On a mission!

Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a victory, our bogey team or not. The biggest club in the land shouldn’t be allowed to just rock up and take the points, yes, but even still that’s quite a long stretch to not emerge victorious.
Was quite a stretch, it’s history now.
 
It was a huge game, a very important fixture given our slipping form the last few weeks. Another failure to collect maximum points would have seen big questions regarding the manager and this group of players.
We as a club were in danger of transforming from something special FC into something’s wrong FC. It’s been the latter recently and it really was time for the former to emerge.
They did, thank the good Lord.
 
And how timely too! Just when a statement is needed, just when some ‘stars’ are failing to shine, just when big questions are emerging surrounding this group they go and find the type of performance needed to inspire confidence, or strike fear depending upon your viewpoint.
 
The lineup told us our Greek Australian was reading from the same page as the support. A defensive midfielder was drafted in, a most welcome fact. A ‘take no shit’ local was selected at right back when the easier choice would have been the usual selectee. Our solo striker was played through the middle, not pushed wide.
Our manager got his big calls correct, alongside having his charges fired up and ready for the occasion.
Big pass marks all around, very reassuring at this stage of the season.
 
Bragging rights were up for grabs around the Forrest households dinner table. James wasn’t prepared to see his younger brother outshine him, and dug out a MOTM performance to hog the limelight, and give Ange selection headaches.
Liel Abada has been an asset on the right wing, but has competition for the berth from a ‘man’ ten years his senior.
Watching those two spur each other on sounds like great fun for us, a nightmare for the league’s left backs.
One game a week really suits James, this is his big chance to shine and cement his spot for the remaining fixtures especially the upcoming derby games.
 
The middle of the park saw the jaded Hatate finally get some rest, which paid dividends. I feared Ange was attempting to play his previously preferred trio into form, he had no such silly ideas. Tinker until it works I requested last weekend, wish granted. I expect one of our defensive mids to be selected from now on, we surely won’t simply return to Calmac, Hatate, O’Reilly now.
We shouldn’t return to Maeda shunted out to the wing either, through the middle or not at all please.
Himself, G-Mak, and Kyogo can rotate that one position, but only that one position.
That leaves us pretty strong up top just in time for the run in, happy days indeed.
 
If there’s to be any tinkering, it should take place with clean sheets in mind. The central defense pairing is well established by now, but just cant put together a run of clean sheets. Would big Jules improve that? Maybe. Would introducing him now be a risk? Definitely.
With the finish line in sight, I wouldn’t be chopping and changing to be honest, better the devil you know and all that.
They’ve only just got a true defensive midfielder in front of them, which could be the missing ingredient and the making of our rearguard pairing. Unlike the middle of the park, I vote to stick with them until the end for better or worse.
 
Speaking of better, when the gaffer has a full week free of distractions a more focused and better prepared unit should emerge. Eight weekend games remain, eight cup finals. With free weeks comes the opportunity to rest, to give days off, to get to know each other more.
To build more morale and team spirit, which might just be the most important quality needed to lift this title.
I recently wondered had something happened behind the scenes to cause our dip in form, but have no such questions this morning.
 
We were a team on a mission, the entire collective had one major goal and accomplish it they did.
I must credit the manager for that focus, just as I questioned him for allowing it to seemingly slip away recently.
Your bogey team presents an opportunity, to break your hoodoo, or more frustration.
When opportunity knocks, Ange answers, so breaking that hoodoo and building morale it is then.
 
The weekends results can be viewed as very satisfactory if you are so inclined. We put on the better performance of the two teams in the hunt, while adding to the goals difference tally. Three goals is much better than a single game winning strike, which doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Both sides had a bit of a party, one a pregame birthday bash that only served to increase the pressure on the team, the other a release of pressure while slaying a troublesome beast.
That only one team enjoyed the party and took advantage of the atmosphere speaks volumes.
 
One side likes their position and where they currently find themselves. We just can’t say that about the other side in this race.
It took time and hard work to reach that position, we won’t be giving it up without a real fight.
This team and manager are officially on a mission.
Champions, nothing less shall do.

By Mahe

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Mahe

.

Saltires en Sevilla

Mahe- Another good point on that podium 😉

CFC

Mahe
A fine description of where we are and a fine team performance.
Calmac will bounce back from his sub par performance. The penalty miss got to him. Other candidates have to step up if JJ isn’t available.

T L R
From last night.
Completely agree – grind the Huns into the ground. They know they are faltering.
A limited team, lead by a defensively minded coach ( whom the Bears are not happy with) who doesn’t have anything approaching the squad depth we do. Particularly with Kyogo, DT, Jullien to come back.
Just pointing out the almost worst case scenario v them( I don’t believe we will lose to them twice) still won’t make them automatic Champions.

Anyway, eyes on the prize, common sense dictates one game at a time.

Saltires en Sevilla

Mahe

Seriously tho’ enjoyed your summary and view of where we are right now.

The team are a bit tougher and standing up and taking the hits .. coming back for more.

Agree with you there is not much that Maeda or G Mac can offer us on the flanks … don’t feel Maeda can drop off much but G Mac can. Kyogo could play anywhere … except maybe CH

CH …as you say Not sure we have much option now than to stick with CCV and Starfelt. As a partnership in Scotland they might just have enough if the team can score enough goals at the other end. We lack height and get pushed about by bigger men. There was one camera angle late on yesterday that illustrated the huge difference in size between Livi players attacking set pieces and our two CH – size isn’t everything? – hmmmmm

Agree bringing Jullien straight in now is a huge risk, but I’d get him game time. Don’t think CCV will stay and Starfelt is a back up player in that role… at best. We are looking at a rebuild in that partnership in the Summer… yet again!

Callum did not have a great day yesterday, but we need him in every one of the remaining fixtures , or until we reach an insurmountable gap. CAn he play in the forward Mid role al through next season without rests? Probably another gap, but accept we might already have replacements that can be moulded.

Completely agree he can cover CDM role in phases of the game, but not his natural home. We must find an accomplished CDM and there isn’t one at the club… not in the first team, although Nir did well and I can’t help liking him and his languid style but a wee crucial mistake in every 90 …another gap for next season!

Felt Taylor did ok yesterday considering how much he was targeted … stood up well and took punishment and kept trying and that is a quality not to be sniffed at. Sadly, not the longer -term answer. another gap for next season..

Jota and Jamesy gave us good options yesterday and played well … Jamesy very well … will they both be options next season …doubt that … so more rebuild needed

The team did very well laying a hoodoo or jinx to rest … but really? Livi causing us so much bother year after year?

Why we struggle in Europe was self-evident in how we played yesterday – staring us in the face.

We lack the right players in too many positions to build a solid style of play. That performance yesterday is being hailed as a turning point in our campaign .. and it certainly was. But that performance yesterday would have seen us lose about 3 or more goals in Europe.

We are miles off it for European fitba… miles.

Sense we have an excellent chance of winning this league … doubt we can take 6 points from an organised and counter- attacking Sevco, but one win at Paradise should be enough!

For some.

Have a strong feeling that Ange will take that league and league cup … and like his illustrious predecessor Wim the Tim ( god rest him) – leave after 12 months if he doesn’t get the replacements he knows he needs.

Maybe about 6 starters needed – after the influx this year?!

What’s the chances…

Craig76

I mean it’s not even a close call

Lint (@Zeshankenzo) Tweeted: Play on. https://t.co/RfKcyvpl4q https://twitter.com/Zeshankenzo/status/1500598845830541312?s=20&t=DIw6fcOinHI72QIb2Yj9ZQ

CFC

S e S

I make it 4 starters needed for next season assuming CCV and Jota leave.

Starfelt should be given the opportunity to play in in his natural position of right centre back, he deserves that opportunity, if CCV leaves. So a left centre back and left back are needed.

A hard tackling, defensive mid is required if Guchi is not of standard. We don’t know yet cos we never see him. His lack of game time suggests he’s not in the frame.

A replacement for Jota.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Very important result yesterday. Every victory and every three points reduces the number of games available for the huns to pull us back. Even though that game yesterday was on the first weekend in March,we only have one more league match till the first weekend in April,which is at home to Ross County. Win it and we will be at least three points clear as we go to Ibrox.

We can roll out the cliches until the cows come home-!-but every game truly is a cup final now.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

SALTIRES

Starfelt has yet to be tried in his favoured position of right sided CB. I think it is too early to write him off just yet.

CFC

BMCUW

Exactly my point re Starfelt.
He deserves the chance should CCV go.

Craig 76

Highlights without annoying commentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1mXOm6aGZs&t=57s

2.26 in Rogic manhandled but ref allows it to go (I’d of taken a free kick)

Bawheid

I think that Ange got his selection bang-on, the balance just seemed right the players were focused and showed real determination and grit. I admit that I am a big James Forrest fan, yesterday he made his goal look simple, but it took real skill to put that ball across the Livvy keeper and into the net. Joe McHugh video shows another assault on Tom Rogic, I was really concerned for him, tackles can be mistimed but that was viscous and what we have come to expect right through the SPFL, its what you expect from players from the lower English divisions brought up to Scotland for a reason.So the players were brave to shrug that off. That was a crucial result, a mention for big Joe, another great reflection save at the beginning of the game, that must inspire the players knowing that Joe provides that safety net at the back. Tony Ralston is made for Scottish football, he does the simple things well, very well, the find of the season.
Iniquitous IV: Thanks for the information chart it confirmed my thoughts on left footed players taking penalties and i fully agree with your sentiments. Messi (whose name I was certain would be mentioned) and the genius that was Maradona could take a paneka style penalty with their backs to the goal and still score. Cal-Mac is a really good player but penalty taker he is not, someone else has to step up if Josup isn’t available. Well done Ange and the team.
Bigrailroadblues wake up FFS.

Bobby – Mahe you have mail.

GER57

I watched the game live on Sky, turned off the sound. Walker is truly shocking. We were never troubled yesterday and controlled the game throughout. Livingston threatened only at the odd free kick, which the ref awarded nearly every time they got into our half. It’s sad when such a brutal, one dimensional team sits 6th in our league.
Eight games to go, five at home. We are in a strong position and have recovered some of our mojo.
Many of us feared the worst yesterday due to our very ordinary performances of late, but the show we got was top drawer. Live were bossed on their own plastic midden. Btw, we could end up playing them away again, so it’s just as well we’ve bust that hoodoo. The media will need a new narrative next time.
I see the comments re our defence. If we continue to concede at the same rate, domestic games, as we have all season, we will win the league. Our CBs have been solid recently. Don’t alter when there’s no need. Long term, we may have issues. Let’s win the league first.
As regards fitba’, I’m very content, but looking at Russia/Ukraine, I’m scared stiff. Unbelievable, yet happening in a modern, European country.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

CRAIG76

https://mobile.twitter.com/Zeshankenzo/status/1500556256225996812

Tam and GT both got kicked all day.

Craig76

BMCUWP
Right in front of the ref and he didn’t even bat an eye, no attempt to play the ball.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GER57

Ukraine is shocking but hardly surprising,as I’ve said earlier here.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
ASWGL

I think the biggest surprise for me yesterday, was not the team selection, or that we won, (the odds said we had to start winning there, as it couldn’t continue against a team of cluggers who sit in defending), no it was James Forrest, all the recent talk of “he’s finished”, “his time is up”, and yet he puts in a performance like yesterday, with a trademark JF goal.

Time will tell if he keeps his mojo, but yesterday when it mattered he put in a shift for the team. TR is another, we were doubting him 2 or 3 weeks ago, but those magic feet were again evident yesterday.

Those little surprises keep me watching.

HH

CFC

Yip

Ange called it exactly right with JF Tam AR inclusions.
Although we missed JJ for his ability from 12 yards!

St tams

SeS
Got to say that I don’t disagree with any of that.
Particularly regarding Starfelt, Taylor and Bitton

Craig76

CFC
To be fair to Ange, Juranovics ability from 12 yards would be the last thing on his mind, who in their right mind thought we’d get a penalty 😀

CFC

Craig76

Fair point😀
Two pens missed v Livi this season!

Thank God yesterday’s wasn’t crucial.

Players now get a well earned rest and excellent prep time for DU.
Expect to see the benefits of that next Monday.

The Gombeen Man

Great and welcome victory yesterday.

As a matter of interest has the British Government waived Visa restrictions for Ukrainian refugees?

The Irish Government has announced that “up to 80,000 refugees are expected to arrive in Ireland.”

Are the British Government doing their bit? Or are they indulging in empty rhetoric?

Is this an example of, “all talk?”

Are Ukrainian folk being waived through at Calais?

Below are the FAQs for fleeing Ukrainian refugees on Irish Refugee Council site.

(Is there a British equivalent?)

I am Ukrainian, do I need a visa to enter Ireland?

No.

I don’t have a passport or it is out of date?

The Irish government have told airlines to accept Government issued identity documents, not usually acceptable for international travel, in lieu of a national passport: including, for example, National ID Cards, Birth Certificates, Internal Passports and expired passports.

What will be my status when I arrive?

You will receive temporary protection.

I was a refugee in Ukraine, what is my status?

You will also receive temporary protection.
I was a long term resident with permanent residence in Ukraine, what is my status? You will also receive temporary protection, if you cannot return to your country.
What is temporary protection? The right stay in Ireland or another European Union country for at least a year and you can work, receive social welfare, healthcare, education, training.

Will I receive accommodation?

If you need accommodation you should ask for it when you arrive at Dublin airport. This will be temporary accommodation, such as a hotel. You will then receive support to access longer term accommodation. You can also stay with family and friends if you wish.

Do I need to quarantine when I arrive or a have a PCR test?

No.

Can I move to another European country after I arrive in Ireland and receive temporary protection?

Yes. But please note you may be asked to return to Ireland.

Will my passport be taken from me when apply for temporary protection?

No.

(Temporary protection is expected to be extended to three years).

What’s the position when a Ukrainian family arrives in the UK?

https://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/ukraine-information-note

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

THEGOMBEENMAN

I believe that the UK has granted acces to a grand total of 50 Ukrainians. Which is disgraceful.

I congratulate Ireland and others who have shown more humanity. Poland,for instance,has taken in almost a million refugees,and other countries which border Ukraine have taken a similar number in total.

The UK? Fifty.

Craig76

CFC
4 games in the next 5wks should allow players to recharge between games

CFC

Craig76

Tiredness and lack of proper prep are no excuses now.
I expect us to improve in the run-in. Getting Kyogo and DT back will strengthen us greatly.

Huns beware.

Auldheid

What I observed about yesterday when the excitement was over was how well we hunted in packs to prevent Livi punts up the park with no pressure on the punter.

We won quite a bit of possession in their half because the front and midfield put in a shift. Since Ange mentioned closing down post match it was obviously instructions being carried out.

The other thing though was our players by and large played as if they were on grass. Few two touches to get control of the ball that let’s a player be closed down.

Thus there was more confidence all round and we had total control except for set pieces in our half where Livi had height advantage. I was scathing at JF when just before half time he stuck out a leg needlessly to give away a foul that let Livi launch a high ball into the box.

It was JF on that occasion but others were as guilty,using Andy Walker’s words, of giving the ref a decision to make. Had Livi scored a lot of hard work would have been undone.

However that error does not detract from JF’s overall performance and his goal was an example of what he is good at, the ability to steer the ball in the right direction at the right angle and right pace. Talking of which he did seem to have upped a gear slightly but that confidence I mentioned earlier may have played a part.

I read somewhere that Ange had them training on Astro Turf and if true and if intent was to remove the fear of playing on that kind of surface then he gets a lot of credit for the thought he put into preparing for the game as do players for responding.

Comfortable was a word never used in a long time to describe a game v Livi.

Prestonpans bhoys

I would not be surprised if Ange had them train on Astro however we shouldn’t have that surface in the top flight. Get them banned😕

The Gombeen Man

Yep BMCUWPS,

It won’t be easy, there’s already a scarcity of housing here.

If they don’t get the finger out there’s an approaching crisis at UK Borders.

Maybe ask Vladimir to hold fire on the Cruise Missiles until the Home Office sort out their paperwork?

It’s rumoured that of the 50 granted some kind of status in the UK, some are already receiving phone calls asking how long they intend to stay?

Having footballers stand in silent solidarity sends a powerful global message. The thing is, folk will quickly see through the superficiality of that.

Actions not words.

Fingers crossed, they do the right thing.

Till Later.

jimthetim53

Mahe @ 5.05am
What’s the point you’re trying to make?

St tams

On the subject of AstroTurf. I would love to know who thought it was a good idea for our B team to play their home games on it.
How can that be good for their development.

Craig76

That time again folks enjoy

Celtic TV (@CelticTV) Tweeted: 🚨 𝙐𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚 𝘼𝙣𝙜𝙡𝙚 🚨

Three goals and three points in Livi gave the Hoops fans a day to remember!

Enjoy the goals from our #UniqueAngle camera position 🍀

#LIVCEL | #COYBIG | #cinchPrem https://t.co/DC6rzjUn2Y https://twitter.com/CelticTV/status/1500781979746381826?s=20&t=L4wXGAJlvobX-sQND9PyBQ

Colour Blind Bhoy

Auldheid, like you I was very conscious of how well we hunted in packs yesterday and how effective it was.

I also felt for the first time in a long time we didn’t allow ourselves to be bullied by Livi.

Auldheid

Colour Blind Bhoy
Auldheid, like you I was very conscious of how well we hunted in packs yesterday and how effective it was.

I also felt for the first time in a long time we didn’t allow ourselves to be bullied by Livi.

==============
That too now you mention it. Rogic put up a good fight in tussles for example.

Frodshambhoy

Craig76
Enjoy the goals from our #UniqueAngle camera position 🍀

Thanks for the link.
I think the unity and the joy of the players after the first 2 goals speaks volumes for what Ange has created. Really great to see such team spirit.

Can we stop this 15 years nonsense.

Livingston were in the lower Leagues for 12 of the last 15 years.

HH

fan

Balance!
Yesterday’s relatively easy win against a historically difficult opponent was the simple choice of putting players in their proper position ensuring the team was balanced and allowed our skilled players to flourish.
It’s not rocket lettuce.
The full back and winger combinations worked well though Rogic gave more support to right side than McGregor did on left.
Would like to see us work harder to improve the triangles and movement between touchline and midfielders
Was also good to see both CCV and Starfelt break the lines bringing ball out of defense due to Bitton being willing to accept a pass or move to create spaces for them to attack.
Still would like either CCV or Starfelt to be designated leader to control the backline.

Billy Bhoy

CT

I was just going to ask just how many actual games have we have played at Livingston over these 15 years. That would be a more meaningful statistic.

For example, we probably haven’t won away in the league at Renton or Vale of Leven for nearly a century!

Twisty

6 visits to Livvy in that time period

Lost 2 drawn 3 won 1 ( yesterday)

Bigrailroadblues

Good afternoon all from Shawlands. Gerrintaethum Celtic!!!! Oops, I forgot, we did. 🤣🤣

Bigrailroadblues

Pint of Belhaven 80 shilling in wetherspoons £1.49. Nurse!!🍺🍺

Saltires en Sevilla

CFC

Aye- true buddy was getting all antsy earlier with 6 starters needed – good point both you and Bobby make on Starfelt – if he is a natural RCH and LCH is not to his liking, it’s really not doing him or us any favours … was it Big Joos V that slotted into LCH or left of a 3 and never complained just got on with the job.

Not that I hear Starfelt complaining , not at all Tbf.

Happy to be proved wrong lads and not that comfortable about singling out players in mid-season for attention ( broke my own rule…)

Was getting carried away and agreeing with Mahe we are where we are and need to stick with what we have now.

Still think we are too wee and not tough enough in defence – not really a criticism of the players, more a moan at the selection criteria

Here’s to Starfelt strolling through next season’ CL group sections at RCH -but doubt CCV woill be there so will help facilitate that move anyway.

We’re gonna need bigger CH’s is all I’m saying – thinking Europe etc., etc.

Saltires en Sevilla

BRRB

Jeezo les than £1.50 for a pint … in Shawlands … the last time I got a pint that price in Shawlands was about 1984…

Are ye wearing a mask … and pointing a gun? 😆

Fire in … but Drink responsibly big man ..

Bigrailroadblues

Responsible?Say that to me face in Johnstone. 🤣🤣 For SeS I should have put ffs 🙄

BBC Scotland bring in another expert over controversial Celtic decision….

https://postimg.cc/gXG6qjZF

😁😁

Bigrailroadblues

CT 🤣🤣. Ross County game sold out, hellfire and damnation. 😡

BRRB
Up to 28th Feb Spoons were selling Ruddles Best at 99p a pint in Essex, now gone up to £1.49.

Bigrailroadblues

Sol kitts, scandalous profiteering. 🤣

Angel Gabriel

Mahe .
Good article. Spot on with everything you wrote . HH

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, just a little update on wee joan, the doctors have changed her medication and diet, just boiled fish and boiled chicken, no red meat, her blood pressure is back to normal ,and her cholesterol is ok as well, would you believe she has to put 2 bunches of celery into the mixer and then drink the juice, it looks horrible in the glass, but at least its green in colour and its doing her good,,anyway back to lurking, just thought id let you know the good news, stay safe all sentinel celts, and before I go mike in toronto, if your lurking get back on here, you are sorely missed,H.H.

jimthetim53

Hiya Packy, funnily enough fish & chicken are my favourites nowadays, rarely eat red meat. But I’ll pass on the celery squash! LOL 🙂 Best wishes to Joan.