It's time to stop underrating Greg Taylor after Celtic man silences £19m winger
Celtic left-back Greg Taylor is so often the whipping boy whenever the Hoops drop points or struggle to bag victories.
However, last night in the pulsating 3-0 Glasgow derby success which saw Ange Postecoglou’s side roar to the top of the table, Taylor produced an absolute statement of a performance as he bossed £19m Rangers winger Amad Diallo [BBC].
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was forced into hooking the Manchester United-owned loan star at half-time. The reason? He was getting absolutely nothing out of Greg who consistently halted him whenever he picked up the ball on the right.
Diallo looked to utilise his tricky footwork. And Taylor, who has so often been criticised for his defending, stuck to his task and kept his concentration to time his challenges on the Rangers man to perfection. Not once in the first half did Diallo manage to weave past him and wander into the penalty area.
The proof is in the stats too. According to WhoScored, Taylor made an incredible 8 successful tackles last night along with 5 interceptions. He managed to secure himself an 8.61/10 rank, whilst Diallo was given a measly 5.53/10.
Not to mention the fact that Greg was always making himself available for the ball to try and get Celtic out of trouble. He ended the game with the 3rd highest amount of touches of anyone after bagging 72.
Greg Taylor stamps his authority for Celtic in the Glasgow derby
You see, this is the kind of fixture that’s supposed to be beyond Greg’s limits. He isn’t supposed to be good enough to take out a player of Diallo’s stature and potential apparently. But we all learned plenty about the former Kilmarnock man last night.
Even in the second half when he was up against Fashion Sakala, Taylor still gave him next to no joy. Outside of one moment where the pacey Rangers forward managed to sneak in behind, he was also frustrated.
Much of this was down to the energy shown by Taylor throughout. Whether it be his tracking back or his offensive runs that constantly gave the Rangers defence something to think about, we couldn’t have won that game had he not been as effective as he was.
Not that he had much to prove to Ange Postecoglou of course. The Celtic boss has stood behind Taylor throughout the campaign. It’s the entire reason he has 19 appearances to his name this term [Transfermarkt]. If not for injury, that figure would be a lot higher.
But what he did show to the supporters was that he can operate at this level soundly. Even when he plays well it seems as though he still comes in for unnecessary criticism. Keeping a £19m winger silent, however, should give his reputation the boost it so clearly deserves.
Massive congrats to Greg for what he produced against Rangers under so much pressure and against such a hyped-up opponent. Hopefully he uses that as a springboard now for the second half of the campaign.