Posted on Monday, 25th July 2011 by admin
Zaluska/Forster/Invisible Man/Forgot He Was There (6) – I could’ve played in goals for Celtic yesterday with the combination of Hibs offering nothing and Kelvin Wilson and Glenn Loovens keeping everyone out, Zaluska, who I can just about remember seeing, made a few confident catches early on but unfortunately Hibs never threw enough at him for him to cement his place.
M.Wilson (8) – It didn’t look like the much improved Mark Wilson we’ve seen so much of in the last 6 months had taken a break, the whole of the right side of the pitch is completely his own and something he’s added to his game recently is his zig-zaggy runs into the opponents box, leading to a goal, which ofcourse was duely wrongly chopped off, but Mark being Mark didn’t complain and got on with the job at hand.
Loovens (7) – Oh how the Celtic support must be devestated the game finished Hibs nil yesterday. With Samaras starting on the bench the boo bhoys’ had their sights set on the big dutchman Loovens and he certainly disappointed them with a display of commanding headers and competent defending. Obviously consistency is the big chap’s problem and next week in Dublin he’ll probably allow some hurling player to nutmeg him and score but ratings are about judging a player’s ninety minutes and Loovens had a fine afternoon.
K.Wilson (8) – Have we found the new Malky Mckay? Or is he the new Alan Stubbs? Or is he the first Kelvin Wilson? Very assured display from the big stopper in what was his first competitive start for about a year as Billy ‘Fritzl’ Davies kept him well and truly hidden after Wilson committed treason by signing for Celtic. A good early start led to a very good defensive header as O’Connor waited to pounce on a teasing cross, and Wilson continued to impress with a few very fine challenges, the best of which came as Sproule raced clear and after a poor touch was marshalled away from danger from our new stopper. Didn’t quite hit the Oliver Tebily heights of flicking the ball over strikers’ heads but if that 90 minutes is a sign of things to come then we’ve won a watch.
Izaguirre (7) – Wasn’t one of the performances that led to this bhoy being made player of the year last year but he’ll be content enough with his afternoon. First half he looked a bit off the pace but as the game wore on Izaguirre made more and more forward runs and very cleverly drew the foul for the penalty with a terrific drag-back taking him into the box when the defender fouled him. It won’t be too long before we see Izaguirre beating wingers and full backs for fun like he often did last year.
Commons (6) – Ineffectual from the Scotland winger but that has to be excused due to the system set up by Lennon. The focus was very much on the 3 central players in midfield and the two full backs creating the chances for Stokes and Hooper which led to Commons been frozen out the game. Used as the spare man in midfield he tried to create space from himself but was the most tightly marked man since Billy Davies finally let Kelvin Wilson go. Won the foul and sent the whipping ball in for the first goal so it wasn’t a horrible afternoon but Commons for one will be more determined to be more involved in the coming weeks.
Kayal (8) – The romantic football fan might not have noticed yesterday how many Hibs moves Kayal stopped yesterday, or how many Celtic moves Kayal started, but this is a player every Celtic fan has taken to and its impossible not to. Its been so long since we seen a player willing to go anywhere on the field to win the ball for his team mates and he’s not just a daft big boy who runs about like a headless chicken. All Kayal’s moves are calculated as he never leaves anyone exposed. September the 1st cannot come quick enough.
Ki (9) – What a difference a year makes. This time last year if you would’ve seen the name Ki and a 9 beside it, you’d have been forgiven for thinking he’d been sold to some South Korean team for £900,000. Gone are the days of him trying to find Robbie Keane with less than exquisite Hail Mary passes from 70 yards. If you surround Ki with quality he will shine through and that is exactly what Neil Lennon has done. Ki might now keep it short and simple but the last time he gave the ball away Billy Davies was keeping watch over Kelvin Wilson. A terrific goal which ruined an Edinburgh pigeon’s day which asks the question. “Who was Ki kidding on when he said he was right footed?!” Man of the match by far on a day when Celtic’s midfield dominated from start to finish.
Ledley (7) – By ratings wise Ledley looks like the least impressive of our midfield 3 but that is certainly not the case. Ledley is a fine footballer and is a footballer we are most certainly lucky to have at Celtic Park. Ledley links defence and attack to the midfield and is often seen in both boxes helping out the Celtic cause. Ledley along with Kayal is probably the best ball-winner at the club and never gave the Hibs midfield any time on the ball. Never ever makes it hard for himself or a team mate and has to now start commanding more goals from his game, Ledley is the complete footballer and it is a joy to have him wear the Hoops.
Stokes (8) – Terrific goal from the Irishman in a season he should be looking to hit the next level of 25-30 league goals. It took me a long time to take a shine to Stokes but I’ve noticed a lot of improvement in his game and his finish from that angle in a crowded box shows that he has the touch to score from anywhere. Few intelligent passes forward and held the ball up terrifically well allowing the midfielders time to get forward. This could be the big year for Anthony Stokes.
Hooper (7) – Looked slightly off the pace in the first half Hooper but he is still the very wise footballer we saw last season. Didn’t have the most generous of games when it comes to chances but is still prepared, along with Stokes, to get involved which led to Brines calling fouls against Hooper nearly every 20 seconds, and he was wrong to do so every time! When he raced clear he was wrongly pulled back for Offside despite being in his own half. Did miss the penalty however which is his second miss in a row but thankfully in the end it didn’t matter.
1. Teams are now switched on to Kris Commons and Neil Lennon will need to find another way of getting the ball to Commons as he is clearly our most creative player when he is on the ball.
2. Its time for Joe Ledley to start taking penalties. I’ve always been a keen admirer of a left footed player taking penalties for some reason. I think it was David Unsworth of Everton and Wigan fame who never missed a penalty whilst striking with his trusty left peg.
3. The Celtic support were excellent yesterday and one is left wondering why any player would reject a move to Celtic. If you don’t want to play to that backing then you obviously don’t want to play football.
4. James Forrest looked lively when he came on yesterday, maybe this will be another good year in the development of our rising star.
5. We could’ve beaten Hibs with a team in the stands yesterday, Take Cervi the sub keeper and add Thompson Hooiveld Majstorovic O’Dea Cha Towell Brown McCourt Murphy and Rasmussen and they’d have won about 9-0!