Brendan Rodgers’ comments on Celtic’s attack are what fans want to hear, but he needs to take action himself.
The Celtic manager is preparing his side for tonight’s opening Europa League qualifying match against Rosenborg. A victory would go a long way towards boosting morale at the club once more.
As he gets his squad ready, however, he’s taken time to comment on what they need to do going forward.
In an interview with the official club website, Rodgers said the following regarding tonight’s match:
“We have to try and improve our level of performances. We need to improve, especially in the final third of the pitch.
“Defensively we’ve been solid in our last four games where we’ve kept clean sheets, but we need to do more in the attacking third of the pitch. In every game we go into we try to ensure we have that energy, intensity and quality and we need to be clinical with our opportunities.
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“That’s something we’ve talked about and focused on in our training and we’ll look to bring that into this next run of games.”
Rodgers hasn’t said a lot wrong here. Supporters will agree with his sentiment that the side have been solid and need to do more going forward. Any Celtic supporter with half a brain could tell you that.
Where the Celtic manager has to improve, however, is his own self-responsibility and how he tackles fixtures. Like it or not, Rodgers has now created a patient passing philosophy at Celtic Park. The defence stroll around with the ball and wait for runners ahead of them.
Too often, however, we’re seeing a lot of back-passes as well as sideways passing from the back-line and midfield. It was the catalyst of the shocking 0-0 draw at St Mirren last weekend.
It was clear after 20 minutes what kind of Celtic performance it was going to be. This is where Rodgers had to intervene, but instead he stuck with the status quo. Surprise, surprise, Celtic failed to find the target.
Rodgers needs to come out and acknowledge that the free-flowing football of 2016/17 is now gone. It has been for some time. Changing to a 3-4-2-1 formation won’t work either. Instead, much of the playing philosophy has to change.
Not once in recent memory has the manager held his hands up and admitted he got things wrong. Instead, he just talks about how it can be better. We all know what needs changed, it’s as clear as day that we’ve lacked a spark down the left, in the number 10 position, and up top.
Celtic didn’t invest, and the manager is now failing to get the best out of the players already at the club.
Rodgers now needs to stop talking about what needs to be better, and start making sure it is.