CALLUM McGREGOR is getting his leg pulled more and more for being the teachers pet. It seems that a week can’t go by these days without his manager singing his praises.
Ahead of this afternoon’s top of the table clash against Hearts at Celtic Park, Brendan Rodgers drew comparisons between McGregor and the US superstar Tom Brady, a five-time Super Bowl-winning quarter-back with the New England Patriots.
McGregor was outstanding last weekend at Murrayfield, particularly when he dropped into the deeper role after the injured Kouassi was replaced by Sinclair. And McGregor kept up that high standard on Wednesday night in Dundee when he just missed out on our Man of the Match Award – it went to Tom Rogic instead, mostly as a result of THAT goal. McGregor, though was the man who was making Celtic tick with his fast, precise passing.
“How many positions does McGregor play?” Brendan Rodgers asked yesterday. “He’s just got the in-built brain for football. I said to him that if Tom Brady got injured in the NFL I’d probably get a call for him to go and play quarter-back.
“His view of the game is up there with the very best, he knows the game tactically. Look at our first goal the other night. We always talk to the players about the speed of the pass and the first touch. When he gets the ball off James Forrest, you see how quickly he raps it through to Tom Rogic.
“That gives Tom time to get his shot off. It all comes from Callum’s speed of the pass and his ability not to be safe with it and play forward. He’s got so much courage to take the ball.
“Whatever area of the pitch I put him in, and tell him tactically what we want from the game, he does it. He’s played in that role and he’s been outstanding.”
The problem for Rodgers is deciding where McGregor’s best position is in this team and plenty of supporters are now seeing him as the natural replacement for Scott Brown when the skipper eventually calls time on his playing career.
“He might end up there, but he could end up anywhere,” Brendan said.
“It depends on the tactics of the season. Hopefully, he’s at Celtic for his career, but it depends what you want from the team.
“If he played for a manager who wanted it to go long and smash it up the pitch, he’s probably not going to play there. But, for me, if he’s playing in a top team, you’ll put him where he can be effective and he can be effective in so many areas.
“He’s such a big talent and it’s great to see him flourishing.”