In the mind of Tom English, there lives a genius of unparalleled brilliance, a man who sees both far and deep, a strategist, a tactician, someone who can break the almost impenetrable code of football down to its simplest form, and make it understood by the lay-person.
Unfortunately for Tom English and anyone who has to listen to him, or who reads his stuff hoping for insight, that person only exists in his mind.
Whoever Tom English thinks he is, what we get is a lead-headed rugby writer who doesn’t even like football far less understand it properly. When Tom English has an original thought it’s to do with what to put on his post-match steak pie.
Ask him about the game itself and you’d be as well talking to the wall.
He is the latest person to promulgate the “Celtic over-relies on Kyogo” theory.
This one has a lot of believers in our support.
There are two strands to this.
The first is that it allows the media to second guess Ange any time Furuhashi doesn’t play or at least doesn’t play in the position these armchair “experts” think he should be, and secondly it allows them to paint Celtic as a one dimensional team with no other capable talents in the system.
Neither of these things is true.
But let’s imagine, for a moment, that there was a grain of truth in both of those propositions. How do we solve them? Well, I would suggest that the manager understands that the perception exists and he’s actively trying to.
If we really do rely too much on Kyogo then where’s the sense in leaving Giakoumakis to rot on the bench instead of fully integrating him into the squad and the system?
Is English really suggesting that playing Kyogo is our only effective way of winning, and that we should keep on doing it until the player collapses with exhaustion or gets injured, leaving us nothing?
The press would love it if we did that.
Because then neutralising Celtic becomes a piece of piss; stop Kyogo playing and you don’t have to worry about us.
English’s comments amused me for another reason; this imbecile actually based his entirely case on shonky “evidence”. He did what so many people in the media do, he picked out one fact and tried to blungeon the audience with it … and ignored any element of it which didn’t suit his case.
“If you look at Celtic they’ve dropped points in five live league games so far. Kyogo didn’t start four of those,” he said. “And the other one, he started wide left against Rangers … so when he doesn’t play through the middle, they’ve got a problem.”
But this is just nonsense.
There were individual issues with every one of the five games we’ve played without Kyogo.
The Hearts game was the first of the campaign, and we should have won it.
Against Dundee Utd at home we had enough chances to win ten matches.
Against Livingston away we had more shots at goal and more shots on target; on another day we’d have taken something from that game.
At the weekend, it would not have mattered who played through the middle had we persisted in the same stupid tactic of over-using the cross ball.
At Ibrox, he should have played through the middle.
But who did play through the middle that day? Only Odsonne Edouard, and there would have been even more questions asked had he been dropped because – ha! – the narrative of the time was that we still over-relied on him.
Still, I’d have played Kyogo that day as a striker. Edouard had mentally checked out.
Their defence was in no state to cope with Kyogo’s movement, as he proved within minutes of being put in that role. But few of us would have argued before the game that having both of them in the front line made perfect sense. Its failure didn’t prove that the idea wasn’t right.
Now we have the option of playing the Greek.
And English and others think we should abandon that option entirely and rely on one player.
Which makes no sense whatsoever and would be baffling to any proper football expert, all of whom would attempt to get Giakoumakis and Kyogo into the same starting eleven. Which is precisely what Ange Postecoglou is trying to do.
I do love the idea of trying to predict the results of games in which Kyogo didn’t even play though; it’s quite a trick English is attempting there. He should save his braincells dor puzzling over the complex task of opening a packet of crisps.
Notice that hes doesn’t point out that Callum McGregor was missing in a couple of those games – United and Livingston – as well as Kyogo;
And if the tactic is so self-defeating, how come it worked against St Johnstone?
How did we manage to triumph over Ross County without him in the squad, when Ajeti scored twice?
Come to think of it, didn’t we go up to Motherwell and win when he was having a quiet night?
He scored the third against Hibs, but we were comfortable before he did and that was another night when was pretty quiet.
This “over-reliance on Kyogo” stuff is simply a way for the media to class this Celtic squad as weak and to portray the manager as somebody who doesn’t see clearly what the rest of the world “knows” to be accurate.
But there is more one reason why we dropped points in those games, just as there was more than one factor at play in the matches we won.
Ange wants a squad that can function no matter who is in the team.
Even if English had successfully analysed the problem, which he hasn’t because he lacks a number of skills and the mental capacity to do so, he’s not offered a solution to it. Ange is looking for solutions to a range of issues, and he has the quality and experience to find them.
And I for one am perfectly happy to allow him to get on with that job and trust whatever he decides to do.
He’s the one who will own the success or failure of his decisions and his tactics and his ideas and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Scotland has some of the most uneducated, colossally stupid and utterly biased sports “journalists” in Europe.
Their analysis has proved to be wonky again and again and again, if it wasn’t designed to mess us about in the first place. I really don’t know why we’re listening to them on this. We’ve played 12 games of Ange’s first SPL season. Pieces are still slotting into place.
Passing judgement on any aspect of this plan is nonsensical at the moment, but of course that will never prevent the purveyors of nonsense, and the anti-Celtic hacks from doing exactly that.
Tony Boyle says:
November 2, 2021 at 4:48 pm
November 2, 2021 at 10:25 pm
November 3, 2021 at 11:00 am
So your argument is that in the games where we haven’t played Kyogo we have made lots of chances but not taken them? And having him up front wouldn’t have changed the outcome? Forgive me for being confused.
Why don’t we just play both of them up front?
Teams like Livingston play deep in their own half. You can afford one less in midfield. Or you could go 3-5-2.
It is harder for a defence to mark two strikers.
I don’t get the obsession with one up top. Martin O’Neil’s sides played with two strikers, they didn’t do too badly. Would we have been recomending that Larsson had to play on his own and not find a place for Sutton or Hartson?
Recently when Eduoard and Griffiths played together they formed a good partnership.
Do what works, take advantage of the talent in the squad.
Absolutely bang on lads. I’ve have had enough of this argument, we can play both up front. This is the SPL and that was Livi so somehow we must play one up front to help us achieve one point from six. It didn’t work. Can’t imagine leaving the King of Kings out for Hartson or Sutton or them out with only Larsson on his own.
I’m all for Ange experimenting with shape but if its not working change it. HH
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