was it on your Username and Password and did you have to log on to Celtic TV

  11. Timbhoy163 – you need to go into the link in the email from last year and click the link from there, hopefully your automatic details are saved from there and you don’t need to input them.



    My details for the pass were sent on the 23/07/2020. I’d hazard a guess, your own pass would be around that date in the email with the link – Its your seat and a password.



    Hope you get it sorted.

  12. Hello again all you young rebels



    From a beautiful and sunny Melbourne


    Need to paint our pitch lines today, it won’t be pretty, not the


    way I’m feeling after a night on the grog.


    Usually I look forward catching up on the blog in our Aussie


    mornings, now it only takes a minute or two after scrolling by


    the multi’s garbage.


    Why doesn’t P67 not just put an end to it?


    I think it’s destroying the blog, and that’s the obvious intention.


    H H Mick

  13. I know I don’t contribute much to the blog,,, but when you switch on and it’s a never ending spouting of rubbish you just say why am I wasting my time logging on 🤷🏻‍♂️

  14. Fanandpatriot



    Agree, and by the looks of the number of posts on a Sat night


    loads of others can’t be ersed.


    H H Mick

  15. Fanadpatriot



    Keep posting my friend.that is the intention to stop you posting.








    Thanks for posting your news bout the bankies result


    And your right Delaneys would have loved it.we are having a mass for Garry at 10 tomorrow at St Mary’s with Breakfast at Coias in Duke st,then onto game.


    It would be class if you could make it.i realise tho its late notice for you.



    Take care hh




  16. all the shite on here reminds me of a shitty joke.



    young kid is way to optimistic so his parent’s give him a ton of shit for christmas.



    kid see a ton of poop under the tree



    ” you little beauty ” as he starts digging in the poop.



    “all this shit, must be a pony in here somewhere”



    Hail Hail the ponies



    be well

  17. Wee change of topic here, for the morra I’m no looking for anything fae el chapo’s side, he was on their books as a youngster so there’ll be know getting wired intae the opposition fae them or parking the bus. Proverbial cricket score for van tranny’s side.




    Hi mate..are you watching The Beatles Get Bsck documentary.Amazing footage of the build up to last live performance on roof of Apple building.

  19. Grand Morning To Be A Celt…



    Looking forward to a good game today, could go either way.



    We could beat them or we could slaughter them.



    Thing is, Broonie will have his dander up… Do we have someone in midfield to counter this?



    Maybe wee Soro is due a game.



    We’ll see.



    Have A Great Sunday



    Hail Hail