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The players “who got us there” for Sunday

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Neil Lennon left us a teaser after Sunday’s victory over Kilmarnock, informing us that the players who got us to the Scottish Cup Final would get their chance to represent us in the Final, not necessarily those who transformed our play in the last two games.

We can safely discount Forster, Simunovic, Arzani (yes, I’d forgotten too), Hayes, Bayo, Bolingoli and Shved, all of whom were part of this Scottish Cup campaign but are no longer at the club.  James Forrest is not fit and Leigh Griffiths is currently fourth choice striker, so unlikely to be considered unless/until we need a late goal.

That leaves five possibilities: Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic, Olivier Ntcham, Scott Bain and Scott Brown.

Christie has  unfinished business in the Scottish Cup after suffering multiple fractures to his face in the 2019 semi-final that kept him out of the final.  I expect we will see him instead of Jeremie Frimpong at right mid.

Conor Hazard has not put a glove wrong in his two outings and there is no reason to believe that would change on Sunday, but Neil may prefer Scott Bain, or, conversely, give Vasilis Barkas his Scottish Cup debut.  No idea how this will go.

I would be amazed if David Turnbull did not start.  In the space of a week he has made the central attacking mid position his own, Hampden specialist Tom Rogic is there if needed late in the game, although perhaps not for penalties.

Hampden is a big pitch and Ismaila Soro has the energy to cover it.  He suffered cramp against Lille but his two outings last week will fortify him.  Still, I expect the captain will get the nod.

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  1. Big Wavy

     

     

    I am glad of the clarification but you overplay the “dinosaur” elements of the curren toperation. We realy haven’t ditched the sports science and the analytics and, well you know it. There are guys employed at CP to do this and they are still doing it. I am not familiar with the Ibrox backroom boys but I would be surprised if they can match ours in experience and quality.

     

     

    I am a great believer in the value of objective information. In Sport, there is no hiding place and no “artistic merit” marks, like in Ice Dancing. You are told exactly how fast you are, how far you have run, the number of duels won and the number of goals scored and conceded as a result. I don’t think we lack the basic info. I fear the deficiency may lie in the soft science part of the equation, the so-called dinosaur bit, of making a team of individuals a whole with a recognised pattern of play that is faster and braver than we are doing.

     

     

    The historically bad set of results we had over 15 or so games, with an unusually high likelihood of conceding goals is not down to a lack of analysis, but whatever it was down to, it can only change by inches and , once stabilised, can, maybe kick on. The recent 2 good performances and results are, perhaps, the start of this but we need more evidence.

     

     

    Nobody is going to be convinced of our resurrection fron the near-dead until we can produce a run that is hte reverse image of the one we have just had, with around 13 out of 15 wins to our credit.

  2. You might be right SETTING FREE about still using analytics etc but it appears to have had little positive effect in a team that couldn’t defend and up front didn’t seem to be gelling. Let’s face it, the change we have seen in the past two games is down to a change in personnel and we don’t know if NL made those change based on analytics or on what every fan seems to have concluded based on ordinary physical observation (albeit on tv) namely Bain, Barkas, Brown and Christie just weren’t doing it. I’d say the same for Eduard and personally would have stuck with Klimala vs Kilmarnock. I would play the vs Lille team for vs Hearts. NL. Certainly NL talk of giving “those who got us there”, “loyalty” and the like don’t sound as though the fruits of analytics have come into his thinking. I hope he will only introduce these guys from the bench, late on.

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