Before I criticise one element of his article today, let me for a moment let Kris Commons off the hook. He did not suggest, as some headlines have screamed, that Celtic “hit the panic button” and immediately set about dismantling huge chunks of the squad.
In fact, he used a phrase which we’re all familiar with here; “evolution, not revolution.”
I’ve used that expression many times on this blog, and that is what this summer requires. Commons gets that, and said so, and so some of the more lurid headlines which discuss his article in the mainstream press, and some of the what I can only surmise is deliberate spin on them is the media at its finest trying to stir the soup. Commons has actually been quite measured.
Everyone in the Celtic Family has been quite measured, in fact. We all recognise that it’s one result, one bad day at the office, and although a particularly nasty one, with a pretty sore sting, we’re not really any worse off from it.
Where I disagree with Commons is in his writing off of the whole backline who played at the weekend. It is way too early in the day to be doing that. His comments on Bernabei, in particular, reveal one dimensional thinking. He reckons that just because we spent good money on the player that he should automatically be our first choice.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Bernabei has actually done very little wrong since signing for the club. And what he has got wrong I would tend to put down to his not getting an extended run in the team. There’s an example which comes readily to mind.
When Jack Grealish signed for Manchester City, it was ages before I understood what they had paid all that money for because they benched him and used him only sporadically. When he did play I honestly still couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
But once he started to play regularly, once he embedded himself in the team, once he was a regular starter, we saw something change there. He now looks like the dynamic exciting footballer they paid the big bucks to get.
Because even a player like that does need time to settle, he does need to be playing regularly before you see his quality … and Bernabei just hasn’t had that chance yet, and the reason is that Greg Taylor has been exceptional. That’s not Bernabei’s fault.
As to the idea that Kobayashi was too easily bullied; I would suggest that we are, again, basing that off a single moment in a single match and it can’t be used as evidence that he’s not going to cut it. He may or he may not, but making a judgement based on one shaky performance is to ignore that Ange has a pretty good eye for a player.
We’re looking to horizons above and beyond Scotland; we’re looking to finally make an impact on Europe, and Ange will know a lot better than we will what needs to be done in that regard, but Commons has it right; it’s not going to involve a full-scale rebuild of any part of the team. Three quality additions to this squad will elevate it to an even greater level and put it on a solid footing for the next campaign and hopefully we’ll see those players come in over the summer.
Nobody at Celtic is hitting any “panic buttons.”
As I’ll write later, that’s the kind of stuff they do on the other side of the city. To their detriment.
May 15, 2023 at 11:42 am
Kevan McKeown says:
May 15, 2023 at 11:53 am
May 15, 2023 at 12:53 pm
Kevan McKeown says:
May 15, 2023 at 1:39 pm
May 15, 2023 at 1:04 pm
Andy Duncan says:
May 15, 2023 at 1:10 pm
May 15, 2023 at 1:14 pm
May 15, 2023 at 1:28 pm
Neil Roos says:
May 15, 2023 at 2:53 pm
May 15, 2023 at 4:37 pm
S Thomas says:
May 15, 2023 at 5:24 pm
May 15, 2023 at 5:31 pm
Johnny Green says:
May 15, 2023 at 7:41 pm
May 15, 2023 at 10:42 pm
All these players that are being mentioned are all work in progress, it’s been that way since ange came in,,they’re all young players that will come good,, u can see that in they’re play,,there is good(footballers) there this has been the best 2yrs for many a year,,and one result does not change that,
Don’t think anybodys hittin the panic button, tho ah think for starters, we definitely need tae spend and get in another central defender and a solid, hard tacklin midfielder and that’s before we go intae the CL. Go all out and hopefully find the right players and get the right areas strengthened sooner rather than later.
On reflection James for me the main issue was we looked lightweight in midfield. If the fullbacks had joined mid much like Taylor and Johnston this might have allowed our class to show through. and for us to get a hod of the game.
@ Frank. Totally agree wi that. The mid imo needs a mix of strength and ball players. They had the mix and we had ball players, so we were outmuscled from the off and its becomin more obvious that we need a midfield digger in there. Hopefully they’ll find one.
What panic button?
There isn’t one in place and nor should there be either.
We are still in the process of actually expanding this celtic squad which is going to be needed in the future.
We are currently planning beyond next season when the expansion of CL games is going to bring about far more demands upon a squad with bigger numbers of players needed to manage the schedule.
This season we have trended to depend upon 20, when you count AJ and josip as 1 player like Oh and GG etc etc, which is the same number you need to fulfil a match day squad within the SPFL.
This number of players still remains to small nowadays with a 5 sub rule in place.
The squad has to be expanded to cope with injuries far better than we currently operate upon and this has been on show moreso towards the end of this season.
For the younger players we can tend to place to much expectations upon them when they still remain within the development stage within there careers still.
I look at a guaranteed 15 big matches, which we want to expand upon with more success within European football and of course cup competions and the business end of a season.
We are currently struggling to fulfil them numbers needed when injuries are involved and hopefully Ange can address that during the summer.
However there is still plenty of games available which players who might not be ready or required for CL level yet still there is a requirement for them to deliver within the games that we can tend to automatically take as a win.
Arsenal just lost the EPL title with such an approach, and we still have to remain focused as not to falling into the same trap.
Believe Ange remains the right man to handle it all, and certainly won’t be panicking over what the future holds especially where our current squad stands.
So with the scum possibly facing the prospect of Thursday/Sunday matches they still remain well short of being able to actually meet the demands of a whole season, especially when the impact of European football can have such an impact within a league campaign.
We will continue to get that balance right, which I still remain confident about.
I agree with you on Bernabei he has to be allowed to develop. Kobayashi is not the same category, and he did not make only one error. This has nothing to do with being bullied. Watch again – how many times do we loose possession from Kobayashi’s forward pass? Almost every time. How many headers dose he win agains the giant that is Sakala? None. In fact he didn’t win a header till the second half. That’s not about settling, that’s inability.
If we keep reacting to what the tribute act fan’s and their lackeys in the SMSM portrait as success, then were f**ked…….
Big Ange team selection for the latest Glasgow Derby was spot on as the hard work (league) had already been done, also with a massive (an actual real world record) game on the horizon it was a no brainer to rest players (I’d have rested more).
We have a great core of a team, an absolutely brilliant manager who has money to spend and a month of celebrations ahead (no matter how many times #nextseason is mentioned)
In my opinion we made some horrible defensive errors, gave the ball away far too often and were outmuscled and 2nd to every ball. Sure it’s only one game but momentum is so important in football (ask Arsenal how they feel!) and we have let them off the hook a bit.
It’s actually the manner of the defeat, we seemed to have gone down with a whimper. Let’s hope St Mirren see a mighty backlash.
Exactly what I was thinking , you can’t write them off after one bad performance, if that was the case half of the opposite team wouldn’tbe on the field .some pundits and others getting carried away , but they have to write something I suppose
To be fair, Bernabei has played more than enough to make reasonable judgements of him. I’ve not seen him play well, at all. Even in the game where he scored that absolute belter at the end, I thought he was poor. But, that’s the manager’s call to make, and he’s far better placed to make it than I am.
To the extent that winning the game at the weekend mattered (versus, say, not running the risk of injuries moving forward), making a third change to the backline when two had already been imposed may not have been a good move.
I think we need at least one and preferably two genuinely athletic midfielders. But, I thought that well before Saturday. That’s where the team really needs to evolve.
I also think we need a goalkeeper. Hart has done very well for us and we should all be grateful, but he’s showing every sign of coming to the end of his line. He’s a decent shot stopper, but not great. He’s not great with the ball at his feet. He doesn’t have the reactive pace to cope with the genuinely high line Ange prefers and so we have played the system with a compromise (which leaves space between the keeper and the defence and leads to chaos occasionally – and often in Europe). He is clearly an important personality in the squad (and so someone you might want to keep around the place if he’s up for it), but overestimating things like that is usually costly.
Good analysis.. Jack Grealish is a hell of a player.. and one of my favourites to watch. I certainly won’t be writing bernabei off.. I was one of the ones who thought Starfeld was garbage, but to be fair to the guy he has been very good over the last few months.
Not many tackles on the celtic midfielders would not be allowed in europe leagues cantwell fouling through the game and not a booking yes now if we look at mclean record with celtic im suprised celtic havent asked about why he is brought into ref this game with no away support allowed thus every tackled won fairly and unfairly by home side cheered every away teams ref give foul against cheered so mclean gave a poor oerfirmance by away team and might have revelled in the cheers he was getying from the home support the only ones allowed in thus fixture which only highlights the dishonesty off 2or 3 referees that makes the rest look bad my opinion and a lot of people that there is poor refs that let there up bringing rule there proffessional thinking i honestly look at mclean record in celtic games and its awful its just a bais against this club
To be honest. I did start a comment but it was getting too long winded and so I abandoned it as I don’t like comments that turn into a novel.
That was a disgrace on Saturday but totally expected for a wile now. Livingston,
Motherwell, St Mirren and the rest have all had their 5, 10, 15 etc., minutes rag-dolling Celtic this season. Hearts, with has-beens like Barrie McKay, managed it for 25 minutes and then Beale and his drop-outs come along and keep it up for 90.+ minutes and score three going for ten. Angeball cuffed by Tribute Angeball. The original outplayed by the copy.
So the answer by all means is definitely yes, press the red button, and keep it pressed until all this useless deadwood, including recent signings, are back where they belong.
I was hoping Celtic had slipped off home during the half-time break and abandoned viewing
well before the finish to go and cut the lawn.
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