The bigger question than why Celtic were so poor on Sunday is how to reshape the team or squad to address the issue? There is a clear deficit. We have three full backs at the club, two went off injured, leaving Anthony Ralston, a more than suitable backup at right back, playing on the left, while Stephen Welsh parachuted in from relative obscurity to try-out as a right back.
With Boli Bolingoli no longer part of the plans, we only have one left back: Greg Taylor. Greg has suffered numerous absences this season, forcing Josip Juranovic to the left, where he never played before making his Celtic debut there.
Liam Scales, primarily a central defender, has covered on the left, but did not even make the 11-man bench. A left back on the bench would have allowed Ralston to remain on the right and prevented Welsh being thrown into a position he has never played on such a major occasion.
Even with Taylor and Juranovic on the field, Celtic did not have the ability to pass from defence to midfield without regularly giving up possession. We looked easy to mark up against. Think back two weeks to Ibrox, when Daizan Maeda dropped deep to give his midfield an option (or cover in defence).
That vision of perpetual motion was absent on Sunday. It is not Tom Rogic’s game and neither Jota nor Liel Abada looked to have the energy to put in a similar shift. Both were noticable fatiged later in the game. On the few occasions when Celtic were able to quickly transition, they looked dangerous, but just as we did against Bodo/Glimt, we were unable to find the space to pass confidently out of defence.
Notwithstanding the fact that Giorgos Giakoumakis was absent, Celtic are a comparatively small side. The days of tall full backs being able to dominate high balls out of defence are gone. We are assembling a squad on its ability to find space, pass and move. What happens when a central defender makes a forward pass against an opponent marking man-to- man in the middle of the park determines the outcome of Celtic games. The inquest into Sunday should focus on little else.