Opinion: The underappreciated side of Ange Postecoglou's free-flowing Celtic team this season

By Lewis Laird

August 15, 2022

Celtic have kicked off the season in style, picking up nine points from three games against Aberdeen, Ross County and Kilmarnock.

Supporters have been left buzzing to see Ange Postecoglou’s side start the 2022/23 campaign as they left off, continuing an impressive 35-game league unbeaten run.

The Hoops attacking play appears to have been a particular highlight, scoring ten games in their opening fixtures, which has left them sitting nicely at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, over the last 12 months, Postecoglou has built an exciting attacking side who are constantly hungry to score goals and take the game to the opposition.

Naturally, this leads to more attention falling the way of the attacking players, and rightfully so, with the quality that the likes of Jota, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi produce on a weekly basis.

That also makes it easy to forget just how good Celtic have been defensively this campaign, conceding just one goal in the trip to Ross County.

In my opinion, their defensive parts of our game go a little under the radar due to how enjoyable the attacking phases of play are to watch.

It is the job of Joe Hart, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Moritz Jenz to start the attacks whilst also remaining focused and switched on, ready to shut down any attempt by the opposition.

So far, the Hoops have been almost faultless at defending their goal, with Joe Hart having very little to do across the 270+ minutes he has covered between the sticks.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And, to be fair, although the central defenders deserve a huge amount of praise for their involvement, the entire starting 11 have earned their due too.

Leading from the front, Kyogo and Daizen Maeda are particularly good at pressing defenders and winning the ball back high up the park.

Our captain, Callum McGregor, is excellent at screening in front of the backline and picking up any loose balls in the middle of the park.

What is extremely helpful to know is that if our opponents do manage to breach our defending, we have a trusted goalkeeper between the sticks.

Hart hasn’t had much to do of note in the opening three fixtures, with the 10 outfield players keeping our opponents well clear of goal. However, he was forced into a save from a free kick against Ross County. And, what an unbelievable save it was to keep the scores level.

So, it may be the attacking side of Ange Postecoglou’s side that is taking all of the praise right now, but the defensive side of our game across the pitch is having just as big an impact and building a steady foundation for this team to be successful.

In other news, The important Celtic squad message that Ange Postecoglou displayed against Kilmarnock.