Big week, Big call’s
Well it’s certainly taken quite a while but I do believe our title defence has finally begun in earnest.
There was always a real danger the team just would not click this year, simply stumble and stutter to the finish line weakly, but at last we have made the switches that have seen us shift up a gear.
That’s not to say we are perfect, but we certainly look better, much better, more like a proper Celtic team. The new breed have brought drive and desire with them, and the rest have responded.
We threaten to look like a good team at times, something many thought beyond us a month ago.
It would be foolish to believe all is rosey in the garden. For starters Odsonne Eduoard came back into the team, and once again failed to impress. It’s clear his reputation and price tag got him the nod over a hungry Klimala, who’s work ethic and natural instinct to play on the last defenders shoulder suits us much more than a deep drifting striker.
On the flip side the kid who slots in so well on Thursday night doesn’t even get a bench slot (unless we missed some injury news) which I’m struggling to file under great man management. Let’s hope Ewan is understanding but clearly Lenny isnt picking some players on current form.
The big concern is the news this group might be split up for the final to accommodate those who got the club there. This is not the news the fans want to hear.
For starters, moving to what many consider a weakened team would lessen the odds of lifting the cup, which may be our only real shot at success this year.
Publicly announcing these intentions was not the smartest thing to do either.
The Jambos will have loved that tipoff.
Then for what can be considered the look new side, they have the chance to go on and win the biggest game they have lined out for yet, plus the chance for three wins on the trot in what feels like forever, and then theres the shot at glory these special events offers.
While some may realise they didn’t play their part in the path there, they can fully play their part in sealing the victory, something just as important.
It’s conjecture but would lifting some silverware not give the new bhoys some much needed unity?
A real shot in the arm?
I can’t see how winning your place on merit then losing it on history will impress.
Most are in the game for medals, so winning them should really lift confidence in the camp. With that in mind should our new bhoys play and lose then perhaps this new found momentum could disappear, but then again playing them drastically improves the chances of victory.
Should the replaced be given starting berths only a victory would suffice, for defeat would inevitably see the place screamed down with those yelling why did you change it.
Then should the replaced go onto claim the Cup, presuming they come in only for the final based on getting the team there,we have the scenario of dropping cup winners which doesn’t make much sense. Many managers would stick with a group that just won building on that feel good factor they’ve had all week.
Will Neil set aside everything after the final? The last thing we want is Broony lifting a cup convincing Lenny he’s still got it. Likewise Rogic, Bitton, El Hamed.
Those who can be seen as yesterday’s men could actually rest assured if they see their replacements winning cup finals. They could all then see the transition in progress and rest assured their job had been done, time for others now.
Coming into the team and losing would be a terrible end to their spells, there’s always that risk. The last hoorah for the senior players going terribly wrong would be so very typical 2020.
Will young Hazard drop out as helping the side to silverware this young and so soon after breaking through may just make the lad? And let’s say Barkas does come in this once, would that really change things long term?
I can’t imagine that would kick start his settling down, give him the necessary confidence our keeper should have, or stall what is looking like a summer return to the continent.
I can’t see the benefits of a single game recall in his case if we are moving on with someone else.
The winners medal should help whoever is number one between the sticks settle and gain belief. Right now that’s the young Ulsterman. There’s no need to complicate things by switching him in and out.
Neil has really dug himself into a hole with those comments. He was beginning to take himself out of the spotlight, letting his players do the talking, but is in danger of helping good work unravel. Picking players on sentiment now when we have found rhythm, will only bring more doubts over his job suitability.
This could be the last big call Neil is remembered for so he will want to get it right, but the head should rule the heart on this occasion.
Frazer Foster won us the last cup final, sentiments should not run the risk of losing us this one.