Celtic boss stresses need for squad depth with two weeks left in window

By Euan Davidson

August 19, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has stressed the need for squad depth, with just over 10 days left of the summer window.

Following the Bhoys’ 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar, the Celtic manager was delighted with his players’ effort and work ethic. Goals from Kyogo and Forrest put a strong AZ side to the sword, with a handy lead to take to the Netherlands.

To that end, the manager probably wasn’t thinking too hard about transfers in the moment. But when asked about his plans for the rest of the window, Postecoglou emphasised the need for squad depth, with a demanding style of football that requires squad rotation.

The Celtic manager said [Sun]:

“I’m not bringing in people to replace people. I’m bringing in players to support the ones we have here. 

“It’s inconceivable that they’re going to play every game. Callum McGregor probably thinks he can – and he probably could. 

Celtic 2-0 AZ Alkmaar | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 AZ Alkmaar | LIVE Reaction

“But we have to be careful. 

“I’m not looking for players to replace the ones we’ve got. I’m looking for players to complement what we’ve got, so we can keep building a strong squad – which we’re going to need. 

“Especially playing the football we do, we need bodies.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou will have realised need for squad depth from watching last season

Without sticking the boot into previous managerial reigns, it’s pretty obvious that squad depth was sorely needed this summer. Over-reliance on certain figures, like Kristoffer Ajer, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor, meant that players with lofty personal heights just couldn’t perform with consistency.

McGregor, for example, played over 4,200 minutes of football last season [Transfermarkt]. Even a player of his calibre can’t sustain top level performances over that much playing time. It’s unsustainable.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Postecoglou is right, the captain probably thinks he can play every game. Likely, he’ll play the majority. But rotational pieces are, in many ways, as important as big name, first-team signings.

It’s a squad that wins a league, after all.

The Celtic boss’ squad depth comments should also give heart to the Academy graduates in the team. Anthony Ralston will remain in the manager’s thoughts after some stellar performances. Meanwhile, the likes of Adam Montgomery, who came on last night, is a capable back-up for Greg Taylor.

From talk of a drastic rebuild, we’ve arrived at a place where a few more additions would constitute an excellent summer window. Rather than taking a rip it up and start again approach, Postecoglou has performed shrewdly, without the mass exodus most of us expected.

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