Midfield Mark 3 incoming.

When Ange joined his first preferred midfield trio was Calmac, Tam, David Turnbull mostly through options available at the time, and although many felt the experienced McCarthy would see game time he didn’t.
That’s Mark 1.

 

Mark 2 came after the January transfer window at the beginning of this year, when the new reinforcements barged their way into the picture, and subsequently helped deliver the league, and become our preferred midfield trio until Wednesday evening.
Matt and Reo alongside Calmac was the managers go to midfield in the league and in Europe.
Was being the key word.

 

Now the manager must fashion midfield Mark 3 from the squad following an unfortunate injury to our Captain, and I’m just dying to see what transpires.

 

Regular readers will know I’ve been calling for a switch up in the middle, although I wouldn’t have wished injury upon anyone, what’s done is done and Calum is away for an extended period so change must happen and not only that but we should see an extended run for our new three which helps form proper opinions.
Recall Martin promising Stan the next ten games which helped ease his mind and let him focus on his tasks?
Knowing you’re in the team can help, whereas I feel the odd game can hinder.

 

I’m hoping Ange takes a page out of Martins book and does the same, telling the new guy this is his chance, he’s playing regular now, it’s on him to show why he’s starting.
Stan did you’ll recall.
Abildgaard or Mooy is the big question, and I suspect it’s the former who shall be asked to slot in.
Reo, Mooy, and Matt sounds like a travelling band from the 70s, but I’m thinking that’s us for the rest of the year, with Abildgaard taking over from the tiring Australian regularly, thus creating their own personal duel for the slot.
In these eyes that’s our new Mark 3 midfield.

 

Would that be my choice? No.
If Ange phoned me right now and asked ‘how should I play this?’ I would inform him we just witnessed the answer in Germany.

 

Marco Rose (a manager I much admire and secretly hope we approach next everytime) played 4-2-4 against us,,two designated anchoring midfielders and four excellent good attackers who were given license to thrill but are also prepared to track back and help out. That knack needs a great engine as they say and he smartly advised the eldest to stay upfield.
We play four attackers up top (wingers, striker and Matt) and the fullbacks bomb on, with a screen of two hard working midfielders who both like to support the attack (Calum was injured supporting the attack).
Spot the problem?
“When opposition midfielders run unimpeded at defense what do we expect?
Problem is central area.”
stated our resident tactician Fan before half time on Wednesday.
Two sitting deep if I were King (Mooy and Abildgaard with Matt ahead) but that’s not Ange’s style is it?
Two deep midfielders in Lambert and Lennon took us to Seville ahem.

 

Midfield hasn’t been right for a while, and Ange was either not for budging, or is very slow to budge.
Well, now his hand has been forced and our Mark 3 must carry us through the busy festive season with it’s winter elements.
It excites me, and I hope it excites them.

 

It won’t be easy, but Mooy joined the club wishing to hone his game before his World Cup adventure in the heat.
A run in the team comes at the optimal time as far as he’s concerned, and it’s theoretically bad news for all our opponents now we shall field a holding midfielder seeking form and to become integral to our style of play.

 

I’m not even going to countenance Turnbull, Reo, and Matt as our new look midfield. Gulp!

 

On the plus side, it’s a given the Captains return shall boost everyone in the second half of the season, he shall receive an almighty reception no matter where, and given his nature I wouldn’t bet against him returning early and surprising everyone.

 

Ideally, at least to me, the idea of always playing a permanent defensive midfielder will have taken root in the Greek Australians footballing philosophy by then. If that area is struggling then put Calmac back yes, but if not rotate him with the other two midfielders (Ange won’t play two deep). I don’t think he should automatically go back to being our main defensive man in the middle, but then Mark 3 needs to show he isn’t needed there anymore,,,
We are stronger,
More solid,
Harder to breakthrough when you’re not playing this role.
That’s what I want, Mark 3 to move Calmac position on the park, for everyone’s own good (he might excel pushed forward) but ultimately to benefit the team.

 

Mark 3, our hopes and dreams are now placed upon your shoulders, wear that shirt with pride, and increase the goals scored per game ratio while decreasing the goals conceded, whilst winning of course,,, there’s a great target. It would be a huge statement.

 

As for Ange, the boul MIT noted this could be his WGS moment, when losing Scott Brown ultimately won us the league due to the switch up.
It’s an excellent point, and while the next few months will give us all excitement on the Park, these games are to be learned from, particularly by the gaffer.
He’s a good manager and I love his persona, I just hope he learns a lot here.
Should switching it up benefit the team, it’s logical to question why not act sooner.
If Calmac’s absence truly hurts the team, a like for like replacement must be found, or a new system when he’s out.
As Auldheid often says, we shall see.

 

Mark 3 is going to give us all a lot to talk and think about, plus learn from.
We live in interesting times.

 

By Mahe

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Mahe
Mahe

POTY competition
sencelpoty@gmail.com

16 roads

Not looking forward to today’s game,more dreading it.

From the highs and optimism of the Donetsk game to the unmitigated disasters in Paisley & Leipzig – can’t recall such a meteoric dip in form.

Shocking.

Hopefully Ange and the team get back on track this afternoon. 🙏

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends and Happy Matchday.
Thanks for the thought provoking lead, Mahe. Auldheid’s catchphrase, “We’ll see……” was indeed running through my mind as I read your thoughts.
it’s a Super Saturday for me: 12.30 – St Johnstone v Celtic, 3.00 – EKFC v Cowdenbeath. And after 8 days the rain has stopped and the skies are clearing!
SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM

CFC

I’m not particularly optimistic about today’s game either. And I say that as a positive thinker!

Two/three key injuries and we are looking at trying to put together a competitive team. That ain’t right. The fragility in the squad is there to see.

8 midfielders when all fit, only three really trusted. And one is no longer available.
That’s desperately poor squad depth.

The central defence situation is similar, if not quite as lacking in quality. Jenz and Welsh are adequate stand-ins, arguably either would excel next to huge loss CCV, but injury to either now and we are truly feckd. There is no one else.
At least before the much maligned NB could step back in emergencies. There is no one in the squad like that now, unless OA can fill in. I have no idea if that’s possible.

Desperately poor squad depth.

Adding to the problems is our much vaunted front line who are struggling to convert. Any of the six/ seven we try are currently profligate in front of goal. 2 goals from 40 shots, 17 on target in Europe is woeful.

This malaise started after the 4-0. The enforced break and the disappointment of Warsaw has played with the squad’s collective belief.

Some arses need booting. Hopefully, the recovery starts today.

Jobo Baldie

From the other night, I expect at least 4 changes with starts for Ralston, Abildgaard, Abada and Gio replacing Jura, Calmac, Maeda and Kyogo.
Must run….

CFC

AR and GG for their physicality, LA for hopefully some composure up top.

A thing of beauty

Great read back last night. Reasoned debate and some cracking music. Superstar tradesman was a superb video but my dog clearly didn’t like it because it sent him scampering off the couch.
As for today, my glass is always half empty but I expect us to win and win well today. People have to step up and prove they can be Celtic players. It’s not for everyone but if you’re the type of player that thinks you belong at this club it’s an exciting few weeks.

CFC

A t o b

I am usually in the half full category but my mood is down to more than key personnel ( two!!) missing. And we’ve yet to see the impact of one of those!

There has been a cloud hanging over us since early September’s thrashing of the Hun.
We are not quite as one as before.
A number of factors perhaps- the huge disappointment shown by the players in Warsaw, the break disrupting rhythm and perhaps unsettling media speculation surrounding Ange and job vacancies in England. Who knows? I’m speculating myself!

Anyway, time for arses to be booted and players reminded that they are paid to play football twice a week.
In other words – Do your job.

St tams

We are now seeing that the recruitment in the summer wasn’t good enough.
Which a few on here stated.
As I keep saying, too lightweight all over the squad.

Celtic1member1vote

Hi Mahe, I hope things are good with you and that you and your family are well.

Celtic .. Progress is being made.

Winning the league last year was a bonus and a minor miracle all things considered.

I sometimes still find it hard to believe that the previous season we actually did end up 25 points behind Sevco.

We are still improving and it will take this season to fully adapt to playing at Champions League level.

I fully expect that once our new defensive midfielder Oliver from Ruben gets the level of match sharpness required, he will go on to be the best and most important player in our team.

He is a very smart lad and and a very intelligent player and will probably end playing for a top six English premiership team after a season or two with us.

Hail Hail.

GFTB

St Tams 9.58am

You do realise just before the window closed Leipzig bought Werner for £18m

Shoorly … at least wait until we are out of the CL, not made Europa and not won anything in Scotland before any “gloating” about hindsight of any transfers completed, Abilgaard hasn’t had a chance yet to Mahe an impact, hopefully he now has (unfortunately for Callum) we win our next home game on Wednesday and “could” be 2nd in our CL group with 2 games to go (as 4th seeds) and lost one domestic game in a year ….

Every time your glass is half full I will fill it up for you 🙂

16 roads

Liel Abada should be available for selection today,has to be an automatic first pick.

HH. 🍀

Frodshambhoy

St tams
As I keep saying, too lightweight all over the squad.

For me our heavyweights are CCV and Giakoumakis. Could possibly argue that Ralston and Mooy are tough enough as well. So far the only starter is CCV – when fit.
I’ve been saying for ages that Giakoumakis should start most games, at least in Scotland. Would love to see him get a run as a starter. Why can’t he build a partnership with Kyogo?

I see today as a massive moment in our season. We need a good team performance and a convincing win to start building momentum. Any win will do of course but a scrappy one goal advantage won’t do much to improve the mood around the club.
COYBIG

Charlinick

Pol Roger 1.30 York

Gordon64

Thoughts will all those affected by the tragedy in Donegal 🙏

Billy Bhoy

Morning Mahe!
As I said on here last night many have questioned the sanity of playing a quality no 10 should not be playing regularly as a no 6. The opening goal on Wednesday was the last straw for me. Calmac lost the ball on their 18 yard box. He then pursued their player all the way to our penalty box – EIGHTY YARDS – and never once thought to just clip his heels!

Can anyone here imagine Lunstrum, Davis, Jack or Kamara allowing that to happen ? No, me neither!

The Calmac at No 6 experiment must stop here and now. Lets hope by the time he returns we have a “proper” No 6 in place and Calmac will finally be restored to the No 10 slot.

Regarding today, I’m a wee bit surprised to see so much negativity. I’m very calm about today. If we can’t win comfortably in Perth we have far more problems than I think!

3-0 Celtic

Call me Gerry

With Abildgaard being chosen to front up at the pre match media conference, will this be a sign that confirms his starting selection?

With Mooy absent from Wed’s squad, it was Abildgaard that was brought on when Calmac got injured. So, I expect he’ll start today. The only other option really would be a fit Mooy, imo. I hope Abildgaard starts, as I see him as the better suited player.
If Calmac’s injury was 6-7 weeks ago, I’d say the likelihood of his replacement getting a run of games was good (as we were play 1 game per week back then). With so many games crammed in between now and the World Cup, we might see Ange rotate more. Who knows? We’ll see indeed.

I’ve got slim hopes that CCV is ready to start today. Fingers crossed. We’ve had no CH cover on the bench the past two matches. I wonder what Ange’s plan would be if either Jenz or Welsh got injured? Abildgaard slotting in? I’m only basing that on his height, and his supposed defensive qualities as a midfielder. If CCV isn’t in todays squad will we see Bosun on the bench perhaps? Again, we’ll see soon enough.

I’m actually looking forward to seeing our selected line up. So many questions to answer. Abada in for Maeda? GG to start? Ralston perhaps, to rest JJ? Haksabanovic in?

HH

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

When it rains,it pours! Having seen our form collapse dramatically in the last three matches,we have to turn this round without our anchor at the back-CCV-and in midfield-CalMac.

Add to this the number of players who aren’t quite performing to their own high standards,such as DT,Matt,Jura,Maeda,Jota and Kyogo,and there are reasons for concern,to say the least.

While form is temporary and class permanent,there are a lot of players who need to snap back into form so that we can get back to the levels of last season,and the start of this one. I don’t expect it to happen overnight,even if I DO expect it to happen soon.

There is an argument to be made that the number of players losing their usual form at the same time is down to how well-organised we are as a team. When one cog in the machine goes,the whole lot goes out of kilter. I sure hope that is the case!

No predictions from me today-as usual-just a simple observation that there are other teams we could have been up against who would concern me more.

Prestonpans bhoys

I’m with Billy Bhoy with this statement

‘If we can’t win comfortably in Perth we have far more problems than I think!’

Gordon64

I’ll take any win today 👍HH 🍀

St tams

GFTB
Nobody is “gloating “about anything.
Just stating facts
Calum caused his injury himself, by not being strong enough in the tackle, after a poor first touch.
Neither Abligard or Mooy had pre – season training when we signed them.
Why can’t we sign players who are fit and ready to slot into the team.

Poor scouting and recruitment.

Jobo Baldie

Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Bernabei, O’Riley, Hatate, Abada, Haksabanovic, Jota, Giakoumakis.

St tams

That looks lik a 424 we are playing today

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Ange gets round the thorny issue of a CalMac replacement by deciding not to?

Good to see CCV back. And G-Mak.

16 roads

More than happy with that line up,all things considered.

🍀

Call me Gerry

Ooft!!
I didn’t see that line up coming. Did anyone predict that? I think not.

Abildgaard AND Mooy both starting from the bench? That gives me serious concerns that we’ve recruited badly. If Abildgaard can’t get the number 6 jersey ahead of our attacking midfielders, then why the feck sign him? Who okayed his signing? Ange, or someone upstairs? Either way is a concern if he’s not trusted to start v St Johnstone.
Mooy on the bench is understandable, as he wasn’t in our last squad. But Abildgaard?

HH

Call me Gerry

I’m not looking forward to the match as much as I was 30 mins ago…lol.

Still, I predicted 0-2 to the Bhoys, and I’ll stick with that. 👍😁

HH

Call me Gerry

St Tams

4-2-4?

Could be more like a 4-1-5…lol

or a 2-3-5 if our full backs bomb forward…lol

Tell you something. It’s never gonna be boring with Ange!

HH

Frodshambhoy

Gordon64
I’ll take any win today 👍HH 🍀

I think we all would. Sign of the times if ever I saw one 😡

Call me Gerry

Have I broke the blog? 👀

Either that or everyone’s either fainted at the sight of our line-up, or retreated to behind their couch…lol

Oh feck! Just remembered my router was down when I got home last night! No watching the game at my house today 🤬🤬🤬

HH

GFTB

St Tams 11.22am

Maybe “gloating” was the incorrect adjective …

But the stats remain the same … 1 domestic defeat in the league in a year and the top seeds and 2nd top seeds have beat us in the CL group stages .. we are 4th seed will still a viable chance of European progress

Am happy to deal with actual facts mate 🙂

ASWGL

Looks like a team more than capable of getting 3 points.

Links (nae skwerr sausages for big packy)

http://kf.freestreams-live1.com/skysmain/

https://vipleague.im/st-johnstone-vs-celtic-streaming-link-1

http://www.hesgoal.com/news/St_Johnstone_vs_Celtic.html

HH

Billy Bhoy

Hmmm interesting! 🤔

Ange must have loved rummaging around the Woolies Pick & Mix tray when he was young!

I’m assuming Potato Head (A Tatty) (C) Jobo as the no 6. I wonder if they played rock, scissors or paper to see who the lucky player was.

Jenz not even on the bench. Hopefully just resting.

Prestonpans bhoys

Well, well, well you would win a coconut if you got that selection correct. Reminds me of WGS , you couldn’t guess his selections either.

Call me Gerry

I’m back on!! Game on! 💪

Thank feck I have a back up router in my cupboard. Replaced the power adapter and bingo…router back in business.

Will be interesting to see how we shape up.
4-1-4-1 perhaps, with Haksabanovic & O’Riley joining Jota & Abada, ahead of Hatate?

HH

Call me Gerry

Jobo Baldie
From the other night, I expect at least 4 changes with starts for Ralston, Abildgaard, Abada and Gio replacing Jura, Calmac, Maeda and Kyogo.
Must run….
—————————————————————-
Not a bad effort Jobo…but not good enough for a PB coconut I’m afraid 😉

HH

A thing of beauty

Jeezo Ange, are you trying to give me a heart attack. I’m with CMG again. If Abilgaard can’t play this game when can he play? Where is Jenz and Taylor also? Weird selection and I’m now back to glass half empty mode.

Gordon64

Great to CCB back however don’t think anyone was expecting that selection or formation. Is it a 4213 🤔

Prestonpans bhoys

Call me Gerry

Jings that Jobo selection was very close but no coconut, cyber milkshake instead😱😵

Gordon64

Subs: Siegrist, Bain , Kyogo, Abildgaard, Mooy, McCarthy, Maeda, Juranovic, Forrest.

St tams

2 goalkeepers and 2 def mids on bench !!!

Frodshambhoy

Does anyone know if McCarthy intends to sell his boots when he leaves us. They’d be great value as they’ve hardly been used.

The Leopard’s Rimshot

Jenz & Taylor dropped from the squad?!

Wtf is going on?

Now all the St Johnnies do is go for a serious wind up on Bernabei and we’ve no cover for when the red mist sees him carded.

Sometimes I seriously wonder about Ange’s thinking.

ASWGL

Mon the H☘️☘️ps
Keen to see how Haksabanovic does.

Gordon64

What a miss by Abada ! 😱

Sol Kitts

Massive miss by Abada

IniquitousIV

Chances missed over last few games becoming farcical.

Prestonpans bhoys

Welsh gets booked for invisible foul

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