Despite an impressive second half performance against Motherwell Celtic failed to turn up in the first.

The Hoops consistently dominate possession but for much of the game without threatening the opposition.

Brendan Rodgers himself has previously spoken about the way the Bhoys play under him and how he has not made any changes to the speed of play.

He said: [Daily Record] “I’ve heard the bits and pieces around about slower build-up. But that’s not the instruction. The instruction is to get through the pitch with speed quickly.

“There is absolutely nothing asked of the players any different to what they have done before. I’ve heard how the style has changed and how the system has changed. But the system hasn’t changed one iota. Not one. The full-backs you see here are still coming inside. The wingers still go on the outside.”

25th February 2024; Fir Park, Motherwell, Scotland; Scottish Premiership Football, Motherwell versus Celtic; Alistair Johnston of Celtic on the ball

Begging the question of why Celtic are playing slower and attacking less aggressively?

One reason is personnel; this is not the same squad as last season.

With Liam Scales at centre back, Rodgers has a defender who, on the ball, is still adjusting to progressing possession in a team like Celtic, who consistently face low blocks domestically.

Defenders set the tone for attacks, and at times, Scales is unsure of who to pass to and when to drive into space with the ball.

This can then be attributed to Rodgers and the coaching staff, as they could help Scales improve this aspect of his play during training.

With Reo Hatate and Cameron Carter-Vickers spending large spells of the season out with injury, Celtic have been unable to name a consistent starting 11 due to personnel being side-lined.

Another reason is Rodgers’ instructions, or lack thereof.

Under Ange Postecoglou, it was clear that wingers, attacking midfielders, and full-backs would interchange positions, creating triangles in the final third.

At times, the team looks unsure of who to pass to and when, with this trend only starting to develop under Rodgers.

Rodgers himself needs to work on this as he is the only person who can make his team play faster.

Instead of saying he has not changed anything, maybe he could be more detailed in the instructions he gives to players when they have the ball if he wants quicker and more fluid attacks.

The players themselves also take some of the blame for how indecisive they have become in possession, but undoubtedly, they are crying out for leadership from Rodgers over how to play more aggressively.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Totally agree.
    Take Kelly out of today’s match day squad and replace him with Hatate, then that is the match day squad, that is looking to complete a double, if everyone stays fit?
    So what excuse is available for another dire 45 minutes in the 1st half today?
    6 new players, might as well be 7 with Scales included, still should be able to deliver far better than the 1st half produced imo?
    Even outside of the 20 man match day squad, there is still the likes of Welsh and Holm if needed, should injuries still continue to impact upon ourselves, and that’s without Kelly and vata and lawal to be added possibly next season?
    So that’s already the bulk of the squad in place for next season, where a few additions will be made?
    So overall, you would expect that the inconsistencies within performance levels, to be at a far better standard than what’s been delivered to date this season imo?
    This remains as the biggest failure upon Rodgers as manager, and his decision making has been very questionable to date also, as far as I’m concerned?
    Regardless he will be seen as a hero, if we secure this title and possibly be axed if we don’t?
    Fine margins indeed, but getting consistency with 2nd half showing, over the full 90 minutes, will I believe, still get ourselves the winning of this title and potentially another double?
    May have been a good day in the end today, but the work is nowhere near finished from manager, coaching staff and players alike either, if success is to be achieved this season imo?

  2. They got the win today, which is great, but the overall performance was poor again. The second half was definitely better than the first, which really wasn’t that difficult, but still too slow and too many players either not moving the ball quickly enough or passing eratically.

    It all feels so disjointed in comparison with where Celtic were at back in the summer. O’reilly and Kyogo are a shadow of the former selves and no one will convince me that Rodgers’ tactics are not at least partly due to that.

    I hate to be so negative but Rangers seem to be growing in confidence while Celtic are struggling to get by. Had it not been for some decent play with only a few minutes remaining today, then that would have been yet another two points dropped. It cannot go on like this, something has to change to get that team back to firing on all cylinders for the full 90 minutes or Rangers will make mincemeat of them at Ibrox in April. The tragic thing is – Celtic are the better quality team, far better on their day than the other lot.

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