It is fair to say that overall Celtic boss Neil Lennon has had more successes than failures so far this season. The team may be second in the league and out of the Champions League, but a win at Ibrox and being top of the Europa League group after two games has rectified any major failings.
When it comes to team selection, for the most part the Hoops boss has done very well this season. However, in the last two league games, which the Hoops have failed to win, the manager’s use of substitutes hasn’t perhaps been the best.
Let’s examine the recent 1-1 draw with Hibs first. The Hoops played well on that day, and were unlucky with a couple of refereeing decisions.
However, it might not have been the best decision when looking for a goal to take off Odsonne Edouard and replace him with Vakoun Issouf Bayo.
For a start, Edouard is the Hoops best striker, so he should have been kept on. Also, perhaps it would have been a better idea to play both strikers up front as the Hoops were going for a winning goal.
Player was brought on too late to really contribute
It was also perhaps not the wisest move to bring Scott Sinclair on in the last 10 minutes to try to win the game, after he had been out of first-team action for so long.
That move didn’t really work as Sinclair didn’t contribute that much in his short spell on the park.
As for the 2-0 loss to Livingston, maybe the Hoops boss’ substitutions were more than likely affected by the fact that Ryan Christie was sent-off in the first-half.
However, replacing Boli Bolingoli with Jonny Hayes seemed like a sideways move. Both players do like to get forward but perhaps a better idea would have been to bring on a more attacking player.
Changed system in second-half of recent match
To the Hoops boss’ credit, against Livingston he played both Bayo and Edouard up-front in the second-half to try to get the Bhoys back into the game.
No doubt if the Hoops had won both of these games then the manager’s substitutions would not have been notice. However, the Bhoys only picked up one point out of six.
The manager’s use of substitutions in the Europa League has for the most part been a success, so it is not a long-term issue. However, hopefully the manager improves his use of substitutes in the next league game. It can only improve the Hoops.