‘I don’t get it.’

For the second team announcement running, Celtic fans have huffed and puffed in disbelief at Nir Bitton's inclusion.

It could be perceived as easy to sit here and say that with the comfort of hindsight, given yet another dismal performance – but such a response is not reactionary. Fans no longer need to ‘wait and see’ or ‘give him tonight’ to validate their exasperation – we know the score.

The latest two instalments in the catalogue of calamities unfolded last night.

Static, flat-footed, staring into space – all an understatement in describing his positioning for the first Jablonec goal. Labelling the attempt to stop the second goal fall over the line as lacking decisiveness is to underplay the actions taken. The narrative is all too familiar.

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The Israeli was sent off against FC Midtjylland following a needless and, frankly, stupid altercation with Anders Dreyer. If a youngster in a Sunday league team reacted the way Bitton did to the forward’s simulation, they’d receive pelters.

If fans didn’t already have a reason to sigh at his inclusion in yet another Champions League qualifier, they certainly did so after that. For many players, such an act would halt their run in the side, never mind a player already acting as a square peg in a round hole.

But no, following the return leg, the defensive midfielder walked right back into the position of centre-back against Hearts and kept it against Jablonec.

Watching on? 21-year-old Stephen Welsh.

It's rather bewildering. The Celtic faithful will be collectively scrambling to try to piece together why Welsh is not partnering Carl Starfelt.

Perhaps the youngster is carrying an injury. To that, I ask: why is he even making the bench?

The worry is that Ange Postecoglou simply prefers Bitton.

Whether it be his height (he was outjumped in the 91st minute and, if it wasn’t for Joe Hart’s save, it probably would’ve led to another goal), the system or his experience - I don't see him truly excelling in any aspect.

It would be remiss to ignore the key element where the Israeli does have strength - in his distribution from the back. Given Celtic's dominance in the majority of games and Ange's philosophy is to build through the thirds you can see why having a defensive midfielder step back might be appealing. No less of an operator than Pep Guardiola has done the same with the likes of Fernandinho and Javier Mascherano. But, even relatively, Bitton isn't in their league when it comes to sniffing out defensive danger. 

The emergence of Welsh was one of very few ‘positives’ from the last campaign. With Christopher Jullien still to return from injury, many saw the talented youngster as the starting centre-back alongside a new addition. Starfelt has filled that void, but Welsh is only watching on.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou strikes the right notes on the park but the board continue to be out of touch with the supporters - Tony Haggerty

It begs the question: what does Bitton offer that Welsh doesn’t?

I've mentioned Bitton's ability to play out but Welsh is no slouch in that department either and looks comfortable with the ball at his feet.

A stronger case should need to be provided when an out-of-position player gets the nod ahead of someone who is a natural in a role.

It is an all too familiar story at Parkhead, though.

One doesn’t need to cast their mind back too far to remind themselves of Ryan Christie leading the line against Ferencvaros ahead of Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala. And the less said the better when it comes to Callum McGregor being deployed at left-back ahead of Boli Bolingoli. Cluj. Ibrox. Yikes.

Nothing to do with Ange, but baffling in every sense of the word. You are left doing that all-too-familiar half-smile and head-shake in confusion, with an eye roll for good measure.

What must be going through the mind of Welsh? He has yet to really put a foot wrong. Undeniably he could’ve done better in a few situations, but there have been no glaring mishaps. The same cannot be said for his competition.

These huffs and puffs have been audible for the best part of eight years. We all remember Bitton’s second outing in Europe against Ajax, for all that it lasted. Eight years on from that night and errors are still occurring on the European stage.

This is a rebuild and we have to invest in Ange. Such a task is made challenging when decisions, such as this, are still being made.