Yesterday I paid tribute to the boys from E-Tims for their excellent podcast.
Today I’m sitting listening to it with my dad and I realised that were a couple of other things I wanted to cover from it, aside from the impact the weekend has had on Ibrox – more on that later for sure.
One of the things I found fascinating was when they talked about Callum McGregor and his comments on the tactics and the way the manager worked on that during the week before the game.
“We simplified it,” McGregor told the media. “And then we layered in the instructions.”
So much is spoken in that short summary. Rodgers knows he’s asking people to do stuff that is radically different, so as the E-Tims boys say, “he went back to basics, to first principles.”
And from there, he and the captain added the complexity bit by bit over the course of the week; where a player moves when he doesn’t have the ball, who should be where when we are on the ball … and what we saw was a team which finally knew what it was supposed to be doing. Now that they do, I expect to see us just get better and better.
One of the most interesting observations on the show was where they quoted Brendan Rodgers on Kyogo, and the perception we all had – mistaken, as it turns out – that he had told our central striker to come deep; in fact, the whole team was playing deeper than they have been for a while, as they tried to understand what Rodgers wanted them to do and that was the issue.
It explains the dearth of goals in those two games before the weekend, it explains the fall off of Kyogo’s effectiveness … and how when we switched back on, and the players understood, and played to, the managers instructions everything fell back into place.
If this is the case, and I’m sure it is, then the team is now fully tuned in to what Rodgers wants them to do. They are fully on board with every facet of his tactical approach.
The performances might be about to take a sudden, positive, turn … and that means that our rivals really are in big trouble. Because with a four point lead already, the last thing they want is to see us hit the sort of form where you can’t see who is going to take anything off us.
So far this season we’ve looked a shadow of that side.
Until Sunday, until the pieces started slotting into place. You’ll notice that nobody at Celtic is talking like this, and suggesting that you’re now about to see us at our best. Leave that to the Ibrox goons who want to use social media to excuse their own failures, rally the troops or bizarrely post pictures of disallowed goals.
The discipline this club is known for hasn’t let us down.
Nobody is making big predictions or big promises. Our team is ready to do the talking where it matters; on the pitch. I think come next Saturday we’re going to see one Hell of a show.