Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Nir Bitton lets Celtic down again in opening Premiership clash

You can hire a new manager at Celtic, but until things change above Ange Postecoglou in the hierarchy, circumstances will never change.

This has been a nightmare start to the Hoops’ campaign, being dumped out of Champions League qualifying in midweek and then tasting defeat in their opening Premiership clash.

It was evident that Celtic came into their match with Hearts with a lack of bodies but that isn’t the new manager’s fault. He has been intent on persuading those in the boardroom to sign more players.

The defence has always been their problem and, even if Carl Starfelt earned his debut this weekend, it didn’t really help the Bhoys. He had a nervy moment in the second half with a backpass but his colleague Nir Bitton was even worse at the heart of the defence.

Celtic went 1-0 down early on but fought back in the second half courtesy of an extremely rare goal from Anthony Ralston. However, Postecoglou’s men slipped up late on to lose a point after John Souttar’s excellent header.

Should Celtic drop Bitton?

No chance!

No chance!

Of course!

Of course!

Scott Bain has taken his fair share of criticism over the last 12 months and he was caught in no man’s land for Souttar’s last-gasp goal.

He was seen heading towards the back post, but if Bitton’s marking and ability to pick up the Hearts defender had been spot on, the goalkeeper wouldn’t have been caught out. Instead, his error was costly as they lost on the opening day of the new season.

The Israeli was poor in European qualification too, being sent off against Midtjylland in the first leg and described as a “walking joke” in the process.

The centre-back did himself no favours with this performance either, appearing lightweight in physical situations. Bitton was only involved in two defensive duels, winning just one of them, while he missed the crucial delivery which led to a Hearts winner.

1 of 12

Guess the shirt numbers from Celtic's famous 2002/03 UEFA Cup side. Let's start with Mohammed Sylla...

Celtic’s defensive calamity made only one block and was dribbled past on one occasion. Those aren’t the worst numbers by any stretch of the imagination but, on a night where Postecoglou dropped Welsh, the youngster’s replacement did not deliver.

It was a strange decision from the Aussie to field Bitton, and after his mishap on Saturday evening, it would be a surprise if the manager made the same mistake twice. After all, he will have been left seething with the 29-year-old.

That said, this is Celtic Football Club; disaster appears to follow them regularly at the moment.

AND in other news, Forget Hjelde: Ange already has Celtic’s next Ajer in “fantastic” rarely-seen 18 y/o…

Article title: Nir Bitton lets Celtic down again in opening Premiership clash

Please leave feedback to help us improve the site: