The performance, overall, on Tuesday wasn’t the best, and we know that.
But most of our problems were in front of goal. I thought that there were three excellent displays on the night, and these are the ones that we can definitely take some heart from.
The first two were at the back.
I thought Carter Vickers and Jenz were both outstanding, and when you see the way these two play as a pair it’s obvious that we need to get big Moritz signed on a permanent deal when his loan spell is up.
Carter Vickers had as good a game as I’ve seen him have.
The worry is ever that a player isn’t going to be able to adapt to the bigger stage; don’t forget, this guy was a multiple times loanee before he was brought to Celtic. These are the biggest games he’s ever played in and I thought he was great.
His presence so dramatically improves our defence.
The other performance that I thought was excellent should come as no surprise at all.
It was that of our big midfielder Matt O’Riley, who could have struggled on that stage if he wasn’t up to the required standard playing in that slightly more difficult position.
But he strolled it didn’t he? He was absolutely first rate and not only does that mean that he’ll do whilst Callum is out, but he offers us a real asset as a defensive player as well as an attacking one into the future.
I was really impressed by him.
There were others who did well; Haksabanovic is starting to look like a real find, and I thought that Juranovic had a very good night as well. There is a lot to be optimistic about, result notwithstanding.
Our problems are clearly in the forward area right now – which is an amazing thing to have to write – because I have real confidence in our back line when our best players are available to us.
These guys are going to do just fine if they all stay fit.
Johnny Green says:
October 13, 2022 at 12:42 pm
Tom Foolery says:
October 13, 2022 at 1:02 pm
October 13, 2022 at 1:54 pm
Iljas Baker says:
October 13, 2022 at 3:49 pm
Iljas Baker says:
October 14, 2022 at 3:04 am
Yes James, the three players mentioned were all very good in that game. Haksabanovic, although I am a fan of his, to me he was ineffective in midfield and he did not make much of a contribution.
I’m looking forward to the weekend’s game now, Europe is all over bar the shouting, and it’s time to get rolling on the home front again.
I agree with Jenz and O’Riley but imho CV didn’t look fit and i thought that showed up at times. He wasn’t bad…just not great which is understandable if he wasn’t 100%. But even if what you say is true then we are 8 excellent displayers short…doesn’t really inspire confidence does it?
Ange’s style of play demands too much from the players we have available for the CL. I don’t know if the Japanese bhoys had a 1st season bounce but that’s gone awol at the moment. Maeda is not a finisher, and no amount of striker coaching will change that. He’s a bloody hard worker for the team though. Hatate warrants his place, but like Maeda, the demands mean he can only fulfil that for 60/70 minutes and Kyogo’s lost his mojo, hopefull a temporary loss. GG should now have a longer run as he’s probably more of a natural finisher. The 1st team squad is not good enough yet for the CL and it’s becoming more and more obvious when we make those 60/70-minute substitutions.
As you say JG, the CL has all but gone but what we’ve got is good enough for the SPL title, so let’s keep our heads held high and get the focus back on that. We may be a few chips short of a happy meal, but we can’t and won’t lose this league to a team that’s the embarrassment of Europe. Ange will have to think harder about what he needs to develop a CL team for next season.
Mostly agree James that for the periods they lasted they played well as individuals. But the problem at the back for me is no real strength in midfield and full backs get caught up field too often so we are too vulnerable to a counterattack. I feel Ange doesn’t pay enough attention to the defensive side of things and that is fatal in Europe. I think we can outscore most (probably all) teams in SPFL but not in Europe. Given the players we have we are never going to be able to take all of our chances and taking one or two might never be enough when playing against teams who are better than us. I don’t think we can keep playing the Japanese players if they are not playing well, I think they must know that.
See breakdown of the value of the CL teams in terms of their players. I know it’s not the full story but indicative. Teams we are regularly compared with and who we are often encouraged to emulate in terms of CL performances such as Ajax and Brugge both spend quite a bit more than us. RB Leipzig too of course. But last year teams with lesser value players beat us.
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