Jingle Bells…

Morning,all. Having dealt yesterday with the main problem we are likely to face today-see Men in Black 2-it’s time to move on to how we take them out of the picture. Today’s match at what will be an incredibly hostile Ibrox is the perfect opportunity to completely ruin The New Year for your average hun,and it’s one we really have to take.

Our main problems will be the officiating,as I said yesterday. That means a peculiar application of the laws of the game,and of course they won’t be evenly applied to both sides. Watch out for our players being warned/cautioned early on while their opponents kick the living shit out of everything that moves. For our players being “caught offside” in promising positions,while theirs are given that wee yard of leeway. For the ref to pull back play as we are about to break. Soft free kicks in dangerous areas,pushing and shoving our defenders and goalkeeper,and of course the penalties.

You already know which end he plans to award them. I’ll betcha the bookies do too.

While I’m not too certain of Craig Gordon’s form at the moment,and his playing out from the back is nothing short of shocking,he is our first choice. I wouldn’t replace my first choice goalkeeper in a game like this. But he has to improve his distribution,he has to command his box like never before,and he has to get back to making saves.

Anthony Ralston has surprised me in the short run he has been given,a vast improvement over early last season,or even against the way he played for Scotland U-19 in early summer. But Mikel Lustig is a hunskelper,and today is a game for hunskelpers. He can use his vast experience against weaker opposition than he faced on Wednesday in his comeback match.

I don’t think that Kieran Tierney will be risked today. He has had injury problems recently,and even though he’ll be desperate to play,it’s a risky proposition. So too is Izzy,who,for all my delight at his return,showed a lack of awareness and pace against Aberdeen. We can’t afford that today,we can’t put out a weak link to be exploited. For me,it’s time to hand the jersey to Johnny Hayes. He has been patient,and has rarely let us down when given a chance. He’ll relish playing this lot,and he won’t lack for effort.

At centre-back,I’m tempted to give Simo the shout,if only so he can either elbow Morelos properly this time,or alternatively put him into orbit with one of his Kenny Miller tackles. But Benkovic has been outstanding for us this season,and Boyata is another hunskelper. I’ll be very surprised if they don’t manage to stroll through a very difficult afternoon. I suspect they’ll need the fortnight off to let the bruises go down,mind-but they will not be bullied. They too must command the area,and have to be aware of the intentions of their opponents and the referee,and for God’s sake,don’t even attempt an offside trap!

First name in the midfield has to be Broonie. Hunskelper again,he revels in these matches. He will also be kicked remorselessly,but he just looks at his assailant and let’s them know who’s boss here. Is that the best you’ve got,it’s not very much,is it? A man for the trenches,and a man to keep the heid on a difficult day.

If we are to play three up front,then Broonie’s assistants in midfield need to be one playing deep while the other goes forward. Tom Rogic is out of the picture for a while,though his form had shaded recently,so the attacking role is a straightforward choice of Ryan Christie. He must have munched his way through some amount of Shredded Wheat in the last year,and he will be bullied by no-one. He’ll know he’s been in a game,though he might not recognise it as football,and I’m hoping he will have many happy memories afterwards.

The deeper midfielder is either Callum McGregor or Olivier Ntcham. Both are capable on the ball,can pass,run,shoot. Callum has perhaps a greater passing range,while Olivier is definitely stronger in the tackle. The temptation is to leave Callum on the bench,as he can cover so many different roles if required,but he gets the nod over Olivier. I might change my mind by the time kick off arrives,because each of them will do what is needed today. And I think Olivier despises that lot as much as I do!

Literally first name on the team sheet is Odsonne Edouard. Again,I wish Leigh Griffiths every success as he fights his demons,but in his absence,Eddy is fit and raring to go. Two assists and a goal-all three of them exquisite!-is an outstanding return from a substitute. It won’t be acceptable over 90 minutes,Eddy-I’m looking for two goals and three assists today!

James Forrest is having the best season of his life. It won’t be a surprise to me if he absolutely roasts their defence today. He’ll take a great delight in it,I’m sure. And as a bonus,he can pick up all the batteries thrown at him,save a fortune as he plays with his Christmas presents over the forthcoming break(!)

Finally,has Scott Sinclair got his mojo back? If ever a player thrived on confidence,it is Sinky. I think he’s honest enough to admit that some of his early season performances were well below what is required,but he’s certainly coming back to form. If he can go into the break on the back of another outstanding display today,I think he might give a few Spaniards a scare in a few weeks. And if he ever feels his head going down,just think back to events at Glasgow Airport. Go on,Scott. Ruin their day and trash their New Year!

Overall,we are nailed on to win this,a team as good as ours against a team as rank as theirs. Look at the odds that the bookies are offering,that says it all. But if we don’t bring our A-game,if we offer them a glimpse of hope,if we give the officials the slightest chance to cheat their way to never having to buy a pint doon the ludj,we will only have ourselves to blame. The huns are in trouble,and it’s time we threw them an anchor.

*

Just as serious as events on the pitch are those happening off it. Our players are going to be subject to constant abuse today by their opponents,and also by 98% of the crowd. It will not be pretty,and no-one should have to run a constant gauntlet of missiles being thrown at them as they do their job. Our Gallant 800 fans will be subject to the same during the match,but also around the ground. I honestly think that today will be talked about afterwards for all the wrong reasons,and I just hope that no-one is seriously injured.

*

Above by majoc

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Cosy corner bhoy

Up early today! Must be a big game on or I’m over the moon with my upcoming 80th birthday present!
Valencia here WE come!
Will buzz you later

big packy

hi majoc not sure about craig Gordon, I think them bassas will have a go at him with every passback or kick out, but as you say don’t change the goalie in a sevco game, the only other concern is jonny hayes know he has played fullback before, but izzy has been a hunskelper before so im torn on this one, but its brendans choice im glad I don’t have to pick the team, a crappy 1-0 will do me as long as we beat them.coybig??hh.

Why the ef would you want to throw them an anchor….Dearie Me M

Great article to read on this morning. I’m nervous as a kitten. Hope our fans and players are safe.

THEEXILEDTIM

Seems we threw them a lifebelt the last time,I don’t want us to make that mistake again!

The Gombeen Man

Today is Sevco’s biggest game of the season, perhaps the biggest game in their history. Three points for Celtic and a win in our game in hand would be a crushing blow to any hopes of Sevco winning the league.
Celtic have been wholly unconvincing in our away form this season but despite ourselves we are the best team and squad. Sevco and Gerrard need something out of this.
I don’t relish these games. It’s the ugly side of football. As always I’ll be 100% behind the team and the support but in despair at the ongoing insanity in Scottish football.
Here’s to 3 points and a safe day for all attending and in the pubs and wherever you are.

HH

Ah right, I picked it up wrong, no hard mind you, foot on the throat and turn the hose on full is the way to go imo, then burn them just to make sure 😉

Sol Kitts

Hi CCB, have a great time in Valencia. 80? Really? Mrs Kitts and I will come to see you and Mrs CCB next time we’re up.

mahe

Majoc,,,
Great stuff and I would probably pick that team myself. Up very early here. Do we know anyone of the 800? Is Garry there? Fairhill?
Hail Hail

Mike in Toronto

Dodgy feed is from SevcoTV!!! Might have to watch with the sound down. …. but ZombirTV can be great if Celtic are winning.

mahe

MiT,,,same here! And I thought that chick looked rough! Now they warn us Morelos was drilling it well in the warm up!!!
Hail Hail

Mike in Toronto

Morelos has a clear kick at Brown ignored by ref

mahe

Morelos leaves his ” calling card ” on Scott,,,nada

mahe

Craig Gordon, double save and off the bar. Huns having decent spell

Mike in Toronto

Too slow without Calum’s influence in the middle of the park. Missing someone who can take the ball from the backs and link up forward play.

mahe

Der hun score ,,, been coming . 1 nil

mahe

Half time one nil down. Benkovic off injured , Ajer on. Shape needs jigged. No left back out ball. They are using a high press,,especially on Ncham and Boyata. High tempo football they are playing and it’s hard to keep up that pace ,,, but with the crowd behind you etc etc. They score again and I think that will be that , and the Ref will kick in.
I would like Izzy or Hayes on and Calmac moved to the middle.

mahe

All over , one nil

Dreadful stuff, like an away game in europe, couldn’t string two passes together, Calmac totally ineffective at LB when he is our best player by a mile, doesn’t make any sense Brendan, we didn’t turn up so we lost, simple as.
As for the referee, expected but he is not why we lost, Morelos should have walked in the first few mins with his kick at Broonie, who really looks done and twice after that, I bet he doesn’t even get sighted, the break will hopefully do us more good than them, all in all a dreadful day at the office we were lucky to score 0 today.
Mahe will get back to you later, things to do.

Awe Naw

I think this result helps Brendan in the window. If it doesnt then it was a miscalculation leaving the two best players in Scottish football on the bench 90 mins before a three week break. That makes no sense. The Celtic hierarchy will be delighted about a title race therefore it will be a poor window. A few mill tor the next managerial incumbent this summer.

A big window.

Boyata, Brown and Lustig now available for free
We need two strikers
Benkovic secured

The end of January will give a good indication of Brendan s immediate future.

A manufacturered result today on many levels

Craig Gordon was outstanding today

A thing of beauty

Pass marks only to Gordon and mcgregor today. Oliver Ntcham was a waste of a shirt. This boy should be running the game in this league yet too often he chooses not to turn up. I believe he needs to play every week or not at all. I don’t know if it’s psychological or physical but he cannot drop in and out. He’s not at the races. This left brown with too much to do though what he did do was rubbish. I agree it will strengthen Brendan’s hand in the window and the team that started today is an indictment of the poor summer window peter brought upon us. No team continues to win against the same team ad infinitum but we have given a poor football side a massive shot of confidence. The second half of the season needs to see us raise our game and play a settled team every week. This chopping and changing is leaving the team unsure of their positions and tactics. We say it a lot on here and elsewhere “we turn up, we win.” There’s a real problem now with this team not turning up. Over to you Brendan and peter.

The Gombeen Man

Poor stuff and all too familiar.

We don’t seem capable of stringing a couple of consistent performances together. A combination of unfit, out of position and out of confidence players contrived to put together a low point in our matches against Sevco.

The writing has been on the wall for this for months and it has been coming.
A failure to invest and a coach who looks as jaded as Scott Brown are catching up with us.
This is music to the ears of the PLC, who have failed Celtic at every turn.
Not simply beaten but out fought.
There’s no point in moaning though, the Old Firm is just vaudeville. Through manipulation and deceit the customers on both sides have now got what they want.
The best football game in the world is back with all the subplots and theatre.
Brendan Rodgers has been found wanting before. Gerrard knows this and is aware of his limitations. That’s why he is at Sevco.

The real winner of course isn’t Sevco.

It’s Peter Lawwell.

A competitive, manufactured SPFL has been delivered.

Well done Peter and Co.

Margaret McGill

Tellt yeez.
The legitimization of the OF is now complete.
You reap what you sow.
You lay down with dogs you get fleas.
BR will get the blame based on a lack of tactical nous(already happening on CQN) instead of the obvious lack of investment in the squad. However, I suspect the lack of commitment today from many of the players is the insecurity of who is next for the fire sale after Armstrong, Dembele, Sviatchenko? I suspect Boyata, Ntcham and Sinclair shop windying.

The Gombeen Man

Mags,

Yep get the onerous Brendan Rodgers salary off the payroll too.
What we need is a coach that is part of the downsizing which is inevitable.
The trough of the SPFL and Europe now has two greedy mouths to feed.
Brendan will cop all the blame as the button is pressed to pay out the bonus.
What a paradox.
Gubbed by Sevco as the suits walk away with the spoils.

No surprises today and much more of the same to follow…It’s what keeps the customers coming back.

Margaret McGill

Exactly. I dont want to hear one peep about hun cheating or thuggery.
Its what our Irish Raj Tory blighty loving custodians want.
GTF

Mags-TGM
While I agree, today was down to crap tactics and players who showed no desire whatsoever, I have defended Brendan since the get go, but today was indefensible imo, we were up against journeymen, freebies and loanees FFS, they had the desire to win, we didn’t, that lack of desire has to be instilled from the coaching staff, they like the suits are vastly overpaid as are far too many of the players.
Our playing staff is by far and away the best in scotland, by miles, yet this season so far we have been making crap look good, there is no need for them to polish the turds, we are doing it for them
Sadly it’s not going to change, doing just enough is the mantra, well this season just enough may end up not enough, then what….

Margaret McGill

or BR was instructed tactically so that he can justify any transfer requests in January and the players know this??

The Gombeen Man

TET,

I agree. Gerrard has worked with Brendan before. He knows him and famously had a go at Rodgers in the Dressing Room. He fancies his chances.
There was the usual hype about Brendan in his first season. We won the Treble last year but performances dipped.
There is something wrong with recruitment. We’ve discussed that before.
Leaving Brendan’s limitations aside for a moment. Any club that is primarily motivated by turnover and profit will sail close to the wind.
We have crocked defenders at right and left back. Bencovich looked to have picked up an injury the other day. Jozo looks destined to be a bit player at best. Brown is struggling. Rogic is away. We have no fully fit strikers. Christie is just back from injury.

Personally I believe that Rodgers has lost faith in Celtic Plc. He’ll fulfill his contractual obligations and make the right noises but I’ve watched him all season. He looks jaded and disconnected.

He like everyone makes mistakes and maybe he’s given to tactical errors and that’s what Gerrard knows.

That isn’t helped when all we are seeing is history repeating itself with the continual sale of our better players and the failure to replace them.

The players also know that the league is a con and that everyone is bending over backwards to assist Sevco… especially us.

“Personally I believe that Rodgers has lost faith in Celtic Plc. He’ll fulfill his contractual obligations and make the right noises but I’ve watched him all season. He looks jaded and disconnected.”
Nail on the head as far as I can see.
What next is the big question imo

Margaret McGill

If Celtic win a treble it will be skin of the teeth stuff.To win the league will be just fine. However, BR will be off in the summer and the board will be off the following summer followed by a period of hun ascendancy. Thats my prediction. Found out. Peasant revolt. Move on bag of gold in hand.Thanks ya dumb Tims.

The Gombeen Man

Downsizing.

TGM
I have been saying for years that our players are only playing for us cos we are their level, if they rise about us they are sold on, if they can’t cope they are discarded, it’s simple but ruthless.
Of course it’s a con, a blind man can see that everything on the park is against us, Moreloss should have been sent off three times today yet not even a talking to and the ref saw them all, players will wilt under this kinda pressure, unless they are so strong to overcome it, but obviously they arny capable of this, hence they are playing for us.
Serious problems just now, I know we have won seven leagues and baubles on the trot, but you are only as good as your last game imo and we are not nearly as good as many of us think we are.
You never know, maybes the only way the support will stir from their complacent slumber is to lose the league to the hun, cos if we win it nothing will change, not that I am saying I want us to lose, but sometimes the bigger picture etc.

Awe,jings crivvens,help ma boab.

That was utter pish today. In my opinion,the team was set up wrong from the start.

Callum is a danger to opponents when he plays any of his roles in midfield. Left back? All that means is you have a player played out of position while you lose what he brings in midfield

Michael Johnston as the lone striker didn’t even work on paper,not in a game like this. Too lightweight,needs to get on a Ryan or Eddie diet. The huns took a look at that line-up,went for us

Having said that,our midfield three were shocking. Broonie can boast a 93% pass rate,he couldn’t pass water today. Worst game for years for him,not helped by an o.g. Ntcham,well on today’s performance,he won’t be attracting the big boys. Total waste of a jersey.

Our wingers couldn’t get into the game due to the paucity in midfield,and their backline strolled it.

Wouldn’t know where to start on ripping that performance today,but I’m glad that Mahe has volunteered to do tomorrow’s article.

Had it been left to me,I’d get barred.

Pass marks only to the outstanding Craig Gordon,and to Callum McGregor. That’s nine players and a manager who screwed up today

A thing of beauty

There is no doubt that the last calendar year has seen us turn in some poor performances. Some of the stuff we have had to watch has been worse than what Ronny Deila dished up and he got pelters. We seem to spend large parts of games conserving energy and underestimating our opposition then when we discover we are in a game it’s too late to do anything about it. When was the last time we won a game from a goal down. Ibrox last season maybe? Ffs that’s what Celtic are famous for. I was raised on the mantra of “plenty of time” but I feel and have for a long time that if we go a goal down it’s curtains. That needs sorted. As does this go a goal up and take the sting out the game. Who exactly does that help because our opposition don’t change if they go a goal down. They just want to stay in the game so us conserving energy actually helps them as in the last ten minutes they’re full of energy to pump it forward and go afor the jugular instead of having their tongues hanging out. I’m just confused as to what the game plan is at Celtic just now and what we do to get out this malaise we’ve been in for a year now.

The Gombeen Man

TOB,
I went to the Dundee game last week. It was shootie in. Dundee played like we do in Europe. It played to our strengths.

We cannot cope with sides that close us down. We aren’t good enough.
When Brown got injured we looked to have improved and were moving the ball quicker.
For whatever reason PL doesn’t want us to spend money. Nothing new there but he doesn’t seem to trust Rodger’s judgement.
I’ve no idea why we brought Lee Congerton in or what’s happening there.
Fans have to accept that this is what they are buying into.

We can’t keep strolling to league titles.
Brendan can’t take it any further. He will hopefully get the team over the finish line for the league and then it’s plain footballing dross posing as competition.
The players know it, the management know it and the only ones in the dark are those dazzled by disco lights.

A thing of beauty

Not sure I agree that Brendan has taken us as far as he can. He needs to improve and find a system that can cope against the high press and that system no longer includes Scott brown or a disinterested Olivier Ntcham. We need Callum in the middle alongside Christie and a n other and we go from there. We need to press teams again. That’s what brought us success in Brendan’s first season, it was relentless. Why did we stop that? Things are not right and from the boardroom to the changing room there needs to be some plain speaking and no place for faint hearts. Oh and lee congerton needs to go. Far too many duds have been signed in Brendan’s tenure and if he’s not watching the players himself then it’s clear he can’t rely on congerton to watch them for him. I’d have davie hay scouting players for Celtic, he knows a player when he sees one.

The Gombeen Man

He has taken it as far as he can in my view.
There is no appetite to grow the team any further. The job is done the Old Firm are back and Brendan won’t want any part of Peter Lawwell’s philosophy of mediocre football producing Old Firm bonuses.

To play that high tempo pressing you need to either retain or attract quality. Malumbo…Commper, Gamboa, Hayes, Izzy…We have been going backwards for months. It reads like names from the bad old days. Not a Celtic with a progressive mentality. We have been playing poorly for months. We are carrying injuries, sell off our better players and bring in inferior replacements.

The gamble is will the support realise that they have been the victim of another con?

The game’s a bogey. PL fixed that.

Our player recruitment has been an issue for years. It’s another area that needs a complete review and overhaul.

Regrettably, our CEO has questions to answer there too. Heaven only knows how they have managed to mess things up so badly.

Till Later

The Gombeen Man

TET,

It’s been coming down the tracks for months. We can’t defend when we are pressed. We are slow in midfield. On another site a read a post bragging about the Balance Sheet…watch that Balance Sheet disappear.

Till Later.

Rebus67

THM,

I respect your input on this blog. I have a question for you because I genuinely do not understand a conclusion that you and others have drawn w.r.t PL. Why did/does PL want to develop a competitive SPL? What is the logic behind that conclusion and where is the evidence? Actually that is three questions but they are interrelated. I am trying to understand your thinking on this and not having a go at you. Your opinion is just as valid as my own.

Let me give you an alternative scenario. Does PL want us to qualify for the CL? From a financial perspective the club benefits substantially from qualifying. Surely that ensures his bonuses and makes him indispensable? Having a competitive league conflicts with that because it opens the possibility that the club will not win the league. Now you could say PL is a visionary(which I do not believe!) and that he understands the dynamics of competition. Competition improves performance; competition removes complacency; competition fosters innovation etc. So this version of PL thinks long term, wants to improve the performance of the team and wants innovatiion to thrive within the club. Do you think this is the real PL? I don’t. So why would he want a competitive league? Why would he want Sevco as a genuine rival? Much of the establishment favours Sevco so why let them get near to us? Sure we earn a few bob from games against them but it pales compared to the CL money. Why risk it? The future for ambitious clubs is some form of European competition. It is important that Celtic are seen as the dominant club in Scotland so that they have a share in future developments in Europe. Being an occasional winner of the league works against that goal.

I don’t think PL wants change in the league. He likes it just the way it is with us winning everything or at least the league. He wants to do that at the minimum cost hence the shag-up in the last two windows. In addition if tightening the purse strings makes BR appear mortal……..that is just a bonus.

I see no evidence for conspiracy theories. It is simple PL screwed up. Today BR screwed up. It happens without a conspiracy.

Rebus

Sol Kitts

I’m numb and angry over that performance today, but I’m going to have a few glasses of wine and a good sleep before I post anymore about it. Let my head clear enough to remove the obvious emotion about losing to them. See you tomorrow, folks.

Rebus67

Sol,

I am in your camp. I shall watch the game tomorrow and post then.

Have a good evening everyone.

Rebus

Margaret McGill

Ive just had a whole bottle of Napa Cabernet.
When all else fails we can whip the horses eyes and make them sleep and cry.
Corporations are not democracies they are dictatorships. The problem with dictatorships is that they have absolute power and absolute power corrupts until the money runs oot. Then they fuck off. You’ll see.

mahe

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