I was a big defender of Carl Starfelt last season, and I still am.
I refused to let certain pundits in the Scottish press make me believe that this guy was a ‘dud’, a ‘bombscare’ and ‘not an Ange Postecoglou signing’, no matter how much they came out with this sort of stuff.
Yes, he does have an awkwardness about him and can make a mistake or two, but what centre back doesn’t make the odd mistake? What player doesn’t ever make a mistake?
There was a vendetta against the big Swede last season and those who doubted him were eventually forced to eat their words when Celtic were crowned Champions and Starfelt was part of the best defence in the league, and was actually undefeated in his partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers.
That is quite an unbelievable stat, that in 30 plus games of these two playing alongside each other in the league, we haven’t lost a game.
The one area that we did miss though last season, is that we weren’t a big enough threat from set-pieces and corners into the box.
Throughout our history, that has always been a big strength Celtic have had. If we had a corner, you’d fancy a big centre back or a big striker to power in a header.
Last season we didn’t have that with Carl Starfelt. Carter-Vickers I’m not sure if he scored any headers, but he did scored five goals and they usually came from blasting in rebounds when the ball fell to his feet.
That was one thing I missed about not having Jullien in the team, as the guy was a goal threat in the opposition box. At 6ft5 you always fancied he’d have a chance of bulleting in a header if the delivery was right.
With Starfelt missing the start of the season through injury, he is now apparently ready to come into the team again, with manager Ange Postecoglou saying the other day he’s just waiting for the right time to introduce him back into the fold.
In his absence though, in the first two league matches of the season, we have had Stephen Welsh and Moritz Jenz play instead of Starfelt, and both have scored headers. And these were two vital goals too, especially Jenz’s in the 84th minute at Dingwall yesterday as we were drawing 1-1.
It’s all going to come down to what the manager feels is best of course. But let’s say for example he thinks Jenz is an equally good defender as Starfelt, but with Jenz we have a goal threat at the opposite end, he surely has to go with Jenz.
Ange will have seen more of him in training of course, but from the games he has played so far for Celtic, I think it would be a fair call to say that he at least looks as good a defender as Starfelt, and even for arguments sake we say Starfelt is a little better, is it really worth bringing back a defender who is just a little bit better, rather than keeping in Jenz who can pop up with important goals?
Again, I’m a fan of Starfelt, but based on what I’ve seen so far, and of course that’s all I can go off at the time of writing, I think Jenz should keep the jersey for the time being.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.