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Games Like This Will Make A Better League, And A Better Celtic As Well.

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That, today, was tough. It was tough because we were up against a team that was determined not to make it easy. From first minute to last today, Aberdeen had a go at us. They got in our face. If they had sat back and tried to defend we would have had a much easier afternoon. There was no chance of that as they went for it from the word go.

I think we needed a day like that, prior to going to Ibrox. We needed a team that would play in some manner similar to their club will on that day; aggressive in the tackle, getting in our face, trying to bully us and stop our natural game.

They succeeded to an extent, which is why we were very out of sorts. But that was a good test and a good match even if the team didn’t hit its stride and turn in the kind of performance we craved. And for all that, we got the three points.

That, above all, is important; even today, on a day when we were pushed to the final whistle, we have won the game. That’s the critical thing. If you’re going to be tested and if you’re going to be pushed then make sure that you hit the minimum mark, and we did.

I don’t think Barry Robson is a particularly inspired appointment at Aberdeen, and he has one point from his first six this season. But that was as good a team as we’ve played, in a game that mattered, in Scotland for a long time. His side played without fear.

They were aggressive and committed. If he can find a way to get that out of them every week that appointment will work out better than most of us thought. That will make them a better team, that will make this a better league … and in the end that will make us better as well. Because we have to improve if we’re to beat teams which play like that week in week out.

There were some really disappointing performances today. I didn’t think the midfield did enough to protect the defence and they didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either; that’s part of the thing, though, and one of the reasons why this was a big result.

How good do our midfielders and defenders have to be coming up against teams putting every man behind the ball every week? Teams who press you and make you work … that’s a better learning experience than we usually get, and when we come up against sides who do it’s usually in Europe and that’s when we get found out.

Because we get too few of these tests to really learn anything.

There was a moment when Holm went in for a 50/50 and won it comfortably; that makes me feel very confident that he’s going to fit right in and eventually he’s going to challenge established players. How fortunate for O’Riley that he scored because Holm looks as if he is going to be a major threat to everyone who isn’t Callum McGregor.

Kyogo was hardly in the game, but scored a beautiful opportunistic goal. Maeda had his most disappointing game in a while. Abada proved he has plenty to offer, but he wasn’t brilliant. There really wasn’t a brilliant player in our team … and yet we’ve won and we’ve won by a couple of goals. These are the teams, these are the games, which win leagues.

This team has a lot more in it. There is a ton more to come. There are a few issues which come out of todays game which I’ll discuss later – the injuries in particular – but above all else I was glad that we were tested … but more glad that we have passed the test.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    I agree with most of your overall summation James, we had to did deep against a very determined outfit and there were no star men in our side, but they knuckled down, they were as equally determined as Aberdeen and our quality shown through despite the forced changes.

    Once again though we saw that Taylor is not good enough for this Celtic team, he was a blue eyed boy with Ange but I doubt if Brendan will give him the same scope.

    A short man who is worse than a man short!

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