Greg Taylor has established himself as one of the two first pick full-backs under Ange Postecoglou and alongside Anthony Ralston, the pair could consider themselves to have been uncertain to say the least to have found themselves in this position given the big squad turn-around that was inevitable after last season’s disaster.
Ralston only played once last term and was regularly discounted as having any future under the incoming manager but has benefited enormously from the clean slate that was given to all players by the new manager who inherited an absolute mess of a situation at the club.
While Ralston has been a stand-out at right-back – the only one at the club until the signing of Josip Juranovic is formally announced, probably today. The Legia Warsaw player was in Glasgow last night undergoing his medical ahead of signing up for the Ange Plan.
Juranovic will provide competition for Ralston and on the left hand side of the defence the versatile Shamrock Rovers defender Liam Scales – due to arrive at the end of next week after the Shamrock Rovers Conference League 2nd leg qualifier – could be played at left back or left wing back but is probably going to be a left-sided central defender. But he is perhaps the cover for Taylor that Postecoglou requires.
That probably means that Boli Bolingoli, a £3m waste of money from our old chums Rapid Vienna, could be heading for the exit if Celtic can get rid this week. With Ange Postecoglou talking up his signing plans from the J-League in the January transfer window, it could be that further defensive cover arrives them but until now both Greg Taylor and indeed new Bhoy Carl Starfelt are going to need our support.
Both came in for criticism on social media and on Celtic forums after the 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League Play-off on Wednesday and both are likely to play in the next series of games, today against St Mirren at Paradise then the return against the Dutch side on Thursday before returning to play at Ibrox on Sunday, where there will be no Celtic Supporters due to the childish behaviour of the 9 year old club.
Taylor yesterday spoke to the Mainstream Media ahead of the game this afternoon against St Mirren. “The manager has come in with fresh ideas and everyone is trying to take them on board as quickly as they can,” the Celtic left-back said. “You can see those ideas are starting to show on the pitch, relationships are beginning to be built on the pitch, and long may that continue.
“It’s been enjoyable and gaffer has been very clear in his ideas and his beliefs and that makes it easier for us as players to put them into plan on the pitch.
“The manager’s style is another different way of playing, and it’s a way I want to learn and improve in. It’s physically and mentally demanding on everyone, whether that’s the 11 that start or the subs coming on.
“But I enjoy that, we’re a fit team as it is and hopefully as the season goes on we get fitter and stronger.
“So far it’s been enjoyable and we’ve been winning games of football and attacking in the way we have been, that puts a smile on the players’ faces but also the fans’ as well.
“We’re in a good run of form at the moment, and when you’re winning games of football, it certainly helps the mood, of course it does. Every professional in every aspect wants to win and that’s no different to us.
“Now, we’ve got full focus on the St Mirren game and we want to put on a performance and get the win we need.”