Frank McAvennie on the psychological blow Celtic can deliver rivals
Even having Kyogo on the Celtic bench at Ibrox can “rattle” Rangers, according to Frank McAvennie.
McAvennie, a hero in Celtic’s centenary team and one of the 80s most colourful Bhoys characters, is not immune to a hot take every now and then. Sometimes, he skews into unique territory, but occasionally he gets it bang on.
This is one of these moments.
Celtic have been scoring for fun in recent weeks. Ross County were dispatched 4-0, Dundee United were beaten 3-0, and “tricky” Livingston 3-1 over recent games. That was all without Kyogo, who’s been out of the Celtic picture since Boxing Day of 2021.
He’s close to a return, though. And McAvennie believes that even having him on the bench for Celtic at Ibrox will “rattle” Rangers. McAvennie told Football Insider: “Even without Kyogo, Giakoumakis and Maeda have been doing the business.
“It still looks like he will be back for these games against Rangers and that is brilliant for us. Just having him there will rattle Rangers a bit. They will know he’s ready, waiting on the bench for his moment.
“That will be a massive blow to that team because their defence has been far from solid recently.”
Celtic have a formidable attack to unsettle Rangers, but even a Kyogo cameo might seal the deal
We’ve seen the folly of rushing Kyogo back into Celtic contention, even if it is a massive game coming up against Rangers.
So, caution is crucial. Kyogo has a very admirable trait; if he insists he has to play to a game, he’ll do it. The medical staff will have a job to do convincing him otherwise, if that’s the scenario that plays out.
Still, imagine Celtic took an early lead, or at least control of the game against Rangers at Ibrox. In a moment of respite for the Rangers players, acknowledging Kyogo’s on the bench could be damaging. It’s bad enough having to deal with the likes of Maeda, Jota, Abada, Giakoumakis and co.
Maybe saying a Kyogo sighting for Celtic could have Rangers “rattled” is a bit extreme. But I like the way McAvennie is thinking, here.
For all the pomp and talk about their European run, Celtic still have the bragging rights over Rangers from the absolute shellacking in February at Celtic Park. That was without some key players.
Now, those players are either back, or on the cusp of returning.
Nobody’s saying Kyogo can dictate the game from the bench. But the squad Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has built is doing a great job.
Adding our top scorer to the mix? Well, that speaks for itself really.
Read more: The Celtic advantage that’s delighting manager Ange Postecoglou