Ange Postecoglou credits Celtic defence for blistering form
Ange Postecoglou has praised his defence amidst an impressive run of Celtic victories.
Forwards including Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada have grabbed the headlines in the early phases of this season. Meanwhile, creative talents like David Turnbull and Ryan Christie have won plaudits, and Odsonne Edouard’s form has been encouraging.
However, Postecoglou feels there’s not enough credit being given to his defence. The arrival of Joe Hart has led to significant improvement, while Academy graduates including Anthony Ralston and Stephen Welsh have been excellent.
New Bhoy Carl Starfelt is continuing his steady progress at centre-back, too. However, as is typical, defenders rarely win plaudits with the club winning games 6-0.
Postecoglou said [Herald]:
“I think the fact we are scoring a lot of goals is because the back four and Joe [Hart] are continually looking to play out from the back, which gives us more opportunities.
“So they are part of that goalscoring threat and defensively the whole team is working hard to deny the opposition opportunities.
“It doesn’t fall to one line for one or the other. The strikers scoring goals get the headlines, but internally the players are well aware that is something that begins from playing from the back and our goalkeeper being brave enough to start all of that with the ball.
“Defensively, we have been sound, but we still have to improve all areas, every unit.
“But I haven’t felt in any game we have been under siege or under pressure and looking like conceding a lot of goals.”
Every department needs to be on it for Ange Postecoglou to be happy with Celtic team
One of the comments made about Postecoglou’s system at Celtic is about simply scoring more than the opposition. That if teams visiting Celtic Park score 2, we’ll score 3.
It’s a valiant approach, but we’re convinced Postecoglou would be happier if he had a water-tight defence operating in his system. So far, it’s going well; the Bhoys have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 outings, all wins [WhoScored?].
Hart has absolutely made a difference. He’s been successful with 91% of his passes in the Scottish Premiership, launching only 3 long balls per 90 [WhoScored?]. That upgrade in distribution from the back is a real boost for the Hoops.
Meanwhile, the continued form of Greg Taylor and Anthony Ralston has added both a defensive and attacking impetus. With both players willing to get into central positions on the ball, and press high off it, opposing wingers are finding little joy against us.
So far, it’s been mightily impressive stuff. Tonight, though, represents a really stern test. AZ Alkmaar will be out for revenge after surrendering a 2 goal lead in the tie.
If Celtic can keep another clean sheet, then surely the defence will get the props it has most certainly earned.