Although Celtic played fantastic, free-flowing, successful football last season, there was one area of the pitch where many supports felt we needed to strengthen in.
That area is in the defensive midfield. This may be strange to some, considering club captain Callum McGregor played there throughout last season and was named player of the year.
But the problem really came in certain games where we needed more of a physical presence in there, such as in the Glasgow derby games and in Europe, where that aggression and physicality really seemed to be lacking.
Also, many feel that McGregor is best suited further forward.
I have mixed opinions on this myself as he did a fantast job last season in picking the ball up from the keeper and the defence and starting off attacks, he was exceptional at it in fact. But I do agree we missed that physical presence at times defensively.
And it seems to be clear that Ange Postecoglou feels the same way, as Celtic look to prioritise the signing of a new defensive midfielder in this transfer window and have been liked with names such as Souza and Vera.
But one caller on Clyde SSB last night believed that Ange already has the solution within his current squad for that position.
Here’s what Celtic fan Bill had to say on the matter:
“Celtic have been frantically searching for someone to win the ball in the midfield and protect the back two, and I think that man is already there, but I don’t think he’s being played in the right position. I think Stephen Welsh would be the ideal man for that position.”
“I don’t think he’s really gonna make it at Celtic as a centre half, but I think in that position, I think he could make that position his own for some time.”
“I think he can win the ball in the midfield, he’s got the ability to win the header in the midfield, he’s very, very strong in the tackle and he can pass the ball as well. I just think he’s wasted playing at centre half.”
It is certainly an interesting idea from Bill, but one that I respectfully have to disagree with.
He makes great points about his qualities such as being strong in the tackle and can win the headers in midfield, which is what Wanyama did for us to great success, but I think that would work under the Lennon style of football, where that position is only really used defensively.
Under Ange, just like Calmac does, he would be expected to take the ball off the keeper and centre backs, turn in tight areas, swivel at speed to quickly pick out a pass in order to start attacks. I don’t believe he has the ability to do that.
Write in the comments below your thoughts.