The Celtic Manager Did Not Make A “Selection Mistake” With Kyogo Yesterday.

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The press today is united in one view; Ange made a “mistake” with his tactics yesterday.

There are numerous variations on the theme – “blunder”, “disaster”, “misjudgement”, “error” – but all amount to the same thing.

That Ange blew one of the big decisions of the day, that he tried to accomodate his two strikers and made a mess of it.

This is one of those things I mentioned briefly in one of my articles.

Yet it isn’t true. Ange did not such thing.

And he clarified that at full time.

An injury to James Forrest and a lack of options in other areas made him choose a “lesser of two evils” … but Ange was not happy about having to do it.

What makes this an important point to get across is that there are some sections of the media which are trying to present yesterday as a triumph for our rivals from an adverse position. Actually, their selection “crisis” was probably less acute than ours was.

McCarthy, Taylor and Forrest being fit would have changed the whole way we approached the game.

This isn’t us making excuses, but to pound on Ange for playing Kyogo wide left is to ignore that, in fact, those selections issues left him with very little choice.

For starters, who were the alternatives to Kyogo?

We could have gone with Christie out there, which would have weakened the central midfield because it was the very wrong game to play both Rogic and Turnbull both in. Ange learned that from midweek.

The midfield battle was going to be critical to how the game went.

As it is, I think we shaded it.

We would have been worse off without Christie there, which speaks, to me, to a need for at least one more warm body in that part of the pitch.

McCarthy will fill part of the hole … but McCarthy needs to be fit and ready to do that, and yesterday he wasn’t.

The other options were Bolingoli, which would have been a shock, and Adam Montgomery.

That would have been more palatable to fans, but no less difficult to imagine, especially when we were also missing Greg Taylor to back him up.

You don’t want to go with a young kid in that role when the first choice player behind him isn’t fit.

So Kyogo really was it, and as a player who has spent part of his career in the wide role Ange was sure he could do something.

But although our midfield did perform better than Ibrox’s over the course of the game our passing was poor and we never got the wide players as involved as we might have. That both wings suffered equally is pretty telling.

The problem wasn’t Ange’s decision, it was one of the players Ange relied on yesterday to make that decision work.

Had Edouard scored one of the chances we presented him with then nobody would be talking about Kyogo being better through the middle because we’d have won the game and there would be no need to look for things to beat people up over.

Edouard let him down, pure and simple.

Listening to Ange at full time, it’s clear that he would have loved to start Kyogo through the middle, but he saw no easy way to make it work without a big sacrifice somewhere else.

That he would have dropped Edouard had Forrest been fit – which is what he freely admitted to – shows something even more important; that he realised the Frenchman probably wasn’t going to get it done.

Without actually saying those words, Ange has given us a hint of his frustration.

This is why the next two days are critical to the rebuild.

Whatever you might say about Ange, he takes ownership of his decisions. He was forced into this one though, and he knew it wasn’t an ideal choice.

It was simply the best one he had.

That’s not a man making a mistake.

The mistake would be for the board of directors not to back his judgement in the transfer market, and give him the tools he needs.

Fortunately, at least in terms of the forward positions, we look as if we will.

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  • Ange Baby says:

    Dont know what game you were watching but our midfield was woeful yesterday so cant see how “they shaded it”.
    Christie had a poor game as did Turnbull-again.
    McGregor who had a decent 1st half, disappeared in the 2nd and never dominates midfield against Sevco.
    Thats 6 defeats and a draw in our last 7 meetings and I can’t even claim that we’ve been unlucky either.
    We have a desperate lack of leaders on the park.

  • SSMPM says:

    If Edouard had took his chances or at least one of them then its a different game but the press would still have found fault in us probably focussed on a severely Covid weakened rankers team. Not sure that our midfield had such a good game though or that theirs was better either.
    Ange’s options were limited. Edouard led the line well 2nd half against AZ so I understand playing him up front. It didn’t work and its clear it is time for him to go. Our options were limited up front which served to highlight that our squad lacks depth and our purchases last year contributed to that. We defo needs some additions of a higher standard than Sheffield Wednesday. Some players looked weary already from the high paced exertions of the last few weeks but if we still want to be in contention by January then we need 2/3 better quality players in. Looking forward I trust Ange will go to Asia in January to recruit for the 2nd half of the season and that his leadership will prove fruitful. We’ll just have to wait a bit longer to ram those veiled racist words down their throats. HH

  • Kendo88 says:

    I ageee we were short in left wing position amd there might have been a case to play Kyogo out there and play Eddy up top. However the flow of the game hD it changed early in the 2nd half and it was crying out for us make a change and put Kyogo through the middle with either Christie going left Wing or Montgomery. Ange didn’t recognise that need til they scored… that concerns me. Ge has to be proactive and makes necessary changes early to influence games in out favour. I believe in his philosophy and I’m confident he will get us success but he has to learn from his mistakes yesterday

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    The press of a particular belief or value system mis-reporting, manipulating or just plain lying about someone who is not of their ilk is a classic tactic when they fear the person – just look at how CNN, ABC NBC etc did it to Trump all through his presidency and beyond. See how the FBI just confirmed the “insurrection” narative was a lie. How they continue to shore up their current president, when he is clearly is advanced stages of cognative decline…

    But I digress…

    See it for what it is and it should delight you – its those who want us to fail crapping themselves, because they can see what we can – Ange is the real deal.


  • Peter cassidy says:

    Regarding Eddie at times we looked a man short midfield light weight defence played well upto the goal bad marking some positives but still a defeat we will get better providing we get in more quality players let’s see who we get .

  • jrm63 says:

    Said on here all last season that Edouard cannot hit a ball properly in open play. How many times did he pass back to the keeper last year? If we do have the misfortune of keeping this guy he should be dropped. Clearly not mentioning the fact that he is awful has now passed which is at least something. He is a man down every game he plays. McCarthy if fit would have made a difference yesterday. I watched Christie fail to pass to Kyogo midweek, and then Kyogo returned the compliment yesterday. That has to stop assuming Christie is still here at midnight.

  • Ange Baby says:

    Id suggest it is you who must be in advanced stages of cognitive decline if you think Trump was competent-stick to the fitba eh?

    • Bigchunkylardass says:

      I think you missed my point – have another wee read, see if you can get it second time 😉

  • Hugh Gerard says:

    Rubbish, he could have switched Eddie and Kyogo.

  • Jim says:

    Sorry James, can’t agree.

    If it wasn’t a mistake, why did we instantly become more dangerous when Kyogo moved into the centre? Kyogo had two great chances and almost levelled it.

    Believe the big man will have us going from strength to strength but yesterday he called it wrong with Kyogo.

    There was no ‘need’ to play Edouard through the middle. He could have played Edouard left. He may as well be hopeless out left and allow our world-class striker to play where he ought to every game. He could have played Montgomery out left. He had a game-changing impact when he came on. Ange had options, he chose the wrong one.

    The pattern of the game was exactly the same as with Rogers in his later days and Lennon after that. But hey, Ange came here for a challenge. Now he knows he’s got one.
    Ange has now seen for himself that Sevco are decent. They don’t allow anybody time on the ball, they don’t allow anybody to overlap them. They push everybody inside and hunt in packs. When they win the ball it goes forward and quickly.

    Starfelt was top-notch, as were the whole back line. At least that’s something to take out of yesterday.

  • Ange Baby says:

    It didnt work out yesterday because we lost & Eddy missed a sitter.

    That doesnt mean Ange made a mistake only that he made a decision that didnt work out-wasnt even a bad decision as he looked very good coming on v AZ.

    Surely Ange cant be held responsible for Eddy’s missed sitter?!

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