Ange Postecoglou headed into Celtic’s Premiership clash against St. Johnstone on Sunday with a severely limited squad at his disposal as a result of a number of injuries, being left with no other choice than to attempt to fit a number of square pegs in round holes in his starting XI.
Despite this fact, the Bhoys turned in an extremely impressive performance at McDiarmid Park, dominating possession of the ball, taking 25 shots at the St. Johnstone goal and creating four big chances over the course of the 90 minutes, with the Hoops running out 3-1 victors.
However, while Celtic’s overall performance was indeed a decent one, there were nevertheless a number of players within Postecoglou’s side who endured something of an afternoon to forget on Sunday, with centre-back duo Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt, as well as goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, not enjoying their finest of displays in a green and white shirt.
Although, it was undoubtedly makeshift left wing-back Liam Scales who will be most disappointed with his display against the Saints, as the 23-year-old may well have failed Postecoglou’s test in the position.
While it was far from a truly disastrous display by Scales, the defender nevertheless returned slightly worrying numbers on the left-hand side of the 56-year-old’s backline over his 87 minutes on the pitch.
Indeed, the £90k-rated man won just four of his 10 duels – a failure rate of 60% – failed to find his man with any of his three attempted crosses and completed just one of his two attempted long balls, as well as failing with both of his two attempted dribbles.
The £5k-per-week Irishman also made no clearances, blocked no shots, made just one interception and one tackle, missed one big chance for his side and lost possession of the ball on a whopping 21 occasions.
These returns saw the 23-year-old earn a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.2, the worst of any Celtic player, including Barkas, to feature in the match on Sunday afternoon.
As such, while Scales is undoubtedly a player who is still finding his feet at Parkhead, the youngster’s performance against St. Johnstone will have not done much to strengthen the argument that he should be starting in the position on a more regular basis going forwards.