Injuries catch up with Celtic but it's no excuse for dreadful St Mirren slip-up

By David Walton

December 22, 2021

The injury crisis at Celtic finally led to our first dropped points since October tonight in a woeful 0-0 stalemate at St Mirren.

Ange Postecoglou has been plagued with injury concerns over the last month in particular. It was noticeable just how bare we wear when you spotted the starting XI too.

Young Owen Moffat had to come in for Kyogo Furuhashi whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Carl Starfelt, Jota, David Turnbull, James Forrest, and Albian Ajeti all missed out.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But St Mirren were hardly able to field their top stars either. They had a bench made up entirely of youth team prospects and starting XI that included fringe players and academy talents. Meanwhile, Celtic were still able to call on the likes of Nir Bitton, Josip Juranovic, Callum McGregor, Mikey Johnston, and Liel Abada to name a few. We had more than enough to win this one.

Let’s not kid ourselves, we didn’t deserve any more than we got tonight. In fact, this has been threatening to occur for some time. Celtic won their last 2 league matches against Motherwell and Ross County by only 1 goal. The latter needing a 97th-minute winner to get the job done.

If you keep needing to rely on late heroics or one moment of magic, it’ll eventually catch up with you. Tonight it did, with Celtic once again far too flat and wasteful in the final third.

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Celtic deserved exactly what they got against St Mirren

You can point to some of the saves made by St Mirren goalkeeper Dean Lyness. But were any of them truly out of this world? None whatsoever. In fact, had he let any of them in, you would’ve been questioning his efficiency.

Instead, you’re left bemoaning the lack of talent we have in reserve. We have one 1 final game between now and the winter break when Celtic travel to St Johnstone on Boxing Day. 3 points will be an absolute must before the recruits need to pile in quickly.

But that’s for another day. Taking tonight in isolation, this was a dismal performance but not one we can say hasn’t been coming. Criticism of the team has been avoided due to us getting over the line in recent weeks. Tonight, we’ve failed to do so and in a title race in which any slip-up looks next to disastrous.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, all this does in the bigger picture is move us 6 points behind. Highly frustrating of course but not insurmountable. Tonight’s result and performance can’t be excused due to the injury crisis, but the consistency of results in recent weeks will allow the team some leeway.

Hopefully, it only reinforces the need to get quality and bodies in the door as soon as the new year strikes. Without Kyogo in particular, we’re seriously lacking in the final third.

It’s a major disappointment tonight, but not one that hasn’t been coming.

In other news, Kyogo missed, wasteful set-pieces; 3 things we learned as Celtic struggle against St Mirren