Opening day nerves?


The build up was great… but there was little to get excited about by the 90 minutes that followed as the season got underway in tired fashion.


No new faces in the team, not even a left-back, and an unbalanced midfield due to the injury to Shunsuke Nakamura saw the champions stutter and stumble to victory.

Barry Robson struggled badly out on the right wing, continually turning inside where Celtic already had Paul Hartley and Scott Brown as St Mirren retreated to stifle the play.

All of this put the onus onto Aiden McGeady to provide some magic but with little space to operate in and few team mates to provide him with any sort of options it was a tough afternoon all round.

Brown was possibly the best player but I couldn’t help but feel that the balance of the team had been disrupted to accommodate the former Hibs midfielder.

On recent form, last season, Robson and Hartley provide the best central midfield pairing but maybe Gordon Strachan is taking a medium term view and trusting his judgement that Brown is going to raise his game to a level that Robson and Hartley can’t match.

If you throw in new signing Marc Crosas and the return of Nakamura there should be enough options coming up to provide the spark and excitement missing from the win over St Mirren.

Paul Caddis belatedly got a run out yesterday, replacing Robson late on despite being ready to come on just as Celtic were awarded the decisive penalty.

Caddis had less space, and time, to operate in than he had enjoyed against Manchester City. I like Caddis a lot, he has loads to his game but is largely untried defensively. Going forward he has everything, he has pace, intelligence, tackles and passes well but isn’t yet ready to displace Andreas Hinkel.

The return to Tannadice next Sunday should be interesting and testing, picking up all three points will set us up nicely for two home games including the eagerly anticipated visit from Rangers when we should have a great chance to inflict a Kaunas type blow to Rangers season by emphasising our superiority and putting some daylight into the two horse race that is the SPL.

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