Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic reign has got off to a flying start. It may have stuttered right at the very beginning but the Hoops are now in full stride and look like genuine title contenders again.
Parkhead is being met with some swashbuckling football from the Bhoys as they aim to please their supporters by playing a brand of all-out attack.
Furthermore, in their last two domestic matches, they have registered a truly jaw-dropping 72 attempts at goal.
This is a team in the mood to reclaim their dominance of Scottish football and it’s all thanks to the brains and ingenuity of Postecoglou and Dominic McKay.
The Australian has been keen to blood young players and in Liel Abada, he now has one of the hottest teenage talents in the Premiership.
He is just 19 years of age and already has four goals and two assists in seven games for the club.
Abada has been nothing short of exceptional but his form has been timely. That’s because another of their hot prospects, Karamoko Dembele, is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Dembele hasn’t played at all this term after catching the eye and scoring in pre-season. Yet, we may not see him for a while yet.
Postecoglou admitted before the clash with St Mirren: “Karamoko is a bit of a long-term one, so he’s a fair bit away in terms of rehab.”
This won’t only be a gutting blow for the player but it will be incredibly frustrating for the manager too.
The teenager has found life in the senior team at Parkhead a challenging one. He’s still never started a competitive fixture for the Hoops despite bursting onto the scene at the age of 17.
Dembele is now approaching 19 but has made slow strides in his development. He began to feature on a more regular basis under John Kennedy in the back end of last season and this campaign will have been a key one in his development.
After all, Postecoglou suggested when he first arrived that bringing through the next generation at Paradise was vital.
“I’m a big believer that, if you can produce homegrown talent and players who have come through the club, there’s extra meaning to represent that football club for the player. For the supporters, they see one of their own out there and I think that’s very important,” the boss commented back in June.
Therefore, to see Dembele missing a significant period through injury will be a huge source of anguish.
He wouldn’t be a definite starter in this side but his pace and energy late in games would trouble plenty of Premiership defences.