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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. If this ‘logic spiral’ © continues we’ll end up with someone blaming Kris Commons for the flare!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  2. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Both official statements are first class. Hats off !!

     

     

    Or have they been Awe Nawed ?

     

     

    HH

  3. weeminger

     

     

    16:45 on 27 February, 2015

     

    tonydonnelly67

     

    16:40 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

     

    And neither do I. It proves absolutely nothing about the person.

     

     

    Exactly what I meant too.

  4. hun skelper the answer to your question is yes, any of our players setting off flares should be banned (band!) H H Hebcelt

  5. syd negakev

     

     

    16:27 on 27 February, 2015

     

    Looks like that flare holder is also trying to hide his identity by wearing shades.

     

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::

     

    Or perhaps he is making sure that his own eyes are protected.

     

    Those things can be injurious, you know.

  6. hebcelt

     

     

    17:01 on 27 February, 2015

     

     

    No he wasn’t will that be our defence if we fight the charge, do you think it would work ??

  7. traditionalist88

     

     

    16:51 on 27 February, 2015

     

    tonydonnelly67

     

    16:40 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

    Most of the GB/ultras don’t wear anything Celtic.

     

    =====

     

     

    oh well there you go, conculsive proof!

     

     

    Really Tony, who took your lunch money?

     

     

    Most would get what I meant, spin it all you like.

     

    What was on your play piece today?

  8. For those asking, automatic UEFA charges for contravening art. 15 (4) ” improper conduct of the team (5 cards or more)”

  9. tonydonnelly67

     

    17:08 on

     

    27 February, 2015

     

     

    I think your context was lost by not including a reference to the previous statement about the guy not wearing colours.

  10. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    I think I’ve seen the guy with the sunglasses on awe_naw’s FB page ;-)

     

    Normally holding a guitar, apparently he has a flair for that sort of thing.

  11. the long wait is over on

    “How did we do at the San Siro? ”

     

     

    Don’t mean to be glib but we lost and went out – pretty simple.

     

     

    Yes there are definite sings of improvement from early in the season but from what I saw of Inter (only the first half on replay at Parkhead and all of last night on TV) they are about as poor as they are ever going to be and we were , in many respects, the better team.

     

     

    Poor individual errors again cost us.

     

     

    I absolutely like where we’re headed but actually very disappointed we didn’t progress. We should have.

     

     

    I thought James Forrest was really poor last night. I agree he is far better at running on to a ball than with his back to goal but did anyone honestly think he was ever going to score last night? His closing down was simply terrible – he didn’t seem to get within yards of the Inter defenders.

     

     

    I take no pleasure at all in saying it but I just don’t see him ever coming good for us again. Hope I’m wrong but…

  12. I see the bbc have a picture of “jihadi john” in his school uniform, surprised they never found 1 with him in a Celtic jersey.

     

    The stv also took great pleasure in showing the picture of a suspected murderer wearing a Celtic shirt, guess what ? admonished. They will be gutted (stv that is) . Hope the culprit is found soon to give the poor family some closure.

     

    Main point here is, we have enough people willing to take a swipe at Celtic and our fans without us doing the dirty work for them. All these so called fans calling a certain 2 radio shows every night at 6pm here in the west of Scotland STOP IT. Tou sound like twats, even the HUNS are laughing at you, go get you moment of glory else where.

     

    HAIL HAIL

  13. Embramike

     

     

    Any UEFA article on “improper conduct of the referee ( 5 blatant errors or more)”??

  14. Look all the ‘excusers’ and ‘duckers and divers’ – these self-serving morons know the UEFA rules – for God’s sake, we were fined for a previous offence on the day of the Inter game.

     

     

    Why do they do it? – if we get them and take the fine amount out of their families, instead of them constantly ‘stealing’ out of the Celtic family, maybe the ‘penny might drop’

     

     

    There are NO excuses and NO extenuating circumstances – to try to compare the behaviour of these ‘nae brains’ to players getting cautioned – is quite frankly the stupidest remark I have read – and there have been many, apparently from the ‘big brothers’ of these weans.

     

     

    Let’s get them and the bottle-throwing thug at Hampden exposed – forget the whataboutery regarding the ‘Rangers’ – We must look to ourselves and deny our enemies in this sectarian little country, the ammunition to attack us – they feed off our failings and some of our kind are too dense, or too selfishly bloody-minded to understand.

  15. mike in toronto-did you think we deserved 7 yellow cards last night? Worst challenge was the goalscorer on Johansen,red card for me.HH

  16. Alfie,,,.

     

    Name and shame him, there appears to be plenty of gobshites on here who know who the pyromaniac was yet all afraid to condemn him, why is that ?

  17. Evening folks.

     

    Pupils from Holyrood Sec will be collecting outside Celtic Park on Sunday.

     

    Since 2008 a group of senior pupils have travelled each year to Malawi. So far they have constructed 20 New classrooms and refurbished a further 28 in partner schools.

     

    Holyrood works in close partnership with Mary’s Meals.

     

    Please note that funds collected are not for travel or subsistence of the project workers, which are raised separately by the individuals concerned. So if you are in a position to do so, please put some change in the pupils buckets.

  18. mike in toronto on

    beatbhoy/bada bing

     

     

    sorry guys.. on and off the blog at the moment, so cant always respond (quickly).

     

     

    Do I think the ref was easier on them than us? Yes, probably. Can we prove anything remiss? Not a chance. do I think that we were that much ‘dirtier’ than IM? No. but, on the other hand, when I look at each individual booking, can I honestly say that they were WRONG? No. Within the rules, each was or could be a booking. Could other fouls have been called against IM? Absolutely.

     

     

    Was this the best refereeing i have seen? No. But, was this the worst? not even close. Most of them were, if you follow the letter of the law, bookings.

     

     

    And some of the, e.g., kc’s, were silly bookings.

  19. We have been on the end of countless ridiculous decisions when play against Italian and Spanish teams over the years, it’s almost as if uefa would be embarrassed nowadays if a Scottish team were to beat one of this lot. The Germans though ? They know how to beat them. Just play them aff the park , a bit like big Jock done. We’ve. D done it before and we’ll do it again ( nearly burst into song there) Under Ronny D , given time I think we will be great again

  20. The meeja say it’s a Celtic supporter and half the half wits on here demand he’s strung up, not a shred of evidence just your trusted meeja’s say so, brilliant.

  21. So Inter fans let flares off an aw.

     

     

    Wonder if they have a blog full of similar sentiment?

     

     

    Tony Macaroni at 14:21 said…..

     

    Eez a terrible, mama mia I sheet my chinos again causa dis. I speet on deez poosi rebelz wid da flares. Eeza no upp furra deescushon. veri bad veri bad.

  22. !!Bada Bing!!

     

     

     

     

    17:22 on

     

     

    27 February, 2015

     

     

     

     

    Leonard Nimoy RIP

     

     

     

    Oh Naw, night ruined, Live long and prosper Leonard

  23. VVD first booking was a joke,an Inter player would never have got 2 similar yellows.I thought the ref in the first leg was excellent btw

  24. still disgusted at the refereeing performance – frustrated that i suspect this is not just a bad performance but bribery or corruption – it really was that blatant!

  25. beatbhoy @ 17:12

     

     

    Embramike

     

     

    Any UEFA article on “improper conduct of the referee ( 5 blatant errors or more)”??

     

     

    No, mores the pity. Would love to see the Observers report mark for “decision making”. Thought it was poor. He reacted too quickly to the surroundings without due consideration and made some poor judgement calls.

     

     

    This was exemplified by his booking of KC for Dissent after the final whistle – KC touched a nerve as the ref knew he had not had a good one !

  26. Biton is quality. I think the style and shape we play suits him very well. I first remember watching him against Morton, you could see he was tidy but I did not think he would be as good as he is now.

     

     

    Re the red card. In Scotland that would have been one yellow at the very most. I have been to most of our games this season and I am very surprised at what it takes for the red to get a yellow card out. I base this on the fact that I watch a lot of English and Spanish football where it is much easier to pick up a yellow. I prefer the Scottish way as a fan who doesn’t want to see players sent off for not very much. However, when we play in Europe we are being exposed as naive with all of the continental players rolling around like they have been hit by a bus. It was the Inter players reaction that got Virgil his first yellow. I think it is very hard for us to make the transition and therefore we will likely have to face more injustices in the future if things do not change.

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