STUART ARMSTRONG looked more like his old self when he came on a second half substitute to replace Tom Rogic in last Saturday’s 5-1 hammering of the hapless in the Glasgow Derby.
While Rogic had been globe-trotting playing for Australia, Armstrong was in danger of becoming a forgotten man in the Rodgers Revolution at Celtic Park.
Continually played wide on the left last season by Ronny Deila, the former Dundee United star, never complained but seldom shined in what was clearly not his natural position.
It didn’t look like things would change too much for the £2m signing under Rodgers – until last Saturday that is.
Rogic had clearly been identified as the major threat by the newly promoted club and as a result came in for some special attention. That coupled with the air miles racked up in the course of the previous week, meant that the Aussie was due an early finish and Armstrong was at long last able to play in the centre of midfield in an attacking role.
How he loved it. How WE loved his goal, which was a simply superb move involving every outfield player in the Celtic side and finished wonderfully from the player who was CQN’s guest at CQN11.
Speaking today ahead of Sunday’s trip up the A9 to Inverness, Armstrong looked back on an eventful week, which also saw him used as a substitute in the Nou Camp.
“We had the elation of Saturday and what a huge game it was for us, the club and the fans and broadening that gap at the top of the league so it was so important we won and won well,” Armstrong remarked. “I thought we were quality from start to finish.
“We then had the disappointment of Tuesday night, which was quite a contrast. Everyone knew how good Barcelona were and what qualities they had.
“Losing was disappointing and losing so disappointingly as well, but we have learnt different things from that and we’re looking to take it into the next game. We discussed it as a team and highlighted different things we could have done and it’s all about learning from these things.
“We play football to play these games. Obviously, having two big games side by side was a big ask but it’s one we were comfortable with. We were delighted with the win on Saturday and I thought we were terrific. Tuesday was a different matter but we’re learning.”
Looking ahead to Sunday and the chance to notch up Celtic’s fifth consecutive league win of the season, Armstrong will be looking to play his part.
“A trip away to Inverness is a different atmosphere from the last two games,” he stated, “but we’re ruthless in the league so far this season and we want to continue being so, so it’s vital we get the three points and everyone is willing for that to happen.”
Brendan Rodgers this afternoon indicated that we can expect changes to the starting eleven on Sunday match which has a 3pm kick-off and is live on BT Sports. This could mean that Armstrong gets his chance to start in his favourite position.