Brendan Rodgers has the nicest problem in football this weekend. Which of your top stars to leave out of the starting eleven? For the first time in a long time we go into a Sevco game with a full strength squad to choose from; any manager would kill for that scenario. But already the armchair generals of the Scottish media are second guessing the boss.
Let me put this as simply as I can; play Roberts instead of Forrest and I expect us to win. Play Forrest instead of Roberts and I expect the same. Shuffle the back line. As long as we have enough players to fill the respective positions I expect us to win. Play Sinclair and we’ll win. Drop him for Edouard or Griffiths and we’ll win. Play Dembele or replace him with one of the others. We’ll win regardless. Scott Bain or Craig Gordon? Doesn’t matter. We’ll win. Armstrong, Rogic, Brown or McGregor, Ntcham, Brown? It’s all just talking points. The result will be the same.
Sunday is all about Celtic. If we show up for business it does not matter what the starting eleven looks like. We will be in the final.
Everyone has preferences. Some of our fans are desperate to see Roberts and Griffiths start. Some would drop Sinclair. Others can’t decide from the talent we have at our disposal in midfield. Brendan will already be well ahead of this. I suspect he’s known his team for ages. It will be, I suspect, the following line-up; Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Rogic, Sinclair, Roberts and Moussa Dembele. But I could be wrong about nearly all of that.
And that’s the point. Brendan has choices. He has options. Choices and options that are denied to our opponents here. The media will try to spin it as something that will cause dissention in our ranks; they only wish that it would. Look at Leigh’s comments recently; they’ve been trying to unsettle him for months now, but not only is he not hassling the manager but he’s ready to commit to the club for life, as are others. Excellent news.
The hacks hate it when we get good news like that. It screws with their radar, because some of them really did seem to believe that there were issues with Leigh and that he was unhappy. Nothing could be further from the truth, and he respects Brendan 100%.
I understand, by the way, those who want to see him start. He would, of course, be a tremendous asset to us on the day. We may well be surprised with the final team selection, but if we are then think about how freaked out Sevco will be.
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