Ryan Christie Celtic captaincy decision vs St Mirren explained

By David Walton

August 22, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has explained the decision to give Ryan Christie the armband after Callum McGregor came off against St Mirren yesterday.

Perhaps surprisingly, McGregor was subbed in the 67th minute against the Buddies. With Celtic 5-0 up and cruising, you can see why the opportunity was taken to give the captain a rest.

However, interestingly, McGregor would hand the captaincy over to Christie as he walked off. The former Inverness starlet would be the club’s on-field leader for the final 25 minutes or so. That’s despite the fact his contract is expiring in January.

Christie has consistently been linked with a move away this summer [Scottish Sun]. But despite that, Postecoglou has continued to show faith in him. And after the Saints game yesterday, the manager made it clear as to why he was given the armband.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Ange said: “What I do know is that he is training well, playing well, he is enjoying his football. Where his future lies, he is the master of that.

“He [Christie] is the longest serving apart from Cal [McGregor], it is logical that someone like him when Cal goes off, he gets the armband. If James Forrest [missing with a knock] was then he might have got it.”

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Ryan Christie captaincy vs St Mirren was another investment of trust

Postecoglou once again put his trust in Christie further yesterday. By allowing him to take over from McGregor as captain, he was officially recognising him as a leader within the dressing room.

The logic makes sense. He’s been here since 2015 and is clearly ready for the responsibility. Granted, question marks could be asked as to whether he has natural leadership ability. But Postecoglou appears to think so, and it hardly rocked us when he made the decision.

But this is simply another investment of faith in contract-rebel Christie from his manager. A sign perhaps of his importance to the cause in Glasgow. A sign from his boss of how importantly he values his contribution.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Christie staying beyond January looked a ridiculous notion last season. But there’s a sudden atmospheric change at Celtic that he must now be thinking twice. Postecoglou’s side looked primed to challenge for the title and compete in Europe in their first-ever year together.

Taking that into account, why would Christie want to leave for a side like Burnley or Southampton? Yes, there’s exposure to English Premier League football. But so what? If you’re satisfied with playing in the bottom rungs of England’s top league, then major ambition is lacking.

We’ll see what the future holds for Christie as we close in on his contract expiry date. However, for now, Postecoglou continues to provide him with signs of his importance to the cause.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou addresses Celtic defensive concerns

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