So far this season, Neil Lennon has faced his critics for rotation within the starting 11 each week.
Whether it be personnel changes or switching formations, we have seen many different sides line-up as a starting 11, over the 10 competitive matches we have played. But is this rotation something that is bound to happen or is it be a problem that we should be resolving?
I think there’s a couple of sides to this argument, and I lean to one side more than the other and to be honest, I may be in the minority.
For a team like Celtic, it is essential to have a side which knows how to play with each other and is consistent. I think we have seen aspects to why that can be important this season with the changing backline.
People can get frustrated when we don’t play the majority of the same 11 that played the previous week at the minute, and at times, I can understand the frustration. In an ideal world, if we had a settled starting 11, that could play the majority of games, with just a few changes needed for time to time, it would definitely make things much more straightforward, but unfortunately, that’s just not the way it is.
Rotation within a squad is actually something that happens quite regularly, especially at this time in the season. Some might not see it that way, but I believe that’s because individual factors have changed things this year.
First of all, I do think we need to consider the amount of time off players have had, down to no fault of their own with the COVID-19 situation, whilst also having a much shorter pre-season than we usually would. Lennon still needs to build the fitness of certain players, whilst even playing competitive matches so in a way it really is a dilemma for the Northern Irishman.
Its a squad game and if one player was to pick an injury, then he needs to have one ready to go right away, so giving players minutes in games is vital at this stage of the season.
I do also think, that many people are starting to notice these things a little more because of how big a season it actually is for the club. I wouldn’t say making three-four changes is too much, at the start of a season in my opinion but people might see it as a problem and understandably. Fans just want what is best for Celtic, so they may consider that playing the same team, game by game will give us the best chance of winning by allowing that 11 to bond, but we have to use the big squad to our advantage.
This season is probably going to be one of the toughest ones we have had to face in our history, purely based on the pressure that is on and fans are going to experience that to the fullest with how much we care for the club.
Any supporter is entitled to their opinion, and if they feel that the side changing negatively affects the team, then that is their thoughts.
Me personally though, I’m not looking into the switches in the team too much. It is just something that needs to happen. We play 60+ games most season, so players need to be rested, will pick up injuries and sometimes they just don’t suit the game we are playing that weekend. It’s probably something that we might need to get used to for a few weeks until we can settle the side down when everyone is up to full fitness, and the squad is locked in with the ending of the transfer window.
As the months pass, I am sure we will eventually have a settled side that we see most weeks, who can hopefully lead us to our historic 10th consecutive title in a row.