Barry Ferguson has moved to praise Tom Rogic after needless and baseless criticism from Kris Boyd last month.
Rogic has been in ridiculously good form since coming back into Neil Lennon’s starting XI in October. In his last three domestic starts, the Wizard of Oz has managed an incredible five assists – including two in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen 10 days ago.
After he bagged his first two against the Dons several weeks ago, Boyd bizarrely said: “I know Neil Lennon mentioned a few players, but there were a lot of other ones, and you can include Tom Rogic in this, he was walking about in stages here, and for Celtic right now, they don’t need that. They need players that are going to work their socks off from the first minute to the last minute.” (Sky Sports).
That incredibly came after Rogic had produced a terrific individual performance. And after several more superb displays in which his flair and energy have been on show, Boyd’s former Ibrox team-mate Ferguson couldn’t help but sing Rogic’s praises:
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show as he reflected on Rogic’s display vs Motherwell, Ferguson said: “I thought he (Mohamed Elyounoussi) was outstanding, but the guy that stood out for me was Rogic. I thought he was the difference.
“That first 45 minutes he was just stringing things together for Celtic. He was immense in there.”
It’s time to stop misunderstanding Rogic’s style
Boyd’s criticism after the 3-3 draw at Pittodrie was totally bizarre. Rogic was at his best in that one, and his two assists showed just how influential he can be.
However, the likes of Boyd really needs to understand that Rogic has a more laid back style on the pitch. Similar in a sense to Odsonne Edouard. When he’s jogging on the pitch it’s not something to have a go at him for – it’s just his style. If Rogic sprints around for the full game then he likely wouldn’t last anywhere near the full 90 minutes.
Rogic has limited stamina – that’s something we’ve learned over the years we’ve had him in Glasgow. Boyd really should remember his own style of play too when he’s talking about players who don’t run around much. He’ll be the first to say his role in the team was always about finding positions and putting the ball in the net.
Well, Rogic has his own role and it’s not to be as a box-to-box midfielder. He’s a flair player, almost a luxury one if you want to call it that. His role is to get on the ball and pick out passes that others don’t see as well as be a goal threat of his own in and around the box. You can’t expect him to be a Callum McGregor or Scott Brown – that’s just not how he operates.
This is something Tom has done throughout his Celtic career. You won’t see him commit a slide tackle on the edge of his own box before being up the other end within five seconds. Yes, he’s deceivingly quick and can go on mazy runs if the game opens up, but it’s not his natural instinct when he gets on the ball.
Rogic did nothing wrong at Pittodrie last month, and has gone on from strength to strength since. We don’t always agree with Ferguson of course, but he’s right to hail our man and give him some praise. Moi Elyounoussi may have gotten the hat-trick on Sunday, but Rogic certainly played more than a small part in the game once again.