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. jamesgang



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



    How so? Do you seriously think this team is an improvement on Lennon’s Celtic, even the 2013/14 vintage?

  2. Hun; “a tribe who have rampaged and ravished Europe over the centuries”



    Whats their problem?



    No one is sectarian by calling them Huns, including the Sheep and Arabs, who undoubtedly are also clubs of inclusive religions/ ethnic backgrounds etc.etc…

  3. mullet and co 2 on

    I’m really pleased for Ronny Deila that things are working out. The doubters are back in their shells and some are eating humble pie already.


    Ronny is a Celtic Manager. It’s a bit like defining Celtic minded but you know what I mean.


    I see less of the Ronny is this or he’s that style comments that are founded on the back of his coming from Norway and lack of knowledge of him.


    This will be a memorable season even if we don’t complete the treble. The standard of football is immeasurably better.


    Statistically I thought that Ronny was 2 games away from the sack in October. The Celtic board could not have taken a risk in him losing 6 points around about that time. He changed the style to be more pragmatic and then brought in slow change. Killie away saw the fruits of what he had been working on but the signs were there even in defeat at Tannadice.


    Aberdeen going down to a few goals in a high tempo performance on Sunday would put some more food on the table for the believers in Ronnys new dawn. I hope he gets the players HE wants in the summer and we see Celtic at the top table again in Europe.

  4. Craigellachie10 on

    On a lighter note my highlights of the game last night sitting among the inter fans were firstly getting to see one of our heroes in a bumble bee strip arms aloft among the inter flag display on the tier below the celtic support. And secondly hearing a real life Italian exclaim ‘Mamma Mia’ as CG made yet another save :)

  5. I’d disagree that Forrest will be with us for another few years (unfortunately), I think he’ll be one of the former first picks who could be moved on, Stokes & Mulgrew being the others.

  6. mullet and co 2 on

    Up over goal, this team is a vast improvement on any team since Larsson left.


    The football is tremendous and is getting results. The team are on an upward curve with no reliance on ageing over paid players. A centre back or two and a striker would make me believe we could push on past previous boundaries in the next year or two.


    How long we get with Ronny will come front and centre before that though.

  7. benjybhoy mul



    12:37 on 27 February, 2015



    When I go to the away european games the actual game is the worst part of the trip, I like being away from the hassle of life and work commitments for a few days having a good drink and partying with the bhoys. I also have a ST and go to away games should I not bother coming back ????

  8. mullet and co 2



    Up over goal, this team is a vast improvement on any team since Larsson left.



    That statement is bonkers.



    This is a team who have one 4 in 15 in Europe (2 of those against Icelandic diddies). Never mind pushing on ‘past previous boundaries’, let’s try getting back to where we were before.

  9. Paul67,



    Glad to see you are coming to the idea that Nir Bitton is our best player. Couldn’t agree more; look too at the improvement in our captain and Johansen since he has held down a place in the team.



    I agree too with much of your assessment of the players but it wasn’t so much our performance at Celtic Park that defeated us as the influence of the ref. He cheated us badly last night. That neither he nor UEFA has to answer for such goings-on (and I’m sure it is not just us who suffer such treatment) really angers me. It is corruption, pure and simple. We rail against it here in Scotland, yet it is worse in Europe.



    By the way, I’m a black and blue man (with regard to THAT dress). Don’t know what that says about me.

  10. jamesgang –



    regarding the positioning of our full backs, perhaps they’re instruction is to tease the other team with the space left so that they go down the sides and cross in to our 2 giant centre backs to clear as opposed to running straight at us. Perhaps.

  11. Craigellachie10 on

    Agree about the game at least being the least enjoyable part! Seldom felt more nerves than last night, genuinely felt we could something until the sending off. Then disappointment followed by pride in the players left on, hope returned with 15 to go only to be shattered. But great day overall, now recuperating with a beer overlooking Lake Como.

  12. mullet and co 2 on



    Agreed on Biton. He plays as though he is the only calm guy in an earthquake. I didn’t think he had that game in him but it has been consistent for a number of weeks. There looks to be more to come as well.


    More pressing from me would be getting Ronny on a better deal.

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Charlie will find it difficult to get back into CM, but if Virgil and/or Jason move on he might get another chance at the back.

  14. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    This present Celtic team is nowhere near as good as WGS AC Milan beating team or Lenny’s Barca beating team. More entertaining, possibly yes but if we were playing a CL team last night we would get our arses felt. Playing in the juniors ensures trainee officials.



    So if last week we witnessed the most profound improvement in 50 years and I am quoting Paul67 but thus week we are now out due to the mistakes we made last week….and they were plenty ….is this an admission from Paul67 …how shite we really are.



    We are an improving team. We were so abjectly poor that it would not be difficult. We are young and naieve and I have to say the punditry last night on BT I agreed with. Especially Ronny. The substitutions were bizarre.



    I think the use of flares by Celtic ultras is now a personal thing against PL. Hardly surprising. The club getting fined continually a days worth of PL wage cannot continue.



    If only our great young team had a couple of proven experienced quality players we might even qualify for the CL.




  15. mullet and co 2 on

    Glass two thirds, Charlie was always a better centre half than any of his other positions. Slow on the turn but the new coaches could get more from him. He would be a useful no cost option should we again miss the point of signing players in time for champions league qualification.


    When Virgil goes and If Jason returns South it could be Charlie and an other. I am sure Ronny and John Collins have someone in mind.

  16. glendalystonsils on

    Paul 67 makes a very valid point. Gutted as I am at the way things turned out last night, the tie was lost at CP. We could and should have taken a 2 goal lead over there which would have seen us through.


    On the subject of flares, if our penalty this time is more than a fine, we need to take serious action against these clowns. If the definition of a Celtic supporter is someone who would never knowingly harm the team they profess to love, then these people are not Celtic supporters. They are worse than the most loathsome of our enemies.

  17. mullet and co 2 on

    Awe Naw,


    Gordon Strachans side had a ceiling for improvement. They were players asked to perform to their capabilities in a rigid formation.


    This side as yet have no known constraints. We are reaching the tipping point now of believing we can play to beat any team by attacking them. Strachan and Lennon played rope a dope.

  18. Another Euro game, another wee dick with a flare to draw the media attention and bring down crushing penalites on Celtic.



    Clear the way for the afternoon of hand-wringers telling us he’s no a bad bhoy, just misunderstood and shame on me for calling one of our ‘fellow Celtic fans’ a wee dick.



    And on it goes, Green Hun mentality to cover the arse of a pyromaniac who’s doing more damage to the club with his fetish than any rabid Orange bastard Hun could ever wish for.



    Let me sit here with my jaw open, tongue lolling out, eyes half shut and absorb all the forthcoming reasons why it’s all big bad UEFA’s fault, and the whataboutery, while Celtic are teed up in Switzerland for another hammering by gleeful beaks who think we’re now becoming the equivalent of finding money in the street.



    For sound effects ad an ‘Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh….’

  19. Interesting match summary – I agree with some disagree with a few.



    Main couple of points.





    I think Efe proved beyond the no remaining shadow of doubt he is a shockingly poor defender.


    His concentration and awareness for a centre half is terrible.


    His attempted block for their goal woeful as he protected his vulnerables.


    There was also another attempted block where he took baby steps in order to arrive at the ball to block with his foot – consequently he was too slow for the block.






    I am a big fan of Ronny, have been since day 1, rowed with many who werent however his substitutions were poor.



    The main Inter threat at 11 men was all down Izaguirres side – I am not sure where Armstrong was playing or was told to play but he wasnt covering.


    Even moving away from Armstrong, if the intention was to move Johanson out on the right, then it should have been Johanson who departed.



    GMS should have been asked to play a more covering role (for all the covering Johanson did – all I noted of him were lung bursting runs forward – some in headless chicken mode) which would have given us an out ball and someone who could have got us 30-40 yards up the park.



    John Guidetti was having a shock horror game – but seriously, no mention of the decison to put Forrest up front!?!?



    I can understand the logic with Inters defence pushing up and the space being left in the pockets of holes in between but the major flaw in that plan is Forrest doesnt chase, sorry to be more accurate the wee knaf picks and chooses when he can be bothered to chase.



    The time he has spent out injured has robbed him of vital footballing intelligence (the human brain expands until your 21 when your capacity plateaus).



    That said we were cheated out of the game.


    They talk about match fixing as if it can only affect players.


    A poor referee demonstrates in inability by making poor decisions in general – a referee who only gives poor decisions one way is something much more sinister.

  20. From the picture published on the BBC website it looks like our brave pyromaniac was cute enough to hide his face behind the Ultra banner.



    There are some people who just like to be playground rebels. Tell them not to do something and they’ll do it anyway. Pathetic really.

  21. mullet & co



    We are reaching the tipping point now of believing we can play to beat any team by attacking them. Strachan and Lennon played rope a dope.



    So, you’re saying… we don’t believe we can beat any team, but we’re quite close to believing?



    Well, that’s good, then.



    You do Celtic fans a disservice. Most of them believe we can beat anyone, even more so after going out, as expected, to a superior side. Nothing like facts to make the believers even more fervent.



    BTW, on the evidence thus far, looks like rope a dope was the better option, wouldn’t you agree?

  22. Jamesgang, i’m just shy of 7ft and 20 some odd stone so i’m guessin tearmann and I must be of similar dimension if it makes 6’4′ feel small.



    Moonbeams, you’re a fellow Lourdes alumni?

  23. up_over_goal



    13:19 on 27 February, 2015





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



    How so? Do you seriously think this team is an improvement on Lennon’s Celtic, even the 2013/14 vintage?





    I imagine by your tone that you don’t think anyone could make such a claim.



    If you are going to crab European performances by this team, I hope you are not going to suggest Mr Lennon’s management of the final 3 champions league games of last season is the standard we should aspire to.



    They were a 0-1 defeat at Ajax where he played a half fit Commons, half fit Samaras, Stokes and Forrest against a team who passed us to death.



    The 0-3 home defeat to a struggling Milan was truly one of the worst European displays by a Celtic team I can remember.



    Least said about the 1-6 hiding in Barcelona the better but NL though it a great idea to bring A Matthews back that night from a 3-month lay off



    IMO NL had effectively chucked it in his head last season.



    I will be in a huge minority on this but I was not sorry to see him go at the endup. Largely for his management of the three games above and the turgid fare on offer throughout last season.



    And dont forget we could probably have had Armstrong and GMS earlier but NL refused to buy Scottish players.

  24. Paul67:



    I disagree with your views on VVD’s cards. The first was deserved the second was not in my opinion. The second was not even a foul.



    The Referee was terrible, understatement.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!

  25. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Mullet and co 2


    Totally agree. Good distribution too. Plus cover for left back if needed.

  26. up_over_goal



    13:19 on 27 February, 2015





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



    How so? Do you seriously think this team is an improvement on Lennon’s Celtic, even the 2013/14 vintage?






    I’m judging RD from where he started. And the team and circumstances he inherited. He chose and was responsible for neither of them.



    Against that backdrop I think the progress is really heartening and given the kind of additions we saw in GMS and SA I think this Ghuy can build an excellent team who play football that’s good to watch.



    HH jamesgang

  27. glendalystonsils on




    couldn’t agree more. There have been some on here more indignant about the BBC journalist questioning RD about the flare than about the scum who lit it.


    We know what the SMSM are like, give them an anti-Celtic angle and they’ll jump right in.


    But it’s not the media we should be worried about. They have no power to hurt our club but EUFA does

  28. Sipsini



    I’m in trouble deep


    With a colossus of Mhan



    An T


    Apols big stuff.



    Oh bu&&er it was meant to say bigger!



    HH jamesgang

  29. Flares – why don’t we offer/pay stewards in European away games to search fans entering the ground as per airport security searches – anyone with a flare or worse can expect to have their ticket removed and reported to any authority deemed suitable – yes it’s a pa

  30. Bobby, other than spending time with my adorable niece I don’t have a lot of concrete plans and Particks just through the tunnel from me so could be around.

  31. Fans MUST Bring Idiot(s) To Justice..



    Celtic played against Italian giants Inter Milan for more than 50 minutes with ten men at the San Siro last night.



    It took a goal from Columbian Fredy Guarin two minutes from time to separate the sides after a heroic display from the Hoops. The Bhoys lost Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk just before half time when the Slovakian card happy referee sent the big man packing after two innocuous fouls.



    Celtic put in a brave display, one that we were never going to get anything from no matter how well we played, hence Ronnie’s view of the officials after the game.



    However, instead of talking about the game and how the manager and players performed, we are now talking about yet another flare being let off in the Celtic support by some idiot professing to be a supporter.



    The day after the club were fined for the same thing in Zagreb!


    Whoever is responsible for this lunacy his no Celtic supporter, they claim to be one, but in…



    Click To Tweet



    Someone, somewhere knows who’s responsible.



    By going along with this charade, you are just as bad as the culprit.



    I sincerely hope Celtic get you, name you and shame you, and plaster your face all over Celtic Park, before the start, at half time and at the end of every home game.



    You are a blight on our club. Go find another to ‘support’, you’re not welcome here.



    Note: Some clowns on social media think this is funny. I hope they soon find out this is no laughing matter.






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