Plenty of Celtic fans weren't happy with the Stephen Welsh decision and rightly so

By John McGinley

January 17, 2021

The Celtic decision to bench Stephen Welsh for the visit of Livingston on Saturday didn’t go down well with fans.

Nobody is under any illusions that Welsh is an automatic starter at Celtic, but in the circumstances, he undoubtedly should have featured.

Welsh played well against Hibernian on Monday night and of the options available yesterday is the only one with a potential long-term future at the club in the position.

Shane Duffy just isn’t it and Nir Bitton, a natural midfielder, will turn 30 this year.

Sticking him on the sidelines again feels like a snub to the youngster. Do the club not rate him?

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If Welsh has any sort of future at Celtic Park then he really needs to be given opportunities like the one yesterday.

He is now 20 yet has only made six career appearances.

As a centre-half, he has plenty of time to develop, but he’s only going to get better with minutes in his legs and match experience to fall back on.

Why Neil Lennon and his coaches continue to persist with the abysmal Duffy is completely beyond me.

Celtic defender Stephen Welsh / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Welsh may well turn out not to be the answer at Celtic Park, but he deserves the time to determine that.

With Chris Jullien out for 3 months, he should be the go-to player alongside Kristoffer Ajer for the remainder of the season, unless Bitton can offer a ball-playing alternative against a lesser opponent.

Celtic fans on Stephen Welsh

For some Celtic fans, the decision on Welsh yesterday was indicative of the short-sighted thinking plaguing the team this season.

These supporters have taken to social media this weekend to share their thoughts on it all…

In other news, Neil Lennon has tough questions to answer on his return.