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. 50 shades of green on 30th December 2018 10:23 am



    I just hope Dermot watched the game yesterday with some idiotic hun within singing distance.









    Don’t think he got a ticket.



    13th game against the cornered Rats.



    Just Destroy them real hard at Celtic Park.



    Celtic will be alright. A Good Window and strengthening well, only 2 possibly 3 (1 a loan striker) incoming, and we will Njoi 2019 very well.

  2. Oh and getting Dedryck to re-sign would be good. I doubt he will though.



    If Dedryck is sold, then the numbers move up by 1.

  3. Garry,



    Saturday was a bad day at the office. Friday was quality.



    Need to look into getting some sort of enhanced pay for working unsociable hours.

  4. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Thought i’d join you Petec and DD on the graveyard shift.


    lovely 27 degs here in Melbourne and i’m just getting my


    Celtic gear ready for a trip into the city for the bells.


    I’m over that display on Saturday it’s now time for the coaching


    and the board to sort it, i believe they will, always the


    opTIMist me.


    And i’ll cheer up when i see all those hoopies which the wee mhan


    and i count every year at the fireworks.


    Wish you all a Happy New Year when it arrives.


    H.H Mick

  5. MM


    Hopefully Saturday at Doomdome was a watershed. Crack the biscuit tin open Pedro.


    We need to shed the dross in our squad and sign a first team ready experienced right back, centre half, centre forward for a combined 15 to 20 million quid if thats what it costs. The money is there. We will soon find out if the PLC will is there.


    Hail Hail fae freezing Bankieland ???

  6. Melbourne Mick,



    Callum had a Great game despite being played out of position. Cracking attitude.



    I’m thinking if any offers come in for Oli, that were there in the Summer, they will be accepted.



    Mikey done really well considering Everything. He will be a first team regular soon enough.

  7. Pete


    Fleetwood Mac post Peter Green were never the same. Still good but something missing ???



    Agree on all counts, just hope no bids come in for Callum.


    Going now, if you watch the fireworks from Melbourne on


    the news we’ll be the mental hoopie family dancin about 8-))


    H.H Mick

  9. Garry,



    I’m not a music guru like you. ;))))



    …..after you and John jibber jabbering, I knew Peter was gone by the time that song was released. I know nothing when it comes to music. The Wee man giggles @ my lyrics in the car for all the cool Songs.

  10. Melbourne Mick,



    I think Callum wants to stay @ Celtic and win as much as possible.



    Brendan has really unlocked his High skill with his vision and first touch being the best in the Country, IMO.

  11. Pete


    Been listening to four guitar genius fae the 60s tonight. Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Magical era for guitar.



  12. Garry,



    The wee guy has been influenced too much…………. he is starting to like Beatles songs that His Mum obviously plays.



    I cannae really complain, as the Best ever is.



    One Day at a Time



    TRULY Magical. !!Logical!!

  13. Pete


    Get Foo Fighters on your work playlist. Productivity and work pace will increase wi FF playing. USA finest band.

  14. Garry,




    Truth be Told I was annoyed that an article was submitted right after the Terrible Defeat by the Hun – expected.



    Truth is sadly lacking Today.



    The Celtic Support are being played like fiddles, IMO.

  15. Pete


    The Whites and Kellys played us like fiddles when I was a wean. My da despised Desmond especially. Never found out why. I met Chris White a few times to collect tickets for our bus. He made my skin crawl. Always on the take.

  16. Garry I have been on this site for many a year.



    When the fake Words towards Brendan after putting the knife in – Saturday Post said it all.



    So sad.



    I’m sure they Know Better!!!



    Back the Celtic SUPPORT in this Transfer Window – Not Brendan Rodgers.

  17. The Celtic Support know where the team needs strengthened, Brendan has been hampered for whatever reason. It is the Celtic Support that suffers.



    Not Good enough.

  18. Good morning from the top o the league Garngad



    Have the board called out Cheaten Beaton yet???? Didnae think so.


    Have the board banned any sevco fans from paradise for the indefinite future yet, due to the vile banners and chanting???? Didnae think so..


    Have the board lined up any of Brendan’s targets yet??? Didnae think so… I would not be surprised if this window is another disaster.



    Have the Celtic board called on police Scotland yet about the vile banners and song book, as custodians of our club they have a duty to defend our club.. If it was not for Jock Stein these cretins would not be larding it in comfy seats, heated drive ways and flying all over the world to watch Celtic free of charge..



    Ps it’s still good to be a Tim



    D. :)

  19. What I’ve been musing about over that last 24hrs is about the playing of 2 out and out wingers. Theres not many teams that do it (only Man City in England)………because ………it can leave you out-numbered in a mid-field battle.


    MON’s best team had Agathe (a fullback) as our main wide attacker. Thomson was really a midfielder who could tackle. Add Lambert ,Lennon and Petrov and you had a midfield that couldn’t be over-whelmed . Strachan and Lennon and Deila would all fall into the tempting 2 winger formation and sometimes would pay for it.

  20. Bamboo- I was saying the same to mates in the pub after game.


    I am not a great fan of wingers playing in a 5 man midfield, maybe 1 but certainly not 2, thier instinct is to attack or be in forward positions, but midfielders need to be up and down the park, like Petrov, Thompson or Agathe were.






    D. :)

  21. Good morning, a mild morning, leading to a wild hogmanay here in the Chilterns… (the bhoy is back in town, my wee bro;)



    Apologies for the late reply, life, the universe and everything got in the way… plus had to read it a couple of times;)



    TONTINE TIM @ 3:14 PM,



    “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.



    Yes, that was interesting, agreed, will pick up on a couple of points. Back in the Summer I mentioned as far as it goes, from memory, only two Celtic Managers have been backed.



    Jock Stein



    Martin O’Neill



    Even then, only at the beginning of their tenure. Interestingly enough, they managed to get some reasonable results.



    What agenda the current Board are following I’m not sure… They are certainly not spending the money to provide the best Celtic team possible nor backing the manager and it’s not as if the executives can siphon off the supporters money.



    Yet, here we are again, transfer money, European money, gate money coming in on record amounts and where does it go?



    Some posted earlier, as often is the case and in my opinion a great mistake, suggesting that we’ve outspent Sevco and should be winning matches like Saturday.



    Couple points…



    Firstly where are we spending our money? It’s interesting that the positions that CQN ghuys are highlighting as needing quality in, is the same positions that BR highlighted early June.



    No coincidence I’m sure, add to that, many of the positions that needed quality players brought in our incumbents were at the World Cup, while we had a very important UCL qualifying campaign to conduct.



    How does BR’s transfer strategy for June 2018 sound in hindsight…



    RB, CH, CM and another player. All brought in early doors to be bedded in for the 2018/19 campaigns while some players were at the World Cup. Real quality in all those positions. It seemed so simple then, it seems so simple now.



    We didn’t do that, I fact the executive seemed more interested in who they could sell and brining in loanees and stop gaps. Why didn’t they spend the money?



    The second point…



    They money we forked out on that team…



    • 1 Gordon – Free Agent


    • 23 Lustig – Pre-contract


    • 20 Boyata – 1.5M


    • 32 Benkovic – Loan


    • 42 McGregor – Academy


    • 8 Brown – 4.4M


    • 21 N’tcham – 4.5M


    • 49 Forrest – Academy


    • 17 Christie – Undisclosed > 1M


    • 11 Sinclair – 3.5M


    • 73 Johnston – Academy



    It is actually quite indictive of what’s gone wrong with our transfer policy…



    The Pre-contracts, the free agents… you can, and the bhoys above prove it, get some real quality and experience in this market, but are they a true fit? What is the longevity.



    The Academy bhoys, loving that, but when an undoubtedly talented but inexperienced 19 year old is our only fit striker? It’s going to happen on freak occasions but that was an event primed to happen.



    Broonie, Sincy… you pays your money you get your choice. What most Clubs do, pay out what they can afford for quality players. They become mainstays.



    Loanees, what to say about those, sometimes, like Fraser Foster, Odsome Edouard etc good bit of business. Look before you buy. Yet too often under achievers, the ones that do a good job often go off, leaving a (Paddy Roberts shaped) hole. Short term fix, that’s not a fix at all. Benkovic got injured at Pittodrie and didn’t fancy it on Saturday… Why would he?



    Quality prospects, bringing in potential quality players from smaller Clubs, top Academies and Reserve squads and developing them to sell at a profit. These players can bring some much needed quality amd technical ability to yet this is a) Hit and miss, for every Boyata you get three Guidetti’s b) Often lack commitment to the Club, especially around transfer window time.



    Now who would you choose for a Glasgow Derby, soon to be renamed the Old firm Derby…



    N’tcham or McGinn



    Boyata or McKenna



    That performance on Saturday was coming down the pike for some time.



    Why won’t Celtic implement, pay for and resource a fit for purpose recruitment policy? That’s a question we should all be asking ourselves. What policies and outcomes are they working towards, ’cause it’s not the same as ours…



    Hail Hail

  22. 50 shades of green on

    Morning Tims…..



    Tomorrow the window creaks open a little then we will have 30 days n nights of disappointment and discussion followed by 2 last minute buys one of whom may be a loan.







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