Updated: Mar 3
Celtic 2 (Welsh 2, Edouard 51)
Motherwell 1 (Campbell 66)
Celtic lined up with their 35th different 11 of the season;
· Kenny, Welsh, Ajer and Taylor
· Rogic, Turnbull and McGregor
· Ajeti and Edouard
Brown retained his place after a good game against Kilmarnock. It seems par for the course that we just keep playing Brown until he has a bad game and the damage is then done. Good coaches would drop Brown BEFORE he had a bad game. Brown and McGregor have to be questioned with the Motherwell goal (as do our goalkeeper unsurprisingly). Positioning, communication and closing down were all over the place from both.
Will Soro be the next young player to want away? Similarly how pleased will Turnbull be at getting subbed again? From his 15 starts his average time on the pitch is 76mins with him only completing the 90mins in 2 games (the two post Dubai games). Why take him off and keep Rogic on?
Rogic came in for Christie and it was even more surprising that Rogic played the No.8 role. Everyone expected that Turnbull would drop back. Personally I’d have played Henderson in the No.8 instead of Rogic as we need some more hungry and energetic players in the team.
I did predict in my preview (https://tony69mclaughlin69.wixsite.com/website/post/celtic-v-motherwell-preview) that our full backs would get plenty of width and the game did turn out like that and we had 34 crosses (joint 2nd best of the season). Taylor had 10 of them and Kenny had 8. 34 was a big increase on our 15 crosses against Kilmarnock. Both fullbacks also contributed 7 key passes (Taylor 4 and Kenny 3).
I gave man of the match to a player I don’t rate, Greg Taylor. I don’t rate him because I believe he is limited in ability in regards to pace, dribbling ability, height and strength. However I must admit given that limited ability he has given it his all this season and is one player we can say has played the best he could. A game like this suits him (ie allowed the time on the ball and doesn’t need to beat a man) but that said some of his possession and passing was really good. He had 8.1% of the possession (more than any other player on the pitch) and had 96 touches (2nd only to Kenny on 98) despite only playing 70mins.
I said I wasn’t a Taylor fan but here’s a stat for you …. since 2016 and including only players who have started 25 games or more Taylor is 2nd best on pts per game started on 2.65pts per game (Armstrong 2.7pts per game is the only one in front).
Looking at the negative stats first. Similar to the other recent games our passing accuracy %, possession % and passes in the final third % dropped in the last 15 mins. A common trend is that we drop possession and passing after conceding as if the players’ heads drop.
The positive stats were that we had 22 shots and 15 of them were shots in the box. We had 813 touches and 625 passes and 89% pass accuracy is our 3rd best of the season. Our best and most pleasing stat was that we had 301 passes in the final third and 44% of the game was played in the final third. That’s our best of the season for both stats (2nd best for final third play was 40%).