Celtic midfielder James McCarthy finally deemed "good to go" by Ange Postecoglou
Celtic midfielder James McCarthy is finally ready to kick on and start making an impact at Parkhead after a frustrating first month in Glasgow.
McCarthy bagged a couple of cameo appearances against AZ Alkmaar and Hearts respectively after a summer of being a free agent. However, just when he was boosting his minutes on the pitch, the Republic of Ireland international picked up an injury that kept him out of action for a couple of weeks.
The international break came at a good time for the midfielder of course. He’s since made another couple of substitute appearances vs Ross County and Real Betis too as he looks to get back on track.
And it finally looks as though the midfielder is ready to get firing again. Ange Postecoglou certainly seems to think so anyway.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the Celtic boss said: “I’ve been really keen to get James on the pitch and now it looks like he’s ready to go, which will be great.
“We’ve been missing significant players who will help the group when they come back.
“It was good for James McCarthy to get more game time in Spain, and he’s ready to go now.”
James McCarthy has already shown what he can offer Celtic
It’s difficult to get overly frustrated with McCarthy. We all expected him to take a bit of time to get up to speed. It can’t have been any for him considering he was released by Crystal Palace at the end of last season.
However, even though he’s only managed 76 minutes for the Hoops [Transfermarkt], he’s still managed to show the type of calmness and experience he can offer the Parkhead side.
In Betis, for example, he came on and gave Celtic a much better balance to the midfield. All of a sudden we were keeping the ball much more efficiently and recycling it more wisely. McCarthy won’t always play the killer pass, but he’ll ensure the basics are done correctly and help build momentum.
But domestically, you would expect him to be more of an attacking threat. Even in his cameo against County last weekend, he managed to make an advancing run and hit the crossbar with a header that would eventually lead to Albian Ajeti’s second of the day. He can be just as big of an attacking threat as he can be a defensive rock.
It’ll be interesting to see if Postecoglou now starts giving him more game-time than he has done recently. For example, the midfielder has yet to actually start a match for the Bhoys.
It would be a touch optimistic to expect that tomorrow at Livingston. But the fact he’s ready for some more game-time over the coming weeks is welcome news for the Celtic supporters.