The news yesterday that Tom Rogic had turned down a move to a Qatari club has been met with a collective shrug in the Celtic support, and at Parkhead.
Rogic is a great player when he’s on his game, but he’s never been any use to us in the stands, on the treatment table or off on international duty with Australia.
That’s been part of the problem.
The other part of the problem has long been that he plays in a very specific position, doing a very specific job in the Celtic team.
When we don’t play a system that accommodates that role it’s pointless to select him.
On top of that, he’s not Lennon’s type of player. He doesn’t work hard enough, and that’s not a criticism, it’s an acknowledgement that the manager likes a certain type of footballer, one who’ll cover every blade of grass and it’s not his game.
Rogic has not been able to agree personal terms with the club over there; he’s not staying out of love for the Celtic jersey and Celtic aren’t keeping him out of love either.
This is now a marriage of convenience, but that ought not to trouble us much.
It’s the player who should be most concerned about that.
Celtic will happily hang onto Rogic because you just never know. You never know when you might need his creative spark from the bench, you never know when you’ll have injuries, you never know when the manager might want to do something radical tactically before or during a game.
But Tom Rogic will not be a first team regular at Celtic Park. If it’s really games he wants he’s taking a big chance turning down a move where he’s guaranteed to play because that’s a guarantee Celtic is not going to give him, as our club statement made clear.
Things were difficult enough for Tom before.
Now that Turnbull is at the club it’s impossible to see where Tom Rogic fits into the plan, even in the short term.
He knows that, which is why I’m surprised that he’s sticking around instead of pursuing football elsewhere.
It’s a risk for him, and a big one.
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