The Celtic Boss Has Dropped Some Very Big Hints About Going Two Up Front.

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It is a truism of this Celtic team that “one up front” has been a misnomer for a long time. This team hasn’t played one up front, not properly, in years.

It was Ronny Deila who first played what we think of as a one striker system with the 4-2-3-1, but his really was.

Those which came after it, first Brendan’s initial foray into that style, Lennon’s experiments with it and then the two seasons under Ange Postecoglou, were a sort of “one in name only.”

There is little doubt that under Ange our system was more akin to a 4-3-3 with the two attacking midfielders playing as de-facto forwards. Rodgers, too, has experimented with making his wide players into inside forwards, and it worked most notably with Scott Sinclair in his blistering first campaign where he was almost unplayable.

Celtic has plenty of talent out wide now. But what intrigues me is Brendan’s assertion that he believes Maeda plays better through the middle.

I agree with him, although I think we’ll miss his energy and his power down the left side. There is clearly something afoot in terms of our approach to games; it will be interesting to see what the boss has in mind.

Might we be about to make a radical tactical shift?

To two up front perhaps?

And who would we sacrifice to do that? Our inverted full backs, and go three at the back? Our attacking midfielder behind the main striker? Or would we simply go to a 4-3-1-2 formation, which would make perfect sense without hurting us in the middle of the park?

These are just some of the choices which face the manager as we go forward in this campaign, and the answers he comes up with will be what define the kind of season we’ll have.

He’s already talked about how he is tactically flexible; we’ve seen that. And I think his best tactical move whilst at the club last time was his change to two up front at Ibrox when we only had ten men on the pitch. It was a splendid decision and vindicated by the win.

If he’s going with two up front again, in a formation which lets Kyogo and Maeda play through the middle, together, I cannot wait to see how it works.

I often think that we’re taking our chances going up against packed defences with a single striker … I think if we go with two strikers there is no side in this league which will be able to cope with us even with their backs to the wall.

This could be the most important decision that the manager makes.

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