Kris Commons slams Celtic’s derby defending

It was a dour derby defeat to theRangers on Sunday afternoon, but there were positives to take from the game.

Firstly, despite squandering a few chances, Celtic attacked relatively well and should have gone one or two goals to the good, in hindsight. Yes, there is Odsonne Edouard’s sitter which the fanbase can dwell on, but you cannot just blame French Eddy for being the only one not to score when no-one else didn’t test the keeper much.

And defensively, the Bhoys were relatively sound – they didn’t have to deal with much, which pays testament to their performance.

However, someone who wasn’t happy was ex-Celtic midfielder Kris Commons – who blasted central defensive pair Carl Starfelt and Stephen Welsh for their inability to mark their men properly for Filip Helander’s header. True, they should have dealt with it – but Commons did not hold back in his post-match comments; claiming Celtic have to do much better in their efforts as a team if they are to progress at all.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the English-born icon said:

For all the progress that Celtic have made in recent weeks, for all the flair and attacking football, they are still plagued by a ruinous inability to do the basics. I’m not talking about playing out from the back and the way they sometimes give the ball away in dangerous areas.

That’s a different issue altogether. Listen, we know that Stephen Welsh isn’t Franco Baresi. nor is Carl Starfelt likely to start striding out from the back like Franz Beckenbauer any time soon.

Given the expansive way in which Ange Postecoglou is asking the team to play, most Celtic fans accept there will be the odd nervy moment when hearts are in mouths. 

But, again, that’s not the issue here. I’m talking about a collective failure. to sense danger and deal with it appropriately. It’s something which the players have to take responsibility for.

We saw it in the defeat to AZ Alkmaar last midweek when Welsh and Joe Har t got themselves in an almighty mess for the Dutch side’s first goal. Then, when AZ made it 2-1, Starfelt tripped over his own feet as he shanked the ball into his own net. It should have been a routine clearance for any competent centre-back.

Which takes us to Ibrox yesterday. Between them, what were Starfelt and Welsh doing when Filip Helander headed the only goal of the game?

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  1. If we attacked really well we would have been firing in shots at the Rangers goalkeeper. The truth is we had a lot of possession but rarely threatened the Rangers goal. That said is was much the same the other way too. But for poor marking and Edouard wearing the his left and right boots on the wrong feet the result may have been different.

  2. I used to watch our local amateur team when I was a kid and their defenders were big,strong and fearless.However,the main guy was the goalie who used to shout at every corner and set piece that any ball that came anywhere near his six yard box was his ‘baw’.He used to come out and even go through his own players to claim it or punch it clear.Our keepers always seem to be rooted to their line as the ball flies past them.MON had the right idea,big tough goalie and defenders not to be messed with.