Well-known member
With many of our crocked players coming back to fitness approaching the critical end of the season what is our strongest and best 11 and what is the best system to play?

Does Lenny know 100%?

There are certain players that when fit will walk into a starting spot no matter what system we adopt


This basically leaves 6 starting places up for grabs

Certain players who were once certainties are no longer such I'm not saying that in the future they won't become mainstays again but in their absences due to whatever reason(s) opportunities have been availed to others who have grabbed them and appear to have made the position their own for the time being at least

The 2 main ones who immediately spring to mind are Christie and more long term Rogic

Christie missed out on a fair few games after the break through a combination of suspension and injury Fortunately or otherwise the injury rather negated his 3 match ban and in his absence N'tcham has taken over the mantle which Christie had enjoyed

Once back to full match fitness it will be interesting to see whether Christie slots back into the starting 11 at N'tcham's expense or whether the pair will battle it out for supremacy in that position

Rogic's situation is a bit more complexed in as much as he's missed far more playing time and seems a shadow of the player he was in Rodgers' initial 2 seasons and until he was kidnapped by the Australian National side at the end of 2018 and delivered back injured
Whereas Rogic was pivotal in the 1st 11s of both Deila and Rogers injury deprived Lenny of his effectiveness for long long spells and truth be told he"s never reached his previous levels of brilliance

The right back/right wing back berth depending on the adopted system has 3 players vying for the second position Frimpong Abt Hamed and Bauer

As our players Frimpong and Abt Hamed when fit should take preference over loanee Bauer added to the fact that in my opinion both are better players than the Austria

The fact that Frimpong is more of an attacking flair player I feel he's better suited to the position of wing back than Abt Hamed and the fact that the Palestinian can be a useful centre back in a 3 at the back system if required I'd choose Frimpong as 1st If he can bulk up a bit he can make the position his own

CB with Julien a preferred option we are left with Ajer Simunovic Bitton when required and the aforementioned Abt Hamed

Ajer has come on leaps and bounds since returning from his loan spell at Kilmarnock a couple of seasons back where he was transformed from a midfielder to a CB
He's still learning that position and is susceptible to craziness and concentration lapses at times but his height and strength offer compensation for his pecadillos and he breaks from defence at pace with his long lolling stride

Simunovic along with Julien I'd say was the most accomplished of the CBs although his fitness and inability (or preference) not to play in plastic surfaces is a major drawback

Bitton is more or less a utility player these days As primarily a midfielder the abundance of other options at the Club along with long term fitness issues has limited his appearances in his favoured position but he seems prepared to help out wherever and whenever required and has a good footballing head on his shoulders

lb / left wing back is a dilemma for Lenny

Bolingoli who seemed to be the preferred option at the start of the season has proved to be less than accomplished in that position and doesn't instill too much confidence I'm afraid
Whether he can't grasp the thread of what's being asked of him I'm unsure but left back isn't his position

He was NEVER going to live up to KT's reputation and ability so was probably on a hiding to nothing before he even kicked a ball

Jonny Hayes is a decent and honest player A work horse and speed merchant who is a willing practitioner in whatever position he's asked to play in

Greg Taylor is best of the 3 and since being given the opportunity and a run of games has shown the ability he displayed at Kilmarnock and made Celtic decide to bring him to Parkhead

Midfield Broony and McGregor are both shoe ins Broony showed against Clyde that he is desperate to play Inna's many games as possible because he realises that his playing days are beginning to evaporate and he wants to savour the time he has remaining

N'tcham has been a revelation since the winter break I don't know what Lenny has said to him but he's started to look interested again as if he REALLY wants to be here
I'm not sure if he's putting himself in the shop window hoping to attract suitors in the summer or if he's realised that Titles Trebles and hopefully Champions League football next season are pretty good options and the grass isn't always greener elsewhere

Look at Armstrong Wanyama and even Forster and although a different scenario KT

Elyanousi Looked the part until he was crocked and missed a fair chunk of games Good to see him coming back for the run in
Hopefully he can regain his previous injury form until the end of the season

Forrest ..... He"s been here forever He has the ability and the guile but more often than not doesn't produce at least not to the standards that we know he can
When Roberts was here he had competition driving him on and with Morgan now Stateside and Johnston not the finished article he probably needs more competition for his place
I doubt Shved will supply much pressure in that respect

Up front Edouard is the classiest and best player in Scotland bar NONE
I reckon he's the best striker we've had at the Club since Larsson and that includes Dembele
We've had a fair few decent ones over the past 15 years Hooper McDonald Samaras Stokes Zurawski Vennegoor Hartson and Sutton but Eddy us the best if the lot
For a 22 year old he makes it look so easy and he"s getting better all the time We really need to enjoy him for as long as we can because I really cannot see him being around much longer Hopefully I'm proved wrong We'll see

Griff. I just love the wee guy Got the shitty end of the stuck when Rodgers arrived as he made Dembele his preferred option and only playing 1 up front Leigh's opportunities were really limited although when he got his chances he always delivered
Now he appears to be on his way back to hopefully his previous levels and ability
Hopefully his personal problems are behind him and he is around for a good whiie yet

Bayo Nah!

Klimala From what we've seen of him so far could possibly do us a turn
Not fully match fitness yet but looking forward to seeing what he can do

So after all of that I"ll be honest I'm still not 100% certain who our best 11 are but with the squad of players Lenny has at his disposal hopefully Quadruple Treble and an extended Europa League run are on the cards

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Well-known member
Lennon has the resources to crush any domestic opposition and do well in the EL. What might be your best alignment will vary from game to game in conjunction with opponent, conditions and availability. But Lennon knows one important thing......HWGTIAR


Well-known member
Lennon has the resources to crush any domestic opposition and do well in the EL. What might be your best alignment will vary from game to game in conjunction with opponent, conditions and availability. But Lennon knows one important thing......HWGTIAR
Basically i think its got to a healthy scenario were we just have a strong pool and team and picking a strong eleven can be any of the pool as long as the tactics workout right.

Winning Captains Bolingoli

Staff member
Does Celtic manager Neil Lennon know his strongest eleven? Bill asks. Yes, its the side that started the other night and at Motherwell. It's 3-5-2 (although we won't do that at Ibrox apparently) and the likes of Forrest and Ntcham will have to play very well indeed to keep fit again Frimpong and Christie on the bench.

I put this up on The Celtic Star for you, Bill....hope you don't mind!


michael duffy

Well-known member
Think the importance of a strong bench is becoming more apparent,depending on opponent's, injuries and suspensions, think Lenny knows his strongest X1,with the success of 3-5-2,however, we can also revert to 4-3-2-1 and 4-3-3,when we change formations, just make sure,it's round pegs in round holes HH ☘ 🍺

Henrik in the hoops

Well-known member
A tricky question that one. The way Christie broke into the team for example...don't think any of us saw that coming.
Frimpong's another one. Ripping it up in training led Lennon to parachute him into the first team and he was doing well before his injury. So I am not sure that managers really know their best 11.
Too many variables involved imho so the ability to adapt to changing situations means that depth in squad is more important than trying to determine a best 11 HH ☘☘☘


Well-known member
I’d put up a similar post the other week. To be fair, I ran out of steam writing it towards the ends think it might’ve been after the pub!

Frimpong etc leaves out Forrest in a 3-5-2. I think Christie can play RW if ntcham is playing AM. I think he could also do defensive duties if it was a RWB, as much as Forrest anyway. I’d actually pick Hayes at LWB, but Taylor is coming on to a game. In my post I said Taylor better suited to a back 4 and Hayes & Boli better suited to wb in a back 3.

I think basically it comes down to whether we play 1 up front or 2, and it’ll be a choice between playing griff or Elyanousi in the team. I reckon Elyanousi can play most forward positions, and he looked like he wasn’t shy at getting stuck in, but couldn’t see him playing a defensive role on the flank.

We’ve got a number of players that can play a number of positions, and play them well, which is why I can’t see anything other than getting the 9 this year. We’ve already managed eddy being out, let’s hope he isn’t out any further this season. I’ll state again, if we’re 3 up, he should be off the second it hits the net. Regardless of being the best, he’s surely our most important player