"So hard to deal with": Even Andy Halliday sounds in awe of incredible Celtic

By Hamish Carton

March 22, 2023

When it comes to those dishing praise to this Celtic team, Andy Halliday may have been one you didn’t expect to hear from.

The former Rangers man, now at Hearts, has first-hand experience of dealing with Ange Postecoglou‘s relentless winning machine.

The Hoops are currently on a winning run of 14 matches under Postecoglou, with a 17 game run under Brendan Rodgers firmly in their sights.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Halliday‘s Hearts were victories 12 and 13 on that list, so the midfielder has recent memories of dealing with Celtic’s incredible movement.

Speaking on this week’s Open Goal (25:30 onwards), he opened up on an incredibly successful Celtic tactic, after being prompted by Si Ferry.

Ferry: “I couldn’t believe how many times the ball went wide and Kyogo was unmarked in the box.”

Halliday: “I’ve told you why. He stands five yards offside. It’s so hard to mark.

“It’s 100% what they work on. Playing against it last week, it’s so hard to deal with, honestly. If the ball is down the right-hand-side, you’ve got Kyogo ten yards offside [in the middle] and Maeda ten yards offside on the left.

“As a back four or a back five, you don’t want to drop because it allows them more space to play.

“What they do really well is they’re always threatening in behind. So it only takes that one movement when Kyogo peels off the shoulder.

“The equaliser they got against us at Celtic Park. It’s just that one ball in behind and Maeda is 20 yards offside so you’re never getting back.

“They’ve scored that kind of, without exaggerating, 25 times this season.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s brilliant to hear someone like Halliday clearly in awe of Celtic’s attacking movement, and talking about how difficult it is to stop.

While many are against having current top-flight players in the media, it does allow for insight like this.

Celtic fans have become accustomed to that exact type of goal this season. Kyogo bags the majority but the likes of Maeda, Jota and Liel Abada have also profited from the tactic.

Perhaps the only surprise was that none of our three goals against Hibernian arrived in that fashion.

Hopefully plenty more to come once we return from the international break.

In other news, Scott Brown has been speaking about an offer made by Ange Postecoglou