Brendan Rodgers’ comments about Oliver Burke not being the finished article are worrying and disheartening to Celtic fans.
Now, no one expects a 21-year-old to be the finished product, but a bit of perspective is needed from Rodgers.
Burke made his first start for Celtic in the 3-0 win over Airdrie. He looked rusty but got better as the game went on.
He was unlucky not to break his duck for the club, forcing the keeper into a few good stops.
Burke, loaned from West Brom, will stay at Celtic until the summer.
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“I love working with that kind of player to see if I can extract that bit more. I can see that with him,” Rodgers told BBC Sport.
“With that pace and power, hopefully we can give him another view of the game.
“That should see him improve as a player.”
The Celtic manager stated he wanted to ‘strip back’ Burke’s game and put his ‘exceptional attributes’ to better use.
Maybe Rodgers hasn’t noticed it yet, but Celtic are smack bang in the middle of a title race. Now isn’t the time to be ‘stripping back’ players and proving his coaching credentials.
Rodgers is a world class manager, his achievements in the game stand testament to that.
However, he should be concentrating his time now on signing the players Celtic need to help them win an eight successive league title.
Celtic have an abundance of ‘not quite finished articles’ of players who are undoubtedly going to achieve great things in the game.
Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard are the two most likely to leave Celtic for a bumper fee in the future.
However, can Rodgers and Celtic afford to fill the team with projects? Rangers have proven that over 90 minutes they can beat Celtic now. That should spring Rodgers into action.
Time to focus, not panic
It certainly isn’t time for Celtic fans to be pushing the panic button. Celtic have enough proven stars in the team to comfortably go on and clinch the title.
Of course there’s another treble up for grabs too, and it is not out of the realms of possibility that Celtic will secure a treble treble in May.
However, Rodgers’ comments indicate that he and his side need to regain their focus in order to achieve this.
The manager should be focusing on settling on a core group of player he know he can trust for the run in.