Stephen Welsh highlights major Celtic failing that's blown our season

By David Walton

May 17, 2021

Stephen Welsh hasn’t been afraid to highlight the major Celtic failing that’s blown our season.

Celtic have played some decent football at times this term, especially after the introduction of David Turnbull into the team. Creating chances hasn’t been a problem for the Hoops, but taking them has been a different story altogether.

John Kennedy’s failure to win a game as interim manager away from home mainly came from this huge problem. At Tannadice in Kennedy’s first away match, Celtic bossed it without managing to net. It was the same for large spells at Pittodrie and Ibrox too. The 0-0 draw at Easter Road on Saturday was only the latest blip in front of goal.

And Welsh was happy to highlight what’s been holding us back in recent weeks and months. As quoted by the Herald, Welsh said: “It’s been a problem breaking teams down this season. It’s not like creating chances, it’s maybe the final ball or the finish hasn’t been as good. It’s something we’ll need to work on but we’ll regroup and go again.

“In end-of-season games sometimes people take their foot off the accelerator, but we tried our hardest out there to win the game. It was pretty much the story of the season — we can’t score goals.

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“We know we have to go again next year. We need to rest over the summer and regroup. We need to come back fitter and stronger next season. We don’t know what will happen with the manager situation but the club will take care of that.”

Stephen Welsh not oblivious to what’s held Celtic back this season

Scoring goals hasn’t been our only problem of course. A failure to deal with set-pieces throughout the campaign has cost us key points at critical times of the campaign. In three of our derby matches against Rangers, our failure to deal with set-pieces were a direct result of dropped points.

However, it’s up the other end that’s been even more of a problem. For in all of those derbies we had umpteen chances to get ourselves either back into the game or even take the lead. We didn’t take them, and it’s cost us badly.

Celtic’s season could’ve ended so much more positively if we’d taken our opportunities. Kennedy could’ve been departing on the back of a fine winning run and even a potential Scottish Cup success to celebrate. Instead, we’re left with absolutely nothing to look back upon this term with any joy whatsoever.

Elyounoussi misses a sitter at Ibrox (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Image

Against Hibs, as Welsh said, it summed up our season. Celtic were pretty on the ball for the first half-hour in particular. However, Mohamed Elyounoussi would go on to miss three or four big chances. As would James Forrest in the second half. Yes, you can say Ofir Marciano had a fine performance, but Celtic should’ve been more ruthless.

Our forward line will likely be revamped over the summer in any case. Odsonne Edouard is likely heading off whilst Elyounoussi’s loan spell is up.

New signings will need to be made, and hopefully, that makes a major difference to our productivity in the final third. If we can sort that out this summer, we’ll be in a good place.

In other news, Celtic should be all over this pre-contract option from France.