Celtic must put Frimpong on two-day Lennoxtown crash course
Ahead of Saturday’s clash at Ibrox, Jeremie Frimpong learned something vital last night for Celtic.
The Dutchman produced a superb display as he single-handedly destroyed Utd with his directness.
But it’s not just the result that should have Celtic fans buzzing with Frimpong’s performance.
For weeks we’ve all been calling for Jeremie to take on his man. With a player of his blistering pace, it’s essential he continues to get to the byline whenever possible.
He learned the importance of that against Micky Mellon’s side. He was consistently burning Dundee Utd’s Jamie Robson down the flank. Instead of cutting inside and playing the ball to Ryan Christie, Frimpong instead took on his man.
This led to constant opportunities to get the ball across to the by-line. And it’s there that Frimpong has to use these next two days wisely to improve upon. The fact he only has five assists in 26 games is proof of that (Transfermarkt).
Too often he had all the time in the world this evening only to make a mess of the cross. You could argue that Albian Ajeti and Moi Elyounoussi in particular could’ve gotten on the scoresheet had Frimpong been better with his delivery.
Frimpong can be a huge weapon for Celtic
It’s exactly what Neil Lennon should be hammering into him over the next two days. If he can improve his final ball and be more intelligent about where he places it, Rangers are in severe trouble.
Borna Barisic, the man Frimpong will be up against, is a terrific crosser of the ball. Defensively, however, he’s still extremely suspect. He isn’t the quickest either, and that’s where Frimpong can cause him huge problems. He’s been shown up against Martin Boyle this season, so Frimpong has it within him to do some damage too.
Considering he’s finally learned how important it is to get to the byline, this makes things more difficult for Barisic. He’ll know the threat the Dutchman brings.
But Frimpong has hardly mastered the art. He can’t be as wasteful at Ibrox as he was tonight. That just won’t be on and will likely be costly for Celtic if he is.
However, the signs yesterday were extremely positive. No longer is the full-back looking to check his runs regularly and play the ball back. There was more urgency and purpose to his forward runs tonight. That was a major reason as to why we created so many chances against the Arabs.
Here’s hoping it’s the same on Saturday, only with a much better final ball.