Brendan Rodgers chose to shuffle his pack for Saturday’s home league fixture with Kilmarnock. The team had just won through to a League Cup final on the previous Saturday, after disposing of a dogged Hibs side, followed by the best performance at Pittodrie for decades, a 3-0 win on the Wednesday night.
With one eye on tomorrow’s Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, the manager gave starting places to Kristoffer Ajer, Paddy Roberts, Olivier Ntcham, Eboue Kouassi and young Mikey Johnston.
By changing so many of the personnel, there was always going to be an interruption in fluency from the Aberdeen game. Brendan knew how Stevie Clarke would set up his Kilmarnock team. Basically coming to Celtic Park to park the bus.
He’s not the first manager to do so, and he won’t be the last.
Although it’s not pretty, it’s up to us to break them down, which can be hell of a frustrating at times, something the manager appreciates, probably more so than the fans, who’s expectation at times is questionable.
Celtic did break through the packed Killie defence just before half-time when Leigh Griffiths latched on to a superb Kouassi pass, to nutmeg the advancing Jamie McDonald. Unfortunately, the Bhoys couldn’t hold on to the lead and Killie equalised in the second half.
The stats from the game showed Celtic had 63% possession, 20 attempts on goal, with 7 on target. But only one goal to show for it. Our only blemish was not getting that all important winning goal.
However, the 1-1 draw meant that this Celtic team under Brendan Rodgers had achieved something other great Celtic sides, including the Lisbon Lions under Jock Stein, couldn’t. That was to go a record equaling 62 domestic matches undefeated.
Judging by the reception the manager and the players received at the end of the game, I can only assume those who couldn’t be bothered to show their appreciation of the feat are taking too much for granted.
Maybe they were in the huff because we didn’t win?
Since the game I’ve heard and read all sorts of rubbish about the game, mostly disagreeing with the manager because he dared give players who need it, time on the park!
In the same week the fans are officially recognised as the best in the world, a few can’t be bothered getting behind the team because beating the traffic is more important….
I suppose every family has them.