Happy Days Are Here Again!
As the headline says,happy days are here again! Yes,it might only be a friendly,and it is hardly against the most attractive opposition in Blackburn Rovers,but for many Celtic fans,that won’t matter.
For they only know that there’s gonna be a show-and The Glasgow Celtic will be there!
Even though it is the first chance to attend at Celtic Park for over two months,the first time also perhaps to meet up with old friends at familiar watering holes,there is little chance of Celtic Park being filled to the rafters. It is,after all,Glasgow Fair-and Easyjet cannot cancel everyone’s flights! Many supporters will be watching it inside the stadium,that is true,but many others will be sunning themselves on various beaches around the globe.
Although given the extreme heat forecast for today,I would suggest they pop into a local bar,staying in the shade and using their wi-fi,and watch it on the device of their choice. That’s what I’ll be doing!
So what am I expecting to see on display. Well,firstly,there’s the added bonus of seeing virtually the entire squad play a part at some stage. Ange has clearly decided that this method is the way to go as we use our six preseason friendlies to ratchet up our fitness levels for the season ahead. And given that he is allowed to use five substitutes in both domestic and European campaigns,I reckon it is a clever move.
It will give everyone game time without tiring them out,which is highly possible with two games a week right away. It gives our fringe or forgotten players an opportunity to remind the fans and the manager of who they are,what they have to offer,and possibly even why they were signed in the first place. For others,it is a chance to get used to their colleagues,people like our new signings-and Ideguchi too!
Now,that isn’t me having a cheap shot at Gucci. No way,not at all. I have very high hopes indeed for this young man. To wind back a few years,he impressed so much in Japan at the start of his career,that Leeds United splashed out around £4m on a 21yo. They immediately farmed him out to their feeder club in Spain-where he hardly played a game! That,I do not understand,as Leeds would surely have expected more game time or him.
The following season,he was loaned to Greuther Furth. Five games into his time there,he bust his posterior cruciate ligament. He tried to return,but only played a dozen games in European football in two years.
In 2019,still only 23yo,he returned to Gamba Osaka in Japan. He was still suffering,but the following season,he managed 28 games for the club. His fitness-and his game-were returning. As was his recognition at international level for Japan,where he has been capped 15 times. And in 2021,he played forty times for his club. Surely,his return was complete?
Not quite. He still had unfinished business in Europe. I don’t think Leeds gave him a chance-Bielsa replaced Paul Heckingbottom shortly after he signed-and the injury clearly took its toll. His goal is to achieve at Celtic what he expected to do at Leeds,and also to make the plane to Qatar to contest a Group of Death with Spain,Germany and Costa Rica.
He is the central midfielder we need,I am convinced of that. And he would have proved it by now had he not been kicked to buggery by a Sunday League player from Alloa. He has the positioning sense and ability to read the game that a player occupying that position requires,as well as the discipline to stay put.
He also has the knack of removing the ball so delicately from an opponent’s foot that he will run for another ten yards before he realises that he’s been mugged-watch,if you don’t believe me!
So am I predicting that Gucci will be the next big thing for Celtic? Not quite,no. What I am suggesting is that he was bought to occupy that position,and has all the attributes to do so. He has had a disappointing time of it in Scotland so far,but most of his team-mates have medals already,and he will want one too. He knows that the central midfield position is up for grabs,and he knows that it is up to him to make it his own.
Gucci? I’m telling ye,we’ve won a watch!
Above article by BMCUWP