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Yesterday Showed More Signs Of Progress As This Celtic Team Steps Up Another Gear.

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Yesterday I thought we were absolutely superb.

That was the game I’ve been waiting to see since we beat AZ at Parkhead earlier in the season, a game where we went toe to toe with a good side and gave them a proper beating. That was 2-0 going on ten.

The performance was excellent, with the players doing exactly what the manager has consistently asked them to do; they chased the ball at all times.

The second goal is a classic case of what happens with the high press when it’s done relentlessly by good players.

It is exactly what he must have been hoping for. His style is starting to get across.

Ange has got this; you can see it. We’re watching as this team beds in and people get familiar with their roles.

The defence –the much maligned defence – had its best game as a unit yesterday and I thought all of its constituent parts did their individual jobs brilliantly.

I took particular pleasure in the performances of Starfelt and Ralston, who have had to eat a tremendous amount of dirt from some of the most ignorant people ever to have internet access.

I thought Callum McGregor was the best man on the park, and I’m not going to let a little thing like a missed penalty dissuade me from that view.

I thought Kyogo showed again when he’s the cult hero of the support and the best attacking threat we have or have had in many a year.

But Jota almost stole the whole show, with a dazzling display and a great assist.

But the real praise needs to go to the boss, to Ange himself, and the way his ideas are starting to bear real fruit at last.

This is a brave manager, and in a game that has gone stale and where solid defensive systems look like morphing into the next fad, we have a manager here who values forward play and attacking football above everything else.

What a breath of fresh air that is for us all. And what a contrast from the last time Ferencvaros rolled into town and left with us in our first real crisis of that campaign, after a game in which we were awful and played Ryan Christie up front.

Those days are over.

This is a new team with a new man at the helm, but already it’s started to look as if it might be the best we’ve seen in a while.

The great thing about it, of course, is that this team hasn’t even hit its peak yet, and probably not even close to it.

What a scary prospect that is for our rivals, at home and abroard.

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3 comments

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Yes ,this is beginning to look very promising ,I know it’s early days but I think we have a real good chance of getting the title back and therefore guaranteed CL money,things are starting to look up well big Ange and the bhoys HH.

  • Iljas baker says:

    Agree with everything you wrote James. This was an all-round excellent performance – a few mistakes here and there don’t diminish that. Best playing it out from the back we’ve seen so far and it might be my imagination but I thought the back four looked more comfortable playing it out from the back than did Rodgers’ back four when he was Celtic manager.

    Carl Starfelt was excellent. So what if late on through tiredness he got caught i possession. Mistakes happen at the highest level too – one from Barca allowed Tony Watts to score the winner!

    Also glad to see how comfortable Liam Scales looked when he came on. Would like to see how he performs for a longer period.

    Things never looking better. Have to admit Ange says things that really explain his system and the toll it takes on players better than any previous manager. And the icing on the cake is how he deals with the so-called tv and print journos.

  • SSMPM says:

    Starfelt has quality in him but right now also a mistake. I do however think he’s progressing into a player who’s now understanding of how Ange wants us to play. Its a high energy, high pace game with almost non stop defensive closure from front to the back and progression through the phases.
    Now that’s a tough ask if you’re new to it, the country and all. It demands a level of fitness we’ve not seen at Paradise not even through the Rodgers era. CCV looks a solid unit and together they are starting to bind an understanding. Please though don’t let Callum take the penalties, that one reminded me, was an almost replica, of the rankers McGregor save at a very important stage in that game too. Not a great save but same side of goal and a perfect height for a goalie. I don’t think we’re complete in any way but the signs look good as Ange says though this is only the beginning so a long way to go and much to look forward too. My only worry is that he will need the board’s backing to get us to the holy land. Reasons to be cheerful part 1, can wait. HH

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