All in at Ibrox or Hold Back for Hampden?
if you listened to the Media lately then you would think its a Title Decider on Sunday at Ibrox.
I suspect various pundits have been told “Get out and sell this dead rubber” and we are hearing classic quips such as “Its a really Big Game” and we are told “The Pressure is ramping up on both sides!”
Is it though?
I honestly couldnt give a monkeys about it.
The League is won. The treble Treble awaits with the Cup Final at Hampden on May 25th.
However…Ive found myself nodding my head whilst reading and listening to a few folks cry havoc and demanding we release the dogs of war against Gerrards League losers so Im finding myself slightly torn between the two options.
If you are Neil Lenoon….do you Stick……or……Twist…hmmmmm!
Lets play Devils Advocate and see what the arguments on each side are:
CUP FINAL FIRST & LAST?
Some folk would suggest we rest as many star players as possible.
They could cry out that The Treble Treble awaits…History beckons rather than a daft game Sky Sports tell us means something.
Do we really dare risk a bad injury to a key player in a game where the Competition is already over?
Others wonder if we should be resting star men, especially after a recent fun trip to Dublin to celebrate the Title Win.
We all expect that Rangers are going to be very very angry…wouldn’t it be easier to just stand back and smile at them citing the Final as the bigger game to worry about.
Couldn’t we just play a side built from the players on the fringes instead of risking our regulars
Hows about this starting line up :
Hayes, Benkovich, Hendry, Gamboa
Kouassi, Ntcham, Henderson
Sinclair, Burke, Weah
We could look to use subs like Mikey Johnston, Izzy, Toljan, and maybe Bayo and Ralston if fit, and keep our star men in reserve?
That side might look weak in many eyes but they all have something still to prove in trying to win a place in the Cup final squad and should be fired up. It also tells Rangers how much this game and they themselves actually matter to us, nada.
Some folk say we should be stamping down on the throat of our second place rivals…but really does such a game put down any sort of marker?
Wont any loser say “Oh well, doesn’t matter really at the end of the day” so just apply that attitude at the start of the day!
This game undoubtedly will mean more to Rangers than it does Celtic. They can delude themselves any score in this game matters but with the League gone, it doesn’t actually mean a thing bar hollow cries of celebration.
ALL IN FOR A WIN!
Some folk will suggest that any game against Rangers is a game that we need to win.
They may also suggest Celtic have an apology to make after a dreadful no-show in the December clash.
The same folk would point out there may be truth in media claims that the gap is closing between the sides and we need to nip any expectations of a challenge in the bud as soon as possible.
Another point many make is Don’t change a winning side.
Lenny’s side are unbeaten so why worry who we are playing and what hammer throwers may be present in blue. Ticking the current Celtic side over may be just what the players need but careful handling for players such as Tierney and Lustig is also a warning being aired with the Cup Final also on the horizon.
Another interesting point, made by James Forrest on The Celtic Blog, is that this is a must win for Neil Lennon. The current interim Boss will be looking to cement his application with a showing at Ibrox. Perhaps the players are raring to go to get behind him on Sunday and really back his claim for the job.
The simple demand of course is too just beat them.
We always enjoy that feeling and it would be nice just to remind them why we are the Champions. The thought of Morelos stewing on the bench whilst the steady Ajer and Jozo easily cope with the old but in form Defoe is one many Celtic fans would like to enjoy watching.
And there we have it…
It’s over to Neil…he has to weight up the options and the risks. He has to decide what his immediate priorities and possibilities are….will he go all in or hold back..the smart money believes he will try something in between and use a few and rest a few…only time will tell…