By James Murphy
Celtic have cruised through their first seven games this season but an air of concern still looms over the Glasgow team’s defence.
Celtic Boss Neil Lennon was pleased with the final result despite the visitors, Hamilton Accies dominating the early stages of the match and taking an early lead only three minutes in.
This highlighted the all too familiar question that Celtic’s current defence is suspect and lacks the consistency and discipline that you would think a title contending team would possess.
Celtic Manager Lennon however, remained optimistic and refused to pile on any unnecessary pressure onto his centre-back pairing of Glenn Loovens and Daniel Majstorovic. Lennon furthermore, remained defiant and explained that any issues surrounding the team’s defence were minor and it was something they would be working on in the coming weeks.
Is Lennon’s optimistic nature matched by the 60,000 fans that invest their hard earned money and walk through the turnstiles every week? As a Celtic fan myself, I won’t have any complaints if the team is winning and we sit above the ‘blue side of the city’ in the league standings.
However, this skin deep approach does only scratch the surface. Currently the Hoops only top the table on goal difference and you soon realise that if it is a similar story come the end of the season every goal counts even at these early stages. Celtic will most certainly have to shore up a defence that flatters to deceive if they want to rescue the title from the West End of Glasgow.
The Celtic team’s nervy centre-back pairing of Loovens and Majstorovic, during the early stages of the Hamilton Accies match, did however, inadvertently highlight the fact that Celtic might have found a hidden gem in ‘on loan’ goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Lennon acknowledged one of his latest acquisitions by saying “Our goalkeeper was fantastic and he had to be. He had to make some very good saves to keep the score down and allow us to get back in to the game”. I think most; if not all, of the 60,000 fans would have matched Lennon’s confidence in his new stopper.
It would not be unfair to say that since Forster’s arrival the Celtic defence has improved and there seems to be a new found assurance between the goalkeeper and the club’s defence
Individuals who have taken their place between the sticks prior to Forster shall remain nameless, but have not exuded the same amount of confidence that the current keeper instills in ‘the faithful’ who flock to Celtic Park each week. Communication between, not only the centre-back pairing, but the whole back four seems to be stronger and in turn has improved not only the manager’s but the fans’ confidence in the team.
This said, The Bhoys are showing signs of improvement every game since they crashed out of Europe earlier on in the season, which leaves me with this final thought: maybe, the 60,000 fans that invest their hard earned money and walk through the turnstiles every week should have total confidence in ‘Lenny’. How can we not when he is yet to lose a domestic league game.