Celtic’s Puzzling Defensive Situation Exposes The True Madness Of “The Strategy”.

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Yesterday, I read an interesting article on the state of our defence.

Then, today, the boss spoke about the players currently at the club and why so many of those who were signed for the back line have not played in a while.

His answer was good, but I sense that it was somewhat incomplete.

These guys have to do more in training, and Rodgers is not the sort of guy who is going to take out of the team in-form footballers who deserve their place.

But there’s more of course, and that’s what I mean when I say that the story seems incomplete. Rodgers is making a more general point, I think, without saying so. Perhaps he doesn’t even realise that he is, but it’s something a lot us well understand.

The strategy is not entirely wrong.

I’ll write a longer piece on why that’s my view on it, but there is one giant blind-spot in it, and it takes us back again to what I wrote about The Last Dance.

None of this works without the manager. None of it would be possible without his skillset being brought to bear and his ability to craft and mould a team.

He is the ultimate decider at the club and that is how it should be.

A transfer policy which runs counter to his views is doomed. And the principal reason why it is doomed is evident when you look at the situation with our back line.

The truth is, directors and directors of football or whatever other name you are giving those guys, are just not capable of building a team in the way a manager is.

A manager knows better than they ever will what he wants and what he needs. He is the architect, and it’s not even that they are giving him shoddy goods its that they are spending money to give him elements for his project that he hasn’t asked for, doesn’t need and ultimately won’t use.

These guys can sign all the players they want for the manager. The manager will only use the ones he thinks can do the job for him, and it doesn’t matter that some of these players have cost seven figure sums and some guy in the backroom thinks they’ve got potential. If the manager can’t find a use for them, or doesn’t rate them, it does not matter what anyone else in the club thinks of that.

The manager deals, mostly, in the here and now and whilst Rodgers does enjoy development, he certainly doesn’t want to be hamstrung by it. He has games to win, and nobody will be in his squad who he doesn’t think is up to par.

Rodgers makes that call, nobody else.

These guys can sign players for him, but he is under no obligation to play any of them, and so a lot of them are going to sit in the stand, proof of the disconnect between the needs of the manager and a strategy which is not primarily designed with those needs in mind … and that’s not smart.

That’s not intelligent.

That is not joined up thinking, and you can see the weakness of it in a summer window which didn’t deliver a single first choice starter, and added three more players from Asia when every single one of us was already aware of the Asian Cup and the probability of losing a large chunk of the squad.

Nobody will ever convince me that the summer window was planned with the manager at the centre of it. So much of the money we spent has, undoubtedly, been squandered as a result. Because not only do these guys not meet the manager’s needs, there is some doubt over whether some of them ever will because he has a definite plan and a few of them aren’t in it.

Surely our directors must see the lunacy in that policy?

A policy which creates waste?

A policy which might, in another time and place, split a dressing room and cause chaos at a club?

Come January this whole thing needs rethought.

Come summer it needs binned entirely.

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  • Jas says:

    The surprise to me is Dermot Desmond allows this situation to continue.
    He re signed Rodgers with some kind of guarantees presumably regarding who is signed and who isn’t!!!!
    Well it seems one or both Lawwells think they know better than Rodgers. If Desmond is happy as things are then I suspect Rodgers will be outta here the first chance he gets which leave Celtic as an untouchable job to any aspiring coach/manager

  • Frank says:

    the problem however is in the here and now. Our back 4 incapable of dealing with crosses-corners into the box and a keeper who wont leave his line to help them.
    Were is the planning? Against Motherwell Taylor out muscled at the cross and the balls in the net. Against St Johnstone he gets done again and we concede another goal. Is no tactics being worked on to try and cancel out this ongoing problem at the back working with what we have currently

  • Chris Allen says:

    Totally agree – we signed 3 midfielders albeit 1 on loan with several squad players already at the club. They are all now blockers to the detriment of our youth system. We currently have no pathway to the 1st team which makes you wonder why we invest so heavily with no reward.
    At present Stephen Welsh must be 5 or 6th choice Central Defender and with all the injuries in the forward line Rocco Vata is posted missing

  • Johnno says:

    Sorry James but have to disagree with yourself upon this claim?
    Rodgers took over, with ange having to use between iwata and Yuki as backup CB, and totally dismissing Welsh, who he never rated?
    Throw in the unexpected departure of Starfelt, hardly had us in a great position going into the start of the season, especially when the CB injury crisis came upon us.
    Step forward scales, to salvage the situation.
    But this has long been resolved, yet the defensive set up has become worse?
    Rodgers claiming to help with the development of players, yet so many going backwards currently, and this within treble winning players?
    I know you defend Rodgers vigorously James, but currently he is really starting to piss me off?
    To much whining and getting to much support from the anti board within the club, instead of getting on with the job he’s meant to be getting paid for?
    What’s the excuse for AJ and especially Taylor in looking a shadow of the player’s they were last season?
    Or even CCV getting pulled all over the place yesterday with Rodgers trying to be clever with using AJ to step into the midfield role instead of Taylor, and actually looked worse for doing so?
    Rodgers is just getting by with some of his nonsensical tactical decision making currently imo.
    Trying to be to clever, with an ego to big to admit when he’s getting it wrong?
    Is it really any surprise Leicester ended up getting relegated, with the amount of messing he wants to introduce into the defensive set up presently?
    It’s normal enough to want to play through the press these days, and when it’s worked we have looked decent enough.
    Yet at the same time, teams are becoming more used to the patterns of play, when we play out from the back,so can be far more aggressive with the press, especially with full backs lacking the passing ranges within them?
    We have looked absolutely awful on far to many occasions imo.
    Tactical genius? Not for me currently, and even more so when not really addressing the problems within the defensive set up either?
    Rather start seeing him do the job he’s getting paid for, more so than whining and trying to feed us horseshite upon his own tactical failings, instead of trying to play the genius and moaning at the same time imo.

    • Tyrone9 says:

      Good post Jonno: my sentiments too, though it would have taken me 4hrs to type and spell check it.

      I was totally pissed off at half time., probably worse than BR was…not just for those 45 mins but for weeks of poor performances. When Ange joined, we cut him a bit of slack….but if BR is an elite manager he doesn’t t need time and should win the league with Holm , Iwatta, Rocki all contributing.
      Maeda Rio Abada all due back and we’ve a good pool..use it properly. Cal Mac might even been on the receiving end of BR’s rant, but surely you play him in the right position and rest him more when games are won.
      It might read I m slating BR, but I m not. STEVIEWONDER can see the problems we have and its nothing at all down to missing Starfelt and Mooy……Jota possibly, but Palma has had a great start.

  • Tosh says:

    Why can Liam Scales not play left back and one of the other 2 buys of Lagerbielke or Nawrocki play in the middle? Then we will have more presence in the box, plus a better left back. Maybe this is a future thought.

    • Tyrone9 says:

      The players are there and them and we’ ll see. Imagine yourself getting used in power games between Lawwell and BR….. ( IF …indeed that’s what’s happening.)
      How happy would you be about lacking quality or not good enough in teaing games.
      Jock Stein said little to the press and most would’ve been constructive.
      Too many press conferences and CelticTV filming for me. It’s a football club not a reality TV production…

      Hail Hail…boys and ghirls

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Lawwell n’ Lawwell policy I’m afraid their hands are all over this one…

    I’m surprised Desmond puts up with it though –

    And the way Brendan was talking about January, he’s had enough – Cos if he hadn’t then I for one reckon that Brendan would’ve walked !

    • king murdy says:

      yep !!! 1 lawwell was bad enough…now we have 2 of the bastards in the house…ffs !!
      and that prick desmond sits in luxury in barbados/mustique or wherever, twiddling his moustache !!!!
      yep….” a club like no other….”
      FAIL FAIL !!!

  • sligo123456 says:

    I firmly believe that the Lawells are the main reason why we are playing pretty poor just now. I bet young Lawell cant offer Brendan a player without it going through Daddy first. Dont fool ourselves that Pedros non executive role means he cant rule the roost like he always has. How the hell did we let him back in? The answer is a very weak board and an owner who are only interested in money and who seemingly dont give a shit about success on the park!

  • Cheezydee says:

    When we had ange our windows were talked about being planned for as soon as the last one ended. I reckon most signings were in the pipeline and probably well down the road when it became apparent Ange was leaving. You count see why they probably stuck with the plan, even with a new manager coming in. Do you scrap all them and leave Rodgers to start from scratch from that position? I’m sure jota was a total curve ball, and Abada was 1 foot out the door. And I still reckon Rodgers had signings he wanted but they didn’t get over the line for whichever reason. I think tierney was coming if the Spain move didn’t come. Were signings happening if X players were shipped out, but we couldn’t force them out? Did folk just get better offers in terms of league or wages? Was Rodgers totally sure on what he really needed so soon in the job? He was ready for horsing scales but look how that turned out.

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