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. !!Bada Bing!!


    17:22 on


    27 February, 2015


    Leonard Nimoy RIP




    You got a hotline to Co-op funeral parlour?



    livelongandprosper c.s.c

  2. bern @ 14:10 on 27 February, 2015





    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.






    I completely agree and I’ve been saying as much for as years.


    Celtic should sue, not only for the amount of the fine but also for the general damage to reputation which the club suffers through irresponsible pyroprats. On top of that, there should be a substantial element of punitive damages inflicted on them as a deterrent to potential offenders of the future.


    If a guilty party has to spend the rest of his life paying up the damages in weekly installments, so much the better.



    The bottom line here is that a series of offences of this nature could see the club eventually having to play European ties behind closed doors, if at all. It has to be stopped now.



    This latest clown needs to be identified and made an example of.

  3. An tearmann good afternoon to you.



    I do not believe I am overstating Scotlands racism. I believe it is endemic and institutionalised. I have in the past demonstrated this either by reference to the OB act, behaviours of courts, behaviour of the police, behaviour of national broadcasters etc.



    Scotland is unwilling to admit it’s problem. Instead it hides behind the term sectarianism in an attempt to bastardise the meaning of the term to be a catch all and mean that those who are victimised are blamed. I believe that is what you are actually doing with me, albeit innocently and unwittingly.



    That is why when clear racist singing is heard it is called sectarian and the debate does not centre on that but rather the equation of the irish national anthem and the Irish tricolour as sectarian.



    That racism is so endemic in the scottish psyche that no one bats an eyelid. A radio station can say these things without any fear or even understanding the irony of condemning racism in egland while propping it up in Scotland.



    But woe betide anyone who dares show it up for what it is. If you do you will be abused. You will lose your job (aka Mr coollymore). You may even be sent bombs and bullets and need police protection.



    In Scotland that may be treated with sighs and shakes of the head but no debate will occur. No discussions will be held. No insight sought into why these things happen.



    Instead words like sevco and hun are labelled sectarian and irish songs are made illegal.



    I challenge you and anyone else on this site to refute that this does not show endemic racism in Scotland. I challenge you to show me evidence that I am wrong. I ask you to explore and question yourself deeply on the matters.



    There is nothing wrong with patriotism, but imagined States and boundaries are one thing. Understanding the nature of your fellow countryman is another.



    Scotland is institutional racist.

  4. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    leftclicktic 15:10 on 27 February, 2015



    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.





    How dare those Arseholes wae the flares claim to be a Celtic fans,


    They’re Fannies awrirght but certainly not Celtic fans, shame on them.



    There you go lefty, seeing as there were plural flares and plural fannies I thought Id fix that for you.

  5. Paul



    I am afraid you don’t build resilience into nerves. Muscles yes, nerves no. James Forrest will be judged by RD, not by the lynch mob on social media. He is short of games, doesn’t look a fraction of his best and may not make it in RD’s style. But let’s try supporting our players and give him a chance to get up to match sharpness. Adam Mathews is only starting to look like the player he was before his injury spell. It takes time.



    Thankfully the anti RD posts seem to dried up on here. Anyone who knows anything about coaching knows that to change something takes time. It looks to me that our summer signings were not necessarily RD’s picks, (we were linked with most before RD). RD is clearly keen to give our own young talent a chance, something that’s been sorely lacking for years.



    Moaners please learn that improvement in a team / player takes time. Stop the tabloid like get rid of him posts on every less than perfect performance.

  6. hun skelper


    17:46 on


    27 February, 2015


    Has anybody ever done something at 16/17/18 that you would never think of doing know ???




    Aye……but I done it at the Belfast hootenanny.

  7. bern @ 14:10 on 27 February, 2015





    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.






    This issue has to be dealt with once and for all. Do these idiots read this blog? If not how can they be reached? What is their agenda? Do we need these ULTRAS if it is them who are to blame?



    Sad times for the Celtic support.

  8. Mike in Toronto



    No worries about any delay in the replies, friend.



    I’m happy to get any, tbh!



    Nice move, by the way.



    If you don’t like my questions, make up your own, and answer them!



    I’ll be stealing that strategy, if you don’t mind!



    Seriously, referee was a cheat.



    No, really. No other word for it.



    But even he couldn’t stomach booking SA for diving, which he should have if he wasn’t awarding the penalty.



    Proof enough for me that he thought it was a foul, but, penalty and red card at the San Siro, so early on too?



    Wasn’t happening.



    I don’t condone Kris’ booking, but understand his anger.

  9. voguepunter



    17:48 on 27 February, 2015



    Take it you’ll be banned for life from the hootenanny :-) HH


    You rutherglen division always let yourselves down

  10. In van dijks other red card against the dandies


    Ref Craig Thomson couldn’t get card


    Out fast enough

  11. rw67-what about a lack of effort? Do you need to coach that too? He was on there to do the ‘doggies’ between their back 4,and touched the ball 6 times.Johansen was still doing more running than Forrest in injury time.He’s 23,not a youngster in football terms,never started 4 games in a row for Celtic,some players do that in a fortnight.His time is up for me,he has had enough chances.

  12. Wonder what the lead story on stv news at 6 will be (blue tie Makay)


    Celtic charged by uefa ?? wits the odds

  13. Ith regards to this flare stuff. clearly we should identify the daftie in question and celtic should then ban him.



    But I think we need to take care in treating this offence as heinous as some are. Hasn’t it be proven to you all yet that celtic supporters are being wantonly targeted for any minor offence. Real or imagined. The campaign against this beyond belief. Celtic have to all intents and purposes abandoned us to this fate. Need we do it to ourselves too?

  14. hun skelper



    17:46 on 27 February, 2015


    Has anybody ever done something at 16/17/18 that you would never think of doing know ???




    Aye, but no after you’ve been told five times, he /they deserve all the get, they looking for sympathy it’s in websters dictionary between ….shit and syphilis.

  15. rw67



    You are correct in what you say about Forrest, I have always been a fan of his, but last night that changed. A total lack of effort when his 9 teammates were running their bollocks off. Johanssn was running past him to close Inter players down.


    His attitude and application were sadly lacking last night, and no matter how much ability he has or bad luck he’s had with injuries, that is unacceptable.

  16. ExSlaemuirBhoy



    It’s green tie MacKay and not the lead story.



    No doubt it will get plenty of coverage though.

  17. Fanadpatriot.


    Because the damage had been done by then. He had denied pen and sent Virgil off had been completed.

  18. Syd Negakev





    18:06 on



    27 February, 2015








    It’s green tie MacKay and not the lead story.



    No doubt it will get plenty of coverage though.




    That’s why I don’t gamble

  19. The Referee:



    The only dirty tackle in that game last night was by Guarin when he smashed Johansen in the face with his arm.



    The referee had negative body language to our players throughout the game. He strutted about like peacock.



    Even the so called small decisions like throw-ins etc were an opportunity for him to show everyone how important he was by fiving the home side the call. I think the VVD red card happened directly after him refusing to give us a corner that was as blatant as you will get.



    Ard Macha

  20. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Cheers VP, I love you too:-)



    I’m away to set fire to my neighbours cat. Should be a good laff watching it runnin roon in circles flaming against the night sky. A bit like CQN today.



    HH big chap

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