Ange picks out the underrated area of Celtic team that's been "excellent all year"
Ange Postecoglou has highlighted Celtic’s defensive work for praise and stated it’s been “excellent all year” after Sunday’s win.
Celtic 2-0 victory over Ross County in the Highlands was the defence’s 11th clean sheet of 2022. It marks a fine return after a first half of the campaign in which they were ridiculously criticised on a regular basis.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt have managed to develop a solid partnership but it’s one that needed time to gel in the middle of a hectic schedule in the first part of the year. Now, Celtic are seeing the rewards of sticking by the pairing as we currently hold the best defensive record in the Premiership.
And after another solid shutout against County, Ange was quick to highlight the entire team for keeping the Staggies quiet. Speaking via Celtic’s official website, the manager said: “You have to do both sides of the game – for us, the defensive side of the game as a team has been excellent all year.
“And it was again today. Obviously they pose a threat because every chance they get, they’ll throw the ball into the box, from a long throw, or a free-kick or from the keeper.
“They’ve got some big guys in their team, so we had to be strong, and again I thought we handled it well.”
Celtic defensive work being spearheaded by Starfelt and CCV
Ange is right in that Celtic defend as a team, but let’s get it right here. When crosses are powered into the penalty box, it’s Starfelt and CCV who have the job of repelling them.
That tends to be how the opposition tries to target us too. Not many teams if any in the country have the ability to play through us. Instead, they’ll look for cross-ball or set-piece opportunities to get at the Hoops. Credit then to our 2 centre-backs for how dominant they’ve been in 2022.
The clean sheet in Dingwall may have looked routine, but there was an element of bravery needing shown to achieve it. Starfelt is always willing to put his head where it hurts. CCV, meanwhile, threw his body on the line to block a second-half effort that could’ve levelled the contest.
This kind of stuff just gets brushed away as what you would expect of your defenders. But the consistency with which we see those bravery levels is absolutely fantastic.
It shouldn’t just the down to the manager to point it out of course. The defensive work carried out by this Celtic side should be praised to the heavens. If we get the league title over the line, the defence will have played just as big a role as the frontline.
Hopefully, it gets more widely acknowledged should we wrap things up.