The evidence of Tom Rogic's true rebirth at Celtic under Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

March 3, 2022

He was only a substitute last night, but Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic was able to add to something that seems quite remarkable under Ange Postecoglou: his minutes played.

We’ve known Rogic as a player who can do great things in short bursts. A perennial on-the-hour-mark substitution. The kind of player with whom you trade technique for a seemingly brutal lack of stamina. Except, now we know that isn’t quite the case.

Before we get any further, let’s examine the evidence; Tom Rogic has, at the time of writing, played 1,309 minutes of league football for Celtic [Transfermarkt]. Over the course of 21-22, he’s played in 39 games, with a whopping 2,302 minutes played in total.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

His best ever season, in terms of minutes and games played? You’d have to go back to 2015-16. In total, he played 2,157 minutes for Celtic, 1,862 of those coming in league action. Tom Rogic seems very, very likely to top that total, and that’s having missed games with injury and international selection.

Who amongst us, speaking honestly, could’ve envisioned this? He was meant to be out the door in the summer of 2020 [Sky Sports]. Last season, generally speaking, he looked an awkward fit, something of a “luxury player” we couldn’t necessarily rely on.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest Tom Rogic has been reborn at Celtic under Ange Postecoglou. But there, in black and white, you can see it. He’s playing consistent minutes, and the team is often better for it.

Celtic 2-0 St. Mirren | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 St. Mirren | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Tom Rogic has been revitalised at Celtic under Postecoglou, and will be crucial for title run-in

Would this have happened under another manager? Is there a link to say it’s all about Postecoglou, here?

No. Let’s not get hasty. For the first time in years, Tom Rogic was able to spend a summer rehabbing niggling injuries, and working his way into fitness. He had a full pre-season, for once. The value of that can’t be understated, and it speaks for itself.

Still, at the same time, it would be churlish not to give Postecoglou credit. Having managed him with Australia, the ex-Socceroos boss knows exactly how to get Rogic working. Give him license to create, make his position flexible in transitions, and let him do his thing.

Photo by Chris Putnam/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Time and again this season, we’ve seen just that. And it’s benefitted us. 5 goals and 10 assists tell you everything you need to know [Transfermarkt]. At 29, we normally talk about players coming into their peak. With Tom Rogic, that was never necessarily a guarantee, owing to seemingly constant injury woes.

The scary thing – at least for opposing teams – is that there’s time for Tom Rogic to get even better. Yes, he definitely needed a rest last night, having struggled against Hibernian. When he came on though, it gave the whole team a lift, and the difference he made was tangible.

Tom Rogic will likely top his minutes played record for Celtic when the season’s done and dusted.

Who could’ve seen that happening?

Read more: The attacking balance Celtic need to become truly unstoppable