Celtic may have unofficially lost the league a long time ago, but the final blow came today courtesy of Dundee United’s Ben Siegrist.
Yes, it was hardly a Scott McDonald at Fir Park in 2005 performance from the Utd goalkeeper. Celtic would still have lost the league regardless of whether we picked up three points today. That we drew 0-0 simply brought forward the inevitable.
However, when you look at why we failed to win this game in isolation, you can chalk it up to three things. Profligacy, woeful game-management, and Siegrist.
The first point was proven in the number of efforts that flew straight into Siegrist’s hands. Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, and Odsonne Edouard were all guilty of this in particular.
However, there were times when Celtic did indeed crank up the pressure, and Siegrist rose to the challenge, The Dundee Utd star made a brilliant one-v-one save from Edouard, and also tipped David Turnbull’s powerful 20-yard strike away from target. Not to mention his smart and quick closing of the legs to block Stephen Welsh’s close-range header in the second half.
He was a thorn in our side today, and not for the first time. Back in August, he was the star again as it took a late goal from Albian Ajeti to secure three points. Today, we didn’t have that same quality or luck in the final third.
Ben Siegrist is racking up the numbers; Celtic need to upgrade their back-up options
Make no mistake, Siegrist would be a fine upgrade for our back-up options. He’s proven during his time at Utd that he’s a better stopper of the ball than the reserves we currently have.
The Swiss star’s stats are mightily impressive. In his debut season in the Premiership, he’s now bagged himself 10 clean sheets. In addition to that, a further 11 matches have seen him concede only once. That’s a total of 21 Premiership matches where Siegrist hasn’t conceded two or more. And for a newly-promoted side too [Transfermarkt].
Today he backed up his reputation as a reliable stopper. he made a total of 12 saves against Celtic this afternoon. It was the highest amount of saves any goalkeeper has made in the Premiership this season in a single game [Fantasy Football Scotland].
Siegrist has been in Celtic’s thoughts in the past. The Daily Mail reported back in December that he was in the club’s January plans and would only have cost £1million. This was backed up by his agent, Thomas Kraft, who claimed the Hoops had scouted him “several times” [Daily Mail].
The Swiss under-21 international’s contract runs out in the summer of 2022. Therefore, it could be the case that United would be willing to listen to offers come the summer [Transfermarkt].
Don’t get me wrong, Celtic will still need either a new number one. Or perhaps they will have to put their faith back in Vasilis Barkas. However, they could do a lot worse than secure Siegrist as some solid competition. At the very least, he would be a reliable deputy.