The underrated element of excellent recent run of form for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

December 16, 2021

This will come as no shock, but; Celtic Football Club are on a really good run of form right now.

After last night’s dramatics, the Bhoys are on an unbeaten domestic stretch that goes back to the 19th of September. In that time, 11 league games have been won. Raith Rovers and St Johnstone were navigated past in the Premier Sports Cup, and we even won 3 games in the Europa League.

Had it not been for that Bayer Leverkusen game, Celtic would be unbeaten in all competitions since the end of September.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

It’s very cool stuff, obviously. But what’s been impressive throughout is how well-crafted this squad has been. That, and the age of the squad we’re talking about, too.

There is real youth in this side. Regulars like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Anthony Ralston, Greg Taylor, David Turnbull, Jota, and Liel Abada are all 24 or younger. Meanwhile, there are players like Stephen Welsh, Adam Montgomery, Owen Moffat, Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide and more waiting in the wings.

But it’s not just youth either. Players like Joe Hart, Callum McGregor, Nir Bitton, James Forrest and James McCarthy bring some experience. Perhaps it’s harsh to put the captain in that bracket, given he’s only 28.

I tallied up the recent average ages, and according to my calculations, the team that started last night against Ross County had an average age of 24.9. Against Motherwell, McCarthy and Forrest started, so the average age was a still-reasonably 26.5.

Against Betis, in a “dead rubber” full of action, the average age was 23.8.

Again; this is a team that hasn’t been defeated domestically since the 19th of September [BBC]. It’s remarkable.

Scottish football loses the plot as Ange’s Celtic win again

Scottish football loses the plot as Ange’s Celtic win again
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

The Celtic youth movement will have impact well beyond this excellent run of form

Given that Ange Postecoglou was essentially given some spare parts, the squad that’s competing at the moment is doing fantastically well. When January comes, it’ll likely be even better.

That’s exciting. This season, Celtic have put out some of the youngest teams in the league [Transfermarkt]. With how things are going, it seems the blend is just right at Parkhead just now as Celtic continue their great form.

Because while there are some considerable age gaps around the squad, it’s working. Postecoglou needs athletic players, but also ones who have the footballing intelligence and leadership to get results.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The mental fortitude being shown is genuinely remarkable, given the litany of injury worries Celtic have contended with over this stretch, too. And while you could attribute that to the more experienced players, the younger guys have made their mark.

Before his injury, Jota was doing some fantastic things. Anthony Ralston, last night’s hero, has been a mainstay. Both are under 23.

The future is exciting. There’s a really promising core of players, already first-teamers, who have enormous potential.

Read more: SPFL boss calls for drastic action that could greatly benefit Celtic this winter