Good day today.
The result was about what most of us expected and was no more than what was required.
Klimala got his first start and showed us that he’ll be handy once he settles down. He has pace, and I wonder if he doesn’t belong in a two up front system. McGregor was in the stand as I’d hoped, and although we didn’t get to see Soro we got a nice cameo from Shved and a very satisfying one from Bayo, who gave us a different dimension and scored.
We also got a belter of a striker from Ntcham and an odd goal from … Scott Brown.
He seems to think he’s in with a chance of winning a Golden Shoe this season.
Can anyone remember when he last scored this many goals in a campaign?
It’s all very welcome.
The draw has paired us with St Johnstone away. It’s a nice draw. Sevco travels to Tynecastle, where they’d have wanted to go about as much as a guy wants to come home from a “business trip” and tell his wife that she needs to get herself checked out at the clinic.
The line-up may have been somewhat unfamiliar, but the tactics had a very familiar ring to them; it was the 4-2-3-1 today. Would it have been overkill to play two up front? Possibly. I think Bayo could easily have bagged a few if he’d been on the park longer.
Let’s talk for a minute about Vakoun Bayo. This is a guy who arrived at our club for a tidy sum of money. He has been largely written off by a lot of the Celtic supporters. But I ask you, when has this guy had a real stinker when he’s been on the park? In the games where he’s played he’s done well. He’s even weighed in with a few goals. In the match against Hearts where they nicked two goals off him he terrorised their backline all day long.
This guy is a penalty box predator, with a physical edge.
But in a system where we play with one man up front he was never going to be preferred to Eddie. His game time has been limited by injuries and the brilliance of the best footballer in the league … those writing him off as a failure haven’t been paying attention. He was on for ten minutes today, and scored.
We have a player there. Don’t assume he’ll be behind Klimala or Griffiths in the pecking order either. He can challenge these guys for a place, and he will. That strike today will have done him no harm at all in terms of his overall chances.
His record at his former club was formidable, and those writing off the player because of the standard of the league he played in should take a day off; some of those same folk wanted us to sign Lawrence Shankland. Morelos was playing in Finland before he arrived at Ibrox.
A goal-scorer scores goals, and that’s not all there is to Bayo’s overall game.
Klimala did okay in his time on the pitch.
He was crowded out for much of the match by the now standard packed penalty box; this is why I’d like to see him as part of a front two.
His one on one with the keeper was simply a player who’s not played in a while trying something that didn’t come off. The hacks won’t give him a hard time over it because when Morelos missed a similar one against Aberdeen last week he was “very unlucky” and when Cosgrove did exactly that in the same game the praise went to Allan McGregor in the Sevco goal.
It was good to see Shved on the pitch too.
What did we see from him?
A player who made more of an effort than on the last occasion he got game time. I was delighted to see him actually, because we have a real player here who Scottish football has largely forgotten about … when he’s fully up to speed with Lennon’s requirements there will be fireworks.
Overall, that was a nice enough day at the office. It was one of those games you want to get in and out of as fast as you can, and move onto the next. A win, no injuries, a few comebacks, three goals and a couple of cameos. Perfect, really. A job well done.
That, by the way, is 33 domestic cup games in a row without defeat.
It has to be a European record, but I don’t see anyone in the media exploring it or publicising that fact if it is. In that time we’ve also scored 101 goals.
It is phenomenal.
We’re living through amazing times as supporters of this amazing club.
We’re damned lucky to have seen days like these.