Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton believes that to succeed in Europe, then Ange Postecoglou must improve his defensive backline.
The Hoops suffered a disappointing defeat midweek, losing out 3-1 to Norweigan Champions Bodo/Glimt, who came to Parkhead and put in an impressive performance, taking a healthy lead back to Scandinavia next week.
Postecoglou’s side has built a solid base at the back when it comes to domestic action, leading the way in the least goals conceded so far this campaign.
However, writing in his weekly column for the Daily Record, Sutton pointed out the area he believes needs to be strengthened in order to challenge in Europe under Postecoglou, naming Greg Taylor as the potential ‘weak link’ in that back four.
“My old team has been able to build a solid defensive record in the domestic game because they are not being tested against better talents.
“However, on the continent, they are still shown up. No side lost more goals than Celtic in the group stage of the Europa League, and the problems haven’t just disappeared.
“The backline needs to be boosted. I’m not trying to pick on an individual, but I have said for a long time that left-back is an area which needs addressed, and Greg Taylor was given a torrid time against Bodo/Glimt. The ease in which he was passed for the away team’s second goal was worrying.
“But it’s not just one man. They didn’t defend properly as a unit. Just as was the case against Leverkusen, and Betis, and Ferencvcaros before that.
“Postecoglou just isn’t going to park the bus. He’s not made that way. His style is going to leave defenders exposed, and that’s a price he’s willing to pay to be offensive.
“For that to work at the higher levels, he’s going to have to get better quality into the back four and improve them further.”
Postecoglou’s side has gone through a vast improvement in such a short space of time, with the Celtic boss continuing to improve his squad in just two January transfer windows.
Of course, as Ange has admitted many times himself, this group of players are far from the finished article, so he will likely be looking to the future for more improvements to come at a later date.
Many fans would likely point to the left-back area as one which needs improvement, which might be true, but also harsh to put all the disappointment on Taylor’s shoulders from Thursday night.
As a unit, the backline has been brilliant in the league, building the foundations for our consistent run of good results in the league over the past few months.
If that is something that can be translated over to the European side of things, we would be a force to be reckoned with under Ange Postecoglou.
CCV is way to slow. He telegraphs his passes and in todays game he is woefully slow. Asa stopper he’s not bad, but we have to be looking further ahead than just a stopper. They got right in ourf aces and we didn’t have a clue what to do. Ange needs to sort out getting Julien back in the team, and a plan B, if we come up against teams who are in our faces? We have been warned.