Celtic Fans TV provided their always excellent post match coverage of the 2-0 victory over Ross County on Sunday, and spoke about a subject brought by one of the live viewers watching in the comments.
The comment from viewer John Watt posted on screen read: “O’Riley posted missing again! Tempo too slow again.” and was met with an honest response from host Paul and fellow supporter Darren.
Paul: “We know Matt O’Riley’s had challenges this season and I think he’s even mentioned some off the field stuff, but he did struggle a wee bit today, didn’t he?”
“I thought he was quite poor, given the high standards that we’ve come to expect from him.”
Darren then replied:
Darren: We always compare Matt O’Riley to Tom Rogic I think, and Matt O’Riley, when they’re playing on a tight pitch and they’ve not got the space, because like we said he’s really slow. He’s got great attributes to his game, maybe not this season, but he has scored and he can definitely set up (goals), but he needs space, and on a tight pitch like that against Ross County, you’re not gonna get that.”
“When the games intense and Ross County are in your face and they’re sitting back, you’re not gonna get any room in their half, so he is always going to struggle.”
“His lack of game time is obviously not helping. It’s not really has fault to be honest. You mentioned off field stuff which I don’t know anything about, but with the form of Aaron Mooy, it’s always going to put him out the team and affect his confidence, even though he’s not really doing anything wrong.”
“It’s like you say, you have to be a step above the other players if you want to get in this team. You will get minutes, but you’re not going to be guaranteed a start every game, and I think that has affected Matt O’Riley because when he came in last January, he was pretty much thrown into the team, because I think Rogic was injured, so he was pretty much playing every single game and it really suited him.”
He went on to add of O’Riley:
“I think he just needs to get his head down. Just get on with it.”
“He’s going to get limited game time, but when he gets game time, he has to perform.”
I agree with the bhoys on the show here. You could tell it was only a matter of time before Mooy took O’Riley starting spot from him at the time, because although O’Riley was still getting some assists in games, he wasn’t playing all that well and he wasn’t contributing any goals to the team.
Mooy was taking his chances when he was getting them and also scoring goals while also getting about the same amount of assists as O’Riley.
He was also controlling our games and tempo far better through his experience, something that O’Riley just doesn’t do, most likely because he is still a young player learning the game.
And I think Darren made a good point about the consistent game time O’Riley had last season helping him, but in fairness, he was also consistently playing before Mooy came into the team this season and his performances still weren’t up to his high standards of the previous season.
At the moment though, he simply isn’t playing well enough when he is given a start or comes off the bench that is going to make Ange drop either Hatate or Mooy and give O’Riley a run games.
However, due to Hatate’s current injury and rumours of him being out for a while, he may well get that opportunity, depending on the fitness of Mooy and whether Iwata is going to stay in for the time being or not, but if he does get a run of games in the team, we need to see the Matt O’Riley from last season that was one of the first name’s on Big Ange’s team sheet and was seeing him linked with big money moves to England.
You can check out the full video of the post match reaction below, with the O’Riley chat starting just after the 13 minute mark.