It looks like Celtic are on the verge of making our fifth signing of the January transfer window, with midfielder Matt O’Riley reportedly on the verge of sealing a switch to Parkhead in a £1.5m move, although with what happened with Riley McGree, we won’t count our chickens just yet.
O’Riley seems to be a box to box midfielder, good on the ball, can pick a pass and strong in the tackle. From what I’ve seen of him on Youtube, he looks similar to Hatate.
If O’Riley is indeed to sign, Celtic will have a whole host of midfield and attacking options, and if everyone is fit, it’s hard to know exactly who will be the main starters in the middle of the park and up top.
But it’s got me thinking, maybe there won’t be a definite first choice eleven and definite back up players, perhaps Ange will stick with 2/3 regulars who play almost every game when fit and available, but he will constantly rotate the rest.
That is exactly what Pep Guardiola does at Man City, especially with the front three. Very rarely does he ever play the same front three from one game to the next, they are constantly rotating.
There isn’t a midfielder or attacker in the Man City team that can be considered a back-up player. They all start games but they also all sit out at some point too.
The rotation that Pep utilises at City has a variety of benefits. Firstly, it keeps everyone happy. Everyone feels important and part of the team but everyone equally knows that they will spend some time on the bench from time to time, but that it isn’t a slight on their ability or performances, but done to help the team stay fresh.
And that’s another positive, it keeps players fresh and reduces the risk of injury from playing too many games. We know all too well the downside of playing the same players every game with all the hamstring injuries we had towards the end of last year.
And one final positive to note is that it will make it harder for opposition teams to prepare for us. They won’t know whether to prepare to face Kyogo up front or Giakoumakis, Abada on the wing or Forrest, Rogic in midfield or O’Riley.
And before anyone gets carried away, no I’m not saying we are going to be as good as Man City or anything like that, of course I’m not. But you can still apply the same ideas and same tactics and principles that other successful teams use and try to do the same with your own team, and I believe this is what Ange will look to do with the talent he now has at his disposal.