Turning points matter more than form


No one can convince you or I Celtic played well, against The ‘Well, yesterday.  Throughout the first half, the players looked like strangers.  At times, Motherwell ripped us open.  This was not league winning form.  None of that matters, though.

When you are not playing well, all that matters is you pick up wins until you get your form back.  Another injury-time win at Fir Park this season kept us within touching distance of the top.  When Adam Idah scored his second, you and I knew, and you better believe Newco fans knew, Celtic are still in this title race.  The Pretenders have the most effective trophy winning operation in Europe breathing down their necks, be sure, they will feel it.

Alistair Johnston returned at right back but looked like he had hardly played with Nicolas Kuhn before – he has hardly played with him.  Greg Taylor was a welcome sight at left back, he too looked estranged from his left wing partner, Daizen Maeda, fewer excuses there.

Tomoki Iwata made a rare and accomplished appearance in the deep midfield role, allowing Callum McGregor to partner Matt O’Riley in the more advanced roles.  Neither Callum nor Matt performed to their normal levels.  Kyogo was a virtual spectator.

Goals change games and Adam Idah scored two stunners which not only changed the game but may change the season.  His first, from a Taylor cross, his second, from Johnston’s cross; both full backs back and doing what is required.  The third came from another cross, this time Yang’s, who found Luis Palma to settle the nerves.  Hopefully Brendan will soon learn who his best wingers are.

The second half was peppered with the influential return of Cameron Carter-Vickers, such a steadying figure for Celtic, he snuffed out the persistent threat from Motherwell’s Theo Bair.  It was good to see the players with genuine smiles on their faces at the end.  There remains a lot to do but let’s hope this was a turning point.

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  1. In a pre match interview before the game, Brendan corrected Jane Lewis, for misquoting him from his press conference during the week, she should do her homework, or was deliberately doing what her paymasters wanted.

  2. Be interested to see Jobo’s top 3 list, though entirely possible that 2 of them could be 2nd half subs.


    Does the manager get credit for making the changes, criticised for starting XI or a bit of both?


    Very much the first option for me. Good managers can and do change games.


    Enjoyed the second half, reminiscent of Rugby Park under NFL


    More of this approach for the run in

  3. Klement as in Frank Klement the Scottish runner, not the French way as there are no accents above the letter, something amiss with that? The media are trying to make lurch into some kind of special manager including how they say his name, King will be added before long before his Christian name.

  4. bournesouprecipe on

    Media…….. from the Latin middle ground? – Brendan Rodgers calling out football coverage’s narrative, rattled budgie cages all round. The clamour to write triumphalist fantasy tales of 56, was at the very least delayed, and a timely Sunday roast reminder, that Celtic remain champions.



    When asked where will Celtic finish should they win all remaining games? the cry was runners up, if Rainjurz win all their games. That’s the Scottish media mentality that confronts Celtic and can only point to paranoia, and an invented demographic for explanation.



    Two superb goals by Adam Idah did more than send the paying lifeblood home happy, it ‘stuck in the craws’ of a foe who are permanently on the other side of the river. All Celtic managers get to face it down sometime, and Rodgers was able and willing, as if reading straight from Jock Stein’s biographies.



    A wake up team talk and tactical use of his squad was enough to galvanise Celtic who always gain momentum when being sucked in towards our own support. Fortunately, we didn’t need VAR which slept through our penalty, maybe because Adam Idah was also ‘on hand’.



    The pre labelled ‘Norwich third choice’ showed someone might have an ‘eye for a player’ after all? Tomoki Iwata did enough to justify re-selection on Wednesday, CCV was shoed in, prepping for midweek. The five sub rule changed the game the way we wanted it to, great when they work, imagine the big striker who’s now struck, will start before Kyogo at least until the 60 minute mark, Brendan clearly knows best whatever the game.



    Still here not going away yet, George Square rest easy.

  5. Hopefully a good performance for the full game v Dundee and a comfortable win. Set us up for the minis, who of course will be desperate to add a part two (to their big brother favour). Full points this week would be massive. I said a few weeks ago that we wouldn’t win the league. Also said if we win all three games this week, we would win league. Heart trumps mind in times like this😉

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Got there in the end! Really good second half, particularly after Yang on.


    Three cracking goals. First had a bit of a Tosh-PVH vibe about it. Second and third showed what happens when you move the ball quickly, create overloads and have options. Some really good combinations, especially between Yang and Johnston.


    Good movement, balls delivered across the face of goal, far-side wingers coming in at the back post – exactly the type of football we should be playing. That’s the way to open up these defences.


    Keep it going until the end of the season and we shouldn’t be too far off mid-90s points.


    Not sure what to do with Kyogo – worth a try on the left?


    As for the spaces in behind the defence – that’s probably something we are going to have to live with for the rest of this season and address in the summer when we recruit our new keeper.

  7. I was heartened by Brendans comments about half time. Coaches helped the players. The players then had a platform to play better.



    It struck me in the first half that the players had been told to move the ball forward more quickly and take risks. However, they didn’t do it very well. Passing was woeful at times. That invited pressure.



    Second half the simple things were done much better. Passing was better and movement was improved.



    Best wingers? Just now, Palma and Yang creatively.


    Maeda for games against athletic full backs or James Tavernier.



    Would love to see thuscteam on Wednesday.





    AJ CCV Scales Taylor


    Iwata, Cal, Matt


    Yang, Palma, Idah



    Maeda and kyogo on to close the game down if needs be or to add to the goals for column if we are doing well.



    The ability to bring on Kyogo, Maeda and Barnardo to finish a game, as opposed to the guys we brought on against Killie is night and day.



    As a tired defender looking up to see Maeda and Kyogo coming in to take a run at you or a midfielder at 75 minutes seeing Barnardo (who according to the numbers is one of the most willing pressers in the SPL) as opposed to Kuhn, Oh and Bernabei is night and day. The former come on and it’s demoralising for opponents. The latter I think, on current form, offers real encouragement that some long ball and chaos might win some points.



    There are alot of positives after yesterday.



    I’d be tempted to restrict CCV to another 45 minutes unless we are 100% sure he is 100% fit. He’s another that saps other teams belief when he comes on. Rather have him late in the game providing some confidence that 60 minutes and then giving the hoofballers a chance to rough up a rusty Maik Nawrocki

  8. Long time since we have had a Centre Forward to score a goal like that, more than welcome the second was a magnificent finish as well, Kyogo I hope can get his confidence back by taking some time out of the firing line and can be an impact sub when we are comfortably ahead, Maeda should have had us ahead he really needs to work on his finishing, hope he goes on a run of it hitting him anywhwere and it goes in, BBC were gutted Sutherland and obviously the radio crew who I no longer listen to anyway, but see the stushie about Lewis, what sensitive souls they have all become, do the Ibrox choir no longer sing regular anti-cathoilic songs full on but you are meant to take this nonsense seriously, what a lot of guff they spout at times and miss totally full on religious bigotry.

  9. Garcia Lorca (prev blog)



    Good to see you on these pages.


    Yep Buckle in:-)spirit of Celtic always plays to final whistle and is focussed on winning with no distractions.


    Hope your good




  10. After our poor January window (the biggest issue was the summer window), it could well be our January signing that wins us the title.



    Funny old game

  11. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Feels like more of a turning point than Hibs because we actually played reasonably well in the 2nd half. We fluked it at Easter Road as Hibs missed countless chances to bury us.



    We’ll find out on Wednesday.



    Having 3 of our starting defenders back is transformative. The drop off in quality to the líkes of Bernabei is dramatic and has cost us.



    We were abominable in the first half. Thanks for everything Liam, but time you were dropped son. Too slow on the ball and too easily bullied. Rocki not convincing either, but can make a forward pass with tempo and accuracy and will benefit with CCV next to him.



    The failure to strengthen the midfield with anything other than cheap young punts who might come good in 2-3 years is one of the reasons the dynasties need cleared out in the summer. CalMac and Matt look burnt out. Iwata made a positive difference and Rodgers’ reluctance to use him more remains mystifying.



    The wingers remain generally dreadful. Again on recruitment. Kuhn getting slaughtered for hiding, but my biggest concern us the absence of the lightning pace we were told to expect. Maeda should’ve scored 2, but always gives 100%. Palma is a mass of contradictions. Both a self-absorbed show pony and provider of great stats.



    Yang made a massive difference yesterday, making up for his part in Killie’s equaliser last week. Added energy, purpose and crucially for him, an end product. At last. Was brave and continually showed. In contrast to the guy he replaced.



    However, Idah stole the show. Two fantastic goals and missed another glorious chance. Bullied their defence, held the ball up and generally set the example for the rest of the team in how to respond to adversity.



    He might not be the greatest technical footballer, but he’s maybe just what we need right now. Let’s hope so.

  12. onenightinlisbon on

    Absolutely no corner turned yet as the first half was shocking in every respect.



    Second half was better and Idah did well with his goals.



    Big tests coming our way, then we will see if we are any different.

  13. lets all do the huddle on




    sorry, was storing that up all through the 2nd half yesterday to release it at full time but late on-pitch events meant i had to hold it in! 😀

  14. Iwata was injured, he rolled his ankle against Feyenoord I think it was and missed several weeks , he has only been in the squad the last few games, he needs to play to see what he brings we need 3 in there and he is not a loan player, and I think, a better option than Bernardo at the moment, maybe leave Matt out for him if we can get comfortable in games, big week Dundee then Gorgie who will be relishing us coming, Iron mask game face required but Wednesday first.

  15. Can we talk about Matt O’reilly?. Lets hope Atletico have completed their scouting report and out keeping tabs on his current form.

  16. Weebobbycollins on

    BSR…correct. The sound of prayers and great sighs of relief heard around George Square yesterday afternoon came from those trembling statues and accompanying benches and pidgeons.

  17. I once heard a famous coach in another code describe his team as having played like frightened earwigs and probably sums up Celtic’s play in that first half. With all that criticism in recent weeks the team looked absolutely scared of making a mistake. The second half just had to improve on that opening period and the coach earned his corn with a team rejig that produced one of our best performances in for quite some time.



    Good to see Calmac restored to his best position as linkman and Yang and Idah were a revelation, both Yang and Palma have to stay in the wide positions. Adam deserves special mention with 4 goals in as many matches and a couple MOM Sky awards. His two goals were gems at such a crucial period when Celtic were on the ropes. His physicality particulary when he dragged the rugby tackling defender up to the edge of the box and his hold up play at the corner flag running down the clock, brilliant. This lad also has pace.



    Good to see CCV back in the team and Liam and him look the settled partnership in central defence. The signing of young Adam Idah met with some criticsm but it should not be forgotten that CCV and Jota were were around several clubs on loan before finding their mojo at Celtic . Good to see Yang also beginning to blossom at the club and let’s hope he keeps getting game time.



    A vital three points yesterday.






  18. glasstwothirdsfull



    ‘Keep it going until the end of the season and we shouldn’t be too far off mid-90s points.’



    we’re dooomed!!!

  19. A tale of two halves,


    It was a first half of fright and a second half of light. The ding appeared and players said yes I Can cross the ball into the box and maybe, maybe someone will get on the end of it . And lo and behold, Big Adam pounced on it like I used to do to a Gregg’s Sausage roll after I finished practice. What a difference it can make when a winger . not only crosses the ball but actually has a target to aim for. I loved when the big man scored the first and just turned around and got back to business. We were carved open that first half. We were very scared on the ball. One game at a time sweet Jaysus, that’s all I’m asking from you, Just give Yang the strength to blow by his man, and let Big Idah do what big Idah Does,


    Lena Martell Alabama CSC

  20. Our Tolio, Kwon debate seemed to be interupted by the Football…






    “Chairbhoy 5:29



    Yeah – very strange. We put Ajer and Christie out on loan to get them ready for the first team and that worked out fine. They got the game-time they wouldn’t have got at Celtic and came back first-team ready. Tilio and Kwon could do the same (or they might not).



    The issue of course is that we needed to add 2-3 players that were ALREADY at that level to improve the team and then another 2-3 to replace the ones we lost.



    SFtBs @ 11:48 AM,



    Our “2nd division Korean player” seems to have a wee bit more about him than was credited



    Agreed, the whole point is putting development players out on loan is something we have been doing for a while.



    CalMac was at Notts County ten years ago which worked out great for all concerned.



    Yes, we have had varying results, yet that’s all part of the process, we should not be looking at this as a negative.



    Kwon was not a replacement for Mooy and that’s what was required, they were big boots to fill and even the much more experienced Tomoki has struggled in that regard.



    It was great to see him having a good game on Sunday though and we definitely need options in the middle of the park.



    Hail Hail

  21. Ireland ●● Wales Celtic related.


    1) Born 1964 in Antrim.Last game Scottish Cup Final?


    2)Made champions league debut v man. utd as a sub for Scott McDonald?


    3) In an European fixture vs Rapid Vienna Niall McGinn was replaced by a 16 year old Dubliner?


    4) Celtic ‘keeper an unused vs Barcelona at Nou Camp.Never made a first team start?




    ● Wales●


    1) 14 caps for Wales.Neil Lennon’s second signing?


    2) Bought from Coventry forr £ 6 million?


    3) 77 caps for Wales..Left Celtic for Crystal Palace£800,000 ?


    4) Celtic won 3- 1 for this Welsh Internationalist’s testimonial?


    □□Pass away a bit of time□□

  22. It kinda looked to me in the second half, the full backs were doing the wingers jobs.


    Personally, I would leave MOR on the bench on Wednesday, with Bernardo, CalMac and Iwata doing the midfield jobs. The rest would be the 10 guys who did the job yesterday



    Turning point, hope so




  23. Belfast joe



    Some guesswork here on the Irish at least. Not had chance to do all the Welsh ones. Great questions !



    1) Allen McKnight


    2) Chris Killen played that game and the Rapid one


    3) The lad now at St Johnstone …Carey played so maybe him.


    4) Not sure of his name but McGovern may have played as Rab had been sent off previous leg.





    6) John Hartson


    7) Joe Ledley



  24. BSR – Good stuff !



    Thought we played well in the second half and I’m reasonably confident that we can kick on from here. We have not been playing great over the last 3 months, but look at the league return – It’s something like 9 wins and 2 draws – that’s the behaviour of champions. Brendan knows we have competition this year, but he seems relaxed about it. The support need to get behind the team and encourage them to perform at their best.



    Tomoki played very well – I hope he was hooked only because he was tiring. If we can get Callum and MOR firing on all cylinders, with Bernardo also in the mix, we have a very solid midfield. CCV got their center forward under control – he’s a rock and so important to our defense. AJ had his best 45 mins for quite some time. We have good talent up front but we need the midfield humming. Already looking forward to the next hun game – that is when we can show them who will be champions at the end of the season.

  25. Not sure if this is a concern or not ?



    Daily Mail Poll running asking if Brendan’s reply to the really poor and self promoting (my opinion) lady journalist was sexist or not ?



    68% currently saying not. Over 7000 clicks.

  26. Not at all sure about the corner turning situation , if we do the Killie Killie Boys with some gusto and indeed some derring-do then I might just be able to venture right side of the couch………



    Anyhoo, ITS GOOD TO BE A TIM



    HH CQN

  27. Thank-You Dessy – I sit corrected…………….


    Hopefuly……etc etc etc…………..



    Still Good etc etc etc…..






  28. BURNLEY78 on 26TH FEBRUARY 2024 3:55 PM



    I don’t think it was but I knew as soon as he said it what the reaction would be.



    I like our managers giving it to the media but for someone with so much experience, Rodgers might’ve wondered if he could’ve chosen those words more carefully.

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