Post Match View: Every Journey Begins With Small Steps.

16
Jul
2014

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports, Opinion, Post Match View

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Scottish Football is all about journeys nowadays.

Our journey to the Promised Land that is the Champions League began in the worlds northernmost Capital city against a team who had a St Mirren cast off kit and a stadium that seemed to be an after thought to a supermarket car-park. It’s humble surroundings gave a low key beginning to Ronny Deila’s journey as Celtic manager. I’m sure he felt comfortable with this.

It is without doubt that Celtic are a better team than KR but as we have seen in recent seasons no matter the level of side you face if that team are well organised, committed, don’t make mistakes and carry a bit of luck then they can be difficult to break down. They deserve credit for their defending which at times during the second half verged on heroic but lacked an attacking threat. Also, that they are half way through their season didn’t seem to make a difference to them our us.

Ronny’s first team selection sprung surprises that weren’t hinted at during the pre-season warm up games. Starting with McGregor over Kayal and a front 3 of Griffiths, Stokes and Commons. His McGregor selection paid off but during the first period it looked like his reliance on last season’s team was turning in one of last season poor performances that lacked energy and urgency. We were ponderous and quite clueless in how to break down the KR bank of nine.

The second half saw some of what we have been promised. An increased tempo, better movement of the ball and a high up field pressing saw us begin to stretch the KR regard. Only the cross bar, some poor finishing and good goalkeeping keep the scoreline goal less until the 84th minute.  Calum McGregor went past his man on the right hand side and cut into the box.  His decision to pull his shot towards the near post got the luck it deserved with a slight deflection that wrong footed the goalie.

McGregor had a good 2nd period. He excelled at moving the ball quickly and accurately. He also showed good movement and an eye for getting into the box.  His bravery on the wing got it’s reward with his goal and that is heartening to see. Like Liam Henderson last season he showed all the attributes of a decent football education. Whether both can now develop into players is the big question. The manager has already made one gutsy decision tonight and that bodes well for the future.

Next week will see us another week’s training down the line and another game under our belts. Those who at times tonight struggled to remember that we are playing with a quick tempo will have another 7 days and some minutes on the pitch to try and get suited to this.  We showed promise in spells tonight and the stage of development we are at then that’s quite satisfying.

Every journey begins with small steps.

 

 

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