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Tactical call leaves Celtic impotent

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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. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    A wee message to all the Sevco lurkers, particularly apt at this time of year. Take a wee look at the league table, then have a look at your accounts and remember that second place is for life, not just for Christmas……..

  2. succulentlambstinks on 29th December 2018 5:14 pm

     

     

     

    *****

     

     

    *~*** ragin

     

     

    ………………………………….

     

     

    I’d HATE to see you when Your Team gets Beat.

     

     

     

    ………………………………………….

     

     

     

    CELTIC Love

  3. PETEC on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 5:05 PM

     

    That was offside. It was so very close to being truly Magical by Callum. It was offside though.

     

     

    absolutely amazed that the linesman could make the call from his vantage point furthest from the play, a truly exceptional spot.

  4. Really disappointed to hear Brendan praise CalMac. Completely self indulgent on his part. Right up there with WGS in terms of refusing to admit liability.

  5. Apart from some game in Europe I have never seen a Celtic team so totally outclassed. At times it appeared. Rangers had more than eleven on the pitch. Confining the stadium to just home support seems to work.

  6. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    BSR,

     

    At the moment I am reasonably sanguine.

     

    By tomorrow, that may have changed.

     

    Callum at left back was a mistake.

     

    However, had it not been for the injuries to Lustig and Benkovic, Brendan, Bless the name, MAY have been able to make the tactical substitutions required to change the direction of the game.

     

     

    I remember being castigated on here for expressing the thought that the end of our unbeaten domestic run was a monkey of our back.

     

     

    Maybe, at the risk of falling foul of the castigators again, today will allow us to start on a fresh round of hun humping.

  7. Ron67,

     

     

    We will never know if he would have flagged if Callum was well onside.

     

     

    Celtic got beat fair and square the day.

     

     

    Time for Celtic to flex their financial muscle, not in a Tony Mowbray way though.

  8. THE_HUDDLE

     

     

    Not my fault you didn’t read ‘all ‘ of the internet.

     

     

    Callum MacGregor has ‘filled in’ at left back many times for us, his choice was obvious to more than BR and anyway we’ll never know how Jonny Hayes may have played, or by how many we’d have lost.

     

     

    Will We CSC

  9. Poor day at the office, some employees posted missing from duty. A good break now will hopefully refresh the team, together with some astute signings and we push on during the second half of the season. Still top of the league, better goal difference and a game in hand. Onwards and upwards. HH

  10. Aye the usual suspects on today,Celtic supporters my arse,

     

    at least Kev has a new variation on the pish he posts.

  11. bournesouprecipe on 29th December 2018 5:29 pm

     

     

    Callum MacGregor has ‘filled in’ at left back many times for us, his choice was obvious to more than BR and anyway we’ll never know how Jonny Hayes may have played, or by how many we’d have lost.

     

    ————-

     

    Callum McGregor has not filled in at left back many times. I’d bet he’s started less than few times there and can’t remember when that has happened the past season or two.

     

     

    He’s been pushed into that position during games but playing as a left back. no chance.

     

     

    Brenda didn’t even go for wing backs, which might’ve justified the thinking of playing Callum out there.

  12. thomthethim

     

     

    Maybe Brendan will stand by ‘his mistake ‘ as he soaks up the sunshine in Dubai basking in his twelve times unbeaten team selections.

     

     

    Whilst we trudge back to work with petted lip.

     

     

    HH

  13. CG is obviously under orders to play things short for the reason if you did the old fashioned boot up the middle you lose possession and don’t get it back.

     

     

    That may be true against Barca but not Sevco.

     

     

    The tactic today not only gave them possession in dangerous area but it also spreads unease through players and fans alike.

  14. bournesouprecipe on 29th December 2018 5:38 pm

     

    Maybe Brendan will stand by ‘his mistake ‘ as he soaks up the sunshine in Dubai basking in his twelve times unbeaten team selections.

     

     

    Whilst we trudge back to work with petted lip.

     

    ——-

     

    Many a manager stands by their mistakes right up to the point they walk from the job.

     

     

    Though they’ll always have the sunshine in Dubai and pots of money so will never have a petted lip

  15. Getting beaten by Sevco is something that thank goodness we are not used to but it was inevitable at some point and of course it massively underscores our need to strengthen the squad which will surely now happen in January. Sevco on the other hand have just beaten the best team in Scotland so why would they need to strengthen. Aint that right Dave.

     

     

    Lets give the bhoys a break and not go all nuclear on them.

     

     

    Hail Hail.

  16. PeteTheBeat on 29th December 2018 5:40 pm

     

     

    CG is obviously under orders to play things short for the reason if you did the old fashioned boot up the middle you lose possession and don’t get it back.

     

    ———————

     

    It’s obviously how BR wants to play.

     

     

    CG is often receiving the final poor ball from his defenders after we’ve been pushed right back, leaving him no choice but to launch it forward.

     

     

    BR needs to replace him with a keeper that can bail out his defenders with these balls or change his style at the back.

  17. bournesouprecipe on 29th December 2018 5:40 pm

     

    ——–

     

    A typo, similar to your spelling of Callum McGregor

  18. An air of complacency around our club and supporters at the moment ,lost track of the number of posts on here in the last few days saying we were going to give them a doing today, never going to happen in my view . We need a statement transfer window with quality starters brought in . Fixtures into January are generous and should allow bedding in of new signings …………for the slow of hearing we are in a title race and need to create momentum over the next 10 league games . The complacency needs smacked out of everyone players posters supporters manager CEO cqn board the lot ….time to get real hungry and ruthless .

  19. The Huddle

     

     

    Know what you’re saying but CG made 4 or 5 important saves.

     

     

    My point was that there wasn’t much to lose by using the big boot today as Sevco aren’t Barca.

  20. Espanyol occasionally beat Barca. It happens. What I’m worried about is today is not an isolated event. Our away form is dire. It needs to be fixed.

  21. PeteTheBeat on 29th December 2018 5:49 pm

     

    Know what you’re saying but CG made 4 or 5 important saves.

     

     

    My point was that there wasn’t much to lose by using the big boot today as Sevco aren’t Barca.

     

    ————-

     

    My point was if BR wants his keeper to play from the back no matter the problems it can cause then he has to replace Gordon (who was our MOM today).

     

     

    Or BR changes his style.

  22. It’s now time for Peter Lawwell to spend the money that should have been spent in the summer, instead of sitting in the bank gathering interest.

     

     

    And Boyata can still GTF.

  23. Petec,

     

    aye was a cracking day out,

     

    i spoke to BRB about the obvious trolls on here,

     

    right enough they have all been on today

  24. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    The Meg is great escapism if anybody else needs to get away from huntasia

     

     

    God bless the 800

  25. When we are pressed we struggle, it is known reality for every team that faces us. Some teams are able to sustain the press and nullify us. Today we did not have plan B, we couldnt hit it long to Mikey as it would not stick. We did not get anything in behind or down the sides for him to chase. To get through the press we needed quality in midfield, to receive and move the ball quickly. Calum McGregor is that man, he has spades of quality. Brown gave the ball away for fun and Ntcham looked out of position. on the right side of the central area. He did not have his bearings at all.

     

     

    We could have done a lot more with the pool available abut also the weakness in the squad was exposed. Ralston and Ajer showed determination and fight that others didn’t. Fair play.

     

     

    Going forward we have issues with certain players which needs to be addressed,

     

     

    Brown – no longer able to dominate the midfield and crucially run the game (do not renew contract)

     

    Lustig – been to the well too many times, a complete liability (do not renew contract)

     

    Boyata – head looks elsewhere, rumour he has signed a pre contract with Roma (urgently address contract situation one way or another)

     

    Ntcham – lacks heart for the fight, couldn’t lace McGregor’s boots (sell)

     

     

    The team needs to be built around McGregor, he is different class. We need reinforcements at right back, left back and two players up front. I am talking about proper players, a proper right back and a battering ram striker. The time for fecking about is over. Open the chequebook Pedro.

  26. Never seemed to be any urgency from our players. Just pass, pass, pass, lose ball, then back to first pass.

  27. A disappointing day but not really a surprise given our form of late, the loss of some key players to injury and international duty, the failure to build the squad during the last transfer window, the game being at Ibrox with few Celtic supporters, and the willingness of SFA referees to accept agricultural football as a panacea for skill and talent.

     

     

    Having said that we shouldn’t ignore the poor performance of individual players today, including school boy errors …. as soon as you go to ground you are no longer defending …. and if you can’t pass a ball 5 yards without sending it directly out of play …. and if you are prepared to play hospital passes in your own penalty area ….

     

     

    Rangers played at a million miles per hour early on, they always seemed to have two players pressing Celtic players as soon as they received the ball …. in contrast we never seemed to be able to match their intensity or determination. We seemed not to have self belief, we were effectively hustled out of the game.

     

     

    The MIB failed to reign in the over aggressive tactics of Rangers being seemingly unwilling to penalise tugs and pushes in the back, tackles through the back of the legs, backing in & under players jumping to head high balls. Have a look at McCrorie’s tackle immediately before Ajer is booked …. a foul every day of the week deserving of a card. On the other hand Celtic players were penalised somewhat more easily, compare and contrast with Morelos. The last ten minutes was a master class by Beaton in game management.

     

     

    Finally I am bemused that our CEO can merit a £2.3M bonus on the back of what has been a somewhat disappointing season so far football wise. Just what are the criteria which rewards the CEO so handsomely – are they related to football performance on the park or financial performance in the balance sheets. Is there a conflict of interest? This transfer window will be interesting.

  28. Say what you want about big Moussa and how he left. But no way in a million years would he have let that mob bully him. We badly missed him today, the £20m is all very well but the player was terribly missed. It shows what happens when you don’t replace quality with quality.

  29. Gordybhoy,

     

     

    As John and yer good self said, a draw would have been a good result the day.

     

     

    I didnae realise this would have been 13 games unbeaten against Sevco.

     

     

    Is Brendan a Lucky Manager?

     

     

    Need to stiffen up the First team in January I reckon.

  30. Dire is indeed the word of the day.

     

     

    However, with wise analysis, important and successful decisions can be made.

     

     

    Let’shopeso CSC

  31. It’s the trolls, not the crippling ads that has ruined this once great site. And all the while good Tim’s were banned while the trolls were engaged and encouraged.

  32. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Until now I’ve been sceptical of Paul67 and others’ certainty we will win the league. After today i’m Deepl concerned. Not so much that we lost, but how we lost.

     

     

    I predict an underwhelming transfer window and continuing laboured away performances until the end of the season. Broony needs dropped, sorry. Ntcham needs sold. Pronto. If we’re going to win the league it will be on the backs of our young Scottish core – KT, CalMac, Christie and Forrest.

     

     

    If we don’t win the league there will be a reckoning for our overly remunerated, yet parsimonious CEO.

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