Brendan’s home truths, highlights and line-up suggestions for midweek

Brendan giving the Celtic players a few home truths was a long time coming…

Brendan Rodgers comes across as a decent guy, a real people person and good man manager. But don’t let that fool you, he can also show a ruthless streak as the players witnessed first hand at McDiarmid Park yesterday.

You can’t really blame him as the first half performance against St Johnstone was totally unacceptable. Brendan likes his players to dominate the opposition and move the ball at pace and precision, and none of that was evident in a dreadfully poor first 45 minutes.

How many Celtic supporters at the game or watching on television will also have been as angry as the manager as that half-time whistle went? Plenty! Brendan duly tore a strip off them and it showed as we turned the game around in the second half with a decent performance and three fine goals.  It was good to see that the players took his criticism on board, but it’s still worrying that they needed a kick up the backside in the first place.

Rodgers told them that with the greatest of respect to St Johnstone, this Celtic team had failed to score against them in a game and a half. Brendan demands quality performances, he’s a perfectionist and is used to working at the highest level of football. He admitted that yesterday was the angriest he’s ever been in his footballing career.

He said: “Some players want to be too comfortable and just do enough and that’s not enough at this club, you have to have that mentality, that intensity from that the first whistle.”

Whilst praising the players for their comeback he has fired them a long overdue warning shot. Let’s hope they heed that warning. For our sakes and their own. You also get the impression that the team that started on Sunday might not be the same as the line-up in midweek for the visit of Hibs to Celtic Park.

Mikey Johnston for one is surely going to replace Yang, who looked completely out of sorts yesterday and is going to have to work his way back into the manager’s favour at Lennoxtown.  Luis Palma was holding his hamstring as he left the pitch so could be a doubt and both Oh and Tomoki Iwata are surely deserving of a start?

Why not go with Oh up top and play Kyogo and Mikey Johnston on the wings with goalscorers Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley further forward and Iwata in the holding role?

Anyway, here are the match highlights from Sky Sports…

And here’s what the Celtic manager had to say to Sky Sports after the 3-1 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park yesterday afternoon…

Q: Brendan, can we get your overall thoughts on the performance and the result, please?

Brendan Rodgers: “Well, it was a really good reaction in the second half. It was probably the angriest I’ve been at half-time in my career as a manager. The intent and the mentality weren’t there, we were too comfortable. The second half is what I would expect, there was a much better energy and tempo to the game. Callum McGregor was absolutely brilliant in the second half and his goal – which looked like it was coming – sparked the reaction. In the second half, we were what I would expect us to be.”

Q: Just on that first half, was it a surprise, given before the game we were speaking about setting the tone early and having that tempo?

Brendan Rodgers: “Yes, it’s ambition. Some players want to be too comfortable and just do enough, and that’s not enough at this club. You have to have that mentality and intensity from that first whistle. As I said, the reaction was very good.”

Q: We’ll get into the second half in just a minute. Just to sweep up the first half, in terms of that goal you conceded, is that something that players have to do better? I know there was talk of a foul. What was your thoughts on it?

Brendan Rodgers: “There was no foul, we were soft. We got bullied at that moment. It’s a good ball in from Carey, but it’s a corner that we’d looked at working in the first half and we get nowhere near that aggression. Their keeper came and took it free under no contact and theirs was a good ball in, they surrounded the keeper and then we didn’t defend it because we weren’t aggressive with it.”

Q: A great second half, how much did Mikey Johnston’s introduction help in that?

Brendan Rodgers: “Yeah, he was outstanding. Bright on both sides of the pitch, he was excellent. He’s one that if he can improve on his tactical ideas in the game in terms of his pressing and understanding where to be then you can see the talent that he has when he does have the ball. In duels and 1v1s he’s very good. I thought he was bright and was really positive when he came into the game.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. Was actually fuming at half time yesterday, and was actually questioning as to whether these player’s are actually responding to Rodgers methods and style of play, with it being so atrocious?
    Far better 2nd half, but the question still remains and far from solved either imo.
    7 treble winners started yesterday, who played big parts in that success also?
    Throw in Turnbull who has been at the club 4 years now, so what’s the excuse for such shite being served up?
    So yang the scapegoat, far enough with him being so poor, yet where was the support given towards him, from so many equally as bad and poor?
    Mikey Johnston won’t be the answer either imo, with the typical performance of plenty of promise but the usual lack of quality in finding the delivery?
    Worrying signs have developed lately within the standard of performance, which mainly have been rank rotten for very long periods within matches?
    So questions need to asked as to why?
    Yet more concerning is to what the solutions are?
    This blaming of the summer window is an unacceptable excuse, especially when there remains so many questions surrounding the performances of treble winners?
    Was expecting improvements within the established player’s, yet it remains so inconsistent within them so far this season?
    Is there confidence issues within the methods of Rodgers?
    Is he actually over complicating matters with the adjustments he’s looking for?
    Until we start tidying up a mess that’s starting to form, especially within the more established player’s, then the January window stands to be another waste of time, with not being able to identify the areas that need improvement, when the stronger areas where we are meant to be sound enough, are playing so poorly on to much of a regular basis for my liking?
    The balance doesn’t seem right at present, upon what the manager is looking for, and what the player’s are decent enough at being able to deliver on a game by game basis?
    This remains the job of Rodgers to get right, and jury remains out upon just how successful he is currently doing within the role imo?