Celtic’s Injury Cursed Season Has Roots Somewhere. We Must Rip Them Out.

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The moment we all heard that Luis Palma was not going to stay with his national team and was returning to Celtic Park we probably all feared it would be something like this. An injury which rules him out for weeks, an injury which puts him out of Ibrox and other important games. Would he be an automatic first pick? No, but that’s not the point is it?

The last thing we needed was another major injury worry.

So of course, that’s what we got. He’s out for between three and four weeks and the feeling that this is a thoroughly accursed campaign contains to grow. No-one can remember one quite like it.

Rodgers has literally never had a fully fit squad at his disposal, not even for one day. Just when you think one set of problems eases, we get another bag of bricks dropped on our heads. No wonder many fans just want this season done.

But if only it were that simple. If only we could just put this is in the rear-view mirror and move forward and not worry any longer. Bring on next season and a fresh start for everyone.

Nice in theory, but if our injury issues are not simple bad luck then they are something else, and if they are something other than luck we need to find out what the cause of them is and deal with that, or the same issues are just waiting to recur.

I appreciate that some of this is environmental.

We play in a country which eschews summer football and players have to play in appalling conditions, and even, on occasion, on those ghastly plastic pitches everyone hates so much.

That will cause injuries of various kinds, that and the physicality of the game here in Scotland which definitely contributes to this. Look at some of the shocking challenges we’ve seen on our players this season.

At a top club, where European football has to be juggled with a full domestic card, there will be wear and tear issues which develop and which are hard to shake. This is especially true at a club which is challenging for honours; that requires having the best players on the pitch more than you would otherwise like.

So there is mitigation here, for sure and reasons why we’ll have more injuries than other clubs in this league will.

But the sheer number of them, and the length of some of them, doesn’t half suggest that there are issues inside our own walls which are contributing to the scale of the problem, and we would be crazy not to acknowledge that possibility and even more so if we weren’t looking into it.

There is a clear need here for a full-scale revamp of the medical department at Celtic and the spending of some serious change on upgrading it as much as possible. If this board is even half serious about the “world class” operation we claim to want to have here then that would be an outstanding place to start putting the building blocks in place for it.

Because although this season does have the feel of one that is haunted this is not a new phenomenon and we’ve suffered from recurring injury crises for the past few years, although this one feels especially acute.

Palma’s injury is a hard one to track because we can’t blame it on environmental factors at all, at least not in terms of stuff that happened on the football pitch during games. He hasn’t been starting lately, so this issue had to arise in training, and that puts the ball firmly in the club’s court.

Not only does the medical department need a major rejig, but this adds to the growing impression that the coaching setup is off as well … and those fears are not, of course, confined to the number of injuries we get but go much deeper.

When this season finally is behind us I think a lot of us will be glad to see the back of it, no matter how it ends up. But we need to trace this particular issue to its source and fix it, or we’re simply guaranteeing that next season will see more of the same, and I don’t know about you but one of these is enough for me.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    If Scottish Football is full of agricultural thuggery – which it evidently is – Then why not just match things Brick for Brick, Boot for Boot and Bottle for Bottle then…

    Being wishy, washy and nicey nicey simply doesn’t work in this rancid shit hole of a country when it comes to the football !

  • Paul says:

    You say the plastic pitches are shocking, our own pitch is in some state, same games is looks like a muddy field. That will be adding to the breakdown of players. No wonder we are getting so many hamstring injuries

  • john clarke says:

    Correct James. I read that Luis Palma was close to being game ready after an injury
    and received a knock at training. Thus the set back.
    Rodgers said that Marco Tilio was having difficulty adjusting to the physicality
    of Scottish football, when all he was doing was training? He is an easy man to knock over.
    You should train at the same level, that does not incur penalties
    against your team. I ask the same question?

  • SSMPM says:

    The demands to play a faster more energetic possession based game over best part of 100 minutes must have an impact particularly when some of your bench players are so lacking in the talent necessary at this club to ease the strain on regular 1st team starters or come on and add to or step up and make a difference.
    I would note though we’re not alone in this and that lot across the city have been saying the same and using as excuses for their failure to stop us for several seasons. I don’t agree with that at all, talent’s been the difference but do accept they’ve had there fair share of injuries particularly during GVB. Anyway C’mon a Hoops. Dundee could do us a favour if we can bang a few goals in ourselves. HH

  • Effarr says:

    How many have been signed while injured? Rogic lost most of his Celtic career through injury and Bitton too, Then there were the mental problems with Griffiths and
    Abada to contend to. You wonder if the medical equipment that helps to speed recovery should be binned, preferably after it being “injured” too by a tackety
    Joe McBride scored around 40 goals one year and was lost right away to injury.

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