Brendan Rodgers rips up Celtic plan that’s indicative of a man still searching for answers to the riddles – Keith Jackson
Sometimes, when the answer to the puzzle is anything but obvious, the smartest option is to pass.
And on Sunday afternoon Callum McGregor took it upon himself to do exactly that just when it seemed that Celtic might be running out of answers to the variety of issues which have been making this campaign such an unfathomable struggle.
When his team was toiling and perhaps even toying with the idea of giving up a second piece of silverware from the trophy cabinet, McGregor stepped forward to assume control and ease some seriously fraying nerves. For a good hour or so of a frantic, tightly balanced fifth round tie, the skipper passed, passed and passed again until he had single handedly worked St Mirren out and spared Brendan Rodgers from disappearing down into a full blown conundrum.
By the time he was done his side had secured a two-goal lead and place in the draw for the Scottish Cup quarter finals. And his boss was benefiting from some badly needed thinking time at the end of what has been an unusually perplexing and chaotic couple of weeks. Of course, over the years McGregor has played in more important matches than this one and most certainly on more pristine playing surfaces.
But, even so, the sheer scale and significance of his intervention should not be underestimated. Because a well organised, highly confident St Mirren had Celtic in all manner of trouble until the moment McGregor decided to take matters into his own hands by seizing control of the middle of a badly rutted and wholly untrustworthy pitch.
By applying some composure and a cool head the captain took the heat out of the occasion just when things were getting sweaty. And if Rodgers and his players do recover from this mid-season wobble to end the