Celtic did overturn their 1-0 deficit against Lincoln Red Imps in the second round of the Champions League qualifiers to reclaim the pride Brendan Rodgers and his boys lost in their very first game of the season. With strange tactics and playing almost every player out of position, Celtic’s ultra- attacking approach was fruitful as the semi-professional side from Gibraltar were beaten 3-0 at Parkhead.
However, plenty of questions had been asked to the reigning Scottish champions from the humiliating defeat against a team consisting of part-time footballers who are police officers or customs officers in real life. There is no room for excuses. Many might blame Rodgers for the shock defeat but he is not the only one to be blamed.
The approach Rodgers has taken at Parkhead since taking charge has looked quite complacent from an outside perspective. The overconfidence of the Northern Irishman backfired on him but it’s not too late. Celtic have made just one signing so far in the summer with Moussa Dembele coming on a free transfer and it’s evident that they need more quality in the squad in order to have a much better season compared to the last one.
However, blaming Rodgers for not being active in the transfer market would be a bit harsh. If someone is to be blamed for that it’s Ronny Deila. The squad Rodgers inherited from his predecessor is too big in terms of numbers. To bring in new players, you need to have room and Rodgers is not enjoying that at Parkhead right now.
Almost every position of the Celtic squad is rich in terms of numbers but lacks quality. Just take the example of the attacking midfield position. Deila played a 4-2-3-1 formation and we are yet to see what Rodgers prefers to play but taking a deep look at the squad and Rodgers’ time at Liverpool, it looks like he would opt for a 4-3-3 formation which needs two quality wide players who can not only create but can also score.
Right now, for just two of those wide attacking positions, Celtic have Forrest, McGregor, Christie, Armstrong, Commons, Rogic, Mackay-Steven, Allan, and Roberts. Every team needs good squad depth to mount success but too much competition for a place is damaging to the team morale.
Imagine a player playing one out of the world game and getting rotated with someone else in the very next game. That was the case time and time again under Ronny Deila and Rodgers has to make sure that that does not get repeated this season.
There shouldn’t be any compromise over quality. Quantity is a secondary thing and Rodgers must ensure that he parts ways with fringe and average players to make way for quality new signings or else Celtic’s domestic monopoly could be at stake considering the team Rangers assembled in the summer with seasoned winners like Barton, Kranjcar and so on.
This article is written by Craig Kester.