FORMER Scotland international striker Billy Dodds created a bit of a stir when he left Fraser Forster out of his dream team, as CQN reported yesterday.
The media pundit, who spent four years at Ibrox after being bought from Dundee United by Dick Advocaat in 1999, preferred Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis to the on-loan Celtic star as his No.1 in his line-up, as published in the Daily Mail.
However, as CQN pointed out, the much-travelled forward, who also saw service at Chelsea, Partick Thistle, St Johnstone and the Dons, did select SIX Hoops stars in his eleven from heaven.
Here is what Dodds had to say about his top-rated Celts.
“I actually struggled with this position more than any other because there has not really been a consistent, stand-out performer in the league. Wee Frimpong gets it purely because he has made such an impact.
“There are a lot of steady full-backs out there, but Frimpong has been sensational at times. He is still young and has to learn to defend better, but, just through impact, he gets the nod.
“He was unheralded as a signing, but he has grabbed his chance and been really good when he has played.”
“It has to be Scott Brown. Going into the break, Celtic were under serious pressure from Rangers, but once again Brown rallied his team.
“He’s everything you want in a captain and I wouldn’t have expected anything else. Each year the question is asked – is he finished? He keeps coming back for more. In Europe, you would start to see if his legs have gone, but he has just loved it. He’s at 50 appearances again.
“I love watching him in the games where is not playing well. He’s still there rallying everyone else around him. When the team is toiling, he’s the catalyst.
“A manager might want to coach a solution, but sometimes you can’t beat onfield management.”
“You’d take him all day long. The fact he is never out of the Celtic team speaks for itself. He can play anywhere, he gets his team playing and he scores goals.
“Big questions were asked of Celtic coming out of the winter break, but he and Brown have been the two to really provide some answers. Rangers might have dropped away, but Celtic have been relentless and that’s down to those two setting the standards.
“McGregor isn’t soft by any means, but neither is he particularly aggressive. He just leads by example. No matter where he is on the pitch or how tight the space is, he’s always demanding the ball.”
“Celtic have always relied on their strikers for goals, but Christie’s goal ratio is incredible from that attacking midfield area and he also delivers assists.
“He was so thrilling to watch in those European games against Lazio and Rennes, too. It was all dynamism with added quality, he was just so desperate to do well on the big stage.
“Tom Rogic has quality, but does it at his own pace. Christie can be silky, too, but he is also energetic. He can play that slide-rule pass, but he does it at speed. I like that.”
“He used to frustrate Celtic supporters in terms of end product, but under Brendan Rodgers he went away and worked on it. In the last couple of seasons – wow.
“He gives you goals, assists and he is pretty consistent for a winger. I know there have been a couple of games where he hasn’t quite been at it, but those days are very rare now.
“He’s a bit like McGregor in that he just plays every week and is versatile. He will guarantee you a certain of amount of goals and assists every season.”
“For the full package, it’s got to be Edouard. He is skiful and sometimes centre-forwards like that are not the bravest. But Edouard is strong, he holds the ball up and he is quick.
“He is not the most aggressive, but he is never bullied and he uses his strength well. He also sees passes and then you add in the goals.
“I’ve worked with Leigh Griffiths, who was brought up as a lone striker and who you would describe as a selfish player. Yet since January, Leigh has been playing in a two and bought into the idea of a partnership, maybe for the first time.
“That’s all down to Edouard.”
For the record, Dodds’ dream team reads: Joe Lewis (Aberdeen); Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Jon Guthrie (Livingston) and Borna Barisc (Newco); Scott Brown and Callum McGregor (both Celtic); Martin Boyle (Hibs), Ryan Christie and James Forrest; Odsonne Edouard (all Celtic).