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You won’t see that headline often and people may say it’s an over reaction considering we didn’t lose the game but Brendan Rodgers decision to leave Oliver Ntcham out today was absolutely wrong.

It’s easy to say that after an event and after he came on and looked sharp but it should have been so obvious to the Celtic manager that the Frenchman should have been in the starting XI on merit, much like Ajer!

Instead, Rodgers went with the old faithful, who have, for the most part, served him well but not so much in the last three months. Stuart Armstrong has rarely been at the races this term yet he waltzed onto the pitch today and done what he has most of the season – stunk up the place.

His fellow midfielders weren’t much better apart from Scott Brown who put in an energy zapping shift as he put out fires when needed.

I seen Armstrong punt the ball forward from the halfway line at one point just so he didn’t need to run with ball. He looked like he didn’t want to be there. All while Ntcham was watching from the bench.

It would be purely speculative and a bit arrogant to suggest Celtic would have won if Ntcham had started but I’m going to say it anyway, Celtic would have won if Ntcham had started.

The midfielders ability to take all the pressure off the ball and eek out a pass would’ve proved invaluable as The Rangers tried to constantly press.

You seen it when Ntcham came on, composure and quick feet helped move things along and get Celtic up the end of the pitch they wanted to be.

In the grand scheme of things, life isn’t so bad and a draw is not the end of the world. The lesson to learn here is play the players most in-form over the guys who have delivered in the past but cooled off. Oliver Ntcham might fall into that bracket at some point, who knows.

I’m aware criticising the manager can draw some pretty foul mouthed tirades from some fans but anyone who thinks Ntcham shouldn’t have started even after the event has taken place, then I really can’t help you.

Celtic have a winter break to sort themselves out. I think they will.

 

26 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll take the stick for you mate, Ntcham should have started. We’ve seen the best of the deila guys so let’s thank some of them for there service and move them on, keep some as decent squad players and NOW let Brendan bring in some quality. It’s also obvious we miss rogic and Roberts too as they can create something out of nothing. Roll on a double treble HH.

  2. Have to agree. When Ntcham came on we looked a lot sharper. Armstrong and McGregor were mediocre today.
    We definitely lacked a wee bit of creativity in midfield. However, despite the embarrassment of drawing with a poor quality, lower level team we will reboot during the winter break and come back stronger.
    Got to say as well, Lustig had a shocker. And I love the guy as he is a proper Tim.

  3. Totally agree with you but I honestly think the biggest waste of space at Celtic is McGregor.Absolutely clueless and should never be anywhere near a Celtic strip.

  4. Too many players dialled it in today, I’m just hoping the winter break will sort the malaise in some of the players .Only ones with pass marks were Ajer,Gordon and Broony who strolled it, so Ntcham in there alongside would have seen a better more energetic performance he was outstanding in even his short appearance where others just never turned up

    • We saw the best and the worst of Gordon today. Good shot stopper, but not so good at the other things a goalkeeper has to do. Distribution was not good from him apart from one particular incident.

      • I’m not sure what game you watched but as a gers supporter I thought his distribution was good, calm under pressure and his two saves in the second half were first class, cut him some slack

  5. N’tcham 100% should have started and best player on the park when he came on. Lustig was dreadful. Brown was dire. Could not pass forward all day and broke our attacks up. He’s turned into Neil Lennon. The worst player on the park was Gordon though. How are you supposed to play passing football when your keeper can’t play the ball out from a kick out. He needs to go. Spend money on a keeper who is compatible with our style of play.

    • ah come on… Gordon kept us in it with his shot stopping!
      Brown was great putting out fires….cant argue about Lustig… Armstrong was my major disappointment…. though

    • Agree about Ntcham. He should have been on from the start. I also agree about Gordon as his distribution is very poor in general, with the odd exception. Armstrong played in patches but was not good enough. However, you are blinkered when it comes to Brown. He was excellent in the first half and fine in the second half, whilst trying to cover for general mistakes made by others.

  6. Got to say when nitcham came on he took the ball and played it really well,but in saying that , even if he did start the match, i don’t think it would have made much of a difference as our passing and ball control from almost every player was quite shocking frankly,the composure and game intelligence just wasn’t there today,but i’m putting that down to mental fatigue,the bhoys need a rest,10 games in a month is hard going,and lets not forget the bhoys have played more than a thousand minutes more than any other team in the league…….so a point is not what we wanted going into the winter break but at least the status quo remains….looking forward to seeing them when they come back from the sunshine……..Hail Hail

  7. Undoubtedly nitcham should have started . I can accept the griffiths v dembele debate , either or etc. But Armstrong simply should not be starting at this stage . Nitcham has been in good form and warranted a start . I’d go as far as saying had he started we would have won. Our first half showing was decent, second half was awful, improved when nitcham came on but we could have even lost that game . Too many players look off the pace and tbh without Brown this team would fall apart . We need this rest and we need new blood. New blood that can go into the starting X1.

    • Flexibility with the system is needed for different matches. Sometimes, one striker can be employed, but at other times two strikers should be used. Today may have been one of those days.

  8. Brown was dire. He broke up attacks for both teams, but when we needed to be moving the ball forward he was passing it back to Gordon. We gave that muck that have been bested by far worse teams too much respect today. Time to shake the team up

  9. Armstrong is off the pace this last few months.. Ntcham is a player of equivalent ability at the moment..but he is on the rise and is young…. I think he should have started…. Dembele didnt really get any service to be fair… Sinclair didnt have his best game… Boyata isn’t the answer…. Gordon had some quality shot blocks…
    I think a draw was fair…. but we should be pumping this lot!!!!

  10. Another thing Rodgers gone wrong today was allowing Sinclair to remain on the park for 70mins offered nothing today he was an empty jersey. He has not kicked a ball since his wife went back on to Corronation Street .

  11. Agreed. We all applaud what BR has done, but Sinclair and Armstrong have been total dross this year, they have had too many chances now. Manager is the one to blame for these recent results as he picks the teams.

  12. I couldn’t agree more Ntcham looked the business when he came on, different class. It’s not often BR gets it wrong , he got it wrong this time. We are missing Paddy Roberts big time
    Their fullbacks made runs into our box, our fullbacks didnt. Brown held the midfield by himself, would have keep Sinclair on and taken Callum McG off. I think team And management need this winter break.

  13. Celtic just had one of those days,And to be honest We made Sevco look half decent.Thank God the break is upon us,Time to recharge those batteries and bring in some more decent cover in defence.Gordon saved our bacon aswell.Ajer is coming along superbly.How Armstrong got a shout ahead of Ntcham is Baffling.Im sick to death of reading this Slogan (OLD FIRM)..The SMSM are a shower of Hunbelievable Pond Life.Sevco will try and use this BS old firm nonsense to somehow make them seem relevant regarding Celtic.Rangers 1872 are no fcking More.Anyhoo All the Best To Each and Every Member of Our Amasingly Wonderful Magical Celtic Family Worldwide.Roll On 2018!….Sevco 4Ever In Our Shadow..HH

  14. Oli should have started you saw his entrance to the pitch yesterday….pulling off the full length top and getting the hoops back om. This from a guy who looked frozen at the break. For me Gordon should set the tempo of the team….he doesn’t. Shotstopper-yes, playmaker, absolutely not.
    Lustig looked out of sorts and lacked poise. Cal Mac is a busy wee player who divides opinion. For me he adds movement to the team and has a great knack of finding pockets of space.
    The team needs a refresh, if Moussa goes, then lets say thanks for the memories. Armstrong should have went in the summer. Overall 2017 was a hell of a year….time for change to ensure 10 im a row!

  15. Criminal????

    Yes, this is an over-reaction!

    It is entitlement run riot.

    We dropped 2 points to a 3rd place team. It really is not that important,

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