Tom Rogic’s return from injury has finally added a bit of competition to the number 10 spot, and Ryan Christie is all for it.
The Australian international has been a key part of Celtic’s treble-treble winning squad. But despite that, he’s yet to play a single game this season for the Hoops.
Instead, he’s had to leave that responsibility to Christie. The former Inverness and Aberdeen star has been glowing at Parkhead this season. Incredibly, Christie has a stunning eight goals and five assists in his 14 appearances already this campaign. It’s only September too.
But that hasn’t stopped him from being delighted to have his main rival for the position back. In comments published by the National, this is what the attacker had to say on his good pal:
“Competition across the squad is always good. I’m delighted to see Tom back because he’s such an incredible player. I can’t speak too highly of him – even though he plays in the same position as me!
“He’s been outstanding to watch ever since I have been at Celtic. Hopefully he is over the injuries and he can kick on. When I broke into the side last season a lot of the time it was me and Tom playing together. We were both in there, which I loved.
“There’s no reason why it has to be just one of us, we can both play at the same time. That would be happy days for me. I’ve learned during my time at Celtic there’s never any room for complacency. ”
Neil Lennon system doesn’t work with both in the team
You’ve got to admire Christie’s appraisal of his team-mate and friend here. Of course it would be great to be able to call on both the Scotland and Australian internationals respectively.
But, at the end of the day, Neil Lennon’s system at Celtic simply doesn’t work for that. He’ll often go with the 4-2-3-1, which immediately only has room for one number 10. Granted, Lennon has also used several formations this season.
Christie can play down the left when called upon, but there’s far too much competition. In addition to that, you limit Christie’s game by putting him on the wing.
Meanwhile, Rogic simply can’t play anywhere else than where Christie occupies. Lennon will rarely go with two number 10 types in the same match. It’s important Celtic have a couple of midfielders who can do the dirty work at the back. That’s why Scott Brown and Callum McGregor play almost every week.
Whether they like it or not, the Rogic/Christie duo are in a battle with each other. There’s only one spot up for grabs in this team for Christie and Rogic. It’s down to either/or to take it.
At the moment, it’s more than Christie’s jersey to lose. Rogic has a big problem in his hands when it comes to winning that place back. But having both in the same team? For now it just doesn’t work.