Former Celtic Captain pays Cameron Carter-Vickers huge compliment

Jackie McNamara reckons that Cameron Carter-Vickers is the best defender Celtic have had since Bobo Balde and also revealed that the big American international is the best of the current crop in the Scottish Premiership too. McNamara was of course part of that phenomenal Martin O’Neill side which reached a UEFA Cup Final against FC Porto back in 2003 and went on to set records the following year in this country.

Since Ange Postecoglou and his side are currently on course to break the record set by O’Neill’s team, with their 103pts in a footballing season, along with goals scored, attention has turned to comparing Celtic teams of the past with this most recent footballing machine. Jackie enjoyed some wonderful memories at Celtic Park during that period and played with some memorable defenders. Not least of all the towering Balde, who would strike fear into the hearts of opposition strikers.

22nd October 2022. Cameron Carter-Vickers of Celtic during the cinch Premiership match at Tynecastle,. Photo Neil Hanna / Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-1975-0084

With a plethora of great centre-backs to choose from in his playing days, Jackie says that Cameron Carter-Vickers stands up to any of them. He said: “Carter-Vickers is strong and has a lot of attributes, as reported by Daily Record. “He’s been a terrific signing. Yeah, he’s up there with some of the best – although he’s not quite the same kind of player as Bobo! I played with some cracking centre-backs over the years – Johan Mjallby, Mark Rieper, and so on.

Carter-Vickers has definitely been one who has been an excellent signing. He’s very steady and consistent. He can definitely play, as well. And with the way Ange Postecoglou sets his team up, he wants everybody to be able to play, including the goalie. He’s been a great addition.”

: Cameron Carter-Vickers celebrates with teammate Matt O’Riley (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Our former full-back insists that Carter-Vickers levels of performance this year have been so good and consistent, he has to be in contention for Player of the Year. The big man was missing at Rugby Park, as Ange wouldn’t risk him on that plastic surface. It has now been relayed to us that he is suffering from a knee problem which requires surgery, with The Celtic Star already reporting on this.

Talk always turns to the attacking players in these instances, but Jackie says there is only one winner for him. He said: “When it comes to the player of the year, I think there’s been a number of players in top form, including Kyogo with his goals. But Cameron Carter-Vickers, for me, has been immense.

Celtic v Shakhtar Donetsk – UEFA Champions League – Group F – Celtic Park Celtic s Cameron Carter-Vickers centre heads the ball clear during the UEFA Champions League group F match at Celtic Park on: Tuesday October 25, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan

He added: “A lot of what he does maybe goes unnoticed because Celtic are always on the attack, but when the full-backs are forward, there’s more onus on the centre-backs to defend properly. Reo Hatate has also been immense, you see him getting better every week, as well. Aaron Mooy has also been really good in midfield. There are certainly a few candidates.”

G APRIL 08: Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Celtic Park on April 08, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s an interesting point of debate as to whether or not Cameron’s displays warrant him earning Player of the Year over Kyogo Furuhashi – who is on course to break the 30-goal barrier this campaign.

Likewise, the wonderful way in which both Reo Hatate and Aaron Mooy have controlled proceedings from midfield with their own classy approach to things can’t be discounted. What is abundantly clear from this season, is that we have such a strong team that there are several candidates who could and would be deserving of the accolade.

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. That’s not what he even said, & not a great compliment anyway as Bobo was a liability v better teams. Big Joos & Mjallby were both MUCH better than Bobo. CCV oor best since VvD though