Play Bernabei as left winger when Taylor returns

I have no words to describe how bad a Celtic performance that was against Hibernian. To be honest, I do have a few but I know the Editor won’t l let me use them on this site. Where to start?

I recall Brendan Rodger’s words when we signed Marian Shved: “We’ve got about a million of wingers and don’t need another one.” I am surprised he didn’t recycle that quote when we signed Nicolas Kuhn last month given the current situation is very similar.

It’s early days for Kuhn and I’m prepared to give him more time. However, the performances of all the wingers last night were truly awful. Not one of them was able to take on and beat a defender and Abada and Palma strode about the pitch giving away free kicks in dangerous locations.

Having said that, the supply was woeful; the ball took too long to get to them and consequently they were static when it arrived, usually behind them. Bernabei was the only player capable of getting a decent ball into the box. At the risk of offending the manager, we could do worse than playing the Argentinian further up the park when Greg Taylor returns at LB.

By the way, I thought Bernabei played well at the back too last night. At least he brought some energy and fight to the proceedings as did Tony the Tiger when he came on. Well played both.

Last night we were relying on Welsh and Scales providing the killer balls to break down a packed defence. That didn’t happen at any point in the game and they usually managed to find touch or an opposition player, allowing Hibs to play on the counter.

We can’t keep lumping the ball upfield more in hope than expectation, the coaching staff have to sort it and not stand there with their fingers crossed waiting for divine intervention. We have done that in the last three league games when the team has performed very poorly, and scored two deflected goals and two penalties. Absolutely not good enough.

Idah did really well with the penalties particularly the second one given the huge pressure. He got very little supply in the box and we now know why Kyogo isn’t scoring. He is playing out of position because, if not, he knows he will be starved of the ball.

I was a bit worried last night even before the game when we were told Hibs had a four man midfield. We struggled to beat their high press and there was little if any creativity from our midfielders. I was even more worried when Bernardo was taken off after their equaliser and we brought on two of our “million of wingers”.

We had no control of the game, which then went end to end, and were lucky not to concede. We did exactly the same against Aberdeen when they took the lead with exactly the same lack of control and resulting schoolboy football.

To make the same mistake in consecutive games is unforgivable. Maybe we should sacrifice one our wingers to strengthen the midfield, particularly when none of the three middle men is playing well at the moment. If we can’t be creative in midfield in the absence of Hatate, let’s at least exert some control on a game and ease the pressure on our defence. Hatate is out for another 4 or 5 weeks at least so we need to come up with a Plan B. Brendan, it’s time to earn your money, we cannot rely on lady luck or VAR doing its job.

Let’s hope snatching victory from the jaws of defeat last night serves to galvanise the players and coaching staff. Otherwise, if we go into the St. Mirren game with the same attitude, formation and tactics, we are likely to lose our hold on the Scottish Cup and that will be a season without a trip to Hampden for the Celtic support – when did that last happen?

Christopher Wotherspoon

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

4 Comments

  1. Patrick Cullen on

    Ive been saying it for weeks now BERNABEI IS MORE SUITED TO L/WINGER THAN A L/BACK AND Calumn McGregor needs a hand in the mid field , change of formation is required

  2. Agree completely about Berni, wee man was one of our better performers; been looking at him trying to figure where he’d best fit in?

    Brendan said in an interview recently that he plays a 4-4-1-1🤷🏻‍♂️

    Our main problem seems to stem from everyone playing out of position; our CBs operating as midfielders, our midfielders playing as forwards, our forwards crammed into a tight space with about 18 other players and no room to manoeuvre…Kyogo isn’t a Striker, that much is obvious, but he does look handy when dropping a little further back.

    BRo needs to sort this mess he’s created out, or he’s out; everyone’s ran out of patience with him! …he seems more interested in his Gucci socks than fitba! He pretty much said he can’t work with these players, he needs better quality, yet every other manager in the league seems to manage with less talent at their disposal!

    The board and their tight fistedness aren’t escaping criticism either but this manager they appointed should be able to get a tune out of these players!

    I could go on but few want to read lengthy comments/rants, especially when they can see the problems being aired by themselves!

  3. Completely agree. He’s our best crosser of the ball, fast and creative. Showed a gritty side of himself last night that we haven’t seen before. Get him on the wing asap.

  4. Yous are off your rockers, he was bloody useless even more so than welsh. Was calling for his substitution on the 70th minute he was that gash! And i only seen from the start of the 2nd half.