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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. up_over_goal 14:07

     

     

    I would argue now and did at the time that NL’s team selection at Ajax cost us a great chance of further European football that season.

     

     

    I agree that the first 3 CL games were very encouraging but also think that after the loss in Amsterdam the heads went. The loss was due to the manager’s team selection. The buck stops with the manager.

     

     

    I would say that the current Inter are not significantly poorer than last year’s AC Milan. It would also be fair to say that for a few years some of us had been expecting a European hiding of the 6-1 Barcelona proportions

     

     

    I prefer to think that the manager is getting his ideas across and his players in. He may have been – no, WAS – wrong to gamble with fundamentally changing the style if play at such an important time. However to take your point a bit further, had NL not been as short sighted as to rule out signing scottish players, we might have ended up wi the two DU lads much earlier.

  2. Craigellachie 10 at 12.47

     

    Surely you must be mistaken. There was only one flare at the ground and that was the fault of the evil GB.

     

    Well that the way the news is being reported on here.

     

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

     

    Will there be one fine, two fines or none whatsoever

  3. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Johnnyrambo67

     

     

    They sure did. Why ? The plc never learned from their mistakes. We then lost two good loyal managers. The shelf life of a Celtic manager is 4 years. Ronny has to do it this summer. CL football or he will be gone and its back to square one.

     

     

    HH

  4. charliemac

     

     

     

     

    10:46 on

     

     

    27 February, 2015

     

     

     

     

    Did MacMannaman have anything to say about the mighty Tottenham being humbled by a team in FIFTH place in a weak Italian Serie A.

     

     

    Or his 1st love, the (once) mighty Liverpool being put out by a mickey mouse team like Besiktas

     

     

     

    *I believe his first love were the Toffees….scouse soup taker

  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

     

    14:42 on

     

     

    Johnnyrambo67

     

     

    Ronny has to do it this summer. CL football or he will be gone and its back to square one.

     

     

    ————

     

     

    A simplistic view of things. It would depend on the manner of his failure.

  6. Squire D..,

     

    Can you share your source for the info that Lenny wouldn’t sign Scottish players ?

  7. just saw on ssn that ourselves and inter are gonna be charged for the

     

    flares last night .

     

     

    Wish these idiots would gtf with fireworks at games , how thick are they ?

     

     

    They knew bout fine from uefa on tues and 48 hrs later do the same thing ?

     

     

    idiots

  8. “But for Bereszynski, we would have played no matches at all.”

     

     

     

    Up over goal,

     

     

     

    Utter pish.

  9. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Johnnyrambo67

     

     

    A moronic view.

     

     

    All about the money mate.

     

     

    Our plc are only interested in selling players and profits.

     

     

    That is why we lose good succesful managers after four years.

     

     

    HH

  10. Maybe Celtic should simply ask UEFA to prove the pyromaniacs were Celtic supporters, if we are expected to pay fines then the proof should be unequivocal.

  11. We should be pro active here and voluntarily ban away fans from the next European game. In all reality it should be a virtual gimme against some unknown team, in a far off land, so shouldn’t impact us much.

     

     

    Fines aren’t getting the message across, it will take something more drastic to get these idiots to stop harming the club.

     

     

    Rather now than a UEFA imposed ban away to Dortmund or Madrid.

  12. JonnyRambo67

     

    14:55 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

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

     

     

    You been to many away Euro games mate?

  13. Biton will be sold to PSG and Joe Hanson to Real Madrid this summer – my son played FM2014 and both teams came in with offers of €12 million and €15 million respectively. Fact!

  14. “Fines aren’t getting the message across”

     

     

    Johnny r,

     

     

    Fines will never get the message across so long as it’s the board who cough up the fines and not the bell ends who ignite them.

     

     

    HH

  15. charles kickham

     

    I see it now….the club can do nothing about the flares….think it is uefa making money bit like speed cameras but conduct of the players? It was the ref that was the problem last night.

  16. Flares Context:

     

     

    Nearly all clubs competing in Europe have fans lighting flares (Inter had just a few hundred more than we did last night). This is an issue for UEFA going forward, because if they continue to issue punishment in all cases then the vast majority of clubs will be on a charge. If that leads to ground closures (full or partial) then they will be broadcasting emptiness.

     

     

    Once the issue has been highlighted it looks like Jack the Lads like the challenge both of getting a flare in and getting attention.

     

     

    If this latest incident leads to a charge then I’d settle for a stand closure for our next game(s). I think we can safely say that Euro qualifiers can handle one or two stands less and still accommodate all those who want to go.

     

     

    My point though is the broader one; that at some point this game of ‘blink’ between UEFA and PYROS will need to be sorted at a wider level than club punishment because punishing individual clubs is not sorting the issue. In fact it is adding to it by encouraging challenge and defiance.

     

     

    HH

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

     

    14:50 on

     

     

    Johnnyrambo67

     

     

    A moronic view.

     

     

    All about the money mate.

     

     

    Our plc are only interested in selling players and profits.

     

     

    That is why we lose good succesful managers after four years.

     

     

    ————–

     

     

    Liverpool couldn’t keep hold of Suarez, Man Utd couldn’t keep hold of Ronaldo, Arsenal have continually sold their best players to rivals.

     

     

    I’d guess 90% of the players we have would view a relegation threatened team in the EPL as a step up from playing in Scotland. 100% would take the doubling or trebling of their wages in a heartbeat.

     

     

    Teams like Ajax have been doing it for years. We’re not sitting on cash reserves of tens of millions. If managers and fans don’t understand that then they aren’t living in the real world

  18. expat_celt

     

     

    No chance of that I’ve already sold Biton to Chelsea for 18 Million, signed Jordan Rhodes with the profits so not all bad news!

  19. Looks a lot like Che Guevara on

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

     

     

    14:50 on 27 February, 2015

     

     

    To me Ronny was the cheap option but had a new idea and philosophy and was right time for the PLC to make that change. I think he has to win the league and show progress and acheive CL groups. My problem, and I am a fan of Peter Lawwell, is that Ronny would have to be a miracle worker to change the way we play with no funds. Give the man some cash to be ready at opening of transfer window to sign players to be ready for qualifiers.

     

    Re 4 year shelf life if he does make a seismic change to fast attacking football within 12 months on the meagre Celtic transfer budget forget 4 years he will be gone after next season!

  20. geordie munro

     

     

    14:58 on 27 February, 2015

     

    “Fines aren’t getting the message across”

     

     

    Johnny r,

     

     

    Fines will never get the message across so long as it’s the board who cough up the fines and not the bell ends who ignite them.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

     

    Spot on mate. HH

  21. Bawsman

     

    14:56 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

    JonnyRambo67

     

    14:55 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

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

     

     

    You been to many away Euro games mate?

     

     

    ———

     

     

    Off the top of my head.

     

     

    Bordeaux, Blackburn, Stuttgart, Seville, Turin, Lyon, Milan, Barca, Man Utd, Valencia

  22. Looks a lot like Che Guevara on

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

     

     

    14:50 on 27 February, 2015

     

     

    Surely the model of buying low, developing and selling on, as VVD, Fraser Foster, Wanyama etc is the right way to be as same as Ajax?

  23. How dare that A*se**le wae the flare claim to be a Celtic fan,

     

    He is a Fan** awrirght but certainly not a Celtic fan, shame on him.

  24. jonnyrambo67,

     

     

    With the new input of money in the epl, their top teir clubs will buy up the best players/ mananagers…that is the goal. HH

  25. cavansam \o/

     

    15:05 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

    expat_celt

     

     

    No chance of that I’ve already sold Biton to Chelsea for 18 Million, signed Jordan Rhodes with the profits so not all bad news!

     

     

    ————–

     

     

    Maybe the game has changed from 10 years ago. But it sounds like you guys are doing it wrong.

     

     

    If this team was back in the day, I’d have sold Ambrose for £30m and Zaluska for £25m to Barca. Naturally I would have given them a combined £10m back for Messi, Suarez and Iniesta.

  26. Paul 67. The reason we are out of Europe is down to your paymaster PL and his total ignorance of a plan to invest

     

     

    Jason is off. We have no control of that

     

    Europe is full of players who want to leave but clubs don’t allow it

     

    Sooo. In the case of jason leaving its a sorry virgil , you have signed a contract and will be with us for next 2 seasons

     

    10m is no use to ronny or the fans as all the cash will go to the profit and loss file and ensure the leech lawell gets more money for his retirement fund

     

    No use to the fans

  27. Awe_Naw –

     

     

    First I’ve heard talk of Brown and Johanson being sold. Are you angling for a job with the Daily Record? Why not throw in Biton, Armstrong, Gordon and the Brother Walfrid statue? That would guarantee you an interview with the Sun.

  28. Scotland’s top tourist attraction – Edinburgh Castle – is to be bathed in green light to mark St Patrick’s Day.

     

     

    The move was announced this morning by External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop during a visit to Dublin.

     

     

    She said it was in recognition of the “mutually important relationship” between Scotland and Ireland.

     

     

    The castle joins other global landmarks celebrating St Patrick Day on 17 March, including the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris.

     

     

     

    Yassssssssssssssssssssssssss

     

     

    LB

  29. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    So if the word “hun” gets banned for being sectarian – what next? “Sevco” – or maybe even “Zombie”?

     

     

    Maybe we could move onto “Necro” – short for the necrophiliacs.

     

     

    Seriously though – once anybody can invoke the law simply by saying “I am offended”, the law really has become an ass. It will be interesting to see how Nicola Sturgeon deals with this one.

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