Celtic star Starfelt: it's easy to play alongside Hart, Ralston and Welsh

By Euan Davidson

August 25, 2021

New Celtic defender Carl Starfelt has praised his teammates, including the “demanding” Joe Hart.

Starfelt, part of a flurry of new arrivals at Celtic, endured a ropey start to life at the club. However, he’s come on to a game, with the Bhoys keeping four clean sheets in their last six matches and winning each [WhoScored?].

Facing the press today, Starfelt addressed a number of questions about his manager, life at the club and how he’s settling in. Perhaps, though, the best answers came when asked about specific teammates.

His goalkeeper, for one. Joe Hart has been an inspired signing for the club, instilling confidence and consistency into a considerably young back-line. And of that back-line, Ralston and Welsh have earned rave reviews for their recent displays.

The Sweden international told reporters [Celtic TV]:

“[Hart] has been outstanding, both on the field and off the field. He’s first of all a top-class goalkeeper, he’s also… demanding and a good leader. Off the pitch, he’s a very nice guy.

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“He’s very good in the dressing room. I have only good things to say about Joe.

“Obviously, [Ralston and Welsh] have been playing very good. It’s just to keep on going, and for every player to show they can keep up the level for many games.

“Of course I’m impressed and they’re doing a terrific job, and it’s easy to play beside them.”

It’s “easy” to play alongside Hart, Welsh and Ralston, says Celtic man Carl Starfelt

With all of the attacking talent stealing the headlines, it’s almost as if Starfelt’s improvement has flown under the radar.

He was excellent against AZ Alkmaar, keeping a crucial clean sheet to give the Bhoys real comfort in the tie. Fine, he’ll play tougher teams than St Mirren and Dundee, but shutting out opposition is his job, no matter who he’s playing.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

He’s doing that.

Whether it’s a new phenomenon or not, new signings are criticised far too readily across the football landscape. A bad debut can render players a “flop”, when they’ve got several off-pitch factors in their lives to sort out amongst playing for enormous audiences.

As Starfelt said himself in the press conference [Celtic TV], he’s currently living in a hotel, is speaking a different language to the Russian he used at Rubin Kazan, and is still part of a very decent defence.

The man deserves some kudos. And with the support of his teammates, he’ll only get better.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou on Christie and Edouard

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