Ange Postecoglou is about to give the Celtic fans something they've craved for months
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is about to give the supporters what they’ve been crying out for in recent months – Josip Juranovic at right-back.
Indeed, it won’t be in the way we all would’ve wanted. Anthony Ralston is a major doubt for Tannadice with an ankle injury picked up against Hearts. Speaking last night, the manager stated that Tony was the biggest concern out of all of the injury concerns.
It’s likely a spell on the sidelines is coming for Ralston, who’s made an incredible start to the campaign. And in his place will be fellow Parkhead right-back Juranovic.
Juranovic has been operating at left-back ever since signing from Legia Warsaw in the summer. Despite making a positive impression, Celtic fans still believe we aren’t seeing the best of him given he hasn’t been playing in his natural position.
Josip has been absolutely sensational for the Croatian national team at right-back too. So considering the impact he’s been making on the international stage, it’s left many Celtic supporters scratching their heads as to why he isn’t the first-choice right-back at Parkhead. And yes, that’s despite Ralston’s clear improvements.
But it was interesting to see that Ange moved Juranovic over to right-back when Ralston came off against Hearts. Adam Montgomery was given an opportunity down the left, and all eyes will now be on what Postecoglou does in that position.
Josip Juranovic will finally play for Celtic in his natural position on Sunday
Whlst Juranovic has been impressive for Celtic even in a left-back role, it just doesn’t look natural for him. You can still see him consistently wanting to shuffle over to his right foot. He simply isn’t as confident with his left.
This can at times lead to some unusual movements and passes from Josip with his right peg which just aren’t suited to the left-back role. There’s a reason he gives the ball away a touch more regularly than we would like.
It’s a position the player himself would undoubtedly like to change too. He already stated via Celtic TV that he sees his long-term position for the club as being down that right flank. Given the impact he’s made for Croatia in that same area of the pitch, it’s clear this would benefit him the most.
Of course nobody actually wants Ralston to be out for longer than is necessary. But hopefully, this is the chance for Juranovic to make Postecoglou consider a rotational policy at right-back. An opportunity for him to put himself into the picture and start to produce performances that will make Ange think twice about constantly featuring Ralston.
A real, interesting battle could be developing at right-back. That would be ideal considering the schedule we have ahead of us too.
Hopefully, when Juranovic starts at Tannadice on Sunday, he does so in his natural position. And fingers crossed he’s one of the standouts as he looks to finally stake a claim for the right-back berth.