Liam Burt addresses why he didn't make the grade at Celtic
Former Celtic midfielder Liam Burt has given his reasons as to why he didn’t make it at Parkhead.
Burt surprised everyone in 2019 when he immediately joined the Hoops after his Rangers contract came to an end. This coming after he was previously hyped up as a promising talent during his days with the Ibrox club.
It looked as though the midfielder was going to be one of the top talents in the under-20 side early on. However, he would never manage to make the breakthrough into the Celtic senior squad and would end up leaving less than a year after his arrival.
And the player has now finally opened up on his Hoops spell as he revealed, in his view, what held him back most in Glasgow.
As quoted by Football Scotland, Burt said: “At clubs like Celtic and Rangers, you need to be a standout to get the opportunity. It was bad timing with Covid. I was coming up to the time where they would have offered a second year. I scored a good few goals and had a few training sessions with the first-team. At that time, they were miles ahead of Rangers.
“If Covid hadn’t curtailed the league, I might have been given a chance. But again, that was the nine-in-a-row season, it was always going to be difficult. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Celtic anyway, I scored a good number of goals. I was disappointed with the way it ended with Covid.
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“We were due to play a Cup Final on the Tuesday after the Rangers vs Celtic game on the Saturday, which was when it all got cancelled. I never really got the chance after that. The first-team were training up at Lennoxtown with all the social distancing and we were still getting training programmes sent through from our sports scientists and we were having to go and run ourselves.
“It was obviously a tough time for everybody and down at Barrowfield, people weren’t allowed to go and train. So we never really had a full face-to-face discussion because obviously that wasn’t available. It was a strange time for myself and everybody else involved in that decision.”
Celtic 10IAR fixation meant Liam Burt and others had to be patient
The truth is that recent years at Celtic Park have been brutal in terms of the environment the players were operating under. The fact we were going for the 10 meant that it was extremely difficult to integrate youth players into the squad.
Sure, you can look at the likes of Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh as exceptions in recent years. But they were total standouts and players who were clearly ready for the step-up.
For talents such as Burt who were impressing but not quite bossing it, it was always going to be a gradual, patient process. Even if in the end it didn’t work out.
It was disappointing that this one didn’t go to plan either. Burt came to Lennoxtown with a promising reputation. It appeared that there was a talent that needed unearthing there.
It wasn’t to be, and now the player is thriving with Bohemians in Ireland. Whether Covid was a determining factor in him failing to make it here is up for debate.
More realistically, however, it was a combination of the search for the 10 and a lack of genuine talent.