The Morning After…
Well,that was all a bit after The Lord Mayor’s Show once again,wasn’t it? Our away record this season is pretty dismal,if we are honest. Into December,and we only have two wins in the league away from home? It’s very poor,folks. And we NEED to improve on that.
Of course,our home record is stunning. We have won every game at Celtic Park this season,bar a very costly draw against AEK Athens. That’s the kind of form we need to put in our pockets when we get on the team bus or plane for a trip to foreign climes,or even Edinburgh. But how easy is it when we are playing twice a week,every week?
Is there too much football? Celtic have already played 32 games this season,with another 8 to come before we break for winter. That’s a lot of football,and remember,it comes after a severely truncated “close season” which saw us playing our first friendly in June,and our first European tie on 10 July. Some of our players didn’t even have that luxury,with four of them playing in The World Cup. They were lucky to get a fortnight to recharge the batteries.
Well,there definitely seems like there is too much football,but Tommy Gemmell played 60 games for Celtic to win his first League Winner medal-and 62 the following season,culminating in Lisbon of course. Without the benefit of larger squads-or substitutes,of course!-a fair few of our team then would be racking up 50+ games every year.
Of course,the game is played at a much faster pace now,and I think that can all be mentally as well as physically draining for the players. I only saw brief highlights when I got back from work at 5am,but our tempo definitely dropped late on. We need to be careful about this.
And this is where I can exclusively reveal that Brendan has bugged the house that he rents out to Jurgen Klopp!!! Yes,that’s right,and you heard it here first. Klopp made SEVEN changes last night,and so did Brendan. And that is not a coincidence,is it? Well,maybe.
Mourinho made seven changes too. He actually averages half that number per game this season as he tries to regain his magic touch. And even the Chelseas manager,who has played his best eleven every time-bar injuries-made five changes. All with varying degrees of success,I may add.
This is becoming a trend which I expect to continue. It’s not just the big clubs who play twice a week,smaller clubs do too. 46 league games and various cups require that,and in my opinion,it’s not going to change any time soon.
Tommy Gemmell’s 60 games a season was extraordinary in its day,but it would be the norm for an ever-present player in most teams nowadays. The stresses and strains,mental and physical,that the current game imposes on our players means that fans must get used to squad rotation on a regular basis,and that managers must learn how to utilise it gainfully.
Otherwise,build a bigger treatment room-and get a couple of psychiatrist couches in there too.
I listened to Man Utd v Arsenal on Five Live last night. Even Robbie Savage couldn’t destroy my enjoyment of that game. The Beeb helpfully had Roddy Forsyth provide updates from Scotland. His doleful demeanour at his beloved Sevco being behind while we were ahead,it was like Rikki Fulton had come back to “life”. Of course,that all changed when we lost our late equaliser,and he took a great delight in informing everyone that Celtic were now in third place. No mention of the game(s) in hand. Prick of a man. If anyone bumps into him,just say-Debenture-and watch him turn purple!
We NEED to start scoring with EVERY penalty we get. Bloody joke,and has been for years.
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