Unprecedented period, our No. 9


Drawing Clyde away in the next round of the Scottish Cup means eight of Celtic’s first 10 games after the winter break are away from home.  Three of those games are on plastic pitches, which often results in a tactical change – and prohibits Jozo Simunovic from playing.  Jozo was drafted into action on Saturday due to injuries to Ajer and Bitton.

Away fixtures piling up is a significant burden, there is no margin for error.  I cannot find a similar run of games in our history, this is an unprecedented period.

I’m sure Neil Lennon was as delighted as Leigh Griffiths at the opening goal at Firhill.  The manager showed faith and support to Leigh that was missing in some quarters.  The player is one of the most natural goal scorers we have had in years.  The space he found inside the penalty box for the goal is typical of his game-intelligence.  There is more to come from our No. 9.

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    Odsonne is our replacement for Moussa Dembele. We broke our transfer record to bring him in as our talisman. I think he’s stepped up to the task.



    I think it would be very difficult to find a player who could replicate Sinclair’s goalscoring feats but Elyounoussi has had a relatively promising start to his Celtic career.



    As for Roberts, I’m not so sure he’s ever been as crucial to the team as the players you’ve mentioned. James Forrest has occupied that position to great success.



    Attempts have been made to add options with Musonda, Arzani & Shved but so far none of them have been a success. Arzani is at least a bit understandable considering the ACL injury.



    Personally, I’m a bit puzzled because Shved seems to fit what we would be looking at. A talented young player in a similar league who’s now a full international. He scored in his only competitive game.



    I’ll be very disappointed if Shved leaves Celtic without showing what he can do on the pitch.

  2. RUGGYGMAN on 20TH JANUARY 2020 2:51 PM


    How many goals has Edouard scored across his last 12 Celtic games ?



    I don’t have the answer to hand. But my guess would be, not very many.






    One against Aberdeen


    One against Hibs


    Technically, he’s been awarded the goal against Sevco.


    Had one wrongly chopped off against St Mirren.



    Think that covers all the games he’s played since returning from injury at the League Cup Final.

  3. Drop ra lotta them….



    We want a new first 11 who score every game, never make mistakes, always find a pass and who are able to anticipate the obvious mibbery coming our way currently.



    Oh and is Julien the current holder of the scapegoat award or does it go automatically to James Forrest when he is picked. Asking for a friend…

  4. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Oh so we have what we have up top !!!!!!


    Paul67 on LG


    “The player is one of the most natural goal scorers we have had in years. The space he found inside the penalty box for the goal is typical of his game-intelligence. There is more to come from our No. 9.”



    Alarm bells ringing for me



    The statement above suggests LG is the answer, consequently we do not need to buy a “proper” (not a project) centre Forward



    My only real desire in Jan was a proper Centre Forward



    IMHO it’s what we need to win the league



    Paul67 has good info on our strategy, his comment is leading me to think we are being primed to accept we have what we have up top



    Big worry for me




  5. I can’t get my head around the Shved stuff. Neil Lennon does not fancy him at all. Based on what?



    He’s made one sub appearance in the qualifiers and scored. One appearance off the bench for 15 mins away to Ross County. That’s it.



    I assumed he hadn’t applied himself in training. Neil claims that Shved had a “good week” in training but he doesn’t make the bench ahead of Johnny Hayes & Boli.



    Pretty mad.

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 20TH JANUARY 2020 1:45 PM


    Pointless banning Brian Rice for owning up to his gambling addiction, he should be praised for his honesty, and probably helping others seek help






    Completely agree. He needs help, not punishment. And praise for his brave honesty.



    Whether he can remain in the dugout at this time is another question, given how prevalent match fixing is across all professional sports. Hopefully he’ll get the support he needs and gets back to the good side of football.



    Meanwhile, the bookies’ insidious grip on our game strengthens apace.



    HH jg

  7. Guys,



    It was Neil Lennon who talked up Shved in Dubai.


    He is due to ” explode onto the scene “.



    Surely he could have ” exploded” at some point @ Firhill.



    We need to know what he can do; and to reitterate the point others have made, it would be a shame if he left us without getting a chance.




  8. I think Leigh is a proper Centre Forward, Bayo offers something, Klimala has a good pedigree and Eddie, despite the knockers, isn;t a bad wee player. Another 3 fixtures until the window opens properly on the 31st Jan for the ‘experienced and needing gametime’ offerings.



    Just no more Morgan and Johnston solutions. That’s progress.




    However, we have not seen much progress in the forward part of the field; scoring goals has been an issue for the last two seasons.



    Has it?



    We’ve scored 55 goals in the SPFL this season. After 20 games only the team of 2003-2004 had scored more. We’ve scored more than teams containing the players you list, and more than Rodgers’s teams.

  10. TIMALOY29 on 20TH JANUARY 2020 2:54 PM



    We’re doing very well indeed for goals, and we just signed another striker and Griff, hopefully, seems to be getting nearer to being able to contribute. And Bayo is nearing fitness.



    Other than that all is dark

  11. I’ll bet that the Blazers decide to come out of The Rice thing covered in glory, all nicey nicey ye might say.



    Thuv done nothin’ to enhance the game and have been under pressure from some


    (us) to comment or show leadership regarding the konduct of the game.



    This story might be the ideal vehicle for thum to pop thur heid above the hampden parapet. It might also be a konvenient way for guilty huns to escape punishment too.



    I feel genuinely sorry for Brian who comes across as a genuine character. I suspect the “authorities” will use him as a patsy.



    Cynical CSC

  12. We’ve scored 55 goals in the SPFL this season. After 20 games only the team of 2003-2004 had scored more



    Should read, “in the last 20 years”

  13. as in “in the last 20 years, after 20 games, only the team of 2003-2004 had scored more”



    I’m sure you got that

  14. if he is guilty then he should be punished. simple as that. As long as he didn’t betgainst his own club….who would do such a thing……..

  15. ………………



    Betting on the outcome of a sporting event to me is a mug’s game……( just ask any bookie) but for most it’s a pleasurable pastime like, the Gowf or harse racin’…….


    If however you are betting on the outcome of games involving yer ain team then you are in a different ballgame and are wide open for corruption and match-fixing.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Remarkably lenient attitude from some towards Brian Rice .


    He reported his addiction to the SFA.


    Why ?


    Was he placing bets on games in which his team were involved ?


    If so ………………



    Here`s how it used to be dealt with.



    Richard Scott “Dick” Beattie (24 October 1936 – 15 August 1990) was a Scottish professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper in both the Scottish and English football leagues. A Scotland under-23 international, who appeared in three major finals with Celtic in his early career, he was later imprisoned after being found guilty of involvement in the British betting scandal of 1964, and banned from football for life, aged 27.

  17. We also used to transport starving children to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread.



    HH jg

  18. To be clear………….



    Gambling addiction is no joke. Like any addiction it’s a disease that does not discriminate. If we are talking about this serious and significant issue in terms of the Blazers then I’d suspect that something else was afoot too.



    My sympathies are always for the victims or those exploited.




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

    @ TIMALOY29 on 20TH JANUARY 2020 2:54 PM



    We had MD, LG and OE in the same squad for 17/18 and the summer after. We then lost MD and didn’t replace him. It’s difficult to argue that OE was the replacement as we went from having 3 strikers to 2.



    True, it would be difficult to replace Sinclair, but we have the money to go out and purchase someone with pedigree. We haven’t really taken that option.



    Musonda was signed by us while Roberts was still on loan. Arzani doesn’t come close to the same pedigree. Shved has been a disappointment.



    I do find it unsurprising that arguably two of our best players this year, Eddy and Jullien, also constitute our largest transfer fees.



    Despite Jullien losing some concentration against lesser teams, I can’t think of anyone in the post- MON era, save for VVD, that was better than Jullien.

  20. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    JAMESGANG on 20TH JANUARY 2020 3:59 PM


    We also used to transport starving children to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread.




    HH jg





    A) Irrelevant


    B) Childish


    C) Perhaps a pommy bashing myth.

  21. Brian Rice, Hamilton Head Coach, charged with breach of gambling rules. He calls it a ‘disease’ in a statement.




    There was something weird about him gushing in praise of Sevco after having been beaten 0-5 at home last season.

  22. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    JAMESGANG on 20TH JANUARY 2020 3:59 PM



    Get your point now.


    What I wrote was over the top.


    Sorry about that.

  23. 67 European Cup Winners


    Thats what I took from that Leigh Griffith comment by Paul67 . I just feel thats what Paul does nowadays , trys to soften us up on something about to happen ( not good ) or in this case probably not happening. He obviously knows things we are’nt privvy to . Felt that was also the case with the KT transfer saga . Im not convinced that DD and PL really want the 9th title never mind the 10th . If we win title No. 9 I honestly think its all over for them and DD and PL will think that is bad for business . Yes if we lose this title ,Season Book Tickets will take a hit , though probably only temporary …..I honestly think that is how our board think. And I wouldnt rule out Sevco pulling off a major signing boost before the window closes ….ie a tried and trusted pro at the tail end of his career that can walk straight into their team and improve them…….Yeah I know they are potless……but thats what they do ……They have nothing to lose as they are gonna go belly up without this title

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

    @ CELTIC40ME on 20TH JANUARY 2020 3:35 PM



    I still do not think we have replaced the quality of Paddy, in-form Sinky or MD. I think it is also fair to say that at present we are relying heavily on OE (he is the only striker whose fitness and level of performance can be relied upon), supplemented by some high scoring figures from the midfield (Christie and JF). Outside of OE, we have LG with four goals this season and Bayo with 2(?). Both have issues with fitness and form. In the same way that we cannot rely on Elhamed, I do not think we can rely on LG or Bayo.



    Celtic By The Numbers produced an interesting article the other day- below are a couple of extracts (full article- http://celticbynumberscom.ipage.com/midfield-red-flags/):



    “Normally some players are ahead of expected and some behind. Having all your major contributors ahead of expected would worry me that so far they have got better outcomes that they could expect and unless chance quality improves that will drop off…



    The overriding message here is of potentially unsustainable overperformance and lack of squad improvement in attacking output from midfield…



    But I am concerned that despite the eye-catching numbers like Christie 17 goals and 15 assists and Forrest 14 goals and 16 assists. And despite Johnston and Elyounoussi having amazing per 90m averages, the whole thing does not look sustainable. Not all the midfield can overperform their xA and xG over the whole of a season you would think.”



    So we find ourselves in a position that our midfield (who have been carrying the team in many respects) have been overperforming and, in all likelihood, will experience a drop off in productivity. Once that happens we will have to rely on LG (4 goals) and Bayo (2 goals) to supplement OE. The expectations on Klimala are already being tempered by NL. If OE gets injured we are in big trouble.



    As pointed out by another poster, we have not scored more than 2 goals in our last 9 games. That’s a worrying trend.




    Hi Macjay. Dick Beattie was jailed for match fixing….rather than just betting.



    Mind you I know that every football team in the world are involved in a conspiracy to prevent me ever getting a winning coupon.





    The Onlooker

  26. 67 European Cup Winners on

    RODDYBHOY on 20TH JANUARY 2020 4:31 PM


    Yep we are on the same page


    Only show in town is winning the league


    Europa/Scottish Cups, Trebles all lovely but win the league please



    Going with what we have is a risk


    OE great but can’t do it every game on his own


    LG I hope he is back but Unsure


    Bayo potential but impact for rest of the season Unknown


    Klimala potential but impact for rest of the season Unknown



    Risky business




  27. Roddybhoy



    So you are saying that Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell do not want us to win the League, neither 9 or 10.



    Because this would be bad for business!!!



    Well they are rubbish at their jobs as we have won 8 titles in a row and the last 10 trophies

  28. From previous thread, congratulations NorrieM to you and the family on the arrival of wee Leila, hope all concerned are doing well.



    Wee have a wee 7 month old grand daughter named Leyla as well, different spellings I see.



    Hail Hail



    D. :)

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