Ridiculous injury crisis is making it difficult to judge Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

September 26, 2021

Let’s not kid ourselves, Celtic were nowhere near good enough against Dundee United this afternoon.

It was the same last Sunday at Livingston. Dropped points followed more dropped points as Ange Postecoglou continues to lose a lot of the goodwill built up from his early-season results.

After the transfer window, we were all left satisfied with where we were as a football club. From the outside looking in, Celtic were in good shape. They looked in a position to challenge this year under the new manager.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Two months can be a long time in football. Postecoglou has three wins out of seven domestically. Celtic sit seventh in the Premiership with every team close to having played the rest of their rivals once.

However, at the same time, it’s been so difficult to judge Postecoglou. This frustrating injury crisis is making it almost impossible to pass a firm, plausible judgement on him.

Just look at Celtic’s bench this afternoon. There wasn’t one attacking option on it outside of Owen Moffat. Not only that, were then struck with two more injury concerns today.

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Injury crisis sparing Ange Postecoglou from a proper judgement

James McCarthy and Josip Juranovic had to come off. They follow Callum McGregor, Kyogo Furuhashi, James Forrest, Christopher Jullien, Greg Taylor, and Mikey Johnston as being on the sidelines. All first-team contributors.

But what it doesn’t mean is that Postecoglou gets a free pass for what we’re watching. Nobody could say that starting XI today shouldn’t have had enough to see off Dundee Utd. It had the quality and the experience to get the job done. Instead, we watched Celtic stumble their way to a point. A point we were fortunate to get.

Postecoglou’s hands were tied when it came to the bench. But where was his plan B? Outside of swapping the wingers, there appears to be a lack of tactical awareness in how to change the game. Celtic didn’t change their system throughout the entire 90 minutes despite it being clear we weren’t causing United enough problems in the first half.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

We won’t go all in on the manager. He’s been dealt a rough hand. He’s still learning things about Scottish football and deserves some time to stamp his authority on the team.

The injury crisis is making it extremely hard for fans to come to a firm conclusion on the new boss just yet. But it certainly can’t be used as an excuse for poor result after poor result.

Today was another nasty one for Postecoglou, and he needs wins immediately.

In other news, Pat Bonner isn’t happy with Albian Ajeti after Celtic stalemate vs Dundee Utd