Celtic urged to reinforce in wake of Rangers loss as one player singled out as 'disappointment'

Former Celtic forward Kris Commons has urged the club to strengthen defensively in the wake of losing the final Old Firm derby 3-0 to Rangers.
Alexandro Bernabei came in at left-back for Celtic at Ibrox in the absence of Greg Taylor.Alexandro Bernabei came in at left-back for Celtic at Ibrox in the absence of Greg Taylor.
Alexandro Bernabei came in at left-back for Celtic at Ibrox in the absence of Greg Taylor.

The recently crowned champions put in a flat performance at Ibrox, losing comfortably to their nearest rivals in what was the heaviest domestic defeat suffered under Ange Postecoglou. Celtic were missing three of their regular back four, with Anthony Ralston, Alexandro Bernabei and Yuki Kobayashi replacing injured duo Alastair Johnston and Cameron Carter-Vickers plus the rested Greg Taylor, and Commons believes better reinforcements will be required next season, particularly in Europe, with Celtic going into the group stages of the Champions League.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Commons said: “If Celtic want to progress in Europe, I still think there's a slight weakness in one of the centre-backs that could be improved and upgraded. But let's not pretend Starfelt was alone in that regard on Saturday. There were several players in the Celtic team who did themselves no favours at all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Alexandro Bernabei has been a disappointing signing thus far. He was supposed to be the new first-choice left-back ahead of Greg Taylor. Celtic paid £3.75million to sign him from Argentina last summer, but it's Taylor who has ended up having an outstanding season and has rightly kept Bernabei out the team.

“Yuki Kobayashi is neat and tidy on the ball. However, the pace and physicality of the game looked too much for him at times on Saturday. He certainly didn't offer the same level of authority and assurance as Carter-Vickers does when he plays.

"I reckon Carter-Vickers is actually the most dominant defender we've seen in Scottish football since Van Dijk. So it's no surprise Celtic should look so vulnerable when he doesn't play. He's a massive loss. That doesn't excuse the display overall. Having set such high standards for themselves all season, they were off the pace at Ibrox. Postecoglou must have been really disappointed. His mantra is all about how Celtic never stop.

"My old team won't face anywhere near the same level of transfer activity as Rangers in the summer. For Postecoglou, it should be more a case of evolution than revolution as he looks to tweak one or two areas in his squad. Carter-Vickers and Starfelt have formed a good partnership over these past couple of seasons. But this was an afternoon when too many of Celtic's fringe and squad players failed to grasp the opportunity given to them."

Related topics: