Adam Montgomery explains why he's changed his Celtic position

By David Walton

May 16, 2021

Adam Montgomery has explained the process that led to him changing his position to left-back.

The Scottish youngster made his debut for the club on Wednesday night against St Johnstone. The supporters were left impressed by what he had to offer too as he produced one of the standout displays of the evening in a 4-0 rout.

It left us all itching to see more of him against Hibs yesterday. Instead, John Kennedy decided to only give him 10 minutes or so of action. Even then he was still looking to bomb forward in the closing stages and constantly go on the overlap.

For those who have kept close tabs on the academy, you may remember Montgomery as being an attacking player for the under-18s. This may have left plenty confused when he made his debut as part of Celtic’s back four. Well, the player himself has explained the process behind that decision, as he identified Darren O’Dea as the one who made the call.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Montgomery said: “I have been a winger since I was seven and first went to Celtic. Darren [O’Dea] came in [as under-18 coach] and moved me to left-back about a year ago because we had a couple of injuries.

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“I wasn’t sure to start off with but the way that Celtic play, the full-back is almost a winger because at Celtic you have so much of the ball. So it wasn’t too much of a step back for me because being a fullback you are attacking as well as defending.

“I don’t mind the defensive side of the game. I have really enjoyed it. [It was a similar story with Tierney and Robertson] and I feel like it is becoming more common now that you see attacking full-backs especially with clubs that have a lot of possession because it brings other assets to the attack.”

Darren O’Dea may have done Adam Montgomery a big favour with position change

This may prove to be a total masterstroke from O’Dea. Or at the very least, it may be exactly the decision that gives Montgomery the leg-up he needs to make that seismic leap from the academy to the first team.

We’re going to have a major shortage of left-backs this summer. Diego Laxalt is heading back to AC Milan, whilst Boli Bolingoli’s future here looks grim. Outside of Greg Taylor, Adam would be next in line. Especially after that lively hour against the Saints on Wednesday night.

Sure, you could say the same thing about the left-wing. Had he continued to be a winger he would’ve had a big opportunity with Mohamed Elyounoussi heading back to Southampton. But Celtic are surely likely to splash heavy on attacking players this summer – you have to imagine there would be more of a chance of Montgomery staking a claim at left-back.

Celtic academy coach Darren O’Dea changed Adam Montgomery’s position (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

You can see the youngster used to be an attack-minded player too. He’s consistently charging forward and looking to get on overlaps. He still plays with a forward thinking mind, which of course has to be tamed if he’s to be a future Celtic left-back.

The only area of Montgomery’s game that wasn’t tested too much was the defensive side of it. Saints’ best chance did come down from his flank, so it would be good to see a bit more of him in the future. Especially against Premiership standard opposition.

There is no point sending youngsters to the Championship or Leagues One and Two if they’re better than that. Montgomery, at the very least, suggested he can compete with Scottish Premiership sides after shining against the Scottish Cup finalists. Hopefully, he gets more opportunities to show that’s the case.

In other news, Kennedy’s final failure as Celtic manager extended a ridiculous 8-year hoodoo.