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Has Soro Really Declined Or Is He A Victim Of Celtic’s New “Refereeing Standard”?

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There was a piece on one of the other blogs yesterday about Ismaili Soro and his regression from the player who was allegedly drawing interest from England, at the tail end of last season.

Part of the issue is whether or not you believe that interest was real; even if it wasn’t, he was clearly playing much better football than he has been recently.

Soro is a bit of an enigma. I like the guy. You can see that there’s obvious talent there. You can see that he’s got the potential to be a real asset to this club. If.

The word is if.

If he cuts out the silly mistakes. If he learns not to rush in sometimes. He is obviously a good footballer, he reads the game well and his defensive skills make him a worthy player in that area of the pitch, an area where we badly need someone to emerge and make the place his own.

Soro could do that for us. If.

So what’s gone wrong?

First is he’s suffering a bit of adaptation shock. As much as any other player he has struggled to meet the demands of the manager and a team which the boss wants to build around constant movement. Soro seems to be struggling to fit into that style.

But a lot of players are adaptable, and I think this kid has shown mental resilience and the ability to adapt before. He has moved twice to countries far from home. He waited for his chance in a Celtic shirt. He will work hard and wait for his next one.

In the here and now though, what’s the problem? Is it just an adjustment period or is there more? One thing it might be is the unusual way our games are refereed.

This adversely affects players who play in the more defensive roles; they draw more fouls and pick up more bookings.

I have thought that some of the tackles he’s been pulled up for have been frankly ridiculous, and it has made him a little less likely to go into some and he tends to panic going into some others. This is not a good combination.

I think he’s been blown of course by a combination of settling into a new style and the knowledge that he’s likely to get a dig for every little incident.

There are two ways this is resolved; he either stops letting it affect him or this club goes on the offensive over that situation and stops referees from running our games according to rules and a different standard than others.

Soro is a very good footballer, with a good array of skills. Once he has adapted properly to the changed circumstances he will be an excellent squad player. If he doesn’t adapt he’s going to get left behind. That’s the brutal reality of life at a top club.

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3 comments

  • Pan says:

    We know that the majority of our referees are either incompetent or bend over backwards to help one club. The standard of refereeing in Scotland is pathetic. One of my refereeing buddies agrees with me. Most are not fit and can’t keep up with play. Their warm up routine before a match is what an old guy my age would do whilst going for a wee jog.

    I agree that quite a few decisions against Soro for tackles have been completely wrong. This has been the case with other Celtic players as well and also those of other clubs bar one club from Govan. The game is bent in Scotland and nearly all of our referees are not fit for purpose. The SFA is not fit for purpose either.

    England’s FA and their referees put ours to shame.

  • Jim says:

    He needs to stay on his feet, unless it really is a last-ditch tackle to block a shot. With his pace he doesn’t need to flying in to win the ball.

    Scott Brown learned how to tackle cleanly without going to ground much and so can Soro.

    Soro is a good player. He shouldn’t be sidelined.

  • James says:

    Was surprised no one was saying this. He’s a combatant midfield enforcer , as they say, but like Broonie he gets reffed to a different standard to other midfielders in Scotland. It’s the same for the rest of the team, but because of his specialised position in the engine room, more noticable, and more effective at breaking up our play/stopping us breaking up our opponents play.

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