Results , Recovery time , Shared responsibility

I can’t put down a book I started reading just two days ago.

It’s called The Straight Dope by Aussie journalist Chip Le Grand.

He dissects what could be the biggest sports doping-related scandal in the world, which claimed virtually all but one squad player of the Essendon ‘Bombers’ Aussie Rules footy team was given direct injections of non-approved substances around three years back: It’s a gripping, ripping read.

How it relates to Celtic is on the point of player recovery; a point raised by Lenny in a recent media conference.

To me, a key point for us now is at what cost do we keep playing the same players over and over?

In Le Grand’s book, Aussie fitness and conditioning experts reckon three days is not enough to recover from a 2-hr AFL match; they reckon ten days is a proper rest and recovery period. GPS data estimates that AFL players – positions dependent – run an average of 13-20kms per game (along with jaw-jarring head and body impacts).

EPL footballers tend to run just under 12kms.

What would Ryan Christie’s numbers look like I wonder?

The dilemma for Celtic – playing 3 games per week sometimes – is we all want results but we don’t have adequate recovery times to put our best and freshest 11 on the park every single game. That’s where shared responsibility must come in. It’s surely why we carry a 90million Euro ‘squad’.

Neilly reckons that making anywhere round three team changes has an adverse impact on results. Surely this tells us our overall team preparation and strategies – as well as individual readiness to play at the highest levels – has room to improve?

At CFC, we have the luxury of the best squad and, surely, best players in the league?
Injuries aside, why can’t we put out a second string 11 from Bain, Gordon, Bauer, Bitton, Hendry, O’Connor, Taylor, Ntcham, Rogic, Kouassi, Hayes, Griffiths, Morgan, Sinky, Bayo etc…and be able to beat a St Mirren or a Hamilton both with squads with fractional cost and quality?

Sure, it’s probably not as simple as I’m stating it – but it’s physically unsustainable for Neil’s first 14 to always get us results we’ve now become conditioned to expect, and its financially reckless to have too many high paid second stringers who can’t slot in to relieve the evergreens.


The above is a guest article by Libero.

If you feel like penning a piece for publication and to help spark debate the email is

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October 30, 2019 2:31 am

Good article that leaves many questions.
I still think this is the biggest and the Spanish government were complicit in the cover up.

Mike in Toronto
October 30, 2019 2:32 am

Another son for the soundtrack .. by another good Tim…

I’m sensing a theme

Mike in Toronto
October 30, 2019 2:55 am

Good, thought provoking article.

Mario Bertolini
October 30, 2019 4:10 am

Regarding the above it is surely damaging In the longterm for the likes of Calmac and Jamsie playing so many games not just in one season but in consecutive if not more seasons. They are not alone in our team. As mentioned above surely all first team squad must be training using the same tactics. So ideally squad rotation should work in theory if not in practice.

October 30, 2019 5:05 am


Great stuff,mate. I hadn’t thought of a scientific approach to fatigue,but it’s clear that playing football at our level as often as we are asking our players to cannot be good for them. Mentally or physically.

And it’s not just the twice a week stuff,it’s the ridiculously short close season that they get nowadays too. Some players,in fact,get less down time than is legally allowed by law. A ridiculous situation.

Twists n turns
October 30, 2019 5:16 am

Quality read. Very good insight into the physical demands.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spouted “ full time professionals should be able to play 2 games a week” on regular occasions.

Clearly it’s much more demanding than we’ve given it credit for.

Very interesting. I’ll look at it differently now.

Does highlight the fact that your squad players need to be trusted to slot in.

I think we have a big advantage over the huns in this respect. We’ve seen it more than once over a couple seasons. They’ve fought their way to the top only to be ousted a few days later. Looks for all the world that they can’t maintain consistency. Slippy G seems to be trying to use squad rotation more this season, but his squad does not have the quality in depth that we have.

( they DO however have more depth in respect of officials who can easily keep up their contribution levels twice a week) ☹️

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 5:22 am

I think it’s a banapple thing comparing the beautiful game to 2 teams of steroid doped thugs kicking the fuck out of each other for 2 hours. Just my 2c worth.

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 5:23 am

I can’t wait for the new Celtic Mary Poppins movie…

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 5:27 am

Seriously maybe we should do a res12 documentary. The power of TV. There’s a lot of material and most Tims don’t read that much these days anyway.

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 5:29 am

Did you have a good world when you died? -enough to base a movie on??

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 5:36 am

All Latinos cheat. It’s in their blood.

October 30, 2019 5:58 am


OK,I’ll bite. What do you mean by your Latinos comment?

October 30, 2019 6:00 am

Ah,of course. The link from FAN-A-TIC at the top of the page.

Difficult to argue with you when you think of some of the Italian,Spanish,Argentinian teams we’ve played. Not to mention Porto!

And Andy Murray used to drop hints about Nadal and Djokovic.

big packy
October 30, 2019 7:58 am

LIBERO, good article food for thought, yes id love to know ryans stats.hh.

October 30, 2019 8:24 am

Oh dear,the things you do when yer pished. Since it’s one of The Establishment,I’ll avalaff rather than commiserate.

big packy
October 30, 2019 8:39 am

BOBBY, you have mail.

October 30, 2019 8:48 am


Got it,mate. Replied.

You are right in what you said.

Big Audio Dynamite
October 30, 2019 8:58 am

Wow, that’s a lot of people to offend in the one post!

Might find somewhere else to get my Celtic fix today.


big packy
October 30, 2019 9:13 am

BOBBY, got your reply cheers.hh.

October 30, 2019 10:17 am

@Mario @BMCUPW @Twists et al – am sure our ‘sports science specialists’ monitor player durability but guess they miscalculated on KT (remember him). I think Broony, Cal, Eddy and James could all be due a wee break (not all at once mind you) – would drafting in Kouassi, Olli, Griff and Sinky/Lewis mean we couldnt beat St Mirren for eg?

October 30, 2019 10:27 am

Why are Celtic Trusting the SFA.

An excellent contribution to the issue from James Forrest

October 30, 2019 10:56 am

fan-a-tic – now, that’s a great – heartbreaking – article. Ta for the link.

October 30, 2019 11:52 am

Apologies for crediting Mahe with your excellent article.

October 30, 2019 12:04 pm

Mags McGill

The chap who produced Rob Roy is a Celtic fan. Funding would be the issue and half Scottish population wouldn’t watch. Good idea.

Margaret McGill
October 30, 2019 12:17 pm

For those that don’t follow links I was on about the Spanish govt sanctioned scandal of blood replacement in sports

Sol Kitts
October 30, 2019 12:57 pm

I fully agree with your article about recovery times. During my refereeing heyday, I was reffing 3 matches per week. In an average game, I would cover around 7-8 miles of jogging, sprinting, turning, sudden stops and changes of direction. Every week over winter, I was running almost the equivalent of a marathon.
Fast forward 20 years, and boy am I paying for it now. Displaced kneecap, arthritis in my hip and knee, torn cartilage, not to mention 2 previously badly torn calf muscles and a cracked rib.
We are not doing our footballers any favours by making them play as often as we do without allowing them time for their bodies and minds to recover. Injuries that they should normally recover from quickly take much longer due to increased wear and tear on overused muscles and bones.
Why have a large squad if it doesn’t get utilised properly?

October 30, 2019 1:14 pm

Reading some of the doping link again it had me thinking that quite a few huns have shown signs of steroid rage.
Morelos for sure.
And remember thinking in our defeat at Ibrox that Arfield seemed juiced.
His gnashing ,snarling, chest thumping and jumping up and down at Brown before a drop ball reminded me of the cartoon character the Tasmanian Devil.
It was suspicious and surreal.

October 30, 2019 1:19 pm

Sol Kitts
Obviously you weren’t acting like the typical refs in the SPL who are usually miles behind the play.

One of your friends on this blog just sent me some footage of your exuberant younger self.

Mike in Toronto
October 30, 2019 1:26 pm

Sol Kitts

The problem is like what we see in politics or in other businesses … short-termism

Companies use cheaper material that pollute, rather than material that is less harmful but more expensive, because people typicallly look at the short term. They are worried about having a job next week, or the year end bottom line becuase that will impact them directly in the short term….

same thing with football …. leagues and owners arent looking at the long term, or even the good of the game… I will ride that player too hard now because he will win me a title this year … if he cant walk or talk to his kids when he is 40 that isn’t my problem…

Baseball used to have a commissioner …. someone who oversaw the professional leagues, but who was neither working for the players (who were represented by their union) or the owners (who had their own bargaining team) ….

the commissioner’s job was to do what was in the best interest of the game….

of course, eventually, the rich owners forced him out, and replaced him with a commissioner in name only, but who is really the owner’s representative..

but, the idea of a commissioner for the EPL or the SPL isn’t a bad idea …. .someone who could look at the big picture (what is fair to players, in the long term, and what is reasonable for owners, but also, what is good for fans and the game itself)….

I know Doncaster is the SPFL’s CEO, but I think he is elected by the owners of the teams, so, is not sufficiently impartial …. I believe their is a Board that work with him. I dont know how they are chosen, but I presume it is from the 42 team owners/representatives (but I could be mistaken)….

if the commissioner was selected by a group made up of a rep from the owners, players, health professionals, amateurs, something like that ….

someone who looks after the integrity of the game would go a long way in football, and particularly so in Scottish football

October 30, 2019 1:51 pm

Mike in Toronto
The Bosman ruling has also amplified short-termism.
Success means more money and corporations are fixated on maximizing profit.
They don’t do social conscience so the well being of a footballer is not considered.
Managers/coaches are also under pressure for results so they will pick the best players as much as possible.
The only way for the well being of players to be paramount is if stringent health and safety rules were implemented and applied .
Would only be possible with an independent body to oversee the application of rules.
As we see in Scotland anything that can negatively impact the money train will not be considered.

Sol Kitts
October 30, 2019 2:01 pm

That made me laugh out loud in the middle of my busy office. I’ve seen that video before, but it is still hilarious. Not quite my reffing technique, I much preferred the 6ft 4in in-your-face stare, which tended to silence dissent pretty quickly ?

big packy
October 30, 2019 2:04 pm

AFTERNOON ALL, my team for tonight kennoway hogg and morrison, geatons lyons and Patterson, Delaney McDonald crum divers and murphy, 2 reasons 1 this was my dads favourite team and second , one of the players was married to my mothers cousin? any idea.

Mike in Toronto
October 30, 2019 2:05 pm

Jose Mourinho to Arsenal is the rumor. Wont do much to rid Arsenal of the ‘boring, boring ‘ tag.

October 30, 2019 2:34 pm

Good morning folks.

Libero many many thanks for today’s food for thought which is very relevant.
Lenny doesn’t deem much of a squad user just like Martin who I figure he models himself on more than anyone else when in the dugout.
Of course we fans would love the buzz of a hugely changed team but even in cups it does seem to happen.
Shved seems to get better every week in supporters minds, an old trick.
Alofabi could do with gametine somewhere, imagine him and Bayo promised every cup game like Arsenal used to do.
Odsonne seems to play every game and it’s not smart to keep doing that although I think the footballing operation intend to get the max outta him before a record sale. It kinda makes sense, but our title aspirations take a hit if he gets injured.
I think the jury is still out on Bayo,,don’t think many on here are saying he’s our new main striker when the spot comes up.
The fella from Hearts ( Ipzuezu or whatever) might well be grabbed for a short term option. Levein would hate that
Russell I woulda took ten years ago.
We could really do with Griff but will trust those in position to judge on this delicate case. Be great to see him back scoring for fun again.
Thanks again pal.
Hail Hail

October 30, 2019 2:38 pm

MiT, ,
These days he is very under rated!
Still a hell of a manager and coming second with that squad was tremendous looking back.
If the Arse could do it then they should.
Brendan was linked but I think they don’t wanna pay the 20 or whatever to get him.
Hope all good Sir.
Hail Hail

October 30, 2019 2:42 pm

On the Health + Safety front:

I remember Paul McGrath used to get lifted on and off the team bus when he was a player as his knees were done and he couldn’t play without cortisone injections. Didn’t stop him getting to the pub mind you!

Cosy corner bhoy
October 30, 2019 2:55 pm

Big Packy
Empire Exhibition Trophy 1938
I could recite that team before I was 5 even tho not born till 19;39
My Dads favourite team also

October 30, 2019 2:56 pm

Solkitts – v relevant to reminisce on your marathon efforts; takes a toll eh? Totally; mibby the reason we have a big expensive squad and dont play them is that too many supporters would go troppo – esp as 9 or 10 are in sight? Dubaibhoy – am literally up the road from u this week; Ajman HH

October 30, 2019 2:56 pm

If Emery’s brand of football does not sit well with Arsenal supporters then hard to see them wanting a coach as cautious as Mourinho.
Personally after watching PSG underachieve under Emery i was surprised Arsenal employed him.
They need a more dynamic forward thinking coach.

Bada Bing
October 30, 2019 3:02 pm

Wee Jamesie signs new deal till 2023

big packy
October 30, 2019 3:06 pm

COSY CORNER BHOY, knew you would no that team, frank murphy was married to my mums cousin, and now and again he would send over a white leather ball, I was in seventh heaven,?

October 30, 2019 3:15 pm

Afternoon fholks,

Libero, very thought provoking stuff today that I feel will affect all of our thinking from now on.

BP, good stuff you yesterday as well, sir !

Fan-a-Tic, re doping. It was absolutely blatant to me, and there were others I recall hinting at the same, notably TET, that a certain deid co. was without doubt indulging in the use of steroids. I well recall a group of ugly swollen faced huns aggressively attacking the camera face on when they scored in one of the SEVEN games they played us in their final, failed Operation Hun Rescue season (where else in the feckin world would 7 derby games happen in one season ffs)
Fat McMoist must worship that drug as being the only thing to make him look anything slightly above the level of utter clown in management terms. Then a few lines to take his mind off of it afterwards.

We only have the barest idea of the levels these creatures have stooped to, and will stoop again.

Hence the importance of Res12.

Which I find curious to note- within minutes of Auldheid advising those interested to read James Forrest’s blog on it today, the adored CQN blogger TBB trashes it. Before anyone thinks I might be indulging in hyperbole, words used include going “for a wash”, and “appalling “.
I like that Auldheid responded and shared the link again ?

Curious stuff from others that claim to have the Club and the supporters’ interests at heart.

James Forrest has talked some amount of pish in his time, but when the article is recommended by one of the Res12 crew, fucking alarm bells ring when someone quickly tries to shoot it down without explanation like that, on a blog that is now dominated by unbearable board sycophants.

Mon the Res12 !

PS Jim, you were perfectly entitled to ask questions of P67 yesterday- that’s what blogging is about. The misguided loyalty of the bully boy echo chamber won’t phase you, I know that much.

October 30, 2019 3:22 pm

Welcome to Celtic young James Forrest ??

big packy
October 30, 2019 3:23 pm

HI UBER, glad you enjoyed my tale from yesterday, im just about to put a call out for jim.hh.

big packy
October 30, 2019 3:25 pm

JIM, if your lurking, just about to take the dugs oot, will have a blether later.hh.

Awe Naw
October 30, 2019 3:26 pm


My impression on TBB posts since CQN´s inception is that he´s a happy shareholder. I could well be wrong pure speculation on my behalf. Nothing wrong with that IF true. Shame there is not more happy shareholders who attend games and have a passion for the club. I did say in 2012 to stop buying ST and start buying shares. That would have brought about change. DD & PL would be long gone by now if a large percentage of the support had done so. Say 15%

October 30, 2019 4:17 pm

Awe Naw,

That’s all fair enough – I’m not having a go at shareholders.

But it still doesnt explain why a shareholder would be so quick to attack a blog that is asking questions of those who are failing in their duties to protect his share values? Unless you’re telling me that Celtic shareholders habitually shoot themselves in the foot?

And I didn’t see the criticism as being voiced from a shareholder point of view; just another rabid defence of the PLC’s position without any coherent arguement.

So I’m not sure what your point is ? It’s just you reminding us all how you’re right about everything isn’t it? ??

Awe Naw
October 30, 2019 5:02 pm


That´s fair enough but maybe that “possible” shareholder is worried about his shareholding and shares the PLC´s opinion that it is in the companies best interests. Which is probably true. If it is established within the crooked world of football clubs that they were guilty which they were as we all know, then title stripping must follow, Once that precedent has been set then it opens the door for many more possible complaints. EBT Campbell Ogilvie in position as head of the SFA during the SPL LNS inquiry would be the next port of call for complainants. When the huns are not the most successful club in Scotland then they die. Anybody with a significant (to them) shareholding will back the PLC.

Res 12 was always about SFA governance. Celtic PLC as I have said on many occasions is all about having your cake and eating it. They probably genuinely want to clean parts of the the game up that will allow them to increase income streams and ignore costs (see Ibrox Stadium Certificate) but have been stuck in a quandary about other matters that would come to light. also. So this is all about putting a stop to it now. Nipping it in the bud while trying to keep the Tim contingent happy.

CQN has fallen like a lead balloon recently and I would imagine the DD forelock tuggers are pure shitting it. Reduced Income streams and shattered personal legacies. That DD doesn´t give a fuck what they think is not lost on them either. Hence the silence doing as they are told and the unexpected schisms between good Celtic men.

And Yes you are right I am always right …we need to really thank the Res 12 bhoys for taking the PLC on and beating them at their own game. It only highlights what a dishonest bunch they truly are.

Money, Money , Money, Money, Money, Money, Money, Money, Money …..

p.s can you please tell Mags that I am always right.

Mike in Toronto
October 30, 2019 5:41 pm

Awe naw

the difference, of course, between the Board and the ordinary CQN shareholder is that, presumably, the Board had the information necessary to decide what was in the best interest of the company, while that information was withheld from the average shareholder.

but, as you say, so many shareholders seem almost pathological in their approval of the Board/ their Club….

I have never fully understood why so many Celtic fans seem so afraid to question those in charge … but it does seem that, the more Celtic fans get cheated, the more despaerate they become to beat them, and so the more afraid they become of being without Rangers and the cheating ….fro so many fans, so much of their identity/sense of self seems to be tied into this unhealthy relationship….

if there is ever to be a change in Scotland, Celtic and its fans need to learn that they dont need Rangers … that life will go on just fine without them….

big packy
October 30, 2019 6:13 pm

MIKE, celtic need rangers, they are one the great british clubs, according to mr desmond.hh.