The criticism of Celtic centre-back pairing Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers has been too harsh, according to Frank McAvennie.
The ex-Hoops star claims Ange Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy has led to both players being exposed, but he is hoping that things will change as the season goes on:
“Everyone is having a go at Starfelt and Carter-Vickers. I’m not sure that’s fair. I’m thinking this is still a transitional period. For crying out loud, Starfelt is still learning how to be a centre back. This is one of the first times he’s played in the middle.”
“The other full-backs aren’t there which leaves them exposed. They get too high up and don’t come back. That’s the way the manager wants to play at the moment. It all comes back to the defence.”
McAvennie is right to point out that the tactics being employed by Postecoglou don’t really help the centre-backs in terms of protection. Combined with the fact that both Starfelt and Carter-Vickers are new signings and you are just asking for trouble.
It essentially means both are having to strike up an understanding with one another on the job, whilst being asked to defend in a manner they are not used to. It really is a baptism of fire for the pair, and we will see after the international break whether they are able to get through the initial difficulties or if it will all prove too much for them.