Celtic losses show Rodgers' poor rotational decisions

By Connor Gordon

January 1, 2019

Celtic’s league losses this season prove Brendan Rodgers hasn’t been learning from his mistakes.

The occurring theme in each defeat is simply poor squad-rotation.

Doing this is detrimental in itself as it’s not winning games, but the players are just as responsible for their displays on the park.

The club are sitting at its lowest points per game for a number of years with an average of 2.02 per game.

Perhaps the bloated Celtic squad aren’t as equal in depth as many would’ve had you believe.

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Defeat one versus Hearts at Tynecastle

Early in the season, Celtic limped to defeat against Craig Levein’s Hearts side following the home draw to Athens.

With a hefty schedule ahead, Rodgers started Eboue Kouassi, Jonny Hayes, Jack Hendry and Jozo Simunovic in what was always going to be a battle in Edinburgh.

Hearts showed Celtic that they require fighters in the first team. (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Predictably, the Jam Tarts ran over the top of the Hoops and ran out deserved winners.

Defeat two versus Kilmarnock at Rugby Park

Another European hangover with a rotated squad that doesn’t work together.

Ex-Killie midfielder Yousouff Mulumbu started, as did bombscare Hendry as well as the unknown quantity of Mikey Johnston at the time.

Important match-winners such as James Forrest, Tom Rogic, Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor were benched.

Again, Rodgers and Celtic were rightly punished for tinkering too much despite taking the lead.

Defeat three versus Hibernian at Easter Road

Perhaps the most shocking on the list as it came following a positive run of games.

The settled team of fresh faces featured some of the old rear guard, and it showed.

The Hibs defeat is what Brendan Rodgers will be ruing when it comes to reflecting on the season. (Callum Landells/Getty Images)

Once again, post Europe Celtic were ran off the park and were trailing after 47 seconds.

Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham (brought in from the wilderness) bugged fans with their well below-par performance.

The tactics and positioning was all over the place as Rodgers deployed a feable 3-5-2 at Easter Road.

Defeat four versus Rangers at Ibrox Stadium

The most recent defeat was probably the most damaging and hurtful for fans.

For the first time in years, bitter rivals Rangers got the better of The Bhoys.

This result boils down to Rodgers replicating the previous Hibs match.

Ryan Jack and Rangers’ celebrations should fire up The Bhoys for the next fixture in March. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ntcham was brought in again, and Mikey Johnston was the bizarre lone front-man with Edouard on the bench.

Celtic’s only high-quality attacking midfielder, McGregor, was put to left-back and starved the visitors of forward play.

Fortunately, the winter break comes at the right time for Rodgers and co to reflect.

After four similar defeats, alarm bells must be ringing that there is a trend that must be fixed – the squad’s depth is not strong enough. Big signings are now a requirement.