Tactical call leaves Celtic impotent


The big decision of the day was to move Callum McGregor from central mid to left back, leaving Celtic with a Scott Brown – Olivier Ntcham central midfield partnership.  This was the central mid pairing we started the season with, when form was at its poorest for years.  Due to injury, the side changed at halftime at Murrayfield in the League Cup semi-final against Hearts, infusing the season with fresh impetus.  Without that change in October the league table would look significantly different right now.

Jonny Hayes could have started at left back, as he did at Pittodrie on Wednesday, allowing McGregor to partner either Brown or Ntcham, but Brendan Rodgers’ gamble did not pay off and Celtic did not compete throughout the 90 minutes.

We hoped for tactical changes at halftime but injuries to Filip Benkovic and Mikael Lustig limited what the manager was able to do.  Odsonne Edouard replaced Mikey Johnston on the hour, which improved things, especially when Callum McGregor was able to get into the box in support, but Newco had control of the game throughout.  It was a one goal victory that could easily have been four.  Special mention goes to Craig Gordon, who repeatedly got his teammates out of trouble.

Although we got little from James Forrest, Scott Sinclair, Ryan Christie and Mikey Johnstone, we were forward so seldom, it is difficult to be too harsh on any of them.  Dedryck Boyata’s chances of a big money offer next month were not enhanced as he repeatedly mis-controlled and mis-passed.

We had two late chances to equalise, McGregor put the ball in the net but was marginally offside, and Ntcham had a great chance blocked, but a draw would have flattered the champions.

I seldom complain about officiating, but Morelos kicked, punched and stamped on Celtic players off the ball, without caution.  I assume referee John Beaton missed each incident but we should see retrospective action.

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  1. We were far too passive as a team.



    It is BR’s job to send them out with a plan, an attitude and a desire.



    We played today — and many other away games — with none of the three.




    Very lazy.



    BR needs to up his game.




    More displays like today and all he will be able to hope for in the future is a mid table Championship side looking for a miracle.




    We are not in control.



    We are adrift with only memories to guide us.

  2. BR was wrong, yet again, no shape to team..players out of posdition. not a clue what they were meant to be doing.. And he should have team fired up for start of match

  3. If anything that abject performance has highlighted the real need for fresh talent in the squad. Scotty has probably had 1 good game all season yet is always picked – baffling. Lustig now too slow and mistake prone – we must replace. Sadly Broonie is in the twilight of his career and should be allowed to head off to an Australian sunset. A game he would have bossed a season ago just passed him by today. Boyata – head up his ar*se most of the game. His distribution and positional awareness were exceedingly poor – think his mind is elsewhere – get rid in Jan and hope we get a few pounds for him,replace with someone who wants to be here – not McKenna. Nitcham, there aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how dreadful and I mean absolutely dreadful he was today.





    I truly feel sorry for young Mickey J being thrown into that with zero support.





    But Brendan, oh Brendan WTF was that? Really – bury Sevco today and the league was ours before Jan, but oh no lets feck with the formation try and be clever, play bhoys out of position etc etc. Not the 1st time this season irrational tinkering has cost us points.





    As for PL this is what 0 investement in a team brings – decline and being outfought by bang average teams. Yes it is as much your fault as the players and management.

  4. Too much taken for granted.


    Class x form x effort = performance.


    Little effort means a poor performance.



    Little effort in the dug out, little effort by the team.

  5. Paul67?






    “Jonny Hayes could have started at left back, as he did at Pittodrie on Wednesday, allowing McGregor to partner either Brown or Ntcham, but Brendan Rodgers’ gamble did not pay off and Celtic did not compete throughout the 90 minutes.”





  6. 16 ROADS.



    McKenna.))) He was all over the shop at every goal we scored the other day…



    Cosgrove:)) You havin’ an acid flashback:))



    Hail Hail Big Chap!

  7. OGLACH on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 2:59 PM






    Ye revel in each and every set-back.




    Same as that overseaszombie cnut.

  8. Retrospective action is all well and good Paul, but it’s not the first time similar things have happened in a game this season and gone unpunished.


    Dolly Menga, Steven MacLean and today Morelos on a few occasions lashed out at a Celtic player.


    Quite frankly I couldn’t give a monkey’s if they get bans after our game as we need these decisions during games!


    We deserved nothing today so no complaints on that front

  9. We need new leadership on the park.


    SB has been the tall tree where nothing can grow in his shadow.


    Too many have come into the team under these conditions and wilted.



    Consequently big rebuild required.


    That includes the Youth and U21 squad that looks particularly bare at the moment.


    We employee far too many fans who are starry eyed at the situation they find themselves in.

  10. mr desmond, mr obrien, a eight year old club embarrassed us to day brendan you clearly think every thing is sweet i beg to differ we have been allowed to stagnate till we are ordinary anyone who seen that today should be ashamed as to what has been allowed to happen

  11. Brendan with his best Tony Mowbray take it on the chin reaction – and we know how that ended. Bossed by Jack and Halliday, dearie me

  12. 16 roads. on 29th December 2018 3:05 pm




    OGLACH on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 2:59 PM










    Ye revel in each and every set-back.




    Same as that overseaszombie cnut.




    No I do not, voicing an opinion. That wasn’t a set back that was a FECKING HUMILIATION –

  13. SP – McKenna played well against us, I thought. Dangerous going forward also.



    Cosgrove is a good footballer.



    More importantly – they appear to be tough, and strong-minded.



    Just what you need to beat thon rabble whom defeated us today.




  14. …..we talked yesterday about all the songs being sung.



    Never give up the olde rebel songs but get those cool and catchy sonics oot there mair.



    Celtic is Loved ootside Scotland.



    Sevco have hardly been out yet.

  15. Kilmarnock 2 up already and setting themselves up to overhaul the Zombies in January:))



    Keep the Faith Bhoys and that’s from one bad loser in me I hate when we lose and I hate it even more when we don’t turn up against them.



    The league is in our own hands and I’ll take that going into the New Year, that and a few classy signings in the Winter Windae..




  16. OVERSEASBHOY on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 3:09 PM



    Brendan has won every domestic tournament he has entered.



    Absolute PISH from you today

  17. OGLACH on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 3:10 PM






    It’s 3 points lost, that’s what it is

  18. SEVCO beat us today let that sink in to all those who say they are shite embarassed yes they are less than a decade old ffs.

  19. SMcK @ CB — rough as a badger’s



    However he has a bit of personality, a bit of fight and and a bit of bite.


    Today we had nothing as basic as that — all we have is SB at the wind up.



    We need more DHs in the team — the Silent Assassin rather than a bit of salt’n sauce wide boy.



    Team and youth squad need a complete overhaul.

  20. 16 ROADS.



    Look at the goals again, he’s pulled all over the shop, that being said I think he has potential..



    Cosgrove in a Celtic jersey would be red carded every game he’s a thug mate..



    In my opinion his kind of player doesn’t fit our style or Brendans style. there were even shouts for Connor Salmon on here canny get a game on loan.



    We need classy strong players not hammer throwers.



    The orcs were better than normal today but a full strength Celtic wouldn’t have capitulated the way we did today.



    Some shake ups and new faces and we’ll be fine..



    Central defence has to be the priority in this window..



    And a couple of strikers, I doubt you’ll see LG again this season.




  21. Panic ye not.


    We were sadly, well beaten and outfought today, it happens.


    However , my question is, why oh why, did we play with only one strker, why????


    We are miles better than them, but we showed them way too much respect , coupled with very little desire.


    The way injuries panned out during the game did not help either, but my mind is made up re Boyatta, take the money and run, shocking peformance from him. At least Broony’s lack of game time is some what of an excuse but he too was poor.


    Don’t know why, a team as good , set up so defensively against an average team like hunman.


    Onward and upward and remember, merde happens



    Only good thing about the result woulld hopefully be safe passage to our brave 700 fans.




  22. The response of the various posters on here tells us much more about them than it does about Celtic.


    Not having seen the game I am in no position to give even an amateur`s personal viewpoint.From what I can gather, though, it would seem that the team second in the League, at Home and even more in need of the points, played well and reaped the rewards.Hurt as I am every time my team loses , I can accept that defeats , even for the best team in the country, are inevitable.


    I also believe that comments made shortly after a most disappointing event are not likely to be as insightful as those made after coming to terms with said event.


    Cheerio for now,


    JJ ( Who is extremely disappointed).

  23. Thunder Road,






    Dinnae ever leave yer Season Ticket unused.



    This Celtic Team is GROWING.



    Callum- Wow.

  24. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Hey ho. We lost a game of football.



    Positives – League cup won, euro football after Christmas, top of the league and another draining December is over.



    Negatives – 0 league defeats in a season followed by four league defeats in a season followed by four league defeats in half a season.



    The cumulative effect of 156 competitive matches in less than 900 days taking its toll.



    Across the next two transfer windows we need to sign four starters to reinfuse the team.



    Hail hail

  25. what’s happened to all the bloggers forecasting a walkover today, the cat got your tongue .


    have been saying since SB came back from injury and teaming him up with ON would never work and i was shot down in flames , SB is finished , done, whatever way you want to put it. ML couldn’t get off the park quick enough as he was getting roasted , he should have a dunce cap on tonight not a pc’s hat.


    start with your strongest 11 and get the game won then play your sub’s , selecting CMcG at left back what a master stroke that was and what does that do moving forward with EI and JH confidence .


    ON dosent want to be here judging on that performance and past display’s.

  26. Tactical call leaves Celtic impotent —-and not for the first time in an away game.



    I have stated often that in certain games our players seem unsure of their role.



    Today was another example.



    This is a coaching issue.



    Are the instructions not clear or are the players not smart enough to understand?



    Sometimes coaches get caught up in their own hype and refuse to accept there is a problem.



    Mourinho at Man U being one example.



    Since Solskaer came he has simplified their game and got two wins albeit against weak opponents.



    He has played players in their natural positions and to their strengths and a team that has struggled to score has 8 in two games.


    To clarify i am not advocating a change of coach but believe a bit of introspection is needed amongst coaching staff to recognize where they are failing.

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