Questions still need to be asked about the Celtic defence despite a thrilling win in Glasgow Derby

THE CELTIC STAR asked Celtic supporter Bill Cowie to outline his thoughts after the dramatic 3-2 win for Celtic at Ibrox yesterday. Not sure that I agree with his first few points on the Celtic defence – for starters Erik Sviatchenko is very unlikely to have a future at Celtic under Brendan Rodgers, or his suggestion regarding Scotty Sinclair, but it is as always a matter of opinions.

Anyway here are Bill’s thoughts after Ten Men effectively won the League on Beautiful Sunday…

Following Celtic’s 3-2 victory over Rangers at Ibrokes in an epic Glasgow Derby I am of the opinion that Brendan Rodgers may have learned several things about some of his players.

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1. Dedryck Boyata is not Celtic quality I feel Erik Sviatchenko offers a better option and should be brought back for next season.

2. Jozo Simunovic probably isn’t the answer to Celtic’s defensive problems either. Celtic spent money on 2 central defenders in the January Transfer Window in Jack Henry and Marvin Compper and selling Simunovic on would more than cover the total outlay for both of these players. Even if they were brought in only as cover I think, that since the League is now more or less concluded as a competitive race, then if fit they should be given extended runs in the side.

3. In Kristofer Ajer we have an excellent young player who has been turned into a very good Central Defender considering he was brought to the Club as a midfielder. If he continues to improve in the same vein as he has done so far he can become an excellent exponent of the centre back position.

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4. Scott Bain played superbly in his debut and considering the ‘Car Crash’ in front of him that was Boyata, he was faultless at either conceded goal. I would go as far as to say that Bain instills more confidence as a goalkeeper than Dorus de Vries does and should retain his place in the side at least until Craig Gordon is fully fit again. Bearing in mind the manner in which Bain left Dundee and that club’s current position in the Premiership in conjunction with Neil McCann’s antics against St Johnstone at Dens Park, it would appear that Bain has ‘won a watch’ by joining Celtic.

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5. Olivier N’tcham is really beginning to show his class and is now showing why Celtic paid Manchester City £4.5 million for his services. Can he improve? I am in no doubt that he can. He appears to have settled down from his somewhat erratic early season performances.

6. Do Celtic have, in Odsonne Edouard, a realistic replacement for Moussa Dembele if the Club decides to cash in on their asset? Dembele is beginning to demonstrate something like the form he showed in his initial season when joining from Fulham and his stock and value would appear to be ‘back on the Up’. More importantly would Celtic pay the kind of money that PSG will be looking for Edouard? There comes a time when Celtic must decide if they have the ambitions to become a Champion’s League omnipresent or otherwise and perform as such when they do qualify.

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7. With Ryan Christie returning from his loan spell at Aberdeen for the start of next season the club should be improving from a position of strength and I feel his rejoining the squad would be like a new player coming in.

8. Celtic can perform more than adequately without Scott Sinclair, who after an excellent first season, looks a shadow of the player he was when he arrived. His confidence is obviously suffering and perhaps because of situations in his personal life, a move back down south might be a good move for both club and player.

9. Can Celtic persuade Tom Rogic to extend his contract? He has demonstrated on many occasions under both Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers that he is such an important and valuable player by scoring some unbelievable and important goals at critical stages of matches.

10. Scott Brown is such an incredible leader. Despite making the odd mistake, he didn’t let it bother him and did amazingly well in setting up Dembele’s equaliser on the stroke of half time. Should Celtic go in for Hibs’ John McGinn as an understudy for Brown and give him a season or so to develop under the master thus making an easy transition when ‘Broony’ eventually calls it a day?

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11. After yesterday’s excellent result it would appear that ‘Normal Service’ has now been resumed and Rangers have been well and truly slapped down for their impudence and mouthiness. They have been firmly put back in their box.

12. How amazing does it feel to be a Celtic fan just now? Watching the exuberant celebrations from 3 sides of Ibrox on 2 occasions only for their disillusionment and acceptance to set in was priceless. They are hurting so badly you can feel their pain. Even when we play below par we can still defeat our greatest rivals’ tribute act in their own stadium.

Let’s achieve a Double Treble and finish off this Rangers as wannabe contenders ad infinitum!

Written by Bill Cowie

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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