No Christie no problem, new leader emerging; 3 things we learned as Celtic overcome Hearts

By David Walton

August 15, 2021

Celtic just will not stop winning at the moment, with Hearts their latest victims at Parkhead this afternoon.

The Hoops secured a 3-2 win against the Jambos that flattered the Gorgie side. Goals from Odsonne Edouard, Stephen Welsh, and Kyogo Furuhashi secured Premier Sports Cup progression into the quarter-finals. However, such has been the theme of our games this season, it could’ve been so much more.

Not surprisingly, Celtic Park was packed to the rafters once again. There’s a strong sense of belief in what Ange Postecoglou is trying to build in Glasgow. A belief that we really can reclaim our title this season and, over the course of the long-term, become a force on the European stage once again.

However, for that vision to come to fruition, we’re going to need many more displays like what was produced at Parkhead today. It was dominant, efficient, and most importantly of all – entertaining.

There were so many positives we could take from today. Here, we’ll take a look at three:

Celtic creativity isn’t reliant on Ryan Christie

One of the major surprises of the afternoon was that there was no place in the squad for Ryan Christie. Immediately, Celtic supporters would’ve been fearful of a serious injury.

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It appears as though Christie’s injury won’t be a long-term one. Or at least that’s not how Postecoglou made it sound pre-match. Regardless, it was a blow to lose him today when the team was announced given what he’s given to the side over the last few weeks.

However, Celtic fans found out today that our creativity isn’t solely reliant on Christie. Despite him being central to the wins against Jablonec and Dundee respectively, several other attacking starts took the acclaim this afternoon.

Tom Rogic continues to fly whilst Odsonne Edouard came out of his slump. Kyogo Furuhashi was a constant menace on the left side, whilst the link-up play from the midfield going forward was just electric to watch.

Even at this early stage, it’s clear that Postecoglou’s teams simply aren’t reliant on one individual. When one cog is removed, another comes into place with minimal disruption.

Celtic are starting to see the real David Turnbull once again

Let’s not kid ourselves, it took a bit of time for David Turnbull to show what he’s all about this season. He was poor in the tie against Midtjylland and disappointed both in pre-season and against Hearts at Tynecastle.

However, all it took was a morale-booster. His double against Jablonec in the Europa League on Thursday night was clearly what he needed to inspire him into the form of last season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Turnbull bossed the midfield area this afternoon against Hearts. He was consistently switching the play, making clever movements into space, and combining well with McGregor and Rogic in particular.

The loose passes that were evident in the first couple of weeks of the season appear to be gone. Turnbull is becoming a tidier operator than what he was showing. He’s becoming the player we remember him as being.

Right in time for Alkmaar on Wednesday night!

Stephen Welsh quickly becoming an on-field Celtic leader

Was there a more dominant display on show today than that of Stephen Welsh?

Yes, there were defensive errors on show from the backline. Again, they came from Carl Starfelt however after some sloppy passes out of the back and a poor penalty giveaway.

Hopefully this is something he eradicates and quickly. However, Welsh on the other hand, proved to be a commanding force at the back. He bossed Boyce for the entire 90 and made several crucial interceptions at key times.

As well as that, it was interesting to note how often he was giving out instructions to his defensive partner. Constantly pointing throughout the game, Welsh was showing leadership abilities in a team that really lacks figures of that nature.

Not to mention he was central to goal number two as he powered home a superb header to outline his mark on the game.

Superb from Welsh today, but he was far from the only one.

In other news, Postecoglou explains Ryan Christie Celtic absence vs Hearts; discusses McCarthy and Griffiths