If you are still sulking over Celtic dropping points to Dundee, read this…

IF you are still sulking over Celtic dropping more points at home on Wednesday night then perhaps Stuart Armstrong has, in looking at the wider position, provided us with an explanation as to why we have allowed half a dozen sides to leave Celtic Park with a point ‘this season’- for the Celtic playing staff it is sometime hard to differentiate between the current campaign and the historic invincible treble season. The two simply seemed to have been joined together with little more than a week or two break in between.

Remember when Brendan arrived on that glorious sunny day in May 2016? He talked about the size of the Celtic squad and declared a wish to work with a smaller group of players and develop them accordingly.

That was before he had the hands on experience of managing Celtic. Scotland relied on half a dozen Celtic players against England in mid-June 2017 and the same players were back for the new season before the end of that month.

Armstrong isn’t the only Celtic player to have fallen victim to an injury this term and perhaps it is no wonder they have been falling like flies this term and that the overall team’s performance is comparatively jaded compared to last term.

“It’s never nice being injured, and I’m probably not the most patient of people either, which isn’t a great combination,” Stuart Armstrong told The Celtic View.

“But it was something that needed to be sorted and I’m glad it has, as it was affecting the way I wanted to play.

“I feel a completely different player having had it sorted. Celtic were excellent in getting one of the best hernia specialists to sort it out. I’m really happy and the procedure was very good.

“The combination of the hectic season and its success and then the quick turnaround in the summer, coming back for the Champions League qualifiers and the league games, you never really get that rest you probably need.

“We never had any real time off because of the international games stuck in the middle.

“You come into the European campaign and then you think that the next six months of your life is just going to be football.

“The schedule is so hectic with all the games and travelling and the energy you are putting into that. It’s not an easy thing to do, spending all that time solely on football.

“It’s important sometimes to get away from football, mentally and physically, to refresh.”

If Celtic beat Rangers in the semi final of the Scottish Cup the players will have that double header at the end of May – the Cup Final and the Scott Brown testimonial against Ireland the next day. Then Scotland are off to Central America to play friendlies against Peru and Mexico and you would imagine that some Celtic stars at least will be on the plane for the trip. Leigh Griffiths stated yesterday that he is targeting those games for his own return to fitness.

Then it will be a few weeks off before they are back and in training for the absolutely crucial Champions League qualifiers and just to make it even more challenging the new UEFA qualifying system is introduced this summer.

For the Celtic players that effectively means that three seasons are all but being rolled into one mammoth campaign, no wonder we are jaded and injury prone.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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