Cameron Carter Vickers is Celtic rock to Ange Postecoglou’s electrifying attack and has been Scotland’s best – Chris Sutton – Chris Sutton


Cameron Carter-Vickers has been Scotland’s Player of the Year.

When Celtic run out against Hearts on Saturday, the home side will be led by Callum McGregor, who was the recipient of the PFA Scotland award.

The visitors will be headed onto the park by Craig Gordon, who got the vote from the SFWA.

Both have been outstanding this season. Both have made major contributions to the successful seasons of their respective clubs.

But I have not seen anyone around the country who has played a more important role in the fortunes of their team than Carter-Vickers.

From the moment he arrived at Parkhead just a few minutes before the close of last summer’s transfer window from Spurs, he has been terrific.

Carter-Vickers has grown into his role week on week to such an extent that, if his name is missing from a team sheet, it would cause the fans as much panic as the removal of anyone else within the entire squad. That’s a sign of his importance to him.



Cameron Carter Vickers

Of course, this is a game all about opinions and I wouldn’t quibble too much with the professionals who handed their accolade to McGregor.

Given what he has done this season, you have to take your hat off to him.

McGregor grew up with success at Celtic being part of the Quadruple Treble gang, but it has been his response in adversity which has really shone through.

It’s easy to look the part when everything is going well and you are sailing along.

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But McGregor had to go through plenty last season. As vice-captain last term, I lost count of the amount of times he stood in front of a camera and spoke with clarity and honesty about the problems and the issues that were around Celtic.

It was natural that when Scott Brown left, he was going to step up into the role and it was a mighty task.

The guy walked straight out of Scotland’s Euro 2020 camp having scored in the last game against Croatia and onto a training pitch to meet a new manager and start a pre-season in Wales when the club were in complete disarray.




Postecoglou needed McGregor. He needed that senior voice to drag the rest along because any new manager will tell you that, if the senior players don’t buy into what you are doing, you are shot.

McGregor did it. I have led by example. It’s one thing to talk about a good game, but it’s another to be the figurehead with your play.

It didn’t start well for Postecoglou, but McGregor continued to speak properly. To do the right things, to keep preaching the mantra.

To stick with the process and, not only believe in it, but to make the rest of the boys in the dressing room believe in it as well.

McGregor’s performances have been out of the top drawer. Everyone knows his skills and his ability on the ball, but the way he can make an entire game tick is superb.

Some of the displays, such as on one wet day in Motherwell last October, were simply sensational.

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In big moments, you need your skipper to step forward and for him to go out and lead the troops with a broken cheekbone against Rangers wearing a protective mask and yet still set the tempo in the biggest game spoke volumes for him.

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A couple of months later at Ibrox, he took another by the scruff of the neck after Celtic had made a nervous and dodgy start and trailed to Rangers.

He bulldozed his way into the home box and set up an equalizer for Tom Rogic and the title was destined for Parkhead from that exact point.

McGregor has been outstanding, but the thing is, you sort of knew he would be because that’s the standards he has set.

Celtic’s defence, however, had set a very different set of standards during last season. The constant concession of dismal goals did for Neil Lennon.

Postecoglou could instill as many exciting players and signings with as much attacking intent as he wanted, but if the backline was going to keep giving things away, it would be work wasted.

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Carter-Vickers stepped up to the mark. Give Celtic a dominant presence. And a calming influence.

I’m not going to sit here and say he didn’t get exposed at times in Europe, but so did the whole team and they will get better.

Domestically, though, Carter-Vickers has shone. He has lifted the levels of the likes of Carl Starfelt and gelled together a new backline.

Postecoglou has had outstanding contributors. The attacking side of the game has been electric at times and boys like Jota, Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada and Giorgis Giakoumakis have been brilliant in their first seasons at the club.

Joe Hart has proven many wrong, including myself. I wasn’t sure he could hit the heights again, but he has done so in style and is in a different league to the likes of Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain and Conor Hazard, who were the previous custodians.

But Carter-Vickers has been a shield in front of him. He has always been available to his manager. He has rarely missed a match and that robust nature is vitally important for a centre-back.

Teams have to know they have a rock they can depend on week after week to give them the platform for them to have success.

Carter-Vickers has been that guy. For that reason, he is my Player of the Year.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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