Possible Injuries Are Revealing Of The Risks Celtic Are Taking With This Squad.

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Today we had a few injury scares, and whilst none appear to be serious these are warnings that we should ignore at our peril, especially in those areas where we are still somewhat lacking in cover for key players.

The main one continues to be up front.

An injury to Carter Vickers only presents a major problem as long as we don’t have only three first team ready centre backs. But at the moment, that is actually less than we have including Stephen Welsh who came on to fill that gap for us today.

I am not terrible concerned about that, because I know we will fill the defensive gap in this coming week and bring in that final piece of the jigsaw there. Nor am I worried about the midfield where Hatate getting injured caused us no problems because the squad also includes Iwata, Kwon and the guy who came on today, Holm, who I thought did very well.

The scary part is up front, where for the next six weeks we’re without Oh as our backup, and it’s not even that we might get an injury in that time which is of concern but the possible nature of the injury. We know that the guy who scored the second today, Kyogo, is due an operation; if he had gotten injured today what exactly is our plan?

Maeda played the 90 minutes today, on the left. The manager clearly thinks that he is the best player we have on that side of the pitch. Which means that we need someone else out there before we can consider moving him inside to the middle. And that, of course, presupposes that we have someone wide left to come in who the manager trusts.

And of course we don’t, or he’d have played in recent games. So yes, clearly there are some issues to be resolved and positions to be filled … fortunately we also have plenty of time in which to fill them.

The situation, if there is one, with Hatate is less concerning to me. His situation, unlike that with Abada, does not appear to have been resolved and until someone gives us a definitive answer on it – and I’ll write more about this tomorrow – this will continue to overshadow our current situation. But it shouldn’t because we’ve shown we can cope without him.

And that’s the key. That might be how Brendan Rodgers is looking at it.

Or it could just be that he wants to make it clear that you will have to work for your place as long as you are here. As far as I’m concerned, both are perfectly valid arguments at this time.

We’ve been given what is at least a timely reminder today if not an outright warning; there are parts of this team which need strengthening. The overall squad is fine, but when you get injuries that can show you where the weak points are and obviously the front of the house is the part of the team that comes most readily to mind … we are lucky none of these issues arose there.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    Is CalMac carrying a niggle?

    He had an off day today [for him]: not like him.

  • Shiltrum says:

    Hopefully CV has not been brought back to soon and his little hiccup is nothing to be worried about.

  • Johnno says:

    Still remain undecided upon how Rodgers intends to want to set his celtic team up for the season ahead.
    If you take into account a CL squad will consist of 2 players for each position, with hopefully bain as a 3rd choice keeper.
    That only leaves 2 positions available, which you would have to be filled by Scottish players.
    I know that today’s game has moved on from having strict formations in play, yet this current celtic team has the looks of a 4231 about it?
    Still not convinced this is the best formation available to be building a CL squad upon.
    Mainly due to our LB position. Wouldn’t rate Taylor nor Bernie defensively especially with CL in mind.
    Even wide left is another potential problem area also with the options available with OH and tilo unavailable currently.
    Forrest and turnbull don’t offer much if anything at all within these bigger games for ourselves and only will be making up numbers within a CL squad, yet offer rotation during that period of games for SPFL.
    Until our defensive set up is finally sorted out, then our performances possibly will be a bit of hit and miss.
    Hopefully this new CB can hit the ground running from the off as certainly will be required.
    Still believe with a better keeper with the ball at his feet and quicker off his line than Hart, a 3CB option as a back line could become available, and might even suit ourselves better going forward imo.
    If not an option then a proper LB remains a must and urgently also, I would say

  • Jimmy says:

    I worry that who we have brought in are young and will not be ready for Europe and even possibly ibrox. Need more experience in my opinion. Aberdeen could have scored a couple more today and that is a worry.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Yes. up front is a concern should anything happen to Kyogo, and there are plenty of hammer throwers in the opposition ranks only to willing put the boot into him. Maeda is the obvious answer should we be without him and we do have wingers that can fill the left wing berth at a push. Midfield as you say is pretty well covered and the defence is a still a work in progress. I would hold onto Scales though, he is first and foremost a defender, and I would prefer him playing at left back, he also has the flexibility to play in the middle of defence should he be needed ibn an injury crisis. We are looking a relatively strong squad barring one or two tweaks, and another striker would be very welcome.

  • SSMPM says:

    I worry still about our spine. The midfield’s not covered though Calmac and Turnbull looked like they was still under their duvets and hadn’t woke up. The spine needs more solidity. I’d rather Calmac was moved to a more progressive role as he can’t tackle in the way you want a CDM to do. He’s not being utilised to get the optimum from his talent and playing like a Cadbury soft centre does him no favours.
    Turnbull provided his usual inconsistency and a man wi a stick could see that Hatate was a class above when he came on. A couple of good SPL games then back to a no energy performance. Not sure what Brendan’s playing at with Hatate but I hope it’s no more than a strategy to get Turnbull to sign a new contract as a Scottish player. He has talent and energy … sometimes.
    With the current personnel I’d be looking to build a defence playing 3 at the back. Taylor, had a good season last year but had a shocker on Sunday. Last week’s performance not worth a mention either. He’s better going forward in the inverted role than defending.
    Could we not between CCV, LS, Welsh, Koybi, AJ and the new CB’s form a strong defensive line with 2 flexible FB/WBs when necessary but ideally playing as progressive liners. I’ve always thought the 2 fastest players should be the bhoys up and down the line. Big Joe had a better more commanding game this week but still we need to be finding his replacement along with a big fella up front. 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 pls Brendan. HH

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