Shuffling the pack

When you shuffle the pack, you get a different challenge. Once again, Brendan Rodgers gave youth a chance. 

Celtic’s 0-2 victory at Rugby Park yesterday was another step toward a long unbeaten run that goes way back to last year. He did so by swapping out six players from the midweek thumping of Astana.

With the Champions League group participation all but confirmed, Brendan Rodgers is almost certain to see that run comes to an end against one of Europe’s high rollers. The last team to beat Celtic was Barcelona on 23rd November 2016 in the Champions league.

However, Brendan is now showing his willingness to play youth. After an invincible season where he ran the rule over the inflated first team numbers he inherited, he has a new challenge at the club.

Celtic have a very successful talent pool but the yield isn’t always bursting at the seams. We’ve had many introductions over the years though few have held down a regular first team spot.

Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor are the two standouts in the past few years. We’ve also seen guys like Liam Henderson for a similar if not longer period of time but he has struggled to impose himself in a talented and busy midfield.

Other players to get competitive first team time are Jamie McCart and Jack Aitchison. They remain part of the Development Team, but both have demonstrated their worth.

With focus on youth and home-grown talent it would be interesting to see what sort of team Celtic could field using just Scottish players. Well, using the current crop of senior and youth it could look something like this:


Ralston McCart Tierney Miller

Brown Henderson

Forrest McGregor Armstrong


Whilst this might not be a team you’d field every week or in the Champions League, I’m certain that it could overturn several Scottish Premiership clubs. I don’t think that’s an unrealistic view given the current standard of football that Celtic come up against.

The future continues to look bright for Celtic. You just won’t read about it in the SMSM.

Many have already uttered their feelings about Celtic’s success in Europe having a negative effect on the rest of the game. Baffling to say the least.

Apparently Celtic’s dominance, despite using fair play, is unhealthy for the game. They didn’t say that when Rangers 1872 bought their way to success under Sir David Murray.

A period where Celtic could not compete financially or on the field of play as other teams of the time like Aberdeen and Motherwell demonstrated. Eventually the tide would turn as Celtic got their house in order.

Some twenty odd years later, our club is flourishing. From youth through senior level.

As a business we are running like a well tuned engine. We have a top drawer manager into the bargain.

Why should Celtic be criticised for doing it right? Other clubs had the opportunity to step over Celtic, but they didn’t.

It seems many people out there envy our club. We cannot be criticised for doing it right.

If anything other clubs should be trying to emulate what Celtic have been doing. Whilst it does require prudence and working within your means you need some sort investment to get up and running.

Here we go ten-in-a-row.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

2 thoughts on “Shuffling the pack

  1. Good points and well made Stevie Mac.

    When those who criticise us for doing it right, we see that the jealousy and rage (of some, but not all). is borne out of a realisation that the challenge could have been made by others if they had got their house in order. They do not have the template or the patience to build. Everything must be bought, and money has to come from an outside source, instead of manufacturing talent by development and planning for the future. Mr McCann left us with a template and put people in place to take us forward patiently with this plan. We owe him a huge debt.

    We have a club that is steadily moving forward with a structure which is building a sustainable future. Only the clubs which have planned sustainable development will survive the financial crash when it comes, as it inevitably will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Shuffling the pack | CELTS FROM THE SOUTH | The Celtic Footsoldiers

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