Ange Postecoglou lifted his first trophy as Celtic manager as his side beat Hibernian 2-1 in the League Cup final on Sunday. Hibs took the lead through Paul Hanlon in the 51st minute, only for Kyogo Furuhashi to equalize within a minute at the other end. The Hoops forward then sealed the victory in the 72nd minute, completing the turnaround with his double.
Whilst Kyogo scored the two goals and may grab the headlines for Celtic, another player stole the show for Postecoglou’s side – Tom Rogic. Rogic has always been able to find space effortlessly. No one in Scottish football controls the ball on the half-turn as he can, and few, if any, have the eye for a through ball or disguised run of a striker that Rogic has.
Rogic has been playing an attacking role for Celtic and is the most effective while playing in this position. As seen in the above visual, he also drifts to the right flank and has played out from the same side. His work rate has been brilliant so far in the games that he has played for Celtic.
The above visual shows us the passing and progression stats for Rogic in the Scottish Premiership. His stats indicate that he has been better than the median league value for the same. He has an average of 0.3 assists per 90 minutes and has generated an expected assist value of 0.24 per 90 minutes. The Aussie has played 37.16 passes on an average in each game with a pass accuracy of 80.38%. Playing in an attacking midfield role, Rogic also makes several progressive runs in the opposition penalty area and gets into great positions. He has attempted 2.2 smart passes per 90 minutes and is better than 99% of the players in the league for the same.
Rogic has played a majority of his passes on the right flank in the final third of the pitch. He has been highly involved in Celtic’s build-up play towards goal and also possesses a wide range of passing skills. Most of the crosses that he has put into the penalty area have generated a high xT. He has provided three assists so far in the league.
Rogic has been on the scoresheet thrice so far this season. His shot map indicates that he can get into threatening positions inside the penalty area to make an attempt on goal as most of his shots have been from inside the penalty area. He has attempted 2.50 shots per 90 minutes and has had 20% of his shots on target. The midfielder has also averaged 5.09 touches in the opposition penalty area. He has great dribbling skills as well and can get into great positions in the final third to either take a crack on goal or put the ball into the 18-yard box.
Rogic has a hefty build and is a very strong player. He can win most of the duels he competes for and can recover possession of the ball. He has won several duels across the pitch and most of these duels have been either ground duels or 50-50 challenges. Rogic does not shy away from loose ball duels and shows the desire to win back the ball for his team. He has attempted 4.69 loose ball duels per 90 minutes, winning 44.68% of these duels.
Celtic have been playing more aggressive football under Postecoglou and press their opponents higher up the pitch. Rogic has now become the pressing machine his manager needs as he hassles and hurries the opposition. Where previously you could argue he saved his energy for time spent on the ball rather than trying to win it back, he now seems to last 90 minutes and more. He appears to have developed an extra lung where previously you could have argued he may only have had one. As seen in the visual, all of the interceptions he has made are in the opposition’s half.
Tom Rogic has had a very frustrating time with injuries and possibly a loss of confidence, but the performances he has put up this season under his new manager have got him back to producing those attacking moments regularly, and as he showed in the cup final, he has added even more to his game, abilities that previously most fans would have thought he simply didn’t possess. He has become a brilliant asset to the team.