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For Celtic, This Season Is Going To Be A War. We Best Start Preparing For That.

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There is are few things worse than an injury crisis which hits a club like a sledgehammer. For all my anger at this board of directors today I cannot blame them for this. This is nobody’s fault. This is one of those things. It could happen to any club. It is depressing and it is awful, but it’s the reality with which we now have to deal. There is nothing else for it.

Yesterday The Daily Record “jury” suggested that we need to go out and sign another defender. They would love that, I have no doubt of it. For us to spend money in an area where we do not need to.

There is a time for taking the long-term vision and this is one of them. We don’t need to have six centre backs on the books. Five would be more than enough at any other time, and you could put Iwata in there to make six and Scales too to make seven. Alastair Johnson can play there which makes eight. We simply cannot spend more money there.

What do people want us to spend that money for? Ibrox? A Kilmarnock central defensive back four costing a fraction of what we paid for just one member of our defence kept out the club from Ibrox and ourselves since this season began. A manager with the right organisation skill-set can navigate past that club simply by playing the right system.

All we’re doing is giving ourselves an excuse to get beat and I’m not hearing any of that, I’m not listening to it.

Use your central midfield to protect your defence. Do not let their players within shooting distance of your penalty area. Crowd them out every time they have the ball. Make them bleed for every inch they advance up the pitch.

If that game is so important, we need to start preparing for it now, and that means making sure the officials don’t decide it, which means a major PR media offensive about some of the decisions. If it’s going to be Lagerbiekle and Scales then they have to start working on their communication today, right now, this minute.

We need at least one major signing this week on top of that, and preferably the midfield iron man which every one of us acknowledges that we require. Why this week? Because he should get at least one game under his belt before going to Ibrox. Or we’re throwing newly minted players into a team which is already going to be reeling from too many changes.

We’re also going to Livingston and Motherwell before September ends. So this isn’t just one game, and I think it’s shocking the way the media wants to focus our attention on that match. We have much bigger problems here than one match, those two sides will give us big away tests. In October we’re going to Easter Road and Tynecastle.

There are no free rides here. There are no easy games. Any notion of that has already gone out the window with our early League Cup exit.

This season is going to be a slog. It’s going to be a battle.

The end of season euphoria which started to dissipate the moment it was clear that the manager was moving on has been replaced by a grim realism that this one is going to be a war, and you know what?

That’s fine, that’s winnable, but everyone has to start acclimating to that fact right now.

The only thing that will make it even slightly more bearable is if the Ibrox club drops more points at the weekend, and that could happen but I won’t count on it.

What we do in the next 10 days will decide what kind of state we go into that game.

I am resigned to the defence being a mess, and for many weeks to come, but if the rest of this team was a functioning whole, we wouldn’t even be troubling ourselves with that.

This season has just started, it’s got a long way to go.

In two weeks, we might have answers on transfers and be six points clear. Maybe. Or we could be in a really bad place, with people feeling as if the club is coming apart … that’s up to those inside the walls.

But this is going to be a long, hard campaign.

For a while at least any notion of beautiful football is probably going by the boards.

We need to re-learn the art of fighting for everything, on and off the field, because no-one is going to just give it to us.

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  • Captain Swing says:

    Other clubs avail themselves of short-term loan signings when they need to, there’s no reason why we can’t. Andy Throne’s one match for Hearts springs to mind.

    Just not Shane Duffy again. Dunno if Boyata was injured or something but he only played 11 matches for Bruges last season. If fit, bring him on a months loan.

  • Martin says:

    A makeshift defence shouldn’t be such an issue domestically. We should be spending most of the game in the opponent’s 18 yard box and its surrounds. Now is the time to rediscover that we are an attacking team.

    The CL is different but even if all our guys were fit I’d lack confidence there, so I’m past dwelling on it.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Sevco more than likely won’t drop points at the weekend to Ross County…

    The cheats with whistles and monitors will see to that –

    If there is parity at 90 minutes they will be given an extra twelve to grab all three points…

    Will Mackay wail and bitch about that the way he did when Ralston headed in a winner for Celtic on 90+7 due in no small terms because of his teams thuggery –

    They WILL though be refereed fairly and within the laws of the game v PSV Eindhoven tonight I’d say !

  • Davie says:

    Central defence is not the problem, two full backs out of position are, especially Taylor who is awol at most goals conceded, he lose ball up front then doesn’t get back, Maeda is actually covering Taylors failures. Ralston needs matches to get going.
    Midfield has to work more as a unit, they just do their own thing.
    Kyogo is playing to deep, there is lack of an outlet for forward passing with kyogo being told to play deeper.
    Brendan has gone back to slow build up with pass sideways & pass backwards.
    The ball and players getting into the box is nor happening quickly enough.
    Getting into gear in last eight mins against killie is no use, the previous 82 mins required lots more pace and urgency.
    Brendan has to change his methods or he will be gone by November.
    Fans will not accept failure after Ange.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    We have got to hold onto Scales, he had a pretty good season with a struggling Aberdeen team last season. He can play central defence or left back has got a goal in him and would be up for a fight if it comes to that.
    Sign two experienced players with a bit of character about them to help some of these young project players to settle.
    BR has then got to impose his style on the team the way he did in his 1st couple of seasons. Last Sunday has got to be a wake up call for all at Celtic Park, The board have got to realise that every signing can’t always be a project, the team is crying out for some experienced signings.
    I’d also like to see more passion from the side lines when our players are being assaulted on the park. The foul on Gregg Taylor was a red card offence, yet hardly a word said by the Celtic coaching staff.
    Get the movement and pace back into this team from Saturday onwards and things can look a bit brighter.
    Harold Wilson once said “a week is a long time in politics” it is also a long time in football.

  • Bob (original) says:

    If the media coverage is anywhere near accurate about Jota’s predicament,

    then why not get him back on loan?

    No club is going to match his Saudi wages.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Of course injuries are gonnae happen. Tho if we don’t get imo 1st and foremost, a tough midfielder, along with another striker, left back AND probably another keeper, ahm resigned tae fearin the worst. This could be a disaster. Unreal, tho no really surprisin, this is happenin AGAIN !! Considerin where we were just 3 months ago and especially when ye think domestically, we’re 1 or 2 honors from totally debunkin the Ibrox fantasy lie. Don’t even want tae think about what waits in Europe.

  • brian Cavanagh says:

    Spot on James

    My fear and to use your war analogy is that our generals have based their plans on the last war. Yet all our successful sides managed by Stein, Billy NcNeill first time O’Neill and Strachan were able to mix it and win to enable them to play the beautiful football. We need tactical flexibility, steel in midfield and creativity throughout the team to be able to unpick sides, and fans to be oatient

  • SSMPM says:

    4 or 5 injuries is not the reason for this currently lacking team, being unprepared with a squad to cope is. Unless you’re then prepared to accept that the only reason Ange’s team won their trophies was because of the rankers many injuries.
    Right now this lot ain’t ready for a fight let alone a war. Captain Cal, the leader Rodgers and board are so ineffective and silent they may as well be AWOL. Likewise, VAR. Why are we still contributing to the cost of that. Let rankers pay our share as they’re the only ones benefitting from it.

  • Mark b says:

    Wow this is a change of tone from we are amazing our rivals are terrible. At last some reality. Yes it’s going to be close yes it’s going to be tough. We have lost three first team starters we need to keep building our squad. Power at LB CF DM and maybe still CH. it’s so obvious.

  • John S says:

    The final sentence says it all. No more whining at every setback, Celtic have the best squad in Scotland by far. Improvements are needed in certain quarters (on and off pitch), but every other team thinks that too. Technical matters can be sorted, given time. A bit of ‘steel’ and ‘galvinization’ can only come from attitude.

  • Frank says:

    And there in lies the problem. defenders not able to do the basics ie defend. Has any of our midfield managed to put in a meaningful tackle. Am seeing players pulling out of challenges or just dangling a leg pretending its a tackle. Notwithstanding that I dont understand the current system. Mcgregor has picked up two bookings already having to cover the old time left back position because our actual fullback was nowhere to be seen. what is a actual set up supposed to be and this guff that players are adjusting to the new roles the manager wants them to play in is just nonsense. The list of away figures you have called out James would give you nightmares with the we we are defending as a team

  • Scot says:

    Yes it’s gonna be a war, the exciting quick football of the last 2 years has turned into the most boring football I’ve watched or listened to.
    12million and 60k a week for podance is a joke I’d rather have Roberts if we have to have another winger.

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