Hector Bandito reviews the performance and bhoy, does he like what he sees:
Celtic v Motherwell Player Ratings
Gordon 5 – He exceeded my expectations when he arrived in his first season
but last campaign and this one (early days I know!) he looks below his
best. Biggest concern is his distribution with ball at feet is really poor.
The way Rodgers teams like to play is the keeper may be heavily involved
during possession play when ball is recycled through the back. Needs pushed
more and a new keeper vying for number one jersey should benefit club and
Janko 6 – Can run and run and run. A bit like Didier Agathe without the
‘meep meep!’ Still finding his feet after a bad run with injuries last
season. There’s a player there. With a run of games could become a very
Izzy 6 – Waved his tearful farewells in May only to return. We demand a
refund! Great attitude and will work all day. Clearly backup to Tierney now
but a very strong backup to have. Nothing defensively of note last night
but provided great support for Sinclair.
Lustig 7 – Played at centre back and again another strong game. This may be
his best long-term position as the right centre defender of a back 3…?
Great Tache and like many others appears to be enjoying his fitba under new
O’Connell 6 –Didn’t have a great deal to do (Lustig gets extra point due to
forward forays and his Tache!) but is good in the air and comfortable in
possession. Little know fact coming up…my oldest Son played against him
at academy level and scored. Take that O’Connell! Kidding aside, there’s
hopefully more to come from young EO.
Broony 8 – Clearly injury free (touches wid…all bits!) but there’s more
to the vast improvement in his game than that…arrival of Rodgers. Instead
of painstakingly boring keep ball at the back the new orders are turn and
take the ball forward taking no more than two touches. Hurrah! Broony looks
like a new player who has been superb v Astana, Hearts and Motherwell and
appears to love the freedom and guidance provided by Brendan.
McGregor 7 – Great pass for the opening goal to Rogic. Neat, tidy wee
player who you don’t notice a lot of the time but he’s there keeping the
ball moving along as per instructions. Can easily do a job domestically my
one concern is against good European teams…prove me wrong wee man! Always
on the move and finds space. A very good football brain.
Forrest 7 – Like Lustig and Broony looks like a new player under Rodgers
guidance. Was sprinting back to cover the right back role when Janko went
forward and closing space. New three year contract signed this week.
Brendan says JF always trains with a smile on his face and is a pleasure to
manage. Early days but maybe Rodgers is the man who can finally untap all
the ability Forrest has always had…?
Sinclair 9 – First start but really couldn’t have gone any better. Apart
from getting a penalty, scoring a goal and setting one up…..his touch and
movement so far has been sublime. Hugs the left touchline and if nothing
happens moves inside and plays the channels between mid and striker. Great
awareness and football brain to go with talent. We may have won a watch
with this yin!
Rogic 9 – Great first goal but his overall game was fantastic. Seems to
find space easily, which is far more difficult than it looks and his link
up play was first class. Interestingly Rodgers mentioned Rogic and Forrest
have a lot more to come as they need to understand the work ethic and
pressing he requires from his players. If and it’s a big if, he does that,
he could be some player. Over to you Tom!
Dembele 8 – Just turned 20, French kid, missed start of pre-season and some
knicker-wetters as per usual don’t show patience and give the kid a
chance…they never learn! Massive baws to score winner v Astana before
bullying Hearts in the second half and then scoring 2 v Motherwell. Early,
early days but this kid still has major scope to improve. If he
McCart, Henderson and Ralston. 19, 20 and 17 respectively and all
graduates of Celtic’s academy. Great to see Brendan put so much faith in
them, McCart made his hoops debut and his old man Chris, ex-Motherwell HOY
and current Celtic HOY, must be ecstatic. I’ve met Jamie’s Da a few times
and as well as being a gentleman is a massive Celtic supporter. His family
will be buzzing! Liam had a cracking season on loan at Hibs last year
included winning the Scottish Cup against a new club. Lad has always
impressed me but if he’s not going to play regularly due to competition
then loan him out to develop in the Scottish Premiership this season then
bring him back. There’s a player here who could be a cracker for year to
come. As for young Ralston, he’s 17. 17 FFS! I was told a few months ago
there is massive hopes for this kid and he is “equivalent of Tierney on the
right…only bigger!”. Incidentally 6 of the 11 who finished the match are
graduates of Celtic’s youth academy. The future’s bright!
Manager 9 – Only 4 weeks since we got embarrassed in Gibraltar and then
this, a scintillating display of quick, pass and move attacking football.
Bear in mind we were without Toure, Erik, Tierney, Rodgers and Griffiths.
Half our regular outfield players! The support is now buzzing since the
arrival of Brendan and the way he talks is very reminiscent of MON. He
knows the buttons to pres to the support, talks eloquently to the media and
God only knows the education and first class management skills he is
sharing to Celtic players but I’m genuinely excited here. He mentioned
post-game he wants 2 more players in before the window closes and the board
knows who he wants. His words “If we get them you will see a big
transformation in the team”.