Celtic’s Hampden Hero Was Kyogo, But The Best Performer Shows How Strong We Are.

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Who was your man of the match on Sunday?

Kyogo? Hatate? Carter Vickers? Mooy? Maeda? Jota? Callum McGregor maybe? I liked the way Starfelt played and won every ball in the air. That neutered their entire playing style in the first half and well into the second.

None of them were my man of the match. I thought Alastair Johnston was extraordinary, and when you think about that, when you actually think about it properly, that’s an amazing and exciting thing for us.

Because what does it tell you about the strategy?

That it’s working. That it delivers.

That we’re not getting these players on luck, because let’s be honest no club is as lucky as our success rate in signings would suggest. There is no way that we’re bringing all these guys here on the whims of agents or scouts.

Alastair Johnston already looks like an upgrade on Juranovic, and perhaps a significant one. This kid made his debut at Ibrox. Within a month of signing he’s played against their club in a cup final with all the pressure that goes with that and he was outstanding.

We should now be watching Oh and Iwata to see if they are also as good as the players who have gone out. If they are, if they are anywhere near as good as the reports suggest, then I think we’re in a better place than perhaps any of us have ever seen Celtic, with a fully realised philosophy working hand in glove with a signing strategy that hits the jackpot.

When you consider how much we’ve squandered over the years – and how much the club across the city continues to piss up the wall – it is hard to believe what we’re watching; a transfer policy which results in nothing but strikes? It should be impossible.

But Alastair Johnston has fitted in so absolutely perfectly that you have to conclude that his signing is a masterstroke, and that we’ve brought in a player who is hungrier, fitter and more aggressive than Juranovic and even made a profit on the deal.

That’s beyond impressive, and this guy is already amongst my favourite players at the club and not just for his performances so far but because of his attitude and the way he has fully engaged with every aspect of life at a massive team.

He looks like he’s been there for years, and that means that it’s not just good players we’re identifying but the right kind of people … and that’s not even simply impressive.

That’s pretty damned near miraculous.

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  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Thought they all played their part and Starfelt had a solid game. Only wee disappointment, if ye like, was our 2 subs in the last 10 mins no takin good chances and makin the score higher. No complainin tho, even winnin by 1 goal did me.

  • Mark b says:

    Agree 100%. For me he is upgrade on Juranovic. Perhaps not as good going forward but much much much better defensively. He’s been a terrific signing … again

    • larsson7 says:

      I liked him at Ibrox,Someone mentioned the word the “Enforcer” played Ice hockey in Canada not to be messed with,I love that H H

  • SSMPM says:

    Can’t argue with that, we’re not missing JJ and that’s totally down to the solid form of Johnston. A great signing and credit again to the scouting team. After Sunday the question in my mind is; has Starfelt turned a consistency corner? Not convinced as only time and improvement will tell but I would so like to lose those doubts I have about him.
    Kyogo’s honesty regarding the non pen was admirable but in no way, shape or form would that honesty have been seen by their players.
    I don’t listen to snide radio but wondered if Mark Wilson has been so quick to jump on the bile chanting during the Ron Gordon period of respect as he was to blame the Celtic fans at the midden.

  • king murdy says:

    aye james….but our manager is dead lucky….

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    This lad from Canada will get better solid player a 90 minute player I prefer a solid full back but when he can get up to help in attack.But we also have very good wingers also doing that job all round Celtic getting better and better well done the coaching team players and fans.

  • Martin.H says:

    Thought Johnston was outstanding, on Iwata, what I’ve seen of him I like, when he came on against Aberdeen solid, tried to play a couple of one two’s, the other players never seen it, and he was screaming at them, and like all our Asian players bags of energy.

  • Fiorentino Ferri says:

    Enjoyed your article as usual. However, at the risk of being pedantic please note that word NONE is always qualified with a singular verb.

    Keep up the good work.


  • Michael Clark says:

    Since Ange Postecoglou arrived at Celtic Park it’s just got better and better. No longer do I panic when a player puts in a transfer request because he’s already got someone and not just anyone lined up to replace. He’s says we never stop, he never stops. He’s always looking to recruit regardless of the starting eleven. It’s exciting times ahead because he keeps raising the bar. Here’s to the next Champions league campaign.

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