Tonight Celtic play Partick Thistle again, this time at Celtic Park, and to confuse the opposition, Brendan Rodgers has hinted he might give some of the youngsters a shot.
Though I reckon this game might have come a little early for some of them.
“For me I can have a look at it now and have a look at my squad, Are there any younger players I can bring in? My vision here fundamentally coming here was to win trophies, to play attacking football the Celtic way and to bring young players through so we will see if there are any young players we can bring in over the next few games.
“We have had a number of them train with us and they have done very well.
“There is an element of risk with that but it is my job. This is what building a club is about and creating hope for the youth players. If they don’t think they can play the why should you have an academy?
“We have to develop players here. It is how I have always worked, putting young players in but they have to be ready. Not totally ready of course but they need to show they can come in and play in the first-team. That is very important to a big club.”
The Sun seems to think one of those players brought in will be forward Calvin miller, at left back. Presumably we’re short on those right now.
Others, notably Jack Aitchison, who scored on his debut against Motherwell last year are in the reckoning, and they might not be the only ones.
Tony Ralston is another, the right back who is sort of a mirror image of Keiran Tierney, so for those who do make the game tonight, one of two in the five days leading up to christmas, it might be a nice change to see some fresh players.
Alan Archibald remians sort of optimistic, in that maybe Celtic will be more focused on finishing the season unbeaten than winning each game as it comes, which is unlikely, but I suppose he needs some sort of fragment of comfort to hold on to.
“If you keep it close, what with them going for a record as well, maybe that will bring nervousness. They’re desperate to go unbeaten, without a doubt, and that will bring a bit of strain as well,”
“Do they go and keep on battering teams as they used to do or do they hold off and keep things tight? As long as you stay in the game you can get at any team.”
He’s hoping Celtic have a night off, and at the same time wishing he had one.
Celtic should win this one comfortably, but the feeling of familiarity, combined with the strain of so many games in quick succession mean that Rodgers is probably right to change things around a bit.
Domestic economics never were a concern of the boards, and believe it or not, Celtic still have four games to play in what has already been a crowded month. After Partick, and Hamilton come Ross County and “rangers “, all of whom will be desperate to be the first Scottish side to break the relentless surge toward title number six, and already the media are focussing on the New Years Eve game as the best chance of an upset.
They could do worse than appoint Bobby Madden as referee if they want to see a shock result, if the look on his face when Leigh Griffiths scored on Saturday is anything to go by..
Though most of it really is cringeworthy stuff. For instance, the Record did a report asking…
Who is Rangers deadliest striker? We rate Joe
Garner, Kenny Miller, Martyn Waghorn and Joe
Dodoo on season so far
Appearances: 15 (3 off the bench)
Minutes played: 1014
Minutes per goal: 338
or is it…
Appearances: 17 (3 off the bench)
Minutes played: 1123
Minutes per goal: 280
Appearances: 12 (8 off the bench)
Minutes played: 461
Minutes per goal: 153
and thats without..
Appearances: 10 (8 off the bench)
Minutes played: 272
Minutes per goal: 136
To place this in perspective, and to get the real picture, here are the achievements of Celtics goalscorers..
|R||No.||Pos.||Nation||Name||Scottish Premiership||Scottish Cup||Scottish League Cup||Europe||Total|
Perhaps its the battle between Griffiths and Dembele that has prompted the paper to try to show there is a similar contest at Ibrox, though i can only imagine the reporter, Fraser Wilson, pitching the idea to his editor.
“Hey, boss, know how Sellick huv goat two class strikers and don;t know whit wan tae pick. ? Well, Ra Gers huv goat four !”
Somewhere, there will be “rangers ” fans actually discussing their best strike partnership, the competition being between four guys who have totalled twelve goals between them.
They’ll never learn.
The idea is clearly to hype the upcoming Hogmanay clash as much as possible to get the viewing figures up in an attempt to show that Scottish football needs this fixture, when in reality the only entity that needs it is the one currently calling itself after a liquidated club.
The Sun outlined the reasons-or so they say-for the ridiculous Hogmanay lunchtime start..
A SECRET police report backing the Old Firm showdown’s Hogmanay date claims fans are less likely to turn up drunk than if it was on New Year’s Day.
The barmy defence is in a force briefing document compiled after top brass rejected pleas by Sky TV for the flashpoint match to be played on January 1.
Although they did warn of something else..
Expert warns Old Firm’s Hogmanay showdown is “perfect storm” for frenzy of violence and wife-beating
Top psychologist Dr Mairead Tagg fears a “significant” hike in domestic abuse as fans get tanked up for a double whammy of football and the Bells
A frenzy of wife beating ?
Is this another hint that Celtic should lie down to save all the Wilheminas from a kicking ?
Now that the press have managed to slip the fixture back onto the calendar by proclaiming the same club myth, are we about to go back to those pre liquidation days fully, with all the delightful trimmings this game brings ?
They wanted it so desperately, and now they’re moaning about it again. Theres no pleasing some people.
Elsewhere, Mighty Stewart Regan has swung into action after Scotland were fined for wearing a poppy on their shirts against England, who were also fined.
Despite knowing full well what would happen if the poppy appeared, the SFA boss is quick to show his outrage, delighted that he could well have found an enemy to get his teeth into. Anything, in fact, that deflects from his utter uselessness at doing the job he is paid for.
No doubt his appeal will fail, the fine maybe even increased, but as development officer Malky Mackay would have said, based on previous statements, there’s too many foreigners at that FIFA, though some of the women are worth a crack at.
Which makes them everyones enemy, apparently.
The English FA are going to just pay the fine, in case the governing body have a look to see if they’ve made any political statements in the past during games..
For a caption competition winner, we have to go all the way back to Friday, and this..