Ramon Vega has absolutely rinsed Celtic’s defending this season as he hammered the players for having no pride or responsibility.
The Hoops are coming off their worst campaign since John Barnes, with the feeling of disappointment becoming far too normalised. This has largely come due to a host of comical defensive errors that have come back to bite us on the backside.
This was evident in Sunday’s 4-1 hammering off Rangers too. The Ibrox side managed to net from two more crosses into our penalty area. Players not picking up their opposite man has cost us dearly too often, whilst Jermaine Defoe’s goal reeked of sheer embarrassment from our perspective.
And Swiss hero Vega, who played for Celtic between 2000 and 2001, can’t believe what he’s been watching from our back-line.
“It’s as if there is no responsibility”
As quoted by the Daily Record, Vega said: “You need to have a strong base and solid foundation and Celtic has not had that this year. I watch the games and some of the goals that have been lost throughout the entire season have been incredible. It’s as if there is no responsibility, no communication at times, no leadership, no pride.
“Martin [O’Neill] put that into our team. It was about honour for us to defend the goal. You put your body on the line if you had to and there was a sense of togetherness among us. It seems too simple for other teams to get goals against them. People not stepping up, not taking responsibility.
“There will be many changes at Celtic in the coming weeks and there will be a lot of players who will change. The new manager will have his own style and philosophy, there will be a manner and an approach which he will instil, but first there needs to be solidity. It’s been too easy for teams to score against Celtic. Not just Rangers or in Europe but for all teams. That must be changed.”
Ramon Vega spot on; so many things wrong with Celtic defence this season
Everything that could go wrong with our backline this season has gone wrong. Too many goals have been lost from set-pieces, cross-balls, and other major individual and collective errors.
No, we don’t like comparing ourselves to Rangers when we can get away with it, but look at their defensive record. They’ve conceded 13 goals in the league this season to our 29. That’s made a huge difference in the title race as so many of these goals has been costly.
It’s not only been isolated to Premiership action either. In the Europa League group stages, we incredibly managed to ship 19 goals in six matches. It’s scandalous stuff from our back-line, and this has been down to both poor recruitment and chopping and changing.
Think about it, who has been our main centre-back pairing this season? It certainly hasn’t been Kris Ajer and Stephen Welsh – that’s a relatively new partnership that will likely be broken up in the summer. Shane Duffy, Chris Jullien, and Nir Bitton have all mixed and matched between them.
A lack of consistency certainly hasn’t helped. It’s the same with the goalkeeping situation. Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, and Conor Hazard have all had runs in the team, but nobody has solidified themselves as the club’s outright number one.
That’s been a major problem for Celtic this season, and Vega is spot on to highlight how bad the defence has been because of it. When the new boss is appointed, sorting that backline out will have to be his first priority.