Celtic v Livingston Brendan Rodgers explains his tactical plan to The Celtic Star

Celtic v Livingston Brendan Rodgers explains: Today’s clash with Livingston will be a tough one to say the least. The visitors may be stranded at the foot of the table, but that means nothing and today they will sit in and make life very difficult for us. They will aim to earn a point from the first whistle, or perhaps to steal something at the other end late in the game.

It’s something they are good at, and have proved time and time in the past, and with the way we’ve been playing, David Martindale will strongly fancy his chances after seeing Celtic lose to Kilmarnock and Hearts in our last two outings in the Scottish Premiership.

The onus is all on us and more so Brendan Rodgers. We all know he likes the passive approach to the game. Side to side, forward, back, eat sleep repeat. It’s become quite boring and predictable. We’ve become rather static. It’s all good in European games, but in the run-of-the-mill domestic games, it’s rather pointless.

When a side like Livingston comes to Celtic Park with no intention of advancing over the halfway line, you need to go in for the kill straight away. Bombard them from the word go. Put on an extra attacker, and go three at the back. Anything positive, because we have the players who can convert the chances, and play to their strengths for goodness sake.

Here’s what Brendan had to say to The Celtic Star Editor on this yesterday afternoon:

“I’m not averse to that. I think you’ve seen already since I’ve come in several times we’ve changed structure and system and gone with two players up top. It’s always dependent on the opponent and where you can break through against teams.

“Let’s say you have a back five and a team that’s sitting deep. I think our biggest thing last weekend was the speed of our game. The tempo in our game was way too slow. If you see an action when we went 2-0 down within those first few minutes the speed of the game went to another level but that has to be like that for the very first whistle.

Celtic v Livingston Brendan Rodgers explains

“That’s the consistency I’m talking about. We’ve played games and started with a real hunger and desire. In other games it’s started too slowly, St Johnstone as an example.

“I don’t think it’s so much to do structurally, I think when you play against teams that are low on the field, you have to be quicker and dynamic in your movement. The speed of your movements, the speed of the ball, all these things all come together to tire out your opponent.

“Whether it’s two up front or three up front, whether you’re playing with one up top and two wide, you get two advanced midfield players you’ve virtually got five on the back-line against a back five, as opposed to having two strikers, you virtually have two wide players two number eights and a striker which gives you five along the back line.

“How we try to work at times is trying to make six on the back-line by getting a full-back up. It’s then when you get there it’s about then that being being decisive and having that combination that can break through. I still think there are certain things that when we don’t have certain players playing that the team misses in terms of dynamism, and that’s purely profile, as opposed to structure. The idea is to improve that.”

Livingston will be holding out for a draw, and if we score in the first ten or twenty minutes, their game plan is out the window. You have them where you want them, it’s rather obvious, isn’t it? Not to Brendan it isn’t. Surely he must see what thousands of supporters see? What do opposition coaches see? I think he does, but is just too egotistical to change his ways.

Hopefully, he does today, because it’s not just our title hopes on the line, it’s his job also, and that’s not a rash reaction. Three games without a win and blowing an eight-point lead is unacceptable and takes him into the territory of it being a sackable offense in this part of the world if the Glasgow Derby is not won next weekend.

Sort it out Brendan, whether through desire, intensity, or structure we’re not too bothered in the short term at least.  Today it’s all about the three points, the support – including The Green Brigade and the Celtic Bhoys (welcome back one and all) – getting behind the team and showing passion and positive energy on and off the pitch

PS – After Brendan’s answer to The Celtic Star Editor yesterday, we’ll be playing the usual 4-3-3 today and hopefully that will deliver the three points. However in my view here’s the way I’d like to see us line up today…

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