Stiliyan Petrov doesn't think Celtic players will want Ange Postecoglou's protection today

By David Walton

September 26, 2021

Stiliyan Petrov believes Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou made a big mistake in taking the responsibility away from the players tonight.

The Hoops came up short once again as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Parkhead by Dundee United. It’s a result that puts Celtic down to seventh place after seven matches. Postecoglou has won only three of his seven league games with no wins in any away matches.

Celtic supporters were left perplexed with the performance this afternoon. The lack of urgency was similar to what we watched against Livingston a week earlier. And all of a sudden, Postecoglou appears in real bother.

Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

He took to Celtic TV after the match to shift some blame from the players. This was due to the fact that, in Postecoglou’s mind, the players gave everything. But Petrov believes that’s exactly what his troops won’t want to hear after today’s result.

Speaking via Celtic TV’s live coverage today, Petrov said: “It was interesting what Postecoglou said about taking the responsibility away from the players. As a player, you don’t want that. You want the responsibility, you want to play in front of 60,000 and do everything to win.

“The players did try. They created chances, they were on the front foot. It was a good performance, but they couldn’t convert the chances. Dundee United were narrow and very well organised. There was no space between the lines.

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“They were comfortable with how Celtic were playing. Celtic haven’t offered anything different. If I was Turnbull or Rogic, I would be demanding the ball to get Ajeti into the game.”

Celtic players need to take responsibility for performance levels

So much of the post-match focus has been on the manager. Many will have Postecoglou on a shoogly peg even this early on. Regardless of whether the injury crisis has played a big effect or not.

However, there isn’t a lot of focus going to the experienced underperformers of the team. The likes of Tom Rogic and Albian Ajeti, for example, were both sub-part. Both had chances to make things happen and didn’t click at the right moment.

Meanwhile, you have the likes of Carl Starfelt, Anthony Ralston, and James McCarthy that also underperformed. Like it or not, we need to be producing a lot better than what we’re showing on the pitch.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Nobody can look at the squad Celtic have and believe it doesn’t contain plenty of talent. Talent that should be enough to overcome teams such as Dundee Utd – as good a fist as they made of things today.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of responsibility to go around for this poor start to the campaign. The board won’t be forgotten, whilst the manager always takes responsibility for results on the park. But as for the players, who should be offering a lot more, they aren’t immune from criticism either.

We need and deserve better at this stage of the season.

In other news, Celtic expect James Forrest and Mikey Johnston to return after October internationals