Cameron Carter Vickers gets well deserved praise, Christopher Jullien’s ‘green light’ update

Chris Sutton has made an excellent observation in his Daily Record column this morning and it’s certainly one worth considering as a close-call for Celtic.

Celtic are already without Tom Rogic for upcoming games following his inclusion in the Australian world cup qualifying squad, and with this morning’s announcement of the Japanese squad Daizen Maeda will now also be missing for Scottish Premiership games with Hearts, Dundee United and the Glasgow Derby with theRangers.

However, with Cameron Carter-Vickers missing out on an international call-up for USA manager Gregg Berhalter’s squad for World Cup qualifiers with El Salvador, Canada and Honduras, Celtic may have dodged a bullet in an area of the team we are perhaps not as best placed to absorb in the attacking areas of the team, as Sutton points out the loss of Carter-Vickers could have been keenly felt.

 Cameron Carter-Vickers of Celtic battles for the ball with Jamie Murphy of Hibernian during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hibernian FC at on January 17, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

‘Put simply, if there is one other player apart from Furuhashi that Celtic would not want to be missing out on a key game at the moment, it’s Carter-Vickers.

Perhaps apart from Hart in the goal, the defender is most crucial to the set-up. He is calm and losing him for a prolonged period may be unsustainable when it comes to mounting a title bid.

Postecoglou will be relieved he doesn’t have to go away with the USA national team for their games against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras over the next fortnight.

That would have been a shuddering blow with the matches against Hearts, Dundee United and (the)Rangers all coming in that period.

Celtic would have been severely weakened in a key area of the team if he had got the nod from coach Gregg Berhalter and, unlike other areas of the pitch at the moment, I can’t see how they would fill the gaping void adequately.

Three games would have been bad enough for Carter-Vickers to be away. Any more as a result of an injury or other issue would be a hammer blow.’

Celtic haven’t been as badly hit by international call-ups as first feared. Both Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi have not been included in the Japanese squad and although Kyogo Furuhashi has not been called up due to injury, there remains an outside chance that the striker may still recover in time to face theRangers. Even if he doesn’t make it Giorgos Giakoumakis is now fit enough to be called upon and Liel Abada has proven he can offer adequate cover.

However, in central defence the loss of Carter-Vickers for those three matches would have been a blow. Not only has he been Celtic’s defensive cornerstone this season, Celtic would have only had two central defenders fit enough to play and no adequate cover should injury or suspension have impacted on Stephen Welsh or Carl Starfelt. This is a particularly acute issue with Christopher Jullien continuing to be nursed along gently as he recovers from over a year out the first team with a serious knee injury. However judging from his very positive ‘green light’ tweet yesterday a return to action could be imminent for the French defender who cost Celtic £7m from Toulouse.

There is no doubt Celtic will miss the services of both Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda for big fixtures on the horizon, but with those positions well covered, Chris Sutton is quite right in his assessment that the loss of Cameron Carter-Vickers could have been a far harder international call up for the Celtic squad to absorb.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

Comments are closed.