Shaun Maloney is frustrated but his strange criticism of Celtic defender is very unfair

By John McGinley

February 27, 2022

Shaun Maloney was a frustrated figure after Celtic drew with Hibernian, having watched another of his players go down injured.

The Edinburgh outfit are missing as many as eight first-team players at the moment, with Kevin Nisbet now added to the list after an apparent knee injury at Easter Road today.

The striker left the stadium on crutches with Hibs sweating on the length of time he will be out.

Photo by Ian Jacobs/MB Media

The injury occurred during a tussle with Carl Starfelt and after the game when giving an update on Nisbet’s status, Maloney seemed to suggest that the defender’s actions were over the top and a contributing factor to his injury.

Speaking on Sky Sports, the Hibs boss said: “It doesn’t look good. It wasn’t a good challenge. I understand that they try and stop the counterattacks very quickly.

“They did it in the first game, but this particular one, I think the challenge, it looks like a bad one, unfortunately.

“I really hope the injury isn’t too bad but at the moment it doesn’t look too positive.”

Hibernian 0-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Hibernian 0-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Obviously, it’s a disappointment for him to see Nisbet get injured, but this is harsh. I don’t think Celtic can be accused of being a side that sticks in ‘bad ones’ to other teams and this incident definitely didn’t warrant it.

In fact, plenty of Celtic supporters watching on didn’t even think Starfelt’s foul was worth a booking.

Calum Butcher on David Turnbull, Mouhamed Niang on Yosuke Ideguchi – these are the kinds of tackles that are worth calling out. They are a blight on the Scottish game and I’m sure other clubs other than Celtic see it every week.

As for putting the glare on Starfelt, I don’t think it’s great stuff from Maloney. The Swedish defender is not to blame for Nisbet’s problem.

In other news, Celtic prospect Osaze Urhoghide bounces back from nightmare start on loan.