Anything you can do,,,,
Another three points, still top of the league, five goals with our main striker netting, clean sheet, giants share of possession,,
so all’s good right?
Well, yes and no.
It was a statement victory given our title rivals banged on four the previous day, yet to these eyes it wasn’t a statement performance.
We weren’t scintillating, it wasn’t a total gubbing, this wasn’t vintage Ange-ball.
The team with the better players emerged victorious as usual, and the better team on the day came out on top. There were some obvious triangles and partnerships on display in the Hoops, our defence was much superior to theirs, and although there was individual brilliance on display that wasn’t the deciding factor.
Glasgow Celtic were simply better than Kilmarnock in every department, yet not at their best.
There’s positives to be taken dont get me wrong.
Big Jenz is a find,,very comfortable on the ball with either foot he never seems to expend much energy, and helps bring a sense of calm to central defence.
A central defense that has turned into a true goal threat, 4 in 3 is a fantastic return from the group.
Boy Wonder is moving up a level and is a cut above all in the land. He’s growing in confidence, and his magical moments help make football worth watching.
Kyogo found the net again, two in three is respectable.
G-Mak is a goal machine.
Both fullbacks are making a big impact on games.
The squad is as strong as I’ve ever seen.
We’re thumping teams five without playing great, which many believe is a good sign.
It would be remiss of me not to point out some concerns, of course there are as no team is perfect.
We are not a good team yet. We haven’t fully clicked, and are still finding our feet.
This worries me because the smaller clubs need to carry some type of form into the Champions League. The defense is looking better and contributing, so are the attackers, but the middle is questionable.
I thought our Captain almost invisible at Rugby Park, he was given the deep lying role which doesn’t bring out his best.
When big Jenz scored they ripped up the park and had two shots from inside our box within a minute. The midfield didn’t screen their defence well enough, the scorer himself still celebrating in his head and slow to get back into position.
We were quite often wasteful in possession, I swear if Maeda had Jotas first touch he would be at Real Madrid right now.
We haven’t faced a proper defense yet, that must be one of the weakest in the league to give up not one but two overhead kicks within yards of the goal, and Starfelt got not one but two chances to bury his effort.
Unable or unwilling to put their bodies on the line, not tight enough, they were very poor which flattered us on the day, and we shall soon face the best where that type of space never opens up.
We are taking our chances yes, but if no chances are given, you must create them and we aren’t doing that enough for my liking.
Hence the opening goal being the most pleasing to me, a pure football move with players on the same wavelength exploiting space with brains and pace, the correct cross with a one touch finish.
It was a thing of beauty.
Taylor deserves huge credit for his lovely inside pass to Maeda, it was a great team goal to score. I would have liked more of the same.
Another outside the box screamer is always welcome, but it’s hardly teamwork, neither is taking advantage of set piece defensive lapses. They are opportunistic goals, which count the same as well worked ones, and won’t be turned down, but I prefer the Hoops to play creative football and invent goals.
I’m delighted with the result but a single team goal doesn’t suggest we’ve hit a golden vein of form or are firing on all cylinders.
I fear Ange shall consider the points coming home justification for not switching it up in the middle.
If we assume Hatate is a starter when fit, it certainly looks that way, when he’s injured why not bring in like for like, for continuity if nothing else?
We cannot call up a fringe holding midfielder out of the blue for CL games and expect him to instantly perform.
And we cannot afford to play without one in that competition.
We either have one in the team always, or we don’t. Back and forth depending on one man being available doesn’t seem the most sensible idea.
Calmac there doesn’t work, we had two options in the squad, against a poor side was the perfect time to introduce some fresh steel in the middle, from the start with the aim of becoming integral to the teams overall performance.
Chance spurned, and I just can’t understand why.
But, Ange is a big bhoy and will do what he decides best, and be heavily judged on the outcome.
So far it’s going his way, but stiff tests await. Let’s watch and learn.