Celtic depth crisis and four things learned against Livingston
Celtic’s goalless draw against Livingston shows that Brendan Rodgers has a depth crisis.
On top of the depth crisis, we also learned that VAR should be called for in the Scottish Premiership.
Squad depth pushed to its limits
Due to a crocked list as long as Rodgers’ arm, the manager has had to change his first team.
The replacements have performed admirably over the period and have claimed first team spots.
Unfortunately, their effectiveness has taken a dip due to the run of games played.
Players such as Ryan Christie haven’t played this run of games in his career.
Fans weren’t missing Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown as much recently, but now they will be.
SFA must end plastic pitches
It’s clear as day that the plastic pitches in the top division of our domestic league is embarrassing.
In the Netherlands, top clubs have put money aside so that the Eredivisie is plastic free.
Livingston, Hamilton Accies and Kilmarnock must receive government funding to go back to grass pitches.
Livingston’s was abysmal and fair play for them using it successfully to their advantage.
It forced Celtic to play differently and stopped The Bhoys from gathering rhythm.
Rodgers cautious with injuries
The manager was clearly cautious with the dangers of plastic pitches in his team selection.
Star centre-back Filip Benkovic was left out with Ajer partnering Dedryck Boyata in defence.
This was clearly to prevent Benkovic from being added to the injury list.
The same also applies to his fellow countryman Jozo Simunovic who rarely plays on plastic.
Ajer’s eye socket injury after 72 minutes forced Rodgers to put Benkovic on.
The Bhoys must continue to train on Lennoxtown’s plastic surface before these ties.
Shooting must be worked on
Celtic smashed 17 shots at Liam Kelly’s goal mouth without success on Sunday.
Only six hit the target and of those, the decision making left a lot to be desired.
Kelly played to the cameras at times, but these were shots he should be saving.
They were all too central and at a perfect height – Kelly was hardly tested.
There is also a creeping tendency to hit silly shots over the bar. A chat is needed about decision making as well as extra shooting practice at training.
Calls must continue for VAR in the Premiership
Over the last couple of month a few managers have requested Video Assistant Referees in Scotland.
Unfortunately, this has died down recently but Rodgers should be shouting from the rooftops for it.
Livingston’s Dolly Menga was clearly spotted head butting Christie with no punishment.
Had Kevin Clancy the availability to see it on reflection, then Menga would have been sent off.
All Scottish stadiums are now fitted with more cameras than ever before, making VAR more tenable.
Celtic went top of the league for the first time this campaign with the draw.
However, the two points lost could be key at the end of the season.