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. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    David17 – poor Mikey J toiling up front on his own, 30 yards from the nearest support will be a lingering memory from today. Terrible tactical decision. Unfair to the boy, although he had good moments.

  2. BillC


    A committee within the board decides salaries and bonuses , I am sure you will find the names of those who make up this committee on the clubwebsite, the KPI’s appear to be a secret,Lawwell’s is a ridiculous bonus on top of a massive salary for a club with our turnover.


    BR has not used to budget wisely in building the squad resulting in one 20yr old centre forward being available today, utter crap and needs to be seriously addressed.

  3. glendalystonsils on




    He never hid. Unfortunately some of his senior colleagues who should have been supporting him , did.

  4. In the cold darkness of evening…



    that was still a piss poor performance from team and in particular manager today.



    We looked like fearty wee shit bags with the ability of 13 year olds, Calmac and Gordon’s shotstopping (not his ability) from feet apart.



    Gordon 6 (for shot stopping)


    Boyata 2 (poor passing and turned inside oot)


    Benkovich 3 (poor passing)


    Lustig 1 (wit the feck???)


    Calmac 8 (played pot of position but still looked our only real threat)


    Brown 1 (PISH)


    Nchamp 1 (PISH)


    Forrest 3 (not as pish as the other push performances)


    Sinclair 1 (PISH)


    Christie 4 (at least tried to take game to them but still relatively poor)


    Johnstone 4 (thrown in with no real support or decent balls from midfield)



    Rodgers 1 ( wit wur you thinking???)







  5. At the end of the day, Sevco are marginally better than what they were last season and the season before. Their points tally is up only by a few. We have regressed dramatically, particularly this season. I loath to benchmark against them but i feel we need to illustrate what is happening at our Club. A collective mismanagement has delivered this situation. We have a crucial 31 days ahead to take steps to address those issues. If we do not act decisively and ruthlessly we will continue to regress. I do not want to see Lawwell scrambling about at the end of the window offering 30 bob for such and such. Get the deals done and quickly, we have had 4 months to scout and prepare for this window.



    I was impressed by young Johnstone effort and in the second half he had a few good moments.


    Bemused that he and not Sinclair was withdrawn?


    Would have understood it if we had reverted to last 15 minutes at Aberdeen and played Ed on left and Forrest right with Sinclair in the middle.


    Another poor choice in a day of many by Brendan,

  7. Manchester City, PSG and Chelsea reserves.



    F away aff.



    There’s a reason why the are reserves



    Not good enough.



    Timothy Weah next for God’s sake.



    Stop the nonsense now.



    HH. ?

  8. Strategy eh?



    Then people get castigated for saying Cosgrove would be a more pragmatic signing.

  9. Dessybhoy



    Agree on all counts. I would suggest that the balance within the KPI’s must be wrong, football success married to good financial management should justify an eyewatering bonus. I don’t think our football performance this season merits the CEO being rewarded with a £2.3M

  10. SIN CITY B,



    Trolls and the ads are a common problem on most public internet sites. Just ignore them. Problem solved.

  11. 16ROADS


    Sites like this and the Pedro devotees will praise such a strategy if it comes to pass.


    Far more important we keep money in the bank for directors bonuses.

  12. glendalystonsils on

    16 ROADS. on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 6:37 PM


    Strategy eh?



    Then people get castigated for saying Cosgrove would be a more pragmatic signing.



    Cosgroves are not the answer. Having said that , the Aberdeen team would have given that lot a much tougher game today.

  13. billc on 29th December 2018 6:37 pm


    Agree on all counts. I would suggest that the balance within the KPI’s must be wrong, football success married to good financial management should justify an eyewatering bonus. I don’t think our football performance this season merits the CEO being rewarded with a £2.3M




    I don’t study the accounts just pick up the stuff posted on here, but I’m sure someone said the bonus was over the past 3 seasons not the past season.



    Again though, PL is getting the bonus the directors have agreed. Once he’s gone, his replacement will be looking for the same bonus payments. The rich get richer.

  14. succulentlambstinks on

    PETEC on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 5:21 PM


    succulentlambstinks on 29th December 2018 5:14 pm




    *~*** ragin………………….


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



    Love you guys with tinted glasses on.


    I spend enough of my hard earned wage every year to support my team who WERE beaten and beaten badly at that due to mismanagement. But if we criticise that fact we suddenly become sevco fans ?


    If I were a sevco fan I’d be on a sevco site gleefully stating we cud stop 8 in a row with ease after today.


    But I’m not, I’m on here instead ragin that the p@icks ripped the p@ss right out of us.

  15. Go tell the Spartim on

    I know this is a place to vent on days like today but come on the amount of bedwetters and tactical genuises on here beggars belief



    BR has his feck ups that’s for sure and today was one of them but there is no way on gods green earth that I’d need anyone to gee me up when playing. A lot of you either don’t understand sport or indulge yourself too much in being a know it all



    We regroup as a collective entity and go again, in sport squad players are squad players for a reason, other teams squad vs first 11 is very close in ours it’s miles apart. Let’s see what we do when we’re down to one game a week mostly.



    Stopactinglikeanentitledhun Csc ((c) BSR)

  16. succulentlambstinks on



    Brendan Rodgers is one of our best ever managers . Only the Pope is infallible.



    Indeed so how come he got it so badly wrong today ?? That’s all I’m asking

  17. Didn’t realise we are not allowed to question Brendan’s pish poor selection and formation.



    Sorry! Though shall only mention Brendan positively in future.



    MWD FFS some bendy banana Heid’s oan here happy clapping pish!



    Your opinion that some of criticism of Brendan is over the top has merit.


    I include myself in that.


    But inferring drunkeness of Celtic fans to be the reason is offensive

  19. A bad first half to the season. Particular lows include Athens and 3 or 4 awful away league performances including today.



    We remain top with a game in hand.


    We have European football after Christmas.


    We have one cup in the bag.


    We’re going for a treble treble.


    We have millions ready to go to bring in players next month.



    The fundamentals of Scottish football have not changed today.

  20. How long will it take for these ‘freak’ results, to become the new normal ?



    Troll-diers stand tall, and defend their carnage laced points of view, but, they do so, without crossing Paul67’s disciplinary red Line threshold.



    As for those snoooty types, who look down their noses at the troll-diers, from their perches, and find that, the only way to deal with these annoying, repetitive troll-dier types, is for the snoooty’s themselves, to act in a behaviour that by far, by very far, exceeds Mr Paul67’s disciplinary red line threshold, and the snoooty’s end up banned, because their too snoooty and, far too precious to apologize to the sainted Mr Paul67, well, ah mean,….who’s fault is that ?



    Troll-diers are the new, and very necessary malcontents.



    Gone are the days, long gone, when we were told….”there’ll be no more Old Firm games.”



    Brendan was recruited to make yeez awe look the ither wye!



    And it worked.



    Done up like a kipper,….for £49.







  21. I’m not comparing here but playing Calum McGregor at left back today was like playing Paul McStay at right back just because he could play there.



    Olivier Ntcham was subbed at half time V Hibs, why did he merit a start ?

  22. MWD,


    Plenty of criticism of the selections and tactics on here today,and rightfully so,


    but to have posters saying he should go because of the result,or inferring that we are colluding with the huns is just a lot of nonsense.

  23. So just to recap..



    Top of the league, game in hand, better goal difference, 1st trophy in the bag (7th in a row), Peter Lawell’s hand has been forced whilst Dave King will argue that reinforcements over there are not now required..



    We had a bad day at the office, it happens. They didn’t win the league today and they won’t have won it in May.



    Too many people letting themselves get upset as they ‘know’ that PL won’t sign the players we need next month, let’s just wait and see. Our Manager is surely in a stronger position to push for the players he wants now.



    They are howling most of the time, at our worst we are still ahead of them..

  24. lets all do the huddle ? on

    “Only the Pope is infallible”





    honestly man



    is the level of pish cqn has descended to?

  25. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Celtic were shoite



    Secco/Rangers deserved that win by a mile



    Callum at left back was our most dangerous midfielder



    Brendan … mistakes aplenty in selection but not as many mistakes as the players selected made ….1 defeat in 13 against our main financial rival for Brendan… sometimes some might need to suffer defeat then they might appreciate winning more ….. OR some (on here) might prefer not winning… thought that donkey Morelos worked out back four more than our front four even worked



    Brendan will use this break to integrate new additions and re-focus our bhoys



    Scott Brown is far from finished



    Dry your eyes fellow Celts… we lost



    Hail Hail

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