Ronny Deila arguably used a player in a less effective position against St Johnstone last night.
Celtic suffered a surprising defeat against St Johnstone in the Scottish Premier League last night, which will leave Ronny Deila scratching his head this morning over what exactly went wrong.
Celtic have been in good form and headed into this game after reacting superbly to their exit in the Europa League.
However, they lacked a little bit of attacking punch and the reason for that could relate to the way Deila asked key midfielder Stefan Johansen to play during the game.
Johansen appeared to be playing in a deeper midfield role in the first half, which arguably counters his natural tendencies to get on the ball, be creative and influence things with the side going forward.
When Nir Bitton came into the side with half an hour left, Johansen was moved further forward and the Bhoys looked like a much more dangerous attacking unit.
It’s understandable why Johansen was playing a more disciplined role because he is very clever in terms of the way he protects possession and moves the ball forward quickly.
However, St Johnstone deserve credit because they pressed well whenever he picked up the ball and stopped him from being a major influence on the game during the first half.
He’s disciplined and professional, but is arguably better when he has a freer role in the opponent’s final third, with cover in behind him.
He’s also a very fit player, which is significant when he moves forward.
He uses that pace and energy to good effect, is always on the move and doesn’t let defenders settle down.
His fitness is useful from a defensive sense because he can keep moving and tracking players throughout a game, but the attack looks quicker and deadlier when he plays just behind the main striker or strikers.
There’s food for thought for Deila, but Johansen can’t be used in a role which counters his best qualities, regardless of how good his CV may be for that position.