Celtic’s Injury Curse Has To Have Roots, Which Means It Has To Have A Solution.

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The news that Nawrocki is injured, and we don’t know how long he will be out for, is incredibly frustrating, but not in the least bit surprising. Our club has been cursed by injuries since this season began and if this player is going to be out for a while it will hardly be a shock. Over the last few years this problem has gotten worse and we can’t shake it.

How many times this season have we had a full squad to choose from? Was there one? It couldn’t have lasted long. Weeks at most, a couple of games. It isn’t just that we are always at least one key player down either. It’s that when our key players go down, they go down for weeks or even months at a time. Medium to long term injuries are commonplace.

This must have roots. There must be a cause. I read a suggestion the other day that it happens because we don’t do squad rotation and so players who are thrown into the team suddenly are not properly prepared, and we also tend to rush our starters back.

That may have some validity except for one thing … we did squad rotation for two years under Ange and players were always out injured then too. There were injury crises back in Rodgers first time here too; it goes that far back. This isn’t a new issue.

So, what’s the cause? There has to be a problem somewhere at Celtic. Is our training properly planned out? Is our medical department up to snuff? Is this is another case of cronyism getting in the way of us hiring the best people?

Listen, we know that the club isn’t doing everything it should be in training. We know that because of our on-going set-piece shambles where we can’t capitalise on them and are frequently punished by them. That adds weight to the idea that the problem is somewhere at Lennoxtown, that we’re just not getting certain things right behind the scenes.

According to Celtic’s financial statement we are intending to invest in the medical department. That is long overdue. Maybe it will finally solve this problem for us, although most of us would feel better if we had some better coaches as well as the upgrades.

One step at a time I guess.

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  • James White says:

    The Great Charlatan likes to use the terms world class and state of the art when describing some aspects of Celtic’s operation. His talk has always been cheap.

    Where are we world class ? Squad, stadium,pitch, training facilities, youth development, coaching, medical, match day experience ?

    None of the above as far as I’m concerned.

    Storing millions in the bank at the expense of quality on the pitch ? Yes, that’s the one. World class at that one.

  • Martin says:

    Good article to jump off on. I’m not claiming to have any specific to Celtic knowledge, but I am a doctor with a diploma in football medicine so I can hazard an educated guess or two. Historically we have had some howler seasons at Celtic (everyone seemed to have RED-S under Delia, we got horrible injuries under Rodgers first time). I think there are, as always, multiple issues.

    1. Our signing policy and strategy (unsurprisingly). Put simply…if you buy £2m players, you get a package that includes lower quality training history and medical facilities in their career. Oh also get the gamble they’ve had previous injuries like hamstring tears (something with a high risk of recurrence throughout their career) hence why the price tag is lower.

    2. Our change in management team. This is always a dangerous period as each manager has a different focus and players who have been used to 1 specific sets of movements for 2 years suddenly have a different role and it affects them.

    3. Injury prevention strategies. Frankly, it’s way behind times in Scottish football, and I doubt Celtic are significantly better than the average.

    4. We absolutely 100% rush people back too early. AJ coming back so soon after a clear concussion was just a clear example of this. Who drives it? Usually the coaching staff overrule medical staff in clubs where we see this. At Celtic I cannot say, but that’s what I’ve seen elsewhere.

    5. Currently- We’ve had a dreadful season and everyone is complaining about our slow football. This is doubtless about to be changed. Alongside that comes increase in load both in training and games. Increased load means increased injury. Be prepared for a few more casualties in the run in.

    6. Squad rotation. Simply put, this season more of our players are playing full games than under Ange. More minutes, higher injury risk.

    7. (This one is the controversial one, especially after comments from Govan this week…but I’m also a referee so I’ll try and claim some insight into this too, even though I’m hugely biased towards Celtic) Celtic players are fair game to be kicked. Over time this takes its toll. Scottish football generally is a cloggers backwater compared to how football is moving, but Celtic players get pretty rough treatment by our opponents, week in week out.

    8. We need to get rid of players with recurrent type injuries much quicker. Pulled hamstring? Shame. Let’s get you fixed up, and at the end of the season try and sell you. Before it goes again. Which it will.

    Investing in the medical facilities will help. But you’re right that high quality modern coaching is required as well. The irony for penny pinching Pete is that 10 million invested in coaching, recruitment and medical staff probably has a far better medium to long term impact than 4 million invested in 2 dud prospects.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      A really good post there Martin (especially point 7 which our ‘custodians’ will simply never speak out about) and which cheats with whistles, flags and monitors will do nothing about either !

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Training, medical and cronyism – You nailed it again James…

    Something I’d definitely not right for certain –

    Especially in the medical department…

    And especially as given our shocking lack of ability at set pieces it would seem we never train or practice them giving way to any potential training injuries around that particular skill set !

  • Bob (original) says:

    The set-up at CFC – for many years now – reminds me of an organisation

    I used to work for.

    It had several weak, senior managers, who were over-promoted and were

    blatantly winging it. Whilst it was frustrating to work with, the organisation was such a

    money machine that they couldn’t help but meet their financial targets, despite their

    mistakes and preference for a ‘quiet life’ and keenness to avoid taking difficult,

    yet necessary decisions to maximise the organisation’s potential.

    The organisation was actually under-performing – but as long as the target numbers

    were delivered, the parent company kept its distance.

    PL and the Board can hardly avoid but make good money for the club,

    starting with a guaranteed base revenue from c.53K Season Tickets.

    Over the last 20 or so years, the club and global brand could – and should – have

    been doing a hell of a lot better, imo, both on and off the pitch.

    However, the club simply fails to attract the best people via professsional, objective

    and exhaustive recruitment processes to fill ANY & ALL the key positions at the club.

    Arguably, that persistent recruitment blind spot could prove to be PL’s

    single, most damning legacy at the club?

  • JimBhoy says:

    Invest in the Celtic pitch and get rid of plastic public park pitches in Scottish mainstream football, there’s a start.

    Who said Summer football !?! Why is football a winter sport? Bigger attendance if the weather was nice too.

    Clubs often get more and longer injuries when morale is low or there are factions or cliques in play in the dressing room.

    The big CH does not look a multi-million pound player to me.

  • Dan says:

    Wasn’t there a series of hamstring injuries under Lennon as well?

  • Effarr says:

    It may be this new-fangled equipment that “speeds up” recovery. It all seemed to start after they boasted a few years ago about it. They should just let nature take its course, it would probably be quicker.

  • Effarr says:

    Away from the subject, but can anyone tell me how to access Celtic PPV? I get as far as purchase and no further: no way of entering my bank details. All I get is a request to enter a discount code but haven`t a clue where to get the code. When I press the enter button, I get an error message. I have never ever managed to get a game on PPV unless it`s an away game where it is always a dawdle.

  • Michael Clark says:

    The on-going injuries at Celtic may well be just bad luck. Every training camp is different but their all put through their paces so the Celtic sqaud are professionally fit. However what’s different now is this Celtic team when injuries come calling is crippling because there’s no depth in the squad unlike the 1st team Rogers had and the team Postecoglou had. The size of club Celtic are and the money the board keep bragging about we should have back up for every postion and were not even close.

  • Fun time frankie says:

    @ effarr amazon stick £50 get it chipped £50 watch all football ppv boxing the hole nine yards.

  • Effarr says:

    Thanks for that. I have a Roku for Sky games but the Celtic PPV is the only one I can`t get. I have even changed from Safari to Chrome but it`s still the same. What do you mean by getting it chipped?

  • Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom says:

    Maybe the root cause is just that our players get kicked and elbowed (and ‘accidentally’ head-butted) all over the pitch, to the applause and encouragement of everyone of a non-Celtic persuasion? …

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