Tom Rogic turns down Socceroos for chance of Celtic redemption

By Euan Davidson

May 25, 2021

We know just how good Tom Rogic can be for Celtic.

That’s why he can be such a frustrating figure. Rarely able to last an hour, the Australian could be forgiven for responding to his meagre opportunities in 20-21 with a sense of resignation. He may have made 31 appearances in all competitions [Transfermarkt], but so many were from the bench.

However, instead of sulking and looking elsewhere, the Socceroo has decided to knuckle down and force himself into the next boss’ plans. Rogic has turned down an international call-up, and will instead work on his fitness for Celtic’s pre-season.

Australia boss Graham Arnold confirmed Tom Rogic wouldn’t be in Australia’s squad to face Kuwait, Chinese Tapei, Nepal and Jordan. At the risk of undervaluing the Socceroos’ opponents, they’ll probably be alright without him.

Arnold said [Daily Record]:

“Tom Rogic has a minor ankle injury to deal with and the only time he can get properly fit is now.

“He’s hoping to use the close season to prepare for Celtic’s European games. It won’t be held against him in future.”

Tom Rogic celebrates scoring for Celtic vs St Mirren / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Tom Rogic showing tremendous attitude, could Celtic renaissance be on the cards?

Despite a lack of opportunities, through fitness concerns and lack of form, we did see flashes of greatness from Rogic this season. His goal against St Mirren was exquisite, while he’s also shown off his technique in training highlights that have delighted supporters.

However, the problem lies in his position. As a number 10, he’s unlikely to supersede either Christie or Turnbull, unless Christie moves elsewhere. A role further back on the pitch could suit him, but he may not have the stamina for that. His individual skill-set demands that he plays just behind a striker.

If he can adapt his game, then there’s still a strong chance for Rogic. At 28, it’s not impossible, as we’ve seen with Scott Brown developing his game multiple times. Where Scott Brown and Tom Rogic differ, though, is from a fitness standpoint. Some players just have that natural stamina and energy, others have to work at it.

It’d be genuinely fantastic to see Rogic back at his best. Because when he reaches those top levels, he’s absolutely unplayable. If he can shake off this injury, there’s still time for the Australian to re-establish himself at Celtic.

Clearly, he cares, and he understands what it takes.

READ MORE: The John Kennedy rumour mill has begun to turn