Celtic cross-ball errors still too common this season

By David Walton

August 29, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has certainly had plenty of praise since taking over at Celtic this season and rightly so.

Some will look at the results and wonder what all the fuss is about. To the uninformed observer, it looks like it’s just been a roller-coaster of highs and lows. Yet whilst that’s true to an extent, Celtic’s high-intensity football has been a joy for supporters to watch this season.

So many of last season’s demons have been put to rest. However, not all of them have gone away so seamlessly.

Celtic lose the Glasgow Derby against Rangers this afternoon, and one of our ghosts from last term haunted us again as it has done all season.

The Hoops lost to a Filip Helander header, direct from a cross-ball. The goal means Celtic have now conceded five from crosses in their first 10 matches.

FC Midtjylland, Hearts (x2), AZ Alkmaar, and now Rangers have all profited from poor defending from set-pieces or direct crosses.

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Rangers 1-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Rangers 1-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Celtic still have a cross-ball problem this season

This was one of the key criticisms from last season. Celtic had a massive problem dealing with aerial threats and it cost us in big games. So far this season, the same has happened on several occasions.

This isn’t a piece looking to criticise Postecoglou whatsoever. In fact, you have to praise the work he’s done in turning this football club around. But the recent defensive errors show that there’s still plenty of work to be done.

No, Celtic will never be at a stage where they never concede from a single cross-ball ever again. We understand that. However, in big moments it’s still the main area teams are able to exploit us in. The addition of Carl Starfelt hasn’t exactly helped the way we would’ve liked either. As with any new signing, however, he needs some time.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

But Celtic need to be more efficient when dealing with corner-kicks, free-kicks, and cross-balls in open play. It continues to be one of the key areas of fear for the Hoops support.

The Hoops are unlikely going to splash the cash on another centre-back anytime soon. But this is an issue that should be able to be dealt with using the current personnel.

Today was just another reminder that our cross-ball woes remain.

In other news, John Hartson left disappointed with Carl Starfelt after Celtic loss