TOM ROGIC was a second half substitute in last night’s 3-1 defeat to AC Milan. After a passive first half in which Celtic again conceded soft goals, Neil Lennon finally agreed to change the shape and move away from 3-5-2. The introduction of Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic and moving Olivier Ntcham back into a deeper role allowed a more fluid Celtic to create a number of openings.
The thing that Celtic have been missing for weeks is a natural No.10, someone to play clever one-twos, dropping into half a yard of space, taking the ball on the half turn and getting shots away. Everything you think of when you think of Rogic.
Rogic appears to have all the quality needed to open defences up but the Australian just struggles to stay fit through injuries. Without this, I am sure that he would be away from Celtic – such is his quality – but as Christie and Ntcham arrived to compete with Tam, it appears that he is now trying to keep himself in the first team picture. If Rogic can keep himself fit, he has the ability to really turn games – we saw it last year in games that Rogic started in or came on in. Getting Rogic fit and having the luxury of mixing between him and Christie bodes well for the new season. We saw it against Milan. Their link up and variety of passing threatened to mount a comeback against Milan.
Rogic’s cameo on Thursday night means hes in poll position to start on Sunday, especially given who the opposition are, teams that will defend from the first to the last whistle. In the last game of the previous season (5-0 vs St Mirren), wee passes around the corner set up two from Rogic and more of that is needed. Especially on the showing from the other day against Rangers.
Celtic should now look to use Elyounoussi on the left, Christie on the right and the best striker up front with Rogic in a 10 role. This is a formidable front line and will dominate teams domestically and hopefully in Europe.