Celtic have made a mixed start to their season. There have been plenty of signs that the future might be bright for the club under the management of Ange Postecoglou. But, then are also plenty of areas that they need to work on before they can be considered as genuine contenders for the Scottish Premiership once again.
One of them is getting the balance right in the middle of the park. Often in the past, when Celtic have struggled against the big sides, it has been because the opposition has gotten the better of their midfield.
One of the biggest reasons for that is the absence of a reliable defensive midfielder right now. Ismaila Soro played some pretty good football when he broke into the first-team picture last season but has failed to carry on with that early form. On the other hand, James McCarthy, who came in this summer as a free agent, has struggled to remain fit.
Frank McAvennie believes that McCarthy is a big problem because of his fitness problems although he is a very important part of this team. While speaking with Football Insider, the former Celtic star said:
“He’s a big problem.
“He is the one Celtic wanted to come in and sit in the middle. That’s an important part of that side.
“It’s not happening because he’s not fit enough. He’s getting more injuries because he’s not fit enough when he does play.
“I don’t know what the situation is, I like him. Turnbull and Rogic are great going forward.
“So we need someone to sit in the midfield and win tackles. That’s what he’s for and he is a good player.
“I don’t think there is anyone else at Celtic who can do that, so we need to be careful with him.”
McCarthy’s fitness problems have certainly been a worry for Celtic
After being linked with a move to Celtic for years, the club finally managed to sign McCarthy this summer as a free agent.
The midfielder has had his fair share of fitness issues over the past few years though and it was a bit of a surprise when he was handed a four-year deal by the Hoops. At 30 years of age and with his injury history, not many would have expected that.
Since coming in, McCarthy has struggled to get a run of games in the first-team as he has struggled with his fitness. It is clear that he is an important member of this team though and one that they will need to remain fit and in form moving forward.
This article was originally posted here