Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer believes that Celtic’s Tom Rogic doesn’t get tested enough in Scotland.
The bizarre claim comes slap-bang in the middle of a season where Rogic has only started eight out of a possible 49 games (Transfermarkt).
His lack of appearances at Parkhead have also led to a dip in form for him at international level too. With Australia, Celtic’s number 18 has only played one game since the start of January 2019. That came in their last outing against Jordan in a World Cup qualification match (Transfermarkt).
Therefore, the spotlight is firmly on Rogic back in Oz. And countryman Schwarzer, speaking on Optus Sports’ Two Sharp Reds podcast, belives a lack of competition in Scotland is partly to blame.
“The criticism that we all have is that for the national team he doesn’t seem to be able to deliver 90 minutes of consistency like he can for Celtic. Some players for whatever reason aren’t able to transfer that club form into national form. We’ve seen glimpses. When he performs for say 45 minutes you just go wow, what a player.
“This is the thing I think, I look at Celtic and they have dominated the league for so long now, and yes they have some tough games, I just don’t think he is tested enough in other aspects of the game.
“From a tactical point of view, from a technical point of view, I don’t think he is tested enough because of the opposition they play enough every week. If he goes to a more competitive league, I think he would also do well in the Bundesliga, again I think that is a perfect league for someone like Tom Rogic.”
Injuries have unfortunately held Rogic back
Under Brendan Rodgers, particularly in the first two campaigns, Rogic was sensational. In the 2017/18 campaign he played 41 times and was the number 10 in Rodgers’ 4-2-3-1 system (Transfermarkt).
Therefore, back then, you probably would’ve agreed that Schwarzer had a point. When he was at his best, Rogic made the Scottish Premiership look easy. Europe was when he largely struggled as he failed to get a single goal or assist in our eight European matches in 2017/18 post-qualification.
But now it’s a different story. All sorts of challenges face Rogic at Celtic. Simply rediscovering his former self will be his main one. Ryan Christie will be another, as the former Inverness and Aberdeen star has taken Rogic’s place and made it his own.
It perhaps shows some of the snobbery towards Scottish football that’s evident not only in England, but clearly in Australia too. Rogic, at his best, could play in Germany. But he’s nowhere near that level anymore, and it looks like it will take him a while to get back there.
He’s only started five Premiership games. There’s a reason for that – injuries have held him back and the competition at Celtic has grown in his position. The fact that Schwarzer still thinks he’s showing 90 minutes of consistency here shows how out of touch he is with our current situation.
It’s ridiculous to say that Rogic isn’t getting tested when he has so much currently on his plate. As good as he’s been for us, we’ve been just as good to him. If he had been performing in Germany the way he has for us over the last 12 months or so, he likely would’ve been discarded. So perhaps Schwarzer may want to wait until Rogic is back in our side before saying it’s all too easy for him.
Is Rogic a cut above Scottish football, or at least was he in the past? Surely he has too many challenges on his plate now to say that he isn’t being tested. Give us your verdict in our discussion forum below.