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.