Celtic star Ryan Christie has had a major pop at the defence after the Hoops shipped two more goals at Easter Road on Saturday.
Neil Lennon’s men have been conceding goals all over the place this season, and especially in recent weeks. Stretching back just over a month ago to the Rangers game at Parkhead, the club has now let slip 17 goals in eight games.
It’s an unacceptable rate to be conceding at, even if nine of them have come in our three Europa League games so far. Only one clean sheet has been kept, with another two dreadful defensive blunders leading to Hibs storming into a 2-0 lead on Saturday. Celtic would eventually pull it back to 2-2, but the result inflicted further damage on our 10-in-a-row charge.
And it’s clear the goals we’re losing is now becoming too much for Christie, who couldn’t bite his tongue in his worrying media comments.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the Celtic star said: “We’ve come away from home here to a hard place and scored two goals – that should be enough to be honest. But we have to keep the door at the other end shut. It is something we need to work on – we have to stop the errors at the other end.
“At half-time I was thinking we had dominated the first half. I thought it was just a matter of time before we scored and went on to win. But then it went 2-0 to Hibs and I’m thinking ‘how on earth are we 2-0 down in this game?’
“It is frustrating. Obviously, Bainy did so well to save the penalty but we didn’t really react to the follow-up, which is annoying. And then their second one is just so simple from a free-kick, and a great finish, but we could have done much more to stop it. Stuff like that kills you in games like this when you are dominating at such a tough place.”
Christie is hardly performing himself
Personally, I’m not a fan of this from Christie. If you have some words to say to your defenders, then by all means let them have it – but not in the media. This is just a sign of how frustrated the Celtic man and some of the attackers will be at the defensive lapses.
Christie tries to cover it by acting as though defending is a collective, but he’s smarter than that. He knows it’s not his job to head away long balls or close down opposition strikers. He’s simply having a clear pop at his team-mates with these comments.
However, Christie himself was hardly a shining light at Easter Road. He continued to have a host of shots from in and around the penalty area that he failed to beat Ofir Marciano with. Some of them were taken with better options on the table too.
Even if the defence made a couple more costly errors here, Christie was certainly wasteful when the onus was one the likes of him to carve open Hibs’ defence. Too many of our attackers failed to do that on Saturday.
Look, we all know that our main area of weakness is the backline. Chris Jullien, Kris Ajer, Shane Duffy, and Nir Bitton have all made mistakes this season and it’s a worrying trend. But it’s even more worrying to see one of our main attackers, who should be doing his best to defend his team-mates when speaking to the media, calling them out.
You can say Christie is quite right because of the errors mentioned and the goals conceded, but there’s a time and a place. Behind closed doors preferably. If you’re a Celtic defender reading these comments, you’re not happy with one of your key players calling you out to the press.