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Yesterday, Another Player Emerged From The Shadows At Celtic … And It Was Great.

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Talk about an unlikely hero.

In years to come, when people ask who scored the first goal of this season – and lo and behold it was from a corner at that – they might well struggle to guess. They might name one of the front men or go for a Hatate or an O’Riley; we know they’ll put enough away over the course of the campaign.

But how many are going to say Stephen Welsh?

Stephen Welsh, as Ralston was last season, is in one Hell of a position. Had Starfelt been fit he wouldn’t have played. Had Lenz had a little more behind him in terms of fitness, and even a couple of games, Welsh would not have played.

He knows it too. He knows the pressure he’s under, and all the eyes that are on him. Some folk will say he’s playing for relevance as much as anything. What he showed yesterday with his performance – not just the goal but the display itself – was that he is up for the fight.

That is great news for this club. We need every guy like that we can get.

Last season, Ralston had to cope with those pressures and it has been the making of him. Yesterday there was another performance of excellent, and it came from Greg Taylor. It’s no coincidence that he’s under pressure too with a new left back in the building.

Ange is right; this is not just about having good footballers but about having the right personalities at Celtic Park, and more and more we’re seeing that we’ve got exactly that.

These are guys who thrive under pressure; in fact, they look better footballers when they have others breathing down their necks. This is one of the benefits of this big squad … it pushes everyone in it, and Ange has known it from the start.

Welsh was immense yesterday and he’s been excellent in pre-season. This is what we mean when we talk about footballers seizing the opportunities they are given. He was given a big, big chance yesterday and he grabbed it with both hands.

It was tremendous from him, and suggests that there is more to come.

With The Season About To Start, Which Celtic Star Will Rise Above The Rest?

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12 comments

  • Johnny Green says:

    I expect tHe opposition in every game to create at least one or two chances against us in any game we play and it is how we deal with those chances that defines our defensive performance. Yesterday I thought our defence played really well, Aberdeen created two chances, one of which was a potentially own goal, but Joe Hart did what he is there for and made the save look easy. Their other opportunity was the shot by Johnny Hayes who with a Celtic player close at hand did not have a lot of space to aim at and duly knocked it wide of the target. The remainder of the game we were in control both offensively and defensively. We do need to be more clinical up front and that will come as we raise our fitness and match playing levels. Yes James, we have competition for places all over the park and Stephen Welsh could well make that position his own as he had a very confident and assured display. COYBIG!

  • SSMPM says:

    Picked him the other day as my outside bet for player of the year. Just saying. The Bhoy had a good game and would be great to see him come through as a regular but early days.
    Similar performance to last year – great to watch but not putting the game to bed with probably 3/4 of game possession. There was the usual high intensity, great movement, lots of goal opportunities, and sadly loads of missed chances. We really need to kick on under such circumstances or somebody’s gonna make us pay for only having a one goal lead. Early days however well done to Welsh for showing those mid and front players how to put the ball in the net

  • Tom Foolery says:

    Somebody just has to come right out and say it….Ralston is shite.

  • John S says:

    Not so sure it’s a surprise; Welsh has been excellent when called upon.

  • jrm63 says:

    Celtic have refused offers from 2 European sides in successive seasons from leagues better than the SPL. Welsh had a reputation for being an excellent passer of the ball, an area of his game not apparent when playing on the left side. There is now a left sided central defender at Aberdeen who can play the ball. Next season I would like to see these two together pushed up with our strongest 9. It would be interesting

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Tom Foolery you do say some foolish things. In plain English you talk Shxte.
    Ralston is a great part of Ange’s group of players.
    Stephen Welsh is another Celtic player from the Academy who has improved under Ange. We will need a big pool of players this season and we’re getting there.
    Gregg Taylor is another player who has taken unfair criticism and is proving the critics wrong. As a guy who has supported the Celtic since the 1950’s some of these super critics annoy me. I’m convinced that some of the modern Celtic support would have driven half of the Lisbon Lions out of the club before big Jock came along and developed them into the best team in Europe.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Seppington, no reply button for your last comment, but of course I am replying to you.
    Tom Foolery is full of shit.

  • jon southgen says:

    While I thought Stephen had a decent game, we are a better team when the first pass out of defense is forward and pacy (things that both Starfelt and CCV excelled at last season.) I think Welsh still has a ways to go to get.to that standard .I look forward to his continued improvement and hope that he can become a home bred main stay of our defense soon.

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