CELTIC’S legends have opened fire on Dedryck Boyata and his non-appearance when the club needed him in Athens last night.
Brendan Rodgers was struggling with his central defence and was forced to play inexperienced 23-year-old Jack Hendry against AEK in the crucial Champions League qualifier.
Kristoffer Ajer was suspended after a booking in the 1-1 draw in the first leg at Parkhead that tipped him over the penalty point.
Marvin Compper was unavailable through injury and Boyata would have almost certainly been in position against the Greeks.
Instead, a mystery back injury kept him in Glasgow although Rodgers made it perfectly clear the player was fit and should have been in the Greek capital to help his team-mates get the required result to get them into the play-off stages of Europe’s premier tournament.
Unfortunately, Celtic gifted AEK two goals to collapse 3-2 on aggregate and topple into the Europa League.
Here are how three Hoops icons view the Boyata situation:
“Boyata has let down Brendan Rodgers. I think he’s a disgrace.
“Big Jock Stein said Celtic jerseys are not for second best, they do not shrink to fit inferior players.
“There is now way back for Boyata now. They shouldn’t let him back in the building.
“Punt him, get him out of the club.”
“It’s really sad to see. When you’re a footballer you like to play for a club like Celtic, you like to perform at the highest level.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, if you do it here, you can do it somewhere else, it goes without saying.
“At the end of the day, you spend every day in the dressing room with these boys.
“You owe it to the team. It’s a big moment for the club.
“If I’m a team-mate and you do something like that, I’m sorry I don’t want you in the team.”
“He’s gone to the World Cup, Celtic have tried to tie him down on a long-term contract, he did well with Belgium, has come back and his head’s been turned.
“His manager’s confirmed he’s fit and he should be in the travelling party.”
The Welshman also took time out to give his view on the reaction of others to the Hoops.
He said: “There are just so many Celtic haters out there, it’s unbelievable.
“What happens is – you’re serial winners and you’ve won a double treble, you’ve competed in the Champions League group stages for two years, there’s 60,000 people at the stadium every single week, there’s not a spare seat in the house and Brendan Rodgers has done a remarkable job.
“Yes, Rodgers is frustrated because he’s not been able to sign the players he wanted. But crisis? Come on, do me a favour.
“People just love to knock winners, don’t they?”