When news broke that Simunovic and Toure weren’t making the trip to Germany we were confident Celtic could turn their defensive injuries into a positive with the inclusion of Eoghan O’Connell.
Brendan Rodgers owes some of his early season success in part to O’Connell’s ability to step up in the face of an injury crisis. The 21-year-old put in som top performances that belied his age and experience.
That’s why we thought it was a no brainer that the Irishman would come in and slot directly into centre back. Of course, we all know what happened next. Lustig was nudged to centre back and Gamboa took his place at right back.
You may feel that it’s wrong to complain about the managers choice seeing as we got a credible point and a good performance from the bhoys. However, Rodgers reluctance to even name the Irish defender on the bench last night even though he had travelled with the squad seems telling.
Boyata got the nod as Celtic’s only cover for centre back against BMG. Given the former Man City defender had no real game time since injury, the argument that Rodgers didn’t want to use O’Connell for similar reasons cannot be made. Unless the Irishman picked up a knock that has not came to light yet then I don’t understand his exclusion.
Is it a case of the manager doesn’t trust the youngster and only used him during an extreme injury crises?
Some fans may also point out that the youngster has plenty of time to get into the first team, I’d disagree with that point. At the age of twenty-one, you want to be getting as much first team exposure as you can in order to develop and fulfil your potential.
With so many games coming up in the next two months we will find out if Rodgers has any plans for Eoghan at all. If he doesn’t play a game between now and January then a loan move for the defender seems like a no brainer, or if the manager doesn’t see his future at Celtic then a permanent move may be reached.
Do you think O’Connell should have made the bench?