Celtic defender Greg Taylor gives player perspective on SPFL subs rule change

By Euan Davidson

January 14, 2022

Celtic defender Greg Taylor has given a player’s perspective on the recent SPFL rule change that’s seen 5 substitutes allowed in matches.

Ange Postecoglou, a proponent of the idea, spoke at length about the measure yesterday. He said the club was right behind the idea, from a player welfare point of view. As a manager, especially one who’s seen so many injuries this season, it’s understandable. And with Covid-19 tearing into fixture schedules in recent campaigns, training and recovery time has been at a premium.

However, Taylor gave the view of a Celtic player, and said the SPFL rule change has forced him to think on his feet in terms of what he says about it.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In his press conference yesterday, Celtic defender Taylor said [Celtic FC/YouTube, 03:18]: “I need to be clever with my answer here, because I don’t want left out of any games!

“I think it will benefit us as a squad, yes. But equally, I’m going to say no, I’d rather just keep playing. Once you’re in that routine, you want to keep just getting the games in. You only improve and continue to get in your stride that way.

“From a player’s point of view, you do want to play. But I do understand the other aspect that it will help us all.”

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Celtic defender Greg Taylor in honest summary of SPFL rule change

You can get where he’s coming from.

As a player, you’re now more likely to get subbed off if you’ve started the game. Footballers, famously, don’t love being taken off during matches. It’s not something Greg Taylor is entirely used to, either; he typically plays 90 minutes of games when fit [Transfermarkt].

Last season, Taylor played close to 2,400 minutes of football [Transfermarkt]. So, he’s not one who is regularly substituted. The increased likelihood of that happening will feel like something of a threat to him.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But that’s exact attitude you want. Sure, he played it somewhat diplomatically by saying he gets it from a squad perspective, his greed for minutes is a great thing. There’s a real work ethic at Celtic, with a manager who preaches relentless action from the first whistle to the last.

It’d be a worry, if anything, if Greg Taylor reacted to this by going “Yasss! Time off!”. That’s exactly what we wouldn’t want to hear.

So fair play to Celtic defender Taylor for his honesty here. And to be fair to him, it’s refreshing to hear a player speaking openly about a rule change that, more than anyone else, affects the players.

Read more: Report: Celtic defender Adam Montgomery joins Hoops loan list