Is It Time For Celtic Fans To Have An Honest Discussion About Oh?

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This is always a difficult subject to write about, in part because you never know what the future might bring, and with Brendan Rodgers at the helm its even harder to know you’re on the right lines because his development record is so good.

Yet sometimes I do find myself wondering about whether a player is fulfilling his potential.

We do need to have a discussion, I think, about Oh and whether or not we’re getting the best return out of our second striker, and that’s no minor matter considering the recurring fear we all have that Kyogo’s injury issues are going to hit us at the wrong time. We know that injury needs an operation, so that’s not an unreasonable fear to have.

It is tough to talk about this without relating it to a wider issue, which is the signing record since the hiring of Mark Lawwell. Since he came in we have signed one player who has cemented his position as a first-team regular and that’s Alastair Johnston. Luis Palma will almost certainly do the same and I have high hopes for some of our others.

But, taken as a whole that record is not terribly impressive and Oh is one of the players he signed, and he was signed to replace a guy whose value to the team was already known and established and who we cannot say that we have adequately replaced with our Korean import. It’s one of the areas in the squad where we are obviously weaker than we were.

I like Oh. I think he’s definitely a good player, and in the right team, and in the right system, and with regular football he could really be a star. But is this the right team, with the right system, and is he going to get regular enough football to shine?

Giakoumakis was capable of not playing for half a game, coming into a match and scoring a winner.

He could be out of the first eleven for weeks, and you knew when he came back it wouldn’t be long before he was banging them in the net. He had a record which gave you confidence that he would do that. I’m afraid that Oh doesn’t have that record.

And lately, he doesn’t inspire anywhere near that confidence either.

So what’s gone wrong here?

Some are going to say that nothing has, that Oh was never particularly convincing as a front man, and loath as I am to endorse that view there hasn’t been a moment when you’ve watched him and really thought to yourself that he had that Giakoumakis eye for goal.

There were games where he performed really well and I like that he gives us a physical presence where Kyogo can’t, and I can see times when that is useful.

But he’s a striker, and a striker needs to have that end product, that ability to create openings for himself and bury chances. Has he been here long enough to write him off? Absolutely not, but if he’s going to do it for us he’s going to have to do it soon.

Because right now, we’re probably going into January having to buy a striker, and I would have said, had we done that in the summer, that the striker in question would have been a good backup to Kyogo and Oh and I wouldn’t have been crying out for the finished article.

The manager, however, will know that the finished article is exactly what we do need.

If he gets his way – and his views have to be taken seriously from here on in – that’s a problem for Oh.

He could very quickly find himself surplus to requirements in a scenario like that. He could very easily find himself not even making the bench some weeks, and from that point he’s going to go backwards instead of coming onto a game.

I don’t know what Rodgers thinks of him; the boss hasn’t said too much about Oh, mostly because nobody has really put the question to him. And because there are a lot of goals in the team at the moment, and so many players who can play through the middle if the need arises I understand why.

But genuine strikers … we really only have one at the club, and I write that as a Maeda super-fan. I can’t imagine not playing him wide; he changes the whole way other sides play against us, and that alone justifies having him on the wing more weeks than not.

No player at the club is more in need of giving us a big, big performance than Oh is… and most of all, no player at the club is in greater need of grabbing us a goal.

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  • Joe says:

    Give the lad a chance I think he could be great go to a 4 4 2 him and kyogo

  • Jackson says:

    Have to agree on Oh……….he has the physical attributes alright but not in the same league
    as the big Greek.
    We most certainly need another number 9 in January, i also think you will never see Kwon
    in an important game….he like Oh in my opinion are on borrowed time.

  • Scott Campbell says:

    I’d have liked to have seen him start against Killie James. I’m hard on him, but in his defence, he doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to build momentum. And looking at the fixtures, it doesn’t like he’ll be starting a game any time soon.

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    He needs to start games, James. In the past we could afford to give a new striker game time in the early rounds of the cup, league cup and against “minnows” in the Premier league. But we’re not banging goals in for fun anymore. There’s no reserve football, hence if you don’t play in the first team, your chances to get game fit are zero. It’s why GG left.

  • Johnno says:

    Still to early to say James, especially with Rodgers coming in.
    Taken a bit longer for our more established players within the squad, to implement the changes a new manager brings than I expected.
    So wouldn’t be to harsh on the younger player still learning his trade.
    A run of games start after this international break where the quality within the squad is going to be tested far more with the level of rotation needed more so upon game time, than we have had up to date.
    Oh, along with the likes of Holm, Paulo should be getting more available opportunity to see what they will bring to the club and a better assessment could be made come January.
    There will be players like yuki and kwon that might benifit from a loan move in the 2nd half of the season in order to get playing time.
    There is also players within the squad that currently you can’t see any real future for them within the club, with McCarthy, Bernie and big Ben top of the potential departure list currently.
    We still remain a club in transition, that a new respected manager brings, and still to early to say just how successful the younger player approach will bring us, but encouraging signs already imo.
    Still believe that the keeper and left back position will get addressed in January.
    The striker might also join the list if Oh isn’t preforming, but for now I would still like to give him the benefit of doubt and hope he can deliver

  • Charlie Kelly says:

    Yes I agree he deserves a chance plus we also need to find out if he’s good enough,the bhoy always give ?.We really have to give him time as we can’t go and buy a striker in Jan,as most of players sold in Jan are not the best

  • jrm63 says:

    We have a second striker in Maeda who would almost certainly replace Kyogo if he got injured. Oh needs to go out on loan. Selling GG was never a good idea and the fans knew it.

  • Young Cronkite says:

    Oh has shown very little in a Celtic shirt. He can’t play with his back to goal. He doesn’t lead the line well. He doesn’t run the channels. He gets involved very little in the general play. I don’t know what he brings to the team. Even when he comes on as a sub he seems reluctant to close the opposition down. We must get another striker, absolute priority.

  • John says:

    Don’t see how you can expect him to give a big performance when he is only getting a few minutes at a time. A striker has to get a run to get up to speed

  • CS1888 says:

    Oh’s minutes this season –

    14 mins away at Ibrox
    21 mins home to Dundee
    8 mins away to Feyenoord whilst down to 9 men
    19 mins away to Livi whilst down to 10 men
    14 mins away to Motherwell
    4 mins at home to Lazio
    2 mins at home to Killie

    A young man coming back from injury, playing with a new manager and having scored with pretty decent regularity last season, I think the criticism is quite harsh. He may not prove to be the no.9 we need but I reckon he deserves a chance. Jurgen Klinsmann seems to think so….

  • SSMPM says:

    Only time will tell and maybe a similar opportunity to that which opened up for Liam Scales will allow him that and us the chance to properly decide if there’s a future for him here.
    What went wrong? Ange underplayed and got rid of GG and for a pittance too, creating this situation. I’d say AP obviously seen something in him as does Klinsmann and felt he could make it. That said, if Oh does get the chance I wish him well. HH

  • Eldraco says:

    It’s a strange one, I have never seen a striker play facing his own goal as much as oh I don’t know if this is by design or it’s the way they feed him but when he gets the ball in that position it takes two or three touches to get on target
    So a holding striker? Or looking for one two? With no one willing to run off him? Like I say strange. That said he definitely needs more time and more starts the 442 is a definite goer and Rodgers gave us hints of it in his first stint.

  • Jack says:

    I think Oh could do the business for us given time. Not much difference potentially between him and GG. Both decent players who would get better if playing regularly. Maeda is a great player, but if he could get better composure in front of goal and not miss so many good scoring opportunities, he would be phenomenal.

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