Why Ange had to play Kyogo


For you and me, it was a dead rubber, an opportunity to watch Celtic without the pressure of winning or losing.  For the players and coaches, not so much.  The entirely-changed 11 who took the field played like they wanted to make an impact, as did an almost-as-changed Real Betis side.

The game was competitive, the nine added minutes at the end of the second half passed excruciatingly slowly; by that stage of the evening, no one’s head was in dead rubber territory.

When Albian Ajeti pulled up lame in the first half, Ange Postecoglou had plenty to ponder.  At that moment, he was left with only one fit striker, Kyogo Furuhashi, the most valuable asset in Scottish football, who was resting on the bench.

Of course Kyogo came on.  Ange did not set his team out to pull their punches, he wanted and got a performance.  He gave fringe players their opportunity.  Would it have been right for him to pull his own punches, 30 minutes into the game, by leaving his only striker on the bench?  If he expects the players to commit, he has to commit and play the game competitively.

Management is so subtle.  Selecting the right players and tactics is not nearly enough.  If you want players to follow you, you have to live the role.  Ange knew this when he told Kyogo to get stripped.

So what did we learn?  James McCarthy looks more than comfortable in a Celtic shirt every time I see him.  The player he was is slowly emerging.  Liam Scales can feel aggrieved he has not had a sniff of proper action before this week.  Stephen Welsh continues to grow into the role of Celtic central defender, a year after breaking into the team.

We finished third in a group against the third placed teams in Germany and Spain.  Collecting six points from Ferencvaros was an objective delivered, although so much more could have been achieved as we allowed comfortable positions slip in Spain and Germany.

If you are old enough, you will remember being told Celtic win trophies when they first emerge.  Perhaps the Europa Conference League will have its compensations.

Motherwell on Sunday afternoon is anything but a dead rubber.  The Celtic FC Foundation Bucket Collection returns for the first time in two years, those in need remain numerous.  The work of the Foundation does is remarkable and literally life changing at this time of year.  It is our greatest boast.

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  1. `Has any news been released re how long Kyogo is likely to be out of action?`



    As there was no reply to that query, I am going to assume that, although things don`t look great at the moment, there is no REAL news on Kyogo.

  2. Don’t know how Paul can defend the decision to put Kyogo on last night, as it was shocking.



    Some plus points from the game were.


    Uroghide did well second half after a torrid first when he was given no help from Abada.


    Shaw and Scales look promising and look as if they could step into team.



    Montgomery looks more like Calvin Miller every time I see him


    Bain is never a second choice keeper and MJ has learned nothing or improved in all his years at the club.

  3. MARKIEBHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 2:18 PM





    Aye but 3 points were away to the Huns not Livi.



    I know, we lost against worse teams with him starting. We’re a very different team to the one that dropped so many points at the start of the season. Our defence is inarguably much better, we’re in much better shape to deal with the loss of a striker now.



    Clean sheets and goals spread around the team, we’ll be fine

  4. scrub that. we lost against better teams with him starting.



    I don’t think we’ll concede many in our next few games and I still think we’ll score more



    I should be a pundit

  5. SAINT STIVS on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 1:47 PM


    he might have fell off the couch reaching for the remote control.





    Is that the lesser spotted Christopher Jullien you are talking about ?????

  6. Poor from Ange last night,put anyone up front in a nothing game.


    Other than that i thought we played well even Soro


    but he has to stop making stupid fouls.Liked the young right back could try him at CB.

  7. Dead Rrubber? as expected the Spaniards weren’t having any of that and these hoyas would stick five or six on you given the chance. Glad to say the young Hoops didn’t allow this to happen and won the game beyond all our expectations after a thriller. Unfortunately the game was won at a price with the injury to Kyogo. Perhaps Ange could have played Abada through the middle instead of the Japanese, some say it is his best position. The young Israeli had his best game for a while.



    Once again the head injuiry protocol in football is a disgrace in comparison to other sports and needs urgent attention. Nir has suffered badly in these situations a number of times of late. Players should leave the field to be assessed in the dressing rooms before being allowed to continue.

  8. SETTING FREE THE BEARS, 8TH December @ 4:12 PM,



    “With all due respect TBB got those odds wrong.



    He failed to take into account the seeding and Co-eff of Celtic and the weighting the “Champions Route” afforded. “



    If he did take this weight into account, what weight would you give it? How often does the favoured team lose a football match? Is that statistic reliable acoss all standards of football? Is it a smaller or a bigger risk when you are facing other countries Champion team? I don’t know the answer to that one , do you?



    But even if you did add a weighting it should become a smaller weighting, surely, as you progress through each qualifying stage , so that the overall trend which I highlighted remains intact.



    i.e. That, though Celtic are favourites in most qualifying rounds, their odds of qualifying can drop to 50% or below since, if you have enough qualifying ties, and you have enough chances for an underdog to tiumph, they will take one. Celtic can be favourites to overcome individuals A, they may be favorites to overcome individuals B, still favourites to overcome individuals C, and even marginal favourites to overcome individuals D.



    But they remain 50/50 at best to overcome A then B then C then D cumulatively. Surely you understand that basic statistical precept.



    We used money we already had, money generated by previous European campaigns and player sales.



    Money that was not made available to Lenny or Ronny.



    We then qualified for the UCL proper and in a couple of seasons gained co-eff points and seeding to make us a UCL tier three Club.



    Exactly as predicted.



    And yet we got a 4th pace in the CL, a 3rd place on the back of a single win and 5 defeats, many historically heavy, and then a failed CL qualifying campaign.



    So NOT exactly as predicted. Therefore, you have to invent a reason for that to be so and the catch all “explain it away” is that the Board, who you felt had backed and spent on their coach for 2 years suddenly got cold feet when we were on the brink of doing something big. Nothing at all to do with a coach who had bought players like Toure , Gamboa and De Vries. Nothing at all to do with a coach, who, having restored his justified rep as a coach, had more than one eye on a way back to a bigger job and who had been less than honest with the Board in informing his employers of his “sounding out of opportunities”?



    How do you keep a coach at a small club when he is being sought by bigger spending outfits? You can’t. No more than you can with a player who performs well for us. Kyogo and Jota, if they keep up current levels, are unlikely to last 2 seasons with us. This is a fact of life that even Tier 2 clubs like Ajax and Benfica recognise. Good coaches and good players have ambitions too and, majorly, that is to test themselves in the most competitive leagues with the most competitive clubs they can find.



    Celtic, in the current environment, are condemned to perpetual re-build. Most clubs are.



    But the revenue available to do that pales in comparison to even makeweight clubs in the big leagues. We are predated upon by Southampton. Leverkusen and Brentford FFS. That is an undeniable truth. Virgil Van Dijk, Fraser Forster, Stuart Armstrong, Jeremie Frimpong and Kris Ajer did not depart as unwilling Jimmy McGrory types. They actively welcomed their moves, as did Brendan Rodgers.



    Accepting your own state and position is the first step to becoming as good as you can be. Pretending that you are really good, when you are average or poor, will not make you a better performer. That is “fur coats and nae knickers” thinking



    With hindsight it had no merit whatsoever and it was proven to have no merit. So your argument must be consigned to the dustbin where it belongs.



    You have declared yourself the winner here but you have not shown the evidence that you finished ahead.



    We now have a manager who is ambitious, capable, optimistic and most importantly takes responsibility.



    Something sadly lacking in previous seasons.



    If he’s backed and of course that is a huge “IF” as things stand. We can again achieve UCL status.



    When you advance a hypothesis they need to be testable. Your combination has the testable prediction



    i.e. Ange is ambitious so we should achieve higher success



    But it also states the “get out” clause



    i.e. In the event of any unforeseen failure of this prediction to occur, blame will be attributed to the Suits as they couldn’t have been ambitious enough.



    Because it predicts success AND it accounts for failure, it is a prediction that cannot be argued against. It is a closed off loop so I cannot find any fault in it.



    My more testable prediction is that Ange will be good for us. He will develop players during coaching sessions and we will beat a good team one day. We might even have a good season in the CL. Qualifying is not beyond us though reaching a quarter final would be a shock to me and many. It is now 41 years since we were last at that level and, back then, we only had to beat 2 teams to get there (that old cumulative odds conundrum again).



    But while we are under the current economic laws of football, we won’t reach a CL final, we won’t win a Europa Final (It has been dominated by English and Spanish clubs since 2010- Benfica have twice lost the final as have Marseille and Ajax- the only genuine minnow allowed a place at the second top table was Dnipro who lost 3:2 in 2015. Contrast that with the previous decade when we had Braga, Fulham, Rangers, Middlesboro, Celtic , Feyenoord and Alaves reaching the final )



    Even Ajax struggle to rinse and repeat. After their great run to the CL semis in 2019, they were stripped of all their best and a few of their journeymen players. The next year they were forced to play 2 CL qualifying rounds where they had agg. scores of 5:4 against PAOK and 2:0 against Apoel. On reaching Group Stage they got 3 wins and a draw to get 3rd place and a drop into Europa, where they lost in the last 32 to Getafe (NL achieved this twice). In 20/21), they got automatic entry into CL group and got 2 wins and a draw to finish 3rd and earn Europa again, where they made the q-finals losing to Roma. Automatic entry again this year has seen a marvellous 6 out of 6 Group Stages wins. This team will be getting raided again, probably in January for their talent, so do not expect they will get past the quarters despite this wonderful showing.



    My predictions do not have any caveats and I am happy to answer for them.



    Apologies for the delay in getting back.



    Firstly on the “odds” front. I’ve got a huge respect for TBB who has put me right on here on many an occasion.



    Secondly, no, maybe it’s a given in certain places but I have little knowledge of basic statistical precepts.



    My challenge to TBB at the time with his odds iirc was three fold…



    Firstly, it’s a sporting event, so the basic premise is that we use brain, brawn, tactics, technique, preparation and a host of other resources to achieve outcomes, that don’t readily fall in “basic statistical precepts.



    Next if you take a game by game scenario we are not looking at a” Monty Hall” type situation, insofar as the “game” and progress thereoff, in the competition is not fundamentally changed by the “last round”, rather in football we tend to take “each game as it comes”. Of course cards, injuries, confidence etc does contribute but not in a fundamental way to the competition.



    Therefore it is more akin to a coin toss. It is 50/50 all the way through, i.e. in other words if I toss a coin five times and the first four times the coin came up heads, instinctively we would tend to favour tails – yet, as in the Monty Hall type scenario common sense does not prevail, there is on the fifth toss of the coin a 50/50 chance on heads and tails and what went before (unlike Monty Hall) does not come into it.



    Therefore, when Celtic were trying to get into the Champions League group state, via the “Champions Route”, each round must be looked on, on it’s own merits.



    The first round was oft a qualification round, a team we should beat quite easily.



    Then when we entered the “Champions Route”, we were usually one of, if not thee biggest Clubs in that branch of the competition, add to that we had normally one of the highest co-efficents and were seeded.



    Now if you take 2017 for instance, there were twenty “league Champions” in that branch of the UCL qualifiers, as seeds we avoid the other top ten seeds – quite an advantage.



    The next round again we were one of the biggest Clubs and seeded. Five Clubs, yes Five Clubs go through to the UCL group stages.



    Therefore you can’t look at it as a Cup Competition where there is only one winner. In that stage of the competition there were five “winners”.



    Celtic seeded, biggest Club, higher co-efficent were not 50/50 to get through, they were favourites.



    That’s what I meant by weighting the odds.



    As far as the ambition etc goes, a well supported, resourced and professionally run Club with Celtic’s uniqueness banishes the small pond environment, with ambition it can be a top twenty European club.



    It’s ying and yang, we use the advantages afforded as a big fish in a small pond domestically and different advantages as a small fish in a large pond European wise to maximise our performance.



    It’s the Glasgow Celtic way dontcha know…



    Hail Hail

  9. Snider.



    I win.chortling here.


    its a privilege getting called a fake by fascist sympathiser/defender.can you omit me from your head?


    Refugees are welcome.just remember that.:-)


    Back to Celtic.you know the team the blog is about.


    Have you ever posted about Celtic?


    Try it..

  10. SAINT STIVS on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 2:34 PM


    CJ is back in full training, he will play when the medical staff say he is fit.






    He didn’t get to where he is today without doing what the me medical staff advise.

  11. Don’t agree with the header, to apply that logic we would have started a strong first 11.



    What’s done is done, what Celtic need to do now is rush through the purchase of Daizen Maeda assuming the interest is serious (it better be). The J League finished a week ago so there’s nothing keeping the players at their clubs. Sign him now, get the work permit over the line and he can start training with the team in the last couple of weeks of December, potentially ready to play some part Jan 2nd after the transfer window opens.

  12. Totally agree with the lead – Kyoto was the right choice to replace Ajeti!!



    BURNLEY78 on 9TH DECEMBER 2021 7:00 PM



    £600k for a win ?



    And we put out our B team.



    I blame Lawwell.



    Well it looks like after a dozen and a half seasons of futtering aboot, Big Pedro is getting the hang of this football thing.



    Good to see, thank him for the 600,000.00 and the 2003 double next time you see him;)



    Hail Hail

  13. Ange getting Pelter’s from some who could not manage a Menage.Been saying for around a month,Abada could be a striker.Very sharp at tucking them away.Again,WTF do I know,the experts,tacticians wil have their say.


    Apart from Lynch,who knows fek all about football.Plenty about shitstirring.

  14. hankray- VAR should be used to call out the cheats,who go down holding their head,when replays show otherwise, yellow and red cards are needed,happened about half a dozen times last night.

  15. don’t know how anyone can defend the Kyogo decision . He could have played Mikey Johnson through the middle. You’re forgetting Kyogo actually needed rested regardless – not just bcoz we are thin on strikers but due to the number of games he’s played and the upcoming fixture list.



    Anyway, with so much financials at stake this season – assurances will be made that rangers win the league – watch out for more covid nonsense in the next couple of months benefiting them.

  16. Given the experiences of the last 20 months, I have absolutely no doubt that a lockdown stay at home restriction will come in January.



    We might have higher than most countries vaccination rates, but we are still eltting people travel in and out from all over the place.



    The empty stadiums across europe on our screens last night was very telling.



    Oh and by the way, 55,000 at celtic park last night, for a “dead rubber” match, quite remarkable.



    Maybe Ange just want to win every game, and did not have his eye on sunday.

  17. I will repeat it, Kyogo was the most eager sub, he couldnt wait to get on the park, he wants to play every minute he can.



    Doesnt look like he needs rested.

  18. SS – You can sign anyone, the transfer window simply stops you from playing them in competitive/association games.



    That’s the difference between employment law and association rules.

  19. lets all do the huddle on

    Given the experiences of the last 20 months, I have absolutely no doubt that a lockdown stay at home restriction will come in January.




    it should be fought in court if it does happen



    yes to masks, vaccinations, boosters and track and trace



    but we have had our North Korea days



    if anyone feels unsafe being outside then stay in



    its as simple as that



    but dont drag the rest of us down with it

  20. 55,000 at the game last night ,they all sounded delighted that Kyoto came on going by the cheers from the crowd .


    Celtic have a duty to entertain the supporters at the game and they did .


    At last we have a manager that’s wants to entertain ,let him do it .HH

  21. STEBHOY @ 2:56 PM,



    With all due respect I don’t remember you or anyone else calling for MJ to play centre forward after his last outing.



    Abada is a reasonable shout, but I agree with P67, if Ange is asking our “B” team to give their all and win a match, they need to see they’re supported to do that.



    The bench said to me Ange always fancied winning this one and he did.



    A significant scalp…



    Hail Hail

  22. Saint Stivs on 10th December 2021 2:52 pm



    How do you sign somewhen when the transfer window is not opened ?



    Nothing to stop the 3 Japanese players from travelling over now,and get quarantine done if required, before restrictions are increased.

  23. asking for a friend, let me put it another way, how do you transfer someone in when the registration period is not open ?






    A transfer window is the period during the year in which a football club can transfer players from other playing staff into their playing staff. Such a transfer is completed by registering the player into the new club through FIFA. “Transfer window” is the unofficial term commonly used by the media for the concept of “registration period” as described in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.[1] According to the rules, each national football association decides on the time (such as the dates) of the ‘window’ but it may not exceed 12 weeks. The second registration period occurs during the season and may not exceed four weeks.



    The transfer window of a given football association governs only international transfers into that football association. International transfers out of an association are always possible to those associations that have an open window. The transfer window of the association that the player is leaving does not have to be open.

  24. sceptical citizen on

    Is the rigid approach to Ange’s philosophy an indicator as to why no series club to has ever approached him to recruit his services?


    Would I be correct in saying that this present season is the first time he’s competed in European competition?


    If so, is that not a bit strange?


    What if Hibs bring in NFL in as manager, now that Dempster is no longer there, and NFL or indeed whoever gets the Hibs job, plays like Livi in the final?


    Would we be as well not turning up?


    Or was the PLC aware of this all along, and its evidence of the PLC plan to throw another season under the bus, just to keep the Old-Firm alive by ensuring the £40 million goes to Ibrox?


    Mugs CSC

  25. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Celtic40me – good one.



    I typed up similar last night but couldn’t be bothered potentially lobbing a grenade then slinking off to bed.



    How many on here cried



    “What? Keep him on !” in Leverkusen



    …. only to then also cry



    “What? Keep him off !” last night.





    SAINT STIVS @ 2:52 PM


    How do you sign somewhen when the transfer window is not opened ?



    Reasonable question. If I may speculate?



    You reach an agreement in principle (similar to a pre-contract) but with all parties beforehand.



    Made easier by the fact the J-League is finished and the selling club have fewer distractions and objections.



    Then you fly the guy over to start his “self-isolation” (bizarre term)



    Then you get him to sign his contract on day one of the transfer window



    The above – all speculation on my part

  26. B2B – Pretty much, except a player’s contract of employment can be signed anytime as it’s covered by employment law rather than association rules.



    SS is correct that the registration of the player can’t be transferred until the transfer window opens (and hence they can’t play competitively), which is the association rules part.




    Thats a reasonable answer, you do all the pre-work to get it all lined up, BEFORE THE WINDOW IS OPENED, but you still have to wait to sing them on day one of the window actually being opened.



    Some of the things that would need to be considered, that maybe we as football fans dont



    – still being under contract to the selling club, why would they want their commodity to fly here, for a medical and quarantine, and whatever pitfalls might come with that, on their insurance.



    – if all went well, will the authorities grant work permits and permissions to play, fast ? during their office closures days ? Any budding Jim Farrys in the hotseat now.



    I think we thought the Kyogo transfer in went more smoothly than european ones do, as in it didnt drag on and on.



    I cant see us being helped to get the players in, there will be roadblocks made.

  28. How many on here cried







    “What? Keep him on !” in Leverkusen







    …. only to then also cry







    “What? Keep him off !” last night.







    A starting script for the Celtic Panto ?

  29. Funny that such a dead rubber is the source of a lot of debate.


    I think we learned our coach has his way of play.regardless who us in team.


    I feared when I seen the team so the result is a real bonus.we had many of our extended squad getting experience.


    Bain was nervy passing at the back tho I don’t know how much of that is me getting used to the football.


    He was unfortunate with rebound first goal.


    Urhoghide.i thought he done well,is a good presence in the air,he like Bitton is prone to the ball over the top.caught a few times.am glad to see him.wonder tho his true position as some of his support runs down right side I thought would be great as a centre forward.


    Bitton.well done on his captaincy,read the game well to start with,got turned especially 2nd goal.but chipped in as solid team players do.


    Welsh.improving with every game and scored his early goal with that subtly directed header,playing well and worked left side well with Scales and Montgomery.you get the impression he is enjoying his football and learning lots.


    Scales.is an intelligent player.enjoyed his joust with the betis nippy player.he done well,worked well with Welsh and monty.well done both Celts


    Soro well done to the guys mate behind me,winning £4k on soro getting booked.betted on him getting booked both betis game.tired alarmingly first bit of 2nd half,was glad Hook came as his tackle mistimings may have gotten our team a red.needs to work on stamina.


    McCarthy.is improving,getting better,starting to show his worth.i hope he is a success.more rapid in response to forward passing than previously so hope that’s a positive.


    Shaw.was happy with him,can beat a man as he showed in first half.hope to see more of him in coming weeks.tired a little tho that may been down to being in squad.


    Abada.continues to annoy me which is good.looks to be getting stronger physically.can beat a man then pass it back.he left urhoghide exposed in 2nd half.


    Montgomery.thought he and scales.again improving with match experience.he will benefit and learn from last night.


    Ajetti.pity for our squad he is out with hamstring.we seen diff in workrate with our front line.i hope he gets his move at window.hit time here looks cursed.


    Good support


    Well done Euan not forgetting mikeys assist.


    Mike,that miss!jeezoh.



    To Motherwell we roll


    Work to do.


    Same as since leaving the hall in 1887




  30. CELTIC40ME @ 2.24



    I didn’t say they were crazy others did, maybe I should have made that clear. I said at the time they were highly debatable substitutions, made when we were winning a game we went on to lose.



    There was a general perception that Internet Managers wouldn’t have did what Ange did and many were able to articulate their reasons. Changing the nominated penalty taker from someone that had just scored with a Panenka, to a player that had hardly kicked a ball never mind taken a crucial penalty, could easily be viewed by supporters as a ‘mistake.’



    If you’re going to replace one striker with the only one you have on the bench, it isn’t a mistake in itself, the mistake was more likely that Kyogo was on the bench to be chosen.



    All managers make ‘mistakes’ and all Celtic managers will come under fire on Celtic blogs, Paul67 and other supporters will defend them.



    C’est la vie CSC

  31. SS – Again work permit is part of employment law and can happen any time, there’s no reason to leave it until January. In any international transfer the work permit would naturally be completed before the registration is transferred.



    The _only_ thing the transfer window restricts you doing is fielding the player in competitive games. And it’s worth noting the registration transfer is simply an administrative step, there’s no assessment or decision made which might scupper your player transfer.

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