Stop Jota And You Stop Celtic, Right? Wrong. So, So Wrong.

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Three assists and one goal in two games. That’s Jota, that’s our player, that’s the guy who has such quality that the press is raving about him and the Ibrox illiterati are grumbling that he’s over-rated. Whatever gets them through the night.

The new school of thought amongst them – and I daresay amongst some teams – is “stop Jota and you stop Celtic.” Oh I dare them to try. Never has such a simple sounding footballing concept been so dangerous to those who promote it.

For one thing, it won’t be as easy as they think it will be. For another, every player they put on man-marking our Portuguese winger is one they don’t have to keep tabs of Kyogo or Maeda or Giakoumakis or Abada or O’Riley or Turnbull or McGregor or Hatate.

We have so many attacking options. What are they gonna do? Double mark them all? I’d still bet on someone getting away from his players and sticking the ball in the net. This team just has too many players capable of doing damage.

Every time two men move to cover one player, you get gaps and Ange has built a team based on moving in the service of opening, and then exploiting, those gaps. Teams who try to double mark guys like Jota are leaving acres of space for others to find.

So whilst the idea of stopping the man who has accounted for 80% of our opening goals might seem like it’s a no-brainer, there are too many variables involved for teams to be assured of doing to profitably. There is too much danger elsewhere in the team.

Ange will be rubbing his hands together at the very prospect of teams trying this out. One of the reasons for his rotating the wingers and shifting them from one flank to the other during the games is to negate those teams who do try something like this.

This is just one of the reasons why we’re going to win this league … the way we play, it’s more than most of these clubs will ever be able to handle. Even the tactic of static defence, of packing the penalty box, of putting every man behind the ball, is of only limited utility because if we score early in a game then that’s out the window.

Jota’s talents are not a secret. Teams should not be coming late to the party in working out that he needs to be stopped. You think Aberdeen and Ross County didn’t try to? Of course they did. It made no difference. They are not the last clubs who will fail to.

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  • Jimmy R says:

    What I love about Jota is that he is just as likely to play a first time pass down the line for someone on the overlap as he is to take the ball in and beat his man. Defenders have no idea what he will do, which is why he beats them so often. A one trick pony can be stopped. An unpredictable bag of tricks is another story. His exquisite touch, instant control and superb vision make him a nightmare to play against. Stand off him to prevent him racing in behind and he will pick a pass. Get tight and he will beat you in an instant. Double up on him and he will play an accurate 1st time pass leaving two defenders marking the guy who had the ball thus leaving more space for the pass recipient to cause some damage.
    That’s why it is such a joyful experience watching Celtic just now.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Every Celtic player on the park is capable of making assists and of scoring goals,
    They are all difficult to stop…..and….they never stop.

  • Garry Cowan says:

    Could we be on the cusp of greatness with young Jota? Who knows but I will tell you something it’s going to be interesting to find out? HH

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    Excellent James, and clean of any mention of that lot or the press, bravo!

    Ange has them deluded and fearful, a combination he’ll exploit to the fullest.

    Killie next, they’re due a skelping, tear them to ribbons and I can see that happening.

    Big Mercedes’ on the score sheet again, that will serve his confidence greatly.

    Strength to strength.

    Hail! Hail!

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