Leigh Griffiths is a frustrated guy right now. I cannot think of better circumstances in which to put him into Sunday’s game. Moussa Dembele is on fire right now. I cannot think of a logical reason why he should start at Hampden. Play either and we’ve got the stuff to win. Play them both and this is could be a momentous day that we’ll remember forever.
Because one thing is for sure; Sevco cannot cope with the firepower we can bring to bear if just one of these guys starts and is on form. If they both show up lean, mean and ready for business we will absolutely dismantle our cup semi-final opponents.
We will run their weak, slow, creaking defence ragged. Our midfield might be a man down on theirs (they will certainly play three in the middle) but our players are better than theirs anyway. If Griffiths and Dembele have free reign their fans will remember the experience till the day they day, like someone was jilted at the altar.
I know Brendan suspects this. I hope he rolls the dice.
Leigh has been talking to the press this week, and as ever I like what he has to say. He’s disappointed not to be in the team at the moment but he’s not whining or bitching. In fact, like so many other players at Celtic Park right now (and I am thinking about big Kolo, in the aftermath of Wednesday’s game) his attitude is “must work harder.”
It is amazing. It is inspiring.
Leigh is pleading for the chance to play alongside Moussa for this game.
He knows the two of them will do real damage as a partnership, but the manager has his own ideas of course. He values the midfield balance, this is why he’s largely played the 4-2-3-1 favoured by Ronny Deila, and which was so loathed by our fans. Brendan’s version of it is a little different, in no small measure because Scott Sinclair adds so much to the system, and because the system itself is set up slightly differently and the team shape is far more flexible than it was.
But like a lot of bosses in the game he does believe in the midfield-heavy aspect of that system, which stops a team from being over-run in that area. When utilised right it can work to devastating effect, but I’m one of those guys who believes a top side should go with two up front (when they can’t have three up front haha.)
We have two quality strikers here. Both will score goals week in, week out. Brendan thinks they are too similar but I actually think Moussa is a far better target man type player than Leigh, who plays a more unanchored role and drifts around in the box.
Moussa has that other thing though, he can hold onto the ball under pressure, he can play with his back to goal, he can lay balls off to other players. Thinking of him and Leigh forming a partnership which makes the best of their different styles … it’s a beautiful prospect, and before this season ends I do believe Brendan will let them loose in that fashion.
Why not on Sunday? Warburton is dropping hints in the media about changing his system for the game; I do not believe for a second that he will. He doesn’t know how. We’ll face the same Sevco formation he’s been playing for months, mostly because he does, deep down, believe his own nonsense about the last game being closer than the score line suggests.
We can be the ones to spring a surprise, and going two up front would certainly do it. We can throw them completely off their game.
Hey, I have faith in Brendan Rodgers and this team no matter what system we play. We’ll win this game regardless … but all of us want to see a cricket score. All of us want to see this won with the kind of flare we did at Celtic Park, only more.
We all trust this manager. He trusts his players. If there was ever a game for putting together the two deadliest at our club, this one is it.
Go for it Brendan. Roll the dice. Bury this mob.