Celtic's defence letting the team down

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The Scottish Premier League - usually one of the most one-sided leagues in Europe, so much so that there has been talk for years now about a possible switch to the English leagues.

Given Celtic's unrivalled dominance in recent years since Rangers' liquidation, surely we can't rule out potentially seeing the Hoops on Match of the Day or at least the football league show in the future.

However, this season so far is doing little to support the legitimacy of these rumours - after all, Celtic haven't exactly been at their unbeatable best.


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Instead, Derek McInnes' Aberdeen have been the pace setters, winning an astounding seven out of their opening eight games, including a storming 2-1 win against Celtic at Pittodrie.

The Dons have so far been the real deal this season, cruising past almost every team in their path - with Celtic failing to impress both domestically and in Europe.

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What are the reasons for this exactly? You can boil them down to a number of things; lack of serious quality, Aberdeen's rise or even the loss of revenue from the absence of the old firm.

One major theory behind Celtic's loss of power is the failure to replace a dominating defence. Look at last season, Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer were one of their main vocal points for title success.

Now, with van Dijk plying his trade at St Mary's and Denayer returning to his parent club - the Hoops are weaker and open to be exploited.

The main criticism in this tale is Celtic's utter failure to adequately replace them, instead, they brung Efe Ambrose off the bench where he remained most of last season so surprisingly thought he was a suitable replacement along with new signing, Dedryck Boyata.

A classic example of Celtic's need for more quality in defence was summed by Fenerbahce's undeserved equaliser last night in the Europa League.

Efe Ambrose was left facing a bouncing ball where he made the poor decision to head it back to Craig Gordon, Viana de Santana took full advantage and levelled the scores.

In this instant, you had to feel the Scottish champions, after being dominant a needless mistake gifted the visitors a crucial equaliser - this lifting their tails up and making them much more difficult.

This game isn't the only instant of weak defending either, Celtic have been hit hard by criticism of their back line all season, especially against Malmo in their Champions League qualifier.


These amateur, and ultimately poor defensive showings have been Celtic's downfall so far this year, despite the form of Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths.

It could be Boyata and Ambrose need time to gel, or the ever-changing Celtic back four has just let go all of its quality over the years. Either way, the Hoops need a chance and fast or possibly lose out on the title for the first time in years.

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