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?
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.
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…
#Celtic with a typical Lennon team today
Dropped Welsh while shoehorning Biton into defence, keeps Taylor on the bench & playing without a striker
Should be giving the young players a chance
At least Turnbull and Soro are starting but could be a long 90 minutes
— Culzane (@culzane1) January 16, 2021
The Celtic media team actually took the time to produce a 10-minute pre-match feature on defender Stephen Welsh – to promote him ahead of an obvious start – only to be outdone by Lennon who drops him for a boy that sold the jerseys 2 weeks ago and who isn’t even a centre half.
— RC. (@RadicalCelt) January 16, 2021
Welsh was excellent on Monday. Dropped immediately 🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/8ciEwXVnXz
— Paul Larkin* (@paullarkin74) January 16, 2021
The one bright spot on Monday night was Stephen Welsh so obviously he gets dropped for Bitton in the next game.
— Kev (@kev_b_) January 16, 2021
Its absolutely shocking why has Stephen welsh been benched for nir Bitton absolutely ridiculous what does the boy have to do same with karamoko and Oko-flex they played very well on Monday never mind the fact that we recalled scott Robertson to sit on the bench #lennyout
— Laurence McCarthy (@Laurenc61444877) January 16, 2021
Stephen Welsh done absolutely nothing to suggest being dropped from Monday night. His centre half partner’s the one who should be on the bench.
— Chris Q (@chris91q) January 16, 2021
Surely Stephen Welsh deserved a start after his last performance?
— Decs69 🍀 (@Deaglan69) January 16, 2021
From being in my opinion MOTM last game to being on the bench today. Got to really feel for Stephen Welsh
— Gav Campbell (@Gav300879) January 16, 2021
Still a bit confused around the Stephen Welsh situation
Dropped after being one of our better performers on Monday night. Not exactly like Duffy and Bitton have set the world alight. He should 100% be getting minutes
— Lewis 🍋 (@LewisLaird01) January 16, 2021