The crucial call Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou needs to make for Ferencvaros test

By Euan Davidson

November 2, 2021

With Ferencvaros ahead, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is probably having quite a philosophically testing time.

Postecoglou, from the land of Plato and Socrates, is more than capable of a good quote himself.

Greek storyteller Aesop said “it is possible to have too much of a good thing”. It’s unlikely that he of Fables fame was talking about Celtic’s forwards. Especially since he died around 543BCE. Even then, though, his vague sentiments apply.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic welcomed back James Forrest at the weekend. Coming on for a late substitute appearance, he made a real difference. Troubled by injuries over the last couple of seasons, his movement and delivery gave Livingston some late problems.

You could replace Forrest’s name with Mikey Johnstone, albeit against St Johnstone last weekend. Celtic have a real number of options up front now, complimenting undoubted star man Kyogo.

If last month was about Jota, it’s hard to know who the hype will follow in November. What’s clear, though, is that Liel Abada isn’t as fashionable now as he was towards the start of the season. Mikey Johnston still looks very decent, but laboured against Livingston. Jota wasn’t able to cut Livi apart, either.

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Meanwhile, in the striker role, Giakoumakis is low on confidence after a difficult Saturday afternoon. Kyogo didn’t start, probably with Ferencvaros in mind. And so, we arrive to the Thursday night Europa League game where Postecoglou’s front-line is anyone’s guess.

Not that it’s his fault. Or even a bad thing at all. It’s just that the Celtic manager is going to have to be ruthless with his front three against Ferencvaros.

Does Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou go with the formidable trio from Ferencvaros home win, or does form dictate something else?

Before a couple of weeks ago, and perhaps even still, you’d probably suggest Abada, Jota and Kyogo was our most effective front three.

Against Ferencvaros, it was that trio that did the damage. 18 chances were created in that game. Eighteen. That’s not to be sniffed at [FotMob]. Yet, Abada’s recent run of games suggests he’s gone a bit off the boil.

Does James Forrest waltz in? Surely, given his talent and track record, you’d assume so. But it still might be too early to throw the Scotland international in from the start. Doing that, you might risk what a fit Abada or Johnston could bring, provided you play Jota on the right in the latter scenario.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And what about Mikey Johnston? Is he better coming off the bench in a tie like this? Without Tom Rogic, the creativity is going to have to come from somewhere; perhaps a more direct goal threat might suit better.

See? These are the problems the Celtic manager has, currently. While, yes, they’re better problems than the summer, when there was about half a squad available.

Still though, it’s something that’ll be giving the Celtic manager headaches in the build up to kick-off against Ferencvaros. Finding that perfect blend will be vital.

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