Get It Right Next Time
I’ve still not got over that display on Sunday,and as I’ve already said,I’ll NEVER get over that abomination of a strip that we wore on the day either. I’ve got a few Celtic polo shirts which are predominantly grey,including the official Swindon Shamrock CSC one. Pretty smart leisurewear,even on me.
But then,none of them have lime green trim. Anyway…
I suppose there is one minor benefit to the stupidity of having a World Cup Finals tournament in Qatar in the middle of a season,and that is the reduced number of international breaks before then. An associated benefit is that we won’t have very many of our players actually playing there,though those who do will probably need a breather afterwards-depending on how long their participation lasts.
Is it selfish to hope they all face an early exit? Yes,it is actually. Representing your country at these Finals is regarded by many players as the highest honour they can achieve in the game,and it would be churlish to deny them their,erm,place in the sun. So I’ll reluctantly wish them all well when the time comes. Just return in one piece,etc.
Of course,when other members of our squad are off globetrotting on behalf of their respective nations,some little piggies stay at home. During this period,I expect that AP will have them ticking over at training,while working on any weaknesses which he and his staff have identified. It won’t be ten days off for them,just ten days of having a slightly reduced intensity at Lennoxtown.
I mentioned on Tuesday some things that I thought needed some work,like overhitting crosses,not attacking the ball in our own box as we defend crosses or set pieces,making the wrong decision in dangerous areas-or taking too long to make the right one,and losing the opportunity as a result.
These are really only minor tweaks,a matter of reminding players of what came so easily to them last season,or during our 364 day run in other words. Ange also shouldered his share of the blame for Sunday,suggesting that he had got the team selection wrong on the day. I rather suspect that he was alluding to the number of changes made,rather than the individuals involved.
Last month,he made NINE changes against Ross County,in the midweek cup tie just before we played Sevco. When asked if that team selection was made with the weekend in mind,his reply was a classic putdown to the SMSM.
No,they were made with tonight in mind!
With an international break coming up,there was little if any requirement to be resting players,so I can only assume that he had already decided that Aaron Mooy was ready for his full league debut as a midfield anchor,having played his way to fitness. That DT and CalMac were worth a go in those leading midfield roles,and that Haksabanovic was ready to give it a pop from the start out left.
Can’t argue with the man who has been such a proven success in his short time here.
The defensive changes though,they were largely forced on him by injury,and should perhaps have had him wondering at the wisdom of making those planned changes as well. There is little he can do if his first choice right back and two centre backs from last season are injured,and he clearly felt that the replacements had never let him down before. Which is true,so why let it worry him?
The result of it all though was clear for all to see. Two centre backs who were strangers to each other,and a right back whose talents are obvious,but who needs continued game time to show them to the full. A striker playing with an unfamiliar partner on his left,and one out of position on his right. A midfield anchor short of game time,another midfielder with even less game time,and the third in an unfamiliar role on the right of the formation to accommodate them.
Aye,there is work to be done on the training ground. But maybe the players in our squad aren’t as flexible as we had previously thought. Ange won’t be working the players too hard during this break,but I suspect he will be burning the midnight oil trying to figure out how to avoid a repeat of Sunday if and when we get hit with injuries again.
And you know what? I’m confident that he will have the answers.
Above article by BMCUWP