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How did we do at the San Siro?

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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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1,061 Comments

  1. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Cant quite remember Tiswas but remember SnG and the wrestling early Saturday afternoon.

     

     

    kendonagasakicsc

  2. Flight home from Glagow booked for sat 21 March. Just need to figure how I’m getting over!

     

     

    Willfigureitoutlatercsc

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    When he first joined us I thought John Guidetti was the real deal and would be a great signing but the more I have watched him I think he lacks pace and is quite clumsy. I also think his childish attitude playing up to the crowd but dropping hints where he might be playing next season does not endear me to him. I hope we are casting our net far and wide for a pacey striker who can also head a ball.H.H.

  4. JFH

     

     

    Curious that Scepovic doesn’t get a run. He has looked the part in flashes and as we find, most players need a run to show their true capabilities.

  5. weet weet weet(GBWO) on

    Was at JG testimonial in 1972 against Feyenord,the wee man was allowed to score the only

     

    Goal of the game when he was about 10 yards offside.

     

     

    I think he presented each of the Spurs players a Rolex

     

     

    HH

  6. roy croppie

     

    12:11 on

     

    28 February, 2015

     

    Guys the Ferynoord link is nothing to do with the GB. The Dutch fans were over last year and I met some of them in McCuills. There was a charity night-where thousands was raised for several charities-and they attended the Aberdeen game at Celtic Park.

     

     

    Some clown made up a FB page this week and it does not represent those involved. Once again this weekend thousands of pounds will be raised for charity and the guys are once again attending the game v Aberdeen. The Celtic fans responsible for this link up are true Celts in the spirit of Walfrid and they cannot believe the lies being told about this event. Some ill informed comments on here are doing the SMSM’s work for them.

     

     

    Every support has its rockets but trust me this link up has been very positive.

     

     

     

    Thanks very much for the answer.Always good to get the facts.

     

    Hamiltontim,before you start calling people fools,for worrying about Celtic,take a step back.I was not following blindly the SMSM take on this.There has been talk on other Celtic blogs about this,and I have been told that the FB page was genuine.I did add “If true”on my post.If that makes you indignant ,tough.

  7. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    “Bridgeton Cross on the east side of Glasgow.None of the buildings have changed.”

     

     

    Aye n neither has the folk living in them ;)

  8. Posted on here yesterday about the flares in Milan. Whoever let them off was roundly booed by fans all around where I was sitting. Furthermore, security going into the game, probably as a consequence of the Roma/Feyenoord game, was as tight as I can remember for an away European game.

     

    Without resorting to “it was them Chelsea fans wot dun it guv”. How could anyone have got a flare onto a plane? There must be some “local” knowledge coming into play. Saw someone on here yesterday saying away Celtic fans should be banned from European away games. WHIT???? A job awaits in the DR. Collectively punish the whole support for the actions of one lunatic. Let’s track that logic through to its logical conclusion.

     

    Anyway HH Micktt.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    BIG-CUP-WINNERS. I have to agree with you Scepovic has good movement and I think there is a player in the bhoy and if we are right I believe Rony will bring it out.I also think he has time yet to become a first team regular but for that to happen as you say he must get games. H.H.

  10. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Re Glasgow Cross

     

    I am going to the mass in JOHS on 13th March to honour the changing of the name to St John Ogilvie HS

     

     

    Hope you bhoys enjoy Cqn 11 on the same evening

  11. Ps

     

    The Celtic fans were ” pure Deid brilliant” btw. (Ulster Scats still working)

     

    Locals nothing but praise for the Hooped crusaders ,but don’t be expecting to see that/read about it anytime soon.

  12. Scepovic is the best penalty-box striker we’ve got by some distance. His movement in and around the danger area is instinctive class.

     

     

    But it’s becoming clear he was a Lawwell pick and not a Deila demand.

     

     

    He is a player who needs a strike partner, and we do not accommodate such in the curent system.

  13. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Sandman. Two strikers does not appear to be the fashion at the moment and that could be hindering Scepoic . H.H.

  14. Sandman

     

    13:13 on

     

    28 February, 2015

     

    Scepovic is the best penalty-box striker we’ve got by some distance. His movement in and around the danger area is instinctive class.

     

     

    But it’s becoming clear he was a Lawwell pick and not a Deila demand.

     

     

    He is a player who needs a strike partner, and we do not accommodate such in the curent system.

     

     

    Not as good as Big Peter Lawells best pic………….

     

     

    Craig Gordon………………………………

  15. turkeybhoy

     

     

    Apologies amigo but you’ve misread my post. The fools I was referring to were the media lackies. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  16. Big Joe

     

     

    13:22 on 28 February, 2015

     

     

    Not as good as Big Peter Lawells best pic………….

     

     

    Craig Gordon………………………………

     

     

    =============================

     

     

    Big Craig has been a sensation; an absolute steal.

     

     

    But he still hasn’t come up for a late corner…

     

     

    SuspiciousMindsCSC

  17. Joe Filippis Haircut

     

    13:18 on

     

    28 February, 2015

     

    Sandman. Two strikers does not appear to be the fashion at the moment and that could be hindering Scepoic . H.H.

     

     

    think we are more ” fluid ” with one up front……………

     

     

    More movement going forward……………….

  18. gearoid1998

     

    13:03 on

     

     

    Saw someone on here yesterday saying away Celtic fans should be banned from European away games. WHIT???? A job awaits in the DR. Collectively punish the whole support for the actions of one lunatic. Let’s track that logic through to its logical conclusion.

     

    Anyway HH Micktt.

     

     

    ————–

     

     

    I said Celtic should voluntarily ban fans from the next away game. Fines aren’t getting the message across. I’d rather we were pro-active, and fans miss a relatively unimportant early qualifier, than wait for UEFA to take action and ban our fans from a CL tie in Madrid or Dortmund.

  19. Would it not be a better idea if all the money that was seen burning away at the San Siro the other evening was donated to charity and maybe as a way of thanks to the Dutch supporters attending Celtic Park tomorrow they could all be presented with No.6 Jerseys with the players name emblazoned on the back

  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    sandman

     

     

    But he still hasn’t come up for a late corner…

     

     

    SuspiciousMindsCSC

     

     

     

    ********

     

    What? With his bad knee.!

  21. Marrakesh @11.13

     

     

    Wonderful post and a wee reminder about how the blog can raise genuine football issues.

     

     

    The “What If” scenario is always a difficult one. I think that particular bunch of bhoys had the hunger to go on and keep going on. They did not rest on their laurels after Lisbon and got us to many other big matches over the next 7 years.

     

     

    Have to agree about Joe McBride. When the English journos started to cite Inter as missing Lusi Suarez in order to diminish our achievement in beating their clubs to the big prize, I always cite Joe McBride. You could just hit the ball at Joe and it turned into a goal.

     

     

    One of the pleasures of my life when I met him in hospitality at CP and found him to be a grounded, humble and intelligent guy.

  22. Sandman

     

    13:26 on

     

    28 February, 2015

     

    Big Joe

     

     

    13:22 on 28 February, 2015

     

     

    Not as good as Big Peter Lawells best pic………….

     

     

    Craig Gordon………………………………

     

     

    =============================

     

     

    Big Craig has been a sensation; an absolute steal.

     

     

    But he still hasn’t come up for a late corner…

     

     

    SuspiciousMindsCSC

     

     

    lol………………….. I…………………. yet,………………………

     

     

    but we haven’t plaid the jam farts in the league………… yet

     

     

    Its just funny how if someone is a dud, its Lawells fault……………….

     

     

    BIG Peter was getting pelters from everyone when we signed Craig Gordon…………

     

     

    NotHavingAgo……..justsaying

  23. Rhetorical

     

    A guy stoated through my estate on Thursday night about 2AM singing “Bring on the Hearts, the Hibs,the Rangers……”

     

    I panicked for a minute….thinking we’d somehow been relegated!

  24. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Struggling to find a pub on Goa with the Celtic v Aberdeen match – with a few big games in England to contend with it looks like I’m gonna have to rely on updates

  25. midfield maestro on

    tom mclaughlin

     

     

    10:47 on 28 February, 2015

     

     

    Tom, enjoy your wee day oot tomorrow. Hopefully catch you for a beer, that i keep promising you, sooner rather than later. That daft wee boy of mine, you so kindly looked after in Gold Coast, is going to be a dad around the 2nd June.

     

    Hope yer well & enjoying your retirement in Auld Reekie.