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. My friends in Celtic.



    The word delusional has been used many times on the past few pages. How apt.



    I could not understand the triumphalism and euphoria on these pages prior to and even during the game.



    A few of us mentioned what Celtic team would turn up. The team away to Hibs Kilmarnock etc, or the team that demolished all at Parkhead.


    We have our answer.


    To be clear : Peter Lawwell was not playing and Beaton was not the reason we lost.


    We move on with a clear understanding that we need to fight for points. It is not a given .



    We deservedly lost today, we regroup and we reflect. BR who is our best fit and asset and will take us to eight ( with the help of a January check book )


    But no more entitlement, please.



    HH , the journey has stalled


    But will resume

  2. Kev



    I rarely post or lurk now but it’s nothing to do with your contributions which I think are valuable despite the fact that I rarely read them because I felt it was the same message being repeated.



    What exactly do you want to change? I’m more than happy to get you involved.



    I’ve been reading the blog most of the day soI know it was you and I also know where you were coming from ?



    HT good to see you posting and that you survived your visit to the Casa Diablo, I sincerely hope you didn’t catch Ebola, Distemper, Rabies or anything similar during your visit there ?

  4. HAMILTONTIM on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 11:26 PM



    Glad you got there and back safely today, good to see you back on. Funny we were talking about McGregor / Brown the other night, think that has been answered now ?

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    To get into the Pope argument ? The Pope is not infallible! The Pope is only infallible in matters of dogma.





    Sorry for being dogmatic. ?????????






    And it is very unusual for the Pope to make a statement on Faith , Morals or as you say Dogma.


    The last one was ….1950



    The solemn declaration of papal infallibility by Vatican I took place on 18 July 1870. Since that time, the only example of an ex cathedra decree took place in 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as an article of faith.[7] Prior to the solemn definition of 1870, there were other decrees which fit the definition of ex cathedra, for example, Pope Boniface VIII in the bull Unam Sanctam of 1302,[8][9][10] and Pope Pius IX in the Papal constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 1854.[11][12]

  6. David66 11.19pm



    Halliday done Lustig in the bottom of the spine when both of the ground … cowardly challenge that would be “ok” on a Saturday morning … am pretty sure just before halftime if you see it tomorrow you will see why Mikael didn’t come out for 2nd half … I would love us to be nasty but for some reason our players aren’t skeelit enough … we shouldn’t complain

  7. HT,



    It is a pleasure to see you back posting on here. You have been missed big style.


    Watching in Mchuills is no substitute for first hand info on our away games.




  8. Gerry I seen it, he was still shite.



    I’ve seen weans jump bigger and stronger in the tackle than chocolate ankles Lustig… Trust me he is done.



    He was caught wrong side and diving in.. He is finished… Oh by the way, there were others there today who I would not give another sacred Celtic shirt to either.






    D. :)

  9. imo ML couldn’t get off the pitch quick enough , kent was giving him a roasting and he didn’t fancy it.

  10. David66 11.35pm






    I thought you might have missed it, hindsight is everything but I would have had Ralston on from the first minute … at least if Hallliday tried to do him Anthony would have maybe retaliated first :-) … we are all hurting just had my nephew on the phone the young team aren’t used to the Huns winning ….. good times ahead .. Brendan and the bhoys will have their eyes on the prizes … a wee step back



    Hail Hail … 8@row here we go …..

  11. Macjay,



    Don’t go to mass very often now, however I always try to make midnight mass when circumstances permit.


    I miss the hymns in Latin.


    I also reminisce about the Gaelic mass which brings back magical memories.



    Off topic I know, but hey ho.



    HH YNWA.

  12. As I said we need an epic transfers window.


    At least 4 first team ready hardened quality professionals at the cost ofabout £20million..


    I know people will say there is no way we are going to spend that, but we have spent nada, zilch in the last 18 months…2 transfer windows wasted, that has allowed them to come back to us. Criminal…



    I will tell you another thing, BR has let us down 2-3 times in the last few weeks regarding formations and tactics. 7 changes against Murderwell??, 3 at the back against Hibs and today Cal Mac at left back… Wtf



    Any way still top of the league and still on for 8IAR, hopefully



    D. :)

  13. Email protected is just a hopeful



    8 in a row …..



    Don’t turn JavaScript on for that ;-)

  14. HAMILTONTIM on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 11:26 PM




    If the significance of buying a £49 same club lie old firm ticket cuts no ice with you, then why would I be interested in any of your other detours ?



    “The Game, The Game Is Over,….The Rebels Have Gone!”


    …..long, long, gone.



    Hope your still well. ✔

  15. Gerry, I know, I had to calm some of the young team down in the pub..



    I am just frustrated, that everything that could go wrong went wrong….



    But as my old mum used to say”every dog has its day” and they had to beat us at some point.



    We need to regroup and recruit well and onwards and upwards.



    D. :)

  16. David66,


    bit harsh to single Lustig out today,


    any one of 9 could be picked out as being pish,


    have a look at James Forrest at their goal,no effort to track the run of Jack





    ML wasn’t the only one that Kent was giving a roasting to. As my Bhoy pointed out he is like shit off a shovel – extremely fast.



    agree but he was his direct opponent and should have dealt with him accordingly.

  18. Gordybhoy 64 you are correct about anyone of 9??? I would say 10, but Lustig is done and cost us that goal..


    Maybe I am singling him out, but we do need a right back sharpish.



    D :)

  19. David 66,



    My friend, you also said that our players were far better than there’s and the result was a foregone conclusion.



    Oh yes you did.


    No worries and HH.

  20. David17



    He was wrong playing C McG at left back but I do think he was right playing Brown.






    I’m sorry mate but I won’t be apologising for paying £49 for a ticket today. I was blessed to be there as a representative of the unrepentant Fenians.

  21. David66



    I think one or two players just to give the squad a boost … a few weeks away the bhoys will “focus” and be back on track … the players have been in the go fae June … Athens the lot we will see a different team in 2019 .. trust me ?

  22. Evening,Kev my friend you are a star , never waver bud attacked f constantly, especially from some who back off from the canamalars if this parish, HH my friend absolutely 100 percent Tim zzzzzzz

  23. Greenpinta I know but I’m pished now.???



    The majority of our players are better, we just need a right back, centre half and 2 centre forwards.





  24. Greenpinata 11.54pm



    I still think we have better players in every position (especially in goals)



    But .. our better players were worse than the opposition…



    It does happen … sometimes even the “double treble” Celtic lose a game … it’s actually no that bad :-)

  25. Gordybhoy64 yes fair point


    The whole Cal Mac at LB fecked our whole performance/balance of our team.


    Ntcham should have been on bench….. Auch hail hail



    D. :)

  26. Horrible result to end another successful year of football but we’ll get over it.



    We will move on to another year of “debate” between



    Happyclappers v Mineshafters



    Complacents vs bedwetters



    Boardlovers vs Permanent Rebels



    O** F***ists vs 49 quidders



    Won’t hear a word of criticism vs The Permanent stand-by airport taxi delivery service



    And the other 40 shades of green that make up our support





    Personally, I blame Paul 67 for engineering today’s result; it has obviously been good for blog traffic.



    On a serious note, we will be recruiting in January and I confidently predict that most of our recruited players will be derided before that have even played for us except the one with the biggest price tag who will be grudgingly approved until he has played twice for us and he will then become Scapegoat-in -chief



    8iar will be hard won and hard earned, if it happens.



    I just pray that appreciation of it will not be hard to summon







    I think one or two players just to give the squad a boost … a few weeks away the bhoys will “focus” and be back on track … the players have been in the go fae June … Athens the lot we will see a different team in 2019 .. trust me ?





    Gerry I know I am just frustrated, apologies.






    D. :)

  28. Guys,



    Agree. The post game ” celebrations” in Mchuills was something to behold.



    You would have thought we had won.


    Nevertheless we have achieved all our targets for 2018.


    League cup .Tick


    Last 32 in Europe. Tick


    Top of the league. Tick.




  29. There are only a few people I knew got tickets for today’s defeat … when I told them a few people on CQN were saying the club shouldn’t tickets their replies were “when are you going to stop reading that shoite”



    Fellow Celtic fans good night and god bless

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