Sunshine on a rainy day
First of all I thank each and everyone of the hardy souls who braved the elements to attend the fan protest. The weather never dampened their spirits, the speeches were still delivered rain or not.
Celtic fans coming together for the betterment of the club is always a good thing, long may it continue and in bigger numbers.
As for the match I’m still not sure what came as the bigger surprise, the performance itself or Anthony Ralston’s second striker-esque goal in three games!
If both are the new normal, I’ll enjoy this.
To witness Celtic fully click and play football the proper way had an almost universal affect across every Celtic medium yesterday, a mass outpouring of relief.
Relief that we are, well and truly, back.
It had been years since we witnessed such play, Brendan’s second season perhaps, and such a performance would have been almost impossible under a conservative Lenny happy to bore the rest of the game out at two nil with a few defensive subs.
Ange played his cards very well yesterday. I blogged last week the knowledge he sees what we see and is on the same page would be most reassuring, and that he needs to pick Starfelts partner now and keep playing him. Done, and a clean sheet to boot. A little victory that will give him more confidence in making his next big decision. If those two are going to be our first choice pairing for a while, it was a good time to start the partnership, and should be a little booster to both, another little win and it comes across as good management.
Knowing the stadium would have a sizable crowd and that presumably his troops were up for it against a weaker opponent, Ange went attack minded with orders to never let up expecting the entertainment to follow, and follow it did.
He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to rack up a statement victory raising the team and supporters spirits, clever on his behalf and a little brave but he clearly believed we would outscore them, correctly as it were.
Our ‘new’ right back helped in that department and given his clear positive attitude on the pitch allied with a fantastic workrate, one wonders could he keep the shirt for the season? At this moment in time, most would accept that, so the onus is now on the ‘kid’ to keep grabbing his big chance with both hands and make himself unstoppable. Ange would surely have told him this, and now he’s on my must watch list each game knowing he will burst a gut.
I incorrectly assumed a Soro – McCarthy axis would sit in front of our freshly assembled back five, and while I do think we shall see that one day yesterday it simply wasn’t needed and the gaffer wanted the buzz of a good victory. While there are much better analysts than myself on here I felt one reason we played so well was the lack of a lazy pass.
No Scott Brown on the edge of our final third to slide it sideways and slow the play, no languid Eddy to drop deep, return ball to passer and just about plod back into their final third, no Nir or Soro to constantly sit behind the play.
Calmac was the deepest of the trio with instructions to get it forward quickly, and then move himself.
No more lazy backwards and sideways was very pleasing after it became our bread and butter for too long.
It worked a treat on the day, though against a lesser opposition it must be said, and one can’t imagine that same midfield starting the derby game.
He was buying goodwill and gaining momentum, not fixing our issues. That should start against this weekends opponents.
And speaking of clever who but the Greek Australian knew we had our left wing men in the building all along. From a hit and miss Moi and a miss Mikey J, we were all wondering would we buy a new left winger?
No,, option one is buy a right winger and put your existing right winger out there and option two is put a pacey right footed attacking player out there with instructions to exploit space quickly and either shoot or set up.
Both options tried, both worked.
Very impressive by the boss.
But the day belonged to Kyogo Furuhashi. We’ve found ourselves a new hero folks, a star was born, and he is putting a certain Frenchman to shame with his aggressive movement and sheer will to score. He wanted those goals badly, worked his socks off for them, and is ready right here and now to lead the line in his own way.
He’s a breath of fresh air we can all rally behind, I hope the Scottish refs afford him the protection (and respect) he deserves, but that’s not on him that’s on everyone involved in the game.
My respect for Ange grows and grows. From his media handling to calling out the board he’s been his own man from day one and we are now witnessing ‘the walk’ to backup ‘the talk’.
Humble enough to recognize his mistakes, then courageous enough to act, he played the crowd to his advantage today but Calmacs postmatch huddle tells me he has also been a massive hit with the players.
That huddle looked everybit like Captain Calmac telling the players we are ready now and we will fight for this title.
Who do you think told him that?
Yep, they’ve played out on the field what they are saying to each other away from the field of play, we want that league title back.
Did anyone think Calmac was going to be a post game huddle inspirational speech type of Captain,,,me neither.
Who kindled that fire?
Yep that’s right, the man behind it all.
It’s took a lot less than many expected but Ange has already made his imprint on this team and it very much looks like silverware is the ultimate aim.
We now know it, Scotland now knows it, ‘they’ now know it, the refs now know it, Hearts will know it for sure.
That football the Glasgow Celtic way is a coming.