"He has given everything"; Ange Postecoglou defends Nir Bitton after Celtic sending off

By John McGinley

January 29, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has defended Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton after his red card during today’s win over Dundee United at Celtic Park.

Bitton received a second yellow card for pulling down United substitute Declan Glass after Greg Taylor lost possession of the ball on the edge of the Celtic box.

For some, it looked like a necessary foul given Glass may well have been through on Joe Hart to score the opening goal with just 10 minutes remaining.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Taylor also appeared to have been fouled seconds earlier, which wasn’t given, making the whole sending off rather controversial.

Postecoglou didn’t go into the details of the incident but did refuse to criticise the Israeli international, telling The Daily Record: “It’s too easy to criticise Nir for his actions from where we’re sitting in comfortable chairs.

“Out there on the pitch, it’s a bit different. Niro has been outstanding for us and he has given everything.

“He is a very committed guy and I don’t see anything out there that suggests he lacked discipline.

“It’s part of football and he will take his punishment.”

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Bitton has picked up something of a reputation for being carded in Celtic matches. Today’s red was his sixth since joining the Bhoys back in 2013. He’s also received 35 yellows.

That’s a pretty big total, but I do not feel he should be harshly criticised for his sending off today given the circumstances.

It did leave Celtic in a difficult position but, again, I felt it was a necessary yellow card to take. Going a goal behind at that point would have been an utter disaster for the game and our title ambitions.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

His first yellow card also prevented a breakaway after slack Celtic possession.

Regardless of my opinion, it’s clear Postecoglou won’t be holding it against him and he’ll likely come back into the team over the coming weeks and months.

However, the sending off does mean he misses Wednesday night’s derby.

In other news, Josip Juranovic posts an iconic, instant classic Celtic image on Instagram from today’s win.