Monday, June 27, 2022

Celtic 2021-22 Season Review: Major Talking Points, Best Players And Key Moments

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Pratyay Maitra
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It’s been a disastrous European run for Celtic who first got eliminated from the Champions League qualifiers before failing to make it past the group stages of the Europa League. A third-place finish behind Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis saw them keeping their European hopes alive thanks to the inaugural campaign of the Europa Conference league, but the Hoops were humiliated by Bodø/Glimt thus failing to progress beyond the knockout round.

Despite the underwhelming show, Celtic’s season is a sheer success given the conundrum they had before Ange Postecoglou’s appointment. Rangers snatched the Premiership crown last term by staying unbeaten under Steven Gerrard, however, the Bhoys reclaimed the silverware with a four-point cushion overcoming early jitters. They also came from behind to conquer the League Cup defeating Hibernian in the Hampden final.

Celtic’s 2021-22 Season Review: Major Talking Points

The Hoops were in a complete mess when Neil Lennon was relieved from his duties towards the closure of the previous term. The talks with Eddie Howe failed to materialize after months of negotiation and the appointment of little-known Ange Postecoglou led to a frenzy of rage among the Parkhead faithful. They lost an array of high-profile names last summer, but the Aussie boss made the impossible possible with his philosophy, vision as well as smart transfer business over the past couple of windows.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and goalkeeper Joe Hart
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 14: Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and Joe Hart are with the Cinch Scottish premiership trophy seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park on May 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Postecoglou preferred those who fit in his free-flowing football over renowned stars, and therefore, brought in payers from J1 League where he spent around three-and-a-half years with Yokohama F. Marinos. The majority of new arrivals settled in quickly, also a few of their experienced names stepped up their game to secure a key status week in week out.

Although the Gers had the upper hand in the Old Firm clash during Gerrard’s regime, the Celts regained ground with successive derby wins following Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s appointment as the new Rangers boss. Having said that, a Scottish Cup semifinal defeat against the Light Blues refrained them from scripting a domestic treble.

Celtic’s Best Players Of The 2021-22 Campaign

Callum McGregor

McGregor succeeded Scott Brown as the new Celtic skipper. The midfield maestro had a colossal job amid the squad overhaul, but he led by example every time with his leadership traits and playmaking attribute. No wonder he scooped the PFA Player of the Year award.

Kyogo Furuhashi

A masterstroke from Postecoglou who used his contacts and reputation to rope in the Japanese ace. Odsonne Edouard’s exit left a massive void in the attacking third, but their summer recruit emulated the Frenchman’s impact while spearheading the Celtic attack. His second-half brace earned them the League Cup glory against Hibs.

Cameron Carter-Vickers

The pressure was immense on the USMNT international who joined on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Kristoffer Ajer left for Brentford, whereas Christopher Jullien was sidelined with a severe knee injury. Carter-Vickers made an immediate impact in the heart of the backline and his headstrong defending against Rangers proved decisive in the Premiership race.

Filipe Jota

The on-loan winger from Benfica replaced veteran James Forrest down the wide. He made 40 appearances across competitions and registered 13 goals as well as 14 assists exhibiting his creative spark in the attacking third.

Key Moments

Celtic lost the first Old Firm derby but clinched successive wins in the next two meetings. Those six points made all the difference in a close title fight.

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