Could A Formation Change Alter Celtic’s Fortunes And Quell Our Current Unrest?

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With danger comes opportunity, and as we know we’re struggling at the moment, and especially out wide, is this the time for the club and the manager to consider a tactical shift of the most radical kind?

A formation switch? And what options does he have?

Actually, there are a few. And they revolve around where we’re strongest as opposed to where we are weakest. Ironically, Rodgers might not favour them because in his view they aren’t attacking enough. But they might be just what we need.

The first and most obvious one is to go to a 4-3-1-2. Sacrifice the width, get the full-backs bombing, play O’Riley, McGregor and Iwata in the midfield triangle Palma behind a twin strike-force of Kyogo and Oh. That will shake up the dynamic. That will be unexpected.

That will give us extra strength in the midfield and up front as well.

Another system whose day might have come is the 3-5-2, utilising wing backs instead of wingers, a system not dissimilar to the one Martin O’Neill used to such great effect.

If we presume Taylor is better going forward, and we play Johnston far forward already that’s not a bad idea. Again, it lets you put more bodies in the midfield and up top and leaves you good defensive cover in the event that they try to hit you on the break.

The thing of it is, it was Rodgers, explicitly, who introduced to Scottish football one of the most interesting tactical tweaks of the last decade; playing a defender as an auxiliary midfielder in the current 4-3-2-1, because of how seldom teams attack us.

He might balk at playing three at the back, and think it’s overkill … but big picture time; it allows us more options in midfield and up front and I think that balances things out well. Whether it is something Rodgers would consider or not I don’t know, but a tactical shift has to be a priority here, at least to get us through the rest of the month.

If one plan isn’t working you do not stick with it and hope for the best; you change it up. You shake the kaleidoscope and try something new.

Teams know how to play against us now, and if we keep with the system, they all understand and recognise we are going to wind up in a really bad place. Anyone can see this. Surely the manager can see it.

It’s clear, that we would benefit from two up front, and Kilmarnock bullied the midfield so it may not be a great idea to have two central midfielders instead of three.

Either of those tactical systems would suit this squad far better than the current one where we have to play the likes of Yang or Johnston.

A cross into the box where three players might be waiting is better than the current system where there is only a solo striker. Three central midfielders and a guy in the hole in front of two forwards would encourage football through the middle and on the deck, and there is no Scottish defence that is set up to cope with that.

Plan A is not working. That much is clear.

It is certainly time for Plan B. Will we see it?

Rodgers would be mad not to at least be considering it.

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  • Roonsa says:

    Yeah, it’s certainly worth a punt. You, to your credit James, have been calling for two up front for a while now. I didn’t see the harm in it – especially at home against teams we’d expect to beat anyway. It obviously pays to keep the opposition guessing and to do that we need options.

    If we are going to test this out, the time to do it might be at home to Livi on the 23rd. The buffer zone we had to allow us to do this on a whim has all but evaporated. What we need against Hearts on Saturday is commitment and drive – not a punt on something that would pile even more pressure on the manager if it doesn’t work out.

  • Stewart says:

    He could have changed it any time in the last few weeks or so, for reasons only known to him he’s stuck by the formations he has,most peeps seem to be lost as to what’s going on,it’s deff got a feeling just before he went last time, somethings got to give,because this retric about quality players is not doing any favours to the current group of players hearing that week in an week out, I’m just wondering what ego is going to win,,

  • Tony O says:

    Big worry for me is that Brendan didn’t change anything on Sunday when change was clearly needed. Is he the same manager as before? Has his experience at Leicester dented his confidence? Something just isn’t sitting right with me since he came back

  • Johnno says:

    Would agree James that a tactical switch would suit ourselves far better imo.
    The style of football Rodgers wants to play is based more upon possession, and trying to use the wider men in one on one situations?
    How forrest is even used within that style of football remains beyond me, when couldn’t beat an egg these days, let alone a full back?
    Haven’t liked our full backs play and roles all season to date and contributing to the balance within the team not looking right imo, especially with there use of the football doesn’t suit whatever plans Rodgers is trying to introduce also imo.
    The midfield areas with using the 3 and looking for the full backs to make up the extra numbers in there, which is becoming a common enough tactic within todays game, just isn’t working for ourselves currently, and leaves us potentially to be over powered within the midfield areas imo.
    Personally believe that on to many occasions we have looked a player short in the midfield areas, with Rodgers potentially over complicating the roles of the full backs in the current set up imo?
    Believe we need to get back to simplicity in the roles that’s required from the player’s, so better understanding can be generated?
    Think we really should be looking at the 3CB option to begin with imo?
    Scales and CCV are plenty good enough to be finding the passes to break the press and we still have choices available to make up the extra CB required.
    Iwata could provide the extra cover defensively in the holding midfield role also.
    Could do with that extra midfielder in there as using a full back or the striker dropping in to make up the numbers, simply isn’t really working for ourselves imo.
    So we still have enough midfielders, and with that extra man available, could in theory allow for ourselves to find the 3 forward runners far quicker, and still enough pace within them to cause problems?
    So a 343 would be my preferred option and for Rodgers to simplify our approach in order to speed it up, as Personally believe it’s way to over complicated currently, and slowing our approach towards games within the SPFL down to much imo.
    Think trying to play in a certain manner between CL and SPFL just isn’t working as an approach for ourselves, with the differences in how the opposition play being so vast.
    The chances of introducing a new team setup before the winter break remains very slim, especially when time limits aren’t readily available with players so structured into robotic play and a lack of been able to express themselves with a freedom within there game also imo.

  • TimAlloy says:

    Struggling haha seriously, you all complain about the press with negative spins regarding Celtic yet the supporters are by far 1000 times worse.

    Killie 1st half Celtic miles ahead but second half we were terrible, Hibs match before we were fantastic, St Johnstone poor first half but excellent second half.

    We have be hot and cold but struggling oh come on now.

    We also have the ‘never wanted Brendan Rodgers brigade rubbing themselves’ every season we have a number of supporters who complain and cannot wait to spout doom and gloom or gloat when we lose.

  • John L says:

    Rodgers normally changes systems in a match, but he could see that they were all over us on Sunday and did Hee-Haw about it, I’m a bit worried that he has downed tools. I hope that I am way of the mark.

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