Tom Rogic’s place in the first-team would certainly have been guaranteed, but a result certainly wouldn’t have against Rangers.
A lot of the fan opinion of the game on Saturday circled around the fact that Rogic wasn’t available. The idea is that if he was then the Hoops would’ve won the game. Or at the very least performed much better.
It’s as tiresome as it was predictable had Celtic lost the game, which they did. But when you watch the match over, nobody can say that Rogic on current form would’ve made a colossal difference.
The Aussie, of course, was missing after being called up by Australia for the Asia Cup.
The fact is, however, that nine out of 11 Celtic players didn’t turn up. Only Craig Gordon and Callum McGregor can spare themselves from that list.
Had Rogic had been in there, there’s several reasons why this most likely wouldn’t have guaranteed anything.
Firstly is the fact that Rogic has been poor for weeks now. The creative midfielder is a class act on his day, but his day hasn’t come around for a while.
He hasn’t scored a goal in any of Celtic’s last 10 games. His last finish was at Dens Park against bottom-of-the-table Dundee on Halloween. With just five assists for the season also, it’s difficult to see how the Aussie was going to be the game-changer.
Tom is out of form
The truth is that he’s not been in anywhere near the right form to claim he would’ve made a huge difference. His stats and recent performances back that up.
The other point as to why this wouldn’t have guaranteed anything is because of who would’ve been playing alongside him.
Both Olivier Ntcham AND Scott Brown started against Rangers. You have to imagine Ntcham would’ve stayed out for Rogic, with Christie dropping deeper to play alongside Brown and Rogic in the number 10 role.
Celtic’s main problem on the day was a failure to get up the pitch. Both Ntcham and Brown played woefully at Ibrox, and just because Rogic is in there, that wouldn’t have meant Brown suddenly would’ve had a stormer.
Christie was praised for his energy in the match, but he wasn’t tidy in possession either. He had many loose passes, and lost plenty of 50-50s to Rangers players in the midfield. With the press the Ibrox side were putting on Celtic, Rogic would hardly have seen the ball as regularly as he would’ve liked in the number 10 position.
Sure – Rogic’s ability to pluck something out of nothing could’ve been valuable for the Hoops.
But to say it was a big reason for the defeat? Total nonsense.