Three Players Have Emerged As Part Of The Celtic Revival Plan. Well Done To Them.

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The last couple of games have shown us that we have three possible stars in this team, three players who may have a big, big impact on this title race.

One was signed last year but his deal was only made permanent in the summer. One was signed during the summer. The third was signed in January.

One is an Ange player. The other is a Mark Lawwell signing. The third was a prototypical Rodgers player, fitting his blueprint. All are important to us.

It’s weird how this stuff happens, and some of it is down to luck. I don’t want anyone thinking that because one of these players, Yang, is looking good all of a sudden or has something to offer Rodgers that it rehabilitates the head of scouting because it most certainly doesn’t. Those who want to defend that man aren’t getting it at all; we want the best qualified person in that job, and it doesn’t matter if he gets it right once in a while.

Besides, he’s presiding over a strategy that in the case of this one player has only now started to bear fruit, and that’s no use to us at all. Flooding the team with projects, none of whom was ready to make an immediate impact, doesn’t help the first team squad at all.

But I’ll say this; Yang, to me, always looked like one of the better signings because he’s big, he has pace and he is physically strong. That neatly fits into the Rodgers style which, I suspect, is why he’s suddenly found prominence in the side of late.

He is still raw. He is a long way from being the finished article. He has loads to learn. But there’s something to work with and if we’re going to play this sort of aggressive, front-foot football now he’ll do well get better the longer he is in the team. I wouldn’t hesitate to play him against Hearts, he is exactly the sort of player who can give their defence trouble.

Iwata is emerging as the next important player. Rodgers identified him as a good one over the summer, and played him primarily in central defence as we looked for solutions to our injury issues there. But as those cleared up he gave him a chance in central midfield and I think he’s looked pretty damned good there, which is what you would expect from the last clearly identifiable Ange signing, and a guy who won the MVP award in Japan in his final year.

Iwata is a cool customer. He is a tough player, although he doesn’t look particularly imposing. But he is strong and calm on the ball. He can tackle and pass. I like what I see from him, and the manager very obviously does. Keith Jackson made the ludicrous assertion that after being subbed against Motherwell that we might not see him in a Celtic shirt for a while; I told him if he wanted to bet on it I’d take his money. Not bad that it took only one game. He clearly doesn’t pay attention, because it’s been clear for a while that Rodgers likes the guy.

The third key player is Idah, and for some folks that will be the biggest surprise of them all. I have had a weird time with this signing. At first, I supported it because although I didn’t know much about him it didn’t take long to find out that he’s both quick and physically strong. I got into quite the Twitter argument over it when I said it made sense as a Rodgers signing. But I flipped on it when I found out that he wasn’t coming on a deal with an option to buy.

I still find that bizarre. It’s like we’re developing someone else’s player for them, and it is of course particularly frustrating now we see he’s got something worth having, which he definitely does. The thing is, he might be available for a reasonable fee and even if he isn’t the thing that matters most here is that we see the difference it makes to the team to have a player up front who brings those qualities which Rodgers required.

The summer window must – absolutely without question – deliver for Rodgers if he’s still at the helm. And that sort of striker is top of the list, followed closely by the left back we need. We’re glimpsing the plan, in the little things right now.

Let’s all hope that it is enough.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I don’t think Rodgers will be here if we end up having thrown this league away (He’d be very correctly sacked)…

    So therefore should Daddy Lawwell, Sonny Lawwell and Lord Lucan-Nicholson –

    Unfortunately the ‘upstairs’ ones won’t be jettisoned though !

  • Roonsa says:

    I think a lot of us Celtic fan blog readers are still feeling a bit rattled after what was, let’s face it, a barrage of scathing articles that followed the transfer window close.

    You have to understand that people very much take on board what you and your peers have to say and are impacted accordingly.

    As such, I do find it a hit hard to accept that we now hearing that things aren’t that bad after all. I know a statement win like last night can make people think differently about the immediate future. But I am not going to place too much hope on our chances when December, January and February have all been suvh roller coaster months for us all.

    I agree that the 3 players you mentioned, particularly Yang and Idah, have had a cracking couple of games. There’s no room for inconsistency now. We need top performers from now until the Scottish Cup Final.

    I am still very nervous albeit I look forward to Sunday. If we turn in another good performance at Swinecastle, my anxiety will ease just that little bit more. That’s all I can say for now.

  • king murdy says:

    unlike roonsa…i didn’t need a blog or the general media to inform me celtic were and still are in a bad shape…stevie fukn wonder could see it….
    only a fool would think we have turned a corner….the signs are there….but we need to play EVERY match with a similar attitude…and there does indeed need to be a massive clearout from the boardroom and recruitment to the coaching and playing staff…
    if rodgers can turn this season around… will be miraculous….albeit, i believe he has had a contribution to the mess.
    the huns ARE a poor side….i think we can take points from them….ironically, it’s the other matches that concern me…
    iwata is a player…….and llike you james…i thought from his first appearance, yang is a good un’ also…and of course big idagh…

    i was so despondent a couple of weeks ago….but starting to think we can win the title…


  • Jack says:

    Yes but players are settling into Rodgers way of playing confidence is growing my idea of the slump was injury to players Green brigade rightly barred cause of there behaviour they don’t speak for Celtic or there supporters the are teenagers been led by anarchists they have to see there hurting team on the pitch waiving Palestinian flags they have infiltrated the cheer leaders of our team and that’s it Celtic fc must know those causing trouble why give them allow them away tickets season book renewal coming up chance to get rid of the trouble who have some have not Celtic best interest at heart

  • Johnny Green says:

    If Norwich were digging their heels in and not accepting the option to buy, then if we really did want him at that late stage, we had no other recourse open to us but in accepting the loan deal. Iwata has always looked like a solid steadfast signing, but was unfortunate that there were so many midfielders in front of him in the queue, perhaps Ange should have had more faith in him and given him more game time. His worth is now shining through and Hatate might struggle to displace him. Yang for me, was an instant like, he just has something about him, a quick thinker along with his pace and full of enthusiasm. If he keeps improving at his present rate he is going to be a superstar as far as I am concerned.

  • Gerry says:

    All three have certainly brought a freshness that was missing. Yang showed glimpses, when setting up the winner at Pittodrie earlier this season. He hasn’t been consistent but has bags of talent and we are all hoping that he is producing that at the right time. Iwata has been so unfortunate with injuries …but for me, never lets us down when he is started. Strong, covers well and keeps it simple ! Again, let’s hope he can be a mainstay for winning this title.
    I didn’t know anything about Idah, I must confess, but his contributions have been priceless. Without his goals we’d probably be 4 pts or more, worse off. Not getting carried away but he brings strength, height, hold up play and a youthful exuberance. Let’s hope all three are part of a double winning squad !

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