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. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Henrik Larsson recommended Amido Balde :-)



    Some times even the greats get things wrong



    They may have.


    But that is a deflection as i never gave a reason for him not being first choice.


    I only stated he faced adversity by having to prove himself after being previous season’s top scorer.

  3. What didn’t help yesterday was the enforced changes which left only 1 sub of choice. It was crying out for Hayes for Ntcham at half time

  4. Chairbhoy you alluded at 9:49 to matters other than team selection seem to be the problem, I said exactly 2 weeks ago the day after the Easter Road debacle that something was not right at Parkheid/Lennoxtown, however, 2 good displays coupled with another mediocre one on Boxing Day which should have been 4-0 proving what a Scheidt manager mcsleekit, is only papered over the cracks.



    For those jumping all over PL especially the ones that only come on here after a loss with their personal vendetta, as long as the kaiser is there he’s no going anywhere.



    We watched for years as bader stacked the boards at home and in Europe protecting his county downs, still currently in place there tae with the bonkle bigot, now he has Peter on various boards, it will take just a wee bit longer tae cleanup the stench in Scottish fitba but he will as he protects his Euros, he’s a very wealthy mhan and didnae get that way by treating fools lightly.



    If BR isnae up to it anymore and wants tae leave we will no so by the end of January when the winds shuts. Any more Scheidty scores will ensure he goes the same way as Mogga , 7 trophies or no, in fitba your only as good as your last result, Wullie Maley is his name, the Big Mhan who tended tae the sick and dying 48:year ago and MON who ended baders reign soon found that out.



    As did the current greatest living Celt twice although personally I feel he was backstabbed as was the Quiet Assassin, 2 managers who gave us 2 of our greatest days/nights.

  5. well were does the blame lie for this defeat from an 8 year old club? well in my opinion it has to be the tory board[their kev] they pull the strings and their own put in place manager brendan was denied funds hence theself made implosion and left to these clowns its just the start because in their tiny minds old firm lives just as it does or a whole lot of fans pity.



    On the no alternatives due to Ed not being fully fit?


    Sinclair played that role against Aberdeen and scored 3.

  7. If anybody watches the Championship, every team has players who would walk into Celtic team, just go get them.

  8. Gerryfaethebrig on 30th December 2018 3:11 pm



    Henrik Larsson recommended Amido Balde :-)



    Some times even the greats get things wrong




    Wasn’t it Mohamed Bangura Henke ‘allegedly’ recommended? Mo Bangura AKA “couldn’t score given an open goal if he had a hundred years to do so”

  9. how can any genuine supporter back this board when they will not tackle the cheating that was done for years and the still cheating from the the sfa i mean seriously how can this still be tolerated by our fans?





    You responded to my original post where i stated that Griff was not first choice for either Brendan or Ronnie.


    In both cases he overcame this adversity to gain his spot.


    You claimed that under Brendan it was a myth.


    I disagreed. and gave reason why.


    You respond with sarcasm.


    Another on here who plays the man.



    Henrik Larsson recommended Amido Balde :-)




    Some times even the greats get things wrong






    No it was Mo Bangura. Allegedly!




  12. Dinny usually get involved in board stuff.



    But would project Peter sanctioned the signing of lubo?.



    To old!!!!.



    Being one of the most talented and gifted player ever tae wear the shirt!! Nope me neither.



    Said it before Dermot has a decision, either Brendan or Pete!.




    No long punts all day long, but how many times in a games does gordon do that little chip into the fullback despite having a man right next to him or just panic and punts hard and lowish??



    Is a longer ball further up the park occasionally really worse than constantly placing your defenders in risky situations



    If you play the same way all the time you become easy to play against, mixing it up Is ok ffs same of the best teams in the world do actually play direct when needed and do enter into a battle.

  14. FAN-A-TIC



    You said my answer was a deflection, which it wasn’t it was just a consideration in respect to what’s come to light with Griff.



    Sarcasm, FFS man lighten up.



    Another on here who plays the man FFFFFFFs




    By using the word adversity you’re already shrinking the frame as to why Griff wasn’t playing when in fact neither you or I know what goes on behind the scenes at Celtic Park.



    Although perhaps Brendans words on the Griff situation maybe a wee clue…



    It is in fact pointless trying to debate anything with you.



    We can be scrollers eh…



    I used the word adversity in my original post which was an apt description i think.


    So show where i shrunk the frame?


    It was never about anyone but Griff and a testament to his character.


    You took offense at a perceived criticism of Brendan.


    I have done that plenty but this was about Griff.




    (You’re a brammer mate…



    Must be hard always being right eh:)))


    Your words.


    Agree with your scroll on suggestion though.

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Oglach 3.18pm


    Tallybhoy 3.30pm



    You are both correct … but stop letting facts get in the way … unless we disagree in the merits of Amido or Mo Bangura ?



    Surely Henke would know a player

  17. CQN: FFS Brendan, you played ALL the wrong players yesterday!!!



    BR: No, I played ALL the right players, just not necessarily in the correct positions!




  18. It wisnae the Bunnet that changed the policies that Brother Walfrid set up Kev, that occurred when John Glass bought amateur and apprentice carpenter James Kelly a pub tae sign for us, the same James Kelly who turned down the hibbees as he didnae want tae leave his beloved Renton. That move was sanctioned by the philanthropic Brother Walfrid when he dispatched John Glass tae that wee village on the banks of the River Leven with the instructions no tae come back without him allegedly saying “nae Kelly nae Keltic” as he called us, John practically camped on his doorstep until he agreed tae sign for us.

  19. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Tontine Tim 3.53pm



    I have never known a Celtic “board” to exsist to be charitable … the ethos of “Celtic” lives on in many ways, sometimes we all could do a bit more but in my opinion as a football club do their own part ….. canny be bothered with people complaining about what the club don’t do then want to sign a player at £50k a week … if Celtic were run as a charity I can assure you there would be no football successes on the park … football is football, if others are so worried about people less fortunate do their own part instead of moaning about what others do… it’s a football blog after all :-)

  20. A McL



    Pukki was interviewed in the Guardian and admitted that he wasn’t strong or fit enough when he was at Celtic.



    A bit like Shaun Maloney.

  21. Kev


    I understand that the Bhoys are stopping over in Syria to sort out that conflict before going on to Dubai

  22. Sevco moved the goalposts when they changed the seating plan.



    Accepted and rubber stamped by the SFA and the authorities, a move that even Rainjurz never attempted doomed the new fixture to a future with no away support, in a pathetic attempt to distort the equilibrium and gain sporting advantage.



    Celtic’s reciprocation played into the Sevco hands but its not our fault that their stadium is too small to allow all of required 60,000 that the fixture enjoys at Celtic Park.



    Desperate measures to fill the bear pit with bears coincided with the first win for Sevco, following years of mass destruction by visiting hoardes to Celtic Park the Celtic Board missed yet another golden opportunity




    Anecdotes CSC

  23. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    I wonder if BR got spooked a bit by TR’s absence. The reasoning behind yesterday’s formation was peculiar



    A partizan crowd definitely made Beaton’s performance easier.


    He was very willing to see the game from the same point of view as the hordes in the stadium.

  25. Ivehad


    I am sure that after the Aberdeen game John hartson mentioned playing Callum at left back – thought that would be a strange move

  26. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    mixed up gene – I wonder if he panicked (btw I couldn’t do his job )



    A: go with RC Cmac in mid izzie/hayes and mikel up and down the wings and let JF loose






    B: ON and SB to clog things up away from home but with OE as an out ball



    well, jeez we got a hole upfront (not mj’s fault); no front moving ball at all apart from cmac’s 3 runs which panicked the ship out of them and we played to our weaknesses (give it to CG who had 3 or 4 wangers players in front of him at all times) in front of a poor team who were told to run around a lot.



    We’ll win the league if we learn our lesson. They are not a good team.



    (sorry about the rant, yesterday was poor , BR is great).

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