Kyogo’s Absence From The Asian Cup Should Not Have Changed Celtic’s Priorities One Bit.

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I do not like writing negative stuff. I hate it in fact. I wanted to be confident and optimistic going into the last eleven days of this window. Confident and optimistic that we were going to deliver for once, that Rodgers had a grip on things.

And now I’m not so sure.

Yesterday I wrote about his nonchalance in terms of the speed of the transfer business. I didn’t know until late last night that he said something even more disturbing, and I genuinely do find it pretty bad.

Whilst acknowledging that we need a striker, that it is a priority, he effectively said that Kyogo being left behind by Japan has “changed the dynamic” in terms of bringing in the proven player we’re screaming out for in the position.

Let’s examine the full range of his comments. I am disturbed to say the least.

“It’s an area we have to look at, we can’t ignore it,” he said and that has been clear since before the summer window shut. We should have done it then, but the board preferred to hoard the cash and leave us short. “It’s the balance between bringing someone in to challenge while acknowledging that’s a difficult sell to someone when Kyogo has been fantastic here.”

I disagree with that to be honest; we should be aiming for a player who is better than Kyogo and so the kind of player who should be very confident of doing that. This is the first problem I have with the statement he made. My issue with the next bit should be obvious.

“Or is it a young player who comes in with potential to improve and get better?”

Which sounds an awful lot like the strategy he’s spent the season so far moaning about. This virtually screams ‘project’ at us and I simply cannot support that. We already have one of them up front, his name is Oh. Although for how much longer we’re going to wait for him to become a regular scorer I do not know. I am very glad we’re not relying on him and him alone.

Rodgers continues in the same fashion.

“Those are the things that you think about, because it really is only for a short period of time that those guys will be missing. But, yeah, it’s all about availability,” he said, and I do not agree with a single word of that and nor what he said next.

“It’s also one that we have been looking at for a period of time and it would have really changed if Kyogo had gone away with Japan. That was our thinking process, that we would actually be left with no one. Him being here for virtually one game a week for a number of weeks changes the dynamic.”

And I want to scream reading that.

I want to scream “No it does not change the dynamic at all!” We need a minimum of two quality, proven finishers. Right now, we have one. Oh is a good player but let’s face it, he’s not a 30 goal player and all the hoping in the world will not turn him into one. So, the dynamic hasn’t changed one iota because Kyogo has not gone with Japan, it remains as critical as it ever was to have someone capable of stepping into his shoes.

When we had Giakoumakis backing Kyogo up you felt the absolute confidence that as long as one of them was fit we’d still have a quality player up front. How many more project signings are we going to mess about with instead of doing what we need to here?

There are two problems with having Kyogo as our only proven striker.

The first is that he’s just gone through a major form slump and we’ve seen what the consequences of that were. We’ve drawn and lost games in that spell because of a dreadful failure to convert our chances.

The second is that by the manager’s own admission, Kyogo is nursing a serious injury issue with the potential to put him out of this team for months and that might not happen during this campaign.

In fact, as he says, the player could successful nurse this through the better part of his time here … and it could just as easily go pop next week and then we’re in serious trouble.

Every time he takes the field and we have no backup for him we are playing Russian Roulette. The need for a clinical finisher in this squad is blatantly obvious to even the most gushing Lawwell fan and I genuinely thought Rodgers got this and understood that.

We are more than a year from the departure of Giakoumakis and we badly, badly require a finisher of his talent. So I am stunned to read that Kyogo’s being left behind by Japan has “changed the dynamic” because it has not.

It has done nothing of the kind and we are kidding ourselves on to pretend otherwise.

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  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    I agree 100%, James. The change of tone and content from Rodger$ is unsettling to say the least. It’s clear he’s bought into the whole Lawwell and Sons Celtic as a milk cow pension fund. And that’s why I never wanted him back in the first place.

  • Stewart says:

    True in what you say, I just can’t get away from the fact that lawell being in the building is swaying me to think of the so called biscuit tin mentally,, do I think there’s enough in this team at the moment to win this league,,, yes I do,,, but going forward to Europe for a decent run,,with new summer signings only in the door,, we will struggle again,, it always seem when the chance presents its self to pull ahesd and motor we put our foot on the brake,

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Rodgers a yes man ,to desmond and liewell,don’t think he’s even as good a manager as he thinks he is , remembering the humpings we’ve took in Europe under him.he is a puppet for this board all be it a very well paid puppet,but we have to be careful here because I can see sevco catching us here and getting the CL riches which would probably suit liewell and his beloved old firm.This could turn into a Lennon fiasco on his second tenure at the club,oh dear!!!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Very well put as per always by you James…

    It’s as clear as new spirit flowing through a Speyside Whisky Still That Celtic’s ‘custodians’ are waiting to see what Sevco do before actually acting – Rodgers has as much as confirmed this without actually saying it…

    So The Celtic Board continues to play Russian Roulette and Poker which frankly is something they have a deplorable record at – If I’m being kind they aren’t very good at it at all –

    Sevco’s very good custodians will of course have sussed this and it will absolutely occur to them that if they pull a golden rabbit outta the hat (Shankland) they will have a great chance of recouping his transfer fee ten fold…

    Especially as our old grey lot drag their feet at a grey old man’s snails pace –

    We will hear the usual bullshit – ‘Ah but we tried’ – ‘It’s not easy in January’ – ‘The summertime is the best time to do business’ – ‘Our key players coming back from months and months out injured are like new players’ (Until the next lot made of glass or this lot just back crumble again)…

    Lose this league and they will not be easily forgiven –

    But they won’t care or give a Continental Fcuk anyway !

  • Brattbakk says:

    It looks like Japan will play Korea in the last 16 so we’ll have some players back for the Hibs and Aberdeen away games. Maybe he’s considering playing Kuhn up top if Kyogo gets injured

  • SSMPM says:

    Whilst I agree that we need another, in my view an alternative type of, striker.
    It is hard though to ignore that there is an obvious change of dynamic. The potential of Kyogo picking up a new, or exacerbating his current, injury in competitive matches in the Asia Cup has now been diminished and he has a period of rest and hopefully recuperation also.
    The issue is whether this is or will be taken advantage of by the board not to recruit in this transfer window.
    It is no different though to the keeper or LB area. If either of the current players get injured then the the question of whether we have sufficient cover becomes valid. HH

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