Ange Postecoglou has defended Carl Starfelt from many fans who continue to unfairly ride the defender.
Carl had a shaky start to his Celtic career but for the most part – especially in the last run of games, the Swede has been solid. Some fans have already made their minds up on the player, so they don’t see the 88 minutes he did his job extremely well and focus on a misplaced pass.
Ange has pointed out what we at CeltsAreHere have been putting out there for the past few weeks – the adjustment period of playing in a new team, with a new league asked to do things you’re not used to means you’re going to make mistakes.
“People were judging him on what they saw. I knew there was more in him and I still think there is.
“Cam we just threw in. We signed him on deadline day and virtually threw him into the first team.
“The good thing about Cam is that he’s a real calm character. He’s mature beyond his years. Even though he’s fairly young he has settled in really well.
“The key for both of them is that they want to learn. They want to develop, they want to improve every week. They’re coming in, sitting down with coaches doing the analysis and I think they’re getting confidence from that.
“The way we play is not easy for any centre-backs,
“We ask a lot of our centre-backs.
“We ask them to play out from the back and then we’re asking them to squeeze up and be aggressive with our defending.
“It’s a lot easier to play centre-back in other teams I can guarantee you, but they have tackled it and we know there is more to come.
“Part of that is that we’ve shown faith in them and I’ve said to them all along, ‘whatever happens out there, if it doesn’t work, I’m accountable for it, not them’.
“I’m not going to judge them on what happens in the first part of their Celtic career. What’s important for me is that they are continually looking to learn and understand how we want to play our football.
“If I saw that, then I would keep encouraging them, and that’s been happening.”
Under the circumstances, Carl has helped the team greatly. There’s certainly more to come and there will be some respite for the defender when Christopher Jullien is back from injury.
The Hoops are only four points off the top of the table at present. If they can put a winning run together they can exert pressure and see where it takes them.
The manager has made it clear this is a team in its infancy – we have to be patient and come along for the ride.