A Celtic fan called up Clyde SSB after the match yesterday to surprisingly defend John Souttar after his woeful performance against Livingston on Saturday afternoon, where he was torn to shreds by Livi’s big striker Jon Nouble.
His original assessment was fair in that he said the SMSM are too quick to criticise and write off a player who has just joined a new club when they have a shaky performance.
He reminded the panel about the criticism that Carl Starfelt faced, especially in his early days in a Celtic jersey, and how he went on to turn it around and ended up being part of the best defence in the league last season.
What happened next was quite shocking, and also very frustrating to listen to.
Hugh Keevins pleaded complete ignorance to the fact that Starfelt had ever been criticised by the SMSM or himself in particular and asked the caller to provide examples of some of the criticism.
The caller didn’t even mention Hugh had criticised him, but he seemed to take it as a personal attack and very frustratingly, the caller then kept insisting that there had been no criticism on Clyde SSB towards Starfelt, despite there being tons, and even went as far as APOLOGISING to Keevins if he did say he criticised him.
Why he did this I don’t know. I think he bottled it a bit and wasn’t prepared for Keevins to be so defensive and ask for specific examples of criticism towards Starfelt, so backtracked and kept saying he was referring to other radio shows.
Those of us who regularly listen to SSB know that Keevins has always criticised Starfelt, especially in the first part of last season, but unless you have taken note of exactly what he said or go back and listen to every show he did last season, it is hard to give a specific example of what he’s said about the big Swede.
Here is an example though of one I found quite quickly online, thanks to Vital Celtic for taking note of it at the time back in February.
“How often does Postecoglou need to look at Carl Starfelt at the heart of his defence – which has a buy one, get one free promotion going for every side they face at present – before he has serious reservations about him?
“I’m beginning to think I’d do a better job of marking Hibs’ Kevin Nisbet – and I will be 73 in November.”
and again when commentating on the League Cup Final in December:
“Starfelt’s header to concede it at the corner kick was awful. He can neither head them in at one end or head them out, properly at the other.“
I mean he is just damn right insulting towards him, and that is just two examples from Keevins alone.
Here is another example of criticism from the SMSM, this time from former Celt and current full time Celtic hater, Davie Provan right back in the Europa League qualifiers after Starfelt’s fourth ever game for Celtic against AZ Alkmaar, thanks to 67 Hail Hail.
“I’m not convinced. I think he looks awkward. I know he’s a right-footed player playing on the left side, but he doesn’t look the part for me.”
“I don’t think for a minute that he was Ange Postecoglou’s signing, and hopefully Postecoglou will be given the budget in the January window to get himself a proper central defensive pairing.”
Just an utterly disgraceful comment from Provan. First of all, to claim that Ange never wanted him, and then say hopefully he is given more money to basically get someone better in, despite the fact Celtic just spent £4.5m on brining him in!
This is just a snippet of some of the totally disgraceful criticism that came Starfelt’s way last season, and for Keevins to act like it never happened was revolting.