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. A repeat from late last night



    Bhoys, Worth noting – FACTS


    Out of contract in 6 months time at Celtic :


    Goalkeeper- De Vries


    Right back – Lustig & Gamboa


    Centre Half – Boyata & on loan Benkovic


    Left Back – Izaguirre


    Midfield – Brown & Allan




    We already know we need 1 possibly 2 Strikers


    ( do not expect to see Griffiths back anytime soon)



    January is not best time to buy, but we need to be building for 2019/20 season Now


    Big big January, which didn’t need to be the case had Brendan been supported in Summer


    I will repeat


    We need at least 1 first team ready


    Right back


    Centre Half


    Left back ?


    And 1 or 2 strikers



    For me where we currently find ourselves, doesn’t say a lot for any forward planning, but who is at fault ?


    Brendan wanted McGinn as long term replacement ( 6 months time ?) for Brown


    And Pacinni to replace Lustig in the summer


    Who did he get


    Mulumba – who didn’t even make squad yesterday, Izaguirre same.



    Poor situation for a well run with cash in the bank club to find itself is it not ?

  2. Good morning, friends from a who-cares-what-the-weather-is East Kilbride.


    On 12th December I posted this –


    Paul67, Having had a wee squinty at all of the December fixtures then I think that even if Kilmarnock can muster 9 points they will be on 2nd place. I think the table on 31 December will read as follows (Celtic and St Johnstone will have played 1 game less. My prediction is based on us winning 4 out of the next 5 (drawing at Easter Road) whilst Sevco will lose to Celtic and St Johnstone and draw on their visit to Easter Road.


    Think I’ll copy this and repost on Hogmanay to see how wildly out I am!


    Here’s what I thought, compared with reality!



    Celtic 46 (We actually have 42, 4 less that I thought. BUT STILL TOP!)


    Kilmarnock 41 (Just as I predicted but in 3rd place due to Sevco’s win on Saturday)


    Sevco 38 (They actually have 42, 4 more than I thought. They are NOT joint top by the way, but second)


    St Johnstone 36 (They now have 34 and are 6th rather than my predicted 4th)


    Aberdeen 36 (Are now in 4th place on 39)


    Hearts 33 (In 5th place on 36)


    Hibs 31 (languishing in 8th place on 29 due to their derby day defeat at home)


    Livingston 31 (on 30pts in 7th place)


    Motherwell 19 (sitting on 21 so currently clear of any danger)


    Hamilton 16 (only have 14 points)


    Dundee 13 (bottom with just 10 points)


    St Mirren 10 (in the relegation play off spot on 12 points)



    In summary – I’m completely useless at predictions and should stick to just reporting facts!!

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    For me it is now time for Broonie to move on he has been a good servant but he is now slowing our game down and is a yard off the pace we need to build a new energetic midfield and we need to look at our tactics away from home this season we have been caught out to often. Also I dont know if you agree but Brendans interviews are like his teams lethargic almost if they are taking the lead off him.I am not over the Rangers game I still think we were woeful and only one team wanted the win and of course they got it Gerrard simply out thought his old boss and his team played us off the park.I am not sure we should be throwing money at some of the players suggested by the MSM we have enough fringe players who bleed our club of money and are never likely to be first team picks what we need in my opinion is three quality players who would be first team regulars right away and would improve the team. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE. H.H.

  4. “It was only at half-time that I learned that there had been a very nasty incident when the Celtic team bus arrived at Ibrox.



    NOW on E TIMS you can read all about it.



    NO wonder the CELTIC PLAYERS were very poor .they were terrified.



    DAVID 66 .can you add this to NO PISTOLS PETE’S TO DO LIST.

  5. JOBO BALDIE @ 10:03 AM,



    Not a bad effort… take the green tinted specs off for Glasgow and Edinburgh Derbies and you were pretty much there.



    Kilmarnock are doing great. I’d love to see Steve Clarke in charge of Hearts or preferably Aberdeen to bring a competitive spark…



    Hail Hail

  6. 50 shades of green on

    New years resolutions.



    None I wont break within 7 days , in the past I’ve tried.



    1… Giving up Drink ?


    2…..lose weight ( see above).


    3……Give up chocolate, would rather give up #1 instead.


    4…..Be nicer to zombie pals ( only works if #1 is working).



    In conclusion, normal service will be resumed after the bells,unless I can get #1 to last. ??



    H.H ( hic hic)…..



    Dont know how many times I have to tell the truth on here before someone listens.Mc Ginn made his choice.Could easily have signed for Celtic but chose Villa.Hibs upped their price to us to 4 million,in case you forget.Total,GTF,from Celtic fans.We went to the selling price,but Mc Ginn chose Villa.How is that hard to accept.


    Mc Kenna,how many among the Celtic fans want him.Very few.You also miss out from the team,the players Brendan brought in,but did not play.


    Loanees.Paddy,Eddy,Benkovic,how can these not be good for the team.Musonda,great player,but feked up head.


    We have extended the contracts of,Rogic Calmac,Forrest,Griff,KT.An offer is on the table for Boyatta.We are paying the best wages we can for players,as the wage bill shows.I have no idea what you mean by funding a recruitment policy.The one we have is the envy of most clubs in Britain,with the resources we have.Where we are falling down,at the moment,is the scouting dept.Brendan brought them in.As for Ntcham.A couple of poor games has turned him from one of our best players,to a liability.Does not work like that.


    A great chance of a Treble Treble.Twice qualified for CL.Into the knock out for the UEFA.Healthy,nothing more,finances.Fantastic training complex.Celtic Park,The Celtic Way,new pitch,new lights,fan zone awaiting the OK.Hotel probably to come.Museum.Superstore.Yep,I really can see where we are going wrong.

  8. The attack on the bus.


    This was widely instigated on Hun Media,leading up to the game,in their own inimitable way.Not as if it was not expected.WTF,are our board doing about this.I really despair.

  9. The signs are that Celtic are going to try and do some business in this window.



    Timothy Weah looks to be getting over the line


    Bayo remains a target to buy full time


    Oliver Burke on loan is now being mooted.



    2 strikers and 1 winger/striker – 2 loans, 1 permanent purchase. Might be intelligent in the circumstances to help OE.



    A centre half and right back (maybe the boy from Atalanta) and Celtic will be good to go.



    A last day of the window EPL loan when they need someone out on game time as well no doubt from Man City as usual.



    The squad is big enough with those editions and everyone being fit.



    10 home games vs 6 away (including cup and Europe)


    Away 3 times before March.


    2 further away games til the split.


    Home in March to the Sheep and Sevco



    All the challengers playing each other Jan-March to mixed results.


    First game back is Celtic vs St Mirren while Kilmarnock host Sevco.


    Could be an interesting night with a game in hand still to come after all the hyperbole.



    Put the other day behind us, get a fully fit squad, get Rogic back, get in the new players, good to go.




  10. POGMATHONYAHUN @ 11 17



    ” the baw really is burst and we might as well find something else to do on match days ” .



    The baw was definitively burst in late July 2012 when something called SEVCO was given a Temporary Licence to play Cambuslang Rangers in a friendly and Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup . What could be expected to happen after that ?

  11. So Lawwell banned the GB for setting off flares against Hearts but remains silent when our team bus is attached with smoke bombs. Get a grip ffs. It’s time our Board, Manager and some of our player grew a pair.

  12. Afternoon all.



    I have just had a call from Cathac’s brother telling me of something I was totally unaware of and has sickened me, especially as our “courageous” press seem to have ignored. Our team bus was attacked before the game started. He was saying that there is footage on the Celtic minded blog of the players entering thon den of iniquity looking shell shocked. Why oh why can this happen and (apart I gather from an article in the Nation) has this been allowed to happen without a national outcry. I’m shell shocked and truly disgusted to think that my Country’s authorities would turn a blind eye to this. How low will the Establishment sink.



    Please Celtic: give us the story, even if you can only do it in Celtic media, as our press seem too cowed to tell it.

  13. succulentlambstinks on

    3 new signings ?!?!?!


    A right back is a start.


    A striker too.


    And a loan striker.


    So really only 2 signings.


    Where’s the cent defs ??


    Where’s the left winger ??


    Where’s the midfielder ??


    Duped again. I fear the end is nigh for Rodgers.

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