Why Ange had to play Kyogo


For you and me, it was a dead rubber, an opportunity to watch Celtic without the pressure of winning or losing.  For the players and coaches, not so much.  The entirely-changed 11 who took the field played like they wanted to make an impact, as did an almost-as-changed Real Betis side.

The game was competitive, the nine added minutes at the end of the second half passed excruciatingly slowly; by that stage of the evening, no one’s head was in dead rubber territory.

When Albian Ajeti pulled up lame in the first half, Ange Postecoglou had plenty to ponder.  At that moment, he was left with only one fit striker, Kyogo Furuhashi, the most valuable asset in Scottish football, who was resting on the bench.

Of course Kyogo came on.  Ange did not set his team out to pull their punches, he wanted and got a performance.  He gave fringe players their opportunity.  Would it have been right for him to pull his own punches, 30 minutes into the game, by leaving his only striker on the bench?  If he expects the players to commit, he has to commit and play the game competitively.

Management is so subtle.  Selecting the right players and tactics is not nearly enough.  If you want players to follow you, you have to live the role.  Ange knew this when he told Kyogo to get stripped.

So what did we learn?  James McCarthy looks more than comfortable in a Celtic shirt every time I see him.  The player he was is slowly emerging.  Liam Scales can feel aggrieved he has not had a sniff of proper action before this week.  Stephen Welsh continues to grow into the role of Celtic central defender, a year after breaking into the team.

We finished third in a group against the third placed teams in Germany and Spain.  Collecting six points from Ferencvaros was an objective delivered, although so much more could have been achieved as we allowed comfortable positions slip in Spain and Germany.

If you are old enough, you will remember being told Celtic win trophies when they first emerge.  Perhaps the Europa Conference League will have its compensations.

Motherwell on Sunday afternoon is anything but a dead rubber.  The Celtic FC Foundation Bucket Collection returns for the first time in two years, those in need remain numerous.  The work of the Foundation does is remarkable and literally life changing at this time of year.  It is our greatest boast.

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  1. And another thing: if Angeball is so physically demanding then why are we buying players built like jockeys?



    Just asking.

  2. Wishy snider.


    Still no word on refugees.keep sniping.


    Still no word on your politics.


    Still on the bottom of my shoe I see.


    Still hoping for a Celtic post.no fears of that!


    You should try it.


    Calling out fascist scum on a Celtic blog is not grandstanding,especially to do with refugees.


    But the fascism on here its sssshhhhh.


    maybe you should/have done already come on as Daniel O fascist.is that why your defending the posted nonsense?adding to the blog cancer of fake monikers



    Ta for chiefnat remark.it denotes how little you know.



    Made my day getting called fake by a snider.lovely.


    I don’t want to be in your head.can you omit me?


    You’ll be a lot more relaxed.




  3. Supersutton- I have had three hamstring injuries playing football. The first was the worst. Complete tear. Took months to heal and I did the other one weeks after that ‘recovery’. The third was a mild recurrence of one of them. Felt very different to the first, worst one.



    I always believed tiredness was a factor. I played on Saturdays after a working week and sometimes after a Friday night beer or six! The day I pinged my hammy I had played 40 minutes without problem. Sprinted to chase a nothing ball out for a goal kick and it went.



    I’ve always felt I was not fit enough at the time, physically fatigued from working and training all week but also, about 5 minutes before it happened someone had fouled me. Knee in the thigh of the same leg I got the hammy injury. Always thought it contributed maybe weakening my leg or making me run differently.



    It’s a hazard of the trade but I do think inadequate recovery from previous exercise or not enough if it is a factor. Maybe getting used to playing on greasy Scottish winter surfaces in the damp cold of a Glasgow winter might take some acclimatising for some of our guys from warmer climates?



    As long as there’s fitba there’ll be injuries

  4. Reading back I can only deduce that the next step must be


    Sack Ange – his mistake leaves his position untenable.

  5. Will motherwell be able to put out a team as good as Betis did last night? Hibs? Sevco?






    No excuses. No mindset of ‘we’re doomed’. No fragile mentality. Setbacks are also opportunities seize them. Be brave. Keep your eyes on the prize. And back the team.

  6. And some of the language between posters is disgraceful – criticism if the nature of a blog but no excuse for personal abuse


    Just my opinion

  7. Without the benefit of sports science professionals, I imagine it’s largely up to Ange to decide around recovery periods and suchlike.


    It’s not just our playing squad which is threadbare.

  8. No one’s perfect, or immune from criticism, but I would have thought that after last night there might be a bit more positivity about Ange and his coaching and its effect on the squad.



    A couple of months ago if you’d suggested that team would beat Betis you would have got laughed at.



    We’re on the best run of performances and results for a very long time, I would imagine that Lennoxtown is a far happier place than CQN today. Celtic is working again.

  9. UNCLE JIMMY on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 1:15 PM


    Without the benefit of sports science professionals



    What makes you think that?

  10. Favourites for the group – The arrogance of the man


    Brendan Rodgers said he does not “even know” what the Europa Conference League is after his Leicester side were demoted to the competition following their 3-2 Europa League defeat at Napoli.

  11. onenightinlisbon on

    CELTIC40ME on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 1:17 PM



    100%. We are in a much stronger position than any of us believed we would be.



    Betis sent out a second string 11 last night as did we. I certainly would not read too much into the result.



    It gave non regulars the opportunity to play but in a meaningless match.



    Ange has done wonders, there is no question of that but his poor decision re Kyogo is undeniable.



    Risking our season on one non event seems ridiculous.

  12. Just as a wee aside.



    Maybe, just maybe, Ange had agreed with Kyogo to keep him on the bench, but the wee fella wasnt happy with it. They might want to rest him, but he wants to play every moment, did you see him when told to go warm up, it was like he was making his debut as a kid.



    I played football for 30 odd years, never pulled a hammy once, and I did all that pressing hard game a la McAvennie, McGarvey, (dare i say La Petite Merde).



    Its been around a long time, mayb what is different now is they want it co-ordinated, pressing together high up.



    Anyways I loved it last night, so there.

  13. Oh,


    and someone else mentioned, the co-efficient points for a group win could be vital in how we are placed for qualifiers next season (god forbid) or our placing in the champoins league pots should we et direct entry as champions again (al alay)



    oh, and the 500,000 win fee not to be sniffed at either,

  14. Kyogo could have got injured on Sunday or any game , so all the more reason not to bring him on last night weighing everything up prior to making the sub , JK and GS seem to have lost their voices ,or didn’t want to get involved when they should have had a word with ange in the heat of the moment. total mismanagement of the situation.

  15. One thing that does impress me about some on here is their ability to predict football injuries in advance, like seers looking out into the gloamin and saying, ye’ll be hamstrung soon. Kyogo,…. he’s playing too much fitba, and Ajeti…..no enough, I did try to warn ye.


    Keep up the good work! There’s a job for ye……somewhere

  16. glendalystonsils on

    What was obvious last night is that the fringe players are getting the same input , coaching and game preparation as the first team regulars . Ready made replacements . This is something the best teams with the best modern coaches do . The fringe players obviously do not just kick a ball around in a corner of the training ground while the others are preparing for matchday .

  17. I don’t think the squad can be described as threadbare as we have plenty of full time professionals on the payroll. We just lack a bit of quality cover in most positions, that should change over the next two windows. A lot of the guys who played last night are at a similar level but the experience and result will make them feel good about themselves.


    It would be great if we had an 18 year old Charlie Nicholas ready to burst onto the scene. But we don’t.



    Ange’s team selection for Sunday should be interesting, especially the front three. I would be tempted to move Turnbull further up the pitch and bring Bitton into the middle with Calmac and Big T. A false 9 is that what they call it ?

  18. This certainly seems to have divided opinion and fortunately we won’t have too long to wait


    to see which faction are right. I think around 3pm on the second of January might be a good


    time to re-assess.

  19. SAINT STIVS on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 1:31 PM




    and someone else mentioned, the co-efficient points for a group win could be vital in how we are placed for qualifiers next season (god forbid) or our placing in the champoins league pots should we et direct entry as champions again (al alay)


    oh, and the 500,000 win fee not to be sniffed at either,




    True, but id much rather see the club win the league and recoup a minimum 30 million.


    Playing without a centre forward in the next 6 league matches till the winter break really risks that.

  20. The dressing room pre match.



    Ok, listen in, we have worked on the game plan this week, we did the training all together, your now getting a chance to show me you can play the way i want you to.


    The scientist have given me your individual data, John and Gavin have you well drilled, and i want you to set up like this. And play like this, and do this thing i told you, and i have faith that you will do it, so go play.



    Any questions ?



    John , Gavin, remember what i said, I dont want in game advice at the side of the park, its my team, and i will make decisions based on what i think i need to do, all clear ?

  21. If Kyogo was lying on his couch watching the game on TV,where he should have been, he wouldn’t have got injured.




    Betis sent out a second string 11 last night as did we. I certainly would not read too much into the result




    Their second string had 4 Spanish internationals, 2 Portuguese, an Argentine and a Mexican. 8 of the 11 have played for top national teams. William Carvalho has made 65 appliances for Portugal and cost them 25m, the wee winger cost them 12.5m. Their captain has over 50 appearances for Spain



    We had 2 players making their Celtic debuts and 5 players with a total of less than 30 appearances for Celtic in ours.

  23. Celtic are closing in on the signature of Japan midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi from J League club Gamba Osaka, with a medical scheduled for later this month and a fee of just over £850,000 being agreed for the 25-year-old, according to reports in Japan.

  24. Hamstring injuries tend to occur when the quads become disproportionately strong compared to the hamstring.


    This can be because too much work is being done on the quads by coaches. It’s easily done. Iirc the proportion is something like two to one although I don’t know how this is measured.

  25. Gene



    I think Rodgers is sending out a message to the owners: this isn’t a competition worth winning so don’t expect me to try at the expense of the league. They’re struggling in the EPL at the moment, he doesn’t need the distraction.



    He’s blown his chance of a move to a big club imo. I don’t think anyone with designs on winning the Champions league will be interested in someone who can’t go beyond the last 32 of the Europa League

  26. MARKIEBHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 1:50 PM


    By the way boss, we picked up 4 league points from a possible 9 the last time he was injured



    And 6 from a possible 12 before.

  27. I got my league cup final ticket in this morning, so looking forward to that, it would be a pity if Kyogo is out, he deserves a medal

  28. !!bada bing!!



    I dont know bing, I nearly done my calf in leaping oot ma jumbo bean bag when Mikey messed up that chance late in the game…..

  29. Paul67



    Will you recant if Ange owns up to a mistake in the press conference?



    Not the first mistake, and certainly not the last AP will make in his Celtic life.



    Defend him like you defended his crazy substitutions in Leverkusen, or his nominated penalty taker switch that cost us two points.



    Shame it took the gloss off, another La Liga scalping when there were players out of their skin playing for AP.



    7 games in 22 days will make or break the season before the cavalry arrive through the window.

  30. celtic40me


    Aye but 3 points were away to the Huns not Livi. We could argue this backwards, lets see where we are after the Huns game. I think he has sold the leauge last night. I will be delighted to be proved wrong.




    Will all the others recant if we win whatever games we have to play without Kyogo?




    How were his substitutions in Germany crazy? How can that be crazy if bringing Kyogo on last night was as well?

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