Celtic star Callum McGregor not concerned with game-time stats

By David Walton

October 2, 2019

Callum McGregor’s game-time seems to be a constant topic whenever he’s chosen these days, but the player himself isn’t concerned.

Last season, the Scotland international played a total of 69 games for club and country. In the end, McGregor ended up playing the most minutes of anyone in world football – something the club took some stick for.

This season has been no different in terms of his consistency when it comes to being selected. He’s played 17 of Celtic’s 18 competitive matches, as well as two games for Scotland too. It’s a large tally to have racked up before the end of September.

Callum McGregor features regularly for club and country (Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

But it doesn’t seem to be fazing the midfielder personally. Speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 13, Page 12) McGregor stated that tiredness doesn’t come into his mindset.

“You’re playing around 60 games a season with Celtic and if you can manage that, then the other nine or 10 games with the international team takes care of themselves.

“Once you get to the level of fitness where you can play every week, then it just becomes a mental thing and the tiredness doesn’t come into it. It’s more of a mental thing and you just prepare for the next game.

“If you feel good in your head, then you can go and play as many games as you can.”

McGregor’s lack of rest will continue to be pointed out

Nobody knows his own body better than McGregor. His own personal view counts for a lot more than anybody else’s. As well as that, Celtic’s fitness team will be keeping an eye on all sorts of stats and tests to make sure they’re doing the right thing with his game-time.

It’s an incredible amount of matches he’s featuring in, however. Whenever he does indeed put in a poor display, Celtic are leaving themselves open to the accusation of him being tired regardless.

McGregor is a serious fan-favourite (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It doesn’t look as though Neil Lennon is going to be listening in any case. McGregor is almost a certainty to start against Cluj on Thursday night, and you couldn’t see him missing Livingston away on Sunday either. After that, he has a double-header with Scotland to contend with before returning for a hectic winter schedule.

McGregor doesn’t have it easy, but his lack of consistency on the pitch over the last few weeks doesn’t point to fatigue issues. After all, he was terrific in Rennes during our 1-1 draw in France, before struggling to make an impression against Hibs at Easter Road. Against Kilmarnock the week previous, McGregor was again crucial in the 3-1 success.

McGregor remains a fan-favourite at Celtic (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Leaving him out for a game or two will likely happen when we get towards the end of the year. However, a lot of this could come down to how the player feels personally.

If you read into his comments, it doesn’t seem as though he’s even up for any form of rest. Although, so long as he plays in nearly every single game, the accusation will always be available whenever he struggles to perform.