Debut verdict, the work in progress; 3 things we learned from Celtic 3-0 Ross County

By John McGinley

September 11, 2021

It was a comfortable 3-0 victory for Celtic over Ross County today in the Scottish Premiership.

After a frustrating first half in which a handful of chances were created without impact, Celtic came more alive in the second half and eventually wore down the visitors.

There were positives and negatives on display today, but mostly we can just take comfort in securing the three points with little drama.

What did we learn from today’s encounter?

Jota looks to have the ability

Jota, on loan for the season from Benfica, certainly has the technical ability and skill to fit right into this Celtic squad. I don’t think that will ever be in doubt. His comfort on the ball is clear to see, even from this initial appearance.

As debuts go, his wasn’t half bad. It’s still way too early to make any definitive judgements on how he’ll turn out for Celtic. Certainly, we need consistency and a final product.

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However, I like the way he carries himself. He’s eager to impress. He has composure and a light touch.

Most importantly he is currently easily our best option on the left flank, so expect to see much more of him as the weeks roll by.

Promising signs here, for sure.

Celtic miss Kyogo, but all is not lost

Everyone was probably expecting this. But the difference in our attacking threat with and without Kyogo Furuhashi in the team is apparent.

It was asking a lot of Albian Ajeti to come in a replicate the Japanese attacker’s form given he hadn’t started since February. And it became obvious that Furuhashi just has ability beyond any other Celtic striker.

Albian Ajeti celebrates for Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Kyogo has movement, pace and game intelligence that is hard to beat.

Don’t get me wrong, we still have good players in the final third. Liel Abada looked particularly lively and impressive.

It’s also great to see Ajeti get in amongst the goals. That will do his confidence no harm at all. The Swiss will be delighted to bag a brace and shut up his harshest critics.

Hopefully, we can get Giorgos Giakoumakis up to speed quickly too. Given he didn’t even make the bench today, that’s still an unknown.

Celtic are still a work in progress

With two outright club debuts today and another home debut, it’s reasonable to say this is still very much a side that is progressing in its early stages.

The performance was as fluent this afternoon as it has been on other occasions this season, but not every game is going to be.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Importantly, for me, there was intent throughout and ultimately the penetration to pick up all three points. There’s still a lot more to come from this squad, this unit, this team.

We’ve bounced back from a derby defeat and produced a professional performance. I’m happy with that today, especially in the context of off the field matters.

This run of matches will see us pick up momentum again under Postecoglou.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou addresses Dom McKay Celtic exit live on radio.