Knuckling Down


While I’ll merrily continue to put on a fixed odds coupon on occasion and enter my selections into whichever of the predictor competitions I’m in,my days of the optimistic article on our European chances are over. 

There,I’ve said it. It might be strange to be writing articles for a Celtic blog while rendering myself mute on our chances of advancement in Europe,but I think it is probably better than suggesting we go into self-imposed exile from European adventures simply to save us a few big riddies every season. 

It’s now eighteen long years since John Kennedy and David Marshall staged their own re-enactment of the Alamo in Barcelona,and it is that long since we last won a post-Christmas knockout tie in Europe. And let’s not forget the pre-Christmas maulings we’ve had in the knockout stages too,those embarrassing nights in qualifying-not to mention some horrific beatings in the group stages. 

I thought that with the introduction of The Europa Conference that we might have found our level,a stage which we could build upon. Well,that didn’t last long!

So it isn’t just a case of looking on the bright side to say that we can now concentrate on our domestic campaign. It is simply being realistic,for it is all we have left. It is down to the players and the management to focus their attention on those two remaining campaigns and bring us back the glory that the fans at least deserve. We start the rest of our season with a trip to Easter Road tomorrow,followed by a home match against St Mirren-who held us to a draw just before the rescheduled winter break-then a trip to our favourite venue,The Spaghettidome,to play our beloved Livingston. 

This is followed by an away tie with Dundee United mid-March,once again on a Monday night! Bummer…

The players and the management know what is required of them,and while I’ll say it again that we are much further forward in our reconstruction than we could have dreamt of a year ago-or even in October!-that can no longer be used as a fallback in the case of failure. We have the players in our squad,the ability to be masters of our own destiny,and we need to refocus our attention domestically and put those European misadventures behind us. Maybe we will someday win that post-Christmas European tie,but for now Europe is but a (bad) memory. It will all be forgotten,temporarily at least,if we can get our shooting boots on in Scotland. 

However,even although domestic results have largely fallen our way since New Year,even though some of our displays have been an absolute joy,there are still some questions which AP will have to address if we are to achieve our domestic dream. The first and most obvious is why we seem unable to maintain the pace and the quality for anywhere approaching the full ninety minutes. 

Sure,we can grind out late victories against Ross County and Dundee,which shows at least that the desire and the effort is there from the players,but on both those occasions there was little of the expected quality on display for the rest of the ninety minutes-and no,I’m taking nothing away from the G-Mak perfect hat trick,or the Tony Ralston header.  If anything,those examples prove rather than contradict my point. We,the fans,can expect full on 100% effort from the players as they chase a victory,or we can have an hour or so of quality followed by a thirty minutes public warm down. To achieve that brilliance,that quality,and maintain it for the entire match is currently beyond the squad. And if the fans are aware of it,so too will AP be. And the opposition. 

Celtic used to tire opposition players out with their relentless attacking forays,leaving them vulnerable in the later stages,at which we could tighten our grip on the match. Maybe our current style is achieving the opposite instead,and it is us who are leg-weary in the later stages. I honestly do not know why this is,but I’m sure that Ange will be looking to address that frailty. 

So let’s look at some possibilities of selection which might make that job easier for him. With Kyogo apparently unlikely to return before the international break at the end of March,his compatriot Maeda is our first choice striker. He has the heart of a lion and the endurance of the Duracell bunny. But he is not a winger,so play him through the middle. G-Mak is similar in those ways,but to play him means putting Maeda wide,so that means it is either/or,not both. The resulting reduction in central firepower is offset by playing our two goalscoring wingers,Jota and Abada. 

Remove CalMac from the wholly unsuitable holding role. He is far better further forward,and I’d play him to the left of the midfield with O’Riley on the right. This gives us a combination on the right of Juranovic-O’Riley-Abada with Taylor-CalMac-Jota on the left. Guchi in the holding role with our two established centre backs behind him. 

There are plenty of substitution options available to the manager when he has a squad of our size,and he has to use them wisely,and at the right time. I certainly won’t be offering my advice on that one as I’m not a fan of micromanagement! My point is that with little over a dozen games to go this season,we should surely be able to have a settled first eleven and a settled formation. I’m not accusing AP of “tinkering” just for the sake of it,he has had problems with players being unavailable or simply needing a rest/out of form. My suggestion is to settle on an eleven and stick with it. 

And find out why we can’t sparkle for ninety bloody minutes!


Above article by BMCUWP

Sent from my iPad

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Apologies for my absence from the site for most of the week,work has just been a bit hectic. Not to mention the somewhat erratic bus services with their novel approach to a timetable. Off to bed for a quick nap prior to a visit to that London to meet my nephew.

My tuppenceworth on Putin,which might have been better on the last article,is that Western intelligence knew all about this thug before he even manouvered himself into place as Yeltsin’s heir-apparent. His background was KGB/FSB,and they don’t go big on diplomacy at their finishing schools. Yet his actions in the likes of Georgia 2008,Syria 2011 onwards,Ukraine/Crimea 2014,all went unpunished,a mere shrug of the shoulders while we continued to bolster his regime by suckling at the nipple of their oil and gas reserves. Laundering the filthy money of his chosen few while turning a blind eye to his many criminal acts-including murder-against dissidents at home and abroad.

Yet Western diplomats,officials and politicians will tell you that by the time they realised what he was like,it was too late to do anything about him? Bollocks. Read this disgraceful article from Madeleine Albright,US Secretary of State under Clinton from 1997-2001 where she says they knew little or nothing about him prior to his “election” in 2000.

I suggest that they knew plenty. But just weren’t prepared to do anything about it.

A thing of beauty

Fair assessment of where we are. I worry about Callum out of the six role but Hatate has really dropped off in form and it may be that ideguchi will have to come in and Callum will have to move one forward. The problem with that is Ideguchi has had no games so how does he get up to speed. What I will say is the tiredness can be partly attributed to the intensity of the training so playing a match should not be that much of a step up surely. I certainly agree that we need to get a settled team to start building partnerships on the park. It’s all well saying the system is embedded and everyone should be able to slot in but surely if you play alongside the same player more often the understanding will be better. Maybe it’s down to the sport and fitness guys telling Ange what the numbers are as regards players tailing off in training and that is why they are being rested. All I know is what I see and the last 4 games have been alarming. I hope we can improve tomorrow in Leith.


Around 15 still to trap for Superbru today


When that team was announced on Thursday it became evident one of two things was happening:

1. Ange has most definitely prioritised the league title


2. Ange ball is taking its toll on our players.

There’s absolutely no way you leave
– Jota
– Carter Vickers
– McGregor
– Juranovic
– Hatate
– Abada

out the side unless you’ve given up hope of winning the tie (or) you’re keeping them as fresh as possible for the league match.

If we go out v Hibs with those players on that list in the side I’ll assume it was option 1.

If 2-3 or more on that list are missing tomorrow alarm bells should be ringing.

Jota has been for me our biggest threat / creative player and to leave him out for that match makes no sense whatsoever unless he’s being rested. You can add Juranovic to that .

Immediately that team was announced on Thursday I knew the tie was over. I suspect most on here felt the same.

If there IS a fitness / tiredness issue I’d expect to see a full side out tomorrow at Easter Road, then some rotation for the St Mirren match at CP on the 2nd March.


Once football champions of Europe, envied throughout Europe,now, put out of the third tier of European competitions, by admittedly a good team, well organised, well coached, but with a budget miles less than ours. That’s progress for you. I used to console myself, I would look back to 2012 to feasting on jelly and ice -cream,looking forward to the good times, remembering Mr. Custard the children’s clown. The dafties were trying to put money into a fighting fund, somehow they mixed up where to send their cash and it ended up in Mr. Custards “Bluenose” web – site, donations much appreciated.That made me LOL. But now, as our club regress’s into a black hole, led by incompetents, I’m not laughing anymore, I am angry. Scottish football’s corruption has bled away the goodness that I once felt for it, taken away all the joy and left me empty. “Send In The Clowns”.


A t o b

I have been advocating for long enough along with fan and others that Calmac , whilst untouchable in Scotland in the holding role, is a wasted talent when his attacking play should be the fulcrum of the team.
I Agree with BMCUW play him left, Matt right.
One from Nir, James, Guchi can surely step up to the plate in Scotland. Leave the fine tuning for Europe til the summer recruitment phase.
We have 14 games max to play.
It is not a lot to ask of this squad of professionals to compete in every game. We have the luxury of a loss at Ibrox to factor in , if need be.

The Huns will be under tremendous strain playing Europa League footy.
They may well be congratulating themselves on the draw v Red Star. Hopefully the pressure of playing on several fronts takes its toll.
There are precedents for this!!



Take it you won’t be celebrating much if we win a treble.?

Too tainted for you?

Why bother if it causes you pain?

Colour Blind Bhoy

Good morning everyone.

BMCUW and CFC, I totally agree it’s very important that Ange sticks as close as possible to fielding what he believes is our best starting eleven in as many of our remaining 14 games (I hope) as he can.

We then have a decent number of quality players who can come on as subs for the final 20 to 30 minutes to help ensure the pace and intensity doesn’t drop.

When I played football we had 2 subs and very seldom can I recall a manager making a tactical change, it was essentially the 2 guys who were having a bad day that got replaced.

Nowadays, Ange can make 5 subs, half of his starting outfield players. Indeed, surely Hart, CCV & Starfelt cannot possibly be tired doing what they do so we can effectively change 5 out of 8 of our outfield players assuming injuries don’t occur in a match.

We are able to name 9 subs, let’s not have too many defenders or defensive midfielders on the bench. 1 keeper, 1 full back, 1 centre half, 1 defensive midfielder then 5 players who can boost our attacking midfield and forward options would be my choice.

Depending on who Ange believes is our best starting eleven those options could include players like Rogic, O’Riley, Hatate, Maeda, Giokamakous as well as giving opportunities to younger players like Karamoko and Doak who must surely be more deserving of game time than the under performing Forrest and Johnson (when fit). With Turnbull and Kyogo hopefully available in the weeks ahead we are rich with options.

So, start with the right team and bolster it where it’s needed on the day with impact players but please no more of moving Juranovic from left back to right back mid way through the second half when we know he should always start at right back.

Please no more of starting with players like Jota or Abada on the bench when we know they are our best wingers. Give them a strong 60/70 minutes to dominate and win games rather than a 20/30 minute sub appearance when we are having to chase a result.

Tomorrow won’t be easy but with the right team selection to start the game and sensible, proactive use of our bench, we should be ok for a victory.



Three ( hopefully) cup games take care of themselves.
The other 11 should be treated as such.

The League is in our hands.

St tams

My team for tomorrow.
Juranuvic, CCV,Starfelt, Taylor
Mcgregor, Mccarthy/Guchi, O’Riley


Yes we used to take pride in how we used to tire other teams out, especially in domestic football. That is not the case now. In fact almost the reverse. Why?

Just about every poster is at pains not to critise Ange directly.

On the postive side:
We are in a transition season.
At the start of the current season we had low expectations.
It would take 2 or 3 windows, with Board backing, to assemble a better squad.
But, We are in a far better place than a year ago. We have already won a cup. So there is comfort there.

However there is no shortage of question marks over:
Starting line ups.
Use of substitutions.
Endurance levels for 90 mins.
Multiple coaching issues, tactics, player roles, set pieces, lack of a plan A, B. C…. etc.

What will we be saying this time next year? I wonder.


St tams

With plenty of impact subs, if needed.

The Gombeen Man

Thanks BMCUWPs,

Sounds like you had a busy week.

Looking at our injury woes, Ange’s approach is obviously taking a toll.

Looking a bit deeper.

What about Sports Science?

Jack Nayler was ‘headhunted’ (I know) from us to Leipzig, in June of 2021.

Under Neil we obviously had fitness issues. I’ve no idea what the cause was?

Nayler came to us during Brendan Rodgers’ time. Leicester have their own established Sports Science guy, (Matt Reeves).

I’d imagine that Leipzig know what they’re doing.

Nayler had spent two years at Real Madrid (First Team Sports Scientist & Conditioning Coach) and had spells at PSG and Chelsea before us.

Was he any good?


We replaced Nayler with Anton McElhone.

Anton had spent ten years at Tottenhams’ Academy before heading to the US and returning to the UK before ending up at Morton.

I’m not casting any aspersions on Anton McElhone, have we prioritised the Balance Sheet again?

Who knows?

Sometimes I get the impression that you’re as likely to see carpet slippers as fitba boots in Lennoxtown. A cushy retirement plan for that slow lane,,at%20the%20Hoops%20this%20week.t

What they do:

‘One of a football club’s sports scientist main roles is to make sure that the players are operating at their optimum performance levels when they take the field for a game and that both their preparation before and recovery after a match are monitored closely. They also use their knowledge to constantly look at ways of improving their performance as well as their general health.’'s,a%20match%20are%20monitored%20closely.

Have a goid weekend.

Thoughts with Ukraine.


For years many of us, myself included, have been railing against PL for what we see as his plan to keep an “Old Firm” team playing out of Ipox.

At the start of this season we thought the Board would be happy to see the new Huns take the league winner’s Champions League money.

If nothing else Ange’s actions tells me he’s having none of it. He wants to win the league.


CFC – I’ll be happy for the players and the manager for overcoming Scottish footballs corruption, but celebrate for winning a corrupt league, no, my celebrations stopped after Scottish footballs governing bodies and our custodians were caught up in the mire of corruption. 5 EBT League Titles, The 5Way Agreement, REs.12 – 11. The ‘OF’. Lawwell rightly gets panned for all his collusion, he’s still in situ. in the shadows of the boardroom, Mahe was cool about that because of his involvement with the ECB, I’m not, why? because he will still be promoting the ‘OF’ if it was only Celtic FC then perhaps. But Lawwell is only “Dicky Mint” Ken Dodds puppet, and Ken Dodd Celtic style is Dermot Desmond. The Irish i reported in May 2002 that DD met David Murray at his Perthshire Estate (Dunbarney) they both met the debt ridden English Football League chairman Keith Harris (Orville must have been ill, bird flu perhaps) to facilitate both clubs entry to that League, DD quoted the numbers of Celtic supporters travelling to Testimonial games in England as a validation for entry to that League, Murray could only offer chaos and destruction from his travelling hoards. FIFA – UEFA – EPL – SFA – SPL all were against it ever happening. I would never tell any Celtic supporter not to support the club, that is their choice to make, but I will never ever put any of my £ into a corrupt League, why would I?

Saltires en Sevilla

As someone who can’t run the length of masel’ without puking… but could cycle 100k …maybe..

Can’t really complain about player fitness.


It’s very noticeable that any time we play European teams (and this is watching Celts in Europe for +50 years ) our players look untidy, cumbersome and generally lack sharpness compared to opponents.

The Scottish ‘booze & burns’ culture does exist … and it seems that players arriving here tend to get sucked in and subsequently apply themselves at the Scottish bar …now set at a significantly lower level

There are exceptions of course, and folk could point to John Collins … a self- styled fitness guru

Except ..

When he went to Monaco the conditioning team there wouldn’t let him near the First team until he strengthened his ankles – John said at the time they needed thickened by “inches”

It’s a problem!


Bawheid @12.30, So much truth in that post!



Thanks for the reply.


The whole notion of collusion in Scottish football was around well before EBT’s , 5 way stitch up etc.

The “Old Firm” was coined ( pun intended) a century ago.
It transpires Celtic were either happy to be or unaware of being the subordinate party in the duopoly.

So, in my view, you have always been watching a corrupt game.
We live in modern times where awareness is greater.
Your issue with morality in the sport isn’t misplaced but you have unwittingly or otherwise always been a part of it.


Mahe’s Superbru predictions needed


Let me begin by saying that Ange has been a breath of fresh air for Celtic and the Scottish game. His handling of the PR should be a lesson to others within the club who should be out there with him. More importantly, in a short space of time, he has turned a shambles into a competitive team, domestically.

I believe that Ange’s best chance of success is this season or the next. “Success” means winning the league, everything else is gravy.

I hope the following is completely wrong but I fear it is not.

Ange has achieved success at both club and national levels but it has been fleeting. At Brisbane and at Yokohama he did develop teams to win their championships but they did not hold their success for long. Take Yokohama as an example, in his second season he took them to the title. The following season and the next, when he left, they did not win the title. Why is that? Is it because he loses his best players, or is it something to do with his approach? I fear the latter.

I have drawn this comparison before, but Bielsa at Leeds, is a coach that adopts a similar style to that of Ange. His career pattern is similar to that of Ange. Short term success followed by rapid decline! Players of both coaches will tell you it is hard, demanding to play for their coach. They will also say that both are fixed in their approach. There is no Plan B because they are convinced their approach works. What you also see with both coaches is a long injury list. Leeds have been hit hard with it this season, as have Celtic. Something causes this. Is it the demands of the system, or the training, or even both? Can anyone doubt we would be further ahead in the league if Kyogo was playing? Do players fear burnout and a shorter career under these coaches? Who knows! But the evidence is painfully clear. Expect short term success, followed by rapid decline. Will that be acceptable at Celtic? I doubt it. Remember PL’s question, would fans accept 4 years of not winning in order to produce a good team? I think the answer is NO.

Bielsa and Ange will not change how they play no matter what is happening on the park. At least one will be gone at the end of the season.

The above may be seen as somewhat negative but there is perhaps a bright side to the Ange experiment. Hiring a coach like Ange is breaking the mould of the usual narrow approach of hiring ex players or somebody “Irish”.

Look at the success of Brighton with the chance they took in hiring Graham Potter from a little known Swedish team. What an acquisition he would have been.



We tire ourselves out with thoughtless running and unnecessary chasing.
In defensive midfield and in defense we chase through players lacking positional sense and discipline.
Calmac must have an amazing guardian angel as it’s always someone else’s fault he underperforms.
I accept he is no defensive mid as he cannot tackle and his poor understanding of his role often see’s him out of position.
But in BR’s second season his performances declined and he was put back into a deeper role.
Wether it affected his confidence or he is unsure of his role he has not been the influential player we once had.
Making him captain should not guarantee a starting role unless performance merits.
My preference would be if we are going to play 3 central mids would be trying Hatate deeper with Guchi as anchor and O’Riley in the forward free role.
Most probably would want McGregor instead of O’Riley and as captain he should be given first dibs but i think O’Riley is more positive and creative.

A thing of beauty

JTT 1040,
Good post. We are ahead of where we expected to be and in all honesty that has given us a hope we should never have had. CCB always says it’s the hope that kills you!!

A thing of beauty

We agree that McGregor cannot tackle. His positioning is questionable also in the defensive mid role but no one in the team shows for the ball more often and keeps it moving than McGregor. O’Riley has looked good but after just 6 or so games he is beginning to fade. Not Calmac, he just keeps going and going. Until others get up to the speed required to play for Ange, he’ll be the first name on the team sheet in my opinion.
The link to Bielsa is valid. They are full tilt every game but with injuries this season they haven’t had the squad to cope with the demands. We are the same. We had such a low starting point that to get to twenty players who can seamlessly drop in and out the team will take another window at least. If we win this league it’ll be a Miracle. That’s what we thought at the start of the season and it’s the same now. The Huns are 3 years into their cycle. They know what’s required and they are efficient. Hopefully Europe will affect them and we can take advantage but they are still favourites.


Why not Calmac and Matt in front of Guchi?


Good points Rebus and ATOB. My thoughts are that Ange and the team need to finish the season as strongly as possible then enjoy the summer break, rest as much as possible before this new squad rejoins, hopefully with Jota and CCV on board permanently, and has a worthwhile pre-season. We need the break. We need the players to enjoy each other away from the pressure of 2 games a week and build proper relationships on the training ground that allows us to move forward together as a Club, a Team and a Support.
As Garry kept telling us “In Ange we trust!’

God Bless the people of Ukraine 🙏


Because our spacing from front to back is to large i believe we need 2 defensive mids to afford more protection.


Marian Shved apparently chucked fitba to join the Ukraine Army to fight those damn Russkies!

Godspeed Marian!


McGregor keeps it moving?
If you count sideways and backwards mostly.
Plus in recent matches he has frequently turned ball over.


Not sure the truth of that Shved rumour! I shouldn’t listen to my hyperbolic 16year old halfwit son!! Apologies if it’s a load of crap!
My bad!!


In a 4-3-3?

I don’t believe we do in Scotland


Hope you are right about Europe tiring the huns.
I watched both their Dortmund games and they were very well drilled and efficient in movement.
They did not chase aimlessly but sat in waiting for turnovers and broke very quickly with Kent and Morelos.
They always had 4 and sometimes 5 at the back with 3 mids protecting centre.
They are successful in Europe because most tippy tappy possession teams do not know how to break this system/
Huns were willing to concede the flanks at times as they had height and stature to deal with crosses.


.Hatate has ability to play forward passes from deep so not a negative selection.



Don’t agree but it’s all about opinions.
My preference is Calmac on left in a forward role, Matt on right.
Both can do a defensive shift on their flanks.


Your original answer said “yes” without the Hatate explanation.
I think either Reo or Calmac would work on the left.


Hatate thrives when he can see the field ahead of him.
More time and space from a deeper position.
My original answer was a quick and definitive yes as i had something else to do.
I returned and added after to give explanation of why.


Bawheid, a big welcome.


Putin is a DIc ( warning don’t zoom in if easily shocked)

Dan the Monkey🐒🇪🇺🦈 (@Dan_the_Monkey) Tweeted: Who made this? 😂

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, bawheid great post, you are in good company, magua the gombeen man mike in toronto the list is endless, we all know the infamous glesga rainjurs are deid, well some of us😎 dont know about my best mate jimthetim53, he calls the bingo in the larkhall social club 5 nights a week,what he does with the other two nights is anyones guess 😎😎

A thing of beauty

I cannot agree with you re Calmac. No one is more important to us and he should play every week. He is constantly available to take a pass of either centre half or full back and moves the ball around the park. I don’t see him as guilty of safe passing. He passes then moves and that’s how we are supposed to progress forward up the park. He’ll take the ball with two men on him and shift it quickly for others to play it forward. I think he’s a very brave player and we would be a worse team if he wasn’t there. It’s all about opinions as they say.

Calmac does fine for Scotland probably because he is playing with better players………..should be in Celtics team every week the rest of the midfield i’m just not sure of not consistent enough.

Prestonpans bhoys

Yes welcome aboard Bawheid, interesting opening gambit of comments!



In Scotland’s case probably only three better- Tierney, Robertson, McGinn.
All exceptional quality however.

big packy

remember playing dinamo kiev, just after we won the big cup, we were favourites especially at parkhead, but unfortunately it didnt work out that way, think bobby lennox scored for us, long tme ago, i was only14,.maybe you some older ghuys will remember it,

Sol Kitts

Big Packy
Jimthetim53 got the sack from the Larkhall Bingo Club. Seems some of his bingo calls didn’t go down too well with the punters….

Eyes doon for your first number…

5 and 5…1
6 and 2, loved it
7 and 1…57


Packy, watching The Hound of The Baskervilles. I recorded it earlier, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Scary stuff.
The outdoor scenes look like they were filmed around Shotts! 🙁
Sol Kitts, you heard? LOL 🙂

big packy

SOL and JIM 😎😎

Sol Kitts

Big Packy
Apparently when someone wins they have to shout BIG HOOSE.😎

big packy

I went to ardrossan twice, once it was closed and once it was open, by god am i glad that i went when it was closed😎😎



I’d have been hung drawn and quartered if I’d tried that in The Flamingo in Paisley Road West.

Mind you,I got away with a lot. Turns out even Glasgow punters struggle wi my accent!

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