Life under Ange Postecoglou for Celtic has been a topsy-turvy state of affairs.
The Hoops began their new era by exiting Europe’s premier competition and struggling to sign new players.
However, life on that front improved pretty rapidly with Celtic sealing their pathway to the Europa League group stages and signing 12 first-team bodies.
Sadly, proceedings at Parkhead have gone downhill again.
Celtic began their Europa League group stage campaign just under a week ago with a dramatic 4-3 defeat to Real Betis.
We championed the idea of James McCarthy starting in that game and after Ismaila Soro narrowly escaped a red card before being substituted, that theory looked correct.
The Irishman did eventually earn his first Celtic start in the 1-0 loss to Livingston last Sunday.
It was a bad day at the office for the vast majority of the players who pulled on a Hoops jersey but at the top of the pile was McCarthy.
It’s important not to overreact because he’s not had a full pre-season but the early signs for the midfielder don’t look good.
Reports have emerged claiming that he’s struggling with the pace and intensity of Postecoglou’s methods while it’s also thought that the Australian and his recruitment team weren’t so keen on signing the free agent.
Yet, with Callum McGregor missing due to injury against Livi, he had to play.
McCarthy was incredibly disappointing, conceding possession 15 times despite playing a relatively low-risk style.
The Republic of Ireland international was too safe with his methods which when they were chasing the match, isn’t ideal.
With that in mind, Postecoglou should consider axing him from the starting XI against Raith Rovers on Thursday evening, that’s despite previously dubbing him “first-class.”
The opposition are from the Championship but it will be important for the manager to integrate McGregor as quickly as possible.
He is set to be fit for the clash on Thursday night and judging by McCarthy’s only start for the club, he doesn’t deserve another one for a long period of time.