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. Hello again all you young rebels





    Broony will be well up for it, good shout re Soro get him


    right in our ex captains face and the rest of our bhoys will


    see us through to another 3 points.


    H H Mick




    Fascinated by that Adriano Cenentano guy you posted awhile ago.


    83 now and i never heard of him, but a few rid biddys and he’s become


    my Sat night music man, luv it.


    H H Mick

  3. Good morning to all Tim’s around the Globe from a snow covered Garngad, it’s a whiteout.❄🐧❄🐧❄☃️



    3 points today that’s all that matters




    D :)

  4. MELBOURNE MICK @ 6:18 AM,



    Great to see top Tim’s in Top Form…



    Three Ange~ball points it is!!



    Hail Hail

  5. Has to be at least a two goal winning margin today, based on how well we are playing and how poor Aberdeen have been. 4-0 or 4-1 will do just fine.



    If you can’t bring yourself to provide a warm welcome back to Scott Brown, at least refrain from any jeering / booing. The guy was a great player for us. A greater captain. And even greater ambassador for the club. A legend indeed.



    Wonder if Broony will recognise the generosity of the officials towards the Dons today?

  6. “SUPERSUTTON on 28TH NOVEMBER 2021 9:13 AM


    If you can’t bring yourself to provide a warm welcome back to Scott Brown, at least refrain from any jeering / booing. ”



    I very much doubt Broonie will be jeered. I can imagine only a good reception for a man who was a wonderful Celtic player.




    Remembering GARRY at mass today , his family and friends….God Bless you pal 💚🟩⬜🟨☘🍻



    Nothing i can add to Berties tributes a gem everyone of them . i was lucky enough to have him serve up pints and one liners in my local in Hamilton ( the Buccaneer) aided and abetted by his no nonsense manageress ……wee Nancy McLaughlin …… 💚☘🍻Great days and people




    What a lovely ghirl and beautiful song, really think my


    musical appreciation is changing so much as the years


    go on.


    The Beatles, Rod, Stones, Shania Twain wow! now more


    into the melancholy songs, must be an age thing lol.


    Best song of all time?








    Hail.. Hail the Celts are here😍


    H H Mick

  9. its a beautiful morning out there,



    oh to go back in time and be playing football at parklea instead of waiting to go to our sunday fixture




    Wonderful ! Why have I never heard of that girl Sissel ?


    And went onto the next song with Russel Watson, Bridge


    Over Troubled Waters, awesome.


    Think I’m spending too much time in the Aussie bush 😝


    H H Mick

  11. MELBOURNE MICK on 28TH NOVEMBER 2021 11:10 AM









    Wonderful ! Why have I never heard of that girl Sissel ?





    And went onto the next song with Russel Watson, Bridge





    Over Troubled Waters, awesome.





    Think I’m spending too much time in the Aussie bush 😝





    H H Mick





    Spending to much time oan the RED BIDDY mer like 😂😂😂☘💚🍻 enjoy …..

  12. SAINT STIVS on 28TH NOVEMBER 2021 11:15 AM







    A risky strategy.



    But maybe not only for the huns.



    Maybe also for any other club whose long term strategy requires some viable version of the huns to exist.



    Which might provide some comfort to the hun directors pouring their cash into the club in the hope that they win the league and have access to the CL money beyond.



    The January window should be interesting.

  13. If Slippy signs the fat Columbian for £40,000,000 with add -ons, the mankies will be in clover.



    Should we be worried?







    Now that made my old eyes wet, think I’m in love.


    So now I’ve got Adriano Celentano and Sissel to sing me


    to sleep, wee change from Shania I suppose 💁🏼‍♀️


    H H Mick




    Shania ….you’d no git much sleep thinking aboot that wee sex kitten ……….



    enough of that nonsense , its prep time for the sheepies ….no slip ups , get the job and move on to the next game.



    if we didn’t have the midweek game to come home from and the exertions i would have felt quite comfortable about today, we may struggle in the last 20 mins lets hope we have the game done an dusted before then .



    COYBIG .

  16. Agree about playing Josip at right back.



    In fact, playing him at left back reminds me of a Shania Twain song –



    “That don’t impress me much!”

  17. Sitting with my wee princess in the garden today, a wee


    aperatif being partaken before our chook is roasted on the barbie.


    “ Mick we’ll need to get the grass cut and some of they shrubs are


    deid dig them oot.


    Ok my love, do you think Juranovic should be right or left back?




    H H Mick

  18. I watched celtic v real madrid from 1980 this morning.



    It is a brilliant memory.



    suprising thing for me was the team played great attacking football while defending resolutely.



    del bosque for madrid giving a midfield masterclass until younger fitter murdo took over him in the second half.



    peter latchford making several good saves, and not spilling the ball.



    maybe george mccluskeys best ever game for us.



    doyle didnt half get roughed up by the team in blue, several fouls on him.



    bobby lemon last great european adventure as well, two great chances but both mishit.



    and the best bit, world class still danny mcgrain, first to every ball, anticipation, then acceleration away with the ball while playing in the famous NUMBER THREE SHORTS, yip left back for the celtic.



    in at right back Alan Sneddon, never a fans favourite, but what a game he had. taking the shot the keeper couldnt hold that george rammed in, and taking the cross that johnny heade in , maybe up there in the top 5 european headed goals, (sutton v ajax for me).



    so my point, the new “we know better” than the manager mantra is play JJ in his best position, right back,



    why ? we dont need to , maybe he is a better left back that all other choices, and maybe ralston is the 2nd best right back than all other choices,



    it doesnt weaken the team,



    on Ange i trust.



    tony to score or assit today, and JJ to score a penalty.