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



    And the circumstances likely include a back room revolt by professional athletes against being asked to train twice a day and eat properly.



    No coincidence IMO that our settled and more fluent midfield has arrived with the admittedly enforced absence of Mulgrew, and the arrival of GMS and Armstrong. None of this would have happened under NL.



    James Forrest had one asset and one asset only. He had an ounce of pace. That seems to have been lost through repeated injury. His attitude last night stunk. Get rid.



    And for those still referring to him as a youngster. Stuart Armstrong is nearly 2 years younger and is more of a man than Forrest will ever be.

  2. Good old STV news regarding the murder of Jean Cambell in Cranhill.. boy aquited shown wearing a Celtic top.



    No other pictures.? Or just Stoke the flames of bigotry



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  3. bournesouprecipe on

    Good summary Paul67 agree with most of it, but GMS wasn’t the right choice even if RD was conforming to the normality of sacrificing a winger.



    I think Celtic have improved since the start of the season and the focus was always the treble.



    The tie was a reminder to all the potential we have, because of the size of our support, let’s hope Celtic get long term plans in place for the CL..

  4. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    mullet and co 2



    13:42 on 27 February, 2015



    No mate only you believe that and a few other plc disciples.



    Once Ronny’s Celtic qualifies for the CL only then can we make real judgements.




  5. squire danaher



    14:01 on 27 February, 2015



    Sadly I agree on both counts mhate. I do think RD had to spend some considerable time getting some guys to buckle down.



    And I also agree ref JF. Not sure we’d have too many suitors banging on the door.



    HH jamesgang

  6. squire danaher



    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.



    Sporting of you to tilt the tables by picking the most disastrous campaign, but why not? Those performances, dire though some of them were, were against far superior teams, so the comparison is moot. fwiw We played far batter in the San Siro (AC variety) than we did last night and were very unlucky to lose 2 late goals. Brown’s red card effectively stymied us for the rest of the campaign, although we still managed to beat Ajax 2-1.






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



    The constant refrain of the Ronnieists “the team he inherited”. The team he inherited was more than capable of qualifying for Europe. It was Ronnie’s decision, no one else’s, to go with his system from the word go rather than let the team play the way they knew how, at least until we were in Europe and the money was in the bank.



    Didn’t get the players you wanted due to board parsimony? Maybe you shouldn’t have played Griffiths and Berget on the wing for the first time in a crucial CL qualifier. Just a thought.



    Ronnie made great play of saying that, but for Gordon, we wouldn’t be in Europe. But for Bereszynski, we would have played no matches at all.



    But I understand why so many believe in ‘the project’ and the so-called progress. Ronnie set the bar so frickin low, Celtic couldn’t do anything but ‘improve’.

  7. Folks can I ask for your prayers, the blonde one’s Mum has just suffered a stroke, I’m heading to the hospital just now.


    I know I’m asking the right people.




  8. Mctall



    As did a few horses!!!



    Loved you as Hightower in police academy though!






    HH jamesgang

  9. If the idiot with the flare is comes to celtic’s attention, they should take him to court for the amount that uefa will hammer celtic with

  10. Winning Captains



    As the Sunday Herald have had this confirmed by lawyers before publication and as they have had great circulation success, imagine the stories they could carry exposing the entire fiasco at Ibrox and at SFA etc?




    Trying to catch up , this one caught my eye from last blog



    did yourself / paul mention a few weeks back that there was going to be exposure


    of sfa ?


    is this what your mibbe hinting at or am a still nursing a hangover from


    last night and not thinking straight ?



    Also auldheid mentioned on one of his posts that you and him need to talk , as auldheid is involved is res 12 , are the corrupt blazers about to get found out



    Here’s hoping ! conspiracycsc …………………hail hail

  11. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo


    13:38 on


    27 February, 2015


    This present Celtic team is nowhere near as good as WGS AC Milan beating team or Lenny’s Barca beating team






    Strachan team at home to AC Milan















    Subs used: Nakamura, Kennedy, Killen




    RD team at home to Inter



















    Subs used: Guidetti, Henderson, Ambrose.



    Not fit – Lustig, Commons.



    Which players from WGS side would have got a game for this team? Nakamura and McGeady maybe. No one else. The Brown of today is far better than the Brown of then.



    Up_over_goal -> No I would rather see a Celtic side go out and attack teams than one built to stop teams playing, aka the wattenacio

  12. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    If Celtic sell VVD , Brown and Johanson this summer and do not replace them like they did with Lenny. We will not qualify for any European competition.




  13. Lenny’s Barca team would be a much closer comparison, though again it is easier to build a team to sit in and play on the counter, than it is to build one to go out to attack and entertain.

  14. mctall



    13:56 on 27 February, 2015


    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.






    Mind and duck when you’re going through the tunnel :))

  15. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I would rather see us attack and develop our own players. I think it is premature to judge Ronny’s Celtic until they qualify for the CL playing attacking football.



    What is wrong with that ?

  16. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo


    14:13 on



    If Celtic sell VVD , Brown and Johanson this summer and do not replace them like they did with Lenny. We will not qualify for any European competition.






    VVD will go. Denayer may understandably want to go back to City, but if they want him back out on loan then he may change his tune. Celtic must be aware of this, so we can only hope they have some quality lined up to replace them. O’Connell could maybe step up, but he needs a good player beside him.



    No chance Brown will leave, hypothetically though, I would have no qualms about Henderson replacing him.



    Joe Hansen? Would be surprised to see him leave but who knows. Henderson could play there as well, Commons could come back in, Armstrong could move central, but he would need replacing in some form in the midfield 3.

  17. lennon's passion on

    Get a bit annoyed the crap Izzy gets. Yes he bombs forward it’s in Celtic DNA to play like that.Remember when I first went it was Chris Morris doing the same thing.

  18. So much negativity on here.


    I am glad that we have a Celtic team that can go toe to toe with an established top 5 league team, home and away and come away feeling hard done by referees inexplicable decisions.


    Ronnie Deila’s Celtic team are not streets ahead of The GS or NL version, but they can now expect to retain confident possession, are not reliant on set pieces and play with verve and attacking intent.


    I don’t think you could honestly say that about the previous squads post Henke.


    Looking forwards to Sunday at paradise and a lot of ghuys looking to exorcise the ghosts of Thursday night.




  19. Thems didn’t have a problem changing the meaning of the word Liquidation.


    So I doubt very much if the word HUN will be a problem,.


    Could be they are just seeing what way wee Knickerless flys?

  20. Micky



    Not religious but genuinely hope that your mother in law can get through this as well as is possible.




  21. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo


    14:21 on



    I would rather see us attack and develop our own players. I think it is premature to judge Ronny’s Celtic until they qualify for the CL playing attacking football.



    What is wrong with that ?






    Fair point. But the aforementioned managers both had their own 1st season European disasters. Ronny still has much to prove, but the signs on the park are good, a bit of caution isn’t a bad thing, but I think we are onto something special.

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