Well wasn’t that excellent?
If your team is chasing history, there are few better ways to start the campaign than by hammering your first opponents. Celtic did that today, and how. Edouard was the main man, grabbing a superb opening day hat-trick, but accolades should also go to Taylor, who was excellent, Frimpong who scored one and was brilliant, Christie who put in a tireless shift and Patryk Klimala who came off the bench to finish rather beautifully for his first of the campaign.
That was the performance we all hoped for.
Let’s start with the obvious, with Big Eddie, who was just superb. He scored, he ran, he worked, he tricked and teased. He is the complete player. When a certain other footballer was snarking his way through games last season, but still scoring goals, the media were in a frenzy trying to make daft comparisons between them. No-one is doing that now.
The brilliance of Edouard has rendered all such talk nonsensical. He is head and shoulders above any other player in the country, and a first day hat-trick is only the most recent proof of it, and one which none of us required. We cannot – must not – let him leave.
Those inside Celtic Park who would boil everything down to a profit and loss statement are missing the real equation; this guy puts ten in a row in the bag. He makes it a certainty. Keep him and all else falls into place, it’s really as simple as that.
There are others in this team who are growing into roles. Frimpong is a class, class act. We’ve known that from the first minute of his debut, but he too is becoming a formidable weapon in this side. The same applies to Greg Taylor who’s running up and down the left hand side today was devastating, and he has the assists to prove it. I thought he was great.
We need some central defensive reinforcements, that much is obvious, because if anything happens to Ajer or Jullien woe betide us, especially with Simunovic gone as well. But we don’t need a third keeper because Bain will do just fine as a backup.
Midfield is our strongest area and they performed as ever; reliable, steady, with a real quality. There are those who wonder if Christie is a better player than Ntcham in the central area; today he showed again why the manager selects him first, because apart from giving us something big in an attacking sense he works like few other players on the pitch.
The strength in depth we have was summed up by the substitutions. Klimala had an excellent pre-season and came on with something to prove. He did so splendidly. His goal was the best of the bunch, and he used his physical strength to outmuscle the defender who was on his shoulder. His finish was absolutely exquisite. He has something to offer.
All in, that was just great. As opening days go it had everything we wanted, except for the proper party that would automatically have gone with unfurling the nine-in-a-row flag. But you know, I’ve learned to be philosophical about that, because the ten unfurling is going to a lavish affair with all the things we’ve missed out on today and then some.
As an aside, the manager said that Leigh Griffiths went over on an ankle and that leaving him out was precautionary. That answers the other big question of the day quite satisfactorily. But Leigh should be on notice; the big Polish lad is not messing about.
The first weekend ends like so many other weekends do, with Celtic top.
Wouldn’t it be great if we camped out there for the whole of the campaign?
Anyway, happy days are here again.
The football is back, and the Green Machine just rolled over the opposition.
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