We all needed that today. It was desperate in the first-half; reminiscent of Lennyball back in the Covid Cup season. We’ve become far too passive in our play and the patterns are just not there for the vast majority of the games recently. Motherwell was the warning sign and thank goodness that the other mob are that garbage and mentally feeble that they didn’t cut the gap up at Pittodrie against Aberdeen.
That first period today was rather regrettable and Rodgers was right to be fizzing at half-time. It’s as bad a half of football as I’ve seen from any Celtic team and should be consigned to the dustbin moving forward. As has been pointed out by the manager, too many players aren’t brave enough on the ball and nobody is prepared to break the lines or get in behind. And don’t even start about the shooting during that opening forty-five.
Thankfully the players adjusted in the second-half and found a way back into the game. Unfortunately for Yang Hyun-jun, I think he’s not currently at the stage whereby you can hang your hat on him weekly to supply the goods in that team. The jump from Korean football has been all too quick and he really looks to be struggling to get to grips with Scottish football at this moment in time. He was like a lost lamb in Rome against Lazio and he was even worse this afternoon.
Sadly, a spell on the bench would do him the world of good just now but that might be difficult due to our injury crisis on the wings and Luis Palma looked to be in discomfort when he was replaced late in the match too. So it could be he will have to learn the hard way Yang, and go through the trials and tribulations of the deep end in a Celtic shirt. Who knows? It could be the making of him yet!
But a word has to go to the much maligned Mikey Johnston. The Republic of Ireland international hasn’t had it easy through the years at his boyhood club and Rodgers was the very man that introduced him to first-team football during his last spell at the club. He was the spark that helped us gain confidence in that one by dragging defenders out of position and helping to create overloads on the wings. It’s something we’ve sorely missed the past few games both at home and abroad. So kudos to Mikey today.
As for the goals, they were fantastic and were a flashback to Brendan Rodgers old Celtic team from a few years back. The captain was really struggling before that one and it will no doubt breathe life back into his game moving ahead in this hectic Festive season. O’Riley’s was an absolute peach and worthy contender for Goal of the Season already. The fact he took it on his weaker right foot just shows you the quality that that young man possesses in abundance. He was another one that was toiling in the initial gambit but grew in confidence and stature as the game went on.
By the time James Forrest poked the ball past Mitov in the St Johnstone goal it was just about time up and thank goodness that final whistle came. It’s been another slog at times during this one but the three points are on the way back down to Glasgow’s East End with the Celtic team. We can’t afford this malaise to affect us any longer and judging by Brendan Rodgers’ post-match interview with Sky Sports Scotland, he ain’t a happy bhoy.
Time to up the ante, Celtic…
Let’s keep the momentum going!