Ange Is Right To Highlight The Largely Unsung Heroes Of This Celtic Team.

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Ange was on sparkling form the other day defending his defenders.

This is something that we don’t do enough as fans, and the media will never do it.

“Our defensive work since the World Cup break has been outstanding. It gives us the foundation to play our football,” the Boss said.

“If we are working really hard defensively, collectively, and are really organised and disciplined, it suffocates the opposition. It doesn’t give them time to breathe and allows us to wear teams down, break them down one way or another.

“That’s through everyone being committed to it … It’s not easy to defend in our team. We are constantly pushing the line, but we want to be aggressive. It means a lot of one-on-one defending, one player defending without cover. You need to embrace that as a defender and be willing to put yourself on the line.”

Everything he says there is true, and so much of it is overlooked.

This is why you get people like Keevins continually harping on about Starfelt, but that guy is being asked to do an extraordinarily difficult thing, and Ange has pointed out how hard that is.

Since we came back from the World Cup break we’ve played 10 games across three competitions and we’ve conceded just four goals, and two of them were at Ibrox. Since Ibrox, we’ve had five clean sheets in a row. The boss is correct. That’s the foundation trophy winning, title winning, sides are built on. That’s how we’ve become so successful.

Being a defender has always been harder than playing in the midfield or in the forward line; only goalkeepers are under such constant pressure to perform in every match. But defenders are critical to a team’s success rate which is why there’s an argument for saying that Cameron Carter Vickers is the best signing we’ve made under the manager.

But the rest of them, and especially Starfelt, deserve more praise than they get. The kid Johnston made his debut at Ibrox and has been stellar ever since. Bernabei got some underserved stick, but he’s been part of a good run and Greg Taylor is the unsung hero of the whole campaign, although he’s definitely getting the deserved respect now from the fans.

Ange is right. These guys are playing under unique pressures, and he’s asking them to do things that defenders aren’t usually asked to do. We defend so far up the pitch that the slightest mistake can leave you completely at sea … and it’s so rare for these guys to make those errors. Every game seems them grow that bit in stature.

That’s why it’s so good to see them getting some love from the manager.

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  • michael mccormack says:

    Wee Taylor was always goin to be a star for us , great wee player and badly missed when not playing.

  • SSMPM says:

    Taylor’s been a revelation this season and proper upped his game from last year’s long run in the team and any indecision about who should be the starting LB. However it would be wrong to say that all Celtic fans are now behind him. Comments I hear and read from some Celtic fans are stinging in their comments against him still, stubbornly unable to retreat from their negative view. I’m glad he’s back, fit and playing. Greg’s comfortably proved the point over who should start at LB, Scales JJ and Berna all had a go. I wish him well for the rest of this very important season’s run in.
    15 games to go to overcome a corrupt plot to get the rankers into the CL, improve the establishment’s impoverished club income and break some more records. Mon a Hoops.

  • Walter Chinstrap says:

    If we’re serious about progressing in Europe then Starfelt can’t be a first choice defender.

    No ifs, buts or maybes.

    I’m fed up with this nonsense.

    The guy is an average to good player and deserves to be a squad member but Europe? Jist naw.

  • Fergal McMahon says:

    So Celtic concede against their nearest rivals, translate this form to better opposition in European games and there is a reasonable fear that Celtic will struggle in that arena again?
    Wenger had what I would call a dogma about how his Arsenal teams should play and failed.
    Sometimes Celtic need to temper their high pace style, as Ange was seen to be annoyed at his teams inability to control the play at Ibrox.
    We aren’t the finished article, but I hope we can get there.

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