After giving his players a week of rest and recuperation Brendan Rodgers will have his best opportunity of the season to work on tactics and systems this week. We watched our passing game disintegrate in recent months culminating in the reversal at Tynecastle.
The manager can talk to his players for hours, but time on the training field is limited with rest days, game days and recovery days. Any tactical work also needs to be balanced with the need to maintain endurance and speed training.
The squad are together in Dubai and will put hours into working on positioning, decision making and set plays. For me, the critical outcome of this winter break will be in central defence. This area of the field is pivotal to what the manager wants to achieve in possession. Our central defenders are also subject to more transfer speculation than anywhere else in the team, a fact which may have contributed to recent decline in performances.
I have not watched Marvin Compper (try to avoid highly selective YouTube videos) but suspect Brendan could end the month with his new German recruit partnering Kris Ajer.
NEW! The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind (EP28) with former Celtic director Tom Grant
Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic’s ex-director, Tom Grant, who offers a fascinating insight into the running of the club in the 1980s and 1990s.
Tom Grant explains exactly why Celtic refused to complete the Mo Johnston transfer in 1989, and lifts the lid on audacious efforts by Billy McNeill to recruit Peter Beardsley and Steve Bruce.
Grant also dissects his relationship with Fergus McCann, and the impact of the ‘Celts For Change’ movement in overturning the ‘family dynasty’ board in 1994.