Ki Sung Yueng impresses on Celtic debut

Amid the misery, disappointment and predictable frustrations of the 1-1 draw with Falkirk the debut of Ki Sung Yueng is almost a footnote. An impressive footnote.
Another home draw, more defensive frailties, more possession not converted into chances or goals and frustration growing amongst supporters who rightly expect to see their team beat the bottom club in the league at home.
Not the most encouraging environment for a new player to come into, especially coming from a different continent but the 20-year-old South Korean rose above those issues to turn in an impressive debut.
The common perception of Asian players is that they will be skillful and lightweight but Ki, or Dave as he is happy to be known, has a strong physical element to his play as well as a good first touch and willingness to play an early forward pass.
Falkirk, as expected, didn’t pose much of an attacking threat and were content to flood the midfield and take their chances on the counter attack against a reshaped and reshaped again Celtic defence that finally consisted of Darren O’Dea and Josh Thompson, neither of whom had turned out for Celtic in the previous four months.
Ki took to the game quickly and looked comfortable alongside Marc Crosas in the centre of the park. Some of his quick passing was a pleasant surprise with Andreas Hinkel benefitting from the improved service as he raced down the right flank.
An early free kick picked out Marco Fortune who headed across goal and indicated the new bhoy’s prowess from set-pieces.
In the 65th minute Ki almost scored with a trademark ‘Nakamura’ free kick but was denied by an inspirational save from Falkirk keeper Robert Olejnik diving high to push the ball away from the postage stamp corner.
Predictably the pace of the match began to catch up on Dave after that and it was a surprise when Crosas was substituted when both Dave and Zheng Zhi looked to be suffering from a lack of match practice.
Morton at Cappielow will be a culture shock to Ki although the hold up on his registration may rule him out from the delights of Tuesday at Greenock.
With his World Cup place needing confirmed Ki will be anxious to make an impact on Celtic and could give an extra dimension to the midfield despite the recent impressive partnership of Crosas and Landry N’Guemo.

BBC highlights, editing out the penalty claim on Marco Fortune by Brian McLean, if the Celtic-Rangers match on January 3 hadn’t been shown live by Sky would the BBC have shown Kyle Lafferty’s booking?

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  • johnd says:

    aye, i'm all for giving tm a chance, but as your post said, 'it was a suprise he took off crosas'… i think that is my one real suspicion of tm, that he gives so little value to crosas who is a player that quietly and efficiently gets on with his job – he's always the one to be hooked first. And this is a manager (a view shared by many tims, worryingly) that thinks broonie is a top player!!! broonie is a guy that cannot pass to a hooped shirt but is celebrated for running around snarling and making a nuisance of himself…"an empty vessel makes most noise" ! i'd have crosas in my team every time but i know that that is a minority view.

  • Anonymous says:

    fully agree johnd.crosas is quality and keeps the game flowing.i can count in my one hand how many stray passes he has had in all his games at celtic.be more useful if team orders allowed him to get forward more..goals at the end of last season would suggest he has the ability we need in terms of a scoring midfielder.brown would run all day he but is neither an enforcer or accomplished passer.id happily entertain offers for him.

  • Vincent D says:

    I agree with both comments. The most frequent analogy I hear in regard to Scott Brown is the 'headless chicken' and if he is the best we can look forward too then I'm afraid the League is well and truly lost. I don't think Mowbray always makes the right choices, the best example of which was Lee Naylor being left on the field for 90 minutes despite being completely awful from start to finish. How both Crosas and Hinkel were substituted whilst Naylor was left on the park beggars belief. Crosas has been quietly impressive and seems to have developed an easy rapport with N'Guemo. Ki looks like an excellent prospect. Paddy Mc Court came on and did more to threaten Falkirk in a few minutes than most of out forwards achieved in 90 . What does Paddy have to do to get a run in the side? Any players confidence would be destroyed by been so frequently sidelined when fit, and given a run out when panic turns to desperation.

    I don't know what we do about our sickening inability to convert chances. This is one thing the Manager can not be held responsible for. Indeed like the rest of us he must be tearing his hair out at how many chances continue to be squandered by our 'striker's.'For the first time after yesterday's result I was actually forced To contemplate the fact that we might not win the league again this season. The current team seems to lack the spirit and the backbone to actually go on a run which can see us gather the momentum necessary to win the league. the difference between us and them at the moment is their ability to grind out results. Of course they don't suffer from the handicap of a concerted effort by referees to make sure that we get nothing, not even our due. anyone who doubts that there is a clear pattern emerging in this regard had their head up their own backside. We need to reagin that spirit quickly or else we could go into freefall from which it might takes years to recover. Of course the Board's obsession with balancing the books has cost us dear in the recent past.But that does not excuse the players on the field when it comes to beating Falkirk. They need to be told to get their fingers out and not be allowed join the wingers and moaners who have been transferred from the club recently who contributed significantly to our inertia but who now would like to shift all the blame to the Manager. Shame on them and on those who can't do what is rerquired on a consitent basis on the park to see off teams like Falkirk.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Thanks for your contributions bhoys, they add greatly to this blog.

    Good to see some thoughtful opinions being expressed, feel free to add your comments any time at all.

    Vincent D, a little bit of paragraphing would make your points come across clearer.

    Some folk may knock tabloid writing, I don't, it keeps points nice and compact and is easy on the eye and to follow.



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