The Starfelt-Carter Vickers Celtic Partnership Works Whatever The Snipers Might Say.

Image for The Starfelt-Carter Vickers Celtic Partnership Works Whatever The Snipers Might Say.

Reading through some of the media content from the last few months, one boring, quite ridiculous, strand keeps popping up. Carl Starfelt; Celtic’s weak link. But this, curiously, is not a suggestion for which there is a ton of evidence.

Indeed, much of the evidence suggests the opposite, and especially – and this is key – when he is paired alongside Cameron Carter Vickers.

There was a discussion about their partnership on the radio the other night but it went in one ear and out the other and I didn’t pay it much heed until someone asked if I’d heard it.

Apparently they quoted some stats which prove how good these two are when played together, and how successful Celtic is as a result.

I didn’t need stats to tell me that, but it would have been good to have had them for this piece. What I do have is the evidence of my own eyes, and that tells me that these two are an excellent pairing and one that gets stronger the longer they play in the same team.

Obviously, the top man of the pair is the big American, signed from England. He has been outstanding in the Celtic rear-guard almost from the moment we signed him. But Starfelt has been quietly winning people over with confident displays.

Some are going to call “foul” and talk about the penalty he gave away at Ibrox. I thought it was a clumsy challenge but that Sakala clearly made a meal of it.

I am in two minds over whether it’s a penalty; I’d take it if it was offered to us and not think twice about it again, but I also know that a lot of commentators and ex-refs are unconvinced and I’m not really either.

Starfelt ought to have been more careful in dealing with two potential cheats – the ref and the Ibrox player – but I’m not going to hang the guy out to dry for one mistake.

There are some in the press who’d love that. Some of them, like Keevins, made their minds up early and are in no mood to change them based on form or evidence or even what they watch. That’s true arrogance, the sort that is rife in our media and which defeats objectivity. If they were capable of that they’d need to acknowledge he’s doing well.

Indeed, he’s doing better than well.

This is a guy who has adapted brilliantly to the task of playing in a new country with a semi-hostile media waiting on his every mistake.

Those who early on decided he was a dud will forever be on the lookout for the evidence that proves it, but along with Carter Vickers he’s re-writing the narrative in his own favour. Long may it continue.

Share this article


  • Pilgrim says:

    They have played together 39 times domestically with the only defeat being the SC SF.
    We are unbeaten in the 35 league games they have started. W 29 D 6.
    We have kept 20 clean sheets and conceded 18 goals.
    They have only been a pair 4 times in Europe P4 L3 D1 13 goals conceded and 1 clean sheet.

  • Jim says:

    Boyata had mistakes in him too, but over the course of a season he gave you solid service. He was a key part of the quadruple treble run.

    Carl isn’t quite as good, especially in the air. And he’s still too prone to diving in when there is no need, hence the Sakala penalty. No way is John Beaton not giving that, it was stupid, if he stays on his feet, Sakala has got it all to do.

    But Starfelt is strong and committed, not much gets past him. His passing is less jittery now. He even seems to be slightly improving in the air.

    The Japanese lad will have to be good to get in the side, because Starfelt is not easy to drop the way he is playing now.

  • 18871888 says:

    There is no doubt about the penalty; it wasn’t. Starfelt was a out a foot from Sakai’s, and the only contact came when Sakala stood on Starfelt’s foot. Thre is a video showing this online.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Starfelt’s problem is that he was chucked in at the deep end as soon as he arrived. He wasn’t given any time whatsoever to acclimatise to Scottish football or even get a few training sessions / bounce games with his new team mates. His early performances were littered with erratic moments which scared a lot of us. The initial narrative was that he was a bomb scare. Since then he has settled down to be an effective partner to ACV. The good thing is that if this nonsensical narrative persists, he won’t be linked to ludicrous phantom bids from other clubs. Afterall, who wants to buy a bombscare?
    Hopefully we will get to enjoy and appreciate his talent and skill for foreseeable future.
    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  • Benjamin says:

    Starfelt is a solid player, but not so good that buying a decisively better player is beyond Celtic’s reach. He’s not convincingly better than Welsh or Jenz in my opinion (all 3 are good-but-not-great), and I suspect Kobayashi was brought in specifically to be that upgrade. We’ll see if that’s the case over the coming months. The one thing Celtic have not had in Ange’s tenure is a ball playing centre back willing and able to advance the ball in the way that Ajer used to do for us.

    • Hugh says:

      Starfelt is ten times the player Welsh is IMO, what attributes does Welsh have that would oust Starfelt.

    • Hugh says:

      Starfelt is ten times the player Welsh is IMO, what attributes does Welsh have that would oust Starfelt.

  • Magua says:

    The big fella will do for me.

    Hail Hail.

  • jrm63 says:

    He almost scored a great goal last Saturday as well. I think he can only be criticized when he makes serious errors within his comfort zone. Diving in like that at Ibrox when there are 6 Celtic players behind him comes into that category. His errors distributing the ball are the result to the manager’s philosophy. Same with Hart. We could with a player like Ajer running up to the edge of the opposition penalty area especially at home

  • John says:

    Unlike you James I don’t have any doubt about the penalty given against him at Ibrox. It WASNT one. That would never have been given in any other country in the world. Sakala’s a cheating wee B*stard and Beaton couldn’t wait to give it.

  • Johnny Green says:

    James, you have a blind spot for both Starfelt and Taylor, both of whom I do not rate too highly. They are at most times adequate, but quite ordinary in my opinion. We can do much better and hopefully they will be replaced quite soon. Bernabei is not the answer either and I think Ange realises that now. If Ange want us to do better next season in Europe he has got to improve us in those positions and I’m hoping Kobayashi is the first of those replacements.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Our new signing Tomoki Iwata can play in defence so let’s see how he turns out, although I think he is a right sided player.

    I also think his Scottish cousin “Glass Iwata” could be a good yin. 🙂

Comments are closed.