I’ve been slow to catch onto the Tom Rogic bandwagon but his performance yesterday marks a new level of attainment. After some fleeting appearances in the months following his arrival at the club as a 20-year-old, Rogic dropped off the radar. A loan return to Australia and a number of injuries meant he went close to two years without playing for Celtic before his return to the team last month. I’d written him off, and when the teams were announced to face Dundee, I was a bit disappointed to see him in the team ahead of Scott Allan.
Yesterday was like a light being switched on. He demonstrated speed, skill, intelligence and finishing. If we had acquired him for a lot of money last month, I’d be delighted at what was on show.
All of this happened, of course, against a poorly organised Dundee team. Far greater challenges lie ahead, but just like the transformation in Nir Bitton a year ago, or the gains Wanyama made in 2012, we can hope to transform Rogic from a lost-looking squad player into a top performer.
I think we were all delighted Nadir Ciftci got off the mark. Being clean through on the keeper puts the burden of onus on the striker. A significant percentage of such chances are lost, but Nadir’s finish was assured. Like all strikers, he needed that first goal, and I suspect needed the assist he gained a moment earlier when setting Scott Brown up for the fifth.
More game-time and more goals are now needed, starting with Raith Rovers in the League Cup (ouch) on Wednesday.