Steps to repair the defence


Very pleased we appear to be on the verge of signing a central defender, especially one who at 24 (Erik Sviatchenko), should be very much in his prime. The previous two seasons each brought excellent defensive performance records but things fell apart from the very start of this season – way before Virgil van Dijk left.

The reasons for the are varied. Jason Denayer left to be replaced by Dedryck Boyata. Dedryck is more settled now but he was well short of Jason’s standards early on. Still is. We have also regressed in the full back positions. Emilio Izaguirre’s decline has been gradual but clear. 18-year-old Kieran Tierney makes fewer mistakes and (I think) poses a greater physical challenge.

Then we have Mikael Lustig. Mikael has always been a favourite of mine; as recently as September I regarded him as our best defender, but I think he’s been well off his best for most of the season. He has been regularly caught in the wrong position and his distribution is often a possession-losing lump upfield.

Craig Gordon would be first to admit his form is nowhere near where it was last season, when he almost single-handedly was responsible for us reaching the Europa League knockout stage. The questions for Craig are what’s going wrong and can it be fixed?

Think back to the latter days of Artur Boruc’s time at Celtic. Artur has gone from having Bayern Munich scouts at Celtic Park to watch him to a guy we sold without fuss as a backup for Fiorentina for £1.2m. Whatever it was he had, had gone. I thought he was finished. Six years later he’s at something approaching his best at Bournemouth.

Craig Gordon has the best part of 4 years on Artur. He has time to get back on form.

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  1. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Enjoying this Ross county v Aberdeen game pretty good football and living the kodi :)


    Cheers guys





    Defensively we have been poor this season,little doubt about that.



    But we really need a disciplined holding midfielder to protect them.



    Additionally,the back four and what cover there is has rarely been the same from game to game.



    Continuity is needed to build relationships in such an important part of the side.



    I hope we get some soon.

  3. weet weet weet(GBWO) on

    Girl, if you want to get along with me, you need to know some things. We always hear “relationship needs” from the female side. Now, if you want to please a man, here is relationship advice from the man’s point of view. This is what men really want from a girl. If you need to understand your boyfriend, if you would like to please a man, take our relationship advice to heart. All you men know what I’m saying. These are ‘OUR’ needs! Please note… they are all numbered “#1” ON PURPOSE!




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  4. glendalystonsils on

    Paul 67



    I agree totally about Tierney v Izzy. The youngster is streets ahead defensively. A touch of the Daniel Fergus, in fact!

  5. Paul 67 Et Al,



    Craig Gordon has proven many fans wrong before he signed. ( myself included )



    He has remained relatively injury free and is a class goalkeeper.


    Form is temporary, whereas class is permanent. As per Artur Boruc, Craig will regain his form and prove to be one of our more astute signings.



    Hail, Hail.





    Ask for that to be deleted before we fill the divorce courts!

  7. Hamiltontim let me know where you will be situated and I will meet you to sign up for the Celtic Trust and a wee catch up mate.



    The Green Man happy birthday mate have a good one.










  8. Delaneys Dunky on

    Two fine strikes from another of Ross County’s west coast Tims.


    Good win for the 10 men in a very entertaining match though.

  9. Paranoid comment of the day – Ross County – they were down to 10 men , you didn’t have to give away a bizarre penalty or score an own goal. This is the p*ish ICT got up to against them last season when they were in a safe position. Just saying.

  10. Re our defence


    Good to see a new addition, but in my view our defensive challenges are more linked to our tactics than our players


    1) As long as we play this 2251 formation, masquerading as 4231, our fullbacks are liable to get exposed, particularly by counter attacking teams in Europe, as they often find themselves sitting on opposition 18 yard box. Unless we have 4 defenders , who are 6’4″ And can do 100 meters in less than 11 secs, we are on a loser.



    2) Lustig has been average this season, as he is pushed too far forward and either crosses with his right foot to 5’9″ Griffiths, or forced to check onto his left foot for similar. In both cases, despite his good leap, Griff is out jumped by 6ft centre backs



    3) I think Boyata has the making’s of a defenders defender, a bigger version of Enrico Annoni. Deploy him as a marker, don’t ask him to build the play, and he will be a good solid player for us.



    Finally, Kieran Tierney needs the occasional rest – too many games for young players leads to burnout.

  11. Watching the Dundee Utd game again. What a goal that is from KC.


    Rogic was great and Efe and Jozo look alright at centre back.


    Stefan was, however, very very poor.







  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Good to see a defender coming in. We only have 20-odd games until the CL qualifiers. Nor long to get an established pairing working in harmony. Hopefully Simunovic and Sviatchenko can gel.


    Would also like to see a “proper” DM.

  13. Liverpool Man U. Overhyped dross. Ross Co v Aberdeen a far better game to watch. Switching over to Falkirk v Hibs

  14. Marrakesh Express on

    For all the multi millionaire’s on show at Anfield, no one coming close to Dalglish, Rush, Best or Charlton. KD, in my book, is the best British player to grace English football in the last 50 years, probably post war too. He achieved more than golden boy George Best.

  15. The lack of protection from the midfield due to poor shape and unsuitable players to their role is the reason the defense has been poor.


    Gordon is an excellent shot stopper but he has had to deal with to many exposed channels this season.


    We need a defensive mid as priority plus another striker.


    With a proper midfield in personnel and shape the attack will receive better service.

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