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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. lets all do the huddle ? on

    “the facts is as Kev says, £40m pounds worth of talent left the squad in the summer and was not replaced. The ‘we come out stronger than we go into a window’ strategy is in pieces. The result yesterday has lit a fire under Peter Lawwell. The timing of his £2.3m bonus is unfortunate, and that is putting it mildly”







    never has so much important stuff been put into so few words



    firstly, i think Peter Lawells remuneration package is utterly ridiculous for a scottish football team.the percentage of our turnover he takes is an insult to all of us



    but it is just PLCism – he has done a marvellous job for the PLC in the terms that he is employed for so is only taking what was agreed



    as for coming out stronger from a transfer window than we go in it – a bollocks promise



    our model is to sign players, then we have to sell them on for a big pile of cash i have no real issue with that but it means will often end the transfer window weaker



    but i also think we – the fans – need to have that realistic expectation

  2. Pedro is the 5th or 6th best paid director of a UK football club, prob 6th as Man Cty didn’t list how much they pay their directors, lunacy for a scottish club, and folks wonder why there is so much angst against him.


    I have nothing against the man, he does his job, well at times, other times not so well, I don’t understand all those who think he is irreplaceable, bollix, there will be 000’s of CEO’s out there who could do as good if not better job.


    Posters keep saying we are a well run club, the best in the land according to some, that’s a bit like saying the huns are honest, some of our dealings are a shambles, we are stockpiling players, we have players we can’t get rid of, not a sensible thing to do for a football club, but if you keep saying we are a well run club often enough people will believe it no matter.


    We have cash in the bank because of our manager and players, not because of Lawwell, if anyone on our board deserves any praise it’s DD for appointing Brendan, Pedro does as he is told.

  3. David66, Bad Blood is based on a real family fae Montreal, I can recall reading about the old man, da and son getting taken out. The only fictional part as far as I can recall is the name Declan, yes there was a character who he is based on but since still alive his real name is not used.



    There is a follow up just finished which was written by the actor that plays Declan, this is fiction but based on real life events and centres a lot between Toronto and Hamilton, the latter was for years a mafia and biker stronghold. This one features the Calabrian mob which are allegedly quite strong in the Golden Horseshoe area.



    I believe that about 90% of the Italian immigrants in North America hail from that part of their homeland.

  4. Dexter P. Bampot on

    That performance at Ibrox was coming.



    Our team has lacked focus for big games, including the Aberdeen match. It starts at the back and permeates the whole team. Concentration from our keeper and defenders has been conspicuously absent for some time. CG cannot, simply pass a football. It will not be taught at this stage of his career. Boyata is the same and any money received for him will be welcome



    I actually think MJ showed some nice touches on the few occasions the ball went near him but I think BR’s decision to start him on his own up top was a mistake. If eddy could last only one half, it should’ve been the first.



    However those tactical points were completely overshadowed by the lack of desire, lack of pressing and general absence of urgency.



    I watched The Rangers bring the ball unchallenged to the half way line almost every time. We sat off and I can only presume this was a tactic. We did not press or have at all. Contrast when we had the ball. They immediately pressed. Gave us no time. A simple tactic which requires effort and commitment and can make up for individual weaknesses. They would have tired in normal circumstances but didn’t do so as we never had any period of dominance in the match.



    The game showed the obvious weaknesses in the squad;





    Left back cover


    Centre Back


    Right back


    Replacement for SB





    Will we see the above rectified with quality additions?



    Or is it more likely we will see Celtic scramble for a Hibs or Aberdeen player in the last 24hrs of the window?



    So, a frustrating but predictable outcome yesterday as the squad limitations would eventually come home to roost.




  5. lets all do the huddle ? on

    Did DD not employ PL?



    so PL is just doing what he is employed to do



    and doing it very well in those terms



    but it is those terms that a lot of us find offensive



    when it comes to PLCism, the only show in towm is how much money they can throw at each other at the end of the year



    customers dont matter



    staff dont matter



    anyone on here who works for a PLC will agree

  6. Aye, he doing a decent job for the PLC, you just said it…customers dont matter…staff dont matter, problem is we are a football club, sadly the PLC take precedence over the football club, a shite state of affairs whatever way you look at it.

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on





    The double standard is disgraceful.



    But not shocking.


    Seen it for years at every level of society .

  8. Nine Celtic fans were arrested in dawn raids and harassed for two years before the case against them collapsed. The two hanging effigies were said to depict liquidation of Rangers. Granted the effigies could be depicted alternatively.



    However the disgraceful banners displayed yesterday at Grayskull could not be depicted as anything other than slandering Scotland’s greatest ever manager.


    To display banners point scoring about child abuse is sick. I trust Police Scotland, the media and the first minister are already on the case.


    This is beyond football and if the huns had any notion of respect which incidently they were asking for yesterday they would also take action and hunt down the sickos.

  9. Just had a read back on blog posts. Can’t believe the amount of posts criticising Scott Brown. He was clearly not match fit yesterday, and was being outnumbered and not helped by Olly who was dreadful. I admit his passing was woeful, but a fully fit Broony with support beside him would have bossed that match yesterday, as he has on the last four matches there.



  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Still much angst apparent after yesterday.



    Lincoln City, Hereford United, Wrexham, Gretna, Sevco.



    Every little club has their day ….. and the manner in which they milk their day reflects their personality. Sevco are no different.



    We will win the league. Let’s see the lie of the land in February.



    Hail hail

  11. GREENPINATA on 30TH DECEMBER 2018 9:58 PM



    Jock Stein helped with the causalities of the Ibrox disaster as we all know. The depths that mob will stoop are unlimited.

  12. Back to Basics.


    Your moniker is exactly what Brendan and the Bhoys need to do. Fitba is a simple game. Think we over complicate it away from home this season.



  13. D17


    The zombies know that Jock Stein and Lisbon triumph, killed their club. Their revenge is to denigrate a dead hero, who cannot answer them. Absolute despicable scumbags.



  14. Boyata. Didn’t want to see him back at Celtic park after the AEK debacle.but he returned. Once again on Sunday he showed zero big game composure, clueless at times and at other times no idea of the location of teammates. Scott Sinclair. Has done eff all for 18 months and scores a 5 a side hatrick last weekend against the dons. On Sunday, Scott soufflé showed up. Doesn’t tackle, win a header, track back, impose himself …shat his pants as per. Nchump. Powder puff challenges. A massive bystander. No bite no dig. Another burnt out blouse. None of them even taking a yellow for an elbow to the side of a huns head. Brendan Rogers. The architect of this pish. Where’s the steel we need in these games, Easter road, Mordor…where t f is mulumbu, Or kouassi , or anyone. What an effing shambles.

  15. Well, just clapped eyes on the magnificent Big Judith, looking more pneumatic than ever, and smiled for the first time since yesterday. Red crushed velvet and long boots, for those of you not in front of the telly!

  16. Including Internationals, Callum McGregor has so far played more minutes in 18/19 than any other player in Europes top tier leagues. His 3,743 minutes of game time equates to 41.5 matches since July – 1 game every 4 days.



    Last season it was Tierney top, on 3,607 minutes.



    Callum McGregor has played 8 games worth more than any other Celtic outfielder so far this season.

  17. Il Padrino,


    Why pick onthosetwo.Forrest wasup against a diddy,Halliday,and he got MOTM,FFS.Nevr saw him do anything.Christie ran about a lot doing eff all.Ntcham,who I like,was horrendous.

  18. What odds on a wee media campaign against the ‘childish’ reduction in away support allocation in the build up to the next Sevco game at CP?

  19. Fieldofdrams,


    jeezo things must be bad if big Judith can put a smile on your face,scary wummin.



  20. David 17.


    Here’s why


    Socceroos boss Graham Arnold admitted on Friday he wanted to give his squad a chance to shine but the 26-year-old didn’t star due to his knee flaring up during his flight from Glasgow to Dubai.



    Rogic took part in light training but played no part in the match against Oman for his country.

  21. Gordy


    Cannae beat wee Anne Lundon in her Emerald Green dress or preferably Lucy Verasamy in Playboy attire ?

  22. I see the Record is highlighting Morelos 3 red card offences.Saying he will be sweating on the outcome of the review.At least they have brought it up.Apart from this,he surely has gone over the points threshold for a ban.

  23. Turkeybhoy.


    Morelos just served a two game ban.


    The first game was because his points tally had gone over threshold.


    The second was for a red against the sheep.

  24. Anyone read The Scotsman today.Some trumpet giving it”Ones as bad as the other”crap.He mentions the banners,the sectarian singing,disgusting songs about big Jock,and LG.His counter about us,some coughing during the minutes silence.



    Thanks mate.Was not sure.He will cop it again for Sunday.3 to choose from.


    Think the stamp will do him.

  26. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    ” Morelos is now sweating over a possible ban with SFA compliance officer awaiting referee John Beaton’s report. ”



    Not entirely reassuring.

  27. Re Morelos (the Colombian nacho novo but an even worse human being), red for his kick out at brown, red for the stamp, a years suspended sentence and 10 years on the sex offenders register for groping Ryan Christie without consent.



    I’m only half joking……

  28. Turkeybhoy.


    The ” journalist ” was Andrew Smith, I believe.


    He was involved with The Celtic View at some point, I’m sure so shame on him.


    The stamp on Ralston but also the elbow, which was similar to Jozo’s red last year.

  29. Celtic please listen on

    I don’t agree with much if anything at all that Kev posts. You cannae get much lower than a hun in my book but the post which is still there wishing his death & the recent post backing it shows there is some real lowlife sub humans amongst the Celtic family. Scum !

Do Not Sell My Personal Information