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Three again outshines four at the back

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Celtic were at their scintillating best as they hit St Johnstone with a treble of goals in the opening 26 minutes; the home team were fortunate the score was as low as three when Leigh Griffiths volleyed Greg Taylor’s cross into the net.

The link-play between Odsonne Edouard and Griffiths, as well as the crossing from Taylor and James Forrest set the tone.  The silky pitch encouraged Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham to display their range of passing, but for me, the formation is the most consistent predictor of Celtic’s performance.  When we play three at the back we play better than when we have a back four.

On Saturday we play on the bumpiest acre of Lanarkshire, so Neil has my sympathies in having to decide how to approach that game, but I would make last night’s formation the default from now on.

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303 Comments

  1. What is the extent of Ely’s injury? Was he not back training weeks ago?

     

    When Elhamed came back and then went off again, it was just a “tweak” and not supposed to have been anything serious. Is he back training?

     

     

    My favourite injury report this season was this week. Neil described Sumo as an absolute rock – because he had managed to play an incredible four games in a row Wow. Poor lad needs a rest now.

     

    Have we ever had a more fragile player?

  2. DENIABHOY on 31ST JANUARY 2020 9:53 AM

     

     

    Elyonoussi has been doing work on the grass for the past wee while, he resumes full training tomorrow.

  3. DENIABHOY on 31ST JANUARY 2020 9:53 AM

     

     

    Neil said Elyounoussi was a couple of weeks away… a couple of weeks ago

     

     

    No sign of him in training.

  4. AKBW1888……….sorry for late reply regarding Marian Shved but you may be correct and all we can do is wish the lad well.

  5. Deniabhoy,

     

     

    We miss Moi on the left. Arguably our best player for the first few months. Rushing him back, compounded with the amount of injuries we have makes me wonder what sort of medical expertise we have at the club. Another schoolboy error this week with Mikey.

     

     

    Worrying.

  6. My prediction of the team for Hamilton

     

     

    ————–Forster

     

    Bauer–Jullien–Ajer–Taylor

     

    ——-Brown–McGregor

     

    Forrest—–Ntcham——Christie

     

    —————Edouard

     

     

    Bench: Gordon, Simunovic, Hayes, Boli, Rogic, Griffiths, Arzani

     

     

    Could be wrong…

     

     

    I was surprised to see Jozo start against Killie.

     

     

    I’m assuming Neil Lennon doesn’t want to risk Jozo on a plastic pitch again.

  7. TinyTim,

     

     

    And how would you suggest we go about getting in a replacement to take Eddys place if he is injured.Not many of that quality around.The “Wee Pole”is 6 foot with a glowing reputation from those that have actually seen him play.

  8. Still many persist with the idea ,that if anyone is injured,they must be replaced.Not just any old replacement.Has to be as good if not better.eg,If anyone mentioned getting Mc Kenna in,there would be cardiac arrests all over the Celtic world.Does anyone think that it’s that easy,really?Loanees is the only way,and not too long ago,this form of enhancing the team was frowned upon by many.No idea if we have made any move for Benkovic,but that’s the kind of deal we need,in the short term.

  9. Timaloy,

     

     

    Lenny said in his press conference,that Jozo was feeling his knee .After being out so long,he had no intention of playing him 4 games in a row,but needs must,and Jozo played.Wont play on Sunday.

  10. Springhill Bhoy on

    Agree with Big Wavy, medical and physio expertise seems to be poor. Players getting injured then returning only to be injured again after one or two games

  11. Deniabhoy,

     

    Regards Jozo.I am sure Lenny wanted to bring him in gradually,after being out so long.Having to play 4 games in 2 weeks,one on plastic,another in a swamp,not the greatest.If Lenny wants to rest him for Sunday,is that such a surprise.Lenny knows Jozos worth,even if many fans don’t,to the team.Wont be the first CH,that had to be nursed throughout a season to keep him playing.

  12. Benkovic is going to Bristol City. We could worse and sign the boy from Motherwell and we do need cover for Eddy. Bayo is not covet he’s hardly played

  13. Adi

     

     

    My point was less in isolation and maybe a CelticbyNumbers critique of our injury record. My gut tells me we could improve our medical team / expertise as we seem to be plagued by recurring injuries, rushed back too soon, etc.

     

     

    That’s all.

  14. GLENDALYSTONSILS on 31ST JANUARY 2020 10:48 AM

     

    I hope Catman or Lennybhoy have some news for us today . Hoping but not expecting.

     

     

    Look back fella. Lennybhoy – says 2 hoped for – CH (Benkovic mentioned) and a forward.

  15. It’s been confirmed. Ryan Bennett is on his way to Leicester City for a medical. This is the CB Rodgers has been looking for and will mean Benkovic heads for the exit.Bristol City still quoted the most likely destination. Madness.

  16. Leicester are getting a CH from Wolves on loan, Benkovic will be allowed to go on loan Bristol City Sheff Wed or Derby linked, Bristol the favourites apparently.

  17. Art of War

     

     

    Right enough, a mouse couldn’t get underneath one, hadn’t thought of that. Even bigger load of bile than at first glance.

  18. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    So many potential stumbling blocks – it’d be subject to no acceptable bids for a permanent transfer being received by Spurs, they’d probably want a hefty loan fee, a sizeable % of the wage contribution, term of the loan, etc etc

     

     

    HH

  19. I don’t get the Wanyama link. The moment we bought Soro that looked just a vanity project.

     

     

    Centre-Half (Benkovic please) and a 6ft 3in left wing beast, with the skills and pace of a young Ronaldo and a passion for playing in the hoops that would make Paul the Tim looking like a part-timer. Go get em Celtic.

  20. Wednesday night (first half😬) was a joy – speed but most importantly in my mind was firing good crosses into opposition box. One goal, should have had another and one defender slicing one off the post as well as a few more scrambled clear. Putting opposition under pressure in their own box always brings rewards 👍🏻

  21. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    BIG WAVY on 31ST JANUARY 2020 11:03 AM

     

     

    Yeah, probably nothing in it. But sometimes when you get the chance to get a player like Vic you do it and make it work. Brooney won’t be around forever…

     

     

    Not sure if Lenny also thinking he will provide cover at centre half.

     

     

    Not getting hopes up and like you will be happy with a centre half and young Ronaldo :)

     

     

    HH

  22. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    The Wanyama link is a strange one as we seem well covered for central midfielders, unless the intention is to use him as a centre back? I’m sure he played there on occasion during his time with us.

     

     

    Otherwise, are we dropping Brown for Vic? I can’t see a midfield of Brown and Vic being used domestically, unless we are away at Ibrox and I can’t see Brown being dropped for anyone at this point (even though I think he should be rested/dropped for certain games).

  23. Big Wavy

     

    I agree , I do not see the point in signing Wanyama, whose fitness levels we have no clue about and who isnt quoted by his present manager, NL said he wanted a winger, since then Johnston is out long term, so logic says that need is more pressing, Soro is brought in as a defensive midfielder but we are quoted as going for another, utter baffling.

  24. The Hands,

     

     

    Which games do you think Broony should be rested for.The ones we should win easily.Like the Celtic v Hamilton .How would that have went.

  25. I’d be pleasantly surprised but also slightly mystified if there was anything to the Victor Wanyama story. I get the impression that Ismaila Soro was brought into to bolster the aggressive ball winning and distribution in midfield. Victor has only played a few minutes so far this season and can’t possibly be near to full fitness, therefore I don’t see a short term loan. That all said, a loan to get fitness leading to a full time return would be fantastic, especially as eventually we will need cover for the Captain.

     

     

    I understand though, that usually reliable journalists are saying that Celtic are downplaying the story.

     

     

     

    Benkovic, if a realistic option, is one I’d love to see return. He’s young, didn’t take long to get up to speed last year, and his composure alongside the aggression of Julien and Ajer would be a dream IMO.

  26. Is Jim White on today.No matter,won’t be missed with some of the Jim White getting spoke on here.

  27. Hate to be the naysayer but I don’t believe Benkovic is coming.

     

     

    Reporters local to Bristol believes he’s headed there.

     

     

    It’s a shame. There won’t be a lot of players available who could challenge Ajer or Jullien for their place.

     

     

    But I do like Ajer/Jullien as a partnership. If we brought in another decent CB to cover alongside Bitton, Elhamed & Jozo I’d be happy enough.