Celtic

Celtic: Matchday Plan

Celtic: Matchday Plan

Celtic are going strong in the Scottish Premiership having taken maximum points from their opening two games, as well as putting in a dominant performance against AIK in the Europa League play-off round recently which has provided the Hoops with a two-goal advantage. 

However, Celtic would still find themselves in the Champions League qualifying process if it wasn’t for their collapse against CFR Cluj. Indeed, the Hoops suffered a dramatic exit from the Champions League, as two late goals sent the Glasgow club crashing out at third qualifying round stage.

Neil Lennon will head into today’s game with Hearts full of confidence after witnessing his side’s Europa League performance, but he does have one big decision to make ahead of kick-off.

Here we have a look at what KEY DECISION faces the Northern Irishman…

Drop Scott Brown

Scott Brown has been Celtic’s trusted lieutenant for nearly ten years, on and off. He has won league titles, cups and cemented his place as a part of history by helping secure an unprecedented “Treble Treble” in May this year. There is however, a time, when all club legends have to move on or make way for the next generation.

Indeed, injuries, age and lack of pace are now starting to take their toll.

The signs were there last season. Ryan Kent and Glen Kamara both embarrassed Brown in fixtures against Rangers. The Champions League exit highlighted his demise even more. Indeed, he was at fault directly for one goal (handball for penalty) and negligent for two others. He was Celtic’s worst player according to Football Scotland.

Celtic cannot keep putting up with his mistakes.

Play Ryan Christie deeper or change shape

Rather than weakening the team to fit a player in, Celtic should pick the formation to suit the squad available. Brendan Rodgers utilised a 3-4-3 (or 3-5-2) to great effect and most of the players are used to it. Yes, Kieran Tierney was an integral part of that formation but the core of the team remains.

Playing with the three at the back allows Callum McGregor into midfield with Olivier Ntcham and Ryan Christie. More pace, running power and offensive intent. Celtic fans need to ask themselves, would they rather have a bomb scare left-back in Boli Bolingoli or Jonny Hayes at left wing-back?

Callum McGregor should be playing in his strongest position where he can influence the game higher up the park, with his disappointing record at left-back backing up that point. So, Scott Brown has to be ditched.

Indeed, dropping McGregor from his preferred position to pacify Brown is not acceptable.

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