Sunday: developing players and building a team


The truth is, football is not always exhilarating.  If we were two points off the pace going into yesterday’s Premiership game, all sorts of dramas would have taken place, but with an 8 point lead and a game in hand, there was no conceivable jeopardy.

Instead of contesting for all three points with his strongest available team, Brendan Rodgers chose to rest limbs ahead of the trip to St Petersburg, where he will attempt to defend a one goal lead.  This was, without shadow of a doubt, the correct course of action.  There are few enough advantages of playing in a weaker league, being able to rest players before a European game is the principle benefit.

Brendan also has developmental considerations.  Jack Hendry, Calvin Miller, Odsonne Edouard and Charly Musonda will all gain  from game time in the first team.  The expectations when playing for Celtic are uniquely onerous, these four young players will learn that from occasions like yesterday.

We came through a unique season last term.  The treble was won with a procession of brilliance, but our European endeavours ended in at the Champions League group stage.  If you look at the league table, you might be tempted to assume there is clear evidence that we are weaker now than a year ago, but the jury is out on that question.  If we progress to the Europa League last 16 on Thursday evening, Brendan’s second season will be set to eclipse his first.  This is perhaps a consequence of enduring some afternoons like yesterday.

Developing great footballers, building great teams, is not a linear process.  It takes time and patience.  Don’t bet against this squad delivering another treble and a European run which extends into the light nights.

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  1. Philbhoy


    you beat me to it -seems like they can medicate with substances that just happen to improve performance

  2. Posted this on twitter. There is a link to a new article in here as well.



    There is no question Celtic’s performances have often failed to hit the heights of last season. The outcomes may often be the same, but the route Celtic are following this season is less embellished with glittering displays. Why is this?



    As with most complex problems in life there isn’t a silver bullet and there are many factors at play. What can we measure? Well, last season goals from outside the box accounted for 19% of all goals, and many were game changers. This season the ratio of long range goals is less than half that. http://celticbynumberscom.ipage.com/long-range-lament/ explains all.



    I looked at the chances created and who was creating them. As with long range goals, the same players top the assists and chances created charts last season. You can’t lose your top creative talent all at the same time and be as effective. Analysed here: http://celticbynumberscom.ipage.com/creative-deficit/ .



    But Celtic have a huge squad and should not complain about injuries? But when your top creatives AND top long range game changers are all out at the same time, it has an impact. McGregor can be the best McGregor but he isn’t Rogic. Celtic’s strength is having many different tools to problem solve with.



    If the armoury at your disposal is always the same, who steps up when a change of approach is needed? Despite injuries Celtic have remained “on target” but not with the same array of solutions.



    And what of the approach? Last season the buzz word from Rodgers was “relentless”. The team were relentless in pursuing the opposition, pressing high, all out to win game after game. Not just physically but mentally that becomes exhausting.



    Records were broken and a treble secured. The relentlessness paid off. But can Rodgers inspire all to climb the same mountain by the same route? The unbeaten run probably became a burden by the end, a distraction. Does it need to be bettered? It will likely live in the record books for years.



    And will the players go with Rodgers on the same journey? Do you want a high maintenance manager like a Mourinho or Conte? They exhaust their squad with intensity, pressure, emotion – it is relentless and by the end of season two everyone has had enough. More money is requested to refresh. Rodgers isn’t like that. Celtic are not a club on that type of journey.



    Many of the players had next to no summer break due to internationals and a June start. The 28th May was the Cup Final. This season saw 2 more league games before Christmas than last, and now 2 more games post Christmas in Europe. Accumulation of training, travel and matches must have an impact. Celtic don’t need to win “relentlessly” and Rodgers probably knows the players may not go with him on that exhausting journey twice.



    Rodgers has managed the squad differently this season. Last he made an average of 2.8 changes per match. This season it is 3.4. Rotation is more overt yet Brown, Lustig, Tierney are still over worked compared to the rest of the squad. With change comes decrease in fluidity and understanding.



    Celtic do have a large squad and have accumulated many young players. They do not become experienced and hardened by not playing. Rodgers has not shied away from giving game time to them. With double digit leads in the league, that luxury can occasionally be afforded. It is risk/reward though and overall team performance can suffer.



    Celtic remain on track to emulate if not surpass last seasons outcomes. They may do so without hitting the performance heights as consistently as last season. Human nature says if you can achieve the same outcome with less effort, you would, wouldn’t you?



    The fundamentals, the structural advantage Celtic have over all other clubs in Scottish football, remain intact. Whilst there is no room for complacency (and I for one will always shine a light on performance regression), this season is still shaping up to be, in some respects, more remarkable than last. What is harder than winning something? Retaining it.




  3. The brits are allowed to miss out on getting tested as well, always an excuse is made for them, even brit footballers who were partial to a wee line of Charlie now and again, now had they been Russian….

  4. Gary 67


    I remember the song a la duran duran



    his name is Rio and he’s watching from the stand

  5. Haven’t looked back from yesterday’s game . My thoughts , i wish to god we concentrate more on getting this league sown up. 30 + million is the gamble here. Not the paltry amount in the europa cup . And if we don’t secure the CL millions they will . How soft are we without scott brown in the team , yesterday we watched celtic players in a 60/40 situation opt out of getting stuck in . To many changes made in the team from Thursday’s wonderful performance was another minus for me . And trying to walk the ball into the net another .

  6. Since it’s quiet, nothing like a wee bit of hun on hun.



    February 19, 2018


    I’m the Leader of the Gang, I Am!


    Written by the A-Team


    It’s a sad time indeed when a simple question leads to a situation which escalates and quickly gets out of hand. Unfortunately, that seems to be the way with the Rangers support these days. We all get things wrong, we all make mistakes; some of us admit to them, some of us don’t. On many occasions, we here at Leftpeg Towers have made an error in judgement, whether it be on the blog, Twitter or in real life. As anyone who has encountered any such issues from us will attest, our hand is raised immediately and we take the fall for it. Threats have been made to us, a home address has been published, a work address also, as have real names. Yet here we are, still intact, still writing and still defending those who have been mistreated by the usual cast of individuals. Strange thing is those very people are the ones who cause and maintain the bulk of the fallouts within the support. They are the contaminant and not the cure.


    To many non-members, Club 1872 is seen as a massive, toxic failure. Membership has more than halved since the time of the merger between Rangers First and Rangers Supporters Trust. A membership of 7280 is an absolute embarrassment, given our worldwide support and reputation. There is seen to be an unbreakable link between the Rangers Board and the supposedly independent Club 1872 itself. At any given opportunity, when the chance to hold the board to task has arisen, C1872 have done hee haw. Empty questions do nothing except fuel further concern. Who can forget the thoroughly disgraceful Q&A session with the MD? Promised transparency has been non-existent. Much like the Rangers FC board, Club 1872 only seems to become proactive when money is required. This is exactly what we are seeing at present. Some fans who are members come across like Jehovah’s Witnesses, rambling on (in what seems suspiciously like pre-scripted prose) about how wonderful C1872 is and how we must all join. Meanwhile, many of us on the outside see the issues, the egos and the absolute shambles C1872 has been since its inception. Those who defend it don’t see what a massive eff up is it to have the Rangers Club Secretary as a Director of the fan group. For a purportedly independent fan group, that’s the equivalent of letting the opposing manager pick our team week in, week out.


    Meanwhile, fans of the less successful club across the city seem to have free rein to attack us. Our board disappear into the shadows at each fantasy lie created by the Obsessives. Tim Bloggers are free to write what they wish about us, without fear or reprisal. Perhaps even worse is the undeniable fact that some of the Scottish Media have actually believed what these clowns have written; Chris McLaughlin being the latest gullible victim.


    Then we get onto our own. You’d think we’d be backing each other up, defending fellow supporters to the hilt? Nah, not us; we love destroying reputations. Most recently I recall Stewart Robertson, our very own Managing Director, reneging on a promise to back fans who’d gone onto the Hampden pitch on Cup Final Day 2016 to protect Rangers players and staff from attack by thug Hibs fans. What’s even worse, though, is the sight of our own fans attempting character assassination of a fellow fan. We here have encountered this situation many a time but we laugh it off. Perhaps sometimes we’ve acted incorrectly by being drawn into slagging matches, however it’s never fazed us and we’re still here. Some have thrown accusations at us for attacking others but we have only ever gone after those who are scamming or collectively ganging up on our own support. Which brings us nicely to that pitiful yet highly sinister chat room site, Follow Follow.


    We have access to the Follow Follow site, as does everyone with the ability to browse the internet. Some of the posters are reasonable and balanced. However, there’s an element within the very small clique who are, quite simply, so gullible that their thought process can be easily persuaded to act out precisely what they’re told. If the site leader tells them to like something, they do. If he tells them to buy something, they do. If he tells them to join something, they do. If he tells them to attack someone, they do. You can see where this is going. He’s like the Rangers equivalent of Kim Jong Un A simple case of someone with a hold over another group of individuals. I’d use “brainwashing” but perhaps if they had fully formed brains, they wouldn’t be participating. Perhaps even more baffling is this particular individual’s entirely untrustworthy and intensely dislikeable personality. No stranger himself to a few alleged financial scams, he always finds a way to make bank from the Rangers support and indeed openly advises others how to do so. August 12th 2010 RST meeting where the then secretary Allan Harris resigns but makes the following statement;


    “At a meeting with the auditors that I attended on 4 August 2010 along with the Treasurer, Christine Somerville and the Treasurer elect, Alison Mueller, Christine stated that sometime between September and November 2008, two cheques were issued to RST by followfollow.com totalling £2,690. These cheques bounced. The monies were not fully repaid (bar £30 still outstanding at the financial year end) until March 2010. This means that followfollow.com had a free loan of Trust monies for the best part of 18 months.”


    Mr Dingwall himself resigned shortly after more allegations of irregular and untrustworthy behaviour. Now considering this gentleman and his acolytes see themselves as the bedrock of Club 1872, do they not see why it is many fans have absolutely no interest in becoming members? Is it the Sellick mentality of “it’s always someone else’s fault”? Yet, ironically, their favourite retort towards someone who disagrees with them is to liken them to a Tim. For instance, in the last few days, they have come to the conclusion that 4 members of a podcast were “Tims” based on the spelling of their name, a haircut, their pronunciation and that someone looked simple. A great set of lads who give up their time to provide the Rangers Fan base with “FREE” entertainment. We here are massive fans of the lads and their WWTC Podcast and they most certainly do not deserve this treatment.


    On Sunday morning, it was announced that the other main Rangers internet chatroom Rangers Media had been hacked. Despite it being another medium for fellow Rangers fans, posters on FF were congratulating whomever was responsible for the cyber-attack. That’s the level of these individuals mentality, I shampoo you not. Yet we should all come together with these absolute retards and pay money to join the same organisation? Aye, right.


    For those of you not members of Follow Follow here are a few examples of posts from the thread named “Marc Alexander”;


    At no time would I imagine Snagsy ever “contacting former club 1872 directors workplaces, employers and the regulatory bodies”. This is slander and fabrication exactly what FF is claiming he is guilty of.



    The usual blame that they hate everyone, are Tims and love Fat Mike Ashley.


    The Leader of the Gang not realising he is part of a smaller self-selecting fan club.


    Picture looks a “roaster in his Twitter profile” says an anonymous poster with a line as his picture….. oh the irony!


    No idea why some Rangers fans abuse those that want to help says a guy abusing Rangers fans who want to help…….


    Transparency in action. Fake News!


    At last something correct! Snagsy did indeed have a blue moustache. However it was to raise thousands of pounds for a Suicide Prevention Charity of which he also donated a signed jersey. Snagsy is usually the first bidder on anything Rangers Charity related. One of the many reasons why this is an unkind and callous attempt to bully a thoroughly decent human being.


    Now why would anyone want a home address for someone they don’t know? I don’t think this needs further explanation.


    Finally but perhaps most importantly we have this. A post from an actual Club 1872 Director thanking the loyal Follow Followers for posting lies, bullying, harassing and attemptedly assassinating the character of at least 7 very good and decent Rangers Fans. In the final paragraph he asks that “they continue to challenge those that peddle lies” on a thread which is doing that very thing. In essence this Director of Club 1872 is lending his support to these completely false claims about Rangers fans some of whom are actually members of the organisation of which he is a director. Quite frankly we feel that this Director must either issue an apology to these individuals and/or step down. If he feels that the posts on this feed are acceptable, in any way, then he is not of suitable morals or character to continue in that role.


    We would just like to include the last screenshot as an example of the immaturity and unsuitability of Mark Dingwall as a Rangers Fans spokesperson or anything else associated with the club. If you speak out about him, Follow Follow, Club 1872, or any of the other things he’s involved in, this is the sort of treatment you can expect. A man in his 50’s behaving like this!


    We fully expect to see those of us involved in this blog feature on a Follow Follow thread at some point in the not to distant future.



  7. Rio was also fined and banned by the FA for racist behaviour. He was also ordered to attend an ” education” programme.

  8. I have written extensively about the tentacles of the worshipers of baphomet reaching far and wide and how they effect our game.



    I mentioned yesterday about periods when we were under attack from the breest barers but failed to mention the 40’s, that was mostly because the game had been suspended and wartime fixtures where guest players could play were no more than friendlies.



    However, the cheating still went on and none more so than a new year game in 1943 when a Celtic side bereft of our best players who were away fighting on the European front, plus had 2 players sent off for questioning hun decisions, lost 1-8 to a shipyard loyal side which would contain two future managers, symon and waddell.



    After the conclusion of hostilities, in Europe and Japan that is, but not on the field in Scotland, the Victory Cup was gifted by the Scottish Football Association to the Scottish League for competition during the war, the Scottish League Cup.



    Aberdeen had won the trophy, then called the Southern League Cup one month before by defeating deidco, however, the SFA decided that Aberdeen should hand the trophy back and it be played under the auspices of the Victory Cup.



    Astonishingly we actually won the Victory in Europe Cup in 1945 presented by the Glasgow Charity Cup committee which was to be competed between us and deidco but they once again pulled out citing a Southern League Cup final against Motherwell 3 days later, why play for charity when you can make more at hampden, and we beat Queens Park by virtue of winning 1 more corner than them after a 1-1 tie.



    The 1946 Victory Cup, separate from the one above was said to be the last of the makeshift football tournaments designed for the abnormal conditions of the Second World War where we even during a period of rebuilding surprisingly reached the semis and more shockingly tae we drew 0-0 with deidco and seemingly the shipyard loyal were holding on at the end as we finished the stronger side.



    And so to the replay, this was the game where the players went to the management at half time complaining about some weird decisions by the mitb, not just that but they were convinced he was inebriated.



    Bob Kelly approached the lowlife graham and requested he look into this concern, the same mitb, a shipyard worker nae surprise there, who was well known for his strong affinity to the huns and during a game between the Govan side and St. Mirren some years earlier an array of shocking decisions by him had provoked the outraged Buddies into threatening to walk off the field, as is still evident today such requests fall on deaf ears, and as per usual in these games agricultural tackling was the norm from the govan side.



    Early in the 2nd half, Jackie Gallagher was stretchered of and Jimmy Sirrel was a passenger on the wing after being fouled by the appropriately named tiger shaw who wasn’t even spoken to and in fact a foul was awarded against Jimmy, by this time the Scottish huns were leading 0-1 when they were awarded the usual disputed penalty which our players protested vehemently, an enraged Jimmy Mallan (uncle of Peter of “For These Are My Mountains” fame) kicked the ball off the spot and was sent off, former Boys Brigade officer and captain of the team that night George Paterson further protested and he was for the Joe the Toff tae.



    Unfortunately two of our incensed fans invaded the pitch and made a bee line for the ref and of course as was the way of protest at the time missiles were thrown, the game eventually finished, with us down to 7 fit players, 0-2 tae the deserters. Oh how that number 7 would haunt them 11 years later, karma is a wonderful thing.



    But the SFA were not finished with us, mild mannered George Paterson who had never been known to use foul language and had never been in trouble with the refs in a 11 year playing career was suspended for 3 months as was Jimmy Malan but astonishingly Matt Lynch, who wisnae even spoken to by the drunk and had been a full 30 yards away from the stramash and had actually said tae a hun player he was standing beside that since he had been in trouble with the refs recently he wasn’t getting involved, was also suspended for a month, the club was fined £50 and ordered to post warning bills, which must be renewed monthly, that I can understand.



    George Paterson who at the outbreak of the Second World War swapped his hooped jersey for the uniform of the RAF and during the war years he would make sporadic appearances for the Bhoys but also played as a guest for the likes of Arsenal, Leicester and Blackpool.



    A man who prided himself on his honesty and decorum George fell into a depression and was so deeply distraught that the club, out of genuine concern for the players’ well-being, believed that it would perhaps be better if he continued his career outside of Scotland.



    Before his ban was over he was reluctantly transferred to Brentford in exchange for Jerry McAloon it was a cruel and bitterly unfair end to George’s playing career in the Hoops, he would however remain a hero to the Celtic support and they were delighted when he returned to Parkhead as a coach in the early 50s, which was another glorious time for the bhoys..



    No finished with the 40’s yet, there was also the CharlesPatrick/cox incident. In the opening LC game against deidco which we won 3-2 at Parkheid Charles Patrick with his box of tricks had tortured the hun defence.



    In the follow up game at hades 2 weeks later on about 30 minutes a through ball was played back to the hun goalie, poxy coxie followed the ball back shielding it from Charles Patrick who was racing to chase down the ball and challenge for it, the future Scotland manager in the hun goal gathered the ball and cox swivelled around and kicked Charlie in the stomach.



    Down he went in agony a few yards from the deidco goal line, penalty our fans screamed, similar tae another Ulstermhan at the same venue many years later, whit are you daft? and play raged on



    Raged is the key word here as all hell broke out in the Celtic end, bottles flew and fights broke out and the crowd spilled over onto the track, the mitb eventually stopped the game and the trainer came over to administer to Peas and Barley who was eventually able to resume the game. Amazingly or mibbees not both poxy and Charlie were cautioned later in the game for a minor misdemeanour.



    However, this was not the end of the issue. Celtic requested an SFA Enquiry. The findings indicated that the cause of the trouble at the game was the incident between Charlie and cox, and that both were therefore responsible for the crowd trouble.



    Following the Enquiry findings, a minute and a motion of censure were read out. Bob Kelly moved not to approve the minute and censure believing quite rightly that Charlie’s involvement had only been to receive a kick in the stomach that a penalty should have been awarded and that cox should have been sent off.



    He also pointed out a clear inconsistency, the original report stated that the referee had not seen the incident, but the Enquiry and referee’s report said that he had seen the incident but decided that it was not an infringement and decided to let play run. (shades of dougie dougie)



    So did the referee see the incident or did he not? The Committee voted on the minute 25-5 to censure Charlie and cox and further stated that “….Tully had simulated any slight injury he may have received.”



    Now I know some of you will be saying awe naw he’s harping back tae the bad old days of yore but as Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  9. Philbhoy,


    All good here, thanks. Mrs BB is moving to a different ward ( for work ) – back to an area where she’s worked most of her professional life, so she’s very happy with the move.


    Was a little concerned when you mentioned your ‘big day’, given all the bad news on here lately, and hoped that I hadn’t missed something when i had a wee break from here a couple of weeks back.


    Glad it was nothing more than work ( you nae thinking of retiring yet ? :-). )

  10. Has mibbery muzzle Brendan called oot cheatin Beaton fae yisterday, or has he took the smoke n mirrors route and blamed Tommy Wright ?


    Brendan Rodgers, manager of complicit Celtic FC, a club who stand charged, by me, of complicity, through their inaction towards, the SFA, SPFL, SPL and the SMSM in all their endeavors to, facilitate, then cover up, 25 years of Murray Mibbery, and the clear and present operation to elevate Sevco FC / Rangers FC to within touching distance of silverware, and another under the table European licence, Brendan Rodgers is either, part of the solution, or, he’s drawing suspicions, from me, that, swerving any collision with the mibs, is an unwritten part of his, £45 k a week contract ?


    Or, maybe Brendan watched the PLC throw NFL under a bus when, NFL “proved” that his Celtic team were being cheated by the MIBs, and now Brendan dizny fancy the PLC doing the same to him ?




    I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue saying it, that nothing, absolutely nothing, will be done until, thousands of empty seats appear.


    Yeez can peddle awe the petitions that yeez want, but, the petitions will jist be kicked, continually, into the long grass.


    Thousands of empty seats is the loudest voice of all, imho.


    Or, maybe, Murty might mibbery his way to a trophy…..before the penny draaps ?


    Anywye,…WEEBAWBABBITY, have a grand time wi yer lovely Mrs birthday, HH.



  11. The pass by KT inside the fullback last minute yesterday was absolutely sublime, the cut back from Sinclair was decent, the 3 forwards all running to the front post, baffling.

  12. Tontine Tim,



    I was telling my Dad this morning about how bad the mib was yesterday. His reply “we have had to put up with that kind of thing all my lifetime”. He will be 95 in about 3 weeks time.




    Tontine Tim,



    I was telling my Dad this morning about how bad the mib was yesterday. His reply “we have had to put up with that kind of thing all my lifetime”. He will be 95 in about 3 weeks time.



    *born the same year as my da, they went from the heady days of the Empire Exhibition Cup tae the abysmal post war period, then back up again tae hampden in the sun and then the years in the wilderness came, at times like the 90’s, he left this place in 93, I was glad he wasn’t there tae witness the cheatin years in full flow.

  14. All you ghuys talking about the English premier league, I feel sorry for you. My wife was born and raised in Liverpool and I have lived down here for 45 years. I could have supported Liverpool when they were winning all the european cups, but I chose not to, being a Celtic fan born and bred. All I have heard tonight is about Man City or Liverpool or blah blah. We are a Scottish football team playing in Scotland, yet all I hear is how the English teams are doing. Forget England and lets talk about what we are gonna do in Scotland to turn the team around and make it the best it can be. We should be proud of our football team. Please listen to Kev J sometimes HH.




    Am only 68!



    I’ll retire when the wee yin is working!



    As long as I’m fit.



    I work for myself and business is very good just now.(It isn’t always so!)



    I was off work for a week and a half recently, nothing serious, was bored out my wits so feel work keeps me going if you know what I mean, so I’ll keep going.



    I’m glad your good lady is enjoying work!



    When the fun stops, stop!

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