Carl Starfelt answers his critics with dominant Celtic performance vs Hibernian
Celtic centre-back Carl Starfelt fired back at his critics with a superbly dominant display against Shaun Maloney’s Hibernian tonight.
The 2-0 win against the Leith side was a joy to behold for supporters. Naturally, the debut performances of Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate will take the headlines and rightly so. But there simply has to be a moment spared to discuss the performance of Starfelt this evening.
The big Swede has come in for some unfair criticism this week. Alan Stubbs stated he had failed to progress since arriving in the summer as he unfairly critiqued his opening period in Glasgow [Scottish Sun]. And it’s fair to say he ended 2021 with some struggles in games against Hibernian and St Johnstone respectively.
Tonight, however, he was an absolute demon for Ange Postecoglou on our return to Premiership action. Up against Kevin Nisbet, Starfelt absolutely dominated the talented Scotland international. Every aerial duel was met by the Swede and there was an added aggression to his game tonight that was certainly missing towards the end of 2021.
One of the biggest criticisms the player has unfairly faced is regarding his distribution of the ball too. However, tonight he never gave the ball away and showed a fine passing range whether it be short passes or long diagonals.
Carl Starfelt silences his critics and gets Celtic form back on track
Starfelt didn’t have anything to prove going into tonight. He had just come off 2 dodgy performances after what had previously been 4 months of good form.
But tonight he was up against one of the most walked-about Scottish strikers in the Premiership and didn’t give him a sniff. Instead, he showed real physicality, something he’s often been criticised about for lacking in the past.
So many look at Starfelt as the inferior partner to Cameron Carter-Vickers. But the truth is that’s hardly a fair comparison considering the lack of mistakes Carl actually makes when he’s on the pitch.
Tonight was a high-pressure environment for him given what had been said inthe media combined with the quality of opponent and scale of the occasion. Yet, despite all of that, Starfelt produced perhaps his best display of the campaign. And there have been plenty of them.
Thankfully, the Celtic supporters have been quick to shower him with praise for what he did tonight. And here, we take a look at some of that reaction: