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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. Gerryfaethebrig on

    David17 8.58 Gutenberg 9.10

     

     

    Spot on

     

     

    One question … In this fixture, surely we can’t win them all, all the time ?

     

     

    Apart fae Morelos & Arfield committing more fouls than the Celtic team combined … surely the Hun ref had no influence :-)

     

     

    Again… we were shoite and deserved to lose but Cheating Beaton was still on tract

  2. The_Huddle

     

    It really all depends on what the strategy from the board is, I doubt that european football is really in their plans, for sure the CL every now and again fair helps the balance sheet, I believe rightly or wrongly that the OF bandwagon is first and foremost in their plans and euro football is a welcome bonus, why else would they gamble with qualification.

     

    The OF are box office whether we like it or not.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    Macjay1

     

    Managers get formations wrong, Easter Rd and the bigotdoom clear example. Perhaps he is he becoming complacent and thinking tinkering will always produce a result cause the opposition managers are dross. Who knows , we will win the league because the others can’t sustain a run, unfortunately for us the only thing consistent about us is our inconsistencies but that could be due to our random formations

  4. Macjay

     

    If we have to cobble a team together with 40/50 pro’s on our books then WTF.

     

    Brendan made a huge mistake today, not his first this season, by not playing our best player in position.

     

    Anyway, my daughter was in Cheers today but didn’t see you. She thought you might be upstairs but then again she was probably drunk…

  5. Go tell the Spartim on

    I’d ask to get my seat moved if I sat next to a lot of the bedwetters on here. Why do players not take responsibility or carry the can?

     

     

    The BR out campaign is in full flow, you all know who you are. Be careful what you wish for. BR makes mistakes all the time but gets plenty more right unless you’ve wet the bed, short short memories and plenty of self entitlement maybe some of you should take a look in the mirror and ask what you can do, if it’s to suggest more cannon fodder like McKenna and Cosgrove then your grasp of reality or where the problems lie is beyond your capabilities

     

     

    Plain truth

     

    BR and the team failed today, hard to take ? No not really, it’s the hope that’ll kill them. We’ve had a poor first half to the season but hey look where we are, go on look unless it does not suit your agenda.

     

     

    We’ve got time to regroup, recuperate and recruit we need to do all 3

     

     

    Plc’s time for gambling is over the next two windows needs to see this team evolve with more quality.

     

     

    Just one question for the needy on here who comes after BR

  6. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Macjay 9.28pm

     

     

    You have much more experience of Celtic than I hope to have :-)

     

     

    Gutted with the performance today more than the resuit, if Callum’s goal stood (not a chance) i think we would have ran over the top of them… it didn’t, we didn’t, they won (deservedly so) ….. it’s not the end of the world Brendan’s “1st” ever defeat against our financial rivals … Seethin Gee said the King (& I) was at the game and will be happy …. we have lost our first game to the new entity …. by the way before the “web” Celtic used to lose games on here it’s … “the end is nigh” :-)

  7. celtic1member1vote on

    Unique Opportunity ..

     

    For anyone interested google Celtic First Team Player Contracts ..

     

    We have 15 players out of contract between now and May 2020 ..

     

    That is effectively 50% of our first team squad ..

     

    If the club uses this Unique Opportunity wisely, then we can dramatically

     

    alter our playing squad very quickly ..

     

    It can be done, the question is will it be done ??

     

    Today was a sore kick in the balls, but if we come back harder and sharper

     

    after the winter break, then we go forward with optimism ..

     

    Everyone at Celtic Park now needs to focus hard on what the Club wants ..

     

    Talk is cheap as we all know, only actions after today will make a difference ..

     

    Make us proud again Celtic, and take the necessary action .. Hail Hail ..

  8. Go tell the Spartim on

    I imagine Kev to be the guy in the jungle that’d piss on your shoes rather than go to the ‘trough’

  9. Serious question, saw this online earlier and have given it some thought. Does anyone think BR deliberately fecked about with the team today to advance his case for January signings? I am not suggesting he deliberately lost the game or wanted that level of performance. Was he sending a message?

  10. david17 on 29th December 2018 9:43 pm

     

     

    Serious question, saw this online earlier and have given it some thought. Does anyone think BR deliberately fecked about with the team today to advance his case for January signings? I am not suggesting he deliberately lost the game or wanted that level of performance. Was he sending a message?

     

    ————-

     

    Really, a serious question

  11. Colour Blind Bhoy on

    On and off CQN there’s lots of generic chat about how many new players we need and what position they should play.

     

    When the January window opens what specific player or players would you buy if you were Brendan, Peter or Desmond.

     

    Disappointed about today’s results but let them have their day and see who is smiling at the end of May.

     

    Hail Hail

  12. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    PRESTONPANS BHOYS on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 9:36 PM

     

     

    I sometimes wonder if Brendan is so sure of winning the SPL ( imho the only tournament of any significance ) that he is testing our fringe players in real time…………today the cauldron of Ibrox…..to see if they can take the pressure …..or to give them experience. ie looking to the future.

     

    Probably not the case , but I can`t help wondering .

     

     

    Even after today , I am sure that we WILL win the SPL .

     

    The ten in a row thing , however , is an albatross round our neck .

     

    Nine in a row is failure ?

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Brendan trying to prove a point today is a bit silly in my wee tiny mind … probably along with Celtic helping the Huns to help themselves ….

     

     

    But Brendan did say not winning today will “help” my young players who have not suffered defeat at places like this ….. maybe a bit like some fans/supporters …. although is winning every game the be all and end all ….

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on 29th December 2018 9:50 pm

     

    ———–

     

    I’ve always thought unbeaten runs etc are bad for clubs (I know that sounds daft). But for most clubs the be all and end all is the win, never how you get the win. The quality of the football suffers big time.

  15. 16 ROADS. on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 9:28 PM

     

    KEV – 7 trophies on the bounce says Ernie is full of mad dog’s keech.

     

     

    Some say the devil is dead. ?

     

    ######################

     

    Desmond wants into the EPL, but, he’ll only get there, as part of the Old Firm.

     

    Given, 2008 Manchester, that’s debatable.

     

    From Desmond, Lawwell and Rodgers p.o.v, if we had won today, the league might have been over.

     

    But, that leads to apathy, and apathy leads to empty seats.

     

    So, my paranoia kicks in, and tells me that, like WGS in 2009, we were going for 4 in a row, which would / could’ve meant, hun administration, so, imho, WGS was got at, to drop Aiden McGeady, and play Shaun Maloney, who had been injured for most of the season, a shocking decision, that came from nowhere, just like Brendan’s team sheet today, I felt, and continue to feel he has been got at. Why do I think that, well, because, he has taken two pishy transfer window’s on the chin, so, he can be played, and, imho, he has been a player right from the start, keeping the seats full, and getting the Old Firm game back onto the fixture list again.

     

    Jist how I feel.

     

    Hail! Hail!

     

     

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  16. It always hurts, but what is lost?

     

    3Points only

     

    This was Brendon’s message to the board – back me or this is what you’ll get

     

    Look forward to the January window

     

    Hail Hail to the wake up call

  17. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    GUTENBERG on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 9:38 PM

     

     

    Please pass on my apologies to your lovely lass.

     

    I was fully expecting to be there , but had a last minute call off from my son who was knackered after a heavy day`s work.

     

    Turned out to be a good call. If I`d been there , I might have got hissed as well .

     

    :-)

     

     

    The point you make about 40/50 pros. is telling.

     

    A thorough clean out asap is required. If that happens , then today`s reversal was worth it .

  18. Think the notion Brendan was trying to prove a point today is silly.

     

    If it was the case he was just reinforcing as we were the same against Hbis and have been duff in most away games this season.

  19. The Huns were a cornered rat today who knew they couldn’t afford to lose and fought for it with physicality rather than style. Played much better footie against us last new year. Despite Brendan screwing up the system, they only won due to a passback shot which Broon caused to be a goal. I agree with Roberttressel that they are acting wee club. I remember massively celebrating a win over them in 93 but they still won a treble (and the Champions League?). They will drop more points than us in the second half of the season.

     

     

    On Morelos; how much of a fanny is Andy Walker? ‘He draws attention to himself. He’ll never change , he he he’. Never said red card once. The Sky Sports News guy did later

     

     

    Brendan should never have moved Callum. I assume he had a row with Izzy at half time at Aberdeen. Terrible decision but Callum was great again

     

     

    Ntcham has quality but has ruined our flow. Been saying it since the start of last season.

     

    Maybe he will shine if he get to play with someone other than Broon

     

     

    Broon- I wonder how many fans he would have if he hadn’t done the Broony( 7.5 years ago,). A great servant and will be his last season so we either build round Ntcham and a runner or we start again and shift him

     

     

    Was in the hoose with new puppy and my daughter today during the game so have held my grumpiness back till now. In the GAA bar in my own so you chaps have to take it. Sorry ?

  20. For me manager pure and simple insists on changing team every big away game.

     

     

    Playing your best central midfielder at left back is criminal .

     

     

    Asking a goalkeeper and centre halfs to play from the back when they clearly can’t do it criminal again for me. The game today was constantly played in our half mostly due to this goalie played about with defenders then tried to lump it nobody up front right back at our defenders who are still on 18 yard box.

     

     

    Surely the management team can see the players can’t play the way they want them to play. We either have to change the personnel or change our tactics because this ain’t working. Keep the same players and the same tactics we’ll give Valencia a game at Celtic Park then get humped in Valencia and the league is up for grabs and 10 in a row. In my opinion only and I have no sense of entitlement may I add..

  21. DAVID17 on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 8:58 PM

     

    Crazy as it sounds i still think McGregor was the best player on the park today .They outworked us and outfought us, creating numerous chances which were handed on a plate, yet they still couldn’t finish them, their only goal coming from a deflection. We were well beaten yes, but by a team that has averaged 0.88 goals per match in 9 December outings. Look at Hibs form before and after they played us, it was terrible. Teams are raising their game against us which is expected but we are not fighting hard enough in return.

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    A pretty accurate summary apart from the last sentence.

     

     

    Today was an absolutely surreal experience being at Ibrox and not one most of us enjoyed.

     

     

    Brendan has been easily the best manager I’ve known at Celtic and I doubt we’ll see his likes again before the Lord should choose to take me. This aside, today he made some really, really poor tactical and selection choices.

     

     

    I think we’ll win the league but anyone who claims we don’t have a genuine challenge is delusional.

  22. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    THE_HUDDLE on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 9:53 PM

     

    macjay1 for Neil Lennon on 29th December 2018 9:50 pm

     

     

     

     

    ———–

     

     

     

     

    I’ve always thought unbeaten runs etc are bad for clubs (I know that sounds daft). But for most clubs the be all and end all is the win, never how you get the win. The quality of the football suffers big time.

     

    ===========================================================================

     

     

    The much mocked Stephen Gerrard had a great win today And deserved it.

     

    He made great use of the limited ablities of his players and quite rightly focussed on rummelling us up.

     

    It worked and therefore was justified.

     

     

    The antics of Morelos in particular were not.

     

    Does he care ? No way .

     

    Their targeting of Willie Collum achieved what was required.

     

    Beaton.

  23. The Hesgoal stream today picked up the live feed from Rangers TV. One of the commentators was the Rangers youth coach (don’t know who he is). Of course, they were happy with the performance, but the main thing the youth coach liked was the way the front 3 pressed us (at one point he said that he learned that from Tony Mowbry…). He said that the current Liverpool team succeeds because of the aggressive pressing of their front 3.

     

     

    I don’t know if the guy was right or wrong, but what Rangers, with an inferior group of players, did today was to not allow us any time. And we didn’t do that to them, we let them run the way the game was set out.

     

     

    Certainly, against Salzburg, and again today, we have not been able to deal with not having the space to play out, and our own front 3 were pretty detached. A bad day at the office. I still believe that we have enought quality, both on and off the park, to win the League and Cup, but we need to learn from today. Today was a tactical failure, but BR is smart enought to address that.

  24. There’s probably not much doubt that we’ll win the league this season, and maybe even win a treble treble.

     

    However I have no confidence that BR will be here for 10 in a row. I’m not sure he even wants to.

  25. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    GERRYFAETHEBRIG on 29TH DECEMBER 2018 9:39 PM

     

    Macjay 9.28pm

     

     

     

    You have much more experience of Celtic than I hope to have :-)

     

     

     

    Gutted with the performance today more than the resuit, if Callum’s goal stood (not a chance) i think we would have ran over the top of them… it didn’t, we didn’t, they won (deservedly so) ….. it’s not the end of the world Brendan’s “1st” ever defeat against our financial rivals … Seethin Gee said the King (& I) was at the game and will be happy …. we have lost our first game to the new entity …. by the way before the “web” Celtic used to lose games on here it’s … “the end is nigh” :-)

     

     

    ================================================================

     

     

    Brendan will learn from today . Our players will learn from today.

     

    Two full backs subbed at half time in our last two games . Particularly Izzy .

     

    Mmmm Tends to damage team morale perhaps.

     

     

    Cliche time. A wake up call.

     

    Brendan will be hurting more than the rest of us.

     

    He loves us and will take responsibility for the result and the performance.

     

    Hopefully it doesn`t dent his confidence in himself.

  26. 16 Roads

     

     

    Hope you’re well my friend and hopefully we’ll get a catch up soon!

     

     

    Gutenberg

     

     

    Don’t agree mate, I think Brendan gets it and is very much here for 10 in a row. The board must back him in January.

  27. Gutenberg on 29th December 2018 10:14 pm

     

    ———–

     

    Yeah, got feeling that BR will go at the end of season.

     

     

    3 years of this nonsense does seem chew people up :O)

  28. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    The number of folk who were there today that we never see at away games was a joke mate.

  29. Hamilton Tim

     

    Good to see you on mate.

     

    Got a good friend who insists BR was working his ticket in the summer. No reason to doubt him but hope he’s wrong.

     

    Today, one of his worst performances to date.

     

    Catch up in Kelly’s sometime.

  30. Macjay 10.16pm

     

     

    Brendan’s interview was excellent, young players out there not used to losing will learn from this …

     

     

    Getting beat doesn’t bother me, gutted during the 90mins but “if” May collects amother league I can assure you Andy Halliday man of the match will be well forgotten

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