Criticism Of Celtic’s Korean Striker Is Fine, But Let’s Not Go Over The Top.

Image for Criticism Of Celtic’s Korean Striker Is Fine, But Let’s Not Go Over The Top.

I’ve known for ages that Oh was going to get real serious stick at some point. Know when I knew? The minute Giakoumakis started regularly banging in goals across in the States. I knew then that because we’d let a proven scorer leave that Oh was facing unfair comparisons with him.

I’ve also known for a while that Oh wasn’t really producing for us.

I wrote an article on that a few weeks back.

There are two things which have happened since then which has made this a mainstream talking point, and finally taken us where I knew the discussions about Oh were going to go; towards fierce criticism raging across the mainstream media and social media both.

The first is Rodgers’ admission that he sees Maeda as Kyogo’s backup and will sometimes play him in a central role.

The second is that on Wednesday night we chose not to introduce Oh to the game at any point, preferring to switch the formation and finally to bring on James Forrest in place of Kyogo. People assume that this is Rodgers writing Oh off.

But I read the same arrant nonsense from the likes of Keevins when Forrest started against Livingston; this was a “verdict” on our summer signings like Yang and like Palma.

What’s happened since?

Palma has fitted into the team brilliantly and is now rolling. He’s keeping Yang out of the side at the moment. A lot of people see stuff and rush to judgement without fully understanding what it is that Brendan Rodgers is trying to do.

Everything he did in midweek made perfect sense, just as everything he does as manager makes perfect sense.

The Champions League is no time for players to find their feet; Forrest has experience at that level and can play through the middle.

That’s why Oh didn’t get on the pitch, and for the same reason his total Champions League exposure so far is less than 20 minutes. Experience. Rodgers has pointed out how crucial it is and still piece miss that.

And viewing Maeda as our backup striker is not exactly an original thought or one that he’s only just arrived at.

He said this in pre-season and confirmed that there would be games where Maeda would play as the centre forward. Maeda plays as a striker for Japan. We signed him after he’d won the Golden Boot over there.

It stands to reason that he would be the number two behind Kyogo and Rodgers has been of that way of thinking from the start.

Oh needs to score soon.

But I’ve noticed recently that he’s doing everything else right.

He’s getting himself into good positions. He’s forcing the keeper to do work. He just needs the goal that will set him on his way.

He’s never going to be the proven scorer Giakoumakis is, the Greek is one of those players who has the predator’s instinct for goal. My criticism of the signing is that we replaced that guy with someone who was obviously going to take time to settle into the side and who had no record at all for regularly banging the ball in the net.

In short, we replaced a full international with a Far East project player, and that’s troubled me from the beginning but I was, like everyone else, perfectly willing to give the big guy a proper look before jumping to conclusions. Have we done that yet?

And I don’t think we have.

He’s barely started a game, and when he’s had an extended period in the team it’s then and only then that we can make a proper judgement. I think some of the stick he’s getting is ridiculous. There is criticism and there is going OTT and too many people have already moved to the extreme end of that scale.

I would not rely on him to provide backup right now, because you can’t and that’s a realistic assessment which has nothing to do with his potential or his talents … it’s based only on form and what we can see in front of us.

There is nothing that justifies his inclusion right now. But writing off a player who offers us a different element to either Kyogo or Maeda is equally mad … the manager will be looking for a way to fit this guy into the system.

And when Brendan finds that, we may see a different player.

He certainly needs to up his game, but nobody should be talking about ditching him just yet. That’s way premature.

Share this article


  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    If Oh doesn’t start to score soon – Get rid and Get Shankland…

    He will do for Scotland especially when The Asian cup is on –

    He might not in The Champions League but that (and probably Europe) is done this season sadly !

  • Young Kronkite says:

    You have admitted in you’re article that Oh has no record of consistently banging the goals in.I would have no confidence in him doing so.Obviously our manager agrees with me. This guy is almost 23 ,he can’t be called a prospect forever.I would struggle to tell you what his strengths are. We must sign another stricker.

  • Johnno says:

    Oh still falls into the category of learning his trade under Rodgers, and the role he hopefully will fit into the plans in the future.
    We have a number of players in the same position within the squad still.
    Over the course of the season will be a better time to see where his future could be with ourselves.
    As for GG and JJ they were at an age within there careers when they both were looking for the last big contact.
    We weren’t prepared to pay that, when bigger wages were available elsewhere.
    So believe that the younger option was preferred now and giving them the opportunity to earn the bigger contacts?
    Still don’t think it’s the wrong policy for the club to be taking, as hopefully will provide better stability for CL football in the long run imo

  • Andyboy67 says:

    It’s not OH’s fault we went for the cheap option as usual, we needed an experienced back up but do not want to pay the wages for one.The board are a disgrace £72million in bank and sign a load of project’s who are not ready for Europe.I fear if they do not back Rodger’s he will be off.

  • Jonny says:

    I think the criticism of him is more frustration with the board. We need two quality strikers with different attributes and a backup option. Maeda is a good backup option. Oh could be a good backup option where he would be given more patience to develop but he needs to be the number 2.

    We had the perfect blend with Kyogo and Giakoumakis and we let the latter go for buttons, a player who was the top scorer in Holland when we signed him and replaced him with another project. I understand he wanted to leave, which highlights the problem of keeping 2 strikers happy when 90% of the time we will play with 1, and even he got his fair share of rotation. So was it over game time or was it over money? I presume we’ll never know but doesn’t appear like we tried very hard to keep a proven goalscorer.

    Losing Kyogo to injury -and not being confident in Oh to allow him sufficient rest increases the likelihood of said injury occurring- could cost us the title. We will also likely lose all 3 for the Asian Cup but I’m sure everyone has confidence in the board that they have contingency plans for the cheapest option they can find…

    Anyway off to enjoy the game HH

  • SSMPM says:

    Oh just came on as a sub for Kyogo along with a few other changes. So far we’ve been far from impressive, lacking energy, intensity, and invention. Hopefully the big lad can be the one to burst the net. I’d take a 1 nil score-line at this stage. Bad day at the office.

  • Garry says:

    I don’t mean to be mr negative here, but you’re way off here. Oh will never be good enough for us, he’s had chances for the best part of a year now, and has never looked anywhere near the level required. We should offload him in January and get someone else in.

  • michael mccormack says:

    As long as his arse points south Oh will never be a player , he has no idea positionally when the ball is fired across goal he is always in the wrong place , his touch is suspect and his first one is usually a foul , whenever he comes on the park I shake my head in disbelief that this guy is wearing the Hoops.
    Get rid now along with Mikey Johnston who again offered fuck all when he came on and a few others who are either not interested, not good enough or past it .

Comments are closed.