Celtic boss delivers post-match verdict on James McCarthy display vs Aberdeen

By David Walton

November 28, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has delivered his verdict on James McCarthy today as he hailed his performance against Aberdeen.

McCarthy came into the starting XI to bank only his 4th start for the club since arriving in the summer on a free transfer. The Irishman has received plenty of criticism for failing to step up to the mark in the opening months of the season, but he showed his class in the second 45 today.

The first half saw a quiet display from the former Crystal Palace man as he failed to get a grip of the midfield battle against Scott Brown and Lewis Ferguson. However, in the second, he produced a more assured performance as he spread the play around and played a crucial role in the winning role.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

It was a real positive outing, who managed to complete a full 90 minutes in a green-and-white jersey for the first time. And speaking to BBC Scotland post-match [28/11, 17:21], Ange said the following on McCarthy’s display:

“Yes, I thought he was good, he was solid. Obviously, he’s had a really disruptive build-up. The games are going to keep coming thick and fast, we’re going to need everybody on board, everybody contributing if we want to maintain a certain level of performance.

“So having James available and having a game under his belt, I’m sure that’ll help us moving forward.”

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James McCarthy thrived in Celtic midfield today; must be the beginning

It was a promising afternoon for McCarthy. When he settles down this evening and reflects on his day’s work, he’ll be more than positive with what he produced. He has every right to be too.

Considering where he was at heading into the weekend, it’s been a big day for him. A big day for his Celtic career in fact. So credit to him for producing a solid display and completing the full 90 minutes.

The latter point perhaps being the most important here. McCarthy managing to finish the game is massive for the football club. It shows that he’s able to now play a big part in big domestic matches over the coming weeks. And we’re going to have plenty of them.

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

When both he and Tom Rogic are back playing full games once again, Celtic will be well stacked in the midfield. It’s great for the manager to have these options considering the schedule that lies ahead of us.

But in terms of McCarthy as an individual, this has to be the turning point for him. It’s taken him too long to achieve what he managed this afternoon. We all expected a lot more from him by now. So we can’t be putting forward more doubts over him come Thursday night against Hearts. This needs to be a stepping stone on to better things.

Let’s see how he reacts to such a challenge. Today was a positive performance, but it was only that – a performance.

In other news, Watch: Class post-Aberdeen footage emerges as Celtic boss celebrates with standing section