Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been discussing his tactical switch to a 3-5-2 formation in recent days, giving an insight into the long-term process involved in making it a success.
The Hoops had for years played regularly and successfully with an attacking 4-2-3-1 shape that utilised one striker with two supporting attackers.
However, since the winter break, Lennon’s Bhoys have more often than not played with two strikers and a three-man defence.
While it seemed like a sudden change in approach, the manager is adamant this is a change that’s been a long-time coming, with the players even starting work on it when Brendan Rodgers was still at the club.
As quoted by The Sunday Post, the Celtic boss said: “Our midfield is as good as anyone’s, with a combination of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic, Olivier Ntcham and Nir Bitton.
“I like the formation – I like it because it works!
“But you have to roll the dice sometimes. It wasn’t simply a case of saying: ‘We’ll give 3-5-2 a go today’. We put a lot of work into it.
“The lads had tried it a few times under Brendan. I think Brendan had it in mind to use Odsonne alongside Moussa Dembele up top, and he did it a couple of times before Dembele left. It’s not all 4-3-3 nowadays.”
Coach John Kennedy appears to have been a vital holdover from the Rodgers days, helping the players transition between what Rodgers put in place and what Lennon has wanted to achieve.
It seems the 3-5-2 tactic has been in the works at Lennoxtown for quite a while, with Lennon using the winter break as the perfect opportunity to be bold and hit the reset button.
Hopefully, when the action resumes, we continue to see it deployed.
The partnership between Edouard and Leigh Griffiths looked to only be getting started and it’d be a shame to see it fall by the wayside.
Thankfully, it sounds like Lennon is also eager for it all to continue.