Tom Rogic's omission for Cluj-Celtic opens up more questions than answers

By David Walton

December 12, 2019

Tom Rogic’s availability for tonight’s game in Cluj would certainly have been ideal, which makes his omission a real worry.

The Wizard of Oz was one of the players Neil Lennon confirmed to be staying at home. Speaking at his pre-match media conference via Celtic TV, Lenny said the following:

“Forster, Brown, McGregor, Edouard, Rogic, Christie – none of those guys have traveled. They’re unavailable.”

Neil Lennon has confirmed that Tom Rogic hasn’t traveled (Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Disappointingly, Lenny wasn’t asked about why this was the case. Rogic, at the moment, isn’t a part of our strongest XI and has only managed to play nine times this season. His injury problems have been frustrating yet again, and this has been the main reason for his inconsistency (Transfermarkt).

What it’s also meant is that the Aussie has only managed a full 90 minutes on three occasions this season. Celtic will have played a total of 34 matches after tonight. It’s a pretty shocking return if we’re being blunt about it.

Rogic could’ve done with appearing in Cluj

Tonight would’ve been the ideal time to help boost his match-fitness further. He was on the bench against both Hamilton and Rangers in recent matches. In addition to that, he played the majority of the recent league wins against Livingston and Ross County respectively.

Rogic hasn’t offered enough over the last 12 months (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

But with big Tam it always seems to be one step forward and two steps back. With Ryan Christie also not traveling to Romania, it leaves big question marks over what Lennon will do with his team tonight.

The gaffer has stated that Olivier Ntcham will captain the team tonight (Scottish Sun). It will be interesting to see whether he does so in a more attacking role. Callum McGregor is another alternative he can do that with whilst putting Ntcham in alongside potentially Nir Bitton or Scott Robertson.

Lennon does have options, but that’s not really the point. The fact that Rogic is missing once again after seemingly being on his way back is a frustration.

Lennon is without both Rogic and Ryan Christie tonight (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hopefully this is precautionary and not down to the discovery of yet another set-back. Yet, even if it is just a case of being cautious, it would’ve been worth bringing Rogic along to boost his minutes.

The manager will surely provide more clarity on this in the coming days.