4 things we learned as Celtic young guns draw vs Hibs

By John McGinley

January 11, 2021

Tonight was also going to be a tough ask for Celtic vs Hibs.

Although we had our fair share of talent and experience on the park, the eleven was mostly made up of young players.

The bench looked even more inexperienced.

Our manager and assistant manager weren’t even in the stadium.

Not much of a surprise then that we couldn’t find our way to a win.

What were the big lessons to take from tonight’s 1-1 draw?

Recall Jonathan Afolabi if we can

No harm to Cameron Harper on his debut. The young American gave his all in the Celtic attack tonight.

Having experienced a lack of football this season and still developing, he had an almost impossible task going up against a robust Hibernian unit.

If we can though, we should be looking to bring Jonathan Afolabi back to the club from Dundee this week.

Cameron Harper in action for Celtic vs Hibs / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

We need a proper centre-forward in the door for the match against Livingston and Afolabi feels like the most accessible option as it stands.

He’s been playing as a striker on loan at Dens Park in the Scottish Championship and would add a bit extra to our frontline.

For starters, he’ll be match fit, which was one of the challenges for our young players tonight.

Stephen Welsh still looks a decent choice for Celtic

Stephen Welsh started his first match since a 3-1 home defeat to AC Milan. The performance against Hibs will hopefully do his confidence the world of good.

Hibs were hardly a blow-away attacking outfit and did score at the death, but there were still positives for him to take.

I’m not saying he’s a guaranteed starter. However, as Celtic build for the future and consider what next season looks like, he’s worth having around in the first-team squad.

Welsh is still only 20 and has plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully, we can see that development over the next 12 months.

I’d rather Celtic invest more time in him than Nir Bitton or Shane Duffy at this point.

It’s obvious why Tom Rogic hasn’t been playing

I love Tom Rogic. I probably always will. Nevertheless, he was a huge disappointment tonight.

The Australian attacking midfielder should have been one of our leading lights tonight. He should have been one to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

It wasn’t to be. It was also apparent why he hasn’t been getting much match action of late.

He hadn’t started a match since the 1-1 draw against St Johnstone. Despite a break from the action, a week of warm weather training and the right motivation tonight – the performance just wasn’t there.

Is his heart still in it?

Tom Rogic in action for Celtic vs Hibs / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

David Turnbull continues to look like an amazing Celtic signing

David Turnbull is wonderful. He was one of the only players looking to drive us on tonight. His scooped pass for Callum McGregor in the first half, for example, was exquisite.

However, it was his free-kick that will obviously have everyone talking. The execution of that effort was wonderful. It was, dare I say it, reminiscent of Lubomir Moravcik’s banging set-pieces of the past.

Thank goodness he is around to contribute when we need it most. His goal threatened to keep things alive after a horror weekend. Sadly, we couldn’t hold on at the other end.

In other news, Gavin Strachan has cleared up the Shane Duffy mystery.