How did we do at the San Siro?


Craig Gordon
I think we all have a desire to be generous to Craig for a couple of reasons: as Ronny said, without him, we would not have gotten through the group stage, and we are due him some support after he spoiled his copy in the first leg.  He returned to form last night, made several fine saves, but we would expect him to make all of them.

He also contributed a truly exceptional save from an offside attempt.

Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre
Neither full back was as productive in the final third as they were a week ago, but that would have been a consequence of a different game plan, and the numerical disadvantage.  There is a tendency to criticise our full backs, especially Izzie, for bombing forward and leaving gaps at the back, but this is their role in the team.  It’s up to someone else to provide cover.  We’re as strong at full back as I’ve known us.

Virgil van Dijk, Jason Denayer and Efe Ambrose
For two want-away players, this tie was a big stage.  Virgil didn’t give a good account of himself.  The first booking last night was incorrect.  He stopped the player but played the ball and his challenge was never dangerous.  Scouts watching his second yellow will have recorded that he made a very bad decision which ultimately cost his team.  The referee had a nightmare, but the second yellow was a correct decision.

Jason and Efe played well.  There was one moment Efe failed to follow a player in the box but Craig Gordon saved.  Jason was comfortable throughout.  If he wants a morality tale on what could happen if he returns to Manchester City, he should look no further than his team-mate up front.

Nir Bitton
The scouts who were there to watch Virgil would have left with a notebook full of comments about Nir Bitton.  At Murrayfield against Legia, Nir was part of a midfield which included Mulgrew, McGregor and Johansen.  It was an abject team performance and the Israeli bore much of the brunt of criticism.

Here’s the thing: I’m beginning to think he’s our best player.  He could have played in any of the Champions League games I’ve watched this week, Sign him up, Peter.

Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Stefan Johansen
A major reason last season’s European campaign was such a write-off was the absence of Scott Brown following his rush-of-blood red card and three game suspension.  We need players with the ability and engine of Scott and Stefan, both must be a nightmare to play against.

Stuart Armstrong looks like he has been playing in this Celtic team for years.  He’s fitted in very well and already looks like an automatic choice.  Wait to see what he’s like after 6 months.

Gary Mackay-Stevens
I couldn’t believe the innate criticism of Ronny after the game on BT Sport for subbing Gary, who was our best player until that point, after the red card.  When you are early in the game, away from home in the San Siro, it is a perfectly acceptable tactic to sacrifice a wide player (Gary was our only out-and-out wide player) for a defender or covering midfielder.

We didn’t win the game, but anyone who asserts that we would have won the game by leaving a wide player on in place of a covering midfielder or defender, is stretching credulity.  The tactics chosen kept the game alive until the 88th minute, albeit the break required didn’t materialise.

When he was on the field, Gary won the ball in a central position, ripped 60 yards through Inter, before finding a team-mate.  He looked to be revelling in the space and opportunity given to him.

John Guidetti, James Forrest, Chris Commons
This was a hard shift for all three.  John could have had a penalty but thereafter found himself on his bum too often.  He is a player who has not progressed as hoped under Ronny, yet, and has a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season.

James has not returned to his blistering performances from a couple of years ago, when he was clearly our M.V.P.  As his limbs mature his speed and injury record could go either way.  He’ll be with us for another few years, so Celtic have time to build resilience into those leg muscles and nerves.

Kris came on with 13 minutes left and used his unerring goal-sonar to squeeze an attempt out of the meagre provisions he had.  He also appears to have updated the referee on what an incompetent clown he is at the end of the game.

This was the first of seven European away games we failed to score in this season, but the reasons we’re out of Europe all lie in what happened last week.  You cannot make goalkeeping and defensive mistakes like that and remain in Europe, nor can you pass up so many clear-cut chances.

Don’t know where to start on the flare last night. I fear the next decision from Uefa will be more than a fine.

Thanks to everyone who donated to our Mary’s Meals school kitchen appeal yesterday while entering the ticket competition.  The winner was informed by email a few moments ago, so check your inbox.

If you need tickets for the CQN St Patrick’s Dinner, with a Q&A with Packy Bonner, Joe Miller, Tommy Coyne and Tom Boyd, Archie Macpherson speaking about Jock Stein, and music from Patricia Ferns, let me know, celticquicknews@gmail.com

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  1. Proud of the team last night, and also the fans, despite the inevitable flaregate.



    I’m genuinely looking forward to the next transfer window, as with the quality and youthfulness purchased so far, next season in Europe could be really good for us, with the addition of a good hungry striker and defence being tightened up.



    Now onwards with the battle for the treble.




  2. Posted this just after Paul put the new story up



    Ronnie giving press conference now..



    25 seconds ago


    RD: “I hope every Celtic fan comes to the stadium. It’s hard to get better than what we had against Inter but I hope.”





    Celtic Football Club‏@celticfc·57s57 seconds ago


    RD: “I can see that for the country it’s important to have excitement in the league but I’d rather stay top, alone and comfortable.”





    Celtic Football Club‏@celticfc·1m1 minute ago


    RD: “Aberdeen has to win, maybe a draw, to stay in the fight for the championship. If we win then we’re in a very good position.”





    Celtic Football Club‏@celticfc·2m2 minutes ago


    RD on Sunday’s game against @AberdeenFC : “It is the most important game we have this season. If we win it’ll be very hard to reach us.”



    4m 4 minutes ago



    RD: “Over a season you get something and you get something against you. We have bad days and refs have bad days.”0 replies2 retweets2 favorites



    Celtic Football Club@celticfc · 5m 5 minutes ago



    RD: “I know what I saw last night and I know the performance. We hardly conceded a chance when it was 11 against 11.”0 replies2 retweets2 favorites




    Celtic Football Club@celticfc · 5m 5 minutes ago



    RD: “I’m a coach that likes to work with development and see progress. The players here are young and I’m optimistic for the future.”0 replies4 retweets7 favorites



    Celtic Football Club@celticfc · 6m 6 minutes ago



    RD: “We have to know why we have got better and do it more. If we do that we will be even better.”0 replies3 retweets2 favorites 



    Celtic Football Club@celticfc · 6m 6 minutes ago



    RD on last night’s defeat to @Inter : “I’m proud of the boys. We showed we have really improved but this is just the start.” (MD)



    RD: “We have to know why we have got better and do it more. If we do that we will be even better.”0 replies3 retweets2 favorites



    Celtic Football Club@celticfc · 8m 8 minutes ago



    RD on last night’s defeat to @Inter : “I’m proud of the boys. We showed we have really improved but this is just the start.” (MD)

  3. Wolfsburg are second in Bundesliga 8 pts behind Bayern and 10 pts clear of 3rd.



    They will be strong favourites to beat Inter and also to lift the Europa League. Would have been another great tie for us and a while since we played a German team in ko rounds. Next season !



    Need to make sure we are right for Sunday, both physically and mentally. May be sluggish in the first half so hope Ronny picks an 11 who are focussed and ready.



    Would imagine the 4-2 will take care of itself but the 3-1 will be vital. Think Johansen will start (doesn’t do tiredness) and KC may well start as will GMS who only played 35 mins last night.If SA has the energy he should be ok and if Leigh is fit he will be raring to go.



    First half lethargy may be our enemy so a big vocal drowd plus the players’ frustration may be enough for a win.



    Then on to St J at CP on Wednesday – 6 points from those 2 games should set up the SPFL title for us. HH

  4. Tin helmet on.


    The flare may see Celtic getting heavily fined or worse.


    In my opinion, Celtic should ban away fans from travelling to away European games, some so called fans simply cannot be trusted, sad but true.


    Pre-empt whatever punishment UEFA will come up with and possibly lessen the sanctions by banning travelling fans.


    They say 16k away fans were at the San Siro, how many of them go to all home games? Personally I think a fair few Euro away fans go for the bevvy and a few days away from home, my message to them, book yourselves a wee trip to somewhere where Celtic are not playing and don’t come back.

  5. RD: “I hope every Celtic fan comes to the stadium. It’s hard to get better than what we had against Inter but I hope.”



    I would urge everyone who can. If you have enjoyed the football we are playing get along on Sunday . It is a massive game. The website still has tickets






  6. Paul and Moonbeams WD (from last article)….



    We needed to be pretty well perfect to have eliminated Inter. We weren’t. So the outcome is no surprise.



    We couldn’t afford Craig Gordon’s mistakes at Celtic Park. We couldn’t afford VVD’s errant decision making in Milan.



    Taken together, these mistakes contributed to us losing by the odd goal in 7.



    It may be churlish to say, but I was also disappointed by us rushing things too much in the first half hour last night. We needed a wee bit of calm possession, rather than winning the ball and running 30 yards with it.



    All of that being said, we came close, and there is much to be hopeful about. While I hope there is a plan being hatched to ensure we have a centre back pairing in place for mid-July…..the real focus now has to be on the next game….and that must be our mantra until the end of the season.



    You don’t have to be paranoid to imagine that, should Aberdeen win on Sunday, they will drop very few points in their effort to achieve something that other clubs will see as being ‘good for Scottish football’.



    PS, anyone else think that the outcome of the Feyenoord v Roma game was decided by suits at half time? I watched this game. Feyenoord fans were awful. Ref gave a straight red to a Feyenoord player for something that was no more than a booking. Feyenoord went out. Uefa will be relieved.



    Football IS fixed, I fear….

  7. Paul67



    The Inter defender too made a bad decision, finding himself wrong side of Armstrong, and pushing him to knock him off balance, thus denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, which should have resulted in a penalty and a red.



    I’d’ve fancied us 1 up against that Inter side down to 10 men to qualify alright.



    Our comeback from 0-2 at home kept the tie very much alive, mistakes, missed chances or not.



    So the ref’s cheating last night should not be disregarded so easily in its contribution to our exiting the tournament.

  8. Surely in this day and age the clown with the flare can be easily identified .


    Tell UEFA to send the invoice for the fine direct to him/them.

  9. Paul



    Not wanting to get into wharaboutery but will be interesting to see if UEFA make any comments about the truly impressive pyro display from the inter fans. Our tubes looked like amateurs I am afraid.

  10. Real positives from last night, really think the teams fitness has been on full display over the 2 Inter games, particularly last night.


    I admit I had my doubt about RD but really starting to see what his plans are, and a young team taking shape before our eyes.


    I’ll be flying back for the League Cup Final but unfortunatley due to the work i’ll have to fly back on the night of CQN11 so will miss the festivities.


    If there are any plans for a few beers before the Cup Final i’d love to pop in and put some faces to names.


    Anyhoo onwards to Sunday and roasting the sheep HH

  11. traditionalist88 on

    benjybhoy mul



    Where did you get 16k away fans?! Off the top of your head?


    Even if there were, are they all guilty because one moron had a flare? Or because they had a few beers they are in some way culpable too?!



    ‘Personally I think a fair few Euro away fans go for the bevvy and a few days away from home’



    Are travelling fans supposed to go and be despondent that they are away from home?!



    You are a strange one. Travelling people enjoy a few days away from home SHOCKER!!



    If there is a heavy punishment eg. closing of stands we have to fight it becuase there is not much else we can do to stop an idiot with a flare – tickets change hands in pubs too and on the street. Other thank having full blown ID checks there is little else the clubs can do.


    BEATBHOY 1124. previous



    First-congrats on the Gold!



    Your Dad sounds like mine,bud. Early 80s we gave him pelters for his jinxing abilities whenever he turned up.



    Much of the problem was down to working shifts so he had to pick his games. He always picked the wrong ones!



    He was such a happy bunny when he finally got one right. Aye,like your own Dad,Rapid Vienna. Not just a victory but a performance and qualification!!!!!



    Guess who organised the trip to Manchester for four?…..




    (In fairness,a pit stop in Annan wi a nice wee bet paid for most of it-and who knew that The Farmers Arms in Thornhill masqueraded as Whiskyworld?)



    Great dayoooot,and I’m still grateful,Dad. But ffs…





    I caught that earlier,how anyone can see white and gold beats me.



    Totally puzzled.

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Sorry Paul, but I think James has issues beyond his leg muscles. I just don’t think he has improved as a player in the past three years and his attitude is certainly no better. Just doesn’t strike me as a Ronny-type player.





    Always good to hear from you,mate. I reckon you have a challenger in AN TEARMANN. Love to see how you measure up against each other!



    Confused by your post though. CQN 11 is,I think,two days before the LC Final.



    March 13/15.

  16. BMCUW



    It was unbelievable, mate.



    He went to the 6-1 v Hibs final.



    Turned back at the gates due to arriving late and there being a real crush to get in.



    Wee 9 year old brother with us.



    Turned away just as Big Billy scored the first!



    Just the 3 months I didn’t speak to him.

  17. ray winstone’s big disembodied heid



    12:36 on 27 February, 2015





    I prefer hun bassa or monkey hun.









    Did anybody else notice that no footage was shown of our penalty claims on the final round up last night on Bt?



    No microphones will be placed at the hun end tonight either.



    Ach, the chip on my shoulder is getting bigger!



    Better than having a hump though.

  18. Morning Bobby i’ll be leaving BDA on the Friday night the 13th straight after work arriving back in the UK Sat morning so i’m home for the Final on the Sunday.


    Means i’ll miss the knees up but not the lifting the cup up!


    I’m willing to take thwe challenge on tallest CQN’er

  19. Tactical question.



    Why do our full backs push so far infield when the opposition have the ball.



    I hate it. Cedes easy space and possession into dangerous areas. It’s like a day oot at the panto for my son cos I spend my whole time shouting ‘he’s behind you Efe!!!’



    Really noticeable if you’re at the game itself. At CP I’ve seen AM and Efe so far infield they’re getting close to Central defence.



    I assume given that both ghuys (and izzie) do it that it’s design rather than accident?



    Even more needless and (for me!) unfathomable when it happens domestically where VVD and JD are usually dealing with a lone striker.



    Go on. Help me out here……



    HH jamesgang

  20. We have a young squad, with, I believe, two, or, three, on the verge of joining it from the development squad. Now, 2015, is the time to ‘grasp the nettle’ and build for the future.



    June 2015




    Ronny will ‘cut loose’ the surplus – i.e. Baldie, Derk, McGeoch, Rogic, Pukki, Tonev and Wakaso.



    Decisions will be made on the retention, or, otherwise, of VVD, Denayer and Guidetti.



    If they all go, which is more likely than not, it would be TEN out of an effective first-team squad of TWENTY SEVEN, leaving us short, at SEVENTEEN.



    So, what do we need? – two new centre-backs – left back cover – new striker, MUST be brought in quickly – Fridjonsson should also be drafted into the squad and given his chance. He is something different that we don’t have, assuming he progresses.



    OK, there we have our TWENTY TWO – Herron, McMullan, Duffy and Lindsay could be added ‘from the ranks’, giving us a tight pool, with everyone able to contribute.



    Ronny’s methods will be settled and accepted as normal in his second season and it will be exciting to watch the progress.



    This model may even allow a ‘marquee’ signing to be added – suggested names on a postcard to….



    Now back to the present – Aberdeen will be soundly beaten, as will Dundee Utd, on all three occasions – the TREBLE is ours for the taking – I can’t see us (Ronny) failing – HH

  21. mctall



    No offense mhate but if you’re bugger than an tearmann then I’m not sure I want to me you.



    I’m 6’4” but he leaves me feeling like a Pygmy!



    HH jamesgang

  22. I love that my earlier hopes of RD are being realised.



    We may well mourn his departure to a more lucrative league set up in a couple of years time.



    Ibid Bitton



    So I got 2 right.



    Berget. Less so. Before TBB pulls me up!!!!



    HH jamesgang

  23. Well I’m not even gonna mention the ref , We have seen it all before . What I will mention is the fact that under Ronny D we are seeing a team on the up . As yet we are not the finished article , but we are getting there . But as previously stated celtic will need to replace the centre of defence , (. Which Imho is a blow ) the reason being that instead of getting in replacements for the positions we could improve on , the club will need to start looking for 2 central defenders first , which I would imagine will eat up the budget , but other improvements are required , and would be welcome IMHO .

  24. !!Bada Bing!!



    I said last night, that now that Forrest is fit, we should punt him.



    He’s made of glass, and I have never found him to be consistently effective.



    Last night effort proved the point.



    Take the money now, and invest elsewhere.




  25. Sectarianism is used in Scotland in a n effort to say both sides are the same and to avoid the question of racism against irish and catholics. It has ever been thus.



    The desperation to attack the celtic support goes on unabated and unquestioned by the club.



    Laws are passed to criminalise the celtic support.



    Scotland. Institutionally racist.

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