You’d never have guessed it six months ago with the dour football played under Neil Lennon – but a recent statistic has shown that Celtic are the best passing side in Scotland by a country mile, and even rank within the top three in Europe following the appointment of Ange Postecoglou.
CIES Football Observatory is a website that critically analyses football from top to bottom, leaving no stone unturned in finding just how football works statistically and qualitatively.
And, on Wednesday morning, they produced a list showing the top 36 leagues worldwide and each club in that leagues’ efficiency at passing the ball – with the total attempts, a successful total, and how many of those passes are in the opponents half.
It is no surprise that Paris Saint-Germain top the list for the number of successful passes, with an average of 738 passes per match; although Celtic give them a close run for their money with 708, slightly behind Shakhtar Donetsk who total 730.
To say that PSG boast superstars such as Neymar, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria, there is no shame in finishing behind the side who have been touted as the favourites to win the UEFA Champions League – nor is there any shame in finishing behind Shakhtar, who boast a host of Brazilian players in a league that is undoubtedly of worse quality than the Scottish Premier League.
New @CIES_Football ⚽️ analysis with exclusive @InStatFootball 📊 data ranks teams from 3⃣6⃣ competitions worldwide 🌏 as per passes per game: @PSG_inside at the 🔝 👏 Passing stats per team ➡️ https://t.co/ocMwrWaXax pic.twitter.com/1p8drMVwC1
— CIES Football Obs (@CIES_Football) September 13, 2021
It is a far cry from the days of Neil Lennon, where Celtic were struggling to break teams down with an amazingly boring style of football.
Angeball is only just getting started, and with Europa qualification and just three goals conceded in five matches (albeit with two losses), things are looking good at the start of the big Aussie’s reign…