Should We As Celtic Fans Give Players More Time To Succeed?

Greg Taylor has arguably been Celtic’s best player this season and turned in another excellent performance in Tuesday night’s Champions League draw with Shakthar Donetsk.

The young full back is now a firm favourite in the eyes of the fans, but as we know that’s certainly not always been the case during his time at the club.

In fact it’s taken Taylor just about three years to become an “overnight success” following his £2M+ move from Kilmarnock way back in September 2019.

22nd October 2022. Greg Taylor scores the wiining goal during the cinch Premiership match at Tynecastle. Photo Neil Hanna / Sportimage

There was of course the disruption that Covid caused to the football calendar in the time since the Scottish international joined the Hoops but were you to ask most supporters – this writer included – to rate his time at the club as recently as 12 months ago and the responses would be notably underwhelming.

Ask the same question now and most would have him as one of the first names on the team-sheet.


Taylor’s turnaround offers a perfect example of why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge our young players, and his fellow full back Tony Ralston offers a similar example.

Tony Ralston. Photo Steve Welsh

As a player who incredibly made his debut for the club over six years ago (in May 2016) Ralston too has proved a more than capable performer any time Ange Postecoglou has opted to utilise him, and played a notable part in last year’s title success.

We’re not saying that all players will turn around their Celtic careers if they’re given enough time – far from it – and for every Taylor and Ralston you can throw in a Nadir Ciftci an Eboue Kouassi and a Stefan Scepovic amongst others who just weren’t of the required quality to make it at Celtic.
That said, these examples perhaps reflect more on the signing policy at that time than anything else.

Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Celtic, Celtic FC and Shakhtar Donetsk on October 25, 2022.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However what we have in place now is a manager in Ange Postecoglou who has earned the trust of not only the Celtic support but also of the boardroom due to the impressive success rate of the signings who by and large have proven their worth to the club since arriving at the Australian’s behest.


Expectations are extremely high at Celtic and we wouldn’t have it any other way, but is there an onus on us as supporters to play our part when it comes to allowing new or young players more time to succeed at the club?

We know that whether it’s a UEFA Champions League fixture, a Premier Sports League Cup tie, or even a pre-season friendly that even a draw is deemed a “disaster” at times and this makes for a very cut-throat environment in which to develop as a player.

Liel Abada celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during the Premier Sports Cup quarter final at Fir Park, Motherwell. Wednesday October 19, 2022. Photo Jane Barlow

Some current first team players seem to find themselves under the spotlight at this moment in time including Academy graduate Stephen Welsh (22), Scottish international David Turnbull (23) and even Liel Abada (21), a player who ended his maiden season at the club with fifteen goals and eleven assists following his move from Israeli side Maccabi Petah Tikva.

For any player at any club to be written off at such a young age is extremely harsh.

We’re not saying that every player Celtic sign is going to be a success – even Sir Alex Ferguson famously said that if you get 50 % of your signings right you’re doing well – but what we are saying is that our players should be given every CHANCE to succeed before being written off without a fair crack of the whip.

It’s a complex topic given the demands at Celtic Football Club but it’s an area in which I think we as fans can offer more support on as we get behind Ange and the Bhoys in that pursuit for success.
This topic is the subject of our latest episode of The Celtic Exchange as the team discuss how best to strike that balance as we chase down silverware year on year.

Join the debate by listening to the show here now or on your podcast player of choice (Available on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major platforms).


               The Celtic Exchange – Episode Link

About Author

A child of the 80s, I have hazy memories of being at the Centenary Cup final at Hampden in May 1988 as we won the league & cup double, but then had to wait almost exactly a decade for our next league title as Wim Jansen & Co stopped the 10! I’m the founder and host of The Celtic Exchange podcast where we now produce several shows per week covering all things Celtic.

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